Baby steps…consistent baby steps…

Yesterday I hosted my first ever “sponsor” table at a NEW networking event in Nashville.

The brain child of Barry Owen, founder and owner of Pareto Realty, LLC, the first annual Nashville Real Estate Consortium was born yesterday, May 5, 2011.

The theme of the event was “Leveraging Realtor & Local Business Relationships to Fortify Nashville, Tennessee’s Economy.” My business is travel…though I have been actively working with Realtors since 2002 as a Realtor myself and as an executive staff member for one of the largest and most productive offices in Nashville. So…I know a lot of Realtors.

My travel business has been languishing on the “back burner” as I decide who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life. If you’ve been reading my blog…you know what I’m talking about…if not…the gist of it is…life happens, things change and it’s time for me to define a new path.

Travel is where I landed. I simple love to travel. It’s in my blood (I’m an Army brat – full fledged.) I love to meet new people and explore cultures around the world.

So…when the opportunity arose to participate in this new event, I jumped at it! I designed a slide-show of recent travel pictures and souveniers, including: Key West, Coastal Virginia, OBX NC, Park City, Utah, Logan Canyon, Utah, Panama City Beach, FL, Maui, HI, Italy and the Bahamas! There’s nothing like social proof, right!?

My goal was to use this opportunity to reconnect with “old” friends, make some new friends, expose people to my new business venture and have an open mind to learning in the process.

That goal was not only met – it was EXCEEDED! About 100 people attended, there were 35 topics to choose from to attend…and yes, sponsors were invited to attend the sessions…I attended 4 sessions and have identified several golden nuggets of new information that I’m applying to my business immediately. I connected with numerous people, some I’ve known for years, some I’ve interacted with on facebook for years and only just yesterday met in person and some that are brand new connections.

This was a wonderful way, ie. baby step, for me to get back out there in front of people, now as we all know…the fortune is in the follow up!!

Thank you Barry & Debbie Owen of Pareto Realty for this opportunity. Great job. Count me in for next year.

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Office Day(s)

I finally getting serious about this home business thing and in the mean-time I’m also doing some office assistant consulting/independent contractor work for a couple of awesome Realtors.

What does that REALLY mean? Well…it means that I’m EMBRACING the self-employed side of me.

That leads to the necessity of some good accounting systems to track money IN and money out (focus is purposefully on the IN side of the equation).

I’m running across some great tools that I’ll be sharing in tomorrow’s post.

For now…it’s (home) office work for me!



Distractions? Where’s your margin?

I stumbled across this video by John Assaraf someone shared on facebook…he reinforces some of the issues we are learning about with regards to “margin”.

What are YOU allowing to become a distraction? I’m clearing some of mine away this afternoon!



Spiritual Renewal Day: Scheduling Margin

Last week I blogged about “Margin” – you can read it here. Our Pastor, Dale Robble, with Highland Park Church is doing a series inspired by the book Margin, Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, MD.

Margin is defined as: the amount available beyond what is necessary. The difference between what you have and what you need. This could be time, money, relationships, food, meetings…you get the point.

So how do you schedule margin? How do we schedule WISELY?

We need to learn to say “NO” to many GOOD things, so we can say “YES” to the BEST things!

Read that again…absorb it. Yes! Sometimes we need to say NO to something GOOD so we can say YES to something BETTER!

“Busy”ness does NOT equal productivity. Boy…this is a lesson that’s been reinforced many times over to me. I am learning to focus my own “busy”ness with the goal of increasing my productivity by diligently using a consistent to-do list. When my children were young and very busy with extracurricular activities, in addition to driving the Mom-taxi, I was also a working mother, my husband was growing our retail business…I thought I was a great multi-tasker. In fact, I was phenomenal!

I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

What I have since learned is that multi-tasking is a myth. It’s literally impossible to give your full and undivided attention to more than one task at a time. Sure, I was doing a lot. I was accomplishing much. But was I doing ANY of it to the best of my abilities? I bet NOT!

I remember in the ’70’s when personal computers were being developed and envisioned with awe by many…we were told that our lives would become so much simpler. We’d be able to accomplish MORE in LESS time.

In fact, today, I’ll argue that the reverse is our current reality. The bar of expected productivity has been raised. And raised HIGH. We now have multiple computers in our homes, we have cell phones, most people have smart phones, our jobs often expect us to be accessible 24/7 . We are yoked constantly to the electronic gadgets which were supposed to bring us REST!

I have learned through experience that I cannot be all things to all people. And if I try, I will certainly fail. Instead of being a source of support, light, energy and love…I become a drain. And that is not fun for anyone involved. Me included.

So back to Dale’s lesson…too many people are being robbed from a life of meaning NOT because they are UNCOMMITTED, but because they are OVERCOMMITTED.

Some thoughts:

  • Just because you COULD do something…does not mean you SHOULD do something.
  • “No” – IS a complete sentence…I love this!! You don’t have to say it rudely…just smile and say “No”.
  • You HAVE time for what you CHOOSE to have time for!

Finally…there are two things that are phenomenally important to your success and your relationship with God…and we are nothing without our relationship with God.

  1. We must have intimate TIME with God.
  2. We must have intentional times of REST.

Again…I amazed at how the universe (God for me) is speaking to us all the time. We have but to listen. In all of the self-development work I’ve been doing with mentors such as Anthony Robbins, Dave & Yvette Ulloa, Rich German…I’ve been learning the importance of spending time in prayer and meditation. This time of bible study, intercessory prayer, mental and physical quiet…allows me to listen and rest. It’s very centering.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear; and the burden I give you is light”.   ~Matthew 11:28-30

God wants us to live a life of peace and rest. Even God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. Jesus took time for Himself when he was on this earth. He spent time in prayer. He got away from the crowds. He found rest.

Dale challenged us to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet communion with God. I have been spending time in prayer and meditation on an inconsistent basis. I will be adding this to my to-do list. I WILL be scheduling this time. I CHOOSE to find the time.

I choose to yoke myself to my God instead of all my electronic gadgets.

I encourage you to do the same. Let me know how it goes for you…

And remember,



Lesson in Triggers…It’s NOT What You Think

Today has been an interesting day in the use of “triggers”. Even though I’m from the “patron state of shooting stuff” – I’m not talking about “those” triggers.

I’ve been learning about and teaching myself to use triggers as a reminder to look at my to-do list throughout each day. I’m doing a 30-Day Challenge with Chalene Johnson in which she’s teaching me to create the habit of using a to-do list on my phone and create the habit of checking it frequently…with the goal being to master organization so I WILL accomplish my goals.

A “trigger” is something that you can use to remind yourself to check your list. I use the number 9 as one. Anytime I see the number 9 – which should be at least once per hour – I check my list.

I’m honestly struggling a bit with the trigger idea and applying it to checking my list; however, I noticed today that I use a trigger readily in another aspect of my life and didn’t even realize I was doing it.

We live in a complex that faces a busy street in a main part of town. Throughout the day, sirens can be heard rushing by. They might be firetrucks, ambulances or police cars. Sometimes, it’s all of them.

As I was out doing my Saturday errands today, I noticed there were an unusual amount of emergency vehicles with sirens blaring going up this street. I found myself praying for the safety of whomever the vehicles were responding to; the safety of the emergency responders themselves and that the general public would get out of their way so they could pass quickly and get where they needed to be.

Then it dawned on me…I’ve created a trigger in response to the emergency sirens. Without thinking, I began praying for all concerned. And I did it repeatedly as I was confronted by another siren. THAT’s how a trigger is supposed to work!

Now if I can just apply it to my to-do list I’ll be another step closer to creating habits that will lead me closer to my goals! Perhaps I need to change my trigger…hmm…gonna think on that tonight.

Do you use triggers? I’d love to hear your stories so I can learn from you!



1-11-11: 11 days in…How are you doing with your goals/resolutions?

Are you living your “ultimate pinch-me this must be a DREAM life“? (Thank you Chalene Johnson for that phrasing!)

We are now 11 days in to the new year AND new decade. There is no time like the present to begin moving toward your dream life. How are you doing on the goals and priorities you set for 2011? Are they taking you closer to your ultimate DREAM life?

I set my priorities and made my goals for 2011 on 1/31/10.

HOWEVER…since that time I learned of this 30-day challenge to “master organization and achieve my goals”.  I immediately signed up, am on day 8 and already AM so much more organized, goals and priorities are more defined and honed.

We are now in the part of this challenge where the rubber meets the road. We are working on creating a carefully crafted to-do list and learning tools to maintain it daily! Remember it takes 21 days to make a habit. This process has been incredibly informative and easy to add in to my daily activities.

You owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance possible at achieving your dream life. Take the challenge and get focused with me!

Sign up for FREE here: 30-day Challenge

Connect with me on Facebook at and let me know when you join. We can hold each other accountable!

When your mind is cluttered with the stuff you have to do and the places you need to go, you’re never going to make any progress! It’s time to focus and get organized so that you can finally relax and enjoy the life you were meant to live.          ~Chalene Johnson

I have BIG dreams and BIG goals.

Let’s create the “ultimate pinch-me this must be a DREAM” life together!!



First De-Clutter Project of 2011 – ACCOMPLISHED!!

Einstein’s Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter, find Simplicity.
From discord, find Harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.
~Albert Einstein

This quote really spoke to me today as I was searching for a quote to celebrate my de-clutter project! The closet that I tackled this week is enjoying much more simplicity and now, everyone who opens the door can actually SEE what is in there!

See the transformation:

3 bags of trash removed. 3 bags of gently used or NEW things donated to Goodwill. I love that the closet is now more simple, harmonious and I have the opportunity to move on to other things!! It amazes me how much negative or stagnant energy is created by the clutter.

There is MUCH more to de-clutter in this house…it feels so good to have this process started and I feel empowered to continue…

What’s your favorite de-cluttering story or routine?





It’s not too late…you CAN live the LIFE you WANT to Live!

It’s not too late to join Chalene Johnson’s 30-day Challenge to master organization and achieve YOUR goals.

I joined and am on Day 3 – it’s an incredible process and Chalene is an awesome teacher! Day 1 begins when YOU join…

Click here to get started: Chalene Johnson 30-day Challenge

Don’t fear failure this year…Fear small goals, small dreams and playing safe.   ~Go For No (facebook wall 1/4/11)



January 1st – 01/01/11 – A Time for New Beginnings

I read somewhere today that everything begins at “1” – and since today is 1/1/11, it’s fitting that we look forward to the new beginnings that a new year affords us.

Look back at all you accomplished in the “old” year with gratitude and look FORWARD to the OPPORTUNITIES that lie ahead.

Finding HAPPINESS is a matter of choice, not chance.  ~anonymous

My husband, Rich and I spent part of the weekend working on goals for 2011. It’s the first time we’ve actually sat down and done this exercise together. Lucky for us – we were pretty much on the same page already with goals that are related to our family.

I found a pretty cool and simple site to help discern your goals and priorities and track them. Check it out.

Lululemon Goals

MJ Durkin from the Prospecting Cafe gives good advice in today’s “daily quote”.

“A new beginning, a fresh start – a new selling year! Turn towards your desires. Desire drives everything in your sales career. Are you clear abou the things you want in the coming year? The newness and the essence of the beginning of the year causes you to focus on getting clarity around the things, experiences and relationships that you wish for. It’s okay to want things! Unleash your imagination and let it go wild with desire! The profession of sales is the one place where your income actually has a chance to catch up with your desire.”

Excerpted from MJ Durkin’s book “Selling from the Heart”

After filling out my goals on the Lululemon site, I found a vision board site on to create a visual. Check it out here: O Dream Board

And here’s MY Dream Board to being 2011:

Now it’s time for YOU to create YOUR vision for 2011. Dream BIG!

Live with the Spirit of YOLO – You Only Live Once!! Live with Passion!