If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know what I just finished reading. This puppy:



Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Sheryl Sandberg

“Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.”

You know that’s what I just read, because I can’t shut up about it. And here I go again, proving that very thing.

But you guys, this book is just so good. So very, very good. Like, really good.

And if you ask me to describe why, I’m not sure I’ll be able to place a finger on it. But I’d argue that’s the very nature of what makes an amazing book amazing; it just has that extra…something.

This is not a business book, but it talks about business.

This is not a blind, gung-ho women power book, although it does cover feminism and women-related issues.

This is not a career advice book, but it does talk about suggestions for your career and its progression and overall success.

This is not an “every woman should be working” manifesto, although it talks about what our world might be like if more women were in the workforce.

This is also not an “every woman should be at home with their family” manifesto, although it talks a lot about what our world might be like if more women had that choice.

This is not a textbook, although it contains a lot of facts.

This is not a memoir, although it includes a ton of embarrassing, funny, and poignant personal stories from the author and her friends, family, and colleagues.

Here is what this book is: eye-opening, interesting, funny, easy to read, inspiring, and motivating.

Here is who this book is for: professional women (you define that how you wish).

Here is who this book is also for: anyone, men or women, who knows a professional woman.

So basically, like, everyone!

Pick up a copy of Lean In, you guys. You’ll be so glad you did.

So there you go. I didn’t even summarize the book for you, but hopefully you got a picture of what it’s all about. Perhaps enough to send the sample to your Kindle, or pick it up the next time you’re at the book store.

Happy reading, all. I took a couple day break to let this soul-searching read sink in, and this morning I just started this one. What’re you reading?

Hugs,
AS

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Dear Babygirl,

Can you grow up a bit faster, please? There is so much that I want to teach you.

That’s all I wanted to say for now.

Love,
Mama

P.S. I was just kidding about that. Please don’t grow up. Like, ever.

For more in the Dear Babygirl series: Letters to My Daughter

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Dear Babygirl,

We have been so busy lately. So very, very busy.

It’s a good busy, this busy is. It’s not a stressful busy, in the sense of oh my gosh if I don’t get this done I won’t get paid and we won’t eat next week type of busy. Thankfully, blessedly, we have never been that type of busy.

But still, busy. This email to send out and that phone call to make and the presentation to prepare and give and those three people to follow up with and the article to edit and that chapter to outline. And oh, what time is it, 8? Awesome, all of this is due by 9.

Through it all, you are there. You are always there. Smiling and giggling and pointing to things with an excited “Uhh!” and a look in your eyes that says, “Mommy! Have you seen that chair over there? Because I’m pretty sure it’s the COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN.”

And I love when you find something that’s the coolest thing you have ever seen, because it makes me pause. It makes us pause, together. And we look over at that chair, and we look at you, and we take a breathe and nod and smile back at you and say, “Yes, sweetie. That chair IS so neat, isn’t it? Why don’t you go check it out!”

So you crawl on over and investigate the Coolest Chair Ever a little closer. You might touch it gently with a hilariously pointed chubby finger, furrow your brow, talk to it for a moment, then smile and turn back to us.

“Ahhh! Wuh rah!”
Translated into: “Umm, did you know that this chair has stripes? STRIPES! AHAHAHAHAHAA THAT IS SO COOL.”

And we take a breathe and nod and smile back at you. Again.

Those stripes, honey, they are cool. You’re right. They are so, so cool. Thank you for reminding us.

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It’s during times like these, times where our definition of busy is growing to new heights, where we appreciate and love you more than ever.

You remind us of the little things.
You remind us of how awesome a striped chair in the corner of the room really is.

I mean, it’s a chair. WITH STRIPES. WEEEEEEEE!

You remind us that yes there might be looming presentations and conference calls and deadlines and big goals, but you know what? Those things will always be there. And letting them stand in the way of living, of breathing, of smiling and enjoying each other, is not something you, or we, are going to tolerate.

You remind us that you don’t care about busy. Not one bit. Because there are chairs to explore. And many, many other things that you are sure will soon be your next Coolest Thing Ever.

You remind us that busy is simply a state of mind.

And that is reason #47,162 we are grateful for you every second of our lives.

Keep pointing out those stripes, Babygirl. Keep pointing ‘em out with gusto.

Love,
Mama

For more in the Dear Babygirl series: Letters to my Daughter

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Coming to you from Las Vegas this week! AMAZINGNESS all around with 6500 inspiring, forward-thinking, energetic, positive people at the annual Vemma convention.

It is, in a word, phenomenal.

And it’s not even over yet! Much more to come as the weekend unfolds.

I recorded this video almost three years ago, but it’s still just as applicable today. I thought you might like it.

You know what they say about the five people you spend the most time with, right? You will earn just about the same amount of money and have about the same amount of success as they do.

Is that what you want? If it is, keep it up. If it’s not, you gotta change it. And fast.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Let me know what you think about the vid!

Make it an amazing day,
AS

P.S. Maybe I should get back into the habit of recording videos. They’re kinda fun. Yeah?

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There is a vibe. And I’m plugging into it with every molecule I can.

Conferences are the best. But they can be soul-sucking, too.

There is something to be said for gathering a largish number of people in a room, all with unique interests and talents but with a shared excitement – for innovation, for a trade, for a way of life or a goal or a unified vision. Buzz is generated when you get people together like that. And it could be any type of event or meeting or convention or gathering. Doesn’t matter really. It’s just one of those things that is awesome when it happens…when you find it…when you either make it happen or happen into it.

But then there is something to be said for gatherings of another sort. This kind doesn’t need a description other than it’s a gathering of people that, simply, don’t care. Perhaps for the general subject matter or to simply not be there at all.

Gatherings attended by your own choosing.
Gatherings by someone else’s choosing.

Big difference.

The former creates a high-energy, buzzing, energy. The vibe.
The latter creates boredom. And whatever the opposite of a positive vibe would be (A negative vibe. A vobe? Ha.).

I’m at Big Kansas City today. 400 people in an airline hangar filled with vintage airplanes, a crap ton of coffee, and that vibe, all gathered to listen and learn and inspire and connect at the inaugural Big Series event to be held in the Kansas City area. It’s special. Inherently because it’s the first Big Kansas City and I am a SPN contributor and thrilled to have the event here in my town. But it’s also special because, well, because it’s special.

Big Series events are magical.

Yup, that’s what I said.

Magical.

And although the branding and signage is top-notch and the event planning is picture perfect and the speaker list impressive, that’s not what makes it magical.

It’s that vibe. That untouchable, you-know-it’s-there-but-you-can’t-see-it vibe.

Babygirl is at home today, snuggling and playing with Grandma and Grandpa. It hurts a little, as it always does to leave a punkin for any length of time that you are used to having by your side all day every day. But it’s worth it. Because I plug into that vibe and I know that, whatever the vibe ignites in me during the next two days will be worth missing my family for. Whatever that fire creates in the next week, the next month, next year or decade, will be worth it.

So, I’m vibing. And sending regular texts to Grandma. :)

Have a great day, ya’ll.

Hugs,
AS

What are you buzzing about this week??

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Okay. I’m going to share something with you, but you have to promise not to laugh. Okay? No laughing. Like. At all.

So, yeah. I have email subscribers to this here ‘lil blog – the lovely people out there that receive the full post content conveniently in their inbox whenever I post something new.

Perhaps you are one of them. You read and enjoy and trust my content, to the point that you let me into your circle just enough to share your electronic address and invite me into your personal world, the Sacred Inbox World. There are – wait for it – 95 of you.

95! Ninety-five.
I have 95 subscribers.

I’m not really sure what to say about this first, so I guess I’ll just make a list:

1) This is amazing. 95 people care enough about what I write here on this little website that they are willing to invite me into their Inbox World, where new residents are typically not welcomed and old residents are often discarded with a shrug. That is so, so cool.

2) This is pathetic. 95 people? There are 6 billion people in the world, more than half of them connected to the internet. The number of guests that attended my wedding reception is more than twice the number of people that subscribe to my blog. Seriously? Ugh.

3) This is amazing. 95 people. That’s, like, almost 100!

4) This is pathetic. I have 2,553 followers on Twitter. I have a tiny but mighty army of 124 on my Facebook fan page. I have 255 followers for my not-too-great photos on Instagram. And only 95 email subscribers? Ugh.

5) This is amazing. 95 people kinda sorta like me! And my writing!

Gary Vaynerchuk once said that all you need are a few true fans and you can accomplish anything. Not just occasional readers or customers that order once a decade or people that follow you on Twitter but never engage. REAL fans. Engaging, love-everything-you-do, follow-your-every-move, promote you on your behalf, fans. Fans that are also friends! Fan friends.

Fan family.

Sometimes all you need is a few.

My Vemma network marketing business leapt from nothing to generating a 6-figure stream of income for me in less than one year because of two people. TWO. PEOPLE.

One of my biggest writing projects right now stemmed from one person introduced to me last year by a mutual friend. One person.

Another big project was the direct result of one writing assignment for another organization.

(Sorry for the ambiguity.)

Scott Harrison, the founder of charity: water, has helped 3.2 million people get access to clean drinking water over the the last 6 years. His team is large now. But at the beginning, it was just him. One guy.

(I have seen Scott talk in person about charity: water. Holy woah. Watch this.)

I don’t mean to get all sappy and say that one person can really change the world. But, you guys, one person really can change the world.

So the fact that I have 95 of those world-changing people who invite me into their inboxes? Well, it makes this geeky mama get all embarrassed and smiley.

It’s good to remind yourself that sometimes, all it takes is a few people. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes a bit more. But the point is there.

You don’t need thousands or even hundreds of so-so fans. Thousands aren’t necessary to call yourself a success.

If I self-published a book later this year (ahem hint hint ahem), and only one person bought it, what would that feel like?

For a not-yet-published, newbie writer, having one fan who was willing to shell out a few of their hard-earned dollars to read something I wrote would feel pretty darn swell.

True fans. I have 95 of them. You’re one! (Right?)

So many of my posts seem to morph into being love letters to my readers. But there’s a reason for that!

It’s because you’re just so darn awesome. All 17 44 95 of you.

Thanks for being you.

Hugs,
AS

P.S. If you have even one follower, you’re a leader. A success. Don’t forget that, mmkay?

P.P.S. The first follower is the hardest one. If you can have one tiny tidbit of success, you can have a whole boatload. Don’t forget that either.

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I’ve been kind of short on words lately. I’m in a writing rut, I guess. Anyway, I was reading through a few older pins on my Pinterest boards the other day and was grateful for this reminder about networking, so I thought I’d share it.

“Someone you haven’t even met yet is wondering what it’d be like to know someone like you.”

You’re looking for the people that are looking for you.
They are out there, you just have to find them.
There are likeminded people everywhere.
You never know who you are going to meet.
You never know where you are going to meet them.
You never know where, or to what, meeting them could lead.

Apply it to your business, of any kind. Apply to your personal life, in any way.

Good food for thought. And such a happy thought at that, yeah?

Happy happy to you.

Hugs,
AS

Part 1: The perks of networking: You can’t make this stuff up Such a crazy story, eh?

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Earlier this week I grabbed one of my old journals and started flipping through it. They were entries from a year ago, and besides reading a ton of unecessary and ridiculous complaints about the size of my 7 month-pregnant belly and swollen tree trunk ankles, I ran into these two quotes I had recorded:

“In network marketing insterad of earning income, you build an asset – your business – and the asset generates income.” – Robert Kiyosaki in Business of the 21st Century

“The ongoing myth is that brands get built by advertising. Actually, brands get reinforced by advertising but they get built by grassroots word-of-mouth.” – Marc Andressen in a Fast Company magazine article

The first one is a great quote, and one that can apply to many types of businesses. But that’s not what I wanted to discuss.

What I wanted to discuss was the quote from Marc and word of mouth. I send a weekly email to my entire Vemma team, and last week I talked about this very thing. It seems to be popping up everywhere I look lately.

Word of mouth.
Networking.
The little things.
One person at a time.

Businesses are built on word of mouth. Fortunes are built on word of mouth. Empires. Futures!

And you know what one person telling one person telling one person telling one person is? It’s a reminder that it’s the little things that matter. The little things, done over and over again, added up, over time, that define the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful.

They say it’s the little things that make the difference. That’s true in Vemma, as it is with most things in life and business.

Everything is a choice. All of those choices, those seemingly inconsequential choices, are important.

Reading that quote just got me thinking about it again. We shouldn’t forget how important those choices are.

Is that one phone call we are making every day adding up? YES.
Are those 10 pages of a good book we’re reading every day making a difference? YES.
Are those 2 follow ups we are making every day worth it? YES YES and YES.

The results will come if you do the work. Even if the work doesn’t seem to be immediately creating results. The results are there! They are just tiny little seeds, sprouting roots and a foundation that is going stronger by the day. And it’s not until that now complex and impressive structure breaks through the ground that you have your proof that something was even happening underneath that dirt. It was happening. It. Was. Happening. It IS happening.

Word of mouth is a bag of seeds. One person telling another is one seed being planted. That seed might never bloom. It might start to grow and then become weak and die for reasons unknown. It might sit dormant for days, months, even years before doing anything. Or, that seed might grow into the very vine you needed to climb to your next step in life.

One person telling another is one seed being planted.

Word of mouth.
Networking.
The little things.
One person at a time.

What are you telling? What story? And who are you telling it to? That’s a question only you can answer. Your story. Your business. Your cause.

Sharing your story with one person at a time is a little thing. On it’s own, it’s not much. But little things done consistently over time, again and again and again, can add up to very big things indeed.

Don’t forget about word of mouth. It’s free. And it’s easy to do.

And I guess that’s all I wanted to say about that. :)

Make it a great one, all!
AS

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