The Blueprint Blog

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

5 Tips to Loving Your Customers Worksheet

In The BluePrint, Tools and Resources on June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

Robert C. McKenzie, CEO of Tattoo Technologies and Fit Business Fit People Inc. will be joining us today to discuss 5 tips for loving your customers.  You can download the worksheet below to follow along with the discussion and capture your insights!



Living The Dream Worksheet_5 Tips to Loving Your Customers_Revised_RCM06062012


Join me and my guest, business owner Rob

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

Join me and my guest, business owner Robert C. McKenzie, as we discuss tips for loving your customers. Robert will explore how to become a brand that your customers will love because you love them!

What you eat CAN effect your level of success!!

In The BluePrint on May 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Fresh fruit and veggies!

Well I’m super-energized following my online radio broadcast today with Raw Food Vegan and Coach Marquese Martin-Hayes of The Proper Physique!  He talked to me and the audience about the five (5) components of nutrition that will determine your future. I am like a lot of you and developed poor eating habits over the years and now in my 40’s they are starting to catch up with me. I really buy-in to the ideas that food is supposed to taste good and that it’s very important to how we socialize with our friends and family. We are surrounded by thoughts and beliefs that keep us chained to outdated paradigms.  This was obvious to me when I stopped eating pork about 22 years ago.  I came home a new mother at 21 after living in Hawaii for three years and announced to my family (and especially my African-American southern grandma) that I was no longer eating pork.  You would have thought I had three eyes!

Marquese explained that we don’t use food as it was intended, fuel for the body, but we’ve abused it and have gotten ourselves into the trouble that we have with chronic illness, obesity, depression. Starting to think about food as fuel for my body instead of “something that tastes good” is a shift for me. My motto was “if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not eating it.”  And my tactic was to put enough salt or sugar on it until it tasted good! LOL  Fortunately, I’m changing that now and invite you to join me!

You can also learn more from Marquese about nutrition as a contributor to The BluePrint online learning community!

Motherhood: A Woman’s Choice

In Personal Insight on May 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

Image  I was inspired by a conversation this morning on Twitter by some women who are in their 40’s and have yet to marry and have children but long to be mothers.  They affectionately refer to each other as #PANK (Professional Aunts No Kids).  I could just tell by their tweets that these women definitely have the hearts of mothers and feel like maybe their time is up.

I can’t pretend to understand because I’ve been a mother all of my adult life. I had my first child at the tender age of 21 and my second at 36. So I’ve been somebody’s mama for almost 22 years now. But what I did sense from these women was a longing that is real to any woman especially a mother.  I empathize with their longing.

But there are options now.  I think as women, we need to update the conversation and change the paradigm.  We’ve updated our thinking in so many areas of life but we’re still stuck in an outdated paradigm of motherhood. In other words, “I have to be married and I have to conceive the child biologically with my husband.”  And while that may be the ideal, it’s certainly not the only option.  Adoption and surrogates can also be options now and women should be open to exploring them.  I have many close friends and colleagues who either were adopted or adopted children themselves. And they would tell you that they feel extreme love from their adoptive parents or for their adopted children.

It’s not impossible.  But often we want to dictate how God chooses to bless us. If it doesn’t come in a certain package, then we might miss it.  Think about all of the women who are raising children without husbands right now. Fathers who were killed in wars or died from diseases or just walked away. Grandmothers, aunts and girlfriends who have stepped in and are raising someone else’s children because maybe the biological mother can’t.  These women are no less mothers because the fathers aren’t in the picture.  So then “motherhood” is NOT defined by the presence or absence of the father.  Motherhood is a relationship between a nurturing woman and a child period.  A woman who has chosen that she wants to spend her life and resources helping this child find or make his or her place in the world. Chosen to love that child unconditionally.

So why aren’t more women exploring single motherhood via adoption or surrogates? We are more educated and financially equipped now than ever before so why don’t we feel we can do it?  I think that part of the reason some women don’t explore the options of single adoption or surrogates is because over the years we’ve secretly and harshly judged single mothers and so the idea of “choosing” to be one forces us to look at that judgment for what it is.  We’ve secretly wondered “what did she do to run that man off?” We’ve judged her as irresponsible with her sexuality never thinking that “her” is “us”.  And I can tell you that as a single mother, I’ve judged myself that way.  I’ve wondered the same things about myself earlier in my life.  I’ve beat myself up about how my choices may negatively impact the lives of my children.  But rather than being a victim of my circumstances and choices, I do the best that I can and just love them and myself.  And let’s be honest, it’s hard. Raising kids will tap into every issue, insecurity, fear and pain you can experience.  But nothing in my life has brought me greater joy either so I wish it for every woman who desires to experience it.

So to all of those moms-to-be, I don’t believe that God would plant a desire for motherhood in you so deeply only to deny you the blessing. It may take a while (Sara and Abraham in the Bible) or it may come by different means but it IS possible.  God is faithful.

Blessings to all the mothers and mothers to-be.

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Listen to
internet radio with BluePrint Your Dream Life on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to my new episode Education Natio

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Listen to my new episode Education Nation Tour rolls through Atlanta, GA at #BlogTalkRadio

What are you afraid of?

In Motivation on April 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Fear.  Perhaps the most debilitating word in any language. Such a small word for such a strong emotion and an even stronger ability to paralyze us in our tracks. Even though we’re adults now and we know that the boogey man doesn’t exist and that things are rarely as bad as we imagine them to be, fear still grips us and causes us to doubt the knowing voice that’s on the inside of us.  The voice that has seldom been wrong or off-track.  The voice that has been as constant as breathing and sometimes as life-sustaining.

I’ve learned that fear thrives in the dark. In those secluded places that we dare allow anyone to venture.  Those dark corners in the attics and basements of our lives. We’ve been too afraid to pull the cover off of it because we’ve come to believe that there really might be something there that can hurt us.  Well, it can’t.  We’ve made up stories in our minds and given the fear more power than it deserves or even warrants.  It’s only when light hits it that we realize that what looked like an old dead corpse was actually a wire hanger tangled in an upside down mop leaning against the wall. Fear is banking on you staying afraid instead of facing it head on.

Your source of light be a conversation with a friend or relative.  It might be God.  It might be an inspirational poem or blog post.  It might even be that genius voice inside of you whispering “turn on the light”. Whatever the light is for you and whatever gives you courage, turn it on.  Go on. Turn on the light.

You’re strong enough now!

In Motivation, Personal Insight on April 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

As I tried to write an encouraging email to a sister-friend this morning, I was reminded that lifes’ challenges can be a tremendous gift to us depending on how we see them and how we react to them.  Past hurts can remain buried underground in our psyche for years and then all of a sudden, there they are.  And it’s usually at the most inopportune time.  They remind us that we still have work to do but the mind is a powerful thing.  It keeps those things suppressed that at the time we might not be ready or able to deal with.  It’s the universe’s great little coping mechanism for dealing with trauma.

So if you know or believe that to be true, then what is the universe telling you when they begin to resurface?  I believe it’s God‘s way of saying “You’re strong enough to handle this now.  You are smart enough and capable enough to handle this now.”  It doesn’t usually feel like it at that very moment, but I believe it’s true.  If there are situations that you’ve been putting off or neglecting because you felt they were too hard or painful and they’re coming up now, that’s because it’s time to address them… NOW.  No matter how difficult or painful the are, look at them and resolve that you are going to handle them this time. You’re not going to put it back in the box and put it back on the shelf.  You are going to unpack it and deal with it once and for all.  You might need help and support.   You might need tools and strategies.  You will certainly need someone to help hold you accountable, BUT YOU CAN DO IT!  Those fears and limiting beliefs have been holding you back long enough.

Your dream life is waiting! Smooches~


Stop Playing with your Ex-Box!!

In The BluePrint on March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I ran across an interesting visual for a new sitcom and had to chuckle. I immediately had visions of my 25 (okay maybe 30) year-old self sorting through a box of sentimental letters, cards and gifts that had been given to me by an “ex”. I recall tears streaming down my face as I held the dried flower to my nose, half-expecting there to be some hint of fragrance after almost a year.  “CUT, kill the music”…and scene.

The phrase caught my attention because it’s one example of the many ways we saboutage our present and future by refusing to let go of the past. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe people and relationships should be discarded like old shoes. I’m still great friends with all, okay most,  of my exes and love them dearly.  But we’ve all moved on towards our dreams.  It’s not healthy to sit around fantasizing about what was or could have been. There must be some pretty obvious reasons why the relationship didn’t last, right?  And if they still mean that much to you, go get ’em!!! You never know. People change and maybe it can work this time.  I often share with people that my mom and dad married young, stayed together only five years, were divorced for about 20 years and remarried about 15 years ago and they couldn’t be happier. So stranger things have happened:-)   But if thats not the route you are led to take, then it’s time to toss your “ex-box”!  Get rid of the cards, emails, texts, naked pictures, dried flowers, pictures of you two on the beach, the toothpick that was in her pineapple on the frozen drink from your first date, the bag of hair from the first time you cut his hair…LOL…let it go!

Fond memories will always live on in your heart and that’s okay but don’t jeopardize your future by continually looking back. And the harsh reality was that my “ex” wasn’t at home crying, listening to Luther,  looking through an old box filled with things that reminded him of me. Time to stop playing with the “ex-box” boys and girls. We have grown up dreams to live!!


Your Kids Are Part of The BluePrint

In Tools and Resources on February 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Kids…whew!  I wish they came with parenting manuals.  The truth is most of us have children before we are emotionally ready and equipped to handle their needs.  This isn’t a showstopper because it’s been this way since the beginning of time.  As you think about living the life of your dreams, if you’re a parent, that definitely includes your children.  How much time do you spend learning how to be a more effective parent?  How much time do you invest in what is arguably your most valuable asset on the planet?  How do you ensure that you are instilling the proper values in them when the culture can sometimes be anything but proper?

Trust me, having raised one child and working on raising the second one, you WILL make mistakes.  Despite your best intentions, kids will be kids and they’re going to make childish mistakes.  They don’t yet have the ability in those precious little brains, cognitively or biologically, to understand all of the reasons why they can’t listen to certain music, go to R-rated movies, eat chicken nuggets every day, have a beer and cigarette or stay out all night with their friends.  It’s part of our job as parents to set boundaries and limitations to keep them out of harms way.  In addition to setting boundaries, we should also explain our reasons to them so that they learn to think critically and make good decisions when they’re up the street at their friends’ house.

The BluePrint–Design Your Dream Life will make sure you have access to resources and tools that can help you to be a better parent.  We have to prioritize our children.  We spend countless hours on our careers and our education or other life goals.  Ask yourself are you spending enough time improving your parenting skills? Are you reading books and magazines about parenting the same way you are fitness and finances?

Here’s the link to a site to get your started.

If you know of other great sites with good parenting advice, post the link in the comments.

Living the Dream,