Tuesday, October 20, 2020

My Grandma Knew a Thing or Two

When the going gets tough, I always remember what my grandma told me....

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

What I Have Invested In To Grow My Business

I hear a lot of excuses from people about why they weren't successful in their business. But the one I hear most often does have some merit. Money.

A frequent reason for failure seems to be that it takes money to make money and they just didn't have any extra to invest in their business.

I agree. It can take an investment to move your business to the next level. But I disagree that the extra money can't be found. It doesn't take that much! We are not talking thousands of dollars. It doesn't even take hundreds of dollars. In fact, you can start your very own affiliate marketing business for less than $100 dollars a month.

I know because I've done it. And I used the exact same tools to build my network marketing business, my coaching business, sell my training products, and drive traffic to my e-commerce sites and even market my book.

Here's exactly what I invested in to build my business:

1. You need a website. Even if you are in network marketing where they give you a canned replicated website, you want one of your own. Something you can brand to you! 

I chose SoloBuildIt for my website. For one low price you get domain name registration, hosting, email, newsletter manager, and much more. Plus you get a guide and training to help you build a website that actually draws traffic. I wrote a blog post about all the benefits of using SoloBuildIt many years ago when it was still known as SiteBuildIt. Seven years later I am still using it because it works. And it's affordable. In fact, right now it's more affordable than ever. While it is normally $29.99/month, right now you can build your business for $19.99/month. This is their way of trying to help as many people as possible regain control of their lives.

You can get more information about SoloBuildIt here

Step 1: $29.99 month.  Let's use the normal cost since hopefully things will go back to normal someday.

2. You will need an autoresponder. You may disagree with me on this. But I feel that you just can't really build a 6-figure business without building your email list. And to manage your list properly, you will need an autoresponder. I did say that SoloBuildIt has email and a newsletter manager. But I'll admit it...setting up an automatic email series can be cumbersome. An autoresponder just makes life easier and will more than pay for itself.

The autoresponder I use and recommend is AWeber. They are reliable. They are affordable. They are innovative. And they provide support and training to help you get the most out of your efforts. You can get started with AWeber for free. I pay $19.00/month for all the bells and whistles.

Check them out here

Step 1: 29.99/month

Step 2: $19.00/month because I assume you want all the stuff!

Total: $48.99/month

3. You need to learn how to market properly, generate leads, and have the tools and training necessary as you expand and grow. You can purchase funnel builders and lead page builders separately. You can waste time trying to create lead magnets. You can spend money on a place to host your products. You can hire all the coaches and "gurus" to teach you what you need to know. 

Or you can get it all in one place.

I use MLSP to provide all of this for me and more. They provide me with all the marketing training, coaching, and tools I need to do this right. Plus I am now a member of one of the most supportive marketing communities out there. I love this resource so much that I happily pay over $200/month to get full access to everything! But you don't need to pay that at all to benefit from what they have to offer. You can get everything you need for $49.97/month. 

Take the $10 trial here. If you don't like it, we'll even give you your $10 back.

Step 1: 29.99/month

Step 2: $19.00/month

Step 3: $49.97/month 

Total:   $98.96/month!!

Yes, I have invested thousands of dollars in education and coaching. But not when I was just getting started! When I was a newbie, I started out just like this. All you need is $98.96/month.

Now would you like to know a little secret? I don't pay that much for any of these things. And you don't have to either. I am an affiliate for each of these tools. That means whenever someone signs up using my link, I get paid. I get paid enough to offset what it would normally cost me. You can do the same. It's called affiliate marketing and it's how I first started making money online. So when you sign up for these tools (and thanks for helping me keep the lights on!) make sure you sign up to become an affiliate. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Turning Points

I had just arrived at my destination for the weekend. A weekend with some wonderful volunteers, many of whom I hadn't seen in a while. I was looking forward to spending some time with these amazing women, teaching them some new skills, getting to know them better, and basically just relaxing and having a good time. As Girl Scouts, we already had a special bond, and this weekend was meant to strengthen that bond by connecting life-long Scouts and volunteers with our newer members. I was eager to get started. But first I just needed to call and check on my dad. 

 My dad had recently moved in with me and my family after the death of my mother. He suffered from Alzheimer's and just needed a little extra support. Normally, he would have stayed at home with my husband. But it just happened that he was also out of town for work. And so I had checked my dad into an assisted living facility for a trial visit. If he liked it, we had discussed moving him there so he would have company during the day. I worried about him alone all day out on the dirt road while my husband and I were at work. When I dropped him off I promised I would call him as soon as I got to GS Camp, just to see how he was doing. The facility had been recommended by several people I knew who also had aging parents, so I was confident that he would find his stay enjoyable. 

The phone rang several times before someone answered it. When I identified myself and asked to speak to my dad, there was silence on the other end of the line. Then suddenly the night manager was on the line. It seemed they did not know where my dad was. The facility was not that large, so I questioned how hard it would be to have someone go look for him. And that's when they dropped the bomb. He was not in the facility. Somehow he had been able to walk out the front door and was now somewhere in downtown Rogers...presumably. They had staff out looking for him and she assured me they would find him. I told her I was on my way back and hung up the phone. 

I informed the other staff and the volunteers of the situation and ran to my car to begin the drive home. It was only 2 hours but it was the longest 2 hours of my life. As I raced towards home, I silently berated myself. How could I have left him in such a place? Why didn't I reschedule the training weekend? How was I supposed to DO this...take care of him and not completely disrupt my own life? 

I reached the facility in record time, totally stressed and sick with worry. What if they hadn't found him? What if he was lost or injured? I was sure he was frightened by not knowing where he was. I ran inside and thankfully, there he was. Sitting on a sofa in the common area. Drinking a cup of coffee. That's where he had gone. He thought he had seen a coffee shop next door when I dropped him off (it wasn't) and he wanted a cup of coffee. He was looking for one when a police officer found him. Then he looked at me with fear in his eyes and asked, "Why did you leave me here? Did you forget me?" I'm not sure how he was able to actually walk out the front door of the facility without someone stopping him. And I worried that he might one day decide to go for a cup of coffee while he was alone at my house. Only this time there wouldn't be anyone to go look for him quickly. Life on the dirt road is a bit secluded! 

It was in that moment that I knew I had to make a change. I had to find a way to care for my dad and still make a living. As I drove back to camp with him in tow (yes, I registered him. At 72, my dad became the oldest first time Girl Scout!), I started thinking. I realized that I had simply been playing "sort of." I "sort of" had a business at home, but not really. I "sort of" knew what I needed to do to actually make money...but not really. I "sort of" put in the effort to learn and grow...unless I was busy with something - ANYTHING! - else. And I knew that the reason for my failure was my own doubt and uncertainty. It was distorting my perceptions and allowing me to be overpowered by fear. 

As I drove through the darkness back towards camp, I started telling him where we were going and why. I told him about all of the new volunteers who were taking on the daunting task of helping to mold our girls into capable, courageous young women, even though many of them were hesitant and uncertain. But they had stepped up in faith that those of us who had gone before would teach them and support them. Because without them, there would be no troop for their daughters. There would be no programs to teach them and help them grow. And so they stepped forward, because they had no choice. Their daughters needed them. They would find a way to figure it out. And that thought taught me a powerful lesson - a truth that became the turning point in my business. 

I was like these women. Hesitant and uncertain. But I had no choice. My dad needed me. I needed to step up in faith that I would find a way to figure it out. I knew people. Successful people. It was time I stopped faking it and started actually making it! I looked at my dad, smiling and content to be going with me on an adventure as he called it, and made the decision that NOTHING would stop me from doing what I needed to do to care for him. 

How about you? Are you "sort of" building a business? Are you letting fear and uncertainty hold you back? Are you letting the naysayers convince you that you cannot succeed? Are you ready to step out in faith that you can do this? Do you believe there are many people out there that will help you? That weekend was the turning point in my business where I realized how much was at stake. And as we take this journey together, I want today to be a turning point for you. 

So here are some things to think about. 

  • What is your "WHY"? Why are you building a business? And no, it's not so you can have more     money or more time. It's the reason you want more money, more time. My why was caring for my dad. Now it's spending time with my husband and family. I'm a Boomer. I'm not getting any younger. I want to experience all I can with them while I'm still able. It's important to know your "WHY". When your "WHY" is big enough, you will find the "HOW". I promise!  
  • As you make the commitment to finally do this thing, you have to tune out the naysayers and "Negative Nellies." There will always be people who doubt you. Don't listen to them! Surround yourself with people who will build you up and support you. There are lots of us out here! You may have to leave some of your old friends and acquaintances behind as yo you start your new life. And that may be hard. But if you want to succeed, you must cut the negativity from your environment. Trust me. You will face enough challenges without someone standing behind you telling you this is never going to work. 
  • Find the tools and training you need to succeed. Yes, this will probably require an investment. But you don't have to invest a fortune to get started. You can invest thousands of dollars if you really want to. But until you are truly on your way and actually making some money, why bother? There are plenty of tools and training and coaching available for a very small investment. I invite you to join the Ninja Marketers. Here you will find a community of entrepreneurs who support and help each other succeed. Best of's free!
When we reach that point in our life where we know it's time to focus... That it's time to turn away from fear and uncertainty... When we accept the fact that we can be successful if we put our heart into it... We create the turning point in our businesses and we begin to truly become entrepreneurs. In doing so, we can actually change our lives, and the lives of our families. We can fulfill that "WHY". 

So, are you ready to start turning? 

My life changed that weekend. No I was not able to reach the point where I could stay home and care for my dad. But I was able to leave the job that required me to travel and take a part time job closer to home. And he was able to live with me until the end. He spent his last years in our home, surrounded by kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. It doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Tools for Overcoming Fear and Becoming Fierce

Fear often shows up when you decide to be fierce. It’s that nagging voice in the back of your mind that makes you doubt yourself, worry you’ve made the wrong choice, and wonder if you shouldn’t turn back. This fear is holding you back from living your best life. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with it. There are tools that can help you overcome it. Here are just a few…

Build a Strong Support Network

Surround yourself with other fierce women. That’s what I did when I retired from the military. I became friends with many of the women involved in local issues and politics. Talk about some FIERCE women! Every week, I would have lunch or coffee with the women I now call my “dream team”.  And even though it's been 20+ years...and even though COVID-19 has put a TEMPORARY halt to the lunches and coffees...I still connect with many of them regularly. We support each other through the ups and downs of marriages, children, careers, health concerns, and more.

The more you're surrounded by brave action, the more likely you will be able to step past the fear. Knowing that you have a network of women who will always have your back can motivate you to try new and exciting things.

Get to the Root

What’s really making you feel funky? Are you worried about starting your own business? Or are you simply worried that your spouse won’t be supportive? Are you fretting over publishing your memoir? Or are you nervous over what your mom will think about it?

Sometimes we fear other people’s reactions more than we actually fear doing something. The activity is easy. Dealing with the fallout can feel much harder.

Ask: “So What?”

When Jenny wanted to start a business flipping houses, her stepfather fretted that she would lose everything she owned and end up homeless. He kept bringing up the issue and eventually, Jenny got into tizzy.

A kind friend asked, “So what?” She pointed out to Jenny that she’d already been homeless once before and survived. “Even if you fail,” Her friend said, “It’s not the end of the world. It’s just one more step in your journey.”

When you’re worried about what could go wrong on your next adventure, take a moment to think through the consequences. Are they really that bad? Or do they merely seem that way at first glance?

Embrace Prayer

I find that leaning into prayer can help me deal with my fears. Turns out I'm not alone. Research has shown that many people turn to prayer when confronted with a fearful situation. You can do this by repeating a beloved Bible verse, asking God for peace, or listening to worship music.

One reason that prayer can be effective is because it reminds us that we’re not in control. When you view yourself as part of a bigger picture, then things like failing an assignment or getting rejected on a dating app don’t overwhelm you in the same way.

Try Meditation

Betty is a public speaker. When she worries about sharing her message in front of a new crowd, she meditates. She imagines the event and focuses on all the ways it can go right. This positivity helps her disconnect from her fear.

There are plenty of guided meditations on YouTube. Some meditations encourage listeners to think of walking through a forest, a winter snowstorm, or relaxing on the beach. These recordings can be relaxing and help you release any anxiety or fear you’re carrying.

Overcoming fear isn’t a one-time task. Fear will always rise to bring challenge in you, no matter what you’re doing. The goal isn’t to get rid of fear. It’s to embrace fear, thank it for what it’s teaching you, and live your life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Do It Afraid

Stop letting fear hold you back!

When you’re focused on becoming fierce, it won’t be long until you bump up against some fears. Maybe you worry about what other people will think. Perhaps you doubt you can accomplish your goals. Maybe you’re trying something no one else has done before. Whatever your reasons, fear is a natural part of the process. It’s your inner voice trying to keep you safe.

The problem is that you can’t grow if you’re always living in your safety zone. If you truly want to grow and become fierce, you have to leave the comfort of the known. Here are a few tips to make that journey easier…

Take a Tiny Step

I almost drowned as a child and I used to be afraid to go near bodies of water after that. So when I had to learn to swim in college, I was panic-stricken. But swimming was part of the PE class that was required and so I had no choice.

I took a tiny step by going to my local store and purchasing a swim suit. A few days later, I went to observe my friend during her swimming class and observed a kind nun teaching her students how to float. (All-girl Catholic college, y'all).

The next time I went to the pool, I went into the water ankle high. I kept focusing on the tiny steps one at a time so my big goal didn’t feel quite so overwhelming or impossible. With the support of Sister Cornelius, I was able to swim 6 different strokes by the end of the semester! (Too bad I couldn't use them when my kayak flipped! But those lessons did keep me from panicking!)

Ask for Accountability

Sometimes, overcoming a fear is easier if you know other people are watching you. For example, when I wanted to finish my first book. I'd been talking about it for years but had never actually completed it. So I announced publicly that I would be writing my book that year.

I joined an online writing group and posted daily about my progress. Knowing that my fellow writers were following my journey gave me the courage to keep going. Even on the days when I didn’t feel like writing, I still showed up because I didn’t want to let myself down. And I didn't want the other group members to see me quit.

Create a Point of No Return

Barb had struggled with video marketing for years. She wanted to do it but she was terrified of messing up in front of the camera. So she would record a few takes, get discouraged that her videos weren’t perfect then give up.

But Barb’s husband encouraged her to create a point of no return so that she had to post daily videos that were livestreaming. Barb liked the idea because it would force her to let go of her perfectionist tendency. So she announced that she was doing daily Facebook Live videos on her fan page.

At first, no one paid attention to Barb and that made it easier for her to keep going. As time went on, her reach grew and she started to build a supportive community around her videos.

Bring a Friend

You can go a step further than I did and bring a friend along with you on your next adventure. My friend Chris loves to try new things. But she is older and a bit shy and so she worries she’ll feel out of place. So she invites me to go with her so she doesn’t have to face a bunch of strangers on her own.

I have discovered many new things and have had some interesting experiences while tagging along with Chris. And Chris has discovered some exiting new hobbies that she loves and has made a whole new circle of friends. It all started because we were willing to be fierce together.

If you’re struggling to become fierce, don’t keep it inside. Find an accountability partner or a supportive friend and do it afraid. Then watch as your life is transformed by new fierce choices

Saturday, July 18, 2020

How To Be Fierce...Right Now!

Some of you may know that my first marriage was not good. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for years. When we finally divorced, I had to start the process of rebuilding my entire life. Most days, I felt fragile as glass and feared I’d been permanently broken.

Fortunately, I had two things going for me. I was still on active duty where I didn't have the option of not getting up and moving every day. And I had supportive friends who encouraged me to see myself differently. I am not damaged or broken. I am fierce and fearless. It takes a warrior to live through what I did and survive. I am stronger than I sometimes give myself credit for.

It doesn’t matter whether it was a bad day, a horrific marriage, or the loss of a loved one, we all survive circumstances that leave us feeling anything but strong. It’s easy to feel weak, like you have to hide who you are.

But with time and patience, you can reclaim your fierceness and own every part of your story….

Lean into Your Values

The first step to becoming fierce is to define your values. Whether you realize it or not, your values drive every decision you make.

If you look back at the moments in your life that you most regret, chances are you’ll see that you stepped on your values in some way. Maybe you said “yes” to a relationship, job, or commitment that wasn’t a good fit.

But defining your values can feel tricky. There are hundreds of different values and you want the ones you choose to be true to you. That’s where a course like My Values Workshop can be helpful.

Focus on What You Want

What you focus on often expands. This is great when you’re focused on values that matter to you and inspire you to be your best self.

But it’s easy to get into the habit of focusing on the negative. The more you say things like, “I don’t have enough time” or “I can never afford anything nice” or “I’m not fierce”, the more these things become your truth. You live them out even if you don’t want to.

Have an Opinion

When someone else asks you where you want to go to eat or what to do with an empty Friday night, you don’t pipe up. You say something like, “I don’t care. Whatever you want to do is fine by me.”
Maybe you think this makes you easygoing or laid back. But often, the root behind a lack of opinion has more to do with not valuing yourself. You matter, too. Your thoughts and feelings matter and your opinions count.

Own Who You Are

Be proud of who you are and what you stand for. If you’re an artist that sees the possibility in everything, honor that. If you’re the writer who spins stories to entertain yourself or others, honor that. If you’re the photographer that feels compelled to capture all of the special moments of your day, honor that.

Don’t shrink back, afraid to shine for fear someone else will be dimmed by your shadow. There’s more than enough light to go around!

Remember becoming fierce is about being willing to throw yourself into whatever you care about with intensity and passion. It’s about being your authentic self and owning your awesomeness.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Three Fierce and Fearless Women

There’s no shortage of fierce and fearless women in the world today. But sometimes, it can feel like you’re alone in your desire to be a strong woman. Here are three real life role models to inspire you on your journey and remind you that you’re not alone…

Whitney Way Thore

Whitney became a sensation when her YouTube videos, A Fat Girl Dancing, went viral. The resulting media attention sparked Whitney to begin a movement called No Body Shame and even landed her a TV show titled My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

In a world where plus-sized women are often body shamed, Whitney is a fierce and fearless example of self-love and body positivity. Though she’s dealt with a fair amount of trolls, Whitney continues to bravely share her journey with the world, encouraging others to own who they are and become comfortable in their skin.

She also wrote a book about her experiences titled I Do It with the Lights On. In the book, she shares 10 life-lessons that enable her to live a shame-free life.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala was a young girl living in Pakistan. Her father was a teacher in charge of the village’s school. But everything changed in 2008 when the Taliban came into power. Along with other strict rules, girls were no longer allowed to attend school.

Although she was young, Malala felt the need to stand up for herself and other girls that were being deprived of an education. But her outspokenness came at a cost—she was shot in the head leaving school one day.

Miraculously, Malala recovered from her injuries and she refused to let the violence stop her. She went on to begin the Malala Fund with her father. The organization fights for the rights of girls everywhere to get an education.

To learn more about Malala and her story, you can read her riveting book, I Am Malala.

Michelle Obama

As a former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama is so much more than a political figure. She is known around the world as a woman who champions women’s rights and stands up for the oppressed.

But she’s also humble and in touch with those she served. During her time in the White House, she often referred to herself as “Mom-in-Chief”.

Her notable accomplishments during her husband’s presidential career included launching the “Let’s Move!” campaign to solve the childhood obesity epidemic. Besides overhauling school lunches with healthy alternatives, the program also gives free or deeply discounted meals to school children living in poverty.

Michelle was influential in starting the “Joining Forces” initiative to support U.S. troops and their families. This initiative sought to provide education for loved ones of soldiers as well as new employment opportunities for veterans.

In 2018, she published her memoir, Becoming, which went on to become a best-seller. In the book, Michelle chronicles the journey of her life, from her childhood and her career as a lawyer before diving into her time in the White House.

You don’t have to be politician or a viral sensation to become a fierce and fearless woman. There are many paths to being fearless and fierce and it doesn’t matter which one you take. What’s important is that you enjoy the journey and learn about yourself as you go.