My Favorite Books

I’m starting this post with an asterisk.  It’s never good when a post starts with an asterisk, right?  But, I’m starting it that way because although I love to read and learn new things from books, I don’t have a lot of “extra” time and I don’t really dig listening to books on Audible.  I like to have an actual book in my hand to read.

*When I say I don’t have a lot of time, I mean that.  I work over 40 hours a week away from home, have 2 kids, work a side hustle with Rodan & Fields, try to schedule blog posts (I promise I really do), spend time on starting my own personal growth/development journey, have a 10 year old in travel sports, have a very needy (although also very cute) 5 year old in tee ball and try to keep up with a house, a 7 month old puppy and occasionally laundry.  On a good week, I can get a walk or two in on the treadmill.

So, without further ado….my FAVORITE books that I continuously come back to, year after year.

Reshaping It All, by Candace Cameron Bure.  This book is G-O-L-D!  She wrote this book back in 2010 or 2011 I believe, when she was starting to come back into the spotlight, and I’m telling you; it’s relatable, down to earth, HONEST and something every woman and mother needs to read.  It’s no secret that Candace is, and always has been one of my favorite people in the celebrity world.  I love many of her books, but there was something about this one that clicked with me instantly.  I refer to it all the time, 8 years later!  It contains ways to mindfully eat, a handful of very simple recipes, scriptures related to each chapter’s subject and even touches on getting back into a workout routine and getting your mind back to what’s important.  Go get it or download it!

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  I was reading Self Magazine one day in 2011 while eating breakfast (side note: this only happened because we only had 1 kiddo at the time, obviously haha) and saw the suggestion for this book.  At the time, I wanted to read something new and different, and what’s better than a book called with this title?  Right?  I walked myself into Barnes and Noble and bought it a few days later.  We were living with my parents at the time while our home was being built and the only piece of workout equipment they had was a stationary bike.  So I took the book with me every night while I was on the bike.  I was hooked.  What an amazing book!  And, at the same time, my workout went from 30 minutes to 60 minutes because I literally couldn’t put the book down.  The idea that every month Gretchen implemented something that sparked happiness in herself and in others made me happy as well.  The notion that if you just change things up, start some new habits that are good for your soul and change your perspective on every day occurrences was a little mind blowing to me.  It made me think about what my habits were at the time and how I could change them ever so slightly to become a happier person, and/or make someone else happy.  It’s a book I’ll never forget or get rid of.  Every time I even see it in my book collection I think of happy times.

The Frugalista Files, by Natalie McNeal.  I can’t even remember how this book fell into my lap.  Maybe another magazine suggestion?  Maybe my friend suggested it?  Regardless, it was funny, insightful and enlightening!  Ironically, I remember reading this book while watching the Royal Wedding (William and Kate)…so I mean, basically this concept sums up my life, haha.  As I’m reading a book on how to save money and how this amazing woman paid off over 30,000 in debt, I’m watching a million dollar wedding and getting googly eyes over Princess Diana’s massive diamond ring on Kate’s finger.  All joking aside, this book was awesome!  Natalie, the author, is so funny and honest and gives realistic goals and tips for cutting back on expenses, while being a woman in the workplace that still has a great social life.  It was a fun read and would be good for anyone looking to change up some of their financial habits. Check Natalie and her hilariousness out!

Do you guys notice the word habit keeps coming up?  It amazes me, that even in 2011, changing habits was something I was not knowingly gravitating to.  Habits are obviously the HARDEST thing in our lives to change.  You don’t even realize how hard it is to change them until you try to be consistent to make a change.  Now that I’m slowly stepping into the personal growth/development world, I’m realizing how naive I was before, when I THOUGHT I had good habits.  Friends, let me just tell you, I have a looooooong way to go.  Sorry for the side step from the book reviews, but it’s amazing to me that even 8 years ago…personal development was there, under the surface, screaming to be heard.

Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis.  If you haven’t heard of this book, you are living under a rock.  If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out.  So listen, sometimes we search for something to grasp when we go through hard times.  I was doing this last spring/summer when panic disorder was ruling my life at the time and my anxiety was spiraling out of control.  I was desperately looking for something and someone to relate to.  I would google anxiety help and all kinds of crazy stuff would come up, I would search and search for books on anxiety and OCD and panic disorder and only clinical type books would come up, no matter how I tried to search.  Then, deep, dark in the rabbit hole I had gone down in, I came across someone recommending this book.  Here’s the thing, this book is NOT a book on how to help anxiety.  I think it was more like a red blinking light sent to me from God that I needed to do a deeper dive into the world of all things Rachel Hollis.  When I did this, I found her podcast called Rise.  I had never listened to a podcast and didn’t even know how to work the podcasts on my iPhone.  I came across her podcast from April of 2018 about how she dealt with her debilitating anxiety.  I felt like the world sat still for just a minute….I had FINALLY found someone I could relate to, someone my age, that was a mom, that had been an event planner, that wanted to work, but had bigger plans no matter the struggle with anxiety and that was honest about her successes and failures.  Are our reasons for anxiety the same?  Somewhat.  But, I took the TOOLS in that podcast and in the book that I found and applied them in my day to day life.  Game-changer.  As I mentioned above, the book is not about how to deal with anxiety, but if you are struggling with anxiety and know the red flags associated, then you will find the tools in the book.

This book is about lies we tell ourselves as women, moms, sisters, daughters, co-workers etc. that we have started to believe.  This book is about ENCOURAGING you to live the life God created you for.  Will it happen overnight?  Heck no….God wants us to work for what we want, ya know.  It’s about using our gifts God blessed us with, to their greatest potential.  It talks about getting out of your own way and not caring so much about what people may think of your goals!  It opened up a lot of doors for me; for example, I felt led to talk about my anxiety struggle and knew so many others around me dealt with similar issues, but I just didn’t know how to display it.  Now I use my blog, yep…this little sucker here, to be completely 100% honest about my anxiety battles.  Do you know what that did?  It, in turn, helped other people, which in turn, helped me feel better, helping others.  Then I thought, as silly as it sounds, I’ve always wanted my own platform, and it’s giving me one…albeit a very small one right now, but it’s something.  It encouraged me to keep going, through the panic, through the OCD, through the anxiety and get my story out there.  I have no idea where all of this will lead, but I know where I would ultimately LIKE for it to lead….anxiety and all.  So, stay tuned and please please please, go get this book and subscribe to the Rise podcast!!!

The 5 Second Rule, by Mel Robbins.  I’ll be honest, this was another find on my quest for all things anxiety help last summer.  I didn’t find out about this book until last fall when I had come across something of Mel’s on You Tube.  I, again, like many times, fell down the rabbit hole of listening to her Ted Talk on the 5 Second Rule, then going on to listen to her give interviews with several personal growth gurus and before I knew it, I was following her on social, subscribed to her You Tube channel, ordering her book and listening to her morning coffee talks.  The book is not all about how to get past anxiety.  It’s about learning how to change your brain’s thoughts.  We can retrain our brain, ya know?  It’s about developing habits and staying consistent and doing them anyway even when you don’t.  You hate working out, welp, 5-4-3-2-1- DO IT ANYWAY.  You can apply this teaching to basically any situation in life.  It takes work.  Don’t let the simple concept fool you…because trust me, I’m still working on it.  I have a long way to go before my brain adjusts to accept different thought.  Here’s something to take away though, Mel is one smart woman.  She is a lawyer and is one of the most sought after speakers in North America.  All of her research is backed by science, generally from Harvard or Yale studies and she is hilarious!  Also, she’s a busy mom with an even busier life that still manages to be present and open to new thoughts and ideas.  And yes, she’s an anxiety sufferer as well, but has self taught her way around it.  It’s a great read guys, you should definitely check it out!

Well, there ya have it!  My top reads!  I really hope you will hit up your local library or Target, or hop on Amazon to give these books some love.  I have several others that I have read that are definitely some awesome reads, so I may include them next time.  As you can see, I’m not a big fiction reader.  I really don’t have an answer for why that is.  Maybe because what little time I can devote to reading, I want to read about ways to make my life the best it can be?  That sounds right.

(Side note: I’m 100% positive that Rachel Hollis’ new book Girl, Stop Apologizing will be on the next list, but I just haven’t finished it yet.)

I hope you all have a great day and if you have read any of these books, drop me a note and let me know what you thought of them!!

xoxox

Mary

Inspiring Others, Everyday

Over the weekend while I was scrolling through social media, specifically Facebook, I noticed that probably 30-40% of my timeline posts were network marketing related; anything from monthly specials, to hostess gifts, to team building activities or even retreats. I know it can seem, to some, especially those who are not a part of a network marketing company, like they are “bombarded” with these opportunities everyday. For me, however, seeing so many of these network marketing companies’ missions come through social media channels like Facebook, makes me extremely happy and very hopeful and inspired.

You see, network marketing is not a pyramid “scheme”. Literally, it hurts to even use that word in this blog post. Rather, it’s a chance to be your own business owner and its HARD work to run. Hard work, skill, dedication and devotion. Contrary to what some think, it’s definitely not a get rich quick type of business. Sure, the opportunity is there to make money, but the big dollars come from countless hours, days, weeks, months and years of hard work and 150% dedication. There are also incentives, promotions and bonuses that are given from some companies as a pat on the back to the top performers.

It’s no different than an 8-5 job. Managers are paid more because they have people they are responsible for, only in network marketing, managers are called directors, or executives, or diamonds. The big picture is that it’s the same concept and whether you choose network marketing, an 8-5 or both, it’s hard work, loyalty and making connections that allow you to advance.

I’ve heard several people say that even the Wall Street Journal sings the praises of the business model for network marketing. Why wouldn’t you want to be your own boss and own your own time? It’s not the story of the Tupperware lady or Avon lady selling to her stay at home mom friends anymore. That is such a thing of the past. It’s much bigger now. More profitable. Business women and men are working full time in network marketing now, selling high quality products to consumers around the country and consumers are experiencing great results.

Want more proof? Check out this interesting article from Forbes Magazine about network marketing and retirement. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2014/08/29/would-you-join-a-multi-level-marketing-company-for-retirement-income/

I have had a few experiences with network marketing. First, I’m going to tell you what not to do. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to make some extra money, so I joined Pampered Chef. Why did I chose Pampered Chef? Well, because the market was not saturated with PC consultants and I thought that was a smart move. Well, silly me because it’s no secret the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house. Alright, that’s 100% true these days, but it’s not on my top 10 list. While I loved the recipes and the kitchen tools, I felt like I couldn’t really be a good salesperson for a product that I didn’t use enough of myself. Plus, their recipes are not for the calorie conscious, if you know what I mean… I made some money from it and that was great, but I let it fizzle out. While I thought I was being smart by choosing a company that was not over saturated, it really was not smart to choose a company that was not the best fit for my personal goals, or to think I would make a significant amount of money every month without being 100%
committed.

Then in 2011, I decided to take the network marketing leap again with Thirty One and you can read about my journey here.

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And just this past September, Young Living Essential Oils fell into my lap. I wasn’t planning on selling these. I had heard such wonderful buzz on these oils and all of my readers know I’m one that tries to treat things the natural way before OTC meds. Brayden was starting kindergarten and being the germ freak that I am, it was not a shock I was interested in thieves oil. I was also interested in the home diffuser to diffuse thieves everyday when I got home from work, to help boost immunity. It was much more cost effective for me to purchase the Premium Starter Kit that came with thieves (plus 10 additional popular multi-use oils) and the home diffuser. After I got my kit and started experimenting (on myself of course, not our kids), I found out that the oils were the real deal. Literally and figuratively. I couldn’t believe the success I had by using them! Friends saw this and joined. I now have a team of 9.
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Now I go to online classes and read tons of research articles about these little gems, to learn more about how to use them for my family, and let’s be real mommies…..you know when you tell your pediatrician that you use them and the pediatrician doesn’t shame you for not using traditional OTC meds, that you must be doing something they approve of. And another bonus—a lot of these oils can be used on your pets. I told our vet recently that I was putting a couple blends on our dogs to help calm them down and they said it was a good idea and wouldn’t hurt them. I love being able to use and sell a product that I believe in 100%, and that “fits” my interests.
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Another aspect of network marketing that is enjoyable is the fellowship with other consultants. Most companies meet once a month or once a quarter to have a pep rally of sorts and discuss sales tactics and what is on the horizon for their business. You are in a room with 20-100+ other people just like yourself, working towards a big goal, sharing the same interests. You meet so many wonderful people and share wonderful stories. The meetings I have been to have been so enlightening and everyone seems to be there to support each other.

My point to this post is this; network marketing is a wonderful opportunity, and business model. The possibilities are endless as long as you are willing to put in the work. I’m a firm believer that we can all be better than we are, and that there is a big world out there that we can all help change.
I want to point out that I work for Young Living and Thirty One only part time. I’m not a director or executive, but I see people who are every day. I know and feel the work they put into their business. It’s not overnight success. It takes perseverance and patience and willingness to never give up. I have a few Facebook friends that are committed to their companies beyond measure and you know what? They are finding that it’s paying off……BIG. You know how they are doing it? By using social media to post their successes, their client’s successes, inspirational quotes, product specials and goals. Additionally, they turn themselves into walking billboards, finding every opportunity to talk with new clients. Breakfasts/Lunches/Dinners out, play dates with their friends and kids, treadmill time at the gym, school functions, college classes, Starbucks drive thru’s and even by going to get their weekly spray tan. They are fearless and determined and because of that, they will succeed. This inspires me.

To all those in network marketing reaching the greatness of your dreams and highest goals, I respect you and am grateful for the leadership you show. Those of us in this industry in any capacity know what it takes. I aspire to be one of those who reach their goals. Just know you are all inspirations!

So the next time you feel like your social media feeds are packed full of these products, offers and promotions; think about what that wrap, anti aging cream, P90X DVD, personalized tote, necklace or oil really means to those who are succeeding everyday in this billion dollar industry. Billion, yes, with a B.

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