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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Surviving Criticism.

Over six months ago, a good friend of mine gave me a healthy serving of humble pie.  He commented on an aspect of my personality in which I needed to change in order to be a better person.  It hurt.  I wanted to reply and respond negatively, attack him, comment on his personality, but I couldn't.  I knew he cared about me, and that he was trying to help me.  I looked deep down inside, I admitted to myself that he was right, and if I ever wanted to be a better person, I needed to seek to improve this area of my life.  

So how do we do it? How do we respond to criticism? Here's three things to consider:

1.  Listen, don't react.  Think about what the person was saying.  Talk to someone that really knows who you are about it.  You can, and will, discern if the criticism was malicious, or done with good intent.  

2.  Be honest with yourself.  Are you actively dis-engaged from your surroundings?  Are you considering that there are aspects of your personality that are great, and some that can be better?  Are you limiting yourself because you are afraid to address your weaknesses?  Being vulnerable will make you stronger.

3.  Be prepared.  Take personal inventory on a regular basis.  Invest in relationships with people you can relate to, one's you energize and challenge you.  You'll get to know yourself better, and be prepared when you are faced with situations that question who you are.  You will gain strength amidst the struggle.  

Bottom line, I'm no expert, just someone who's experienced some of these things and want you to know that you're not alone when you face personal struggle.  We can overcome, we can do it together.

Until next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Disrupt your routine.

I am a man of routine. I crave order. I thrive with organization. I don't do spontaneous. Me and Mr. Banks(from the movie "Mary Poppins"), we're on the same level. So when a pipe froze and burst in my home a few months ago, unleashing its unbridled destruction of flooding waters throughout, needless to say, it caused my neatly crafted walls of a structured life to come crashing down!
Let's face it, as hard as we try to control life, we still are going to experience chaos at times. This is the time when we find out who we really are.  Over the past few months, I have experienced more personal growth than I have in years. I have been forced to step out of my routine, (and comfort zone) in order to carry on in life. People who care about me depended on me to do so. I faced a choice, I could give up or rise up.  I chose the latter.  Did I like who I was at times throughout this struggle? Absolutely not.  I'll be the first to admit, when I face challenges, my weaknesses are very visible. It's not easy, but I want to be a better person today than I was yesterday, and if that takes being vulnerable, exposing and admitting my weakness in order to experience personal growth and be stronger, it's a step I'm willing to take. I can't say I want to experience this type of disruption to my routine again anytime soon, but looking back on it, I'm thankful for the experience. 
How about you? Can you disrupt your routine intentionally? (I'm not suggesting bursting a water line in your home...) Can you challenge yourself, be vulnerable, and expose your weaknesses to become stronger? Maybe you have?! Maybe you've faced circumstances beyond your control, and have learned and grown from it.  I'd love to hear about it! Let's rise up and face this day, and be better than we were yesterday, even if it disrupts your normal routine.
Until next time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Finding Inspiration In Others

Two weeks ago in a blog titled "Humor Me Luke" I introduced you to a mentor of mine named Ted Hirsch.  Today I want to stay along those lines and take a few minutes to introduce you to my wife Bridget, and a mentor and friend of hers, Billie.
Bridget inspires me every single day.  She is one of the hardest working people you will ever meet. She is a Mom and Entrepreneur.  She owns and operates a successful photography business, as well as a successful business in Network Marketing, or Direct Sales.  She challenges me to be social (it's a big challenge at times!).  Through Bridget, I've made some great friends.  One of those people is Bridget's friend and mentor in her Network Marketing business, Billie.  Billie has been very successful in Network Marketing (hitting top level in November of 2015, only thirteen months after beginning her career in Direct Sales), and she currently leads a team of 930 women.  I wanted to take a minute and discuss with Billie what she finds inspiring, energizing, and how she keeps a balance of her personal and professional life.  Below is my short interview with her, and a picture of her and her family.
I hope today you take the time to find inspiration in the incredible people around you, and it motivates you to be the best you can be.
Until next time.

What attracted you initially to become a Network Marketing Professional?  “My decision to become a Network Marketing professional was extremely impulsive. I purchased a product from my friend, fell in love, visited her website, and joined. That was it. I didn’t know a thing about the company, other than the awesome product I bought, didn’t know a thing about network marketing, and didn’t have a clue where to begin… but I was EXCITED! I QUICKLY learned this was a HUGE opportunity for me to build a successful business, help a lot of other women do the same, fill the void I had, AND, still be able to do it all from home while raising our girls. I became OBSESSED with the business and the potential it possessed, dove head first into learning everything I could, worked my butt off, and made my goal to hit the top level of the company by my one year anniversary. I fell short 1 month, but I’ll take it!”

What is one thing you do on a daily basis that you find vital to your personal development?  “I find it not just critical to my success, but absolutely necessary, to feed my mind positivity and good every single day! I read books, watch motivational videos, attend church regularly,  research success stories, listen to positive, upbeat music (Matthew West being my current favorite), and read inspirational quotes ALL.THE.TIME. I believe that you cannot have a positive life with a negative mind, and it definitely requires time and effort. If you don’t do it daily, START! Like, NOW! It is life-changing and, without a doubt, a HUGE part of the success I’ve had.”

Are there any resources that you would share in which you feel contributed greatly to your success? Being an online-based business, my main go-to resources were just that, online. Everything in network marketing is duplicatable, so again, not knowing anything about network marketing, I sought out, and followed our industries top leaders.
  • I watch what top leaders in Network marketing did on their social media pages, visited their websites, and watched/read the training materials they had available. I put my own spin on what I saw and went to work.
  • I did a ton of research and learned everything I could from some of our industries legends, Eric Worre, Jim Rohn, and Tony Robbins.
  • I cannot talk about my success without giving credit to my parents. Growing up I had a strong work ethic instilled in me, and the confidence to believe I could do anything I set my mind to. I believe that to this day and pray I’m instilling the same in our girls!

What fuels your passion to be the best you can be?Knowing I CAN fuels my passion! I have a strong “WHY NOT” attitude. I have believed my entire life that if you were going to do something, WHY NOT do it as best as you can! Since I was a little girl, I KNEW I was going to do something really incredible...  something truly great… I just never knew what it was until now. Everything happens for a reason and the law of attraction is POWERFUL. This opportunity found me, I believe that, and I hardly focus on WHY I’m doing what I’m doing, or WHY I’m working as hard as I am, but rather WHY NOT! The sky is the limit and I plan to continue to take full advantage of that. To not only be able to change my family’s life, but help change the lives of as many others around me as I can, is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m 110% certain this is where I’m meant to be.

What do you define as a "win" when balancing your personal and professional life?  “Balancing work and my personal life was, and continues to be, where I have struggled most. It’s hard to “shut it off” with the crazy amount of passion and drive I have for my business and my team, BUT, like anything, you can ALWAYS find a way to make it work if you want to. My approach has been to involve my family where I can, continue to share my goals with them so they know why I’m working as often as I do, and celebrate successes with them. A win for me is any day I see excitement on my FAMILY’S face towards my business.” 

We both share a love for music, what is your "go to" jam these daysI currently love anything by Matthew West, have a total girl crush on Adele, and ALWAYS have Jack Johnson on Pandora when I need and/or want some chill music in my life. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Locking In Your Focus.

In 1994, my senior year at Blue Ridge High School, our soccer coach Lloyd Elling planned something that all of us on the team thought was a little bit crazy at the time.  Looking back, I completely understand his logic in purpose to help us win the game that day.  What was the method that Coach Elling attempted to use you ask?  It went like this;  we live in a small town, and some of the school district's in which we competed with required quite a bit of travel time.  The team we were facing that day was one of our toughest opponents, and the furthest distance from our school (about an hour and a half bus ride).  As we all loaded up onto the bus, he handed us a key on a string.  As we settled into our seats he began to explain, in order to win the game, we needed to focus.  We needed to clear our minds, and focus on what it would take to win.  We needed to create a positive mindset, a mental edge. The key was an inanimate object with a duel meaning.  The key  to victory is focus.  

We lost the game that day, but we all took away a valuable lesson.  We learned that the key to success, win or lose, is our focus.   

What is your focus today?  Is it fixated on the negative?  Are you distracted and frustrated?  I experience these things I just mentioned, and am drawn back to the day on that bus, and realize that I need to take control of that key  and lock in my focus.  Life will beat us up every single day if we allow it to.  Or we can direct our  focus on being the best we can be.  Thank you Coach Elling. 

Until next time.