Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Unclutter Your Life

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

Do I have your attention???

8 years ago I took a  challenge.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the story…

I met an amazing group of women, The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (now for Woman) founded by Lynette Barberi and Vanessa Coppes.  I wanted to grow my business.  I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  I wanted a full-time income from my direct sales business.  The question was, was I willing to work for it?  My immediate answer was YES!  But, it meant I had to step out of my comfort zone.  Not something I was very good at and even struggle with today.  Vanessa challenged me to start blogging.  Who would want to read what I had to say?  What would I write about?  FEAR crept in but the people pleaser in me wanted to be accepted by this group of women so I was willing to do whatever it took to have what they had.

My first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible” was first published on March 29th, 2013.  It was probably the hardest thing I had written up until that point BUT the feedback I got was amazing!  So, I jumped in with both feet and starting writing daily for years.  When my MS flared – my memory and the words became more difficult.  I stepped back to only a few times a week then I actually stopped writing altogether.  There was only so much I could write – who wants to hear about the struggles? Was I really making a difference?  Fear and doubt crept in again.

In January of this year, I decided I would start again.  Once a week was all I could handle.  I would share some tips and on occasion write about life.  It is good for me to get things out.  I figure if my ramblings can help just one person, it is worth it. I’m stepping out in faith instead of letting fear rule in this area of my life.

I have been blessed over the last few months and despite heartache which has come from losing loved ones…. I’m feeling pretty good (minor MS stuff), my ThirtyOne business is thriving and I’m rebuilding key relationships in my life.  God has blessed me beyond my dreams.  God willing, I will celebrate 3 years clean in May.  I have stopped beating myself up (most days) for the mistakes of the past.  I actually like myself (most days) which has helped with the stress eating (not necessarily showing on the scale BUT it is okay). I have found joy in cooking (who would have thought? LOL). I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spending time with hubby working on the yard at the new house and maybe even some mini trips.

What does all of it have to do with blogging??? Probably very little except I found my voice by blogging.  The ability to share feelings which I don’t deal with very well with others. The ability to step out of my comfort zone because when I do, the magic happens.

Do you journal?  Have you thought about blogging?  Blogging has helped my business and me grow personally in so many ways.  I’m always amazed when someone in my pick bubble googles a word or something and my blog or my name comes up towards the top of the list.  If they are finding it so are others, right?  I have gained customers and insiders (aka hostesses) through the link to my blog.  Have a business?  Why not give blogging a try?  Share recipes, share tips & tricks about your products, share how to’s….. just give it a shot.  I’m grateful I took the challenge so many years ago and still do some writing.  It will not be a magic wand of instant success but it will make a difference when you are consistent – monthly, weekly, daily whatever you decide to do.  When you do start (or if you already do) share your link with us…

Here is to another year…. have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Budgeting, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms

5 Steps To A Fun Date Night On A Budget


This is a blog originally written by Lynette Barbieri

Spending a small fortune on date night isn’t going to make the night any more memorable – except when the bill arrives. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night out for any occassion without blowing your budget. Here are some ideas:

1. Go somewhere new – Visit that museum you’ve always been intending to get to but never seem to have the time. Take a boat or scenic train ride. Catch a play or romantic movie you both have been wanting to see. Getting out and doing something new, especially for harried parents, helps your relationship keep going strong.

2. Whip up something romantic – Fix your sweetheart his or her favorite meal. And even if you’re not known as the most enthusiastic of chefs, Chicken parmesan and a no bake chocolate cake are way easier than they look. Make something that allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time and finish at the last minute. This is where those Internet cooking channels can come in handy.

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3. Make it a day out – If it’s warm where you are, consider a picnic at your favorite park or at the beach or pool. This is a picnic you’ll want to do up right with an old style wicker basket, champagne, fruits, pickles, delicious sandwiches, veggies with dipping sauce, cake, and good chocolates. Bring along some romantic music and a thick blanket on which to put everything – including yourselves. Don’t forget the bottle of wine.

4. Trip the light fantastic – Have a romantic dinner at home, and then head out to dance the night away. If one or both of you aren’t big on dancing, a couple of hours of ballroom dance lessons could be a romantic and new experience. There are Internet specials galore for introductory dance lessons. You can go to the gym, hike together, or a simple walk by the beach could work too.

5. Start the day right – The perfect day starts with the always trusty breakfast in bed. Think how pleased your loved one will be to wake up to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, warm apple muffins, crispy bacon, and fluffy omelets. Especially if that loved one happens to be you!

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t forget to use coupons too. You can get discounts on dinner, movies, activities and more. Remember paying yourself first is the #1 rule of the money game!

Thank you Lynette for these great tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Woohoo Wednesday

What Makes You Special?

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Today is WOOHOO Wednesday and we are going to CELEBRATE your uniqueness or those qualities that make you special.   I was inspired today to talk about this after reading a blog post by Lynette Barbieri.

If I asked you to tell me “what makes you special?“, could you do it?

It would be a struggle for me – shocking for some, I am sure.   Growing up, I didn’t want to be unique – I just wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “special” because that meant that I wasn’t popular.  I didn’t know what was special about me.  I didn’t have that feeling in my gut that told me how great I was.  I wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.  I lived that way for many years.  Then I started to squash those inner gremlins and embrace the positives qualities that are deep in my core.

In direct sales, I  often hear that you want to stand out from the pack.  I mean with thousands of consultants in your company, why would someone pick you above anyone else.  Why would they stay faithful to you?  I honestly didn’t know.  I always knew that I had a special purpose but I never knew how to express it.  Was being a good listener special?  How about helping others? Or giving to others even when you don’t have it?  I am crafty but is that special?  I can play (or used to) the piano, what is so special about that?

I am learning that all of those things are the qualities that draw people to me.  I am resourceful able to connect people with resources.  I get along with people from all different backgrounds.  I am passionate, and caring.  I want to make people smile.  I have lots of “stuff” (information) in my head but I don’t always know how to share it – just ask and I will share all I know.

The truth is that I may not believe that I have greatness inside of me BUT I DO believe that you have greatness in YOU!

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So, what about you?  What are your strengths?  I know I keep going back to that but when we lock into what those are, it will help us know where we are going.  We have to be willing to take risks to discover our purpose and to achieve greatness.  A life without risk is boring, right?

Maybe you know what your greatness is and you are afraid to share it?  You don’t have to hide it.  You don’t have to deny it.  You don’t have to worry about what other people say or think.  You need to OWN IT!

At a Leadership retreat, my mantra became “Own My Journey“.  Because the truth was that I was trying to follow everyone else’s journey.  I need and so do you to “own your journey” so that we can grow into the people sharing our gifts along with the way.  We all have our own journey.  What other people think is none of our business.

keep calm and sparkle on

As Vanessa Coppes, refers to it “your shining  light”!  By working with both of these ladies, I started to see my shining light and I learned that I need to let it shine more!

So, ladies, never let anyone dim that light.  Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint.

What makes you special? I would love to hear it! Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms

Tea and Cookies

My favorite drink is tea… I know it used to be coffee but I found that coffee and my stomach are not a good mix.  Hot black tea and green tea have become my new best friends.  The flavored teas just didn’t seem to be for me.  Of course, I use Equal (artificial sweetener) which is a no-no as far as hubby is concerned.  His latest mission is to get me away from the “poison” of artificial sweeteners – could be a tough one but he is not giving up the fight. Okay, I squirreled!

I would have to admit though that he may win the no sweetener battle if the only tea I drink is from my dear friend, Kathleen Edinger who is the founder and owner of TeaScapes.  This is like no other tea I have ever had.  I LOVE it.  The Spring Break is a black tea combined with some other flavors.  SHH!!!! Don’t tell hubby but I didn’t use any artificial sweetener with it.  A small out of raw cane sugar and I was good to go.  Check it out….

teascapes

 

I often talk about Jersey Cookie Girl – her cookies are so YUMMY!  Now that I am gluten free (actually trying to stay away from all wheat), I was sure that I would miss these YUMMY cookies.  YEAH!! I was thrilled to taste her gluten free cookies courtesy of TeaScapes (picture on the left).  They were just as good as her regular sugar cookies. The cookie tray on the right is the birthday tray that Nicole shipped to North Carolina to arrive on my daughter’s birthday.  Cookies themed just for her – not a one was cracked or broken.  Homemade delicious cookies shipped – YEAH!!! What a great way to share a taste of home with Belinda.

teascape cookiebelinda's treats

I love sharing my favorite products with you… Check both of these AWESOME business women out.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Hope Wissel

Gutsy Gal

It is Friday and I am ready for a busy ThirtyOne-derful weekend after what has been a week filled with Thirty One activity.  I had the chance to Celebrate and Connect with some AWESOME women on Wednesday night as we prepared to PARTY, PARTY, PARTY this holiday season.  During the day yesterday, I got to network with and meet some new women at “Women Only Networking”.  Then last night, I shared Thirty One with local women who were enjoying a Girl’s Night Out courtesy of Ocean Medical Center in Brick. I get a breather today then tomorrow it is off to St. John’s United Methodist Church in Hazlet to do a Thirty One Photo Booth.  I LOVE being able to share the gift of Thirty One!

No, that is not why I am a “gutsy girl” today.  Well, maybe it is because it is sharing Thirty One all over that brings me the most joy.  The last speaker that I want to share about from ETTM’s Power of Connection Conference is Roe Couture DeSarno – your Crusader for the Gutsy Girl Life!  Her story gave me chills as she shared the transformation that took place in her life after 9-11.  Here are some things she shared that may help YOU to become a “gutsy girl”:

  1. Know who you are… be authentic.  Our priority is to connect with our true self and our passion.  I know, not always easy for those of us with excess baggage.  Maybe you are still looking for your true self.  Maybe you live with a lot of “shoulda” and as a result, you never really get to your true self.  I am getting ready to take her Core Values Test to see what things I can discover about myself.  Not to worry, I will share.
  2. Know why you do what you do.  I know, you hear it all of the time “your why”, right?  But what if you were to dig a little deeper.  What is the driving force that keeps you going?  For some, it is to pay bills, or stay at home with their kids, while for others it was a short term goal to pay for a trip or earn a trip.  Maybe you don’t even know what your why is.  If you are still working your business beyond you initial why – what makes it meaningful to you?

As you all know, I struggle with my why on a regular basis.  Always digging deeper to get to the root of why I want to do what I do (besides I love the product).  I love this quote Roe shared:

“Why is the foundation to courage.  Only when you know why matters can you be the courageous person who you need to be to figure out your goals so you can have your goals”

Here are two things that will help you in your business (I am working on them now):

  1. Take inventory of your accomplishments within the last 30 days, 6 months, 1 year.  Then move onto your previous job.  Think about a risk you took and it paid off or worked.  List 30 things!  Yes, I said 30.
  2. Make a list of 30 things that your clients (customers) will experience from working with me.  This one is tough too.  I got as far as 20 and am struggling.

I would love to have you share your lists with us or even some of your accomplishments… Who is ready to share?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#ETTM360