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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


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 We are surrounded by thoughts and beliefs that keep us chained to outdated paradigms.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!

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!!


Romance is easy…love requires some effort

In The BluePrint on February 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Dinner (Photo credit: Paul Watson)

During this season, we are all thinking about and surrounded by the trappings of Valentine’s Day.  The cards, flowers, candy, stuffed animals and all those damn love songs on the radio! It struck me as I talked to my daughter about this topic that romance is the easy part of relationships but romantic love on the other hand takes real effort.  Some would take issue with that statement because they are dealing with what I think is an immature version of love which is really infatuation with a bit of lust thrown in for good measure.  I’ve learned that love is not for whimps!  Love is going to challenge and stretch and grow you like nothing else.  Our fantasy version of love tells us that love is without conflict, always peacable, everyone is always walking around with a silly grin on their faces and can’t wait to get home to jump in bed and make mad, wild, chandelier-swinging love for hours. I hear all of the 30+ group laughing going “yeah right…hours!” LOL

I’m not a romantic pessimist.  I’m more of a realist but am a true-blue romantic at heart.  I know that the romantic love that we all dreamed about when we were younger DOES exist but what they don’t tell you in the fairytale is that you have to work at it.  You have to be willing to talk and listen, give and take, be right and be wrong, say I’m sorry, forgive and change.  None of us like change.  Not only is it hard emotionally but there’s biology and brain science working against us.  You have to have courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone and trust them. A good friend of mine always says that “love provides a safe space to learn and  practice courage.”  Love also requires the willingness to look at yourself as reflected back to you by your partner and marvel at the good and not so good things about yourself.  The first thing we want to do if we don’t like what we see or what our partner is telling us is to throw away the mirror.  But I’ve come to realize that I can’t run away from me.  No matter where I go, there I am.

But we continue to pursue romantic love with everything in us.  Why?  Because we are made for connection.  We desire to be loved and accepted by another human being in an intimate way.  We want to both “know” and “be known” deeply by someone.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve created a brief poll that will only take you a few seconds.  How would you rate your romantic relationship?

Time to come out of the box

In Motivation, The BluePrint on January 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I was talking to a friend and colleague a while back about life in general and how both life and circumstance seem to be conspiring to keep us all locked in our “boxes”.  We talked about our hesitation and in some cases downright unwillingness to question the ideas and beliefs that we’ve held on to for much if not most of our lives.  But how do you REALLY “know” a thing if you’ve never, on some level, asked the question???  A favorite quote of mine (and I can’t recall where I first heard it–either inside our out of my head) is that “untested faith (in anyone or anything) is unreliable”.  In other words, I can say I have faith in my desk chairs’ ability to hold me but until I plop my butt down in it, I’m not acting on my faith.  I’m not “testing” the chairs’ ability to deliver the goods.  I’m looking at it and it’s looking back at me as it were…but neither ever really KNOWS, right?

The “box” represents everything we know, believe, have experienced, have been told or taught.  Those beliefs, experiences, stories and lessons have shaped who we are.   They provide the “backstory” to our lives.  Interestingly, the box both informs and reinforces every decision we make or don’t make and every action we take or don’t take and even our secret thoughts.  So in essence, if you never think or venture outside of the box it will do what it’s designed to do which is keep you “in” and keep everything else “out”. That’s what boxes are for.  Some people’s arrogance would have them believe that they aren’t boxed in but if you look closer, they really just have a bigger box. At first glance they may seem to be freer…more money, more prestige, more self-actualized, more educated…but those things can also be boxes.

I don’t typically do well in boxes long-term even when they’re of my own making. I’m an emotional, spiritual, anaytical claustrophobic! I don’t like being in tight, closed spaces. I don’t like having limits placed on me nor should I place them on myself and others. I have no idea what another person is capable of and so shouldn’t project my own insecurities and limitations on them. We’re all capable if greatness.

So whatever your box is, it’s worth it to venture outside. Do something different. Face your fears head-on. No one ever became a better version by taking the safe route. At the end of 2011, we relected on the greatness of now deceased Apple CEO Steve Jobs and celebrated him for deciding that he was not going to waste his life living someone else’s. We should all be so brave.

Nobody’s going to do it for you

In Motivation, The BluePrint on January 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

There are certain junctures in life where we’re all called upon to really walk out what we say we believe. It usually comes at the most inconvenient time. A time where we are not feeling particularly courageous or equipped. I can’t recall who said it but there’s a quote that says “if it was easy everybody would do it”. Well, it’s not easy and nobody’s going to do it for you!

Whatever the hurdle or decision is that you’ve been avoiding because it seems too hard, just know that you can do it. You HAVE to do it. You’re the only one who CAN do it which means you have all that you need. There are huge risks involved in living our values, dreams and making the tough decisions but there are also great rewards. So…get to it!!

Every House Needs A Foundation

In The BluePrint on January 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

I’ve been doing lots of reading, reflecting and writing.  One theme that keeps coming up for me as I contemplate my own dream life, is authenticity.  It strikes me that throughout our lives we do a lot of things based on scripts that have been imprinted on us since childhood. The types of partners we are attracted to, what we believe about ourselves and others, our political affiliations, what God we believe in or don’t, the value of money and hardwork…all of these ideas, concepts, values and believes can be traced back to a time in our lives when we were very unconscious of them and what they would eventually come to mean to us. 

Trust me, I’m all for traditions, rituals and family values.  They only pose a problem when they aren’t authentically our own.  When we have examined them against our own journey and destiny to determine their current usefulness.  As I, and  you, look to design and build the life of our dreams, one of the first steps should be to make sure we are clear about defining the Foundation.  The Foundation of your dream life represents the aspect that everything else will rest upon.  It is the part of the house that is least likely to shift and change.  It represents your area of stability. I’ve been careful in The BluePrint…Design Your Dream Life not to define that for you.  It can be Spirituality, Finances, Education, Family, Relationships, Career, Health/Fitness….it might be different for each of us but what it must be is authentic.  It must be yours.  It can’t be grandmas’ or mommas’ or daddys’ or husbands’ or anyone else’s otherwise it won’t adequately support YOUR life. So, as we go into 2012 and ponder the design for our dream lives, let us first get clear on The Foundation.  Make sure that you are building and living YOUR life not someone elses. 

Living the Dream,