What I Learned While Walking 5 Miles in the Rain

IMG_2209Have you ever done something you’ve done before many times only to have the outcome be completely different…even life changing?

Just before spring break started, I asked my youngest son what he wanted to do to make his vacation memorable and fun. He gave me a list of ideas and one of them was to get some hikes completed for his Boy Scout Hiking merit badge. The badge requires 6 hikes ranging from 5 miles to 20 miles. We set a goal to do a 5-miler and a 10-miler this week, as long as the weather would cooperate.

Thursday, we woke to more rain, but decided at the last minute to drive up to Sac State with my husband, The Professor. We got a map of our course and figured we could brave the elements since Spring break was going fast and we were running out of time to get the hikes completed. With just 15 minutes to prepare, I grabbed one of my daughter’s old backpacks, some lip balm, a couple of water bottles, my wallet, phone, Sparkle Sue’s glasses, a hat, some Epic bars, and a few essential oils.  We were off!Sac State

I walk a lot and have gone on numerous hikes over the years, but this time would be different. I could feel it.
It was only sprinkling and the temperature cool, but tolerable when we arrived on campus. We walked with my husband to the building where he would be teaching his first class and said our good-bye’s.

Jerry Cook Sarah CookI pulled my hat down over my ears and handed the umbrella to my son. At first we walked on the sidewalk, but eventually the sidewalk ran out and we began walking through grassy areas. The dew and newly fallen rain soaked into our shoes and it wasn’t long before our socks were damp.

The longer we walked, the more cold and wet our feet became and it dawned on me how our homeless community must feel every day that it rains. I made up my mind to do something to help my brothers and sisters who were also walking in the rain somewhere in Sacramento.Share the Path Sac State Sarah L Cook

I’ve owned my own business for nearly a quarter of a century and one of my biggest passions is donating a large portion of my profits to charitable causes. Knowing that I am helping ease someone else’s burdens is what gets me up in the morning.

It’s been said that a handout isn’t always a hand up, and I’ve pondered on ways I could help that would truly lift and not just be a bandaid on the problem. It occurred to me as I was walking, that we can “share the path” of helping others by using our own personal gifts, talents and resources in unique ways to lift those who need lifting.

John Greenleaf Whittier said, “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together”. I truly believe that when we use what we have to bless and lift others, we ourselves are lifted and in the process of lifting and serving, we also inspire others to do the same. That, my friends is the essence of living a Belle Belle Vie.

During this month of April Showers,  I will be donating a portion of my Mary Kay profits to purchase rain coats and warm socks to donate to the homeless. I invite you to do the same, or pick some other cause that inspires you to use your God-given gifts in a way that honors Him and serves His Children.April Showers of Kindness Sarah L Cook

 

Dear Millennial and GenZ Children…

Dear Millennial and GenZ ChildrenI read an article recently about socialism and the perks and pitfalls of living in a socialist/communist country. The case for socialism was inspired by Millennials and I am choosing to share my thoughts because I have children that are in the Millennial generation as well as GenerationZ and I want them to know what their Momma believes in and that is Free Enterprise and Working Smart as well as Working Hard! Something that is “free” from our government means that millions of tax-paying citizens have had their paycheck stripped so that the government could choose to create a “free” perk for someone/some organization. Let’s be crystal clear, something “free” from the government is NOT FREE!!  The last time I checked some of the “free” things we can experience on this planet are: sunshine, rain, God’s grace, smiles, …you get the idea.

Thanks to my Mary Kay clients, social media marketing clients, and the people who hire me to speak or who buy my courses and my book, my businesses have paid for countless perks for my sweet children’s lives, for all the people who support my businesses (Mary Kay staff/employees, UPS drivers, USPS workers, dry cleaners, etc) and for all the people I have hired along my 22+ year journey in business who have worked in my home or virtually in their own home or local coffee shop!

My children have never received an “allowance” because I don’t believe in giving my children money except on Birthdays or other special occasions just so they can “experience money” or ” gain money education” at an early age. Their financial literacy has been awarded them by doing chores because they are part of Team Cook/our family. They have been allowed to earn money by doing household “Pay Jobs” (jobs that aren’t party of daily chores) or by working for me or my husband in our business ventures. Each child has been on my payroll since they were about 7 years old as per IRS tax code which states that I can hire my children to do jobs/tasks in my business. The fact that they have been on my payroll does not mean they have been given a paycheck… that would be called welfare and I don’t believe in that for most cases either. I  don’t pay my children a paycheck unless they work and earn the money. Novel concept, isn’t it?

So many people over the years have consulted with me about hiring their own children in their businesses and one of the most common questions is, “What would I have my children do in my business?” So, I created The List. You can get The List of  “99 Things Kids Can Do to Make Money”  by clicking this link and then opting in to get the “Free Gifts” mentioned on that page. I created The List based on the tasks/jobs my kids have done over the years and I stopped at 99 things because, it’s catchier than “105 Things…” and I wanted to leave room for those reading the list to come up with their own ideas! It’s more fun that way!

I could literally talk/write for hours about the valuable benefits from teaching children to work, become self-reliant, manage the resources of this Good Earth, and share their gifts with others, but you likely wouldn’t stay that long, so feel free to come stop by my blog again and read some more.

If you liked what you found here, by all means, SHARE it with others! If you really liked what you read, implement some of the ideas and message me with how they worked for you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or via email: Sarah@SarahLCook.com

 

Giving Love To Those Who Matter Most

Do the people in your life know that they matter to you? Isn’t it important to you that they know you love them? Wouldn’t you want show love to them in a way that they best received it?

What love language do you speak? What language do your loved ones, co-workers and clients speak? Please share your comments below and we can all learn together! :-)

If you found this video valuable, please share it with others.

 

4 Things You Can Do Today to Bring Financial Peace

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Calm the chaos in the area of finance and bring more financial peace to your life, by spending 15-30 minutes per week every #FinanceFriday or #MoneyMonday.

Today I want to share with you a list of several things you can put on your Sticky Note for #FinanceFriday. You won’t do all of them every week, some will be done once a month. You customize the “Stickies and Spirals for Super Achievers” system so that it works for you and your financial needs.

  1. Get the Bank Deposits ready for this week and take them to the bank.
  2. Balance Your Checkbook(s) as soon as the last month’s statement has arrived.
  3. Download your Credit Card statements into your personal financial software.
  4. Begin to gather receipts for this month’s tax paperwork so that you can close out the month and be ready to start a new one.
  5. Pay your bills (preferably just once a month) using your bank’s bill pay service to save you time and money.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

Are you living the life you love…the one you have dreamed of…the one you desire? Are you loving yourself along the way? I have found in my 20+ years as a wife, entrepreneur, and mom of three, that it’s important for me to take time to ask myself questions about what’s working and what isn’t. If something is working, I take time to celebrate and cheer myself on. If something isn’t working, I take time to figure out what to do differently and then I pivot and change directions. All along the way, the questions below help me to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life and have taught me valuable lessons for loving myself physically and emotionally. Why not try asking yourself the same questions? You deserve to live the life you love!

  1. What’s Working?

  2. What’s Not Working?

  3. What Do I Need to Change?

  4. What Do I Need to Keep?

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The 3-Part “Spirals and Stickies for Super Achievers” Home Study course is for you!!!

 

Systems for Keeping First Things First

STICKIESIf I were to ask you what was MOST important to you, what would you say?

Your faith? Your family? Your health? Your friends? Your creative outlets? Your career? Your wealth?

Now, if I were to ask you how often that MOST IMPORTANT area of your life showed up on your calendar, what would you say?

What I have found in all my years as a business coach, multi-faceted entrepreneur, and mom of three young entrepreneurs, is that scheduling legitimizes any activity.

When you put something in your calendar it shows you and the rest of the world, what is important to you!!

If it’s not showing up as an appointment in your calendar, how do you track that you are actually spending time in the areas that you say are most important to you?

My #StickiesandSpirals system, gives me and all who use it, a method for keeping first things first. Each day, you decide the areas of your life (and business) you want to focus on. You then write reminders and “to do’s” on the sticky notes. This process imprints on your brain the importance of what you have written down and helps you document for yourself what matters most to you! It’s a powerful process!! Want to know more about it? Click HERE!

 

It’s Tax Time!

Sarah L Cook SacandCo Mellisa Paul Trimming ChristmasAre you pulling your hair out yet trying to gather all the paperwork together to file your taxes? Have you promised yourself, “This year things will be different so that next tax season won’t be such a nightmare!”?

Sacramento and Company host, Mellisa Paul I talked about taxes and how to keep more of the money you’ve earned for your family! The video replay of the segment is below for you to watch!!!

Now, I’m bringing you MORE ideas for organization and tax savings (after all there’s only so much you can fit into a 5 min segment)! Can you see the advantage of a hassle-free tax season? Then register for the FREE webinar I am hosting called, Systems for Stress Free Tax Season!

 

http://eepurl.com/gWdoT

Why Systems?

400x350_badgeI’ve been asked many times – “Why systems?”

The truth is, that’s not a simple answer for me.

Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill, return a book, or send a Birthday card?

I’ve felt the anger of late fees on bills and overdue books and the embarrassment of forgetting special occasions.

Now, I have systems!

Is meal time at your home sheer madness because you eat the same thing OVER and OVER and OVER and when you do decide to make something different, you don’t have all ingredients?

At our house it looked like this – “Pizza, again? Or would you prefer Hamburger Helper?” I was a miserable cook, didn’t make time to learn, and always made meals at the last minute, but never had the supplies on hand to create something my family would both enjoy and gain nutrition from. 

Now, I have systems!

How about mornings? Does everyone rush around unsure of where shoes, backpacks, lunches, and jackets are?

There used to be more tantrums in our house between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM than at nearly any other time of day. 

Now, I have systems!

Are you a business owner and you spend part of your day or week trying to figure out what you are supposed to next?

I’ve been a business owner for over two decades and for the first 17 years, it seemed, I would spend the first 7-10 days of the month figuring out what I was supposed to do with the rest of the month. The month would be half way over before I would really bite into to it!

Now, I have systems!

more lifeI could go on and on giving you “before and after” scenarios of my life without systems, but I think you get the point, that my life was a little lacking, BS (Before Systems). NOW that I HAVE SYSTEMS, I have MORE – more time, more fun, more wholeness, more health, more money, and I truly enjoy this life of mine and so does my family.

So what exactly do I mean by SYSTEMS?

Let me first start with Wiki’s definition:

SYSTEM – A set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole.

My definition:

SYSTEM – Things that work together in such a way that the outcome allows for life and business to ROCK!

In the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be discovering/creating, implementing, and fine-tuning more systems in every area of life and business so that we can all enjoy the wonderful “MORE LIFE”!

Tip Well and Tell: Systems for Growing Your Business While Living and Loving Your Life

I recently returned from a week-long business trip to TN, AL, and GA. Sweetie Berry and I worked with clients, shopped-til-we-dropped, and ate at some fabulous places. At every location the service was wonderful and the food was delicious. Being a systems strategist, I took notice that at every location, VERY similar positive experiences happened over and over – almost like a system for creating  “Win/Win/Wins” with the people we were doing business with.

Being with Sweetie, reaffirmed to me the lessons I learned from Dale Carnegie in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Everywhere we went, Sweetie gave special attention to the people taking care of us (store attendants, servers, etc.). She would ask about them, their lives, and really strive to make their day. On our way out of each place, she always said, “Have a blessed day!” I also noticed that in most of the places we went, Sweetie had some kind of business relationship.

Today you’ll learn the “System” I watched happen over and over again the first few days I was with her. Just to make sure it worked, I used the same “System” on one of the nights I was with several of my friends from the Mary Kay Leadership Conference I was attending in Atlanta.  Take note though, it’s not a “System” for Sweetie, it is how she lives her life – sending kindness into the lives of others and being the go-to-girl for strategically creating projects that empower people.

What I am saying is, you can learn this “System” and it can become part of your life as well. When you do, you will be surrounded by the kindness and joy that you send into the lives of others just as Sweetie does.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Compliment and make friends with the server. From experiences I have witnessed, that when you are kind, you will get much better service.
  2. Upon getting great service, tip them well, and rave about the great job they have done.
  3.  If it is appropriate, on your way out, make it a point to talk to the manager/owner about the great job your server did. If it’s a very busy time and you can’t talk with them, be sure to follow-up the next day. This creates a perfect opportunity to create a win for your server and make the day of the manager/owner.

Like I said before, this system is a win/win/win –  a personal win, an experience win for the server, and a win for the employer whose business increases when both service, and employee are happy!

That’s it – compliment and show interest in those serving you, tip well, and tell!

It is so much fun to send joy into the lives of others. It makes their day and it leaves you feeling great as well.

Now for the “Growing your Business” part of this system, as you establish a relationship with the restaurant or business, it also potentially opens the door for you to be able to do work with that restaurant on a client basis. I saw Sweetie do that over and over again! It was such a joy for me to watch her  work and just BE with her!

Mompreneurs Making Do! It’s Show Time!

Today I made another appearance on Sacramento and Company! I love being on the show and the crew is so fabulous to work with, but I still get a few pre-show jitters. Last night I was trying to figure out which outfit to wear and decided on this red dress, only the v-neck was way to low in the front and I didn’t really want to wear something under it, so I opted to “fix it myself”.

How do you do that though when you’re the only one home? Well, you sew it while wearing it of course! 😉 It turned out just fine and the show went great as well.

Here’s Six more Secrets I learned since my first appearance last July

1. Try on your COMPLETE outfit ahead of time including accessories and shoes.

2. Pack all your jewelry ahead of time in your purse. This will save you the stress of trying to find the matching earrings 5 minutes before you need to leave the house.

3. Have an emergency essentials bag with you: extra hose (if you are wearing them), lip gloss, beauty blotters, powder, liners, hand cream, mints…

4. Take pictures… lots of them! You can use them for SO many things! More on that later! 😉 Oh, and bring someone with you to take the pictures! My daughter had that assignment this time and did a GREAT job!

5. Introduce yourself to all the other guests! You never know what fabulous connections you will make on the set, so be prepared with business cards.

6. Schedule tweets and FB posts to go out just before the show goes live! You may not have time to do it while you are on the set, but you want your fans, friends, and followers to know when it’s airing! Scheduling posts in advance takes care of the reminders without causing you any stress!