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“You are the author of your own life story.”
At what point do you start questioning what it’s all about? Why are you here? Why have you done the things you’ve done up until this point in time? And maybe more importantly, what’s next?
You go to school because those are the rules. You get a degree because that’s the next step in getting ahead in life. You end up at a job that provides the money (yet maybe not the satisfaction). You get married and have a family. You run around day after day accomplishing a ton, yet never really feeling like you’ve reached your potential.
And you dream about so much more.
That is the premise behind Vision of Success.
I started out in a similar manner. I lived in a middle class neighborhood with a mom, dad, sister, dog, and the white picket fence. (Okay, maybe not the white picket fence. It was brown.) I went to a great high school and graduated in the top of my class. My parents put me through college so I would have it even better than they had it. I married my best friend. We found the 9 to 5 jobs and the house in the suburbs.
Then something happened.
I watched my father spend seven years of his life re-interviewing for his position with the “stable” company he had worked at for 25 years. I watched the stress build, his attitude change, and his health decline. I watched him count down the days until he could retire at 55, gain a decent pension, and try his hand at something new. And then he died of a massive heart attack two and a half months before his 55th birthday.
Something clicked that day. And a lot in my life changed.
I was already facing layoffs, cutbacks, and job insecurity in my own position. Andrew had faced three layoffs in three years. Was this really the path we wanted for ourselves? We weren’t even 30 years old, and the stress was already flying in.
So we stopped everything, reevaluated our lives, and started over from scratch.
We started a photography studio and built it up to be one of the premier studios of its time. We were selling online and built up a phenomenal web presence at a time when the online gurus were saying we couldn’t do it. In the late 1990’s, we had over 20,000 images online. The gurus kept telling us to take them down, we couldn’t succeed doing it that way. Most people accessed the Internet through dial-up. There was no way people would spend time on our site letting that many images load. We proved them wrong.
In 2001, we were at the top of the photographic industry. We specialized in weddings, took in clients from many different cultures, and from many different locations. Every event was in a different city, a different venue, and we loved it! We began speaking to photographers and coaching them on marketing strategy. We won awards from all the major photography organizations. We even created our first book – a color coffee-table book titled Being A Bride. Not only did it sell well with brides, wedding vendors used it as a special gift to share with their new clients too.
When people began asking, “How’d you do that?”, we designed a new business to answer that question. And my coaching career was born.
Fast forward to today.
Today we no longer photograph weddings; we retired from weddings when our daughter wanted to spend her weekends playing soccer and hanging out with mom and dad. It’s hard to travel every weekend and be away from your child during the only free time she has.
So we redesigned our life. We started a series of online marketing businesses to help people build small businesses and lifestyles that weren’t engrained in the 9 to 5 belief system. We became experts at online marketing and small business marketing.
We’ve built businesses from the ground up. We know what it takes to create a business in the online world and how to turn it into a successful enterprise that attracts revenue streams in a variety of ways. And at this point in our lives, we’ve even taken a successful site – a blog very niched towards the photography industry – and sold it for a healthy profit. Not bad, right? How many online business owners can say they’ve built successful sites that have earned them healthy incomes year after year; then when the time is right they’ve sold it for a healthy profit as well?
So what do you do when things work well and your life becomes a little bit “expected”? You change of course. And that’s what we did BIG TIME.
Our daughter continued to grow, and we soon found ourselves facing a new challenge: high school and college. If you’ve ever gone through the college application process, you know it can be a full time position in itself. Then came college acceptance, and our daughter announced she’s chosen a school 1200 miles away. More change. Now what?
So we stepped back and re-evaluated once again. Who were we? What did we truly want?
Just because you find something that works for you right now, today, doesn’t mean it stays that way, right? We’re all human. And that means every day brings new changes into your life.
We sold our big house in the suburbs and moved into a small apartment. Downsizing was our middle name for awhile and we sold off more than half of our personal assets.
We reassessed what we enjoy, what we are good at, and the direction we want to go now that we have more freedom on our side. Without having to stick close to home for school days, the world is at our finger tips.
We spent six weeks in Europe to see if we were ready to make some serious changes to our lives.
Then came the decision to move to the Pacific Northwest. We know we like slow travel – living some place for a longer period of time so we can get to know the locals, understand the customs, research the area and discover the hidden gems you never get to discover on a typical two week trip. We’ve settled in Portland and for now it’s our home. But don’t think for a minute we’re settled. You’ll find us traveling all the time. Last month, Seattle. Last weekend, San Francisco. Next week? Victoria, Canada. And the weekend after that? Hmmm, let me check Google a minute to plan something…
What’s next? Who knows! But that’s the beauty of not being tied down to any specific area because we have a “job” to go to or commitments to a home or property.
Now you may not be as change-crazy as we are – we actually thrive in change. (Even I have thrown up my hands a few times and said “What are we doing?” “Are we crazy?”)
We’re designing our lifestyle so we can live anywhere, work anywhere, and do things to enjoy life, not live with our noses to the grindstone. Because ultimately we’ve decided to live by one rule:
We want to hang around
and truly be inspired by people who think BIG!
And in order to LIVE and THINK BIG, I have to have a way of sharing it all with you. Welcome to VisionOfSuccess.
Because through it all, I have learned many important steps along the way. [Yes, it automatically comes when you own three separate successful businesses, sell off a business and a website for profit, and go through many of lifes ups and downs with as much passion as we have.] Which is why you’ll find my motto for VisionOfSuccess is:
Candid thoughts and opinions on reinventing life to be vibrant, successful, sexy, and alive!
What you’ll find on these pages is a labor of love. It’s my growth model. It’s my writings as a successful business owner [and of course wife and mother as well]. I talk about anything and everything that helps us live successful second acts in life. I share ideas about how to make your reinvention process spectacular. I get candid. And I speak my truth. Because I don’t know any other way.
Yeah, like all of us, I’ve dealt with my own personal “crap”. It’s made me who I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So why not share that in my musings? I know you’ll get those “a-ha” moments too as you read along.
If you’ve always wanted a mentor that is passionate about work and play, I’m willing to be your guide. If you’ve wanted a coach who understands what its like to have a Big Idea hidden deep inside, and you’d give anything to reinvent your life to add that to it, I can guide you. If you’ve decided now is your time, and you want a friend along the path that can teach you the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle, a healthy business, or even just a healthy attitude towards life, I’m glad to share my wisdom.
Change doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, in can be quite exhilarating.
Vision of Success is about envisioning what you want your life to look like at some point in the future, and creating the plans necessary to make it a reality. What it looks like is different for everyone; but success is easy to measure once you know what to look for.
Join us as we show you how we’re approaching the newest phase of our own journey, and how you can use the same strategies to help you discover how you can change the days, weeks, months and years that are in your near future, and start living the dream lifestyle you know is meant to be.
p.s. Have you always had the desire to share your knowledge, your passion, with the world, but are unclear on how to move forward? Are you ready to reinvent your second act, yet have no idea where to start? You see, I think every woman deserves to reinvent her life and shake things up a bit, because we all have so much to share! I want you to take that BIG IDEA and succeed! I want you to start up that business you’ve been dreaming about. I want you to simplify your life to discover what is truly important. I want you to travel the world to discover who you really are. Because only then will you be ready to share you creativity and desire with the rest of the world. You have to start someplace… Learn how today>>
p.p.s. I guess you could say I’ve been a writer my entire life. I’m the girl that has a drawer full of diaries back home. I’ve journaled forever. Somewhere along our journey through Europe, I got the idea for a novel. I outlined it. I planned it. I thought about it. I even started writing it. It took me several years, but when we decided to slow travel, I pulled that novel back out and decided to make it a reality. The more I planned it, the more I saw it as my new career. Yep, my stories are filled with women in the throes of reinvention, living midlife in entirely new ways. (Sounds familiar, right?) If you’re interested, you can see what I’m up to here >>