Monthly Archives: November 2013

Go Further Today- Challenge Yourself!

QM CHALLANGE

Creating your own challenges can benefit both yourself and your business

Last month I decided to create and take on my own challenge. Yes, it may sound off the wall at first, but I’m sure you’ll understand why I did this once you get the details.

The purpose for this challenge was two fold. First, as an entrepreneur, it’s essential I take creative approaches to keep my business relevant, fresh and real. Second, it was a personal goal.

I turned the big 4-0 in October and wanted to increase my fitness level and lose some weight in the process. As a health coach, I decided to put my own services to work for myself. So I combined both my business and personal goals in what I called the Q-tober Challenge.

The official Q-tober Challenge was my commitment to lose a total of ten pounds in the 31 days of October. I documented the journey via my business social-media outlets like Facebook and my website blog. There was no turning back once I posted the Q-tober challenge on the web. I was excited, determined and a little nervous all at once.

Mind, Body and Soul

This challenge was born from a personal desire. I really wanted to enhance my health by increasing overall muscle and tone. And, yes, as I mentioned previously, I was turning 40, so why not? As a professional health and fitness expert, I’ve found most people don’t think too much about the lifestyle a health coach adheres to from day to day. Of course, I really enjoy taking care of my mind, body and soul with proper nutrition, exercise and meditation.

But as the saying goes, I’m only human. I love cupcakes and chocolate and just about everything in between, and while I’m being perfectly honest, I also crave burgers and fries from time to time. I think you get the point: Although living a healthy lifestyle is integral to my profession, I knew losing 10 pounds in 31 days would take serious commitment and effort—and this time my reputation was on the line.

From the entrepreneur’s perspective

From the entrepreneur’s perspective, this was a brilliant, free marketing opportunity for my business and services. I didn’t have to pay anyone for the creative concept and I was in total control of driving this campaign from beginning to end.

Social media was key in keeping this campaign alive and thriving. I even invited others to join the challenge with me. I was beyond excited about having the opportunity to share my personal thoughts, emotions and more with others during the weight-loss challenge.

Facebook was a powerful marketing resource for communicating updates, motivational inspiration and recipes every day. I was also able to use my website blog to expand on information and details regarding my nutritional and fitness program throughout the challenge. Ultimately, the Q-tober challenge provided me with an opportunity to enhance my knowledge and use of social media and blogging to advance my business.

Keeping Your Head Up

Reflecting on the meaning and purpose of a challenge was a surprising highlight for me. As with any “challenge” in life, it’s important to take a moment and really understand the “why.” Determine why you’re going to spend your time, effort, resources and energy to take on the challenges you do. Once this is established, you’ve created a safe place of strength and clarity in which you can retreat when you encounter resistance from the outside.

During this challenge, I discovered not everyone was “TEAM SUSIE.” They either didn’t understand why I was challenging myself, didn’t support me or just didn’t care at all about my goal of improving my health and fitness. Rather than allowing this to discourage me, I retreated to my place of safety and eventually began to find peace with the fact that this challenge wasn’t about everyone else. This was my challenge.

As entrepreneurs, our challenge is to create, maintain and eventually grow successful businesses without allowing external resistance to deter or discourage us. This realization reminded me to reinforce the importance of teaching my clients to stick to their challenges and run their own race. I’m happy to report that since the challenge I’ve incorporated a few new health-coaching techniques to my repertoire that have had a significant impact on my clients.

The Professional and the Personal

Blogging throughout the challenge was an absolute highlight. I discovered numerous benefits from this form of expression. I used blogging as a tool to share various types of services I provide, as well as my health-coaching philosophy. Additionally, using real images of food and myself on my blog was another key component for creating an interesting and inviting blog. Blogging for your business is a great approach to connect with your clients. It allows you to reveal your personality and share your knowledge while still featuring your services and business.

A more personal highlight revealed itself in a moment of disappointment. You see, I desired fireworks and confetti falling from the sky every time I resisted temptation or dropped a pound. Well, I quickly realized that wasn’t a reality. I had to learn how to reward and thank myself daily. I know we all want the positive strokes of acknowledgement and encouragement. However, through this experience, I truly came to find the significance of thanking myself for my own accomplishments rather than seeking it from others. So now I give myself a high five for all of my daily accomplishments, no matter how big or small. This treasure of gratitude is what continues to inspire me in business and in life.

Business Opportunities

The Q-tober challenge started with a desire to lose a little weight, but it quickly expanded into an amazing business and personal success in just over a month. The traffic to my website has increased considerably and my social-media presence only continues to grow.

You too should explore opportunities to challenge yourself. The outcomes can be remarkable. Take it from me: I challenged myself to lose but ended up gaining much more in the process. Go further today!

Article published on Latin Business Today website http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2013/11/go-further-today-challenge-yourself/ 

It’s a DETOX WRAP!

DETOX Lunch

AND there ya have it! The Dr. Oz 3 Day DETOX is over and done with my friends.  Yesterday  was the last day of the detox. Day 2 & Day 3 were pretty much the same as Day 1 to be honest MINUS all the church function temptations/goodies! LOL  Similar to the first day,  the last two days I experienced a little more fatigued than usual at the end of the evening. I’m sure the lack of protein in the Dr. Oz detox was a major contributor to my lack of energy.  However, I sure did intake a SUPER DOSE of clean, healthy, nutrient rich fruits and vegetables for 3 solid straight days.

Please NOTE: For the sake of ensuring the best possible results, I followed everything for the detox down to the tee.  I didn’t cheat or slip a snack in here or there.  I had green tea/lemon in the morning, 4 shakes a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack), vitamins &  supplements, and the epsom salt detox bath nightly! : )

DETOX Epsom

Which brings me to one of my HIGHLIGHTS of the detox – the nightly epsom salt detox bath with lavender oil drops.  Yes ladies, it was AMAZINGLY RELAXING and overall soothing for the entire body and mind.  Epson salt bath can be used as a form of detox which pulls out toxins through the skin by the process of osmosis.  I soaked in the bath for about 15mins at the end of each night and emerged feeling refreshed and ready to SLEEP the night away! LOL I slept really well each night and woke up feeling rested and rejuvenated.  Whether you give the Dr. Oz detox a chance or not, definitely  consider the epson salt detox bath from time to time as a in-home/low cost spa experience.

No negative side effects or experiences with this detox to report for me.  The shakes were tasty and kept me feeling full.  Although, it was a PAIN in the REAR to continuously keep cleaning the blender over and over and over and over! I suggest to immediately wash/clean your blender and shake glasses immediately after each use.  It’s just easier to keep them clean and ready for the next round.  Another thing I experienced was having to urinate more than often. I normally DON’T get up and use the bathroom during the night but I DID every night of the detox.  Once again, it was not a big deal or a negative for me.  It’s just part of the detox process.  How else did you expect the toxins to be released?! ; )

DETOX Lunch Blend

My favorite shake was a tie between the dinner and the breakfast! And YES – I plan to continue with the shakes from time to time.  I lost 4 lbs. during the detox.  Quick reminder, losing weight was not MY intention for doing the detox.  It was to eliminate -CHECK! ..RESTORE-CHECK!…and RESET – CHECK! my body.  So I feel accomplished in all respects.  I really enjoy challenging my mind and body in hopes of helping and inspiring others to learn and reach their wellness and balance goals.  Be advised: Everyone is different so if you are interested in a detox program, please do your research to ensure it is the right one for you! If you’d like some suggestions, feel free to contact me anytime! Making MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life daily is a choice –  GO FURTHER TODAY!

Dr. Oz DETOX – Day 1

DETOX SHAKE

Day 1 of the the Dr. Oz 3 Day DETOX is in the books! Just two days left of liquid goodness for my body. One of the main reasons I decided to do the detox was because I really get A LOT of questions about what exactly is a DETOX and which is the best kind. So I felt doing a detox myself  would be a great way to share some information and my experience along the way.  Let’s start with a few basics regarding a detox.

WHAT IS A DETOX?

A DETOX is simply the process of removing toxins from the body.  A DETOX can help the body cleanse through:

  • Resting the organs through fasting
  • Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body
  • Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin
  • Improving circulation of the blood
  • Refueling the body with healthy nutrients

WHY DETOX?

A DETOX  can help us eliminate some of the pollution found in the air, water and food we eat. Sometimes our diets contain too much animal protein, saturated and trans fats,  caffeine and alcohol which radically alters our internal ecosystem.

I chose the Dr. Oz 3 day DETOX because it was short term, easy to follow and it still allowed me to take in about 1400cal/day.  Also I had about half of the items from the grocery list already in house! LOL  I prepped everything for Day 1 Saturday night and was ready to get my DETOX on bright and early Sunday morning ; P

Unknown

DAY 1 WRAP

Overall it was a good day! The breakfast shake was quick and easy to make.   I thought the shake was actually filling and pretty tasty.  I took the required vitamins after and was on my way to church for a meeting, to teach and attend service.  On the way I was honestly thinking to myself, “this is going to be easy, I can do this, 3-4 shakes a day – NO PROBLEM.”  Then I encountered the first challenge for the day!  At the meeting, a spread of homemade double layered chocolate cake ,fresh fruit and assorted coffees & hot chocolate was filling all my senses at once.. LOL   So I armored myself up by keeping busy chatting with others and drinking plenty of water.  It WORKED temporarily.  Shortly after the meeting,  our religious education program celebrated the Feast of Christ the King with all kinds of snacks , goodies and games for the kiddos.  All the popcorn and cheesy nachos you can EAT.  Once again, I tried the “keeping myself busy” method in order to avoid temptation.  It was tough but I knew it was only my mind playing tricks on me.  The truth of the matter is I  knew I really WAS NOT hungry! The breakfast shake and water I was drinking was beyond filling and satisfying.  I was battling the psychological challenge we often do of fighting off the alluring aromas and enticing visuals of food we crave and desire.  

DETOX items

The rest of the day went pretty good.  Both the Lunch and Dinner shakes were flavorful and kept me feeling full.  I continued my habit of drinking 3 Liters of water throughout the day.  I really didn’t feel any negative side effects other than feeling a little fatigued by the end of the night.  I did lose a pound and a half and noticed a little less bloating around my stomach.  I’m committed to the process and looking forward to seeing this through to the end! I think I might have convinced my sister to try the detox next.  I appreciate all the suggestions submitted through Facebook! There were a lot of good options to consider.  Oh, one last thing, I didn’t workout on Day 1 because I normally don’t workout on Sundays.  I plan to do my normal workouts the rest of the DETOX and will continue to keep you’ll updated.  Remember let’s continue to make MOVEMENTS towards a healthier, happier and balanced life daily!

Q-tober Wrap Up: Give YOURSELF a HAND!

QM_RELAX

The Q-tober Challenge is over! There were some SERIOUS CHALLENGES and plenty  ACCOMPLISHMENTS over the last 31 days.  I was 2 lb away from my goal with only 2 days left in the challenge.  I have to admit I felt a little desperate  since I REALLY wanted to make my goal.  I thought about not eating or just drinking water….NOT! I LOVE FOOD too much! LOL  So after I got my EGO out of the way of potentially not making my goal in time, I settled in to my favorite scripture “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:36.  This scripture reminded me to stick to my plan and TRUST in the process.

Instead of going over the details of how much I ate and worked out again, I decided to wrap up  the Q-tober challenge by sharing a few of my “aha” moments  with you.

  • Do YOU! – With any “challenge” in life it’s important to take a moment and really understand the WHY.  Determine why you are going to exert your time, efforts, resources and energy to take on the life’s challenges you do.  Once you have this figured out, then you will have a place of strength and clarity within to retreat to when you encounter resistance from the outside.  As for me during this time, I found out not everyone was “TEAM SUSIE”.  They either didn’t understand, didn’t support me or just didn’t care all together about my desire to improve my health & fitness.  So rather than allow it to discourage me, I retreated to MY place of strength within and began to find peace with the fact that this wasn’t about everyone else.  This was MY challenge.  So remember – DO YOU!
  • One day at a time –  With goal setting, it’s always been best for me to set small short term  as well as long term goals or else I get easily overwhelmed and discouraged all together.  It really helped me to not only set weekly weight loss goals but I also set daily goals for myself.  By doing this I was better able to stay focused and committed to the overall challenge.  So instead of one big 31 day challenge, I lived 31 daily challenges! LOL More challenges = more opportunities for SUCCESS! 
  • Preparation -  I talk this topic so often with my clients! Preparation is KEY not only to weight loss but with achieving most goals in life. During this challenge, I made sure to plan out my days so as to ensure I had sufficient time to include workouts.  Planning ahead for meals was CRITICAL for me!!! Since life is not perfect, this is where I fell short at times.  However more times than not, planning and preparing meals & workouts really helped.
  • Gratitude  – This was my BIGGEST “aha” moment! Even though I desired FIREWORKS and confetti falling from the sky every time I resisted temptation or reached a personal goal, I quickly realized that was not a reality!  I had to learn how to reward and thank MYSELF.  Of course we all want the positive acknowledgement from others, the “Great job!” or “Keep it Up!”  However through this experience,  I learned the importance of thanking myself  for my own accomplishments rather than seek it from others.  I encourage everyone to take the time to appreciate yourself DAILY! Give yourself a HIGH FIVE ; )

QM_CHALLANGE

I lost 9.5 lbs. in 31 days.  In the end, I feel I GAINED much more than I loss!  I know some lives were changed for the better and I hope you all will continue to take on worthy challenges with the knowledge you gained from this experience. This might sound CRAZY but I’m thinking I’m going to keep this challenge ongoing in November but FIRST – I’m off to TREAT myself to burger, fries, soda and a CUPCAKE ; )

QM_QTOBER

Entrepreneurs Show Me the Service!

QM Piggy

How non-money making volunteer work can change entrepreneurs and others

Being an entrepreneur can certainly become a goal in its own—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But by simply looking beyond the bottom line, entrepreneurs can dramatically enhance the lives of those who might be less fortunate.

“Show me the money!” is a phrase made famous by Tom Cruise in the film Jerry Maguire in 1996. Cruise played a sports agent who vigorously sought to get the highest dollars for his clients.

Entrepreneurs have a similar challenge and motivation in business; however, we are our own clients. I’m certain most entrepreneurs envision the day when their products and services are in high demand and can command the highest value.

This mentality is common in entrepreneurship. It’s the confidence, belief and knowledge that your business is your most treasured client. Therefore, it’s perfectly logical that your goal is to generate the greatest revenue through all means necessary. This is the foundation of good business, right? Your service/product equals monetary value.  As a budding entrepreneur in the field in health and fitness, I’m learning the true value of my services through service.

A Great Opportunity

I recently attended an event for entrepreneurs and was excited about the hopes of attracting new clients. Well, those hopes were surpassed when a fellow entrepreneur approached me with an opportunity to share my health-coaching services with the local Christian Women’s Job Corp organization.

To be honest, I’d never heard of this group before so I agreed to discuss it more at a later time before making a commitment. I soon learned the Christian Women’s Job Corp was a ministry working to bring hope to women through Bible study, one-on-one mentoring, new life skills and job-readiness preparation. “Wow,” I thought, “what a great opportunity!” But wait, how much does this opportunity pay?

Before I could formulate my thoughts and words, it was made clear this was a volunteer position. Although, I knew this was going to be a significant obligation of my time and services, without hesitation I firmly stated my commitment to the group and started the following week. So instead of hoping to generate a few new clients from the networking event, I was blessed with about a dozen.

 Paid in Full

My time serving this group of women has been, as they say, priceless.  In just a short time, I feel I’ve made connections with them beyond just being a health coach. We’ve also become friends. We not only talk about the importance of good health and fitness, but also about some of the barriers they face and strategies they can use to overcome them.

My “a-ha” moment revealed itself one day while I was conducting routine individual-fitness assessments. In between weighing and taking waist and thigh measurements, I realized the true value of this service. Some of the women shared more than just health history, medications and eating habits with me. They revealed significant life challenges they were currently facing or had recently conquered. I learned so much by simply listening to the women during this personal time.

You see, the key to effective health coaching is good listening skills. Through listening, I was better able to hear and understand more than just about the women’s health and fitness goals, but also their desire for overall change in their lives.  Perhaps the chance to help women change life for the better was my “payment” for services rendered. If so, I consider myself paid in full.

Valuable Lessons

Although they say time is money, I’m confident the valuable lessons I’m learning as a person, health coach and entrepreneur through this act of service will reveal itself in time. I would encourage other entrepreneurs to explore opportunities to share your products/services with others.  You never know who you will come across during this time and how it could change your business and life for the better.

A wise woman once told me that if you’re willing to work for free and still feel good about it, then you have the true spirit of an entrepreneur. At the time, I thought, “Entrepreneurship is about making money.” Today, I can say I totally understand what she meant. So when the next opportunity comes your way, instead of thinking, “Show me the money!” maybe you’ll think, “Show me the service!” first.

Article published on Latin Business Today website: http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2013/10/entrepreneurs-show-service/