personal development, social marketing

Thoughts After GTC

So, a lot of companies have training conferences every year, where employees get together for lots of training packed into a few days. Arbonne does this as well, but it’s a little different than something corporate. I look forward to these couple of days ALL YEAR LONG, because Arbonne pulls out the stops and creates a jam packed conference full of awesome training, TONS of inspiration and personal development, and best of all, NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES! Every year, it gets better, as the staff over at Arbonne tries to beat what they did the year before. And this year was just beyond amazing!

First of all, our conference takes place in Vegas, which is such a blessing, because people from all over the world travel for this event, and it’s in my state, a short 1 hour flight, or a long 7 hour drive away! And Vegas in April is usually gorgeous in the weather department, so you can count on some pool time! The conference takes place at the MGM Grand between the conference center and the Grand Garden Arena, right in the heart of the Vegas Strip, so there’s tons of restaurants and activities, if you want to take a few days before or after the event to explore.

One of my favorite parts of GTC is that I get to see so many people that I love from all over, and I get to meet new people! Our team is located all over the United States, so this is a great time to visit and hug team members that you usually only get to see on FB or over Zoom video conference. This year I even got to meet a few consultants who are members of my networking company, Polka Dot Powerhouse! And anyone who is part of Arbonne can tell you that the consultants who attend GTC are super friendly and love getting to know new people! I get to make new friends and build more awesome friendships each year that I go! It’s so fun!

A few months before GTC, our Arbonne book club read The 5 Second Rule, by Mel Robbins. Well, I can’t tell you how excited we were to learn that she would be our outside speaker this year! She is the #1 booked female speaker in the world, and she absolutely rocked the house, I will write more about that later. But for now, if you have not read her book, you NEED TO! Here is a link to purchase from Amazon (this is an affiliate link, so if you purchase I will make a little money), and there is even a journal you can get to work on while you are reading it!

Book: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Journal: The 5 Second Rule Workbook

Arbonne utilizes it’s own successful consultants for most of our speakers throughout the convention, and I am always SO impressed with the content and the caliber of our speakers. Even Mel Robbins was blown away by the talent that our consultants have when it comes to speaking and inspiring a crowd of 16,000+ live and over 7,000 who tuned in virtually. And this year, my 4th GTC, I have to say, was the best I have seen yet.

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ENVP Missy Wilson

One of my favorites was ENVP Missy Wilson. Her topic was the ABC’s of Owning Your Future, and the notes that I took could help anyone who is in business for themselves, whether it’s social marketing or a brick and mortar company. Some of the highlights:

*Don’t chase success, Attract it.

*It is more important to be interested, than interesting.

*You MUST circulate to percolate.

*Belief has a sound. Can your prospects and clients hear it in your voice? You must believe in your products, your company, your industry, and most of all (and probably hardest), yourself.

*Brick and Mortar is being replaced by Click and Order!

*Things can be managed, but people must be led.

*Protect your mindset and your priorities. Your priorities will keep you balanced and help you not get burned out.

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ENVP Eunice Ray

Another stand out to me was ENVP Eunice Ray. This spitfire woman is 70 years old and has built a thriving business when most people would be retiring! She was absolutely amazing and so full of life and energy. I can only hope to be a fraction of how she is at that age! So inspiring! A few highlights from her talk:

*All of life is about persisting and never quitting.

*Be “others” focused.

*Your belief needs to inspire others and stay steady.

*Having a “side gig” will be a NECESSITY over the next few years.

*Cast your vision and stay on your side of the net.

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Eunice with Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin, signing the “Colonel Ronald D. Ray Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act” into law.

Also, this lady has done so much for veterans, which I appreciate so much as a family member of some amazing soldiers! She was instrumental in getting a law passed in Kentucky, the “Colonel Ronald D. Ray Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act”, that will help veterans be able to receive oxygen treatment for these brain injuries. Please go to http://hbot4kyvets.com/ to learn more and duplicate this legislation! Just another example of Arbonne consultants giving back and getting things done with causes they care about!

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Author and Speaker, Mel Robbins

And then came Mel Robbins! Here are a few of the highlights from her speech that stood out to me! But seriously, go get her book!

*It is your responsibility to make your future limitless.

*LIMIT yourself LESS.

*Doubt is natural but letting it stop you is a CHOICE.

*There will ALWAYS be an excuse not to do something.

*The power is in you. Close the gap between thought and action. 5-4-3-2-1 GO!

*Your inner wisdom is always there. Do you have the clarity to hear it and the courage to use it?

*Confidence is the willingness to try.

*Nerves are good, they mean you are trying something. The difference between nerves and excitement is what you tell yourself about the situation. Notice your nerves, say 5-4-3-2-1 and tell yourself, I am so excited!

*Procrastination is a stress reliever habit. When you catch yourself stressing, acknowledge it, 5-4-3-2-1, and do ONE thing! Then do the next thing.

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ENVP Miranda Burcham

Lastly, what I thought was the HIGHLIGHT of our entire conference, was our keynote ENVP speaker, Miranda Burcham. This woman is a powerhouse, fitness fanatic, mother of 5, and has fostered over 13 other children. She also spends a ton of time giving back to Haiti, building schools and helping with clean up after natural disasters. She inspired me, got me excited, brought me to tears, and had an incredibly long standing ovation. No one wanted her to leave the stage. It was absolutely amazing and I hope that we will have access to a shareable video, because her message was so wonderful and would benefit EVERYONE! Here are my highlights:

*Make your excuses your reasons.

*Don’t be attached to the outcome, be attached to the activity.

*Short term sacrifices for long term gain.

*Power of Deciding-gives you heart and grit. Everyday choose to do SOMETHING to move your business forward. Shut the back door. Success is not owned, it’s leased and rent is due EVERYDAY!

*Power of Invitation-Arbonne is worth more than a $10,000 envelope and you wouldn’t not give that envelope to your family and friends, so why are you keeping Arbonne from them?

*Power of Mental Edge-mental attitude is EVERYTHING. Use affirmations and power phrases.

*Power of Your Story-take your pen back and stand strong in YOUR story.

*Power of Pushing Your Own Buttons-Use your foot to propel you forward. Master pushing yourself.

*Power of Big Picture-Finding yourself in places you haven’t been before and finding the will to push through anyway

*Power of Grit-don’t be ashamed of the downs you go through, if you fall, get up and do it again!

*Power of a Comeback-Don’t stand down, stand tall.

Throughout her powerful speech, Miranda had her children come to stage. First, it was her younger son, who is obsessed with dollar coins. She told a story that they were at a baseball game and her son kept asking everyone if they had dollar coins and if he could have them. He didn’t get deterred if someone said no, he just moved on to the next person without batting an eye. Why can’t we, as adults, ask for what we want??? Don’t get attached to a no answer, just move on so you can find your yes!

Next, she spoke about her middle son, who wrestled in school. He wasn’t very tall, was underweight, and was definitely the underdog. But he never gave up and little by little, he started to win his matches, making a come back through his persistance. He went to the state championship, ended up losing, but instead of wallowing in his loss, Miranda found him in a pull up competition with some other boys and he was winning. He came out on stage and did 30 pull ups while being cheered on by all 16,000 of us. It was awesome!

Then Miranda said she was going to put herself out there and get out of her comfort zone for us. A few beautiful ladies, all shapes, sizes and ages took the stage and started dancing to our conference song, Limitless. All of a sudden, Miranda ran out with her beautiful pre-teen daughter and joined them, doing a choreographed dance for all of us to enjoy. It was just so amazing! Seeing her with her children, knowing that they are always watching us, and rocking the house along with them. It was a moment I will never forget and the inspiration that I needed! I always get caught up in guilt when I am away from my family, but she really made it clear to me that I am doing these things to better myself, creating a business that will make all of our lives better, and setting an example for my children that hard work will always pay off in the long run.

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ENVP Miranda Burcham and her daughter
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Miranda and her Limitless Dancers

I am home now, pumped up, inspired and completely confidant that the business choice I made in starting my Arbonne journey is still the best decision I have made! This little lipstick business is going to make my family’s dreams come true. Ain’t no shame in the side hustle game!

Here is a fun video of highlights from the conference! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I hope that if you are curious at all about what I do, that you reach out to me! I am truly passionate about this business and the opportunity it gives so many people who are brave enough to jump in and do something out of the norm!

GTC Highlights

 

personal development

Hooray for Body Positivity!

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As I’ve spoken of before, I have been overweight almost my entire life. It was definitely hard to deal with in those awkward middle school years and rough high school years. I look back at photos now, and I wish I could tell that girl how beautiful she was, what she would accomplish when she got older, and how NOT FAT she was! Sure I was overweight, but NOTHING compared to what happened as I got older. I was so hard on myself, spewing hate in my mind directed at my body, wearing huge clothes to try and hide what I thought was disgusting, which in turn made me look bigger.

As I got older, in the college years (when I wasn’t going to college ha ha), I remember dressing better, but still very ashamed of myself. In romantic relationships, the lights were ALWAYS off, and I hated if my partner came anywhere near my stomach, butt or thighs. I would swat their hand away, like it would burn me if I was touched on those spots that I hated. My boyfriends, and later my amazing husband, always told me how beautiful and sexy I was, but of course, I didn’t believe it. I look back now and I’m so saddened with how I treated myself.

When I was 20, I was looking for an activity to get some exercise, because I (still to this day) HATE and CANNOT do gyms. I had always been mesmerized by the art of belly dance, so I decided to enroll in a local class. And guess what? I was really good! Slowly, my walls started coming down, as our teacher spoke of other dancers who were bigger that were amazing at what they did. They weren’t looked down upon because they had some cellulite or rolls, in fact, those rolls emphasized the amazing dance moves that they performed. I loved seeing the “bigger” girls on stage, claiming ownership of their bodies and the way they moved, not sucking in their bellies, but rather, pushing them out to show them off even more! All bodies were celebrated, because the woman’s body is a work of art, and this dance was made to show it off in such a beautiful way! It was the first step I can remember towards body positivity and I decided that I needed to be kinder to myself. During those years of dance, I was in the best shape of my life, even though I was over 200 lbs. I could isolate my muscles, roll my abs, and dance non stop for hours! Unfortunately, my teacher had some health issues and couldn’t keep teaching, and I have taken other classes around town, but it just isn’t the same as what I had with our troupe. But I will always be thankful for those years, because it started my quest to love my body, no matter what it looked like.

I gained A LOT of weight after we got married, thanks to eating like crap and partying hard. I was drinking way too much, eating a ton of fast food (Taco Bell is my weakness), and not being active at all. I ballooned to almost 300 lbs, and I even thought about surgical intervention. But even through all of that, I felt beautiful. My husband made me feel beautiful, I loved experimenting with my hair, my makeup and my clothes. As a big girl, I taught myself how to dress for my body. I was no longer trying to fit into the size I wanted to be, I accepted where I was and that if you wear clothes that fit you, you look better, no matter what size you are! And yes, I am human and I had those moments of depression because I didn’t feel good. I was so unhealthy. I couldn’t keep up with the kids I was watching as a Nanny. I watched TV ALL THE TIME! And I drank tons of booze, life of the party style!

When we decided we wanted to start a family, I kind of panicked. I had read that getting pregnant when you are overweight can be hard and the pregnancy can be difficult. I made an appointment with the OB I wanted to see (she had delivered my nephew and I fell in love with her) to get looked at and make sure all my parts were working ok despite my weight. Lo and behold, by the time that appointment rolled around, I was knocked up! My doctor laughed and said, “Well, I guess you figured out how it works!” I voiced my concerns with her and she soothed my mind, letting me know that yes, I was overweight, but if I ate healthy and took care of myself, we (the baby and I) would be fine. She never made me feel ashamed with my body and she has cheered me on through the years, which I am so thankful for in a doctor. She only wanted me to gain 15-20 lbs which scared the crap out of me, cause all my friends usually gained 30-50 lbs during their pregnancies. But with taking out the booze and eating healthier, I actually lost weight in my first trimester. I ended up gaining 12 lbs, and my big baby boy weighed 9 at birth! I embraced my pregnant body, loved my belly, took photos of it and celebrated the miracle that I was going through. Pregnancy is so crazy, you are growing a HUMAN! And I mostly felt beautiful and glowing.

In the first months after I gave birth, I struggled with post partum depression, not eating enough, not taking care of me, and I lost about 40 lbs, but it wasn’t healthy weight loss. I finally got balanced thanks to medication and counseling; I started to come out of my cocoon and I really liked how my body looked, but then old habits crept back in and I gained some back. The period between my first and second son was rough; I was putting all my energy into my family and not taking care of myself. And I lost my confidence. My once smooth, yet big stomach was now covered in stretch marks and loose skin. My breasts were ginormous and uncomfortable. Pregnancy changes your body and it’s hard to accept those changes. I ended up doing the stupid HCG diet, killing myself to lose some weight, zapping any energy I had, hair falling out, I looked like death! And gained it all back, my usual MO.

I decided that enough was enough, I wasn’t going to torture myself anymore with diets and crazy things, and I was going to accept my body and love it where it was. My body gave birth to two humans, it has carried me through 29 (at that time) years, and after being completely insulted by a new doctor (pretty much fat shamed me my entire appointment), when my blood work came back, I was actually very healthy for my weight. And it’s interesting when you let go, and let God/The Universe/The Goddess whatever higher power you believe in. When I gave up the struggle, the best program ever entered my life and I taught myself a different lifestyle. I lost weight in a healthy, manageable way. Crazy to think that if you eat real food and get rid of the processed crap that you will get healthy and lose weight! Who’d have thunk it?

I ran across a People Magazine with a woman named Tess Holiday on the cover. She is the first size 22 super model, and holy hell, she was GORGEOUS! I loved her message of accepting and loving your body, no matter what, whether you are fat, skinny, white, black, curly hair, straight hair, crooked teeth, trans, gay, albino whatever! She started a movement called #EFFYourBeautyStandards on Instagram and I loved it. She inspired me to buy my first bikini since high school and rock it all summer long! When my mindset changed, the weight came off easier, especially after really learning how to eat in a different way and supplement my body with the things it needs.

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I look at myself today and I can honestly say that I LOVE what I see! Loose skin, saggy boobs, floppy stomach and all! I will keep going with my weight loss journey, NOT because of my looks, but for health reasons. I want to be the healthiest I can be for my family, teach my boys healthy habits, and be able to participate in all their activities without feeling like I am going to die. That is the important part!

When I am coaching others in our program, I definitely come across the hateful comments towards their bodies, and I get it, I have been there. But I try to help them stay positive and learn to love things about themselves. When friends put themselves down in front of me, I shut that shit down! If you talked to someone else the way that you talk to yourself, would that person be hurt? Or would they be thankful for a positive supportive person in their lives? Don’t compare yourself to others, comparison is the thief of joy! I share my story, not to brag, but to show them that you can do anything and you can change your mindset, no matter how low you are. Even if you have to fake it for a while, eventually you will start believing in yourself. If I can do it, anyone can!

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If you are having a hard time with something about your looks (whether it’s weight, or anything else), I really want you to sit down, get quiet, and come up with 5 things you love about yourself. Also, give your body gratitude for the things that it does for you. It carries you through your day, it breathes, it helps you succeed in life. Give it thanks and love and I promise that the more you do that, the easier it will be to accept it and move forward with your journey. Don’t let these hang ups bar you from living the life that you want to live. I missed out on a lot when I was at my heaviest, not because my body couldn’t do things, but because I was ashamed or embarrassed. Don’t go one more day doing that to yourself! You are an amazingly wonderful being of light and beauty, and you were created for a purpose, not for what you look like!

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