Category Archives: My Thoughts

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*.

 

 

 

Zootopia … I’m in awe of this movie

ZootopiaJust took my 9 year old to see Disney’s new movie Zootopia. And we saw it in 3D, which is the best way to see it. Such an incredibly beautiful movie, both visually and in deep meaning. I have heard so many raving reviews of it, but I still wasn’t really looking forward to it. (I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of my home.) I even tried to get my husband and son to go without me. I’m so glad they made me go! This movie was one of the best uses of $20 in my life. Heck, I probably would have been satisfied if I had spent $100 on it! No joke.

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: I’ll try not to throw out too many spoilers here, but you may want to stop now and just go watch it before reading on. Really…go now! Ok…you’ve been warned! 😉

And no, I’m not getting any kind of reward for posting this, other than the pleasure of having you read it and maybe a little SEO boost or something. Disney isn’t paying me, I’m not getting any kick-backs and your local theater won’t send me any money when they give them your admission fee. 🙂 I wish they would! 

So this movie is about a cute little bunny (who gets deeply offended when non-bunnies call her cute, by the way). When she is just a baby bunny she gets the dream to become a police officer. Others laugh at her, tell her that bunnies can’t be cops, etc. Even her parents try to bring her back to reality. There’s NEVER been a rabbit police officer, after all! Her response? “Well, I’ll just have to be the first then!”

(That’s the really great message from this movie…always pursue your dreams, refuse to give up, and don’t let anyone else convince you that you can’t achieve what you set your mind to. Even if nobody else “in your category” has ever done it. You be the first!)

Fast forward several years, and Judy (the bunny) has just reached her dream and has indeed become the first bunny cop ever. In a police force full of lions, tigers, bears and even elephants, she does indeed seem to be way out of her league. The chief of police, who did not want her on the force, makes her the meter maid. And that makes her mad, but she simply decides to be the best darn meter maid ever! She easily reaches her goal by noon, and then sets out to prove her value as an officer of the law in other…unapproved…ways.

She has a run in with a funny, cool but sly fox who is very good at running a hustle. (Honestly, my impression was that Nick, the fox, was a clever entrepreneur, except for his rather unethical, barely-legal methods.) The two become reluctant friends and partners in crime-fighting as they pursue a mystery of over a dozen citizens missing without a trace. These citizens just happen to be predatory type animals, such as bears, otters and tigers.

As they crack the case, they deal with issues that are present in this utopian human-like animal kingdom. Issues that are not unlike issues in our own human world. Issues that we humans would probably call racism, or sometimes classism. Issues that are hidden, or so socially acceptable that nobody questions them: Bunnies can’t amount to more than carrot farmers. Foxes can’t be trusted and are always trying to hustle you. Lions, tigers and bears just might turn on you because, after all, they have predatory DNA despite looking civilized. Sound familiar at all?

Some of the non-predatory animals have decided to prove to the world that those predators cannot be trusted. With a 9-1 ratio, the non-predators can rule the world, they say, if they can only convince all the other non-predators to be scared of the predators…and convincing them takes nothing more than a few carefully staged acts of violence and good media coverage. Hmm…

Its so deep it makes me cry.

Ok…I started to share how it ends…but then I deleted it. You are better off just going to see it yourself. And see it in 3D if you can. Don’t have children to take? Ah heck…go anyway! It’s truly that good!

Already seen it? Tell me your thoughts!!

And remember…don’t ever let anyone decide your fate for you, don’t allow them to tell you that you can’t do what you dream of doing, and never let any excuses keep you from succeeding in your life. You are who you choose to be. If you don’t pursue your dreams…its because you chose not to.

 

What do high school wrestling and Leap Day have in common with your business

Friday and Saturday I sat through many hours of high school wrestling. My son and several of his wrestling teammates had made it to the state championship tournament. I will admit, and hopefully this doesn’t make me a bad sports mom, but I do not like wrestling one little bit.So, most of the tournament when my son was not competing I spent reading on my Kindle.But some of the time I sat just watching people. You can learn a lot from watching people, especially high school athletes focused on winning. And it reminded me of entrepreneurs.

Some of the kids, mainly the ones who would not compete again on that day, were goofing around as teenagers do. Play-wrestling, doing cartwheels on the wrestling mats during breaks, looking at their smart phones, or just plain old horseplaying with their buddies. Others were intensely focused on their goals. These were the ones with a straight face, a determined expression, ear buds in and attached to their smart phone with some kind of motivating music playing, keeping their muscles warmed up by stretching, jogging or jumping up and down. They seemed oblivious to all the commotion going on around them. Even when they were competing, they seemed not to notice the screams of support and even the occasional boos (directed towards a referee who made an unpopular decision) coming from the stands. Their focus was on one thing and one thing only…overcoming their competition, finding the weakness, figuring out that one move that could set them apart as the champion. (The only time I noticed any of them look away during a match was when they looked toward their coach for some direction.)

And I saw some serious business lessons in all of this. In our normal day, every single entrepreneur out there who is determined to succeed is focusing on their goal, studying their competition, learning the best techniques, keeping their skills sharp and their business muscles warm, ready to jump in when we see an angle that will get us to the next level of business success. And there may be a lot of commotion around us, but we’ve each figured out our ways to focus. For some of us, its music playing loudly in our ears; for others its the crash of waves against the beach nearby; for yet others its total silence that their private office brings. No matter what your thing is that helps you to focus, I know you’ve got it.

If you know what I mean, then I bet you are among the ones who will succeed. You might not win the championship today, or even next week. But you will reach your goals, whatever they may be.

Today is Leap Day. That crazy day that comes around only once every 4 years to catch up the calendar and that gets a lot of laughs when people give a 20 year old a 5th birthday party. But yesterday I realized that today is really a lot more than that! Someone asked a question on Facebook and it really made me think:

Where do you want to be in your life and business when the next Leap Day rolls around? That’s 4 long years. And so much can change in 4 years, its hard to think about sometimes!

So my message to you today is to take some time, reflect on your goals, how will those goals translate into Leap Day 2020? (Wow, 2020!?!) Will you still be in the same boat you are in now, or will your focus and determination take you far beyond what you can even fathom right now.

At the same time, remember that there is more to life than planning for the future. My high school wrestler will be 21 years old when Leap Day comes again. My little boy will be a teenager. And my grandbabies will be in preschool and kindergarten. (And there will likely be more of them!) Between now and then are the important moments that you can never get back no matter how much success you focus on. So hug your babies, enjoy the love of your life, and watch more sunsets or sunrises. Pause, breathe, and enjoy your life as it is now, not just as you hope it will be 4 years from now. That will make the times you focus even better too.

Happy Leap Day!

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

86 days…

That’s how long it takes for a town brought to its knees to shake off the dirt, create a grand plan and get children back into school on the same day that they would have returned had that May tornado never developed. While the last few days of school were canceled because more than half of the districts school buildings and other properties were damaged or destroyed, it has only taken 86 days to do what seemed impossible. Empty warehouses, a former department store and a building or two that housed Joplin’s children over 100 years ago but have had fairly silent halls for decades have all been retrofitted and today are echoing with the sounds of the first day of school. And the results are not what you might expect. The new Joplin High School for 11th and 12th graders, tucked into a long-vacant department store at the mall, resembles a modern college campus more than a high school…and you’d never guess you could have bought discount clothing in the same building 10 or so years ago.

Not only have the schools been retrofitted, merged and relocated, but most of the furniture and supplies in the buildings has been replaced as well. Some things were salvageable, but thanks to the generosity of hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, from other schools who donated time, money and new and used supplies, school has started today in Joplin as scheduled.

I’m sure there have been lots of tears. I’m sure the whole school year will be full of moments when teachers instinctively reach for this or that educational item only to remember that it no longer exists. Many moments when everyone remembers those lost, when a child looks for the kid who always sat next to them in the classroom, or smiles at the memory of the boy with the charming smile, or forget that their mom won’t be there to greet them when they get off the bus tonight…

Joplin is rebuilding. Hearts, schools, homes and lives. Keep them in your prayers.

Here’s the story on CBS news.