As I was packing to leave for Elite Academy 9 last week there were thoughts running through my head about the past year. So many changes have taken place; from my health to my growing business. I thought about why some friends go further in life and business than others, it didn’t appear to be fair. What did happen over the past year?
Thoughts, feelings and relationships
Like most things in life in general I found that many people, me included are self motivated. The cool thing about life and its adventures is that not everyone is the same. Variety is the spice of life my grandma used to say. It made sense as I thought about that. I felt sad at the same time knowing what those who chose to not attend the quarterly training would be missing.
As we packed up the car and headed to the airport my thoughts were split in two just like a banana split. Half of the thoughts were on meeting my friend and business partners, Denny and Jim from Florida for the first time in person. The other half of my thoughts were on the business partners I would not be meeting there. Those mixed emotions were not good feelings to have. It was like going on a fun vacation without my family, sad.
Traveling with my friend Beth is always an adventure. Her son is a flight attendant who shared his guest passes with his mom, uncle and me. The upside to flying standby is it is economical. The downside is you must be patient, have time on your side and be willing to be very flexible in your route.
Beth was the first one to secure a seat out. The next flight was three hours later so we took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat and relax. The Phoenix connection went a little smoother; all four of us were able to fly out to Charlotte, NC on the same flight. This was the first time I had ever flown what they call the red-eye…now I know why!
Arriving in Charlotte some three and a half hours later it was 6:30 A.M. It felt like we had been in the air forever; I had forgotten that we cross over three time zones and lost three hours to boot. Our Orlando connection went as smoothly as the Phoenix connection. All four of us boarded together on our way to Elite Academy 9…leadership training for our LifeVantage business. This was going to be so much fun.
Each day brought a new gift, adventure and growth
We had left home on Wednesday around noontime Pacific Standard time and arrived in Orlando on Thursday around 9:30 A.M Eastern Standard time. With very little sleep due to the excitement churning in my stomach we checked into our room at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
The beautiful grounds, building and staff welcomed us with open arms. I truly felt like a queen being escorted down the red carpet.
Following our pool excursion we settled into our room and changed for the evenings events. Dinner with friends headed in the same direction is always a treat. Sharing our dreams, goals and plans for our teams is inspiring and gives us other ideas to consider. Walking through the lobby we ran into old friends from previous Elite Academies like San Antonio and Las Vegas…so much fun, just like a family reunion.
During dinner conversation we all laughed as we noticed the ratio of baby-boomers to the next generation was 3:1. Of course the next part of that conversation revolved around our LifeVantage business and the market we have to get our message out to. Reflecting on our recent travels we talked about how we could never have kept up the pace, the endurance and the energy we all were experiencing except for our Protandim. We all had experiences in our past where the jet lag usually took its toll for days, maybe even a week. Wow, we never realized how truly grateful we were until we put our bodies to the test.
Leadership is like an onion
Although I’ve been to three Elite Academies the learning never stops. I think the training where I realized that learning leadership is like peeling an onion was in Las Vegas. It became very apparent that we can not learn everything all at once, in one training. I had once heard that when the student is ready the teacher appears. Such a true statement and it has come true over and over again with each training I have attended.
Taking home two to three key areas to work on from each Elite I’ve been able to build my leadership skills by applying them in my business in the months in between each training. Makes sense doesn’t it? Take one tip, apply, practice get good at it and repeat. That is the journey called life that can be applied to any business. For true success we must be well rounded, and I don’t mean physically
The first day of Orlando Elite I learned more about the leadership in the company itself. Bringing their uniqueness and strengths to the table in a fun and sassy way showed me it’s okay to have fun, that we don’t have to be so serious and stuffy all the time.
These men and women care about each of us out in the field. They bring their strength and knowledge to the table and we, professional networkers bring our uniqueness and strengths to the world. Together we are an unstoppable force with a powerful message that we are all passionate about sharing.
I learned that we have a very unique community and culture, so unique that some networkers instantly know if they belong with us or not. That’s alright…I found where I don’t belong and do belong too. When we listen to that little voice deep inside of us we will know if LifeVantage is for us, too. How awesome is that?
Confidence and Posture
Are you moved by music, videos and other people’s stories like I am? The second day of Elite Academy was so powerful it reduced many of us to tears…throughout the whole day. Now before you get all tweaked out by that, let me assure you that it’s okay. Remember, I’m an aging baby-boomer, a fiery grandma who wears her emotions on her sleeve. I cry at Lassie movies and loved The Notebook…how about you?
This is one of the videos played during the second day. There is a profound point to this clip, let's see if you find it.
Do you know why they played this clip? It's all about perception. Most people think of being a black sheep in the negative sense whereas here in our business we are looking for black sheep. We are looking for those who think differently, take risks and go after what they want, not settle for status quo. Unique way to drive home the point don't you think?
Once it became evident that working side by side with those that I’ve shared the business with, the ABC Primetime Video with, it was my obligation to share…my confidence and posture changed, it became much stronger, unshakable.
Attending trainings where biochemists like Dr. McCord explain the science behind our products in layman’s terms solidifies my belief in Protandim and TrueScience. When friends from around the country shared their stories my belief, confidence and posture changed. Your posture goes from weak like a wet noodle to the strength of a grand oak tree. Nothing on planet Earth will shake your belief in your message.
One on one encouragement up close and personal
Everyone loves to be encouraged, be praised for a job well done. That is the case with all of us and I’m no exception. I don’t know if you are like me or not, but it means much more to me when a hug accompanies the compliment or kudos. I found that the leadership in our company are real people not someone set up on a pedestal – untouchable and protected from the brand new person wanting to share this message.
Some of the top leaders took the time to chat with me…about me and my business, where I am now, where I see myself and my business going in the next thirty, sixty, ninety days. Those hugs I adore were plentiful and followed by pecks on the cheek and atta girls, too. They all took the time to answer my questions, concerns and obstacles I was facing, personally. The direction and tools they shared with me were direction and tools their mentors had shared with them…they had used them and knew they would work for me, too.
So in conclusion, I wondered:
What might have happened to my business had I chosen not to attend the last three Elite Academies like many LifeVantage distributors?
Would I still have the mindset to forge forward going this business alone?
Would my dreams be enough to pull me through what it takes to build a networking business, alone?
I don’t think so and apparently neither does the leadership of the company because they have set up quarterly events for us to learn leadership skills, receive encouragement upfront, close and personal from those that have gone before us.
Why reinvent the wheel, why make a tough job tougher? Follow the proven plan and join me for a lifetime of energy, endurance and youth by sharing a message of hope, wealth and love.
If you know someone who needs to read this please share. Knowledge is power and action trumps inaction. See you on the inside.
Carla Gardiner is known as "THE Fiery Grandma" because she found new energy, endurance and youth. Her passion and purpose lies with baby boomer trends, the people she works with daily; aging men, women, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas who want to feel better, have more energy and have fun like they did when they were twenty-something. Join her for more energy, fun and profits.
Carla Gardiner is a wife, mom and grammy. She is on a mission to positively impact people's lives with truths untold about living life better, looking good, feeling good and doing good. Carla has written as The Fiery Grandma since 2010 and this title describes her personality perfectly!
"Very well put. I've been with a health and nutrition company for over 26 years and I understand exactly what you are going through. I shiver to think what my health might be today at age 68 had I not stuck to my guns as far as practicing what I preach. Yes, I fall off the wagon regularly but my daily routine life reflects taking care of my health. That way I can keep up (somewhat) with my 7 grandchildren. You keep it up, Carla".
"For most people the thought of venturing out there in pursuit of your dreams, in a place outside of your comfort zones is just what stops them. But I could sense your excitement not resentment in going against the competition. In planting your stake and truly making a difference in the clients experience. That's ultimately what matters, the rest just falls so easily into place. Thanks for that reminder"!
ENO Nsima-Obot MD
Carla, I’ve got to say that I LOVE your focus on the joys and challenges facing women over 50. I’m definitely in that camp! I’ve been inspired by your candor, practical ideas, and refreshing determination to joyfully tackle life. The hours we’ve spent on the phone, in person, and through social media have enriched my life immeasurably. YOU are one Fiery Grandma, and I love your style!
I have known Carla Gardiner for 6+ years. We met at a business training for bring business online. She is a business women at heart and willing to do the hard things to make the results show up. I have watched her run a business, work a job and take care of her family. She is a go getter when it comes to putting in the work to build her business to the level of being able to enjoy her grand kids.
She is the example that age is not a limit it is a tool for sharing knowledge to those she empowers to use their own skills and talents. Excuses are fuel to push her to learn and apply. I have seen her scared to death about implementing new technology and rock it out despite the learning curve.
I love watching you grow into your greatness Carla! Don’t slow down.
"Carla, you are a model for me to follow. I love your site. And, I like what you have to say - very kind, very gracious. I have to say though that nothing in my life has ever been crystal clear".
"I've known Carla for 5+ years and can tell you that she has lived every bit of this and more. We shared tears and laughs and hard work....you will enjoy getting to know Carla."