The Missing Link in Your Life and Business!

Hello everyone! Thank you for being here!

Today has been a very busy day! I was inspired by Gabriel, my 5 year old as he was frolicking around today in the snow!

Gabriel, had no school today, so naturally he was traveling around with me and baby brother, Elijah doing customer deliveries and running errands.  His endless happiness, and zest for life is contagious and I had to share with you all!

First thing this morning, Gabriel woke up ecstatic, he was over the moon that he was witnessing the very first snowfall in Upstate New York!  Of course like most parents, I woke up with both my children in my room!  Certainly this is not how I went to bed last night, I am pretty sure I remember tucking everyone in their owns beds…..

Anyway, Gabriel quickly went from being over the moon with excitement to confusion as to where his daddy was, he was convinced it was Saturday!  As you can see we had a long discussion on where his daddy was!

After we straightened this out, he went right back to my bedroom window to stare at the snow!

We went through our normal morning routine, getting everyone ready to start the day.  I finished up my customer invoicing, and packed the car for deliveries.  Of course, we had personal errands for the family to complete as well!  But…… naturally we had to do something cozy and fun for a no school/first snow day!  This is where the inspiration started for me….

All I had to suggest was that we wore cozy clothes for the day, and went to the local coffee shop for hot cocoa (COFFEE FOR MOM) and donuts!  Yes, he started the day with SUGAR, one of the most torturous decisions a mother could EVER make LOL! Today was a fun day! He was thrilled at this idea, and hopped into the car immediately!

What was so beautiful about his innocent, young excitement was…… How many adults would be not only satisfied, but GRATEFUL for 1 simple hour over coffee with their mother?  As adults we tend to be satisfied less and less with the simple things life grants us.  Are we really unhappy, or have we expected too much?  Perhaps if we change our expectations, and be grateful for the moments we have been blessed with, our days would be much happier, and more productive.

It wasn’t the donuts, or the hot cocoa that Gabriel wanted, it was my time.  Gabriel was thrilled to make a memory with his mother today, and that was enough for him!

We finished our snacks and went on to our deliveries and errands.  We sang Christmas songs as we traveled in the car!  Everyone we ran into, Gabriel, said, “Merry Christmas Eve!” Naturally in a 5 year old mind, if it is snowing, it is MOST CERTAINLY CHRISTMAS EVE! He chatted with the greeter at Walmart, about how Santa was soon coming and how he had to be a good boy!

We loaded our groceries, he pointed out everything he wanted on his Christmas list, and of course we had to get wood pellets to warm the house!   As he was pointing out EVERY toy in the store that he felt he, “Reeeeeeeally reeeeeeally Needed,” he wasn’t concerned with my saying, “No.”  He simply waited a few milliseconds and continued asking…..  He tried cutting deals with me on his behavior in exchange for a “Maybe,” an “I’ll think about it,” or a, “Let me talk to Santa about it.”  Children have an innate ability to “Close the Deal.”  They are experts in resiliency, and persist-ency!  How many times did you give up today in your business, or personally?

How many follow up calls, or conversations have you skipped in your business this week, because you felt the customer or lead would say no?  How many opportunities did you miss Today alone?  How many people walked past you, that you didn’t approach because you were scared they would say no?

Gabriel, complimented a little boy on his “Cool hat” as he walked by him, completely unconcerned as to what the little boy might think of him! When was the last time you paid a stranger a compliment, or started a conversation with someone in the grocery line?!  You know that could be your nest highest seller on your team, or your most loyal customer for the next 30 years!  Think about that………..

We continued on……….. He “Helped” me load the big bags of pellets one at a time!  What a good boy!

We finally made it home, cutting a few errands short, and started unloading the car!  As I looked up I witnessed this……

Gabriel, was not disappointed in the weather, it wasn’t “Too cold, too wet, too miserable, not sunny enough, or less than he’d hoped or expected.”  Gabriel, went to bed with no expectation for today, so he woke up with no disappointments.  He was simply GRATEFUL, for this day, for the cold weather, the snow, and the hot cocoa and donuts with his mama, the little boys hat in the store that made him smile, and so much more.  Gabriel was thankful for the moments he had been blessed with from the moment he opened his eyes this morning.  Today was more than enough for him!

I also believe our children own up to the names we give them, he truly is, “The Messenger.”

Maybe we should take notes from our children more often……  What great mentors they truly are!

Today I am #Grateful!

Please share your inspirations from your children in the comments!  I am eager to hear!

Mommy Has Lost her Marbles!

  Hi all!  So as you all know I am a very busy entrepreneur with two “littles” in tow at all times!  Although challenging, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

As parents we all have those moments when our children say something that completely puts us in our place!! HAHA We think, “Oh my goodness where did you hear that!?”

Well to be honest I am quite often taken back by my 5 year old, Gabriel.  He is a very smart, and vibrant little man! Believe me there are some days I feel like pulling my hair out!  For example when I am trying to create a training video for my team, or a recognition video!  I literally have to re-record things 3 million times!  ……And FORGET GOING LIVE!! That never goes well! So naturally I feel like I fail somewhere daily, whether it be as a mommy, or as a business coach!

Here is one mommy fail………. I said, “Gabriel, please mommy really has to get this done for her business! If you don’t stop running in and out of my office I am going to rip my hair out.”

……Ummmmmm, now what was that going to solve?

That is exactly what my 5 year old was thinking when he said, “Oh, mommy, please don’t rip your hair out!  First of all it would hurt! Also, it would look terrible on you Bideo (video)!  I’ll just go sit in the living room.”  As if, I should have just asked!!!!!!!

I looked at him and thought, you know what….. he’s right!  Why didn’t I just simply ask him to politely stop, and sit down!?  What a little stinker! He drove me to the brink of insanity, and then completely flipped the script, and practically told me I was unreasonable and unhinged!  He then solved the problem, and walked out!!!

So, why don’t we have critical thinking skills as parents, in the moment of chaos!?

Truthfully, because we are jugglers, moms and dads, are amazing creatures!  We do it all don’t we!

How many parents do that on a daily basis!?

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Sometimes I don’t even answer people when they ask me something!  I swear they must think I am crazy!  I will remember conversations, days later, and call the person back and say, “I’m sorry, did I ever answer you?”  Or, “I am sorry I was listening, I didn’t mean to ignore you, I am interested in what you are saying, here are my thoughts on that…..” Usually it is because in the matter of 2 seconds one of my children is doing something completely chaotic and unsafe and I have to jet RIGHT THEN!

Yesterday, I actually made a point to put some time into myself!   After all I do have a beauty business!  What am I thinking running around in slippers and a mumu, with a bun on top of my head, right!  So I was able to take an uninterrupted shower, (highly unusual), I did my hair and makeup, I even put on my Avon jewelry!

As soon as Gabriel saw me, he said, “Oh Mommy, you look beautiful, you should do your hair more often! HAHA As if he has given me SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES to take care of myself!  It was like the sweetest thing, and the most irritating statement ever all at once!  LOL

Isn’t that what our children do though!!  Drive us nuts, and then do something so cute you completely forget how crazy they make you!

So I suppose my message is, “Keep going mom/dad, you got this!” Besides, there is no use in throwing in the towel yet, because in 5 minutes they will do something else chaotic HAHA!

So here I am making light of my continuous office interruptions!! Mama is a Beauty Boss, and a Multi-tasking mama! ❤ 

“Delight in Weakness…. For I am Strong”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I find inspiration, encouragement, motivation, and peace in scripture.  There are so many verses within the Bible that build momentum in entrepreneurs.  The above verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 inspires me in a big way and I felt I should share this with my readers!

Looking at the Title you might think….”Delight in my Weakness? Shouldn’t we capitalize on our strengths?” Strange concept right!

However, what this verse tells me is the further I get away from my faith the less I am relying on God to work through me, in my business.  I am convinced that I Am right where I am suppose to be in business, as it has been made very clear to me through my faith.

The blessings continue into our home, our hearts, and those around me as I mentor them to build their own business as well.  One of the many things that keep me close to the word, is withing statement, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

A few weeks ago I was in our church service and the pastor summarized this very easily and clearly for everyone….. He said something to the effect of, when things are hard in our lives, sickness, financial difficulty, family struggles, business struggles, whatever the struggle may be, isn’t that when we find our selves praying harder?  On our knees begging God for guidance, forgiveness, etc…?

Why? Why is our faith stronger in weakness?  Should we not pray always?  We immediately start relying on God as soon as we feel weak!? Could it be that God continues our struggle until we get closer to him?  Like a father saying, “Son, it is so great to see you, it has been a while.”  You see he knows the plan, he has made the plan.

I even find myself doing this! It’s our human nature!

It is natural to think we are weakest in our hardships, and difficulties, but the truth is we are our strongest because we begin to see God’s word, and our faith is stronger.

Dare I go out and say we are actually weakest in our high times in life?  It is then that we stop praying, because we assume everything is going great.  “Why pray….. I don’t need anything!”  This is why we are weakest in high times, we are furthest from God’s word then.  This is when we need to be cautious, to remain giving, and faithful!

It is so strange, we seek help in times of weakness, but have no trouble taking all the credit when things are seemingly going well! As is we did all the work without Him. Again, it is our human nature!

Search your heart, is your faith stronger, are you praying more because you want only high times, and success in life?  Don’t be afraid of the hardships, know they will come, but the plan is great.

So in life, and in business, I try to always remain humble, and seek God’s guidance.  I ask him to show me where I can do my greatest work through his plan.  This is how I know I am where I am suppose to be!

Everyday I empower women and men to start and grow their own business!  The gift of financial freedom, family time, as well as non-monetary things like self confidence, and so much more!

In my post, “Unconventional Mentors” I slightly referenced how bullying is a real thing especially in schools.  At the time I didn’t see anything good in it, as my school days were unbearable at times.  As I grew older I realized how grateful I was for having been the victim of bullying for so long, as it honestly strengthened me.  I am unaffected by people and their opinions because I see them as people as well.  What I mean, is they too deserve God’s grace, and I pray for them, because I know I cannot help them only he can.

Today, I am a strong, RESILIENT, leader free from needing validation from people.  The only thing I seek is God’s guidance and grace.

As I stated in a previous post titled, “Be Strong and Courageous,” although I was scared to launch a business and turn away down a guaranteed salary, I prayed on it, and took my beautiful leap of faith!  I am more certain everyday that I made the right choice with His guidance.

I may be scared some days, but I stay focused on my faith, and keep on my mission!

In business there will always be obstacles, weaknesses, hardships, and more.  But I encourage you to, “Delight in your weakness,” because I believe God is doing his greatest works in you then.  Stay close to him and his word, thank him for the plan he has set forth and his grace.  Have faith that something AMAZING is going to come of this time!

Like the scripture says, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  

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Unconventional Mentors Part Two: Lessons From Our Children!

As I travel through my days building a home based business with my children in tow, I realized that even in their tiny little frames, they are our greatest mentors.

Although the lessons my boys have taught me are countless, I will share a few of the big lessons I have learned from my busy days as a mother in business!

LESSON # 1: TIME MANAGEMENT

Honestly!  Who is more efficient than a mother on the go!  We can dress several moving children, walk the dog, vacuum the living room, have dinner cooking, and plan a party over the phone…… all while on an active webinar for our business!  

Be honest YOU’VE been there!!

Just like in everyday life there are things that are more important or more productive to do first (on the 10 mile long to do list)!  With my children’s crazy schedule, my husbands crazy schedule, and so many other daily family and life things all going on at once, I have learned to be the most productive and efficient business owner EVER, and all from my children!

I’ve learned to take advantage of nap time for making follow up phone calls to customers, training calls to team members, and many more administrative things.  I have learned to have the car packed on nap time so when the baby wakes I am not trying to carry him and my customer orders, and all my advertising and marketing materials to the car at once!

My delivery route is a masterpiece, wasting not 1 single mile!  All in a two day system, and home in time to pick up my kinder-gardener!  I have learned to spend my time where it counts most!

Is it safe to say that as moms we are the most efficient in our crazy state!? 

LESSON # 2: WORK/LIFE BALANCE

As crazy as my days are trying to build an empire from a home office and managing my family, and home, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Another thing I’ve learned is when you work from home sometimes your family life and your work life get inter-meshed! My children have taught me to separate the two!

It is so important to have set office hours, and dedicated family time!  Get down on the floor with your kids, read a book, do a puzzle, simply play peek a boo, or bake cookies with them!  You can have it all!  You just have to set clear, firm boundaries!

Working on our United States Puzzle!

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My children know when the office doors are closed mommy is on an important call!  They have learned to be OK with this, because they know I will be with them at a certain time every night!  However, if I waiver from that time with them, the entire system fails.

Trust me the calls can wait until tomorrow!  A good friend once told me, “Carly, the most important work you’ll ever do is within the walls of your own home.” I remember this everyday!  I can fail one day at my business and wake up tomorrow and fix it, I cannot fix failing my family!

I am not saying I try to be a perfect mother, there is no such thing! I can, however, give them my time and attention.

That said my children have also taught me to……..

LESSON # 3: LOWER MY STANDARDS (A BIT)

I have always been a high achiever, perfectionism drove me crazy most of my life.  My children have most definitely taught me to lower my standard, in a great way!

Often when people hear, “Lower standards,” they associate it with a negative change.  What I am referencing is a very positive change!

Again, working from home, you can easily mesh your family life with your business life.  Of course like every mother, I love my home to look like a show room floor 24/7.  However, we all know this is next to impossible.

How many mom’s are staring at a living room and bedrooms that look like a tornado just passed through?

Turned my head for two seconds….. MAYHEM!

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It’s OK!  That can be fixed on Saturday!  During the week, I work on growing my business, and spend my dedicated time with my family, as planned!  Don’t Deviate from the plan!  Set an “Out of the Office” auto reply on email, post office hours everywhere, on your voicemail, email signature, and office doors!

I have learned to be OK with less than my normal standard.  As long as the family is safe and happy, and business is healthy, the rest can wait!

Vacuum lines are NOT OK, if that means my children can’t have healthy play time!

Here is what happens when I start to cut into family time…… Break in…..

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Or movies in the corner of my office on the other computer! They truly are like an alarm clock……

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What is more important?  Do you think your children will remember the vacuum lines and clean dishes, or the laughter you shared rolling around on the messy living room floor with them?  Or the flour all over the kitchen from baking cookies together?  Or the washable finger paint all over the kitchen island from making art together?

It is going to be OK MOM, that’s why the good Lord gave us tomorrow!  Let it go!

LESSON # 4: LEARNING TO SAY, “NO”

This is from the girl who is eager to help EVERYONE!  I am certainly a nurturer in every sense of the word, I have always been this way.  Which of course leaves me open to becoming overworked and overwhelmed.  I find people easily open up to me and seek help through me.

My children have certainly shown me how, and why I need to say , “No,” at times.  Staying focused on my, “Why” (reason for building a home based business) makes saying no much easier.  If I take on everything I take away from my family, my focus, my goals, and my business.

Of course I want to be able to help especially those in need, however I am quickly reminded that I cannot help everyone.  My children certainly show it when my focus is on too many projects!  Their behavior worsens, their schedule is off, they are MISERABLE, everything starts falling apart.

They once again, bring me back to my center, and remind me where I need to stay focused.  I can pray about the rest!

It is so strange, when we think about mentors, we naturally think about people that have been in our shoes, or someone older.  As I stated in my previous post, “Unconventional Mentors,” you can truly find inspiration anywhere it is just a matter of opening your eyes.

Take a look at your, “Why,” have you lost focus?

I thank God everyday for my children, as they truly have been the greatest mentors in my life, and the fuel that drives me EVERY DAY! 

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Bravery

Just a quick note to the mamas!  Be brave and believe in YOU!

48465A05-590C-4B13-BA12-B2A9D3FD13E9.jpeg#Belief in yourself and your #faith may take much courage and a ton of bravery…. but if there’s a slight chance of #success …. that just means the rest is up to you and #strong faith….. dig in and go for it … give it everything you’ve got ..even if it seems the chips are all stacked against you…. bet on you always …. 💃🏽and pray through the process in high times and low times….. sometimes we forget to pray and be thankful when things are going well …. 🙏#mommyandme #momslookingforwork #mentoringmatters #coach #financialfreedom #networkerlife

Unconventional Mentors!

I was inspired to write this blog post , honestly years ago but wasn’t sure where to place it.  I was thinking back on my life and the gratitude I have for the great mentors I had in my life.

If you have read my initial story of how I got where I am today in business, you know that horses are a huge part of my life.  So when I was remembering where my greatest life lessons were and who they came from, I must say it wasn’t people, it was my horses.

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I encourage you to think back on your journey and maybe you’ll find your greatest mentors were also a bit more “Unconventional.”

Let me start with Big Foot or as we called him, “Big Wig.”  He was the first horse that I ever leased.  He was a beautiful Grade horse (mixed breed-unregistered) gelding in his late 20’s.  He had been one of the main lesson horses used at the riding stable.

In his old age he was sure footed and safe for beginner riders.  He was gentle, kind, and forgiving.  Which was a great fit for heavy-handed new riders.  He had one vice, he was a scaredy cat.  So riding in an indoor arena with a cover all wasn’t always a “Joy ride.”  Why? The snow in the winter would slide off the tarp roof and sound like a race car zipping by over head.  This happened quite often considering we live in upstate New York.  Big Foot always spooked when this happened.

I worked with him tirelessly, everyday I was in the barn with him grooming, and riding….. giving him too many treats.

As a young girl in middle school, growing up was tough.  If you are a mother of a middle school aged daughter/son, know that bullying is a very real issue and horrendous at that age!  My middle school days were extremely unpleasant, so my barn time was my therapy.  The horses loved me just the way I was.  They didn’t care about my appearance, or my past, they were just happy I was there grooming and spending time with them.  Big Foot was my best friend.

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One day at the barn my Big Foot was hurt, he could not return to his feet.  Something was very wrong.  We spent the next few days nursing him and taking care of him like a newborn baby.  I remember because he could not stand he would urinate on himself.  I spent hours with him in the freezing cold arena drying his urine covered legs with a human hair dryer.  This took hours.  To relieve his discomfort from one side, we would have to turn him with big ropes. Even through all of this he was still a kind gentleman.

After many vet calls, it turned out Big Foot was paralyzed in his hind quarters.  This meant he could no longer walk.  Big Foot passed away, shortly after that, I remember being devastated.

What Big Foot taught me: I was acceptable just the way I was, and I would be okay, even without Big Foot around anymore.  I could “Ride on” without him.  I had great things to offer the world regardless of others opinions.  Thank you Big Foot.

Translate to Business: There will always be people that doubt you, and obstacles yo overcome.  We must remain focused on our mission, and our talents.  We must remember what it is, we CAN offer the world through our business. Not the opinions of others.

After preparing the entire winter for the upcoming show season with Big Foot, and losing him, I was without a show horse.  That was until, my first riding instructor, called my mother late one night.  I remember it was a white out snow storm that night.  However, my mother and my riding instructor said it was an “Emergency” and I had to come QUICK!

She had purchased two mares, one she thought was perfect for me for the upcoming show season.  She definitely needed some work, and tlc, but Miss “Opie” had more than a little potential.  Opie was a double registered Pinto/Paint mare. Her registered name was “Scrimshaw Stormy Doll,” we called her “Opie,” because I gave her a barn name, Penelope.  She was an absolute doll.  Kind as can be, and never stepped out of line.  She was gentle in nature, with HUGE brown eyes, I remember she had the longest eyelashes.

I immediately fell in love with her.  I’ll never forget her Big Roman nose (which is an undesirable trait in the horse world) however she was beautiful to me.  What I loved about Opie was her heart.  She may not have had the perfect confirmation (anatomy and physiology) but what she did have was determination, resiliency, and a love for me that was unwavering.

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We worked and worked together, both learning new things we had never done to prepare for the new show season.  When I got her she was about 13, I was also about 12/13, like sisters.  I needed her and she needed me.  I spent everyday with her sometimes from morning until night.

B4AE513F-1997-4D78-BB80-09B5B00D39E9That show season, we won just about everywhere we went both English and Western.  We collected so many Championship awards we lost track!  That year we were the County Western Champions, we won the Sportsmanship Award at the County Fair, and qualified for the State Level Competition that summer.  We traveled back and forth to rodeos and made beautiful memories together.

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389C5476-2AA3-4370-B04E-706C705B6824.jpegWhat Opie taught me: There was light at the end of the tunnel.  Something beautiful always comes out of sadness.  The wins we shared together gave me confidence that I had lost through the bullying.  Her trust in me, made me worthy of something.  My trust in her made her worthy of something.  Opie taught me to trust again.  Thank you Opie.  

Translate to Business: Mentor and spend the time with those with heart, passion, resiliency, and determination, they may not look the part, they may not have all the skill, but they have the will to try.  Skill and will are completely different.  You can have will with NO skill, but you cannot have skill with no will.  These are your top performers, the coach-able ones.  The ones that stay centered on their why.

Like every novice rider, we eventually must advance to a more intermediate level horse to continue learning and growing.  I actually saw this horse before any other horse at the stable, his name was, Quincy.  I remember watching the most advanced rider at the stable at the time, riding him one afternoon outside.  The rider was doing this up and down motion, which I later learned was English posting.  Quincy, at the time, had a reputation to be a little short tempered, and silly.

I remember feeling quite accomplished to have been chosen to take on, Quincy.  Who at the time was the most advanced horse at the stable.  He was 16.1 hands high and absolutely stunning.  He had a fun personality, I remember he used to nibble on my hair when I picked his hooves.  When he had a tiny ache somewhat like a “Human splinter to a horse” he would act like he had been brutally hurt intentionally, and mope around in a miserable state.  He would cough like he was in agonizing pain to get out of work………. we felt.  Such a character!

Quincy, was a young Champion at the age of 2 in the big state of Texas.  His registered name was “Conclusive Quinarious” he was just as complex as his name. He showed all over the state of New York with previous owners and had quite the reputation for being superb! Much like Opie and I.

Well needless to say, Quincy, and I never claimed any wins, as we generally ended up in a tiff in the middle of the show ring.  However, Mr. Quincy taught this girl, how to ride.  He always performed beautifully at home, we were a stunning team AT HOME, he saved his tricks for the show ring.

What Quincy taught me: “Stay in the Saddle” Stay humble, learn and grow, the wins don’t define you.  The growth is the win. 

Also, titles can be hard to live up to.  This is why we measure the growth not the number of titles and/or trophies.

Translate to Business: In business it is important to always track your growth, and your teams growth.  Be sure to recognize yourself and your team!  You may not be the number one top seller in the country, but your average order per Representative may be $1 higher than last week!  Take the hard work as growth, and look for the small wins to offer recognition.  Remain humble……always.  Seek great mentors that have, “Been there.”  

Don’t feel pressure to win the title year after year, look where you were and where you’ve come.  Measure the growth, that is the win.

Fast forward a few horses later, I bought my first horse the summer I turned 14.  I worked all summer at a local Recreation Program, as a Counselor.  I earned $1500 for the entire summer!  That is exactly how much, “Champion” cost.  I gave him the full name, “Champion of my Texas Heart.”  He was a 6 year old Sorrel (Red coat) Quarter Horse gelding.  I gave the previous owner each of my paychecks until he was paid in full.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw my name on his paperwork!  I was not only in love with him, I was very proud of myself.  I learned to have a strong work ethic through my horses, and there are rewards for that.

Champion, reminded me so much of, Big Foot, large, strong, and gentle natured.  Like Ferdinand the Bull, he was a gentle giant.  He too was afraid of his own shadow.

I rode him everywhere, on trails, in shows, etc.  One of my absolute favorite places to be was in the show ring, however, this was not “Champion’s” favorite place to be by any stretch.  The pressure made him nervous.

There were times I pushed him too hard trying to “Train” him to be something he was never physically capable of being.  I set him up for failure with unattainable goals.

I later found out he had stifle issues, so instead of pushing him, I decided to enjoy nature, with my peaceful trail horse.  Champion, had the mind to show, but was physically incapable.

I still have Champion to this day, and have named my second son, Elijah Champion, after him.  Turns out, Elijah, is just as sweet natured as him!  Champions, forever home will be with my family, and I.

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What Champion taught me: Enjoy the simple things in life, instead of a show, enjoy nature and take trail ride.  I loved the calmness of trail riding, and listening to the sounds of nature and my horse breathing.  I loved the sound of  hooves brushing the leaves as we walked through the woods. 

He was much happier enjoying the trails and nature with me,  he was in his element.  My role with, Champion, was to be his calm support, and care giver, not his intense show trainer. Constantly reminding him he didn’t measure up.  It wasn’t something that could be trained, he physically couldn’t do it.  What he gave me was something I didn’t realize I needed, peace. 

Translate to Business:  Seek and find the strength in yourself and your team first.  Instead of leading with what YOU want to be your strength, and your teams strength.  If you can find that first, there will be no feeling of failure, or idea that someone doesn’t ,”Measure up.”  When people are in the right place they thrive whether or not they come with the skill.  The skill can be learned, all they need is the will to try.  As a leader/coach it is crucial to assist people in self discovery.  They must identify their own strengths.  

I don’t believe in the word, “Weakness,” I prefer the phrase, “Area of opportunity.”  This assumes they have the will, and humility to grow and accept coaching.  This is an opportunity to grow, NOT a weakness.

Now that I had my peaceful trail horse, I still longed to be in the show ring.  I then found, Sage.  Sage, was a registered, Quarter Horse mare, she was 5 years old.  A great age to show and grow with!  Sage, was by far the most beautifully put together horse I had ever seen.  She was a halter judges ideal horse.  A halter judge scores a horse and places them, based on their, “Confirmation,” anatomy and physiology, or figure so to speak.  She was absolutely gorgeous, even her coat glistened naturally.

However, no one EVER rode her.  She was a different stable owners project.  No one wanted to work with her, which of course only made me more interested.  In my mind she was just misunderstood.  I of course fell in love with her.

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I had to have her.  I worked with her day after day in the round pen.  I only rode her in a halter because she hadn’t had a bit yet.  I must have been crazy at that point considering she had cornered me and come after me multiple times, as she had so many others.  She would turn toward me, stand on her hind legs and strike her front quarters at me.

I was determined not to give up on her.  The problem was, she had scared many others that had tried working with her, and she knew it.  She took these scares as wins and got more aggressive each time.  Until one day she really almost hurt me, the stable owner thank, God, stepped in front of me.  I was so driven by the fear of not letting her down, or failing that I put myself in harms way.

Shortly after that I took her to one of the states top trainers, thinking she could help me.  This trainer even held a world title.  I remember the first day was atrocious.  Just like I knew she would, she went after her as well.  Only this time the trainer was prepared for that, Sage’s threats did not work with her.  By the end of the time with that trainer, I was riding her all over the place.

Truthfully, she was very trustworthy under saddle, it was standing next to her that was treacherous.  She to this day had the smoothest gate of any horse I ever rode, this was due to her impeccable confirmation.  I remember thinking, “If we could just get past this behavior problem, we would be unstoppable.”

She rode like a dream, we had no behavior problems for months.  Until one day, she started again, only worse.  She started refusing the bit, which was only ever a snaffle bit (one of the mildest and most forgiving bits made).  She was again very unpredictable, and aggressive.

One day my instructor said to me, “Carly, I don’t think this mare is for you.”  I couldn’t even believe what she was saying.  I never intended to give up on her.  In my heart I knew she was right.  Needless to say, my perfect Sage, was the first and only horse I ever sold.  Although, I loved her I had to let her go.  Someone was a better fit for her somewhere, it just wasn’t me.

What Sage taught me: Sometimes what we expect to happen isn’t what is meant to be.  A square will never fit in a circle space.  What glimmers isn’t always gold, even if she was golden to me. 

A decision based on emotion can lead us to places we should never be.  Am I saying I should have never been with Sage, ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Sage taught me this great lesson, that I have taken it with me all my life.  I have trusted, and believed in people that I thought had good intention, and almost sank myself trying to save them. 

Sometimes letting go is all we can do, but that doesn’t mean we have failed.  It means we have grown.   It takes a seasoned professional to say, this isn’t a good fit.  Now I can make these decisions before going through this long  process.  We cannot save everyone and everything.  Thank you my beautiful, Sage.

Translate to Business: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!  In business we must make sound, well thought out decisions based on fact, but also a little faith.  The problem is at times we blur the, “Faith,” part.  What I mean is, what we see as potential in people, or what we want for them, isn’t what they want for themselves.  You can’t sink the entire ship (team) to save one person.  Let them show their work and moral ethic, interview them, know their goals and intentions, know their dreams! Let them build credibility with you first.  Get their commitment to growth.  They have to want it more than you want it for them. Then start building and growing!

Lastly, I will share my story about my beautiful, and official show horse, who did make it to the show ring!  My Lucey, Lou!  I found her at a very well known, horse dealer, in the Quarter Horse industry.  She came from a pristine blood line (family name), her family had an impeccable show record.  Both her mother and father held multiple World titles, and so did all her brothers and sisters.  She was a 2 year old, and her registered name was, “Gimme a Big Gold Star.”  I named her, Lucey.

I must say, she has certainly lived up to that name.  For one, when you hear the name, “Gimme…” you think of a little 3 year old girl in pig tails demanding all that she desired.  That was, Lucey, she was cute, demanding, and ornery.  STILL IS.  “Lucey,” like, Lucille Ball, was also a character.  She always did funny, un lady like things!  For instance, below is an image of her scratching her rear end on a tree branch, bottom facing the road!  Oh Lucey!

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I remember there were 2 mares I was choosing between, Lucey a sorrel (red coat) and a beautiful bay (brown body with black legs) mare.  I was drawn to the bay mare she was stunning.  Lucey, on the other hand was pigeon toed, gangly, and had big donkey ears, that she hadn’t grown into yet.  She was a site for sure.

Keep in mind I had just gone through, Sage.  I was specifically looking for my show horse, with little to no behavior problems, YA RIGHT! So I decided to see how each one of the mares rode.  I started with the bay mare.  Saddling was a little rough she was very, “Light sided,” meaning she was irritable, so saddling or any touching made her skin twitch.  She did not like it.  In Western you have two split reins (they don’t connect in the middle).  When getting ready to mount you have to cross both reins over the withers (lowest part of the horses main by the pommel (front) of the saddle), the bay mare jumped when I did this.

I thought, nope NOT again.  I remembered previous spooky horses, and SAGE…. She was pretty, but I wanted a show horse, and considering all the unknowns that happen at shows, fairgrounds, etc… she wasn’t going to cut it.

I looked over at, Lucey, there she was pawing naughtily at the ground.  I thought, “Goodness, here we go again, another impatient mare.”  However, I saddled her up with not one single problem, and mounted her.  She rode like Sage, even with that pigeon toe,  had Opie’s, sound mind, and Quincy’s silly personality!  I FOUND MY SHOW HORSE!  Check out those big ears! 👇🏼

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Lucey, didn’t take much, she had a natural gate (stride), she was a born athlete, thanks to her mom and dad!  She accepted the show ring with literally no problem, nothing scared her.  She was a tough competitor, and just what I needed!  We had many, many wins!

The only time Lucey, gave me a real issue was when I, “Over trained her.”  My perfectionist nature irritated her! She would quickly remind me that she didn’t need all that coaching!  Almost as if she was saying, “You showed me that already, are you going to let me do this or what!  Let me be, I got this.”  I let her go, LITERALLY loosened the reins to the point they were practically dragging.  She kept her slow, collected, desirable Western pleasure show gate, and lowered her head just even with her withers.  When I let her show, SHE SHOWED!  I was merely her passenger.

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The only time, Lucey needed a heavier support was when she was tracking on her right lead.  She showed me she needed the support, so I gave it to her, just as she had me.  I supported her just enough to carry her through, and look effortless in the show ring.  She said, “That’s enough, Carly, that’s all I need, I can do the rest.”  That is just what she did.  We learned both our strengths and weaknesses, and won show after show together.

Oh and those, long skinny, gangly legs, grew strong and beautiful, and she grew into her big donkey ears as well!  She was a sassy, classy, confidant lady in the show ring!

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I spent every day with Lucey!  I still have her to this day.  She spends her time in the pasture with her man, “Champion.”  They are best friends, companions for life.  She keeps him young, and he checks her little attitude from time to time.  I suppose just like my husband and I.

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What Lucey taught me: The show ring is not the place to train, if it hasn’t been gotten by then, you will find out.  Train at home, show what you got.  Know when to stop training, and coaching, know when to set people free.  Give them the opportunity to take off without you.  Let your team fly. 

I had finally put all my experiences into play, when choosing her.  I wasn’t choosing a horse on emotion, or appearance.  I remembered what I wanted and chose a horse to fit the bill.  I left with the best horse I’d ever shown. 

Translate to Business: Coach and train your team, let them self discover.  Know when to step away and let them fly.  If they fall, you will know exactly where to pick them up, coach them and set them free again.  GET OUT OF THEIR WAY!  Other wise you are just coaching people to be dependent on you forever.  Which does not promote growth and independence, this is a disservice to them, and you.  In order to create independent leaders you have to know when to, step away.  

Live your life with intention, and a strong intuition.  My greatest mentors these days are my children!  More stories to come!

You can find inspiration anywhere in your everyday routine, you just have to open your eyes!

Think about your life, who have been your greatest mentors? 💕

 

 

Staying Centered On My “WHY”

Just a small share of why I do what I do!! 😘💄🛍💕

Be sure and follow me on social media to follow my story as a mom-preneur! 💃🏽 #Entrepreneurs

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Sure I could have #accepted the next #corporateposition…. but I’d never be in my car with #peppapig 🐷 stickers on my face with my #babies on a #Saturday……so I #prayed and took a #leapoffaith ….. thank #God for the #directsellingIndustry and an #entrepreneurialspirit! I would never have this #moment …. I would never have this #memory…. I would never have an #empire I’ve #builtonfaith #hardwork #grit and #sweat to hand to you my #children 👶 someday when I’m gone … thank you #God for these #blessings! 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 #mommyandme #coach #mentoringmatters #momslookingforwork #financialfreedom #Avon #directselling #mommyblogger #blessedmommy #networkmarketing #dswa

What Is Your Mission?

As an entrepreneur it is important to always stay challenged, and continually learning new skills.  Especially when you are mentoring others to grow their business, and leadership skills as well!  How you coach and mentor others is how they will coach and mentor others.  Before you know it you have an entire culture centered around a belief system YOU created, good or bad.

That said, I am currently enrolled in a Coaching Program.  When you hear coach I am sure most people think of sports team.  Well this is a different area of coaching, but honestly the same principles apply!  I am referencing coaching for business and leadership growth.

In fact I recently read an amazing book on leadership, written by a former head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Mike Smith, and Bestselling Author of The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon.  I strongly recommend you read this book TODAY, as I have looked at my business in a completely different way.  I am excited to see how you analyze your business, team, and strategies after reading.

Gordon, Jon., Smith, Mike. You Win In The Locker Room First:7 C’s to build a winning team in sports, business, and life. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015. Print.

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Smith, shares stories of strategies, winnings, and YES, even losses.  He reflects on the strategies that brought the team big wins and those that brought big losses.  As a leader it is so important to analyze both wins and losses and the path you took to get there.  Understanding the path good or bad can help you avoid next or repeat next time.

In Chapter 1 on page 16, Smith, references a phrase, “Focus on the Root not the Fruit.”

Want to take a guess at what that means? ( Please leave comments on this blog below to start a discussion.) 

MY idea of what, Smith, was referencing. Just like briefly discussed above, you must understand, the ROOT of how you got where you are (the FRUIT or end result).

Smith, mentions how, “Success can be your worst enemy if you allow it to change your culture and approach.”  Well that is certainly a strange thought isn’t it!?  Success should be a good thing right!?

Of course success is a great thing, when we remember our, “Roots.” Why you started your business, what your mission is, what the goals are, why you are here.

Success can sometimes lead us a stray from these important values.  The focus suddenly turns to the win (Fruit) which is the end result rather than the path (Root) that gets you to the win/loss (fruit).  Before you know it your entire team and culture is focused on winning ONLY, rather than the “Root.” Once you have lost your mission, you have lost your purpose.

Losing your purpose can be a scary thing, you may start trying strategies that burn you or your team out just for that win.  You may even start going against your code of ethics to bring in the win.  This can alter your character and lead to major burn out.  It is crucial to remain centered on your, “Roots.”

Success will always follow, because you will  measure success differently.  Success might look different to you when you remain focused on your mission/purpose.

For example: You may find yourself thinking, “Wow, great job team we may not have won the game, but we played with heart, we played with passion, we played with dignity, and everyone of us left better than we started. Thank you for playing like a unified team, and working hard!”  Rather than, “We didn’t win, practice 7 days a week until the next win, that is mandatory.”  This leads to burn out.

I can remember a time where I as so focused on getting to a final number that I wasn’t taking the time to get to know new team members, and their “Why for starting their own business.”  In turn I had no personal relationship with any of my team members and I lost them just as fast as I gained them.  Simply because I lost my focus of, “Why I was here.”  To share an opportunity, like I had to build a home based business, giving families an opportunity to spend more time together.

Getting to know my team and their purpose, helping them achieve their dreams and goals, is ultimately what gets me where I want to be.  This to me is winnning.

Which coach are you more inspired and motivated by?

I encourage you to reflect back on why you started your business, what is your mission? 

  1. Reflect on your biggest accomplishment.  
    1. What were you or your team focused on?
    2. How long ago was it?
    3. Has there been repeat wins?
  2. Reflect on your biggest loss.
    1. What were you or your team focused on?
    2. How long ago was it?
    3. Has there been repeat losses?
  3. Where did you or your team lose focus on your root/purpose?
  4. What steps can you take to refocus yourself and/or your team?
  5. In what area of your business can you use this reflection exercise to refocus your business and bring back the purpose/mission?

I am so grateful for the principals I gained from reading this book and reflecting on my business.  Of course everything above is my opinions and personal experiences.  Please share yours with me as well, with a comment.

I hope you too will find motivation, and inspiration from the above text and this blog post,  reflection exercise!

“Be strong and Courageous”

Hello there!  Thank you for being here! I am honored to tell you my story, and hope that you find encouragement and inspiration from my story.

I chose to title this post, “Be strong and Courageous,” a verse from Joshua 1:9 because this verse inspired me to take my, “Beautiful leap of faith.”

I found many times in life I had made decisions out of fear of failure, I am sure you have done this as well. This time, I chose to make my decision on my faith that I could, rather than my fear that I could not.  You see fear is a false idea of what COULD happen, not what really IS or IS GOING TO happen.

Reflect back on your life, has there been a time, or an opportunity presented to you, that you didn’t take, out of fear you might fail?

Did you think, “What if I succeed?”

I hope after reading this, you will start to see opportunities differently.

In May of 2007, after finishing my Associates Degree in Equestrian Studies, I had aspirations to be a Horse Trainer and ride the Quarter Horse Show circuit.  So naturally, I took a job with a World Class Trainer, specializing in Western Pleasure and reining,  I was in my prime….. or at least thought I was.  One afternoon while riding one of the client show horses, one of the 16 I rode daily, I was injured badly.

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Long story short, June 14 2007, the horse reared, and flipped over directly on top of me.  When these things happen there is no time to get out of the way.  Stuck in the saddle, all the force and weight of this beautiful, large animal came crashing down on me.  The next thing I remember, I was waking up in a hospital bed with a report of a broken pelvis, neck and back fractures.  I quickly realized this young dream of mine wasn’t going to pay the bills, with a broken spine.  My determination and resiliency landed me back on horses in a back brace in August of 2007.  Yes, when you are young, you are fearless and seem to heal much faster.

Out of FEAR, between Associates and Bachelors Programs, I tried a different major, Nursing, I felt this was a “Safe” choice as nurses will always find work.  Well, that didn’t pan out either, I quickly realized, I AM NOT A NURSE!

Out of FEAR, I went back to what I knew, the horses.  I finished my Bachelors Degree in December of 2009, in Equine Science, Breaking and Training, in a Western Specialization.  Although, this time I remembered my accident in June of 2007.   I decided, the safest and most reasonable way to use my Equine Science Degree would be to teach the study of Horses, at a College, or University.  So I continued on to a Masters Program, for Career and Technical Education.  I did not thrive in this program either.

Failure after failure, I stumbled through what I thought was right, trying to avoid what COULD go wrong.  In doing this I became very ill, and overwhelmed, to the point that the University, would not allow me to take on more classes.  This was my biggest failure to date, in my eyes.  I could not see past this HUGE failure.

I worked many different jobs to pay the bills, bar-tending, and waiting tables in high end fine dining restaurants. I even worked as a CNA, and PCA.  All of which I never felt, were my “Forever job.”  Working in many different service industry jobs, I was gaining skills I didn’t realize I was gaining.  Skills such as, customer service, small business management, marketing, up selling, or cross category selling, etc.. Having gained these skills, I decided to take on a home based business! I decided to become an, Avon Representative in 2009.  I never knew this would be my “Forever career.”  This choice, changed my life forever.

I quickly excelled and became a Top seller, and recruited a large team simply by sharing my love of beauty products, and the company mission.  I remember thinking, “Wow, just being me, has really grown my business.”  In 2012 I had my first baby, Gabriel Alexander.  Becoming an Avon Representative, afforded me the opportunity to build a home based business.  This meant I was able to stay home with my baby, never missing first words, first steps, or any major milestones. This, to me, was a great blessing.

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In 2013, at a top sellers recognition gala, I was approached by my District Sales Manager.  It was here that I met one of the most influential, and inspiring women in my life, who remains an integral part of my life to this day.  She mentioned to me a corporate opening, as a sister District Sales Manager.  After a series of long, in depth interviews, I GOT THE JOB!  However, this meant I had to give up my home based business, to work a corporate role, mentoring other Avon Representatives.  I thought, “Oh no give up my business I worked so hard to build?” But I also thought, wow a corporate career!”  I took the job.

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As a District Sales Manager, I traveled all over, to places I never imagined I would see.  I managed large districts both virtually and traditionally in Hawaii, California, and all over upstate NY.  In my first year, I achieved highest honors, the Circle of Excellence, which is for an elite group of high performing District Sales Managers. In May 2015, I was sent to a celebration in Maui, Hawaii for this achievement.

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On July 4th, 2015 I married my best friend, the father of our beautiful son, Gabriel.  Having achieved so many goals, we were able to fund our beautiful, vintage, Victorian wedding!  I was officially, Mrs. Bonaventura, honored and blessed to say the least!  We were officially a family!
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Prior, to our wedding, I had achieved a trip for my husband and I to Cancun, Mexico due to my performance as a District Sales Manager.  As a young family, we certainly could not afford a fancy honey moon, so this was perfect!  A fully funded all inclusive trip to Cancun, Mexico!  Thanks Avon!

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In August of 2015, as my career was taking off, I was asked to take an elevated role, in our corporate office in NYC.  WOW, what an honor, a young girl like me, with a degree in Equine Science?  No way, they must be mistaken!  At this point I had received so much recognition, and achieved so many goals, I never thought I would ever achieve, I thought, I CAN DO THIS!  A decision on FAITH that I COULD DO IT! Not FEAR that I could not.

This was most definitely the highlight of my career.  I traveled to NYC each week Monday through Wednesday and worked from home Thursday and Friday.  I was able to bring my family some weeks!  Which was a treat!

I sat weekly in meetings with executives I had only seen on training videos, and read about!  I was now making decisions and being asked my opinion at a level I never thought I would be!  WOW!

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I was flying high!  Traveling and learning!  Building my resume!  I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing!

Although I was so excited, and proud…. I can remember being in Orlando, at our National Conference, away from my family now for a week.  I had gone from Mexico, to Maui, NYC, and now Orlando in less than 2 months!  I was EXHAUSTED!  I was watching a Representative on stage sharing her story as an Avon Representative.  She too had started in 2009.  I started crying in the middle of the seminar.  How embarrassing!  I was suppose to be a strong, career woman, with HIGH emotional intelligence, right?! I was listening to her words thinking, “Oh my gosh that could have been me”, I miss my family so much!  It was unbearable, I had to excuse myself.  I thought I can’t believe I gave up my home based business!  At the time I couldn’t think past my sorrow.  I was FEARFUL I had made the wrong choice!  I now realize had I not gone through all that, I would never have achieved all I had in my career, and would never be where I am today!

I quickly pulled myself together and finished what I went to Orlando to do!

My position was extended multiple times.  I continued my role and worked very hard to achieve all of my goals.  One week when traveling back to my hotel room from my last meeting, I wasn’t quite feeling myself.  As women, we know when things are just, OFF.  So …… I stopped into the drugstore on my walk to my room, and purchased a pregnancy test.

Yes, you guessed it I was pregnant with our second son, Elijah Champion.  I remember being scared and happy all at once!  Wow, another baby!  What about my career?!  What will my husband think?!  What will Gabriel think?!  Will he be upset that he is not the baby anymore?!  Nonetheless, I traveled home, and celebrated with my family!

I kept the pregnancy a secret for a month or so from my colleagues.  I was asked to stay in NYC and extend my position again, while I was honored, I was torn.  I needed to be with my family every night!  My husband and I decided I would stay a little longer to achieve our final goal of purchasing a home for our growing family.

I continued achieving goals both personally and professionally, and we were able to buy our first home!  Our very own home!  I was signing closing paper 8 and 1/2 months pregnant!

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After achieving this, I decided to go back to being a District Sales Manager from my home office.  I worked as a virtual manager, which meant I never had to leave my home office, and could enjoy my family while working! What a blessing!15493844_10210049604829772_1963314295271177994_o.jpg

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Shortly after that, I gave birth to our second baby boy, Elijah Champion!  He was perfect just like his brother!

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I loved being able to work from home, and be with my family every day! I continued working this role until July of 2017, when Avon corporate decided to restructure!  I hadn’t known at the time that this would be the BEST thing that could have ever happened to me and my family!

All field management was given the choice to re-interview for new Leadership Coaching roles or move on from the company.  I went through the processes, and was selected to be one of the 150 or so chosen out of around 600-700 field managers.  I never thought I would ever say, I am honored, but no thank you.  However that is just what I did.

I thought and thought about what to do, and discussed it over and over again with family.

Remember, I now have two babies, and a mortgage, along with all other regular bills, and the torturous, STUDENT LOANS!

While I loved my career and tenure with Avon, and certainly grew beyond measure both personally and professionally, I reflected back on my tears in Orlando!  I remembered thinking, “Oh no, What have I done, I gave up my business!”  I remembered driving into the city every week in tears until my first meeting on Monday morning.

That’s when I knew it was time.  It was time to restart my home based business!  Only this time, I had all the corporate training and knowledge I needed to build a HUGE business FAST! So that is just what I did!

Here I am years later in the same position I was with my first son, at home now with my second son, Elijah!  Never missed a milestone with either!  How about that!  It is so funny where life takes you!

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I made my decision on Faith that I could, not the FEAR that I could not!

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I took my, “Beautiful leap of faith.”

Today my business is thriving, I am adding new team members weekly, and attending events, and gaining new customers every day!  All our bills are being paid just fine!

You see emotions, and instances happen in perfect timing, as guidance to what may be coming.  I learned that when I reflected back on Orlando.  When your heart is in the right place things unfold just as they should!  Today I am an effervescent enthusiastic entrepreneur with a beautiful Avon business that I can one day pass on to my children.  It is our family business, all ours!

The horses remain a huge part of our family, only I enjoy them as a hobby now, rather than a career.  I was 7 months pregnant here, Elijah!

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I hope I have inspired you to follow your dreams, do not be afraid of the journey.  It’s a strategically laid out plan, you just may not be aware of that yet!  Enjoy the process, and remember to make a decision once and a while on FAITH over FEAR!

Please enjoy my blog as I share more stories on my personal journey as a busy and crazy young mother with a home based business!