Do You Inspire Others?

Extraordinary kidsOne night the kids and I were hanging out in the living room. I was on the couch with Celina snuggled on my lap. She is 8 years old, but I think she will always find a way to snuggle on my lap! BJ was in the chair working on a drawing and AJ was standing near us. I don’t remember exactly what he was doing, but probably tossing a ball in the air as he is often found with a ball in his hands.

The topic of conversation moved to BJ and her desire to be a fashion designer. She loves fashion, style, and music. AJ asked her a question or two and BJ’s response indicated that her belief about the fashion designing dreams were mere fantasies – she didn’t really believe they could become reality. AJ jumped on this disbelief quickly and reminded her of her passion, talent, and skills. He said in a number of words and number of ways, “You can do it!”

At this moment Celina piped in with a statement that added fuel to the energy building in the room. She said,

“AJ, you always say stuff that makes us feel like our dreams can come true.”

AJ quoteIn the hour that followed papers were pulled out, drafts of ideas were made, and brainstorm lists were created. BJ created outfit designs. Celina had a list of her dreams consisting of a big red barn, farmhouse, and all the animals that we would find there. AJ has plenty of dreams of his own. He plans to be a wise and godly business man – first with USANA and then owning his own store by the time he is 30.

The greatest thing about all of this was the belief that I saw well up in each child. There was great excitement, energy, and bonding between the kids. They were helping each other and even discussing how each one would help the other in the achievement of their dreams.

Without even realizing it, AJ showed leadership that night. He inspired greatness in his younger sisters. He uncovered and stoked their belief.

When you are in the room, what do you inspire in others? What conversations are created because of your questions? Is there energy, positivity, and belief in your presense? I think we all can learn a valuable lesson about the extraordinary life from AJ’s example – I know that I can!

Be Extraordinary!

Never, Ever Consider Quitting

stay focused“Always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” I cut this quote out of USANA‘s quarterly magazine several years ago and taped it to the edge of my computer monitor. I don’t even remember how long ago or who said these inspiring words. The small piece of paper has endured new computers and a cross-country move. The words are a timeless reminder for those moments and seasons when my dreams are out of focus, I am stuck, and I feel like quitting.

Always stay focused. Focus is not always the problem, but the object of my focus can either move me closer or lead me further from my goals and dream. I must keep my goal in focus. I write down goals down – 30, 60, and 90 day goals which each point toward my larger six month and one year goals. Every goal is in alignment so that I stay focused on the path that leads to my dreams.

Keep moving forward. The only way to create momentum is to move, and the most difficult place to move from is a stationary position. It is like a large train sitting still on the tracks. It takes a large amount of force and energy to get the train in motion; however, once it starts moving and picking up speed it moves with very little force. I am noticing the same thing with my business. I am my own boss and it is up to me to get in motion. I get the ball rolling by picking up the phone, initiating a conversation, or responding to a need. These are also the things I choose to keep doing so that I can maintain momentum and encourage others.

Never, ever consider quitting. Take quit out of the vocabulary. I can honestly say that the only people I have seen fail in my line of work are the people who quit and the people who continually consider quitting. Let me illustrate with a non-business illustration:

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

Many of you know that Joe and I dated for a long time before we were married (17 years ago!). During our first 2 years of college (after dating 2+ years in high school) we dated “off and on.” I couldn’t even tell you why we broke up so much except for the fact that I allowed uncertainty to stay in my mind. This may sound silly, but I remember during the fall of my sophomore year of college recognizing my flakiness and making a decision that if Joe and I ever got back together that it would be for good. We were dating again within a few months and stayed together until we were married three years later. And in our marriage relationship divorce is off the table because we will never, ever consider quitting!

The achievement of my dreams demands that I “always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” Where are you with your dreams? Which of these areas is keeping you from getting where you want to go?

The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

Life on Purpose

PurposeMy life purpose is to enrich the lives of others through compassion, generosity, and extraordinary living. When is the last time you sat down and considered the purpose and direction of your life, business, health or family? Having a specific purpose in any endeavor gives parameters and direction to all the little choices connected to that endeavor. So often I am caught up with the daily grind that I don’t take time to really consider whether I am even on the path that leads toward my goals and dreams. In the chaos and mundane routines, it is easy to lose site of  these goals and dreams.

This weekend I took a much-needed night away to refocus, and strategize the direction of my business. (I am so thankful for a spouse who sees the value of this time and even made sure it happened!) In a few short hours I recalled and clarified what I do: I am a coach. I teach people how to earn full-time income while working part-time from home. That seems rather simple and also sounds a little over-kill to take a night away to get this kind of amazing clarity.

This clarity arrived in the first hour, but the hours since then have been just as crucial. I mapped out how everything I tried to do to build my business now has a purpose and focus. If I post on Facebook or any other form of social media, and I hope to see a direct impact in my business then I better know where I’m headed. There is no way for anyone to follow me if I do not know where I am going. This is true for any goal in life, business, health, or family.

What is your purpose? for your life? for your family? for your future? for your health? for your business? What area of your life could use some serious consideration about the direction and path you will take?

Be Extraordinary!

I Have a Seasonal Craving . . Routine

Calvin shows the importance of a routine.

Calvin shows the importance of a routine.

I love summer – sunshine, long days, late nights, campfires, kids riding bikes and, now that we live in Michigan, thunderstorms. One thing that does not seem to exist, in the beautiful and lazy days of summer, is routine. I wouldn’t trade these summer days, but there does come a time when I start to crave routine. Our family has always lived in an area where school begins the day or two after Labor Day and by the start of school, I have a heavy dose of routine-cravings going on.

One of the challenges of having a home-based business is maintaining a consistent routine. Recently, I realized that the spontaneity I enjoy in having my own business is both a blessing and a curse. For years I have run my business more like a hobby, fitting it in where and when I can. However, running a business like a hobby produces the results of a hobby. I make a good income, but have plateaued as I became complacent, even lazy, about my business routines. Now that I want more – the full results of the powerful, residual, life-changing business that I have – I must take on the routines necessary to achieve those results.

These realities bring me back to the value of setting goal-driven, intentional routines. As school gets underway so do the routines, habits and disciplines that move me closer to my extraordinary dreams. Will it be challenging? Absolutely! Will it be worth it? Most definitely!

What routines will you embrace that will move you closer to your extraordinary dreams? List them in the comments.

Be Extraordinary!