Getting Started

I have found that in most employment situations, there is a trickle down schedule in relation to  income. The person at the top makes a profit from the  work of those beneath them. And in many cases they tend to make more money from your efforts than you actually do.

When you think about employment in this way, it sort of makes every job look like a pyramid scheme lol. In almost every company there is someone at the top, making the big bucks or someone down the line who reaps the reward.

When I went out in search of extra income, I wanted something different. I was hoping for something more team oriented, where everyone benefits from collaborative efforts. And more importantly quality people and quality products! So I am anxious to dive in to this new opportunity to see if I have found a match 🙂

I had originally planned to sample and review a series of meal bars, but due to some unfortunate events this weekend I changed my mind. I spent the majority of Saturday morning and afternoon very sick. I couldn’t keep anything down. It was not fun. I was so weak and hungry, but I couldn’t manage to keep water in my belly for more than a few minutes.

Then I remembered a product sample I received called Twist Tubes 2 Go. You just mix one tube with 16 ounces of water and you have an instant vitamin water. I was craving nutrients and even if it didn’t stay down very long, I hoped maybe my body would absorb something. I stumbled to the kitchen and made myself a glass. The flavor I have is mango citrus and it was pretty tasty.  I sipped it slowly and then laid back down. My stomach rumbled and grumbled a bit, but eventually it calmed down and I was able to get some sleep. When I woke up around an hour later my stomach no longer felt uneasy and so I drank the remainder of my water. In no time I was back on solids. I gorged on a banana first, then an orange and eventually on a sandwich…lol

I had another glass this morning and have felt great all day. It is hard to believe the contrast from yesterday. Hence, I decided to tell you about Twist Tubes 2 Go instead of the meal bars. Although they are made by the same company and sold exclusively through our business.

I am eager to try the other flavors, I was impressed with the one that I had. I used to be really bad about drinking water. I went through this phase where I would flavor my water. I tried a lot of different brands and most of them were either too sweet or you had to squirt like half the bottle into one glass to taste anything. Not to mention, who knows what the weird liquid is that you are injecting into your water anyway. Half the time I can’t even pronounce the ingredients.

Twist Tubes IngredientsA full day’s worth of Vitamins A & C from cranberry, blueberry, carrots, beet, etc. And it tastes like Gatorade, actually it tastes better than Gatorade. I don’t have children yet, but if I did I would really take advantage of these. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives (5 Calories).

They come in a bunch of different flavors and varieties from Immunity Health to Joint Health. I looked into the parent company and they have been using plant ingredients in supplements for more than 80 years! They grow, harvest and process all their plants on their own certified organic farm. And they guarantee all their products (180 day). Which means if they don’t work for you you can send them back. They have a whole line of all natural supplements, gluten free health food, sports drinks, shakes, meal bars, you name it. Their prices are very reasonable too. Check out how they stack up to the competitors here

I am going to call this one a winner and dig into some more of their health products. For me, meal bars and shakes are perfect for my lifestyle. They are easy and convenient, but from my experience they are not usually very good. Especially the shakes. They always seem to have a weird flavor of some sort. It’s had to explain, but I could never get past it. I will be pleasantly surprised if their shakes are as good as the Twist Tubes are 🙂

I will be trying the Milk Chocolate Meal Replacement shakes this week along with Nutty Dark Chocolate Wellness bar.They look delicious, I’ll let you know how they taste!

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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A New Adventure!

I have decided to bring back this blog in order to tell the tale of my new adventures in business! As many of you know, I published my first in a series of memoirs on February 2, 2016. It is doing as well as I had hoped if not better and I am ready for the next adventure to begin. For those of you wondering, yes there most definitely will be a sequel, but I am still hungry to do more! I never in a million years thought this day would come. I dreamed for years about writing a book and fantasied about the day it would become reality.

The manifestation of this seemingly unreachable dream has given me the courage to reach for the stars. If what was once thought to be impossible has become possible, then what else can I achieve? The sky is the limit now 🙂

One of my dreams is to be in a place financially where I have several sources of income to keep me not just afloat, but living the lifestyle I have always dreamed of. Nothing luxurious, just the ability to work on my art, travel and spend quality time with my family in friends. I think that is probably most people’s dream really.

When I first began this blog, I was on a journey of not just success in business, but success in personal development and freedom. Well it has been a long journey, but i have managed to reconnect with myself and gained the confidence and security that was once so lacking in my life. With this new lease on life and a better me it is time to find my success in business once and for all!

In the next few weeks, I will take you along on my journey exploring a new business opportunity that I am extremely excited about getting started with. I am not looking to solicit customers. It’s just that I value everyone’s feedback and if this ends up being the financially fulfilling en devour that I believe it will be I want you all to know first hand how it happened.

I went out in search of a somewhat passive source of income to supplement the money coming in from the book and my full time accounting job. I wasn’t interested in sales and most of what I found at first was exactly that. I had sold Party Lite back in the day and even had a few Lia Sophia parties. Sure I have tons of awesome candle stuff and my jewelry collection is great, but the extra money that was always promised never really panned out.

I am not a fan of the “tupperware” party, pyramid scheme business plans that run so rampid  all over the internet. I was interested in a business model where everyone benefits. Kind of like Ebates where you receive discounts and rewards on all your purchases, just by signing up (for free). Amazon Prime is similar. Although it is not free, the benefits of subscribing for a small yearly fee ($99.00 if I remember correctly) is beyond worth it. If I am going to shop there anyway, why shouldn’t I reward myself for doing it?

For example, every year for Christmas, I do most of my shopping online. Either through Amazon or another online store. Most of those stores participate in Ebates. So, if I am going to shop there anyway, why wouldn’t I go through their portal to get an additional discount or cash back? Seems silly to not to. It isn’t really a substantial source of income, but it is an added savings on top of your regular purchases.

I have also explored surveys and research websites and I have made a few dollars doing that. The only problem is that although you may get a free sample in exchange for your $.75 credit, you are usually responsible for the shipping charges and have to remember to cancel the product by a certain day. This can get a bit mucky as you may imagine.

I also looked into another “business opportunity” last summer that promised me the world, but the products they were selling were not something I could really stand behind. I will not promote any product I do not feel completely confident in or one I have any reservations about myself. I wanted to find a company with the same ideals as myself who were associated with products that I would feel confident in promoting.

I believe I have finally found the company I have been searching for. In the days to come, I will discuss with you my journey in the sampling of these products. Not because I wish you to purchase them, but rather because I am interested in the opinions and experiences of my loyal readers. Should my experiences spark your interest, that is great and I am happy pass along the tools to get you started, but again I am not sharing this with you solely for that purpose.

If I find a product I am particularly fond of in the process, I am happy pay forward some free samples. So if something appeals to you, please let me know.

I am very interested to hear your feedback and to share the inside scoop with all of you!

Stay tuned! I will be posting my first product review this weekend 🙂

 

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Coming Up For Air

I paused for a moment of reflection today to chart my progress on my path to success.  The best description of my current state of mind is like coming up for air after a long hard struggle with the ocean current. The stagnant place I once called reality is a slowly fading memory. Six months ago, I was barely breathing. Drowning in feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness, I was emotionally, physically and spiritually drained. I was heartbroken, uninspired and defeated. I have been battling with the undertow for years and I have finally beat the tide and pulled myself ashore!

My past still lingers in the shadows, the constant reminder of the person I was and shall never be again. In less than a year, I have shaken a love I never thought I could and found a love for myself that I never thought was possible. I took a leap of faith by leaving the familiar and much to my surprise it has all worked out. I forced myself to deal with the issues that have plagued my existence for as long as I can remember. As difficult as it has been to step up and own my mistakes, my insecurities and my faults, this breath of fresh air makes it all worth it.

May you all find your breath of fresh air!

Not Just Success, Healthy Success!

As my journey in self-discovery continues, I find myself faced with yet another piece of the puzzle; my health. This is something that is extremely challenging and frustrating to me, but it is essential in achieving my true success. There was a time in my past when I was the epitome of good health! At the current time, I am further from that place than I have ever been before.

When I lived in Madison, I was on a steady diet of beef, cheese and beer. Which is fitting for America’s Dairy Land, but I took this to the extreme. Without the self-control to moderate my actions, I ended up with the messy physical physique I am forcing myself to deal with now. Thankfully, I am not extremely overweight yet, but if I don’t do something now I can see obesity in my future!  That having been said, it is not all about weight. To the untrained eye, I may not look like someone who needs to drop 40 pounds, but I do! I know I do, because I have a point of origin to focus on. I know what I look like when I am healthy. I know what size jeans I should be wearing and I know how I should feel.

I also know that I have to be ready and willing for change if I wish to succeed in this en devour!

Why? Because it requires a complete shift in my mindset. Self-control and empowerment must win out over instant gratification. It is not just knowing what you need to do, but believing in yourself enough to actually do it. Over the last few years, I have lacked the willpower and self-discipline to change anything in my life and now that I have a visual reference of the end result, I am more than determined to make the change.

To get started, I asked myself the following questions: What is my relationship with food? What are some of my good eating habits and what are some of my bad eating habits? Where do these habits stem from?

In analyzing my relationship to food and being honest about my actions (good or bad),  I am better equipt to decide which direction to take moving forward.

For example, in my twenties, I was on a raw vegan diet. There were many wonderful aspects of this lifestyle (and very few drawbacks). It required a great deal of discipline, organizing and planning, but after the first year, it became common place for me and I had never felt better in my life. So, why did I stop?

Sadly, it came down to my social habits; I enjoyed going out to restaurants and bars with my friends on occasion.

I was very young at the time and being able to indulge myself became more important than ensuring that I was in good health. I maintained a vegetarian diet in the years after, but eventually I started eating meat again.

Back then it was all or nothing for me! I have learned over the years that it doesn’t have to be this way at all. Instead, the key in all things is moderation! Setting hard to reach goals for myself and getting down on myself when I fail at them is more damaging than indulging myself every once in a while. In the past, I was basically setting myself up to fail and I did.

This time around, I will set more realistic goals for myself. Goals that deal more with changing my mindset and implementing the information I have acquired over the years. Rather than creating a complex regiment of dos and don’ts. In setting these goals, I must also be brutally honest with myself.

Today, I read a very informative article, 28 Simple & Natural Ways to Detox your Body on Bembu.com. I was familiar with some of the information presented in the beginning of the article already, but it was a good recap for me. If you are unfamiliar with super foods and/or detoxifying foods, I highly recommend you check it out. There are so many expensive detoxifying methods on the market today that are an ultimate waste of your money when there are plenty of natural ways to aid your body in performing it’s built-in methods of detoxification.

Very few people actually listen to their body and that is an essential part of good health. The human body is an amazing organism made up of many intricate systems that many of us do not understand. That’s okay, we don’t need to understand it to listen to it.

For example, did you know that many times when you experience a stomach growl it means that your body is craving water rather than food? I remember reading this somewhere a long time ago and it has always stuck in the back of my mind. To this day, when my stomach growls I will first drink water to see if it subsides and if not then I will resort to filling it with food. It is simple actions like this that can help us determine whether we are actually hungry or just dehydrated. For me this is extremely important to understand, because I am horrible about drinking water. If I did not make a conscious effort to consume my minimum requirements of water intake daily, I would be lucky to drink a single glass.  Lack of water is one of my “bad” habits!

In the above mentioned article, the author suggests that we, “Start by taking a long hard look at your diet and then work your way out from there”

She then gives a list of suggested questions to ask yourself to help you clearly identify where you are currently to better plan for where you want to be in the future. I too believe that this is the key to making a successful change!

She also suggests doing a full body cleanse monthly to aid the system in removing toxins that may still be present despite your daily efforts to promote proper digestion and elimination. One of the recipes that I am eager to try is the Lemon, Maple Syrup, Cayenne cleanse. I will be doing this one on Saturday!

The main point of all this is to be realistic and prepared before you begin. If you are realistic about who you are, what you need and what will work for you, then you are already better prepared to take on the task of changing your mindset and you are on your way to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life!

Blogging 101: Reevaluating Who I am and Why I’m Here

As many of you know, this is not my first blog. I have been blogging on WordPress for about a year. The first blog I started was Insaneroots and it was more of a brainstorming technique in preparation for a memoir I was working on and an outlet of expression from the emotional turmoil in my life. My goal at that time was to take a step towards sharing my story and my writing to the world. I never in a million years thought that it would become the gateway to getting published, but here I am one year later with a manuscript in the works and a signed publishing contract! It has been my dream to publish my memoir and a goal I honestly never expected to achieve. Although it will be fantastic if I end up selling a ton of copies, I will be satisfied enough simply to see it on the shelves. It is amazing how one small achievement can change your entire perspective on life!

To give you an idea of how I began blogging, here is an excerpt from my original post to this blog:

“I had been living in Madison, Wisconsin, fairly content, but feeling there was something more out there for me. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew I needed to figure it out before it was too late. I was working for a family owned company, making good money. I was surrounded by friends and family that I hold very dear to my heart, but I still felt lost. Maybe not lost as much as disappointed. There were many nights when I would come home from work (or drinks after work) to my one bedroom apartment (and my cats) and think to myself…what now? I wasn’t satisfied. I tried picking up my various hobbies, such as painting, scrap-booking, and photography, but I never felt inspired to continue any of the projects I started. I had taken great joy in these outlets before, so why not now? What had changed?

I pulled out one of my many scrapbooks from years past and as I flipped through it, I realized what had changed…I did. As I looked through the collections of memories, I barely recognized this version of me and my life in the pages. I used to have such a love for life. I was determined, optimistic, creative, ambitious, healthy…all things I no longer attributed to myself. An overwhelming sadness came over me and for a moment, I just sat there staring off in to space, trying to figure out how all this had happened and what I could do to fix it. Something needed to change.

I went on this way for months; feeling defeated and overwhelmed by the notion of needing to reconnect with myself, but having no idea of how to do that. I resorted to a method of expression I had used in my early adulthood to cope with these emotional barriers; writing. Off and on through out my life, I had been working on a memoir recounting my life growing up with a con-artist for a mother and an unidentified father. Many had told me that my story was interesting and inspiring, so I decided to start trying to piece it all together.

I did not realize it then, but the sheer act of writing the blog was exactly what I needed to do to get the ball rolling in finding that “something more” I was looking for. Writing the blog forced me to revisit some of the most challenging struggles in my early childhood and most importantly to work through the emotions surrounding these events. I wrote several of the posts through tears, but after I was finished, I felt better. It was like a therapy session for me each time I logged in. I guess I did end up using that Psychology degree after all…on myself!”

And thus began my blogging ritual!

Now, with the book deal in the works, I had to find something else to blog about and I didn’t have much inspiration until I decided to make a drastic life change and move half way across the country. When I could no longer diminish the urge to write, I started this blog; Success in the City Blog!

Unfortunately, I have had trouble coming up with things to post about (Hence my current exploration in to Blogging 101)!

When I was posting to Insaneroots, it was easy because I was pulling stories from my childhood (which seemed to be endless), but now I had to make a drastic switch in my mental preparedness in order to begin each new post.

I didn’t want this to just be another online journal, but rather an expression of the struggles many of us experience when making a drastic change in their life. Whether it be a career change, a long distance move or in my case both, these types of changes in one’s life call for great reevaluation of oneself. My goals for this year are to reconnect with myself, learn to love myself and most importantly learn to stand up for myself! My hope is that I may give others strength to do the same through the expression of my own personal journey.

If I have learned anything over the past few years it is that if you believe in yourself, the rest will follow!

Happy Writing!

How do you Measure Success?

Everyone measures their success differently. How do you measure your success? Are you someone who thrives for success in money or are you someone who measures your success through the value of the relationships in your life? Better yet, maybe it is a combination of both?

For me, the definition of success is rather confounded. I know from experience that money does not equal happiness, but I have to admit that the comfort which accompanies financial stability is in essence priceless. However, no matter how much money one has, if you have no one to share it with it, it is (to me) virtually worthless. I have experienced an array of different financial situations throughout my life and I believe this rings true for each of them. From dumpster diving to elaborate vacations, it was always the people around me who made it all worthwhile.

The older I get, the more I find myself redefining what I feel my goals are for achieving true success. The answer to this question seems to be of increasing concern as my time on earth begins to lessen. When I was in my twenties, I measured my success on more of a monetary level. I thought that if I was able to land a job that allowed me to pay my bills with money left over that I would consider myself to be successful. What I learned was that I may have technically achieved success as I had defined it, but I was not happy and shouldn’t happiness be included in the definition of success?

Now in my thirties, I have decided it is time to re-evaluate my goals and formulate a new plan for achieving true success. First things first, let’s talk money! I would still agree that financial stability is a very important piece of the puzzle, but landing just any job won’t cut it. The focus is no longer on finding any job that allows me to save money, but rather making money doing what I love! This is much more difficult to do, but the reward that comes from it would be life changing, so I believe it is well worth the effort. Besides, if I reach the end of my life without reaching this goal I will at least know that I tried and there is a certain amount of comfort in that.

Moving on, as I mentioned earlier, I have found that no matter how much money one has, if you have no one to share it with it, it is (to me) virtually worthless. Before I moved to Colorado, I had a job that I excelled at, enough money to pay my bills and a group of friends that anyone would be lucky to have. From a distance, it would seem that I had everything anyone could ever want. One would have probably labeled me successful.

Maybe to some this is success. Don’t get me wrong I was very thankful to be in the situation that I was, but if I am being honest, the months before I left were some of the most somber moments of my adult life. Why you ask? Because for me the definition of success is not measured in money, it is measured in love. Not just the love you share with your significant other, but the love you have for yourself. At that time in my life I had neither.

In the years prior, I had grown very close to someone whom I considered to be one of my truest friends.  From our first moment together, we just clicked. As our friendship progressed, I began to have stronger feelings for him. He was unavailable, so I tucked these feelings deep down inside and pretended they didn’t exist. With each passing year we grew closer and closer until we were spending more time together than not. Partly because we worked alongside one another, but we hung out when we were not working pretty much all the time. The talk around the office for a while was that we were seeing each other. He and I would just laugh it off together as if it were the most ridiculous idea in the world. Little did he know that I made a conscious effort daily not to think of this “ridiculous” idea.

One night at a house party I stepped outside to have a smoke and as I sat there I began to think about the dilemma I was having. There was no way I was going to pursue an unavailable man, but I couldn’t help the way I felt. I couldn’t just stop being friends with him…or could I? As I saw it, I had two choices: Keep the friendship and silently suffer? or End the friendship and try to move on?

It was at that moment when he walked outside and found me sobbing quietly on the stoop. As he started reprimanding me for having a cigarette, he notice the tears rolling down my face and sat down next to me, “What’s wrong?” he asked in a comforting voice.

His inquiry only made it worse, but I knew this was it, it was now or never!

I replied with the only word I could muster, “you”.

A mutual silence followed as we both sat there staring at each other. I could tell in that moment there was no need to explain; he knew.

Breaking the silence, I said “I’m sorry…I didn’t plan to feel this way, but ever since…”

He interrupted me, “That night…I know. If I wasn’t with…” he paused. “it’s just really bad timing.”

The sadness in his voice partnered with the connection I felt to him in this moment was all the convincing I needed not to walk away. Subconsciously, it may have been the tiny glimmer of hope that it would all work out or the comfort in knowing might feel the same way. Whatever it was, it caused me to make the wrong decision. Had I known then what I know now I would have walked away long before this conversation ever occurred.

As the years loomed on, we continued much as we had. Only now there was a giant elephant in the room that no one talked about. It didn’t affect our friendship. If anything we grew closer. Innocently, I thought this was due to the “connection” we had, but I later found out that I was just being played.

I am ashamed to admit that because of my feelings for him, I allowed him to manipulate me in to acting in a way that I am not proud of. In trying to be someone I was not, I lost myself. I was oblivious to the reality of our relationship and the harsh truth that I was being used. I was a fool. When the final stab in the back came, it was truly heartbreaking. Turns out it was all a lie. He tossed our friendship aside as if it had meant nothing to him. I meant nothing to him. I was completely blindsided. I had always known there was a very good chance that we would never end up together, but I would have never thought he was being dishonest about how much he valued our friendship. At that point, I had already made the decision to move to Colorado and this event only reaffirmed that it was time to move on.

I share this story with you because it has great significance in my personal redefinition of success. Somewhere along the way I let my love for someone get in the way of loving myself. I fell prey to false hope and it left me discouraged and lost. There is no way to find your true path if you can’t begin to find yourself. As I do with every hardship in my life, I have found a silver lining to this heartbreak. It has made me aware that I still have some healing to do before I am ready to love someone else. Somewhere inside this insecure mind is a strong willful woman begging to be free. I need to learn to love myself before I will ever be able to truly love another. Therefore I am closed for remodeling as I like to say…new and improved me coming soon!

I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading!