Finance: What I learned about my business while biking 120 miles

BLOG POST :: What I learned about my business while biking 120 milesLast weekend I participated in a cycling event called the Triple Bypass. It’s a 120 mile bike ride over 3 mountain passes in the Rockies. Stunning scenery, heart pounding climbs, and screaming descents pretty much sums up the day.

During my 10 hour ride, I was thinking about the lessons I was learning and realized I could also apply these lessons to my business.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

We are all at a different place in our lives, all here on a different journey, and have our own reasons for everything we do. There will always be people ahead of you and behind you. Stay in your own lane and focus on what you can do to make YOUR journey most beneficial to you and others.

2. Ask for advice.

When I was getting tired on the ride, I asked a girl if she knew what was coming up, and she did. Her telling me we had 8 miles of rollers until a 4 mile climb really helped me come up with a plan for those next 12 miles. Without the help and advice of others who have already accomplished what we are working to do, we are more inclined to make silly mistakes or have unnecessary setbacks.

3. Enjoy the journey.

You can’t know exactly how ANYTHING will turn out in the end, so you may as well enjoy every step of the way. Always be on the lookout for lessons and learning experiences, but also breathe in your surroundings and be grateful for the amazing life you are living. Whether it’s breathtaking scenery or the relationships you build along the way to your destination, remember to be present and soak in the moment.

4. Everything is better with good friends in your corner.

One of my favorite parts of the ride was running into my friend Wendy and we rode a couple of hours together. But before we met up, just knowing she was out on the course with me and we would be meeting at the end was enough to make me realize how many amazing people I have in my life. I don’t believe in luck, but I will say I have attracted some pretty incredible people into my business AND personal world.

Wayne Gretzky said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”. This can apply to sports, business, and life! So stop comparing yourself to others, ask for advice, enjoy your journey, be grateful for the supportive people you have surrounding you, and go out there and take a shot!

Fun: 3 Life Lessons I have learned from living in an RV for 18 Months

[Blog Post} Life Lessons I have learned from living in an RV for 18 MonthsAbout 18 months ago, my husband and I sold pretty much everything that wouldn’t fit in the “new” RV we bought and left on an adventure. The first question most people ask me is WHY. Then they want to know details like how we are making a living, where we have been, how long we are planning on continuing this lifestyle, and do we actually poop in front of each other.

I have talked about WHY we started this journey, but wanted to share the incredible life lessons I have learned along the way. It’s funny because they aren’t things I didn’t KNOW before, I just needed a reminder of the importance they play in my life. These 3 messages I have learned are SUPER simple, so simple in fact that they are very easy to incorporate into ANYONE’S life, but they are often overlooked and forgotten, and leave most of us wanting more out of our lives.

Relationships are better when you spend time together.

I know! Shocker right??? Seems so elementary but in our busy, fast paced, electronic world, it was really easy to believe that an ”I love you” text or a Facebook tag saying “my hubby rocks” on Throwback Thursday was just as valuable as time together. And I think I just got lazy assuming he just “knows” how much I love him. After all, if I didn’t love him I wouldn’t be married to him right?? WRONGO!

Simplicity ROCKS.

We are hearing this more and more often, but “simplicity” to most people still means we each only have one car, one TV, and one closet full of shoes. When we first packed up the RV and realized 75% of what we own would NOT fit, we naturally rented a storage unit to store a bunch of crap. After only 3 months on the road we realized if we hadn’t needed it by now, it’s probably not that important. So other than one “memoir” box each and a few box files with tax stuff, etc, we gave the rest to goodwill. And every month we spend on the road, I need less and less. I make it a goal to get rid of 10 things a week. Simplifying is liberating, gratifying, and brings out my creative side that was hidden VERY deeply for the past 30 years!

I grow most as a person when I am thrown into the world with no rules.

UGH! This was a hard one for me. I am the QUEEN of personal growth. I am reading books, listening to podcasts, watching inspirational videos, and seeking personal development pretty much every waking hour. Where I failed was putting it all into practice. In theory, I understood what Darwin was saying when he said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” And I believed him!

But…I was living a rigid life that only worked because I was disciplined and methodical in my work and personal life. When my environment changed and I no longer had control of many of my circumstances, the shit hit the fan and I had to adapt or fail at my big adventurous plan. I chose to adapt…and it was exactly what I needed to break through to the next level of ME.

So yes, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone ASAP and watch yourself grow into the best version of YOU!

Oh, and BTW…yes on the “poop” question! Get over it!

Finance: Why I sold everything I own to live in an RV

Finance Post :: Why I sold everything I own to live in an RVNot many people were surprised when I announced I was selling everything I own, buying an RV, and traveling around the US with my husband and dog until we got tired of it. Well, at least the people who didn’t know me very well.

From the outside, people think I am a spontaneous free-spirit who loves adventure and surprises. I’m not sure where that came from, but I think I liked that persona so I never really corrected anyone. The few people who really know me, know that I am a type A, routine-loving, schedule oriented planner who gets super anxious at the THOUGHT of not knowing exactly what I am doing every hour for the next 2 years. When things don’t go as planned, I freak out! Like a panic, can’t breathe, cry and eat cinnamon rolls type of fit.

So WHY would I sell everything I own, spend all the money I had to buy an RV (and BTW…we had never even camped in an RV before), and head out on the road with no set schedule and no way of knowing what each day will bring? The answer may surprise you…

Let me start by giving you a little background info on me…

1. I own two online businesses and if I had it my way I would work 14 hours a day

2. I am a competitive endurance athlete and if I could I would train 8 hours a day

3. That leaves 2 hours a day to sleep and I LOVE sleep and typically need about 10 hours a night

As you can see, these numbers DON’T add up. So I gave up a couple hours on each part of my life which left exactly NO time (much less energy) for my husband. And that was not what he signed up for when he married me. Don’t get me wrong, he is SUPER (to a fault sometimes) supportive of everything I do and have done in the 18 years we have been married, but after mentioning divorce on more than one occasion, I knew I needed to do something EXTREME!

My husband had always wanted to live in an RV and travel the US and we had talked about maybe doing it when we were old and retired. But desperate times called for desperate measures. At the end of 2012, I crunched some numbers and announced to my husband that we could make it work. And in January 2013, we drove to Salt Lake City, bought our new home, and drove it back to start our new life together.

We loaded everything that would fit into our 1998 37 foot National Tradewinds and sold or gave away everything that wouldn’t. And six weeks later, we were off on our adventure of a lifetime.

So far we have been on the road for 18 months. I have learned so much about myself, our relationship, living in the moment, being flexible, my values and priorities, and what I want and don’t want my life to look like for the remaining 60 or so years. And I don’t want to stop learning or experiencing this life anytime soon.

And YES, in case you are wondering, I am living my dream life with my BFF and we are closer than we have ever been…and the word ‘divorce’ hasn’t come up in a very long time.

Fitness: Why the Birthday Present I gave my Mom on her 50th made her cry

[Fitness blog post] Why The Birthday Present I gave my mom on her 50th made her cry I love telling this story…not because I like to see my Mom cry, but because for me it’s an inspiring story and it gives me ammo for people who tell me they “can’t” do something that I KNOW they can do.

The year was 2002. I had been a Personal Trainer since 1990 and always helped my friends and family with any health/fitness/nutrition related stuff, so they were used to that. In 1999 I did my first triathlon, and became instantly obsessed. I ended up not only doing an ironman distance triathlon 2 years later, but also got my triathlon coaching certification and started coaching immediately after.

Instantly I was signing all my friends and family up for triathlons, they were NOT used to that.

A bit about my mom…she is a teacher, a Mom, and an amazing Grandma. She is kind and loving and one of the most unselfish people I know. One thing she is not, however, is an athlete. As far as triathlon is concerned, she can swim to prevent drowning, she can cruise along on her fat tired, fuzzy seated monster of a bike, and she can walk, but not run, due to arthritis is both her hips and knees.

So when she opened her 50th birthday present and it was an entry into the Danskin Women’s Triathlon for the following year with all the training she would need to make it through, she was speechless, and scared to death, and that resulted in a silent but deafening cry.

I promised her I would train her enough to get her across the finish line. And I did just that.

We had 10 months to get her strong, fit, and confident enough to swim .5 mile, bike 12 miles, and run 3.1 miles. And we SUCCEEDED!

Watching my mom cross the finish line was incredible…now it was MY turn to cry! She is proof that it doesn’t matter how old you are, how out of shape you are, how inexperienced you are, or how scared you are, if you WANT something and COMMIT to getting there, you WILL succeed! Awesomeness!

My favorite part of this entire story is that BECAUSE of her, I have “convinced” hundreds of women that they too can do this. I would have never been able to get them to even consider the idea if I didn’t have my Mom’s victory to inspire and encourage them.

Because of my Mom, I have helped hundreds of women accomplish something they never would have imagined possible. Now THAT’S something to cry about!