Value of Process

This weekend Laurel and I got together to bang out a business plan for our partnership.  Early last week my ontological coach asked me is there value in process?  She noticed as I explained to her that things were flowing as organized as I would like that I tend to want to gift wrap things.  In other words, I’m not prepared to introduce something to the world until it’s absolutely perfect.  In my mind this means crisp, clean folds accompanied by a beautiful multi-colored bow.  If in the process of wrapping the present I miss a step, it’s as if the failure to follow the chronological process I set forth for wrapping a present, dooms the end result.  But really, in doing this, I’m forcing myself to miss the true value of the process.

Laurel and I met for about 2 hours, in which time we only managed to fully complete 2 parts of our 6 part business plan, but I made an effort to notice the value in the process vice the completion and perfection of the gift wrap.  The process was enlightening.  This is what I learned:

We are both fearful of the possibility of failure however, if you never try, you can never fail.  And what really is failure…it’s relative

We are in two different places in our lives, but we still manage to understand each other

We collaborate, we respect each other, and we enjoy each other’s company and complimentary ideas

Sometimes it’s fun to be messy and just throw down thoughts, in fact this is when the biggest ideas are born.  Gift wrapping is only the outside and you know what they say, don’t read a book by its cover.

Even if you wrap whatever you give the world in recycled newspaper, the world only really cares what’s on the inside,  don’t we all just throw away (or preferably recycle) the wrapping? defines process as: a series of actions or steps to achieve an end

But we all know process is SO MUCH MORE than that.

Run on sisters


Lean In

As Laurel and I set out on this journey together as friends, bloggers, and business partners I look to other entrepeneurs for inspiration.  This week we were able to speak to a woman who partnered with her husband to form a business that epitomized a lifestyle change.  Midwest Coasting LLC is a company founded on the ideals of living life fully, purposefully, and taking every opportunity to… reel it in.  They are now venturing into retail to spread their lifestyle and get the word out that you can indeed choose to  live a balanced, blessed, and purposeful life.  Check them out at 

We all live in a rat race of a world and those of you out there with the experience of having young children in your life know, living life to it’s fullist is a delicate balance between organization and letting loose.  Founder and Chief Simplifier of Midwest Coasting, Tania Maschhoff was happy to tell us about the founding of her company, what it meant to her, and the challenges they have faced along the way.  She shared with us what she has learned, offering us the opportunity not to have to make the same mistakes.  I’m sure we will make plenty of our own along the way, and I look forward to the day Laurel and I receive an email or a phone call from an entrepreneur looking to learn from the road we have trodden.  I’ll grab that opportunity, take hold, and pour out lessons learned so others may have the opportunity to start a business making their own mistakes and learning their own lessons.   Thank you Tania for your wisdom and your time.

I received inspiration this week from one other women in leadership, Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and author of the book Lean In.  My dear friend Ms. Marsia Geldert-Murphey introduced me to a great internet source where Ms. Sandberg gave a 15 minute TedTalk on why we have too few women leaders.  I encourage you to visit this link and listen for yourself as well as take in any other talks you find of interest.  It’s completely free! sandberg why we have too few women leaders.html

In this TedTalk Ms. Sandberg pointed out that as women we must “sit at the table”, we must lean in to reach the top.  I’m not a feminist and although I do somewhat believe in the glass ceiling I in no way believe that we as women cannot bust through it.  What I do believe is that we have to do that by leaning in.  We have to ensure we foster the connections, obtain the education, and perfect the skills to be effective leaders despite the what society still believes and the data still shows should be the female norm.  Thank you Ms. Sandberg for your enlightening talk and for inspiring me to chase my dreams of being not only an awesome mom, but also keeping my feet on the gas pedal toward my own successful future.

Run on sisters.  




The Four Pillars

Ask anyone what moves them, they will give you varying answers, but chances are that you can summarize all of them into 4 basic “pillars” as I will call them. People generally venture to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy. So I ask you today:

What is your purpose?
Are you purpose driven?
Are you moved on a daily basis by the 4 basic pillars?

Often times I think about this as I run or briskly stroll. The brisk strolls come in when I’m trying to keep up with my 4 year old on his bike in front of me while pulling my 2 year old behind in the wagon making every effort not to run over my own heels with the wagon wheels as my leash untrained dog pulls me to and fro. I have ventured lately to be fully present in what I am doing not thinking of all daily tasks I have yet to complete or daydreaming of the future. Rather just being. It’s fun to just be. It’s actually rather enlightening. You notice more of “the good stuff”.

Take for instance my recent stroll, I noticed that at each driveway my son would stop, look back at me, and wait for me to assert that it’s okay to cross. I never noticed this before nor did I give thought to how responsible that was of a 4 year old boy. This time I noticed so much so that I was able to fulfill one of his 4 basic pillars. His need to learn. This activity gave me the time to explain why I told him to stop at the driveways, what he needs to do to proceed (look both ways and ensure no one is backing out of their garage or pulling into their driveway) and how we can teach his little brother these same precautions. Wow, how great right? I in turn fulfilled 2 need pillars, living and loving.

Sometimes the easiest way to find your purpose is to take out a few minutes of your day and write down events that have changed you. The points in which you realized this world isn’t a safe place and made you switch from just living everyday in a playground of a world to driving fence posts.

To help you get started I’ll share: The event that changed my way of thinking was the Flood of 1993. I was 9 and I the switch began to occur when people started talking of the flood, the fears arose as I shoveled bag after bag of sand and they were carted off to a levee that was protecting our town from the rising waters of the Mississippi. At that point I didn’t appreciate the greatness of the river, nor did I understand what this levee was doing for us, the fear became greater when one late night in the command post several men decided they would give “one last ditch effort” to protecting the town. They came back several hours later stating it was too risky as they bagged the water continued to come through…the full change came on the very next early August morning when I awoke to see news footage of water rushing through our town and homes fully submerged by the raging Mississippi. So what was a 9 year old to take from this life changing event?

I could have taken a lot of things from it, one that the world wasn’t safe, but the other thing I took from it was the greatest gift of all. The event tempered and honed me for a greater purpose. The event called forth my greatness. As a warrior for spirit I realize now that tragic event gave me this purpose: Enriching Lives, Inspiring, and Making Something from Nothing. I was so touched by the love and support poured out by others for our small little town and by the will of the people to build anew that all of this overshadowed the tragic reality that my home, the place where I rooted my beginnings was gone.

Run on sisters and live presently for a greater purpose.