Think and Grow Rich, Chap 12–The Unconscious Mind

This chapter is one of my favorites because it explains the mystery of the Subconscious Mind.

The Subconscious Mind is the connecting link between the Conscious Mind & God.  It miraculously takes what is the Subconscious Mind and changes it into the spiritual equivalent. In other words, it’s the part of our minds wherein our thoughts are translated into prayer.

What is fascinating is that the Subconscious Mind doesn’t know if something is real or simply imagined. Since our minds think in pictures, we can create visual images (visualizations) of what we desire…and our Subconscious Mind thinks it is already true!

The key ingredient that activates the Subconscious Mind is EMOTION.  When that thought or desire is charged with Emotion, it becomes magnetized. Playing with magnets in Science Class was fun, but when you consider that you can magnetize your thoughts or desires with emotions to get what you want… This is a life-changer!

Since it is the Emotions that takes what is passive and supercharges it into action, it’s crucial to pick the right Emotion   Like attracts like, so if you want Positive outcomes, you must have Positive Emotions.

A true confession…Yesterday there was a situation in my life that made me angry. Not just a little angry—but really angry. You see, I’m often guilty of keeping things bottled up instead of dealing with them. Even though my anger was justifiable, I’m disappointed that I let it consume me for a few moments before I was able to reign it back in.  Although I took a step backward yesterday, today is a new day.  I commit to being more honest and not allow negative emotions to control me.

It is only in tapping into Positive emotions that will move me forward in my quest for Financial Freedom.

Margi Starr

937-360-9203

Think & Grow Rich, Chap 13–The Brain

I remember as a small child sitting in front of our television early in the morning. I’d be staring at the Indian Head Test Pattern and anticipating the beginning of my favorite TV show. At the top of the hour squiggly lines would cross the picture tube and there was Captain Kangaroo with Mr. Green Jeans.

Rabbit ear antenna on top of the TV received the program from the broadcasting station. I learned that by gently moving the rabbit ears around, the picture would come in clearer.

Such is our human brain.

God has designed our brain to be the most fascinating broadcasting and receiving system imaginable. True, brain cells are firing at the speed of light creating amazing pathways of learning. But consider that the brain is emitting Vibrations far beyond the limitations of bone and marrow.

This is an even greater mystery.

How is it possible that these vibrations can be transmitted through space just as rabbit ear antenna were able to connect me with Captain Kangaroo?

The physiology of all this is not as important to me as simply realizing that it works.  I am content to let the scientists discover the biology of the brain with their CT’s and MRI’s.  All I need to know is HOW to take advantage of my brain’s ability to receive brilliant ideas.

After all, I don’t have a clue as to how the internet works, but I enjoy its benefits every day.

What I understand from this chapter is that there is incredible POWER when like minds come together. When we Master Mind with positively charged individuals, we no longer are bound by physical limitations or even what seems logical.

I no longer am staring at my TV waiting for my favorite show to begin. Instead, I am connected daily to fabulous people who, like me, are laser focused on improving their lives.

Scripture says, “Come, let us reason together.”  Sounds like a good idea to me.

Margi Starr

937-360-9203

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

The Fox TV show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” is an American quiz show featuring Jeff Foxworthy.  Each season a group of adult contestants are asked a series of questions. Each question is assigned a grade level ranging from 1st grade to 5th grade.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?  Here are some sample questions…

1) True or false: Polar bears eat penguins.

2) What was the gift that the French gave the United States to honor their Independence?

3) What is the largest South American country by area?

*****************

Now, here’s a series of questions about MLM/Network Marking. Answers are given in case you are NOT smarter than a 5th grader.

1) True or False: Most MLM companies have excellent products.

  • True.  Nearly all MLM companies have great products, but the real question is… Will the products sell without a business opportunity? If not, keep looking for another company.

2) The commission checks earned by building a networking organization are called:

  1. Passive Income
  2. Royalty Income
  3. Beach Money
  4. All of the above
  • The answer is D. This is what makes MLM/network marketing so different from a standard 9-5 job. Getting paid even when you sleep is a strong incentive to build a lucrative network marketing business.

3) What percentage of people experience failure in network marketing?

  1. 5%
  2. 25%
  3. 50%
  4. 95%
  • The answer is D. That’s why it’s important to learn the skills necessary for success.

4) Which Compensation Plan is the best?

  1. Old-School Model: Company gets 60-70 cents of the dollar. Need 2,500 to 5,000 active members to earn $10,000 in monthly passive income.
  2. New-School Model: Even split of profit between company & distributor. Need 2,000 to 3,000 active members to earn $10,000 in monthly passive income.
  3. Next Generation Model: Distributors receive the lion’s share of the profits. Company gets 30-40%; Distributors get 60-70%. Takes around 500-1000 active members to earn $10,000 per month.

D.  All Compensation Plans are equal.

  • The answer is dependent on how much you want to work. If you want to earn significant income as quickly as possible, then you’ll want to go with C—Next Generation Model.
  • Knowing your 10K number is one is crucial if you are serious about building a business. This will definitely make you smarter than a 5th grader.

5) True or False: Ground Floor opportunities are best.

  • False. 99% of Ground Floor companies don’t last 2 years. Look for a company that has been around for at least 2 several years, so that a lot of the start-up issues have been resolved. Avoid companies that have passed beyond their momentum phase and have become household names.

6) True or False: It’s crucial to know your company’s Policies & Procedures.

  • True. If the P & P’s are extremely lengthy and sound like they have been written by a legal team, then beware. Know exactly what your responsibilities are as a distributor.
  • “Does this contract protect me or the company?” “Is it clear which way it leans?” Do 5 have the right to a jury trial if something terribly unforeseen occurs? Can the company terminate me without cause? If someone in my downline misrepresents the company, am I held responsible?

Those of us in network marketing have incredible advantages in today’s world. However, not taking the time to do your own investigation can have devastating results. Do your homework and BE smarter than a 5th Grader.

To your success!

Margi

937-360-9203 anytime

Think & Grow Rich: Chap. 9–Recipe for Persistence

As a young girl I remember my mother’s training on Persistence. She made it clear that I was never to be a “Quitter.” It simply was not an option to stop going to my dance classes or music lessons mid-year. Perseverance was a character trait that was drilled into me.

Napoleon Hill gives the Recipe for increasing Persistence in our lives in Chapter 9 of Think and Grow Rich.

  1. A definite Purpose backed by desire.
  2. A definite Plan of Action expressed in Continuous Action.
  3. A Positive Mindset that is not swayed by negativity, criticism, or discouraging influences.
  4. A positive alliance with one or more Persons who will encourage me in my purpose and plan.

A Definite Purpose…

  • Your Purpose can be a sweeping statement, such as “My purpose is to have financial freedom,” OR it can be something more concrete such as “My purpose is to create the income to pay for college for my kids.”
  • Choose the type of Purpose that will keep you laser focused.
  • My own Purpose is posted near my computer. I have a Life Purpose (which is broad in its scope) as well as a Purpose for My Business (which is more definitive). They really are one and the same, but by listing them separately, it helps me “see” them more clearly.
  • My Life Purpose: To help others Discover their Purpose, Infuse them with Hope and Empower them to Change their World.
  • My Purpose for my Business: To be able to purchase plane tickets whenever I want to visit my children & grandchildren all over this country.

A Definite Plan

  • Are you building your business by talking individually to each person OR primarily through social media?
  • What training do you need?
  • How many articles do you want to write each week?
  • How many calls do you want to make each week?
  • How many ads do you want to post and how frequently?

A Positive Mindset…

  • We are bombarded with negative influences. What can you do to minimize the influence of negative, critical, or discouraging influences?

A Positive Alliance…

  • Are you currently in a Master Mind group? If not, join one!
  • Are you receiving continual support from abundant thinking people?

To Your Success,

Margi Starr

http://margistarr@WordPress.com

937-360-9203 anytime

Fly the Friendly Skies in Network Marketing

I’m sitting at the gate at Port Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Hundreds of passengers with large bags and small children are moving swiftly through the airport terminal.

An airport is a fabulous illustration of the power of networking, but also the importance of first impressions.

Within my first thirty minutes at the airport I had…

…a friendly conversation with the lady at the check in counter,

…a warm smile from the baggage inspector,

…a “Thank you” and a nod from the TSA personnel,

…a pleasant dialogue with the attendant at the gate.

…and even a “Have a nice flight” greeting from the guy who sold me a bottle of water.

Each employee at Port Columbus, as well as every airport terminal on the planet, has a valuable role in ensuring that the airport accomplishes its mission. Some are focused on the basic operating structures, the airline contracts, the auxiliary services, as well as the flight schedules.

But I would suggest that the public’s overall experience is based on those smiles, nods, and brief conversations by the employees.

Network Marketing companies are much like an Airport Terminal. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people working to make our companies successful.  There are men and women in corporate offices and there are techies who build the websites. But the real power of network marketing is in the Distributors.

Airports and Network Marketing.  We both want to create positive first impressions that create lasting business.

Each day people pass hurriedly through our Network Marketing businesses. Some have large bags or small children. Whether in person or online, it’s in those first few seconds that they form an opinion about who we are and what we are all about. The Attraction Factor kicks in…or not. They lean forward to learn more; or they pick up their bags and keeping moving down the terminal.

What we create, through a smile, nod, or pleasant exchange of words, determines whether we continue to fly the friendly skies or are grounded.

To Your Successful Flying!

Margi Starr

937-360-9203 anytime

You Have What You Want: A Lesson on Competing Commitments

“You have what you want!”

How’s that statement make you feel?

Defensive?  Irritated?  Maybe even angry?

I remember hearing about Competing Commitments in one of my Personal Development seminars.  At the time it seemed vague and not too applicable to my life.

Boy, was I wrong!

Here’s what I’ve learned from my personal experience and from coaching others. Maybe it will help you understand WHY the statement “You have what you want” holds a lot of truth.

Before I get started, here’s a disclaimer. I am not talking about things that are completely beyond our control….such as a grandchild that’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer, or an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I’m talking about the countless number of things in our life that we SAY we want, yet we have a higher commitment to something else.

Here’s an example.

I want to release 10 lbs. I’ve wanted to do this for over a year. I tell myself that I am committed to it!  However, I have a Competing Commitment that enjoys comfort food!

Here’s another example.

Mary says that she wants to retire within the next year. She’s committed to getting her finances in order so that she can live on her retirement paycheck.  However, Mary also likes to buy new things. Lots of new things.  You see, her Competing Commitment is that she loves to spend money and she loves new clothes more than she loves to save money or readjust her priorities.

One more example.

Ben says that he wants to do an online business. He says that he’s very committed to spending 10 hrs per week learning about how to do marketing online. He’s committed to being on calls, writing articles, and getting his business off to a good start. BUT he is also committed to coaching Little League, playing golf 2 times a week, and helping with Relay for Life.  Ben says he’s extremely committed to his online business…but his actions speak differently. What he’s REALLY committed to…his comfort zone, staying busy, being valued for his contribution…obviously interferes with what he says he wants…an online business.  Building his online business would ultimately give him the time and financial freedom he says he wants more than anything.

Once we are aware of the concept of Competing Commitments, we begin to understand that we really do have what we want.  It’s easier to go with immediate gratification or to stay within our comfort zone, than it is to say “no” to things we enjoy.

To stay true to the Commitments that will move you closer to  your Dreams:

  1. Recommit to your dream.  Ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
  2. Post your commitment. Write it out and post it near your computer or do a Vision Board.
  3. Decide what you are willing to surrender to achieve that commitment. Be realistic. What activities are you going to have to change? Remember, you have to be able to live with those changes.
  4. Find a Mentor or a Coach. This is someone who will come alongside you and help you stay true to your desires. Perhaps you need skills that will help you be successful or accountability. A good Mentor/Coach will help you break down your goal into attainable steps.

Competing Commitments will continually jump out of the bushes and attempt to derail you. When you get off course, push ‘em back into the bushes, and keep moving forward!

Remember, you have what you really want.

A mentor with a servant’s heart,

Margi Starr

Think & Grow Rich, Chapter 7–Let Freedom Ring!

While we will soon be celebrating America’s Independence Day with fireworks and parades, Chapter 7 of Think and Grow Rich helps us understand an integral part of our nation’s freedoms. The title of this chapter is “Organized Planning.”  Personally, I think a more fitting title would be “Let Freedom Ring!”

I certainly value my freedom of speech, my freedom to worship, my freedom to choose where to live, and my freedom to choose my own husband. Many around the world are not as fortunate.

Not only did our American forefathers declare freedom from tyranny, they bestowed upon us a Philosophy that would allow us the freedom to accumulate unlimited riches.

America is a Capitalistic society. Because of this, the greatest minds of our country have taken their specialized knowledge to great levels, which have benefited all of us, especially those of us in network marketing!  Compensation plans wouldn’t have the same meaning and attraction to us with this freedom.

Napoleon Hill calls free enterprise the “Capital Cornerstone of Our Lives.” That’s a sweeping statement, but it makes sense that without the ability to amass wealth, our growth as a society would have been stunted. We probably would not be enjoying our morning cup of Starbucks or be sitting at a computer equipped with Microsoft Office.  The driving force between much of the innovation in our country has been the desire for a better life.

It is interesting to note that when this book was written, the whole idea of “capitalism” was under attack. All you have to do is turn on the news today, and you see that it is STILL under attack.

One of my family’s traditions every year has been to watch a “Capitol Fourth” from the steps of  the United States Capital building.  After reading this chapter, I realize that we really are celebrating “Capital-ism,” one of the underlying freedoms of our nation.

Let Freedom Ring!

Margi Starr

937-360-9203 anytime

Are You in the 3 R’s?

In one of my personal development seminars, we had a highly successful businessman in the class.  Max didn’t enroll in our personal development class to further his business; he was there to save his marriage. He shared with me that although he was worth millions because of the financial empire he’d created, his wife was ready to kick him out. He came to the personal development seminar in hopes of avoiding a divorce.

I’m sure most of us know someone who has achieved financial success, yet their personal lives are a mess.

The real Key to achieving quality in our lives is the ability to create positive, lasting relationships. Only then are we really able to Win at Life.

Destructive Thoughts are powerful. They PREVENT us from having successful professional and personal relationships.

Destructive Thoughts break down communication, fracture families, and cause physical illness. These thoughts are like the black oil gushing from the broken pipe line in the Gulf. They suck the life out of everything in its path.

So why are we even discussing destructive thought patterns?  Because we think this way!

These patterns are formed when we are very young and become deeply ingrained in us.  You might think of them as our Default thinking program.

The 1st of the 3 destructive thought patterns is RESENTMENT.

1) Resentment is any negative emotional reaction to what we think has been said or done.

  • It shows up as anger, frustration, sadness, jealousy, and hate.

What happens when someone cuts you off in traffic or your teenager talks back to you? What do you feel when someone you love dies at the hands of a drunk driver?

When I harbor Resentment, I’m exhausted, my health will eventually suffer, and my aliveness is displaced. Resentment feeds on my life energy, even when my resentment is justified.

These feelings are a natural part of life, unless we are completely numb to emotions or dead.  Yet the way we handle resentment can turn our life around,

Now for the 2nd Destructive Thinking Pattern.  The 2nd R!

Let’s do a little visual exercise. Pretend for a moment that you have both of your hands up in front of you.  A person stands facing you with their palms placed against yours.  Are you with me?

Now the person facing you begins pressing against your palms. You feel the pressure of their hands, their forearms….  WHAT DO YOU DO?

Well, most of us would say, “I’d push ‘em back!”  That’s what we do naturally.

Similarly, when someone comes against us emotionally, and we feel threatened, we PUSH BACK.

2)   Resistance is the cutting off of communication or putting up a wall.

Basically, it’s when we shut down. It can happen in a blink of an eye.

Ladies, what if someone told you that you looked sickly in your new beautiful green outfit?  What’s your immediately response?  Many of us would stop talking to that person. “Who does she think she is, anyway!”  You know, give ‘em the silent treatment! We’ll go to great lengths to avoid Ms. Fashion Critique.

Think of when someone makes fun of your business. They say, “That’s a scam.” No matter what you say to them, they belittle you.

Do you go into resistance by avoiding Mr. Know-It-All or would you push back with attitude? You know that hot-under-the-collar type of attitude.

RESISTANCE shows up when we have a problem at home and we bury ourselves in our work to avoid dealing with it.

OR we watch hours of mindless TV so we don’t have to have those difficult conversations.

Did you realize that even Confusion can be a sign of resistance?  It shows up when we want to avoid making a decision.

The cost of Resistance is a lack of intimacy, problems are not resolved, and we live a life of isolation.

So here’s the question:  Where are you in RESISTANCE in your life?

The third Destructive Thought Pattern is REVENGE.
3)      Revenge is the ATTEMPT to get even or to settle the score.

Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? Like something out of a movie about a love triangle.

Deep down we’re saying, “I’ll show them.” We withhold love and affection. We spread negative gossip. We undermine. We sabotage.

REVENGE is acted out in businesses across our nation as employees commit theft and fraud. What about all those company ink pens and highlighters that end up in your desk at home? That’s employee theft.

Subtle acts of revenge may be excessive eating, or withholding my love. Even giving up on my dreams or not supporting someone else’s dreams, can be Revenge.

The 3 R’s are self-destructive. You may not notice any consequence at first, but they definitely have a high cost. They hurt YOU.

So, here are some QUESTIONS.

  • Who or what are you resisting?
  • What resentment do you carry with you on a daily basis?
  • Where are you trying to get even?
  • How much energy are you putting into self-destructive actions?

We don’t change our behaviors until we see the high cost or price of our behavior. Most of the time, we simply remain in denial. We avoid looking deep within because it hurts to accept it. However, by acknowledging the places in our lives where we are in the 3 R’s, we can begin to reduce or eliminate it from our lives.

One of the greatest helps to avoiding being sucked down under by the 3 R’s is to live a life of GIVING. Be an outrageous giver of your love, your time, your energy, and your money. Will this fix every relationship?  Probably not. But your investment will reap huge rewards.

Want to win at LIFE? Stay out of the 3 R’s.

Concepts from “If How-To’s Were Enough We Would All Be SKINNY, RICH & HAPPY” by Brian Klemmer.

Your friend for life,

Margi Starr

937-360-9203 anytime

Networking and Leadership: HONOR

When a great leader falls because of a lack of integrity, it is very painful for all involved. Tearing another person down to build yourself up, only leads to a false impression of yourself.

When someone is tearing others down in front of You this is a guarantee they will do the same to You behind Your back.
Ultimately you will crash and burn from your lack of character.

The question is:

Would You Want This Person As Your Sponsor ?

Life can give us challenges in many areas of our life. How we handle those challenges ourselves and who helps us, can determine our success or failure. Loyalty to do the right thing enters into all decisions. Friendships built on loyalty and trust are like support beams for a foundation.

A foundation is the beginning. This applies to your marriage, your friendships, your home and your business. If you build them correctly, they will sustain you your lifetime. If you build carelessly everything will crumble around you.

Leaders are built. Day by day, Lesson by lesson. When a leader chooses to fall, they sacrifice their integrity, their honor and their character.

If after knowing the facts and fully utilizing their “critical thinking skills” when someone decides to leave Your Team please wish them all the best.

Excerpt from “Launching a Leadership Revolution”
Foundational Leadership Quality: Honorable

Integrity can be considered as the condition of “not doing what’s wrong.” Character can be defined as doing the right things, for the mere reason that it is the right thing, even if that thing is difficult and unpopular.

The two sewn together make honor. Author Jeff O’Leary, in The Centurion Principles, writes, ” ‘Honor’ encompasses the virtues of integrity and honesty, self-denial, loyalty, and a servant’s humility to those in authority above as well as a just and merciful heart to those below.”

Honor is such a rarely used word in our times that it seems a little old-fashioned. But living a life of integrity and character is timeless and, for a leader, absolutely necessary. It’s about choices, and a person’s choices in life follow him to the grave.

Is this to say that a person needs to be perfect to become a leader? Of course not. Perfection in this life is not possible, and we, the authors, are certainly not exceptions. However, a leader must strive continually toward perfection even though she knows she can never exactly attain it.

It is a question of the heart. The most effective leaders through out history have led with their hearts, in trust, and with honor.
If a leader cuts corners, misuses people, or misrepresents, the truth, a time bomb begins ticking. Someday, somewhere, the bomb will go off. It is obvious in our times only too often: public figures at the pinnacles of power and fame crash and burn in the cloud of self-inflicted shame. From political scandals to high-profile corporate frauds, these calamities are brought on by a lack of honor in the leadership.

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

The difference between leaders we revile and those we praise is their individual level of honor. In fact, honor is the force that holds a leader’s hunger in check.

Without honor, hunger runs rampant and ultimately serves only selfish interests. Honor is the component that makes hunger productive for the leader’s fellow man. In fact, what we are basically describing here is another “old-fashioned”
word: duty.

George Washington said of duty, “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” So leadership is spawned by hunger and held in check by honor.

Under that combination, leaders will find happiness in the fulfillment of their duty to others. It has been said that the character of a man is the only thing that will walk back from the grave into the hearts of the people who knew him.

That is the legacy of a leader. The words a leader say and the walk a leader walks must match. As the saying goes, “Your word is your worth and your worth is your word.”

Andy Stanley, author of The Next Generation Leader, says, “To become a leader worth following you must give time and attention to the inner man.

To leave a legacy that goes beyond accomplishment alone, a leader must devote himself to matters of the heart.”
Character is developed in the valleys and the peaks of life, enabling a person to overcome obstacles and deal with success.

Abraham Lincoln observed, “Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character – give him power.” Character connects a person to what is right and true.

If reputation is what others think of you, then character is what God knows about you. This concept of honor is so important to a leader because people will follow a leader only as far as they feel they can trust him.

People will not follow a leader they can’t trust. According to R. Ruth Barton, “We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of person they should be.

” Warren Bennis tells us, “In the leadership arena, character counts. I am not saying this casually, of studies, observations, and interviews with leaders and with the people near them…. I’ve never seen a person derailed from [leadership] positions for lack of technical competence.

But I’ve seen lots of people derailed for lack of judgment and character.” And, as Heraclitus said, “Man’s character is his fate.” Finally, it should be remembered that a major component of honor is personal courage.

Without the courage to do what’s right because it’s right, regardless of ramifications to self, one is not truly worthy to be called a leader.

When people don’t “Believe” they deserve Success they will self destruct every time…. This is the reason we tell everyone we meet to “Participate” in the 30 Day Mental Cleanse if You want to own Your life.

http://www.30DayCleanse.com

Written by my good friends, Michael and Linda Dlouhy

Margi’s Life

My parents, who were both born and raised in Ohio, were living in Florida when I was born. My dad worked for his mom & dad’s small restaurant flipping hamburgers, even though he had recently graduated from college. After a couple of years, Dad realized that to keep my mother happy, he needed to return to Ohio. He landed a job back in Ohio when I was still in diapers.

We moved five times with my father’s jobs. We ended up in northern Indiana when I was in fifth grade. Fortunately, I was able to be at the same school until I graduated from high school. Vacations were spent back in Ohio with my grandmother, who lived in the same farmhouse where she had grown up as a child.  She was always kind to me and nurtured within me an interest in the history of our early American pioneering ancestors. I can still hear her say, “Margi, we’re from good stock.”

I went to college in Indiana to become a teacher. I married while still in college, and taught 4th grade. We soon moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where I had our first child.  Three weeks before our second child was born, our home was flooded. Eight children drowned in the flood waters one mile from my home, while waiting for their school bus.  The smell of Lysol still brings back memories of scrubbing all our floors and furniture with disinfectant. My husband had to leave after a few days for his job, which was out-of-state.  I was left alone with an energetic two-year old boy and a packed Lamaze bag. Fortunately, he had time to get home to take me to the hospital to deliver our little girl.

One year later, my husband’s job took us back to Indiana, where we lived on an isolated watermelon farm. My marriage ended and I found myself all alone again, with two little kids and a single can of tuna in my kitchen cupboard.  My new-found faith in God anchored my spirits, even when the circumstances looked pretty bleak.

My parents had divorced several years previously, so I ended up returning to Ohio to live with my mother. I set up a living area in her basement and my children and I shared one bedroom. Within several months, I was teaching at a Christian school and my children were attending a daycare center in a local church. I was finally able to rent a small bungalow with my small income and monthly child support check.  After retrieving all my household goods that had been stored in my grandmother’s front bedroom, the children & I moved into our own little home.

That same summer I met Ray on a blind date and four months of a whirlwind courtship later we were married. We suddenly had a blended family of his 3 teenagers and my 2 preschoolers. Although we had our ups and downs like many blended families, we were blessed that it was filled with mostly “ups.”

Within a year and a half after marrying Ray, I became the director of the same daycare where my children had been attending. I ended up being there for over twenty years.

I had lots of great experiences, but the job also came with a ton of stress.  You know the old saying that goes, “If you want things to change, you’ve got to do something different.” Well, one day I knew that I HAD to do something different. Here I was after 2 decades of being a director, with no retirement, no pension, and a lot of grey hair.

So I wrote my resignation letter…and closed that chapter of my life.

I then became a preschool coordinator for three states. The upside was that I worked from home, met nice people, and conducted training for daycare directors. The downside was that the company’s finances were really tight.  After three years, I realized that I again needed to do something different.

Over the past 20 years I’d been in lots of home businesses.

One of my most embarrassing experiences was when I joined a company that sold glamorous jewelry.  At that time, my wardrobe was mostly jumpers with appliqued teddy bears since I worked in a preschool.

I went to one of the company’s training events wearing the newest outfit in my closet: a periwinkle blue cardigan sweater with big birds all over it and matching blue pants. I was color-coordinated from head-to-toe.

I walked into the room and immediately saw that the other women were all in formal black with pearls and diamonds.

I felt like an idiot in my birds.

Soon afterwards that company folded, but eventually I tried another company, and then another one….and then another one.  FINALLY, I found a company that taught me the skills I needed to make money.

Ray and I have been married nearly 30 years and he is still my Prince Charming. Our five children are all grown and live in five different states.  We live in my grandmother’s old house and my aging mother lives with me. She has a lot of health problems and I have learned to have compassion for her. Whenever I feel frustrated, I just go to my sanctuary (bedroom/office). It’s actually the same room which once upon a time stored my furniture.

I think my grandma would be really proud that I live in her old house and carry on the tradition of sharing our family stories.  I still think of her words, “We’re from good stock.” It’s a pretty good legacy to pass on to the next generation.