Think Big, Start Small

Buterfly Monarch Ohio Caterpillar

It would be great to be able to talk to creatures in nature to see what they are really thinking.  Just look at the photo above, taken by me at a local nature spot close by.  Two caterpillars, one large and one small, or is it just the perspective of the photograph?  And do either of the caterpillars know what is in store for them in their coming days?  I surely do not know…

But, in comparison to what they may become as a butterfly, they may be thinking fairly small right now.  And, if they knew what their future was, they might be overwhelmed by the gap of where they are to where they are going.  Not knowing is a wonderful thing sometimes–it allows you to take one step at a time to get where you are going.  Martin Luther King, Jr. said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  

Relating that quote to money is really appropriate…we have talked about dreams, your dreams, and we have talked about identifying capabilities, your capabilities, and it is now time to really form that dream in your mind, body, and spirit.  It is time to live the dream every day, taking the small steps within your capabilities to reach it .  Think big, start small!

Staying out of the political realm of the Golden Globes last night, but really looking at the presentation of Oprah Winfrey (I doubt that I need to use her last name), but Oprah Winfrey brought hope to the stage last night and with the media reports this morning–she spoke to everyone last night, and everyone knows she started small, but she had a dream; and now that dream may create a transformation in this country as she thinks big–possible political run–but she started ever so small!  She started small in the realm of money, and today she literally could do anything she wants to do.  But, she has kept her mind, body, and spirit remembering her start and her energy that she used to tae her one step at a time!  

Think big!  Start small!



Trusting Your Capabilities!

I Believe in Courage

We talked about courage yesterday, and I want to touch on your capabilities as you are finding your courage.  When you are finding a dream, and then finding the courage to pursue that dream, if you find yourself overwhelmed by your dream, bring focus on what you can do in small steps:  today, tomorrow, next week, next month, this year and begin to do that one small step each day, each week, each month, and each year.  This is courage:  one small step forward (and sometimes steps backward)towards a dream that you hold constant in your mind, body, and spirit.  But take it one step more:  when you find your courage in each step, admit to yourself that you are courageous and that you are making progress toward that dream that may have once, and may still, overwhelm you!  You have the capability to achieve your dream, you have the ability to move forward, and you are finding the courage!

What Would I Do if I Was Being Truly COURAGEOUS?


Money often times requires decisions; decisions are often times hard to make!  And, when, those decisions are in regard to something you want for you, they may be harder to make as we have been raised to think of others.  That is a valid and admirable trait, and it avoids being labeled as “selfish”, but “selfish” is a necessary trait for self-preservation in all parts of our lives.  It is self care, and self care is necessary for health in mind, body, and spirit.

So, what would you do if you were being truly courageous?  You might be surprised at the answer; and, whatever the answer might be, I am willing to bet that it involves money!  And sometimes the answer can be a very small thing in your life that if changed would make a really big difference.  I see this all of the time.  Folks want to do something that they really want to do but they put it off because of a lot of things including money.  A married spouse wants to take a separate vacation just to have their own space and time but they are fearful of what their spouse might think, they are fearful of spending money on themselves, they are fearful of being by themselves.  Who knows what might come of that in pure quiet time and meditative thinking when the only person you have to be concerned about is you!  

Other times, true courage is needed to make a change in career–and money also plays a big part in that part of your life.  As is often said, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know!  You may hate what you do, but you do it because others depend on you for support, others feel secure in your security, and more times than not, in making a career change, folks hear a lot of feedback that questions their even thinking of making a change.  I often see this when someone wants to move to a different part of the country–does not matter their age.  Families of seniors often are the loudest critics of seeing their parents move to a climate that they prefer.  

Fear is what this is called, and it is fear not only for you but for those you care for.  It is always easier to just go along to get along, but is it really?  There is a time that being courageous can be healthy for you in mind, body, and spirit.  You may find that even thinking about it makes you happy, and that should tell you that you are on the right path.  Go the next step, talk about it with someone you trust.  It is amazing when clients begin to work with me in a supportive role with their money and their pending decisions that they begin to relax, they begin to look at all of the variables, including financial, in order to come to a decision to take the next step.  And that is powerful!  It is also courageous.  Do they always take a flying leap?  No, but they have examined their options, and they feel courageous in doing that, no matter what the outcome.  

Empower Excellence, LLC

Fear Is Not Always the Bad Guy!


And that truly is what FEAR is…it can be in every part of your life!

It is only out there to alert you to sizes of risks, and it usually makes potential losses look larger than gains.  We are the ones who exaggerate the potential consequences.  More than that, we underestimate our own power in facing the risk all the while discounting inaction, which can be as big as a risk as anything!

So that is why FEAR can be the wicked witch of everything, but only if we let it!

When an Epiphany Occurs…


There is no doubt in my mind that when the butterfly transforms that there must be many feelings occurring.  I say feelings because I am unsure about the mental capacity to think of a butterfly…

And, I am totally unsure that the butterfly understands the “WHY” of what has happened.

Taking that to the human experience, I totally know and believe that when we experience epiphanies and transformations that we must know our “WHY” or nothing will make sense for us to pursue what it is that we really want.  There is no guarantee of success, and there is going to be a lot of hard work to reach the point that we want to reach!  As I am oftentimes reminded, I tend to focus on the chances of failure before I start out on a new venture.  That is something I have overcome, but it is something that I still have to work on.  Then again, many feel that I am a huge risk taker.  True, as well.  I know that when I began Empower Excellence, it was clear that it was my mission.  Yes,it is morphed in and out of various forms, but it is still, 6 years later, my passion as well as my mission.  For me, it was faith that carried me through because I realized I had spent my whole life learning what I needed to learn in order to do what is now mine to do.  And that is, making money easer for people.  And that is a big challenge, but one that can change the lives of so many people everywhere…

I guess that was a big enough “WHY”, and I challenge you to identify what it is that drives you towards the life you really want to have.

Did Not Quite Get the Idea Correct…


On December 30th of 2016, I declared that 2017 would be my year of the butterfly, my year of transformation.  That proved to be very true:  2017 was definitely a year of transformation.  The year included a geographical move to Oberlin, Ohio, 5 upper respiratory crises, a major tear in the fabric of my family with my two sons, the realization that all friendships change radically, a medical experience with my traditional doctor that  screamed of cancer, the final proof that my sibling family was medically harming my future!  And these are just the highlights that have resulted from an intensive therapeutic course of study in the last days of December! 

It became apparent as 2017 drew to a close that much was changed, transformation had occurred.  It had been painful in many areas; but it prepared me for 2018.  And now, we are here in 2018, and I once again declare it the year of the butterfly, but this year is different!  This year I am ready to soften to the challenge!

Transformation is a profound shift in the way we experience and relate to ourselves and the world; and that did, indeed, happen!  2017 was a year of destabilization before the actual transformation.  New ideas took hold as a result of all that had occurred.  Now it is up to me to create the practice of my life.  Decodiitoning and a conscious transformation have now occurred; and the dance between the two still continues.  

Intention, Attention, Repetition, and Guidance are the continuing essential elements; and I will continue to practice them in all I do.  The fires are of vision, heart, creativity, and soul.  While it may be the year of the butterfly because the transformation from the chrysalis to the butterfly has occurred, it is also the year that I want to learn who am I…and that may take many years.  But I like the butterfly, am softening to the challenge.

Clearing the Way to My Destination!

Flying Leap Hummingbird

I love hummingbirds, and I love butterflies!  No one ever tells baby hummingbirds that they can fly, and butterflies, I am sure, in the midst of their major transformation are never given a course on flying.  They just trust, have faith, and just do it!  They learn as they go!  

Tomorrow is the last day of 2017.  A memorable sort of day as it is my youngest son’s birthday.  His birth changed my life in many ways.  While I was married, I never felt right leaving him on his birthday to go out and celebrate New Years’ Eve.  Then when I was a single parent, I no longer refer to myself as divorced, I am single, leaving a child with a babysitter on their birthday seemed almost obscene to me.  So for years, we celebrated as a family at home with sparkling grape juice and calling cousins to wish them happy New Year.  Then, when he was old enough to drive, he began his own tradition of traveling on his birthday.  By then, my social life was pretty much done because I wanted to be reachable from the start when his first trip was to Toronto for his birthday!  

All is good because a 25-year relationship ended 10 years ago, about 25 years too late!  I no longer drink, and I find in my wiser state that most men absolutely do not capture my interest.  I have found me, and I like me, and I like the newest movement of solo marriage.  Much simpler!  

Five years into my business and my move to Oberlin, Ohio, finds me in a much calmer place in life.  My business went on hiatus this past year with the move, but now, having tossed aside several whims that were never meant to be, I am finding me and my mission to be alive and exciting once again.  This year was the year of choosing my destination and clearing the way to get there.  Yes, it is a Saturday, and I have spent the morning in self care at Splash Zone in Oberlin and on a phone call with my birthday son.  It has been a very productive morning.  

If you watch my “Money in Transition” Live moments on Facebook, you already know that I also found my red sun glasses!  That made me happy!  Simple things do.  I also ran across some notes from a book written in 2014 written by Roger James Hamilton “The Millionaire Master Plan”.  What caught my eye were levels of progress of the Millionaire Master Plan.  Very briefly, I want to run them by you:

They happen to be colors, and I love colors!

  • Infrared (The Victim Phase) which for me was the growing deeper and deeper in debt.
  • Red (The Survivor Phase) put me in a place with just enough to survive.  But it was also a time of mastering personal FLOW!
  • Orange (The Worker Phase) do anything to survive and make a living!
  • Yellow (The Player Phase) which for me was forging my own journey to becoming financially successful.
  • Green (The Performer) had me leading a team and mastering my market!
  • Blue (The Conductor Phase) where running and growing the networking groups beginning in 2013 with multiple teams creating multiple streams!
  • Indigo (The Trustee)  where I had earned the trust of the market.
  • Violet (The Composer) mastering my personal global flow
  • and, finally, Ultraviolet!  This is where I am becoming a legend where I make my rules and I am slowly becoming a symbol of my time and wiser than ever before!

So what does this mean as we are entering 2018?  My future vision has me reaching all of my goals through focusing on FLOW!  I am beginning to see the predictability of my main business where I am dealing with the demands of time, money, and relationships.  I am beginning to measure my cash inflow, and at the same time I am committed to my conduct!  That really has taken form in the months since I moved to Oberlin, mostly by trial and error!  I am blazing my path in the Infrared phase.  I am linking my future vision to the growth of steady cash flow.  It is the lesson of looking after me first.  

Several years ago, following the publication of The Four Agreements, Ruiz wrote the followup The Fifth Agreement which simply put equated reaching the state where you simply do not care what others think with peace and success!  I am now at that stage.  No matter who the relationship is, please take me as I am or let me go!  I am Ultravioet, and I love it.  2018 is a great year already…



Six Years Ago…What If I Had Not Left Edward Jones!

Happy Saturday SnoopyI love Snoopy, that daredevil comic creation of Mr. Schultz.  Snoopy has no fear, he doe snot care if it is the weekend or a Saturday or the beginning of  a New Year.  We do not even know if he can think through his decisions; he just takes the leap and pays the consequences, whatever they may be…

I am taking a flying leap with this blog.  Most people know the circumstances under which I left Edward Jones.  Some people think they know, and many of them are still with Edward Jones today.  After more than 6 months of deliberations and discussions, Edward Jones terminated me.  If they would have been truthful, they would have stated that they terminated me because of insubordination.  Without all of the boring details, I was insubordinate, and Edward Jones does not tolerate that very well.  And it did not start just in 2010.  No, siree, bub!  It started when I agreed to hire, prior to 2008,  a young talented woman who had been displaced within the Edward Jones structure because of a male financial advisor’s inappropriate reaction to the news that his assistant was pregnant.  No fantastic headlines about inappropriate sexual behavior that we have heard about in the #me, too movement.  Plain old male chauvinistic behavior when his plan did not work the way he wanted it to work out.  He would have a young, sexy blond in his office, and he had no concern about what she wanted in a career.  He asked questions when she was hired, and this was straight from the displaced employee’s lips, questions that were inappropriate, but she wanted the job, and she kept quiet.  Sound familiar?  The advisor, to be fair to Edward Jones was called in to meet with management, and the assistant was displaced.  She was talking with attorneys, and I was asked to at least interview her since I was looking for an assistant at the time.  I did, I liked what I saw and heard, and she became a great assistant right up until her baby was born; she fell in love with her little girl and found a way to stay at home with her baby!  

At that point, gratitude flowed from my regional manager for helping them out.  I was on the regional leadership team to recruit women to the firm.  I was given a new office, much nicer than the one I had when I arrived at Edward Jones.  But then, with the market in a total downturn beginning in 2007, the _ _ _ _ began to hit the fan.  Some of the happenings were acts of God, others were the result of Edward Jones’ management.

In 2009, with a very cold winter, the pipes in my new office broke in the ceiling and the walls.  I was on my own with no help of any kind from the regional manager or home office to navigate through insurance claims with three different companies while keeping my clients and production under control.  In the fall of 2009, my largest client died.  He had gone through all the preparation that top notch estate planning professionals provided through my intervention.  But when he passed, Edward Jones managed through their home office to lead my licensed branch office administrator down a path that led to her firing by home office in 2010, leaving me with a horrible estate situation due to Edward Jones’ archaic rules and regulations.  I went to the Advisor Development area to explain my situation and asked for a brief period of taking me off of production so that I could finalize this estate, which was in a horrible situation due to home office misguidance of my former employee.  I was told “no”.  

You will notice that I am not going through all of the sordid details of any of this as it is not my intention to go back to Edward Jones in any way about my termination.  When I was terminated in January of 2011, I had begun questioning the sudden change of rules in the 6 years I had been at Edward Jones regarding proprietary products and the allowable percentage of assets in annuities–both of the situations had changed drastically, and I found fault in my discussions with the compliance personnel.  In June of 2010, I drew the line in the sand mentally–I would take care of my clients in the same exemplary way I always had, and I knew Edward Jones would fire me because I could not live with the new production quotas  under the new guidelines.  It was corporate America, and the main concern was Edward Jones’ bottom line.  

But I ask myself, how different would my life be today if I could follow the corporate guidance of a firm like Edward Jones with their “old boy” mentality.  I have no idea what their ratio of women to men is today, and according to industry statistics, it may be higher than the industry’s, but the real question becomes:  how long do they stay with Edward Jones?

I know that I made the right decision to stand my ground and let the inevitable outcome occur.  I had my values, and they certainly did not match Edward Jones as they changed from 2004-2011.  

Today, I am much happier helping my clients find the right financial professional with the right firm and not selling either products or a firm!  Freedom comes i many different forms! 


Be Whole, and Be Well!

Happy Butterfly New Year

We have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before the New Year kicks in, and I want to wish you Wholeness in the New Year.  I am a strong believer of the mind, body, spirit connection, and it has me baffled right now.  I spent a good part of the last 6 months ill with one respiratory situation after another, and I thought I had it figured out; but I was wrong.  After about 3 weeks of wellness, including a trip to the dentist for an exam, teeth cleaning, and a general exam with my traditional doctor and blood work, I have pretty well lost my voice as of yesterday.  And I have a blazing cold that began yesterday morning.  I, the nonbeliever of pharmaceutical drugs, is taking a one-a-day decongestant–strong, and it is helping with the congestion but not with the voice! I am turning it over to God, and maybe he will let me know what is really going on…

In the meantime, as we approach 2018, wholeness is wellness in all parts of our lives:  career, social, financial, physical, and community.  Being well does not live in a vacuum!  It is more than eating healthy, which I do.  It is more than working out, I have lost 14 pounds over the past year with walking; and I am waiting for the temperature to warm for that and for my physical wellness to return so that I can once again be a part of Silver Sneakers without contaminating everyone else.  But take the community involvement, and the career fulfillment; add those to financial wellness, and you should be on your way to being well on a holistic level!

And I want to take a moment to discuss “financial wellness”.  Everything to have everyone better aware of their money situation is good; but our traditional financial institutions have fallen into the habit of offering “Financial Wellness” which is primarily product driven.  After all of my years in constituent services, banking, and financial planning, the need is far deeper than that.

And that deeper level has everything to do with understanding how each of us as an individual makes personal money decisions.  I have found that working on the personal money relationship empowers folks to understand “their” personal money relationship and then to go on to choose the best decisions for them!  Festering financial problems, which employees hesitate to discuss in a group setting in their workplaces where the financial institutions offer their “free” programs can cause loss of sleep, lower self esteem and reduced productivity.  Several years ago, COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) included my thought sin an article they did on this topic:  “managing money issues “frees up people’s spirits and gives them more energy.”  The rest comes easier!


Passion Not Totally About Raging Desire!

Spiritual Energy 5

Passion can be many things; can you describe your passion?  

Have you ever come alive and became bursting at the seams to share? Passion is truly what is yours to do.  Do you have issues?  What is holding you back?  But the two basic questions are:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What can you offer?

It all starts with being intentional in your personal growth.  Are you ready to claim your calling?  If yes, then begin to translate it into your personal livelihood!  Create a cash flow to sustain yourself.  Create a one-page business plan with projections.  Begin to live a prosperity mindset!  It takes time to leave your current life behind, to become personally joyful, and to become financially stable!

What if you have no clue about what you would like to do.  Or you know what you want to do but you are not doing it.  

So, what are you doing now?  Can you transition to do what you want to do?  Does your passion drive you?  Are you good at it?  So now, ask yourself “Why is this your passion.”

Become aware, begin to take action, any action…some action!  You must be attracted to what you think you want to do!  

Why?  Because you must be accountable and there will be a price to pay.  You have to learn what that price is and be willing to pay it!  So take a moment now to pause and breathe!  Seriously.  Reflect on what you have been thinking about.  Investigate, incubate, illuminate, and illustrate your passion.  

What is your biggest asset?  Your biggest liability?  What makes you legally high?  What makes you low?  What is your best emotion?  What is your worst emotion?  What is your best/worst habit?  What fulfills you?  What do you prize most in your life?

You are not, and should not be, perfect!  What do you need to improve?  Be patient and value the process.  Are you aware when you need to improve?

As you design your passion, you need conducive surroundings to design your systems, to be ready for pain, to think like a success, to stretch in every way possible.  And then you need to know how to take tradeoffs.  Give up to grow up!  Give up financial security today for tomorrow’s potential.  Give up the fast life for the good life.  

More than anything, be grateful!  Put people first.  People and stuff cannot own you, and SOW SUCCESS.      Empower Excellence, LLC