Is Your Mountain High Enough?

Diana Ross. Singer. Songwriter. Actress. Producer. Icon.

I stayed up way too late watching the American Music Awards Sunday night, but I am so glad I did! I have been a fan of Diana Ross since I was a kid. I saw her in concert several times, watched the Wiz tons of times, and yes, I was singing along last night.

Diana Ross was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. She walked down a sparkling silver staircase to the stage in a fabulous dress, performed a medley of some of her biggest hits, and reminded everyone what it’s really all about…love.

She invited her grandkids on stage with her to dance and sing, and laughed when one of them handed her her iconic fanny pack.

When the applause died down after her amazing performance and she began her speech, she invited her children on stage, along with some of the most important people in her life, like longtime friend Smokey Robinson and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

She was gracious and bursting with joy as she simply said,

“This is all about love, This is my family and I’m sending love out there to each and everyone one of you—our global family. I’m so humbled. I love you so very much and I think you know that. I really, really love you so very much and I will hold onto this beautiful honor. Thank you.”

In the times I saw her in concert and the many times I watched her in other forms, she always spoke the words “I love you.” You feel how much she truly loves her audience, fans and supporters. When we give that much love out to the universe we receive love back in abundance.

I was going to write about gratitude this week. But no words that I could come up with, would give the same impact as hearing Diana Ross on stage give us those words.

It really is all about love and family. Especially this week, as many of us come together with family and friends to celebrate and have a meal together.

I’m grateful for so much in my life.

My son is flying home, my daughter and husband are here, my mom is here and healthy and we are going to be 20 strong for Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a family weekend with a lot more food, a lot more laughs and memories to make.

Mom is on baking duty, lemon bars, cheesecake, chip cake, just to name a few of the desserts that she will make. And my homemade applesauce is already made, while sweet-n-sour meatballs are next up on the list.

I hope for you this week, you can take a step back from your workload, that time will slow down, that stress will lessen and you can sit at a table with those that you love and be present in that very precious moment.

If you want to watch Diana Ross perform and give her speech, you can check it out right here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Practice Gratitude Every Day

IMG_6606I’m in the country, surrounded by family and friends, ready to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It’s one of my most favorite places. It’s hard to describe the peace and calm that take over when I’m here. Out in the middle of nature, away from the everyday hustle and bustle, even for just a week is truly inspiring.

I know you are thinking about what you are grateful for this week.
I’d like to share what I’m thankful for and one thing I do, not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the entire year, to help me remember.

Every day, I take a few minutes and write down something I am grateful for. I do it at all different times of the day, when the moment strikes me. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and it’s a beautiful sunny day and I take a walk and I come back and write down how thankful I am to have my health, the opportunity to get outside and exercise.

Sometimes it’s the afternoon and I’m stressed out, wondering how I’m going to get everything done. Then one of my team members cheers me up with a cup of my favorite coffee or a funny story about their weekend and I write down how thankful I am for my team, the wonderful support I know is right there with me through it all.

Sometimes I’m on vacation, spending worry free days sightseeing, swimming or hanging out with my husband and my kids and I write down how thankful I am to have people in my life  I love and who love me just as much. And that I get to spend quality time with them and make memories to cherish.

How often do you take pause and actually write down what you are thankful for, truly practice gratitude?

I invite you to try it.

I use a gratitude journal app on my phone to easily make notes and if you search the app store, you will find tons of options. Some are free, some are paid, but believe me, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Just pick one and use it. That is the key.

And if you’d rather put pen to paper, by all means, just using a simple notebook has the same amazing results.

I believe that gratitude and abundance are two halves of a whole. When I practice gratitude, I live in abundance.

I am thankful for you. I appreciate your support, your feedback, your comments. I am a better coach and a better woman because of you. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Share with me what you are grateful for on the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page.

My holiday table brought me a special gift

As I was sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner with my family this year, I took a moment to look around at every person at the table. Sure, I’ve held many holidays with my family, but as I get older and my children grow, I’ve really found myself reflecting more and more.

Each person at that table is an important part of my life, each one a part of my heart, each one someone I am truly thankful for knowing. I couldn’t stop smiling. Here we were, gathered together despite location or job responsibility for one special day. I wish I could be seated at dinner every night with my family by my side and I felt so much gratitude and love in those moments together, it was truly the best gift I could ever receive.

 I’m thankful for so much in my life. I am thankful for my wonderful husband, my beautiful children, my lovely family, my dear friends, my talented team, my dedicated clients, my loyal readers, my fierce supporters and everyone who has played a part in my journey.

Too often, we find ourselves dwelling on the negative things happening in our lives, instead of the positive. It’s easy to get irritated or lose our tempers because something isn’t going our way. I’m just as guilty as anyone. But sitting at that table, I couldn’t feel anything but joy.

Surrounding yourself with those you love and not letting worry consume you is the best way to bring energy and peace to your life. Work will still be there tomorrow. The issue you thought was so large might be something you laugh about in a week. Things tend to work out. Stop stressing and focus on action, stop thinking of the things you can’t do and focus on what you can do.

Our days are stressed, our worries are many, our fears are forefront. I get that. I understand it and I feel it, too. But if we could try to bottle up some of that joy we feel during holiday or family celebrations and open it up when we need it most, wouldn’t our days be so much easier?

– Focus on everything that is good in your life right now.

– Take a deep breath when you need it and tell yourself it will be alright.

– Lean on those around you and trust in their support.

– Take a break anytime you need it and don’t feel guilty about it later.

– Spend extra time with family and friends and make memories to last forever.

All of those things will help you create a stronger business and a better life.

No matter what upcoming holiday you will be celebrating one thing is certain: times like these are the ones we remember, the ones we cherish, the ones we treasure and the ones that make life so grand.

Thank you for being a part of my network, for motivating me to continue on my path, for inspiring me with your stories. Tell me about your favorite holiday tradition over on the SSC Facebook Page and LinkedIn pages. Until next week!

Cheers to your Success.


I Just Can’t Quit!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know I did! I enjoyed time withfamily and friends. I Just Can't Quit!

One thing I did was eat a ton and I have just not been getting to the gym as regularly as I would like. Truthfully, I am out of shape. So I made a decision: I purchased a training package and made a commitment to work with a trainer twice a week. Last night was the 2nd session and after a short period of time, I was not doing very well. I was dizzy and definitely pale, the trainer asked if I am okay to continue. He asked, “Do you want to sit down and stop?”

Let me tell you, I was pissed! Forget how much an investment in a private trainer is, my ego was mad! I might be middle age but I used to work out 4 to 5 days a week. I should be able to do this! I looked at him and said “I AM NOT QUITTING!!!” I continued, “I am not a quitter but can we switch this up a bit? I would like less up and down and maybe do some mat work.” His response was, “Great idea Ivy, I like that you are not a quitter and we will readjust the workout. You are really committed.”

Today is December 2nd and I know how many times this year that I wanted to quit. I want to quit when technology frustrates me. I want to quit being a mom when my kids are driving me crazy. I want to quit when I have to write a lot. I want to quit so many times when business gets tough. Don’t you?

I was on a panel last week speaking to a fabulous group of women. I shared my story of when I lost it all but was completely committed to doing whatever it took to provide a roof over my kids heads, college educations and everything in between. Yes these are the same ones who, at times, annoy me and I love anyway.

So I ask you as fellow business owners: how do you navigate those times you want to quit?
– Do you shift things around, like I did in my workout and keep going?
– Do you go outside and take a walk?
– Do you refresh yourself and clear your head?
– Do you go workout, sweat it out?

The key to a successful business is the entrepreneur behind it. If you are a quitter, get a job. It’s okay.

If you are a business owner and are committed to building a business that will provide for you and possibly your family, you have to show up everyday and stay committed at 100%. Of course when a curve ball or obstacle is put in your path, you shift things around. Just like I did yesterday choosing not to pass out in my workout and knowing how to navigate.

Share what you do to stay committed to your business 100% on the SSC Facebook Page.

Cheers to your Success!