The words came out of her mouth as if it was a truth she had always known. Yet she was saying it in reference to something I had shared with her only five minutes before. During part of the weekend intensive with my coach, each of the participants got five minutes to share "what's up" with them. And well, a LOT is going on with me right now that's pretty freaking awesome.
I just re-launched this website with a kick-ass new design, I've re-launched The PEACE System, and I've got several songs ready for the new album, plus I'm involved in writing/directing/performing a Christmas musical, and I'm doing some other performing as Fall rolls around.
And... my new book is almost done! I'm hard pressed to call it a labor of love. I didn't really labor over it much. The hard part for me was the waiting - the inbetween times when someone else was reviewing/editing/commenting, etc.
Patience may be a virtue, but I don't feel very virtuous exercising it. (more…)
I've had a fairly open calendar today, as I'm prepping for a trip that will take me out of town for five days. The day was pretty calm, but this evening is bustling.
It's almost a whirlwind of activities: reviewing the schoolwork that needs to be done, trusting my husband to feed and care for the kids, and all the last minute "mommy stuff" that has to happen before I can confidently get in the car and make the 12 hour drive to Minnesota.
But what I really want to do is... (more…)
In my conversations about building a noble empire, one of the regular questions I get is "how do you build a noble empire?"
This used to be a difficult question to answer. When we talk about the Five Tenets of a Noble Empire, we know that it takes a community to build an empire. We know that it is built on service, not servitude, and that we need connections to make that happen. But HOW do we get there? Other than letting nature run its course, which admittedly takes time, could there be a faster way to build your noble empire?
A very good friend of mine has a non-profit that volunteers each year to work a booth at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.
If you've never been, it's a high time of revelry, silliness, and even a bit of debauchery all set in what's supposed to be the 16 century. But really, it's like the SCA* on steroids.
For the past few years, my friend has been responsible for the ice cream booth. In exchange for about 12% of the take, he and his band of merry marauders get to scoop their little hearts out for patrons of the festival. Situated in the children's realm, they see quite a bit of scooping. Yesterday, they actually sold out for the first time.
I'll be doing another post on the creative entrepreneurs of the festival (it's actually QUITE a profit center for some people). Today though, I want to talk about tips.
See, when my friend first started working the festival, about 10 years ago, they had a tip jar, it was prominently displayed at the cash register, and they would easily bring in $50 per day (more on really hot days). Some time in the past few years, they (and all the volunteers in other booths as well) were admonished to NOT have a visible tip jar, which essentially cut their tips by 90%. They're lucky to see $20 in tips in any given week.
That is, until I started working in their booth.
My friend called me in because he was desperate for help. This year was a difficult one to get volunteers for the booth. He had a handful of folks committed to work most mornings, but the afternoons were a crap shoot for him. Not everyone who committed to working would show. The ice cream booth needs at least three people at all times, and four is ideal. This past weekend, the lines were so long I had my head in the freezer scooping most of the time.
But of all the scoopers on any of my shifts, I consistently out earned them all in tips. Here's how I did it: (more…)
Two years ago, I put together this video mashup of two scenes from Spider Man 2. In it, you hear Aunt May talking about how there's a hero in each one of us. I thought it was a perfectly inspiring underscore to Spidey's big train rescue scene.
This video's been watched over 175,000 times to date by a bunch of total strangers.
12/20/2012 update: Since I wrote this post, (Sept 13 2012) the video has now been viewed over 227,000 times. We are crying out for heroes in this world. We are crying out for YOU.
A Noble Empire is, at the core, a transformational business or organization that seeks to serve and is highly rewarded (and highly regarded) for that service.
In our world today, empires are scorned, disdained, and generally maligned, because they are seen as greedy, despicable enterprises or political machines plotting to take over the world and leave us "Regular Joes" in utter despair.
In my heart, I believe it's possible to build something grand. Something focused on serving the masses, instead of severing them. An enterprise that benefits not only the founder, but all who connect to it. It's a "symbiotic" existence and yep, it might be a little Pollyanna of me to think it exists, but I believe in it all the same.
I call it The Noble Empire.(more…)
We are truly blessed.
I'm was in the Nashville area this summer, enjoying a family vacation, and the weather is wonderful. The hotel, not so much, but hey, I'm not complaining. Seriously, when you can travel 600 miles from home and visit friends, recording studios, make new friends, and generally enjoy yourself, doing what YOU want to do, how can you complain?
I have an incredible opportunity with my blog here and at Direct Sales Classroom to really speak what's on my mind, and share what matters most to me. Even when I'm on vacation.
It got me to thinking about people who don't have an opportunity to share their True Voice with the world. People who are squelched, marginalized, and otherwise unable to live a fully expressed life, because of the powers that be in their neck of the woods. Today, specifically, I'm talking about the Congolese people.
See, there's this girl I knew in high school, who's become one of my grown-up friends. I even took my first Zumba class with her. Well she's been telling me about a project that needs a voice in the world. It's about these hard-working folks, and how you can help with just a few clicks of your mouse. (more…)
The 4th grader you're about to see has more intestinal fortitude than many adults I know. She is a great example of what we all do before taking the leap.
We try to talk ourselves into it. We obsess, we interrogate, we obsess some more.
We feel our nerves, sometimes we shy away from the edge, and we generally believe we're not capable.
Then, with the encouragement of a guide, a mentor, a friend, someone around us, we give it a go.
When we come to the bottom of our 20 meter jump, we realize that it was the anxiety at the top of the hill that made it feel so crazy. We confidently say that a 60 meter jump is nothing now. We can do it because we've got experience with the smaller jump.
But that first jump... it's a doozy!
My husband and I were grocery shopping yesterday. That's a rare occurrence. Usually, it's just one of us navigating the aisles of the store. But yesterday was our first day back from vacation, and we had to return the rental car, so it just made sense to get the shopping done on the way home. We're so practical like that.
In the store, I saw this card. Normally, I'm not one to take a picture of a greeting card, but this one really struck a chord with me. First there's the lovely blue butterfly. My eye is instinctively drawn to anything that is electric blue in color, and the butterfly is a powerful symbol of transformation (my friend Teresa wrote a great article about butterflies and transformation here).
Then, there's that sentence. A sentence that bothers me in all the right ways. One of my core beliefs is that we all have a unique gift that we were put on this earth to share with our world. As a creative entrepreneur, sometimes it's easier to see that we have a gift. But in truth EVERYONE has a gift. We all have a Divine purpose, as far as I'm concerned. Too many of us, however, have that purpose smothered, buried, or otherwise silenced. We become like that masterpiece collecting dust in the attic that I've talked about before. (more…)