10 Reasons My Parents Were a Blessing

As I reflect on what would have been my dad’s birthday today, I thank God for how He blessed me with amazing parents. This day and age, it seems that parents get a raw deal and people may not give them the credit for the sacrifice that they made for their kids. And most of the time people do not realize this until they are adults with responsibilities, homes, children, jobs etc.

My dad and his 3 prizes!

So let’s take time to thank our parents in person, if you are blessed to still have them with you. And if they have passed away, to remember and thank God for them.

1. They supported me and my dreams. 

Think of all of the things you were interested in along your life and how your parents supported you? Sports teams, art class, dance troupe, graduate school, whatever…they were there.

2. They were examples of a strong work ethic. 

I know I have told this to many people, but I grew up with one family car. My dad took the bus to work. My dad left for work at 6:30 AM and returned home around 6:00 PM. Yet, he would still find time to play with us, to help us with homework, listen to our problems, and even have some fun!

3. They inspired me to always do my best. 

My parents always told me to do my best. And I took that literally. Whether I was waitressing during a summer job or learning how to cook, I always did and will continue to do my best – because I saw them doing their best. It’s not even in the realm of possibilities NOT to do my best.

4. They showed us how to have good fun just by being together.

Some of the best memories I have as a family were sitting at home at the kitchen table or on the living room floor just hanging out together and talking, laughing, or playing a game. Many other fun times were spent helping my mom in the kitchen learning how to cook a new “ethic dish” (that was very advanced for mom way back then!) or baking Christmas cookies far into the night.

Dad and mom and I!

5. They taught me to treat all people equally. 

Kindness just came naturally. We didn’t see color or race or ethnicity or disability. All people were the same. I remember when I realized as a teenager that not everyone sees the world this way. It was shocking. I am blessed to have that ingrained in me – especially in the times our country is now facing.

6. They were always there for me – no matter what my age.

Growing up, my parents attended every event my sisters and I were involved in. They took us to places we wanted to go as much as they could afford. They talked us through moving away to college and helped us become adults but yet were always just a phone call away. I remember sitting on my dad’s lap even as an adult. 🙂

7. They are encouraging but realistic. 

My parents lived simple lives compared to most people. They were raised in the Great Depression. Thus they were more cautious and helped us evaluate whether something was a good idea or not.

8. They taught me to accept myself and expect respect. 

I remember my mom having “the talk” with me. But that stuck with me to this day. Our bodies are a gift from God. They are to be respected. Nobody is to disrespect you or your body. Do not tolerate that – ever. At the time you don’t know exactly what that means, but it sure was meaningful as I got older.

9. They taught me the value of a dollar and to be grateful. 

We did not live an extravagant life as kids. We did not go without but we didn’t have the “things” that others had. And you know what? I didn’t even realize it. We were happy with what we had. Stuff is just stuff. Relationships matter more.

To experience a love like my parents gave me taught me the greatest lesson of all. Love others like God loves us. Treat them how you would want to be treated, even when they don’t deserve it.
Thank you, mom and dad. You have helped make me the person I am today. I am forever grateful. Miss you both so much!


Choose Wisdom

7 Pillars of Wisdom

I recently heard a sermon at Sanibel Community Church called the 7 Pillars of Wisdom. The sermon principles apply to both our business and personal lives. We all want to gain wisdom, right? Wisdom is available to all of us. It’s a choice as to whether or not we access it. Choosing to just go through life “status quo” will not make us wiser. We must actively choose to gain it.

Think about this as it applies to your life. We each face our own set of challenges, struggles, and successes. By making a conscious effort to make wise decisions and seek God’s wisdom in all that we do, we can all improve.

Here are 7 hacks for gaining wisdom:

  1. Take action. Make the choice to seek wisdom.
  2. Leave your old ways.Old patterns and ways of thinking may need to be left behind in order to begin a new journey of learning. Sometimes you just have to willfully decide to stop thinking the way you used to think. (Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’!)
  3. Don’t waste time with scoffers.  When There are plenty of people who want to hear what you have to say. But on the other hand, there are plenty of people who would love to argue with you. Do not waste your breath on those who do not want to know and grow.
  4. Be teachable. A righteous man will increase in learning. Admit that you have a lot to learn and submit to those wiser than you. Trust God for guidance along the way.
  5. Fear God. God’s not Santa Claus in the sky. Respect and revere Him. He holds our eternal destiny, not to mention all of the other things we are dealing with!
  6. Learn. Actually learn. As NIKE says, “Just Do It!”
  7. Choose to be wise. Listen and follow the path of wisdom. We choose to be wiser each day. Don’t just accept the status quo. It’s your choice! Take it!

There is no such thing as customer satisfaction

My husband and I recently sat next to a person on a flight to Chicago who turned out to be a powerhouse is his industry. I don’t know about you, but when you meet a fellow business owner, no matter the business, you instantly share a knowing glance, a common sigh, but also a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that you started from nothing and have now made it into “something.”

You wouldn’t trade it for the world, but business ownership also comes with a price. You are “on” 24/7 and you are responsible for everything. But in return, you are given autonomy and the ability to spread your wings and try new things. And THAT, is awesome!

Customer Delight vs Satisfaction

But back to our friend on the airplane. We were speaking about customer service. He said, “There is no such things as customer satisfaction, only customer delight!” 

He went on to say something that we all know, but sometimes do not stop to remember.

Business is all about relationships.

Building strong relationships with your customers is key to having a successful business. Try as you may to wow your customers/clients, sometimes we fail to accomplish that goal. We are all human. However, when strong relationships are already in place, your customer/client is more apt to be more understanding when something goes a little awry.

Key to successful business are strong relationships.

Create customer delight:

  1. Get to know your customers on a more personal level.
  2. Remember the “little things.”
  3. Make their experience special.
  4. Remember “what’s in it for me?” (the customer”)
  5. Always think of ways to wow your customers!
  6. Thank your customers and show them you appreciate them. They could easily seek service elsewhere.
  7. Be honest with your customers, allowing some vulnerability, which lets them know you are not perfect, but are trying hard.
  8. Only hire team members who want to wow your customers.

So who’s in it to win it? We know you are! Let’s get out there and delight our customers!









The Price of Success


What does it take to succeed as a leader? Whether you are a fan of NFL football or not, the players, coaches, and administration work hard to get to where they are today. Many football coaches are great inspirational leaders. Green Bay Packer Coach Vince Lombardi was one of those leaders.

Vince Lombardi was the head coach of the Greenbay Packers from 1959 to 1967. He led the Green Bay Packers to 3 straight and 5 total NFL championships in 7 years as well as winning 2 Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967. The Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor following his sudden death from cancer in 1970.

Vince Lombardi is most significantly remembered as one of the greatest leaders in the history of all sports. Yet his life was most definitely NOT perfect by any means. He was a rough and tough guy!

Vince Lombard, Jr. wrote the book: “What it takes to be #1” and outlined these rules that he summarized from observing the life of his father:

  1. Know yourself.  You can’t improve on something you don’t understand. Be a constant learner.

2. Build your character. Character is not inherited; it is something that can be and needs to be, built and disciplined. We should constantly work on improving our character.

3. Earn your stripes.  Leaders earn the right to lead. How? They manifest character and integrity, and they get results.No leader, however great, can long continue unless they win battles.  The battle decides all.

4. Think Big picture.  The Big Picture is your road map and rudder. It can’t change in response to minor setbacks.  But it must change as the competitive environment changes.

5. Leaders are made not born.  Leadership grows out of self-knowledge, character and integrity, competence, and a comprehensive vision.  When these building blocks are in place, the leader can lead.”

Adapted from this blog on Self Development Addict.