What my Daughter Taught Me about Success

Many summers ago, during a family trip, we decided to throw together some free presentations along the way. I had so much fun doing them because I had intentionally left my suits at home, kept my hair in a ponytail, and said, “Not this time,” to the stuffy protocol of putting on a “professionally impressive, Toastmaster-approved event.”

I didn’t break my neck making sure everything was perfect; after all, we were on VACATION. Some of you may have seen the one I did the following year, because we made it available online (free) here: Stickman Video.

After rolling into town and unloading our things at the hotel, I had just enough time to brush my teeth and throw some makeup on in the restroom before racing into the event where about 80 of you waited. In the last moment before meeting you and beginning the presentation, some foundation came flying off my finger and dripped down the front of my sweater. I knew that nothing I had was going to remove it, so I wiped it off the best I could, shook my head, and thought, “This will just have to do,” knowing I needed to press on, even if things weren’t perfect.

When you’ve got something to do, you just can’t stop when everything isn’t “just so.” You do the best you can and let it go.

My children helped us set up the room that night. They had a ball doing it, too: running up and down the aisles, and since there wasn’t anything breakable in sight, I was happy, too. After setup, most of the kids wanted to go play at our host’s home, but (then) 9 year-old Kayli wanted to stay. She had brought a stack of homemade bookmarks in hopes some of the participants would want some before the evening was over. One older brother chided her, saying, “That’s so dumb, it’s just paper. Nobody’s going to want them.” But she wasn’t dissuaded.

In fact, she sat quietly through two of our events that week, and by the end of the week she had earned $150 selling “just paper.”

Those of you who were at the events were so gracious and encouraging. I know that your encouragement of this little girl will return to you in one form or another, if it hasn’t already.

Fun fact:

Nine years later, at the recommendation of a friend, my daughter traveled three hours from home to see Drew Christensen for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in preparation to serve a mission for our church. After her visit, and to our shock, he sent us the following pictures:

Unbeknownst to us, he had already met her in Idaho back when she was nine, and had bought one of her bookmarks while attending one of our events nearly a decade earlier. Crazy, right? I couldn’t make this stuff up. Doesn’t that sound something like what would have happened in the book, Portal to Genius??

Anyway, back to the events of 2007…

Fast forward seven months. After those events, Kayli hung on to nearly every penny she earned. She payed 10% to charity, and with the remainder, she spent $60 on a box of little canvas bags from Uline.com. Originally she intended to create little bags of homemade cookie-dough mixes to put in a few local boutiques, or to sell online. But when the bags arrived, we realized that they just weren’t big enough to fit a batch of cookie dough.

At Christmastime, a friend suggested we make gift bags, but we didn’t have time to develop the idea before Christmas had come and gone. But by the time Valentine’s Day was on the horizon, she was ready. Spending the rest of her money on supplies, she put together the Valentine’s day bags that we mentioned in one of our last emails, and created 10 to sell.

Her brother again made a cutting remark, which hurt her feelings, but it didn’t stop her. Admittedly, I had a ton of other things to be doing, but she had been so persistent with me that I couldn’t refuse her any longer. I dropped everything to take her to the craft store for the rocks, iron-ons, candy, and miniatures. I helped her figure out a good way to assemble them. I created a newsletter announcing them, and we took pictures to include in the announcement:

She sold out of her 10 bags within a day or two. I initially thought that I’d better get onto the website and post “Sold Out.” After all, she had accomplished her goal and was excited that it had all happened so fast. But then I had that second (less convenient) thought that said, “Why not keep going?”

So I dropped everything again and we traipsed all over town looking for all the components to make more, so we could fill the orders that continued to roll in. We cleaned out 3 different Michael’s Craft Stores of heart iron-ons and miniature stuffed puppies. She was on Cloud Nine. When it was all over, she had recouped her entire investment and, in fact doubled it.

Then, her brother came to me and said, “Mom, I want to make something…”

~~~

So maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, well any kid could do that if they had a Mom with a website.” But before you go there, let me make a point:

I had seven children. I had a website and a newsletter. The opportunity was there for every one of them… but only ONE (to that point) had ever done anything about it.

Life is like that:

We are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us (and we love Him!), a Father who has the most expansive distribution network in the Universe. We all have something to offer, and if we bring it to the table with the right mindset: one of expectancy, persistence and determination, then when we are really ready, I envision God smiling kindly, putting his work down, and taking us under his wing to help us accomplish the thing that we are determined to accomplish.

In those early days, my kids would beg for this or that, wish for that or this, and quite regularly whine when things weren’t just so… but once in a while, one of them would step forward with a determination to get the help they needed to accomplish something that they couldn’t completely do on their own, refusing to put it off any longer. They demonstrated a resolved intention to GET IT DONE, whatever it took. Right or wrong, that was the child who finally got my undivided attention and help with their project.

I’ve learned a lot watching my daughter take initiative. She maybe didn’t know WHAT to do, but she was definitely locked on to the vision of what the results would be, and she knew that with my help she could accomplish anything.

What about you?

If you could have God’s help with something THIS WEEK, what would you have Him help you do? Are you clear on what it is? Are you determined to do everything in your power to make it happen? Are you willing to pray like it depends on Him but work like it depends on you?

Let’s practice operating this week with resolved intention. Decide first what you want to accomplish, and then get behind it 100%. Give it all you’ve got, and envision God helping you as a loving parent who can no longer ignore your requests because you’re showing up as a determined, persistent, willing and teachable child. Don’t hold back. Throw your heart into it, trust God to provide, and watch a miracle unfold. Originally published Feb 18, 2008

For additional help, perspective, and a deeper understanding of the Rare Faith principles, join me in the Foundations Ecourse, or Mastery Program. (Both on sale through November!)

#34: How to Achieve More – Succeeding With Your Talents

Heather Madder and I discuss why some people never succeed big with their talents, and how they can. It takes hope, solutions, and a belief that things can change permanently.

Sometimes we feel like, “It’s all on me. I’m the only one responsible. I’m the only one I can depend on.” Sometimes we feel alone in our responsibilities, and that we have no support. In this audio, Heather and Leslie talk about how to work less, and achieve more. How to reach more people with what you have. How to overcome the blocks and obstacles that have been in your way.

Learn about common mind viruses that prevent talented individuals from succeeding, the misunderstood philosophy of being “worthy” and “deserving” of success, the false beliefs that get in the way, and how every lie that causes pain has an equal truth that creates freedom, power, and liberty.

Resources related to this podcast:

www.HeatherMadder.com
www.GeniusBootcamp.com
www.JackrabbitFactor.com
www.ProfitableAuthor.com

What Would you Do if You Ever Ran Out of Money?

I’ll tell you what you’d do:

You would you tap into your HIDDEN resources.

What are your hidden resources?

How do you get to them?

If you’ve ever run out of your resources before accomplishing your goal, or, if the resources you needed were ALMOST gone, and it left you feeling stressed or depressed, then in those situations, trust me, you’re not as stuck as you think.

There are ways of discovering your HIDDEN resources, and I want to share them with you.

Based on the principles contained in The Jackrabbit Factor and its sequel, Portal to Genius, I have a video and 3CD audio set that will not only reveal the story behind Portal to Genius, it will also give you a glimpse into the miraculous events leading up to its completion. I promise, when you hear this story, you’re going to feel inspired, encouraged, and more confident than ever that you can and will have all that you need as quickly as you really need it.

You’ll Find out:

    • Just what to do if the money ever runs out
    • What is your only REAL source of security
    • How to discover your life’s mission
    • How to use the prosperity equation
    • The WRONG way to build relationship capital
    • How to improve your personal “stock”
    • How to discover YOUR portal to genius
    • The story BEHIND the Portal to Genius book
    • The real reason it took me so long to finish it

And MORE…

Discovering Your Hidden Resources video + Secrets of Resourcefulness 3-part audio series

Click HERE for the DVD/3CDs – On Sale through November!

Click HERE for immediate online-only access (more expensive)

 

Keeping Your Eyes on the Horizon

We were newlyweds of only one year. My husband and I decided to drive twelve hours to attend a conference which would help us start a business. Tensions were high because we couldn’t afford the trip, and our disagreements left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. Because of a previous accident the year before, I was nervous about crashing again on this road trip, but to him, my fear was a personal jab against his driving skills.

We arrived safely, but I was still upset that he was offended by my fear of crashing. One of the guest speakers was a professional comedian who started to make fun of women with poor depth perception.

He explained that there’s this man at the wheel, and the woman next to him just suddenly SCREAMS out of nowhere. Well, of course the man swerves the car and after regaining some control he looks at her and screams back, “WHAT?!?”

“That car tapped its brakes!”

“Woman, that car is a quarter mile ahead of us!”

I’m thinking, Okay that is NOT funny, but the truth is, I couldn’t hold it in. I had been trying SO hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian popped the punchline, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I literally laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that no sound escaped my lips. My abs curled until they burned. Basically, that comedian described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention, and I knew it.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings melted away. We talked about it later, and I reminded him that I was a nervous wreck only because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road the year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching to see if we were getting too close to the shoulder or center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grab of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerve which caused us to close in on another car caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced for impact.

Even short, local trips on the freeway made me nervous. Rounding a bend was especially frightening, because I’d see the tire and paint marks from cars that had crashed there before. I’d say, “Oh… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck that would result if they suddenly cut us off.

Over the years I finally learned to calm down. I reminded myself that my husband didn’t want to die any more than I did, and he’d be careful with or without my incessant reminders. I practiced trusting him, and trusting in the Lord to keep us safe. I also found a visualization strategy which worked wonders: instead of imagining a possible wreck, I’d close my eyes and picture myself tucking my children in bed that night; a vision which presupposed our safe arrival home.

It took me a long time to get my road travel fears under control. Our driving improved as we learned that we stayed nicely in the center of our own lane NOT by looking at the line painted on the road at our side (which resulted in constant adjustments and a jerky ride), but by looking to the horizon where the road was headed. Even if the road followed a long bend, by looking to where it disappeared on the horizon, the car seemed to naturally stay in the center of the bending lane. I discovered that by looking to what I wanted and where I wanted to be (literally, as well as figuratively), I was implementing a powerful method for not just dealing with my fears, but for achieving the results in life I wanted. What a wonderful lesson to learn.

And then one day I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized:

Ten years later my old fear of driving in traffic was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with a pile-on and no room for error on my left (due to road construction north of Salt Lake City prior to the 2002 Olympics). The lane was three-fourths the width it should be, and there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. I noticed that when I looked at the semi by my side, I started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and realize how far over I had drifted. I discovered the only way to make it through was to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and aggressively ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle was going to swerve into my lane, then at least with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to overcorrect and cause my vehicle to roll, doing potentially fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This is how to reach your goals. Stay focused. Keep them vivid in your mind’s eye, and don’t let the obstacles, difficulties, disappointments or distractions divert your gaze. Your ride will be smoother. You’ll stay in the lane that gets you there. You’ll avoid collisions. You’ll even deal with sudden or unexpected threats more effectively.

This landmark experience also made me think of life in general. We’re all traveling this fast-paced, sometimes scary road called life, hopefully heading for a glorious eternal reward with our loved ones in the presence of our Father in Heaven. But along this road, there are obstacles that can take us off course or slow us down or cause a wreck, so to speak. The only way to proceed safely is to NOT give the distractions or obstacles your focused attention, even if it’s in an effort to avoid them, because doing so can cause you to drift toward the very obstacles you are trying to evade.

Sometimes when I forget, and look too long at the danger nearby, I don’t always realize how far I’ve drifted until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eye on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should an obstacle swerve into my lane despite of my efforts to stay on track, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my life from rolling out of control.

As one man named Alma taught his son: “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever … Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:46-47) Originally published December 20,2009

Steer into the Swerve

If you’ve ever driven in snowy weather, you know that sometimes the car does NOT respond to your steering wheel directions. Striving to achieve a goal can give you a similar experience.

If you’ve set a goal, and you’re doing all you know to steer toward it, it can be unnerving to find yourself heading instead towards something else. 

Such an experience can be just as frightening as driving on the freeway in winter weather at high speeds, and hitting a patch of black ice.

When we lived in Utah, I had that experience more than once. Gratefully, I had been taught that if your car begins to spin out of control, you’re supposed to momentarily turn the steering wheel into the direction of the swerve.

In other words, if I want to drive straight, but the back of my car is skidding to the left, I should turn my steering wheel to the left, just long enough to regain traction, and then I’ll be in control again so I can straighten out. It’s not an intuitive thing to do when you’ve lost control of your car. The instinctive thing to do is to freeze and slam on your brakes. But doing so actually exacerbates the problem, and can accelerate the spin. Not only does braking make things worse, but so can putting on the gas.

Truly, there is only one smart solution: steer TOWARD the direction you wish to avoid.

Like a driver on black ice, you might be feeling like your finances are spinning out of control, and instinct might tell you to just slam on the brakes. Stop investing in yourself. Stop dreaming. Stop hoping. Stop trying. But doing these things can cause the situation to to spin out of control even faster.

Likewise, you shouldn’t just put on the gas and barrel forward, without paying attention to the indicators that say “something isn’t right”. A person who is spinning out of control financially has to take notice, so that the right response can be taken:

Steer into the swerve.

When your finances aren’t going in the direction you want them to be going, don’t ignore it. Face it. To face it is to steer into the problem for a period of time, just long enough to regain traction, and then from there you can take it where you want it to go. In real terms, to steer into the swerve means to regroup. It means to take a close and detailed look at your inflows and outflows, and rein it in if you need to. Prioritize your spending based on where you’re trying to go.

You need to come to terms with your situation, but to do that, you have to get perfectly clear on what that situation is.

If things are tough, and your finances aren’t what you want them to be, here is an opportunity. Find out exactly where you’re at, face it, let yourself feel disappointment if it’s warranted, and expect that you’ll find a way to come out on top in the long run. After you’ve come to terms with what is, you can allow yourself to find gratitude in simple things again.

This is what it means to steer into the swerve, just long enough to regain traction.

Once you’ve stopped your vehicle from spinning out of control, it’s time again to point it in the right direction and press on. Re-establish or re-commit to those goals of yours. Maybe they’ve evolved over the years a bit. Maybe you’ve discovered that certain goals don’t have the same luster they once had. This is the perfect time to look deeply at the things that bring you the greatest joy and happiness, and set some goals to achieve greater success in those areas.

A patch of black ice in life can be a great blessing if you’ll wake up and steer into the curve. As you do this, you’ll likely avoid a more devastating catastrophe, and you’ll be able to get yourself back on track all the wiser.  Originally published January 28, 2009

The Swell in Front of You

Staying in forward motion, even when things look bleak, does more for lining up your success than you realize.

(Don’t forget: If you’re afraid you’ll fall, at least fall forward.)

I like to think of what happens when you’re standing in a still pool of water.  As long as you stand still, nothing happens.  If you take one step forward, it creates a ripple all around you, but even more than that I want you to think about the swell that grows in front of you.

One simple step creates a temporary surge of water right there in front of you.

If your finances feel flat, take a step in the right direction. DO something. MOVE. If the water seems low, lunge forward! Push ahead and watch the water rise. If you move, you can’t help but create a swell; after all, it’s physics! Move forward, and the resources right in front of you will surge. By law, nature responds to your action according to the law of cause and effect. Doors open, teachers appear, funds gather…

The problem is, if you’re like me, quite often you’re too busy looking at the ripples spreading out in all directions (wondering if and when they’ll ever return), to even notice the swell in front of you.

So take a step in the right direction (methinks you already know what it is) and then look for evidence of a swell in your immediate surroundings.

  • Be of service to someone without expectation of repayment, and it creates a swell in that relationship.
  • Read something empowering, and it creates a swell in your outlook on life.
  • Make that phone call, and you gather strength against your fear.
  • Write down that intention with determination, and your faith grows.
  • Invest in yourself, and you create a swell in your confidence that everything is going to work out.

And let me remind you that by the seven laws, what shows up in your life has everything to do with the way you FEEL about your challenges. Taking a step forward always helps you FEEL better, and that feeling can become a catalyst for inviting the unseen help we all depend on to conquer seemingly impossible things.

Every good choice creates a swell, and so it’s your job to just make sure that the swell doesn’t level out again.  The only way to keep it surging is to keep on moving.  If you stop, then (just like when you’re in water) the swell eventually dissipates, and you’re left looking at a flat, motionless environment once again.

It’s a temptation to stand there and wait for someone else to come along and create a swell… but the power is in YOU.

So get moving, do something!  Even if you’re weary, just take one more step.  As long as you keep moving, your momentum will build, and the swell will almost seem to lead the way. Originally published Nov 6, 2009


Let me help you keep your thinking on track during the rough spots. If you’ve already read all of my free ebooks, then take your understanding to the next level with my powerful life-changing trainings. You’ll find some deep discounts on several items through November – click here to check it out!

#32: Teaching Children (and yourself) About Money

Amanda van der Gulik interviews me on how to apply the principles of prosperity while raising a young family, and how to teach children about money. Discover how the lessons can be applied as adults, too for greater abundance.

Resources mentioned on the audio:

Jackrabbit Factor free download

Wealth Principles and Yard Sales

Portal to Genius free download

Allowance Secrets – to give or not to give

Choose Your Rock Bottom

Recently it was necessary for me to write “my story” again, explaining the circumstances around how we discovered the prinicples I now teach and tripled our income in just a few months. As I wrote, I mentioned how I had personally hit an emotional “rock bottom” just before things began to turn around.

I stopped and pondered that. For us, things were pretty bad at the time, but looking back I now realize that there are other people on the planet who are much worse off than we were, when we felt things couldn’t get any worse. We weren’t homeless, we weren’t in jail, nobody was dying… No, we were just strapped financially and severely depressed. Prosperity seemed to elude us at every turn.

As I continued to ponder this, I remembered a number of other people’s success stories I’ve heard, and it seems to be a common thing to hear them mention hitting “rock bottom”. A ball won’t bounce back until it’s hit the ground. It seems to be a natural thing for humankind to begin to head upward only after hitting an ultimate low.

For some, rock bottom was jail. For others, it meant living in their car.

Do you realize what this means? Rock bottom will be different for everyone. Rock bottom is where life has become so intolerable that something inside of you finally looks heavenward and says, “I surrender. I can’t do this anymore. Show me the way.”

In my experience, there were plenty of times where I said, “I can’t do this anymore.” But the upturn only happened after I really surrendered. It’s when the words “I can’t do this anymore” came from a humble, teachable place, instead of a frustrated, angry place.

For me it was when I stopped trying to do things “my way” and was finally willing to really do whatever the Lord was trying to teach me. It means saying, “I am finally ready to listen, and do.”

It’s when you realize that you’ve got to take a risk and put the principles of faith to the test, no matter what. You refuse to think about the worst case, and cling tenaciously to hope, allowing yourself in your mind to see only the results you want.

It’s when you stop resisting out of fear of failure. If you have been afraid to trust, it’s when you have no other choice BUT to trust. It’s when you say, “I will move my feet, and do all I can do with a CALM spirit, and trust that things will work out for me because of it.” There comes a point where you have no other choice. That’s your rock-bottom. You numbly decide that if it all falls apart anyway, you’ll face it when it happens, but for now you’ll put one step in front of the other and just believe, with a calm surrender.

Some people consider an empty bank account rock bottom, while others don’t hit it until they’ve also maxed out their credit cards. Some hit it when they realize for the first time that they can’t make a car payment, while others don’t hit it until the repo man shows up to take the car away. There are those who have dealt with the repo man more than once, and even that doesn’t bother them enough to really hit rock bottom. I’ve since heard of people who have, over time, upped the level of what rock bottom means to them, and in one example, it’s when their bank account gets below $8,000. So, now when the balance gets close to $8,000, that’s when they have their “awakening” and get busy doing something about it.

No matter how successful a person becomes, no matter how much prosperity s/he enjoys, there will always be new challenges. Without them, we wouldn’t grow. How well we handle them depends on how hard it must get before we finally decide to trust the Lord to carry us through. Though we may never completely avoid challenges, we can learn to embrace them and gain the blessing they always contain.

Let’s not wait for things to get any worse. The upturn can happen now. Let today be the day that you surrender, trust, and discover how much better you can thrive when you trust the inner voice that is trying to speak peace to your heart.

Take five minutes to close your eyes and picture yourself living the life you want. Feel it now. Then, trust that things will soon begin to turn around for you. You can’t see it happening, but know that tomorrow’s series of events were just altered because of it. Originally published March 3, 2007

I want to help. Join me now in the Mindset Mastery program and discover what a simple shift in thinking can do for your life.