Anyone like me, making last minute arrangements for Spring break?! While most things were taken care of months ago, there were still some t’s to cross and some i’s to dot. So I figure, if my tips and savings can help anyone else, here goes nothing.
Because my SHOP.COM site is partnered with almost 4000 sites and franchise stores, I don’t always know how to find the best deal by searching by the store name. There are TOO MANY STORES!!! This is definitely a good problem to have, because it means we can find everything at a better price, and here’s how to do it in this scenario.
I entered “discounted Disney tickets” into Google. Shop Buddy lists all of the sites and stores connected to SHOP.COM with our banner so naturally our eye is drawn to those listings. I would have never known BestofOrlando.com even existed, but Shop Buddy made sure I didn’t miss the deal!
There, I found tickets to all of the local theme parks, tours, shows and other attractions. I found things I wasn’t expecting like announcements about newly added character breakfasts and experiences at different parks. For someone who hasn’t been to Florida in quite some time, it was helpful to get acclimated to the area. If I hadn’t already booked the hotel, there were also recommendations and last-minute deals listed.
Our girls unanimously decided on Blizzards Beach and Typhoon Lagoon! (Yep, that’s right, water parks over the Magic Kingdom ha ha) Normally, a family with two adults and three children would pay $307 plus tax for a one-day pass. With SHOP.COM we purchased our tickets for $255 plus tax! Remember, I also get paid and get my team paid with every purchase that goes through my site. This is another great example demonstrating how you will continue to pay more by not having a shopping annuity in place!
So happy to save you some money making memories with your families!
Until the next deal,
Growing up I remember I had a bookmark with a unicorn on it and underneath it said, anything is possible, if only you believe. I asked my grandmother what it meant, and she told me, it means if you believe in something, then it will happen. I looked at her and said, so if I believe I will be a singer like Madonna, I will be?
You see growing up, I loved to sing, to dance, to perform in front of my family. Sunday dinners ended with me performing the routine I choreographed while the adults drank their coffee upstairs. I even created a makeshift stage and set out the metal folding chairs for my audience. I was a little girl putting my imagination to work and I was my own biggest fan.
Naturally when my mother heard about the call for auditions for the musical Annie, she knew it was right up my alley. Only when my number was called, I stood up on the stage in front of about 20 people and could barely even whisper my lines. Imagine 20 people total, not 20 thousand! Here was my chance to execute my dream of being up on stage, performing like all of my favorite celebrities. Yet, I couldn’t get out of my own way. I was scared, and even at 11 or 12 years old, I was fully aware that my performance up on stage would result in a judgment. Either the panel would like my audition or they wouldn’t. So instead of giving them the opportunity to decide, I made the decision for them by performing below the standard I knew they wanted. I wasn’t conscious of this at the time of course, but after further reflection as an adult, I realized the power of this experience. I wasn’t afraid of succeeding; I was afraid of failing. And to top it all off, I knew my mother was disappointed in my performance. With a pit in my stomach I felt I failed her, and that meant more to me than failing myself. At 12 years old I cared more about getting her approval and validation, and so continued my teenage and early adult years filled with people pleasing and seeking external validation. Sound familiar?
That was UNTIL…
I figured all this shit out. LOL And I didn’t figure it out on my own, I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors throughout my life that have pointed out these patterns. And don’t get me wrong, there are STILL times when I find myself caught up in what others think or I start pursuing something I know is more important to someone else other than myself. But to be a successful entrepreneur there’s far less time for everyone else. You’re working for yourself, and at the end of the day the only person who matters is you. Thankfully, I figured out how to turn the center of my process from being externally focused to being internally focused. Hopefully this list is helpful to your process.
- As an entrepreneur we have to take responsibility for our work or lack thereof, which is the only way we can continue to move on. The longer we “pretend” things are not what they actually are, the more we start to believe the fantasy we’ve created. Face yourself in the mirror, take the emotion out of it, own it and move on. We cannot blame anyone or anything for the ultimate outcome, because as entrepreneurs what we are constantly perfecting is our craft.
- As an entrepreneur, you set your own pace. As much as this feels liberating, it can also feel like a lot of pressure. Be smart and strategic with your goals. In addition to setting your goal, write down the daily and weekly activities it will take to achieve your goal. This provides direction and the action plan that needs to be executed. Then you must commit to the action plan. This means embodying the discipline necessary to get the work done without having someone else telling you to do it.
- So many things happen beyond our control, yet with an entrepreneurial mindset, we accept what we cannot control and we use our problem solving skills, our creativity and ultimately our belief in ourselves to manage the things we can control. We know for every problem or conflict, there is always a solution. Spending time complaining and wasting energy on negativity takes away from the opportunity to create a better situation.
- There is so much experience between success and failure. Let’s apply the 80/20 rule to success and failure. In every experience there’s 80% celebration and there’s 20% for room to grow. How might you take your success to the next level next time? How might you build upon the success you’ve created? Nothing is a complete failure. Reframe it to 20% circumstance and emotion and 80% of an opportunity to identify skills to master or details to better prepare for the future. The 20% is the things we can’t control and the 80% is figuring out a better way of dealing with the things we can control.
- Finally, every entrepreneur must have a daily self-care routine. This is essential to keeping your attitude positive. The routine shall include activities like saying positive affirmations aloud, reading on topics like self-improvement, entrepreneurship and/or leadership, journaling, visualization, exercise, meditation, spending time outdoors, yoga, and listening to podcasts or audio trainings. Basically, think about the activities that put the pep in your step and get your creative juices flowing. Those are the things you should incorporate into your daily routine to ensure the best mindset to approach your work.
Success is all about mindset.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Please comment or send me an email!
Spring vacation season is upon us! Do you have any travel plans?
We weren’t planning to go anywhere special for Spring Break until we starting looking around online fantasizing about fun places for families to visit. We were literally all over the map, thinking about a resort in CA, but figured that might be a long flight for it being the first time our girls would fly. Then we thought about heading to Chicago to experience the culture and restaurants, but my husband really wanted to go somewhere warm. One of the top ten lists of resorts referenced a beautiful kid-friendly resort at Disney Springs. At a quick glance, it looked like a whole lot of fun. Lots of activities for the kids – 3D movie theater and dining experience, galaxy bowling, a huge pool with a pirate ship and water slides, a carousel, wonderful restaurants and shops, live entertainment, and the accommodations included three bedrooms and a full kitchen and washer and dryer!!! The idea of going home with most of the laundry clean and being able to offer the girls wholesome breakfast and lunches to offset the added treats of being on vacation seemed like the perfect set-up.
Still, it was just a Sunday afternoon dream. Just for fun, I looked at airfare prices, and to my surprise it was more than reasonable…. By booking through Expedia, another partner store connected to my SHOP.COM site, I could book round trip airfare for our family of five for $834! All of a sudden, I wondered if this dream, could become a reality?!
When I initially checked the price for the accommodations at the resort, it was listed at $195 per night plus a daily resort fee. The price wasn’t bad, but I realized the site was also connected to our SHOP.COM site. Upon activating SHOP BUDDY, the price per night went from $195 to $165 per night (plus the daily resort fee). Now, I was looking at a week’s vacation for a family of five to be about 2K! Not bad at all! So needless to say, we booked the vacation, paying ourselves and the rest of our team. I can’t wait to share pics with all of my readers.
Perhaps a Spring vacation is in your future too! Sign up for your Free Preferred Customer Account here!
Until the next deal,
The coincidence in reading a book about parenting is learning more about yourself. Well, it makes sense right? We raise our children from the same blueprint from which we were raised. The perfect explanation for the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It also offers some explanation to multigenerational challenges and adversity. What if the opportunity for recovery and resilience was directly linked to our mindset? Let’s ponder the idea for a moment with a common example.
We wake up still feeling tired, and therefore resist the start of the day. We may even resent the day, because of how overwhelmingly exhausted we feel. Think then about how we choose our outfit, what we eat for breakfast, what we listen to during our commute, how we interact or perhaps avoid interacting with others, and the list goes on. We are more likely to choose something to wear based on comfort rather than presentation. We are more likely to grab something quick to eat, which most likely contains more sugar and comes from processed ingredients and may even come from a fast-food restaurant or vending machine, rather than a home-prepared meal filled with fiber and protein. We may zone out during our commute with or without the radio on, instead of intentionally putting on music, or a motivational Ted Talk to stimulate inspiration and motivation. And because we are focused on feeling so lousy, we nonverbally project that to anyone who crosses our path. So naturally when people ask us how we are doing, we respond by complaining further reinforcing negative feelings. Think about how your body feels heavier, as if you are literally dragging yourself through the day. And now, repeat this day over and over again. Can you relate to the description of this example? The negativity drives more negativity.
Now let’s use the same example to portray a positive mindset. We wake up feeling tired, but grateful for the full day and evening the previous day. In fact, just thinking about the memories, brings a smile to your face. Even though there is obvious fatigue, we stretch our bodies which begins to invigorate our muscles. We think about the activities we have to look forward to in our day, and feel excited. We get dressed and spend time grooming ourselves, which triggers a feeling of pride in ourselves. We think about breakfast, and even if we don’t have the time to prepare an elaborate meal, we are more apt to grab a piece of fruit and a cheese stick or a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter. On our way to work we are alert and thinking about our daily activities in a positive light. And when we interact with our family or the doorman in our building or the secretary at work, we greet them with a smile and a good morning. Your body feels lighter, and there is pep in your step. Here, the positivity cultivates more positivity.
Both scenarios begin with feeling tired. We don’t know what triggered the exhaustion in the first example, but the description insinuates it is something negative. However, it may have been a result of a full day and evening the previous day, but the mindset prevents the person from feeing a sense of gratitude over the experience.
What an amazing difference between these examples? Which one most closely relates to you? We all have control over our choices, and it is a choice which mindset we want to embody.
Until the next time,
We are almost one quarter into 2018. Where are you at with the goals you set at the beginning of the year? Are you still getting to the gym five days a week? Is your bank account padded by three months of savings? Have you taken time off from work to spend quality time with your family?
Many of us entered 2018 like most other years, with the best of intentions. We had visions of making all of the changes necessary to achieving the lifestyle we dream of having. Most times this vision doesn’t include anything elaborate or extreme; rather it is a life absent the threatening health concerns, the overwhelming debt and the constant feeling of burning the wick at both ends in the attempt to balance work and family. Even with the best of intentions, over time it becomes easier to revert back to our old ways, and we begin dreaming of “one day” when life will be different. The old routines are familiar and comfortable, whereas implementing the changes to achieve our goals is new territory. It presents the idea the dreams may or may not come true and that feels scary.
Leaving my full-time job presented me with an opportunity to work for myself, to create my own schedule, and to reward myself with more time with my family to name a few lifestyle improvements. This change also took away a reliable, generous salary with good benefits. Yet, for so long, my priority wasn’t about money. When I assessed my lifestyle, I had everything I needed. In the end money could afford me material things and a vacation, but it had gotten to the point where the day-to-day stress had begun to take a toll on my health. My body was screaming for me to pay attention and create a more self-caring lifestyle. And when you don’t have your health, you can’t have anything else; nothing trumps health.
Fear gave it a good run for the money though (no pun intended). It was the fear of making the wrong decision. It was the fear of regret that prevented me from jumping in with both feet. Fear is paralyzing. Sometimes the closer we get to fulfilling our goals and dreams, the scarier it becomes that in the end we may still fall short. Mentally we get stuck in analysis paralysis, meaning we spend more time thinking about our situation and everything needing to be done to secure the desired outcome than actually doing what needs to be done. We get caught up in our heads over-analyzing silly little details that really don’t even matter. We spend more time thinking about things than the amount of time it would take to just get started. Imagine how much time it would take to take the first step toward the goal.
In the end, I made sure I take to a few different supports in my life, all of whom endorsed making a change. To them, the risk offered more potential to bring about positive outcomes rather than negative. They believed in me, and so I had no option but to also believe in myself.
What is it going to take to make your life different now? What if instead of dreaming of one day, we changed it to today being day one? Isn’t it amazing how the order of these two words completely changes the meaning, the tone, and even the tense moves from passive to active giving the subject responsibility and opportunity!
Don’t wait for the perfect day; it will never come. Don’t wait for Monday to start over (again). Don’t wait for the Spring or the Summer, or once the kids are back in school in September. Don’t wait to get through planning your daughter’s wedding or to get your son situated in his new apartment. There will always be something, and that’s way life should be. Life keeps going, and we have to go with it. Time is all you have, and we never know how much, so let’s make each day filled with purpose and passion living the life we deserve!
Until the best deal,
It is ALWAYS a Shop Happy experience when the best prices are guaranteed, cash back is earned, and an independent stream of residual income is created. THAT is exactly what SHOP.COM offers and is exactly why our site continues to progress and receive exemplary recognition.
Most recently the Better Business Bureau announced SHOP.COM and Market America as the winner of the Torch Award for 2018. This is the second time SHOP.COM and Market America has received this recognition, including the first time in 2013. More importantly, this is the first time for the any NC Business to receive this recognition twice! This honor reinforces the outstanding business performance, integrity and ethics maintained by SHOP.COM and Market America for the better of 25 years!
In addition, our business continues to move up in rankings on the e-commerce list. Most recently, we ranked 43rd on the Internet Retailer Online Marketplace list above other sites like Groupon.com and OpenSky.com, both of which are partnered with SHOP.COM.
In July 2017, it was thrilling to see SHOP.COM move to the #1 stop on the Top Tens list for Best Online Retailer above Amazon. SHOP.COM was ranked 59th in the Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide ahead of other retailers like Under Armour, CVS, Sephora, American Eagle, and the Disney Store.
How are we able to continue demonstrating consistent growth and recognition?
SHOP.COM offers their Unfranchise Owners an opportunity to build a shopping annuity, which is exclusive to SHOP.COM. There is no other business platform to offer their owners a way to take the dollars they spend on every day expenses (groceries, personal care items, travel expenses, clothing, etc…) and turn those dollars into investment dollars which are combined and margins are redirected back to the consumer in form of cash back AND ongoing income. It is also important to point out that Market America and SHOP.COM continue to manufacture high quality products that are a part of trillion dollar markets, and we continue to increase the partnerships with popular franchise stores like Macy’s, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Express, Gap, Old Navy, Nike, Wayfair, HP, Go Daddy, and the list goes on and on. Our patented application, Shop Buddy, does all of the comparison shopping, as well as gives the consumer additional coupon codes and savings, ensuring the best possible price, every day! For entrepreneurs looking to create an additional stream of revenue, why not generate that from the dollars you are already spending each and every day! Together, we take the dollars we spend on and move the leverage away from the brick and mortar stores and redirect it back to the consumer and the entrepreneur. How is that for economic shift?
Until the next deal,