On Working with Brands

In the almost nine years that I've had this blog, not once have I worked with a brand formally.

Sure, I've made product recommendations and written reviews, but they were all done because I wanted to share my thoughts on it, not for compensation or free stuff.

Although I reached out to all the time (and surprisingly still am, even though I've been almost completely inactive on this blog), I always declined.

I've seen one too many bloggers pimp themselves out for a brand, then the minute the brand changed their ambassadorship program, that blogger suddenly liked another brand better. That's not my style.

Now that I'm blogging as a business, I am working with select brands. But the brands I'm working with are ones that solve a problem that I am having. I have a specific problem, and their product is a solution that works for me. And if it works for me, it probably works for my clients and those in my community.

In the video below, I share my thoughts on working with brands, how I choose the brands I work with, and I share a few tidbits about the brands that I recommend on the "Shop" page of my website.

Everything that is listed on this page, including in my Amazon affiliate store, are products that I currently use.

In this video, I also talk about how everything I'm doing in this first year of my business is an experiment. This Sunday I'm conducting another experiment - using Facebook Events!

I'm holding my first Beautycounter social on Facebook. I've never done it before! But if I don't try, I won't know how successful (or unsuccessful) it can be, right?!

Every day I'm posting on the Event's Facebook page, and you have the opportunity to learn, and enter drawings for prizes and giveaways!

You can find out more about it here, and come to the party this Sunday!

Seriously, please come and join  me so I'm not talking to myself!

Have you worked with brands? Any advice or best practices you can share with me?

Hello, Its Me! I'm Here and Still Alive!

Hello, its me! I'm here and still alive!

A few weeks ago I received the reminder from Squarespace that it was time to renew my annual subscription. 

(Last year I switched this site from a self-hosted Wordpress site to a Squarespace one).

Although I have been absent from this site, there was not a question in my mind about whether I would renew it or not! I may have a new website where I'm spending my time (more on that in a second), but this site is my home, my personal space that I've had for almost *nine* years!

If you've been following for a while, then you know this space to be where I shared my ups and downs on running, fitness and training for races. I've taken a big step back from doing that for the past three years. 

For the past year, I stopped all intense cardio activity focusing exclusively on Pilates and strength training. I've still done cardio in the form of swimming, rowing and yes, still running, but in very light intensities. A few years ago I would have considered it just a warm-up. But the step back was necessary to recover - truly recover - from Adrenal Fatigue. 

While I talked about having Adrenal Fatigue in the past, I really did not get into the messy details. I'm going to start doing that - on my health coaching site.

In this post that I published in March 2015, I shared how I enrolled to attend the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. At the time, I didn't quite understand what I would do with that education, but having Adrenal Fatigue was the catalyst that pushed me to enroll.

This past March I completed my studies and became a board-certified Integrative Health Coach! And I've started a holistic health coaching practice! I wanted a fresh start, a brand new platform to build a business on - and that's where I've been spending my time - at Live FAB Life.

I've spent hundreds of hours studying on branding, starting a business, crafting content, and even social media! That seems funny being that I've been active on social media since the days of MySpace! But using social media as a business owner is VERY different than using it as a consumer. It's very confusing, mind-boggling and most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'll never learn until I try.

Which brings me to what now? What I used to write about on this site, I'm now writing about on Live FAB Life. I'm slowly starting to get into cardio shape again, which means the running diaries will be returning (either via blog posts, or FB Live videos on my FB business page and my FB group).

So what am I going to write about on this site?

I've been actively working on creating a life of intention. Less clutter, more purpose, meaning, and mindfulness. As Jess Lively always says, "Live a life of intention" and "Listen to your intuition over your ego."

A year ago, that's what I wanted to write about here. But here's the thing - it's *really* personal stuff and at times, difficult for me to convey through words.

But over the past year, I've been able to really delve deep into this transformation process through trying to start a business. And what I've learned is that if you ever want to "peel back the layers" starting a business is the best way to really get to know yourself and work on personal development.

And that, my friends, is what you can expect to read (or watch!) more about here. I need a place where I can share "behind-the-scenes" and lessons learned as I build my health coaching practice. 

I realize this is an 180-degree pivot from what I used to write about. But if you're a long-time reader I hope we've made a personal enough connection where you'll want to come along with me on my journey.

And if you're still interested in reading about my running stories, and learning more about real food and clean living practices, you'll also come along and join me at my new home. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into building it.

One of the {many} ways I've recently challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone is by recording videos, doing webinars and live streams on Facebook. 

Gosh, just six weeks ago the thought of doing these things terrified me. But I forced myself to do it, and I have to say, it's been pretty rewarding. And dare I say now that I love it!

So here's a video I recorded for you last night:

I hadn't intended on writing this many words in this post. But after I recorded the video I got a bit of cold feet about posting it. So I decided to sleep on it. 

When I woke up this morning I was inspired to write. These words just flowed. Like the video, written in one take - no editing (that's the beauty of a personal blog vs a business-focused blog where those posts take me DAYS to write!).

I'm not going to do any promotion of blog posts on this site (I never did before), so if by chance you're reading this, thanks for reading! 

I appreciate you!

Oh Hey! Remember Me?

Hi friends -

This past week was my birthday. One of the birthday emails I received was from IIN, the school that I’m attending.

The message read:

“Birthdays are a time to start new endeavors and move forward with fresh confidence and courage.”

This inspired me to reconnect with you and update you on what I’ve been up to.

The last post I wrote was four months ago (sheesh!). I was living in the Pacific Northwest for a month while my home was being renovated. Once I got back to the Bay Area it’s been a whirlwind of craziness.

On the Homefront:

It took me a few weeks to unpack (this was more stressful than purging and packing!) and get resettled in my new/old home.

I am loving the renovations and updates - my home feels so much bigger!

As for my Health:

When I got back to the Bay Area I was tested for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I was 95% sure I’ve had this for a long time (think years) but I finally - *finally* - went in to get tested for it. And surprise - the tests came back positive.

In hindsight this diagnosis has explained SO MUCH about my health, over the past few years. Heck, I can even look back as far as my pre-teen years to see how lifestyle and medical treatments led up to this!

I will share details all this in a more in-depth post on my new website later this week.

Speaking of my new website:

I received my mid-year certificate from nutrition school.

This certified me to start seeing clients!

But there is so much to do to get started! And that, my friends, is what I’ve been up to.

I thought I’d share some “behind-the-scenes” of it with you.

I’ve enrolled in many online courses from thought leaders who resonated with me:

  • Jenna Soard of You Can Brand: Jenna’s “Launch Your Space” course has been vital to helping me create a visual brand and build a new website on a new-to-be platform, Squarespace. When I was in Portland I got to meet Jenna in person. She is just as genuine and delightful in person as she is online!

That's us with her pup, Picasso, and another one of her students visiting from New Zealand!

That's us with her pup, Picasso, and another one of her students visiting from New Zealand!

 

  • Jen Carrington - Jen has been my creative coach to help me find clarity in developing an online presence that feels genuine and authentic to me. She is so easy to talk to! Our one-on-one Skype chats feel like I’m just talking to one of my girlfriends! I refer to our sessions as my “golden hour.” Just being able to talk someone about my business goals, plans and dreams have been therapeutic and invaluable.

  • Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur.co - I’ve enrolled in two of Mariah’s courses and attended countless webinars of hers. She is amazing and has provided so much valuable advice and resources.

  • Sarah Morgan of XOSarah.com - Sarah’s “Badass Blogger Babes” community has given me a support network where I’m able to throw out ideas to get feedback and just given me place of like-minded ladies to connect with.

  • Maya Elious - Working with Maya has been the single most confidence-boosting experience thus far. As a coach, she gave me an opportunity to practice my coaching skills and provided me with great advice to help me grow and improve.

All this had led up to the birth of my business website - Live Fab Life.

I bought this domain back in March, unsure of what I would do with it. I wrestled for months trying to decide if I would turn this space into my business site, or build a brand new one.

Since I’ve been blogging here for eight years, about a lot of random things, I decided that it was best to start anew.

I’ve had my new site site done for a few weeks now but have been terrified to share it.

I’m used to being a blogger who just shared random stuff going on in my life. I never had any real focus or purpose.

I’m used to being on social media as a consumer - not as a value provider. (It's a totally different thing and something I wasn't prepared for).

I’m not used to being vulnerable and now, being a business owner, I'm putting myself out there. It’s scary.

But last week, I was challenged to tell at least one person a day that I’m a health coach (even that is taking getting used to saying), and share what it is I believe in, and what I do.

And after reading that birthday message from IIN, I feel like the time has come for me to get past my fears and insecurities and just get started!

So I'm starting by sharing it with all of you who have read my personal blog.

And to kick off the launch of my health coaching practice, I’m offering a group program to kick off the new year. It’s called “Jump Start the New Year. A 30-day Program.” I've never done anything like this before - its very exciting! You can find out more about it here.

I’m offering a special gift to those who subscribe to my business newsletter. If you’re interested in receiving it, you can sign-up for it here.

I appreciate that you’ve continued reading this blog, given how inconsistent I’ve written.

Moving forward, I will consistently be blogging on my new site and hope you’ll follow me there.

As for this site, what I’ve realized is that I still want a space to blog about personal, random things. I’ve missed that and plan to continue to do that here.

As always, thank you so much for reading!