Category Archives: My Life

Christmas

Happy Day After Christmas…the start of my favorite week!

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and/or first day of Hanukkah! It was a blessed day for me. I got to see all of my kids and grandbabies, although not all at the same time. In the morning we had a round of breakfast and gifts with most of the family, and then in the evening we had my 2nd oldest and his 2-year-old for supper and they got to open their gifts.

Christmas Christmas

It was warm and windy here in Southeast Kansas with a pretty strong thunderstorm sweeping through as the day came to a close. I think it’s the first time in my life that I have sat on my front porch in a sleeveless top and barefoot, relaxing from the hub bub of the day and wasn’t even a smidgen cold! I know that’s not unique in some parts…but 70 degrees on Christmas Day in Kansas is certainly unique. 1 degree shy of the record high set 30 years ago. (And, well, now that i think about it, I was a teenager when that record was set…so I probably DID enjoy the weather on that Christmas Day too!)

Kim Scott

So today is the day after Christmas. Brings to mind a favorite song of mine, that is one good for ONE day a year…

I always find that today kicks off what in many ways is the best week of the year for me. It’s a week of relaxing, relishing the joy of the season, happy memories from Christmas, and a slower pace since most of my clients have taken the week off. I’m playing catch up on some projects usually. And this particular week I am working on virtual summits for clients, one that is ending this week and another that begins in the middle of January.

But the BEST thing for me is the sense of newness that is coming in a week. It’s a feeling of anticipation and wonder over what the new year will hold. It’s a time for planning and implementation to create the ‘best year ever’. This year I’m planning some major changes to my business. I’m still going to be doing web design and telesummits and sales pages and all that…but I’ve decided to stop my marketing efforts on those things and instead turn my focus to endeavors that will help people through information.

In 2017, I’m planning to HOST two summits myself! And I’m nervous as heck about them…but I will not let my fear talk me out of it. The first summit will be a plus size health and happiness summit, and the second one will be a work at home mom summit! Details coming on both! Fun!!

And its a time of reflection on the successes and failures (i.e. growth opportunities) of the past year. My business did not grow like I had planned, and I’ve had to do some serious reflecting over why and what I can change about that. (Thus the steps I mentioned above.) But the biggest thing that happened to me was throughout the latter half of 2016. In July I stepped jumped into Beachbody after finding the world’s most wonderful coach. I have learned how to recognize and stop emotional eating. I have learned how to stop eating sugar without any much cravings. I have learned how real food actually tastes and to stop the cycle of binging. I have learned how to make exercise fun and work for me. And all of that together has taken me from someone who was unable to walk a block without feeling like I could die from it, into someone who can do a full workout video and walk several miles in the same day.

It has gotten me to the point where I’m not jumping into unattainable New Year’s Resolutions to lose 50 pounds, but rather ending the year with the knowledge that I DID lose nearly 50 pounds during the year! 46 pounds as of today! And that includes 5 pounds lost during the holidays!! WOW, right?!

So I’m truly anticipating 2017 as an incredible and amazing year to come. I may not have resolutions, but I fully intend to come out a year from today with my income goals met, debt paid off, and at a weight that I haven’t been at since my early 20s. I hope you all will come along for the ride!

I’d love to hear from you what your plans and goals are for 2017, and what your last week of 2016 looks like. Leave a comment below!

Interested in being a guest speaker on one of my summits (Plus Size Health and Happiness or The Work At Home Mom Summit)? Send me a message and let me know about your interest.

What’s your morning routine?

I have always believed in the old mantra “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man (or woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise.” Its been what I repeatedly told myself when, a few years ago, I decided that rising at 3 or 4 am would be the smart thing to do. And I did it for some time. During that year or so I didn’t have the best morning routine, other than getting up early, but I did it and it really increased my business exponentially.

sunrise-165094_1280

And then I got lazy. I got tired. I got unfocused. I even got depressed. And during all of that, things really went haywire for me. What had started to become a booming business, suddenly became something that overwhelmed me, contributed to the exhaustion, which contributed to the depression, which contributed to the overwhelm…and around it went. And my clients started to disappear. Which didn’t help matters any either!

Last summer I started sleeping in. I did, however, find the motivation to make a major change in my life that really helped my depression and exhaustion, but it threw my routine (and money-situation) into a virtual tilt-a-whirl and took me some time to climb out of.

Fast forward to the late winter and early spring of this year (2016). I gradually renewed my determination to success in every area. I began a slow climb out of a major financial mess that I allowed to happen around me. (You know, this IS going to be a passage in one of those “back when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together…” stories, eventually. lol) I began to focus in on where my business was heading, how to be at the top of my business game, how to improve not only my business but myself.

And that includes focused training and reading. I took a course on premium packages for selling business services. I am taking a digital marketing certification course. I’ve read…alot…both normal reading and audio books. And we aren’t talking novels either.


In the last month things feel like they are starting to come together. I have been reading 6 Months to 6 Figures* by Peter Voogd. I fully intend to read it again, with pen and paper nearby, and slowly work through the exercises included. As it is, when I’m reading now (like at the park, a sporting event or sitting in a waiting room) I have to work through them just in my head. I started reading this book in late February, and at first wasn’t making much time to push through it. But when I did, it was a great read.

Its not just about making money. Its about changing your life. Its about building your business by reworking every aspect of your mindset and routine. Its about creating that freedom lifestyle that we all so deeply desire.

Here’s where the irony of it comes in…

Early last week I saw a post on Facebook by my friend Sunshine Boatright about the #5amClub. I thought, “ha…I do that!” although its been more like 6 am lately and only that because my little boy has to catch the bus a little after 7. I had to laugh at myself after realizing that it didn’t mean “get up before dawn and piddle around the house doing nothing of any real importance, and maybe check email and Facebook.” haha! I followed the hashtag through and figured out what the #5amClub actually is! (This video explains it best…)

So, now the funny part…back to that book I’ve been reading for a while. Turns out the author OFTEN quotes Robin Sharma…that’s the dude in the video above… and while he may not have originated the idea of the #5amClub, he sure has brought it into popular practice among the success-minded, entrepreneurial warriors of the world.

See how that circle came around? Gotta love it.

So what’s your morning routine? Are you a part of the #5amClub? If not, give it a try for a week or so. Or better yet, commit to it for 2 months! Get up, shake it off, drink some water, exercise (as much or as little as your current fitness level will allow), read something useful, delve into a training course you’ve been putting off and absolutely plan your day. If you are a Christian, I urge you to spend that post-workout time in the Word. (The workout time wakes you up and helps you to focus, that’s why I say do it after it.)

You can listen to music during your workout, or listen to a podcast or audio book. Some mornings I do Zumba to inspriational or Christian music, and other days I walk or do yoga-like stuff while listening to a spoken message of some kind.

Oh…and don’t forget to drink your water! That’s almost as important as the rest of it! If you want coffee, great, but please don’t start your day with it. Water is the lifeblood of your body and it is what truly will wake you up. At least a glass or two first thing! (Learned that bit of info from my friend JP Temple! Check out his work!)

I’ll keep you up to date on my #5amClub progress. I’d love to hear from you about yours! Leave a comment below. And if you are looking for support, you can find it in several of the links I left above.

 

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Some of the links in this blog are *affiliate links*.

 

 

 

The value of a daily routine

A vitally important part of getting your business and your life organized is to start your day off right with a plan and to establish a daily routine!

I’m a bit of a morning person, and I get up before the sun, so my morning routine may not be ideal or normal…but it works for me. I thought I would let you know how my day goes. Just in case you ever wondered. 🙂

First thing I do is drink some water! I read a while back that water wakes up your organs and your body much better than caffeine ever would. So I start by finishing off the bottle of water that I have beside my bed or I fill a glass and drink it down. It works too! I am almost always wide awake within a couple of minutes.

Most people suggest you exercise and do all of these various things early in the morning, but I actually find my day goes best when I get right to work. Otherwise I get overwhelmingly stressed out with thoughts of all I need to be doing. I love to just jump right in early in the morning before the family wakes up. I enjoy the silence that rarely exists in my house at other times.

So I open up my laptop after I get settled in my favorite chair, with my feet on a footstool. (And my dog usually curled up on my feet. 🙂

First thing I do is visit my email inbox. I quickly scan for any urgent overnight messages. Barring that, I go down one by one and delete all the stuff I don’t want to be bothered with opening. That cleans up my inbox A LOT! There is no reason to let your day get bogged down with all the emails you are always signing up for. Some are important, and those will stand out. (So don’t delete them.)

Then I look for (and read, meditate on, etc) my daily scripture emails and the Proverbs 31 Ministries email devotional that are usually waiting for me at that time.

I check out any emails that have subject lines written well enough to actually grab my attention and were not banished immediately to the trash. (See, it IS important to write your headlines well!)

Then I begin to open client emails, responding where necessary, forwarding to my business manager as necessary, etc. In the process of this I am mentally organizing my day.

Some mornings I have a few quick tasks to do for my clients, so I get those out of the way right away.

If I have time, I start thinking about my blog post for the day and begin to draft that.

Or I will start working one of my day’s projects.

Around 7 am it is time for my son to get up and the daily argument about “yes, you DO have to go to school” begins. Sigh. This is also the exact time that my dog decides he needs to go outside. So work gets set aside, my son begins to wake up, I take my doggy out, admire the sunrise, pray, relax, and just generally enjoy the fresh air. (In the winter anyway…it’s much earlier in the summer that we go outside.)

Sunrise in my backyard

Sunrise in my backyard. 🙂

We are usually walking out the door to take my boy to school around 7:40 or so. We drop him off and then many days my husband and I go out for breakfast together. We relax, talk, laugh, and have a “morning date” almost every day. It’s nice. 🙂

Then it’s time to get back to work. By this time, my inbox has filled back up, so I sort it out again, respond to what needs responded to, etc. I wipe out any small tasks, then start on my big project for the day. Today, for example, I am working on some LeadPages sales pages and autoresponders for one client and a telesummit site for another.

I usually work through till 1 or 1:30, with a short break or two in there sometime whenever my bladder or my dog dictate it. 🙂

Then its lunch time, take the dog for a walk time, etc. That usually ends the bulk of my work day until later in the afternoon. Sometimes my hubby and I will go out for lunch, but usually we eat a sandwich or something at home. We may go wander through a thrift store, or work on some projects around the house.

Keeping this sort of routine keeps my day grounded and keeps me focused. There is always room for flexibility of course. Some days I am just so tired, so I sleep in till almost 7. Other days I have a non-profit meeting at noon. Or there is an appointment of some sort. But you know what, that’s part of the reason I love being self-employed at home…and yes, that’s a whole other blog post!

So what is your daily routine? Share it in the comments below! Or better yet, write your own blog post about your routine and leave the link in a comment for others to read and learn from. 🙂

Remembering 2014

2014 was a big year of transitions for me and my family.

My oldest son, who had moved back home after a severe injury a few years ago, got his own place and has now established housekeeping with the lovely lady in his life.

My 2nd oldest son made the transition from teenager to 20-something to being a brand new daddy. A few weeks after turning 20 he welcomed his first born into the world. And such a doll that little baby is! His birth also marked my transition from “mom” to being a “grandma”.

baby

My 3rd oldest son graduated from high school and is now working a full time job that has him seriously realizing that he needs to get that college degree! 🙂

My 4th son played a successful sophomore season in both JV and Varsity football at his high school and has made the transition into Wrestling for winter. Both sports he adores and excels at.

Ok, my 5th son didn’t do anything particularly special this year. He is just a happy 2nd grader who loves to play with his dog and his toys.

And of course, all 4 became first-time uncles! My youngest thinks that is especially cool since he is only 7 year old.

Myself, I was focused in especially well on my business and managed to double my income from the previous year. Still very far to go to achieve my business goals, but I think that is a very good start. And with the boost I expect to get from the group coaching I have joined this year, it should be very good!!

I’m not using a team model to run my business, which means there is “me” who does the bulk of the tasks, but I also have a business manager and a couple of new team members who handle some tasks as well.

How has your 2014 been; amazing or otherwise? Any big transitions in your life or business?

My son giving a thumbs up the day after he was shot.

Forgiveness and Trusting God in All Situations

Over the last year I have come to understand the concept of forgiveness. You see, my oldest son was shot in the face a year ago yesterday in a mugging. It was one of the hardest days of my life. Never have I been so scared and so full of faith all at the same time. I knew God has a plan for his life, so the call from his father that he thought he might be dead was shattering. Once I had it firmly in my mind that he had indeed been injured and life-flighted to a nearby hospital, the first thing I did was pray. I can’t remember my prayer exactly, but I know I declared God’s plan over my son’s life and that death would not steal that from him. My spirit was instantly calm and I knew that God’s plans would prevail no matter what the outcome may be.

My son giving a thumbs up the day after he was shot.

My son giving a thumbs up the day after he was shot.

My at-the-time 19 year old son initially refused to allow me to see him when he was in the emergency room. He was sure that half of his face was gone and he was in intense pain. The nurse convinced him that I would be strong and so they allowed me in, after laying a sheet over the side of his face where the wound was. I tell you nothing can rock your world like seeing your first-born laying in a hospital bed covered with blood and shaking from shock and pain. I was relieved to see that it was not nearly as bad as he was afraid it was, and he was obviously OK cognitively.

I held his hand and told him that he would look back later and see this as a turning point in his life, as a defining moment that would shape everything he did in the future. And I assured him that it would be a good thing in the long run. I think he probably thought I was crazy, but now he sees it that way as well.

 

My son now, a year after he was shot.

My son now, a year after he was shot.

He turns 21 soon, and it will be a celebration of a life that someone attempted to steal away. Needless to say, forgiveness is something that I have had to personally deal with in this situation. Sure, I’ve had breakdowns when I thought about someone holding a gun to my son’s handsome face and pulling the trigger. I’ve wondered what that other young man was thinking and what justification he had in his mind at that moment. But I have yet to harbor any unforgiveness in my heart about it. I am amazed at that too.

Do I want the perpetrator punished? Yes and no. Punished in the sense of discipline, yes. He obviously can’t go through his life thinking its ok to shoot people. Punishment in the sense of rehabilitation, yes. He obviously needs to learn a better way of dealing with life. But punishment in and of itself as retribution? No, I have no desire for that.

I can’t say there was a day that I put unforgiveness aside; I simply haven’t chosen to take it on. First I had to be strong for my son, and didn’t have the time or energy to allow myself to dwell on those matters while he was in the hospital. Then I started to see what those feelings were doing to his dad, and I made the choice to leave it alone. I refused to pick up that mantel of hatred and need for revenge. It can destroy a person just as much as a gun can. A much better way is to accept that even what Satan means for evil, God uses for good.

To me, unforgiveness means not trusting God in a situation just as much as it means that you want someone to pay for what they did. Vengeance belongs to God, not to us. IF He chooses to seek vengeance, then that is between Him and that person, it is of no consequence to us.

The really amazing thing is embracing the concept of God’s grace. He can forgive any and all acts, even the most atrocious of all acts that was committed against His Son…so who would I be to think that I could expect greater punishment for what someone did to mine?

Forgiveness

The reason why…

I’ve been feeling very down, disgruntled, depressed and disorganized lately. Just occurred to me the reason why, it’s been weeks since I started my day with Scripture.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been the most diligent when it comes to reading the Word and I can’t seem to get into published “devotionals” which many people find very helpful. I discovered a while back that getting daily scripture into my email box worked well for me. But lately I’ve had so much clutter in my inbox that I guess I have just skipped over it.

Been too busy. Been in too much of a rush. And now here I am unable to concentrate on my work, disappointed with the way everything is turning out, depressed about my life in general, and just generally grumpy and grouchy with those in my family and others around me.

Well that has to stop. I must start my day, as soon as I sit down to my computer, with some scripture reading, some reflection, some prayer, and some worship music. I typically post whatever scriptures really touch me to my Facebook wall. So if we are FB Friends, hold me to it! 🙂

Here’s a little song by Casting Crowns that I found on YouTube that sort of sums up what I am feeling right now. (I did not make this video.)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col 3: 23-24

Making Time…

I love working from home because it gives me the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and still bring in some income. Its not the easiest thing in the world to do, though. There are certainly days that I think I would be able to make a much larger amount of money if I just put my toddler in day care. Those are the days that I am frustrated because he is being clingy and isn’t happy anywhere other than in my lap and I have a large amount of work to get done! But then he falls asleep or he does something for the first time and I realize how much I would miss if he were in day care. Or I read a news article about a child who is hurt or killed by a babysitter and I realize all the money in the world isn’t worth worrying about the kind of care he is receiving. So then I just make up my mind to work slowly while balancing him on one arm, like now, and to stay up late at night to get some bleary-eyed work done. The hardest part is forcing myself to stop working and just sit down on the ground and play with him or read with him. We do a lot of reading at bed time, but I tend to let my busy-ness get in the way of just playing. That is my only regret.

My Work At Home Experience

Have you ever considered working at home? I had tossed around the idea of having my own business for many years, yet never really found the right opportunity. Several years ago, I tried selling Tupperware and Avon, but found that direct sales just wasn’t my cup of tea. Besides, I found so much stuff that I wanted to buy from them, it left me deeply in the hole! More recently, I looked into some other party-sales type of businesses and found some really great ones, but again I felt like I probably wouldn’t succeed at direct sales.

One morning last fall I was watching the morning news, I believe on NBC, and they had a story about working from home while being a stay-at-home mom. They mentioned a website, www.WAHM.com. I quickly visited it, and the door to the enormous world of working at home was suddenly thrown wide open! They discussed which work-at-home (WAH) jobs were legit and which were scams. I had just about fallen for one of those scams at the time, having responded to an ad in my local paper. I’m glad I caught that one in time, it involved re-mailing stuff which, I found out, would probably have been stolen goods!

Based upon the information I found on WAHM, I applied with several companies, including West Corporation. Within a few weeks I heard back from West and was hired to do customer service for a toy store. I still have that job, and I do enjoy it for the most part. Having a toddler in the house puts a definite limit on the amount of time I can spend working on the phone, though. But, through both the WAHM site and www.workplacelikehome.com (WPLH) I have found several other non-phone WAH jobs. I am doing health cards for Organized Wisdom, I am a ChaCha guide, and my most recent venture is with a Paid-To-Post Company called Kick Start Your Forums. In later blogs I will give you all the scoop on these and other companies and let you know just how to go about applying with them.