Broken

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Has something ever taken you out of life for a season – perhaps an injury, a loss, or even a bad decision? I can only imagine as shock starts to slowly bleed into reality. “This is real. This is happening.”  It’s probably like watching a movie and wishing you could push rewind to rewrite the script or get a do-over as in Groundhog Day. 

This last month, our daughter Jadyn broke two bones in her arm from a fall off a rail snowboarding at Copper Mountain with her team. While we were grateful that it was only a broken bone, we were also all so very disappointed because of what it would mean for Jadyn – time off of training in the snow.

She was really heartbroken. She had been training well during pre-season and was looking forward to continuing the momentum in an awesome season with her coaches and friends. But now she was sidelined for 8 weeks. She was worried that it would put her behind, was sad for all the fun memories she’d miss, and just bummed about the inconvenience of a limited “10 pound” weight on her dominant hand!

As a mom, it was difficult to walk that fine line of being strong for her, being understanding and letting her grieve, and also trying to encourage and point her to a hopeful, positive mindset.

But I was so proud of Jadyn. She walked through those stages of grief and positivity – often waffling between them both within the same minute. 🙂 But eventually, she started to embrace the brokenness and look for the best in the situation. It was not easy, nor did we try to be superficial about it. But it definitely helped get through the day-to-day in life when we chose to see the good.

For Jadyn it meant time to get ahead in her online classes, catch up on sleep, hang out with new, special friends, spend more time with her cousins who were visiting for Thanksgiving, watch snowboarding videos to keep her vision strong, and really solidify her commitment and desire to compete in snowboarding.

 

Hard times can either take you out or make you stronger. As athletes, this is especially true when faced with accident or injury. It’s neat to see how much Jadyn loves this sport and how much she wants to get back out there. It’s not taking her out.

And Don and I have often talked about the idea of “being broken.” We would not necessarily wish it on anyone, but we have also come to learn that it’s the best way to live, personally and professionally. There’s a sobriety and humility in knowing that we are not infallible, undefeatable or entirely independent. We depend on a God who loves us and knows all, and we all need each other in this life to do great things. As much as we like to stay organized and efficient, we also know that we can’t control all variables. Being broken teaches us that and helps match our pursuits with reality. It also gives us gracious, compassionate hearts to connect with others who may be in a similar situation. All the cards and gifts meant the world to Jadyn, and we are more focused now to love on any others who may be injured.

So, if you are feeling a little broken or sidelined today, know that you are not alone! Grieve, yes. Reflect – journal and share with close friends who you know you can lean on. And then take time each day to embrace the “lessons” in the brokenness – to see the silver linings and notice the strength, grit, and compassion and humility that is growing inside of you. Those things are priceless, and there’s almost no other way to grow them except through those broken times. Much love to you all, my friends! 🙂

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Stuck?

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Do you feel “stuck” in any way? In your career? Emotionally? Health-wise? Relationally?

Last week I had the surprise “honor” of getting my car stuck in the snow.

I had just dropped off my kids at the bus stop and decided to try to make my way up the bank as I had done many days before…Except this time there was snow. I had a new vehicle with 4 wheel drive, so I thought I was fine…Until I started slipping backwards! I learned later that the entire bus saw the whole thing, which was a little embarrassing to my kids (but hey, all kids need a good dose of embarrassment every so often!).

My vehicle ended up getting wedged between two rocks on the left side, and I didn’t feel confident about maneuvering over them, so I just waited. I waited ’til the bus left and all the other cars went on their way. Then I tried a little more on my own, to no avail and then decided to call for help. Unfortunately, Don was away on business in Chicago, so I was on my own.

I saw that my oldest son Gabe had texted and called to make sure I was okay. I called him back, and I think I would get stuck all over again to hear the love and concern and maturity from him.

He asked if I was okay and if I needed him to come back to help. I said I was fine, and he said, “Are you sure? I could be there in an hour.” I don’t know what he was planning, but I figured he thought he could get off at the next bus stop and run home or get off in Breck and take the Summit Stage back home to come to my rescue. Regardless, I kinda got choked up knowing that he really meant it and would do it if I needed him to.

But I was fine. I knew I would get unstuck. Just wasn’t exactly sure how.

Well, long story short, while I was waiting for my friend who lived up the road, another gentleman in a huge truck came by and asked if I needed help. Another man had asked before, and I made the mistake of saying that someone was on their way. This time, I said, “Yes, please!”

He assessed the situation and told me how to move my wheels. He got down on his belly and moved the big rock around the front wheel, told me to just roll right over the big rock behind me, and Voila, I was free! It was the best feeling in the world!!!! I wanted to roll right back up the hill in my excitement, but used my better judgment and took the regular route and made it back home.

I couldn’t tell you how happy and grateful I was to just be back home with my car in the garage. Such a mundane thing that meant the world to me!

And it just got me thinking about the whole concept of being “stuck” in life. Usually it’s not your car. Often it’s our emotions, finances, or health. Or our dreams and pursuits.

Have you ever felt like that? Like you just weren’t sure what to do next? You’ve been trying lots of solutions but not really making any progress forward.

Here are a couple things I was reminded of in my own experience:

  1. When feeling stuck, always believe there is a way out. I knew my car would not stay there forever. I believed it could be moved. I just wasn’t sure how.
  2. Ask for help. There are people who know more than you do. Who have gone before you. Who know which way to turn the wheels and who are strong enough to move those rocks in your way. Accept their help. And look for ways to repay them back tenfold in gratitude.
  3. Appreciate those who care. Often during those hard, “stuck” times, the ones who love you express their care and concern. Have eyes to appreciate them and remind yourself that you are not alone. Gabe made my day that morning.
  4. Learn from your “mistakes.” If there was a decision in particular or a pattern of habits that got you stuck, don’t go back and do that again! Why get stuck AGAIN? Embrace your freedom and use it to go after bigger and better things in life.

We have a long winter ahead of us. I can’t guarantee that I won’t get stuck again somewhere, but I know that I won’t get stuck in that same spot, that’s for sure!

If you’re feeling stuck somehow in life, and there’s a way that I can help – please reach out and let me know. Maybe I can offer the wisdom or perspective that can get you moving in the right direction again – or just the care and concern to remind you that you are not alone. Happy to help!

Managing a Digital Business

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Don and I have worked with business owners around the country for years, helping them to grow their business through strategy and sales and marketing systems. Creating and executing systems around prospecting, nurturing, follow-up, closing and servicing is most important but can be challenging.

However, a few simple habits along with a commitment to a set of basic digital tools can help you be most effective in growing your business. It also affords you the luxury of working from anywhere! We prioritize fun and adventure as a family, and so we like systems that allow us the freedom and efficiency in order to play a lot!

We choose to use Google Apps to manage our business. Here are a few tips you may find helpful:

Google Contacts

Your contact list is your biggest asset, so treat it accordingly. Take some time over a weekend and do a “deep clean,” to make sure it is updated. If you are missing a new cell number, physical address or email and are connected to them via Facebook or Instagram, reach out for the info and make sure to update it right away.  Delete those names of people you just can’t seem to remember.

Keep your contact list useful. One of the best ways to do this is choose a few simple groupings to organize them. I use, “Prospects,” “Clients” and “Consultants” in my Arbonne business. And then each day, spend a few minutes reviewing your lists. Who do you need to reach out to? Who should you add to your Prospect list? Star 5 contacts that you want to connect with today and then reach out with a phone call, a relevant article, a valuable referral, or even a surprise gift. Be creative in the ways you add value to people’s lives.

Google Calendar

The critical piece of any sale is a conversation in person. In Arbonne, we seek to educate prospects on our products and business opportunity, and that is difficult to do over text or email.

Sometimes it works to just pick up the phone and call someone randomly, but most people do not like to be interrupted these days by phone. One young Arbonne consultant from England shared humorously that her first thought when she gets a phone call is, “Is someone dead!? Did someone die?!” That’s the severity of a call to some people!

Better to try and text/email first and then schedule a phone call, Zoom call, or coffee date. Google Calendar works beautifully and syncs with all your devices. You can set it to automatically send a reminder right before the meeting. This keeps your interactions professional and also allows you both to set aside the time and attention to really focus on the product or opportunity at hand.

Be thorough in your calendar invite description – add the location and address or personalize the Zoom invitation. Sometimes I will attach the “Discover Arbonne” Presentation. Make it easy for your guest to have the info they need for the meeting.

Then deliver a killer presentation that genuinely connects, and make sure to follow up with an email summarizing your main point and next step. This keeps the ball in your court and moves the sale along.

Google Drive

We are paperless as a business and family. I use Google Drive to store all of my important documents, and I have a special folder for resources that I need to share easily with other consultants or prospects. I have the App on my phone for easy access as well.

Google Tasks

You can use Google Tasks as your “brain dump” to remember those random ideas that come to mind or things you’d like to do one day. But it’s best to also have a list or two that is very functional and that you can commit to. I have a “Daily” list for Arbonne that includes –  Look at at Dashboard, Check in with Detoxers, SAVERS (from Miracle Morning), Social Media Post, etc.- and I try to shoot for that each day. I appreciate the “GoTasks” App also that syncs with my phone so I can access my lists from anywhere.

These powerful tools really do work to give you business results. However, your commitment and consistency will be what really determines your success with them. For some people, organizing and maintaining these systems is natural and easy. For others, it’s more challenging because of their personality and bent. We’ve found it very helpful to walk people through a Strength’s Test and Consultation so they can better understand their tendencies, and we can offer creative solutions that fit their style. Would be happy to share more if interested!

 

On the Road With Arbonne

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Last night I shared some ideas with our team about what it’s like to travel with a family while growing your business. We’ve been on a summer road trip from Colorado to DC and back through Chicago and have pretty much slept in a different bed each night! It’s been an awesome mix of visiting family and friends, seeing historic sites, and participating in Nike Sports Camps. It has been both a rewarding and challenging whirlwind!

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But Arbonne is perfect for travel as it is a lifestyle business. Arbonne makes it easy for us with online ordering and convenient packaging! Here are a few tips that we’ve learned from experience that allow travel to be a beneficial way to both grow and enjoy your business!

Be a product of your product

We use Arbonne products every day, so it only makes sense to travel with them. We bring a big bag with us of Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Powder, our Fiber Boost and the Greens Balance into our hotel or home.

Each morning for breakfast we’ll use our Shaker Cup to mix a basic smoothie for ourselves. It’s a great way to get quick nutrition (20 g of Vegan Protein!), get out the door and on the road without worrying about where to find a healthy breakfast.

I also travel with my gold bag of the fabulous RE9 Facial Care Products and love that even with long days of driving, my face doesn’t look as tired thanks to the corrective eye cream and facial day cream!

I also use our awesome big purse from GTC to store the rest of our Arbonne products like full size hair-products, Fizz Sticks, Phytosport, Digestion Plus, catalogues, and samples of RE9 sets, Protein Powder, lipstick/gloss color packets.

Be ready to share

Traveling is fantastic because every time you meet someone new, you have an opportunity to share what you do. Have your 60 second story polished to deliver with authenticity and enthusiasm. I also like to ask questions and really listen to where people are at – it’s amazing what strangers choose to share! I genuinely care about helping people feel better and more healthy, and find it a privilege to be able to help along that journey.

But depending on their needs, you can offer to let them sample products. Ask for their cell number right away so you can text them more info about what they are sampling. And ask their permission to friend them on Facebook or Instagram – an easy way to keep in touch for the long haul. I’ve done this many times on our trip. And let them know you’ll check-in with them soon to follow-up.

Visit friends and family

It’s not always easy to share Arbonne with friends and family when you are long distance, and so try to visit them in your travels! Bring them a gift – something from Arbonne and another from somewhere else like BeWee or My Intent or Mara Mugs.

Offer to make them a shake for breakfast if you stay with them. Share some of the spa products or ask if they’d like to use your RE9 set for the night/morning. Make it comfortable and fun, keeping it real.

I loved being able to be there for a grand opening for a new consultant during our visit to Austin and launch her off in person. If you’d like to be even more strategic, plan your travels around friends who are willing to host a party for you or schedule one-on-one coffee dates in advance!

And if the timing is right, be ready to pull out your laptop and help them sign up and order right away. If not, have fun growing your relationship with them virtually, continuing to follow-up regularly and making a difference in their lives.

No doubt about it, traveling is fun and memorable, and what a treat to be able to grow a business while doing it! Will share more in another article about the digital systems we use to manage it all efficiently on the road!

 

 

 

Business is About Relationships

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I recently got a FB message from a dear old friend and neighbor letting me know that she’d found me as a consultant when she was wanting to purchase some Arbonne products. It was totally out-of-the-blue and such a neat surprise!! I had not connected with her in a few years, as she moved to California and we’ve been traveling.

I gave her a call, and we were able to catch up for a while. Both of us have two boys and a girl, and it’s been neat to watch each other’s children grow up on social media. But it’s completely different to get to talk in person and have someone fill in the gaps of time for you. It was such a treat!

That is one of the main reasons I love direct sales and business in general. It offers a unique focal point, incentive, and impetus to get in touch and stay in touch with those people you care about. Life is busy and the hours and days pass quickly. As much as we don’t like it, it’s hard to consistently stay in touch with people where there is “just one point of resonance.” (quoting my friend Joyce, here!)

We find ourselves hanging with co-workers or team parents or neighbors just because of convenience. (although, we are pretty lucky to have awesome friendships with our kids’ teams’ parents and have had awesome neighbors in the past, too!)

But imagine if you got to connect regularly with those people you enjoy the most! Those that share same values and goals. Family, health, financial freedom, fun, personal growth, adventure, helping others. That’s what business looks like for me.

People are savvy enough to do a sniff test around manipulation. Business is about bringing real value. And about genuinely caring about someone else’s problems or challenges. If you listen well, you can usually find some place where you can offer help – whether it’s a new contact, a product, or a resource. Sometimes, it’s just a listening and compassionate ear. I try to always be honest, thinking about what would work best for the other person.

If that’s the way you also like to do business, we should talk. Would love to share more about an opportunity that could be meaningful and profitable for you and your family!

Best Way to Learn

…is to just jump in and do it. There are many people (myself included sometimes!) who are more comfortable taking their time, thinking about things, planning, and preparing for a situation.

And that is great. But honestly, the best way to learn how to do something is to just do it. I’ve seen this personally this month with a few things like tennis and snowboarding – and have seen this play out in business multiple times over.

I think it’s because the pressure makes us step up with a higher level of focus. When we do not have to “perform” or compete, we can be a little more lax with ourselves. In addition, reality is the best teacher. Everything is theoretical when we are in practice-mode. You discount real-time feedback or the various new emotions involved that can steer a situation.

Sure, there is that moment of fear or feeling like we are not ready yet – but once we get over that feeling, it really isn’t as difficult as we may have imagined. And really, what have we got to lose? Only much knowledge and new skills to gain!

 

Morning Routines

How do you start your day?

As for myself, I had been pretty unpredictable over the last several years of life, and would just jump into a work/homeschool/life juggling act each day. Often times, before mid-morning, I’d feel like the day had “gotten away from me.”

Over the last month or so, I’ve returned to a beautiful new habit – waking up earlier than everyone in the house and enjoying an intentional morning routine. I’ve found that it helps me to more eagerly actually get out of bed, as I look forward to those precious quiet moments. I don’t check my phone or email. But I spend some time reading, meditating, journaling, and even stretching or doing some simple exercises. It centers me for the day and helps to give me perspective. I feel more prepared and focused to tackle the variety of tasks and appointments that fill each day.

I began this as a way to get out of an emotional rut I had been in for a few weeks, and found it to be critical for change. But now that I have been practicing it for over a month, I see how it is great for continued growth in all areas of life – business and personal. I’d recommend to people in both situations – those who feel that life is out of control (in any particular or all areas) or those who are content in life but wanting to push towards new growth and bigger dreams.

One resource to start with is The Miracle Morning which gives some practical ideas for how to fill those first minutes of our day. I’d love to hear what your mornings are like and if any questions you have about kick-starting your days more intentionally.