Wednesday, December 30, 2009

6 Surefire Ways to Jumpstart 2010

I believe one of the pieces to laying a solid foundation for success can be summed in one word – BALANCE! If you lean too much to just the money side of achieving your dreams or goals, you may find getting or arriving at the top of your field or businesslonely. If you place too much emphasis on getting ahead and working endless hours, you may wake up one day to the harsh reality that you have no meaningful friendships or significant person in your life to love.

The best way to guard against these possible scenarios or others like them is to devise goals that include key areas of your life that are based upon your core values. For example, as a Christian woman, my values are (1) God first (2) family second (3) ministry or business, etc is third on my hierarchy of priorities; it is different for everyone.

There are six areas I believe will set a strong foundation from which to build as you pursue your goals for 2010 and beyond. They are (1) Faith (2) Family (3) Fitness (4) Finances (5) Friends and (6) Fun.

1. Faith. It is important to build yourself up spiritually and stay connected to God through prayer, praise, and worship, reading the Bible, and study Scripture. Doing these things every day consistently will help you be in tune for divine guidance, instruction, and direction for your family, health, business, etc.

2. Family. Family is one of the most important relationships you can have in life! If your home is not in order or falling apart, it will have a negative impact on every thing you do including our business. You may have the most wonderful wife or husband and children in the world, but if they are not nurtured and made to feel important, you jeopardize losing them. Devise a family mission statement and stick with. This will help you see when you are getting of course or imbalanced.

3. Fitness. We live in such a fast-paced society that we often do not the care of our physical health. The fact is you cannot neglect your physical health and expect to accomplish your dream and goals. A sick or diseased body will limit how we pursue your dreams and goals – energetically or sluggishly; sharp thinker or dull thinker, etc. The best remedies for this is plan and execute a regular exercise regimen and eat more healthy foods. Being emotionally healthy is just as important as physical health. Exercise your brain by reading inspiring and encouraging books, listen to tapes. Develop a personal development regimen.

4. Finance. Become a good steward of the financial blessings that come into your life through running your own business or as an employee. No where your money is going. Set goals of how much income you want to generate, save, donate, and invest. Guard against greed! Develop a healthy attitude and relationship with money. It’s only a tool and when used properly can benefit and bless you, your family and those around you.

5. Friends. Next to having strong family connections friends are the second most important relationships in your life, and they need to be honored and nurtured as well. When others, including your family, fail to understand you sometimes, a close, trusting friend can really help keep you well grounded! You may only have one or two close friends, but that is more than most people have. So, hold onto them and do not work too much at pursuing your dreams and goals that you neglect your friends!

6. Fun. The old adage, “All work and no play makes a Jack a dull boy” still rings true today! It is so important to laugh and have fun, go places and do fun things! Have fun just for the sake of having fun!! It is a big stress reliever and is good for your overall health. It is not a healthy practice to work 18 hours or more 7 days a week! Take time to nurture yourself; it will rejuvenate you!

Doing these things will ensure a strong foundation of balance in your life so that you can build strong, healthy relationships while you pursue your dreams and goals. Happy New Year!

If you’d like to use this article on your website, in your newsletter or anywhere else, you may do so as long as the information below is included in its entirety.

Yvonne Carson is the CEO/founder of Woman-To-Woman Empowerment Academy and Women Breaking Free, a free membership community. Her mission is to help women to grow through spiritual development and personal development.

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Tags: bible, business, christian, faith, god, health, mission statement, personal development


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photos in a Shoebox...Why Digitize?

Do you have shoeboxes of photographs? Have you inherited photos? Do you have family members with photos that you would like to have copies of? If you answered yes, this blog post is a must read!

It is said that there are over 3 trillion printed photographs in the US. Most of them are sitting in shoeboxes on a dusty shelf or dark closet, sitting and decaying. If you pull out some of those old pictures you will see that the ink is starting to fade. Over time, the ink or dye used to print pictures will start to decay until it is eventually washed completely out. If you have photos that are near and dear to you and your family, you will want to have those digitized (scanned)!

Having your photos scanned will help to overcome that decaying process. The photo will still continue to fade, but the digital image will capture the photo and preserve it in it's current state. Digitizing your photos will also allow you to share them with friends and family because you won't have to worry about only having 1 copy! You can send them electronically, post them on family websites or facebook, or create beautiful photo keepsakes with them. Creative end uses for your family photos are now only limited by your imagination!

We never want to think about unforeseen disasters such as a home fire or something. But many family photos are lost forever in these circumstances. So the most important reason to digitize your photos is so that you have a back up copy in the event something should happen to the original pictures. Protect and preserve by having your photos scanned.

I know, I could take up to 30 hours to scan the 1300 photos found in a typical shoebox, but I can offer you a better solution! Photo scanning at 30 pictures per minute (up to 500 per hour), local and mobile! Don't chance your precious memories being lost forever!

Yolanda Ventura~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's a Memory Keeper's Coach?

I been asked this question recently and actually I liked being asked this question because it became a conversation starter. As a direct marketer, I am always looking for conversation starters. In order to answer this question, we first define what a memory keeper is.

A memory keeper is a person to whom it is important to preserve their memories, either through journaling, scrapbooking, taking photos. A memory keeper's coach, is someone, like myself who helps a memory keeper with creative ways to preserve, document and/or display their most treasured memories.

I love what I do! Our treasured memories are invaluable, irreplaceable and typically our most prized possessions. It brings me great joy to sit with a client and their shoeboxes of photos and show them how they can share these gifts, gifts of time, gifts of ancestry, gifts of heritage, with family and friends. I recently helped an elderly woman publish the story of her ancestry, a pictorial history, not a family tree. She was so thrilled, so thankful, so gracious, when we finished that she wanted 11 more copies to give as gifts to her family this holiday season! Of course, I was happy for the orders, but I was able to share in a work of the heart with this client. I helped her record her family's history for future generations. When you are working with a project like this (family stories, history, treasured photographs), you want someone who is going to take the care and sensitivity as if it were their own.

That's what a memory keeper's coach does and that's what I am...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

This was an easy post for me today. I have had a rather productive week. So, I am thankful for:
1. The innocence of children. I am not perfect by any means but my children are still young enough to think I am the best thing since sliced bread. Yay! I may not always get it right but I try my best.
2. I am thankful for my accountability partners. When you are building a business or trying to get in shape or something like that, this is key. It's so easy not to "feel like" doing something and just not doing it, but when you know someone is waiting and expecting you to be there, you go. My partner has helped me to stay on task this week and last week and I am thankful for that, especially since we are gearing up for the holiday season.
3. Fall. It's finally here! At least I hope so. I know I said that last week but the last few days it has been hot! It hasn't felt like fall at all, but today that all changed. I had to turn the heat on in my car at one point.
4. I am thankful for the networking opportunities in my area. Most require a membership fee but some are free or very low cost. At any rate, I have been afforded the opportunity this week to showcase Heritage Makers and I have had received great feedback. All have been great opportunities to promote my business.
5. Finally, I am thankful that my kit with the new product samples and marketing materials has arrived! Yippee! I am so excited and can't wait to start showing people all the creative uses and keepsake gifts that can be created.

What are you thankful for this week?

Yolanda Ventura~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beyond Blessed Wednesday~ oops Friday!

I have had such a busy week that I totally forgot to post on Wednesday! As I sit and look back on my week there are quite a few things that turned out to be blessings this week. A lot of times we things appear to go wrong, it sometimes turns out to be an opportunity for something more positive. I experienced this on Tuesday.

1. The first Tuesday of the month I host a crop for Memory Keepers and even though I had rsvps, no one showed up. What could have been a bust actually turned into an opportunity to speak with the manager of the establishment about collaborating on a promotion. So I am grateful for the gift of opportunity. There are opportunities everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

2. Today I am really grateful for air conditioning! It's almost mid October and lately the temps have been fall-like. However, today it was quite hot.

3. Having just picked my kids up from school, on a Friday afternoon...I am reminded of how grateful I am for quiet time.

4. Vanilla Lattes. I was bummed to discover that my most favorite coffee house will be closing next week. The location is perfect. The atmosphere is perfect. The wifi is free and has no time limit and lastly they have the BEST lattes in town!

5. I am also grateful for family gatherings. We will be attending a family reunion this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing everyone that we haven't seen since the last reunion and the fun of playing games and let me not forget the food! Lots of photo opportunities this weekend.

What are you grateful for this week? Here's an idea: how about creating a layout around your 5 most favorite things.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Celebrating Harvest

We usually don't celebrate Halloween, but we always celebrate harvest by going to a local farm. We always have a good time. We will still do that this year, but I also decided the Memory Keeper Coach could do a fun project with local kids this harvest season.

I will be hosting a Cutest Costume Contest at a local drop in child care facility in conjunction with their harvest party. Parents can bring their children in with their costumes and have a photo taken and the winner will receive a their picture on a poster made to look like a magazine cover to hang in their rooms. I also spoke with my son's preschool director and we are going to try to do something very similar there.

I am so excited! I think it will be a lot of fun and I'm sure the children will have a great time. How do you celebrate harvest? Do you go door to door trick or treating like the good old days? Do you carve pumpkins? or Do you turn off all the lights and pretend you're not home? What memories do you create this time of year with your family?

Yolanda Ventura~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Inspirational Video 1 - The Law Of Attraction

I just watched this and had to share. You never know when someone might be in need of a little encouragement.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beyond Happy

It's beyond happy Wednesday and as I sat down to write down 5 things I am grateful for today, I struggled a little bit. Typically, you want to think of the really "big" things that have happened in the past few days but much like a lot of people these days, there have been quite a few struggles. When it's raining it's very easy to get caught up in the downpour which I have been guilty of, rather than making the best of it and moving on. So the first thing on my list, is mercy.

1. I am grateful for mercy. I heard someone's testimony on Sunday morning, a real Job story. I quite a few things were reinforced for me that morning but the one I am practicing on this week is being content in my circumstances. I am happy that when I do have a bad day that tomorrow is a new day and another chance to get it right.

2. I am grateful for motherhood. OMG, I have learned so much about myself since I became a mother. It's amazing how it changes your life, your priorities, your goals. Sure there are challenges, but there is great joy!

3. I am grateful for Heritage Makers. There are so many wonderful things about this company, I can't begin to name them all. This year I celebrated the 9th anniversary of my 29th birthday and I just figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Starting my business as a Heritage Maker has been the best experience, the most rewarding and I am thankful to be a part of it.

4. I am grateful for support. Not everyone has a good support system, so this is something to be thankful about. I am thankful for my friends and family who have been a great source of support and encouragement over the years. I am grateful for my "success line" (some companies use downline). Bringing new "blood" into your business is great for a power injection. They keep me motivated, challenged with new ideas and focused on my vision. I am also grateful for my "power line" or up line for the same reason. These are people who have achieved the goals I am working toward and serve as great models and mentors. And finally, my networking groups. Coffee and Contacts has been a great source of encouragement, support and business building.

5. Finally, I am grateful for fall. I love fall. It's my favorite season. The leaves are starting to change. The weather is cooling off. People are starting to think about the holidays, and I love the holiday season! Best of all, I live in a place where I can experience all of the seasons. Some parts of the country don't have that luxury. It's either sunny all the time or cold all the time, but here (although some seasons are shorter than others) I get a taste of all of them.

Don't always be caught up in only recording the memories of the big events in your life. Take time to "smell the roses." What are you grateful for? Record the everyday blessings in your life.

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad Mommy...Good Mommy

I recently created a poster for my daughter. It's really cute; I put her on the cover of "Cosmo Girl" magazine. It came in from Heritage Makers this Saturday, so I framed it and put in her room to surprise her when she got home from school yesterday. The whole way home she was trying to guess what her surprise was, which was great for a laugh. She loved it! Which was great, how nice for me to see her eyes light up and the smile on her face right? Right. I brought my daughter joy and hopefully made an impact on her self-esteem. With all the heroes and "role models" kids hang up on their walls, why not post them up in a positive light?

Well, my 3 year old son comes wandering into my bedroom after seeing nothing in his room with this sad look on his face and speaking in an almost inaudible tone. He finally mumbled that he was "mad" because he didn't have a "prize." I felt so bad! He was almost in tears. I guess, I really should have known better. I told him that his was coming, it just wasn't in yet, but it will be here soon. I think I am going to put him on the cover of GQ Jr or maybe even Lil' Entrepreneur! He got over it pretty quickly once he realized that I hadn't forgotten about him. So all is well again.

Posters are a simple and inexpensive way to decorate a child's room and lift them up to the same level as the other people that they perceive as heroes. Look at the people that they put on their walls. Is it Michael Jordan or Hannah Montana or Spiderman? Sure, they have great qualities that we want to encourage and foster in our children but don't forget to validate that they already have some pretty amazing qualities of their own and in time can be all and everything that they want to be. Look at Melissa Gilbert, she married the guy in the pinup she had in hanging her school locker! The sky's the limit!

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Memories of the 80s

I proudly admit that I am a child of the 80s. I loved the movies, the fashion, and the music. It was just a great decade. Some of my favorites were Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Better Off Dead, The Breakfast Club, The Lost Boys and of course, Dirty Dancing!

I am not sure if I knew who Patrick Swayze was before Dirty Dancing but I, like a lot of other fans, couldn't get enough of him afterwards! He will truly be missed! Dirty Dancing made me want to take dance lessons, as it did much of the country. But for me, it wasn't just dirty dancing. I wanted to learn the waltz, the rhumba, salsa, cha cha cha...and you know what? I did!

So what's your favorite decade and why? Were there heavy influences that helped to shape your personality? What are your most favorite memories from that time frame and what are some of your saddest? Tell a story about it? Create a layout around it? Dig out those dreaded photos and give the world a glimpse back in time, through your eyes.

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Doesn't Break Us

Makes us stronger. At least that's how I think the old saying goes. Like many people, the last 12 months have been trying times and I believe that there is a lesson we are supposed to learn or personal or even spiritual growth to be attained out of each trial. I was reminded of that when I listened to this James Morrison song today. Now, I am sure I have heard it before, since it is on my ipod, but today I listened to it.

"...Oh we're a little closer to finding out what life's about; Yeah I know you just can't stand it when things don't go your way, but we've got no control over what happens anyway; If it's going to be a rainy day, there's nothing we can do to make it change; We can pray for sunny weather, but that won't stop the rain..."

I think I am going to have to add this to my soundtrack vol. 2 Check it out, he really has an amazing voice.

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Monday, September 7, 2009

Twitter Correction

Sorry guys, my twitter address is @MsMemoryKeeperCoach.

Join the Cause!

I recently started promoting my cause on Facebook and found that people I know are dealing with Alzheimer's in their own families. It makes you stop and think. When we think about serious illness or winning the lottery or something; we never think that it will happen to us or even someone that we know. It kind of hits home when it does hit that close to your circle.

5.3 million Americans are suffering from this disease! It's much more than memory loss but an attack on the brain effecting memory, motor skills, even mood. Every 70 seconds someone will be diagnosed with this form of dementia. What can I do? Well, for starters, I want to help spread the word and raise awareness, so join the cause. Secondly, I want to work with families through my business to help them preserve as much as possible. And lastly, look for ways to contribute financially through fundraising.

What can you do? Go to my facebook page and JOIN THE CAUSE!

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach
Twitter: @TheMemoryKeeperCoach

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Okay, so I left you all hanging in my last post regarding my soundtrack. I really love music. I don't play an instrument, but always wished I could play the piano and the saxophone. I just love the poetry in music. It doesn't matter the genre, if I feel it, I feel it.

So, I am always looking for a creative way to incorporate journaling into my scrapbook pages. So I ran across this challenge of creating a layout about some of my favorite songs. It was hard because I have so many "favorite songs." So when I celebrated the 6th anniversary of my 29th birthday, I created a playlist of the songs that resonated with me at that time in my life. I can't share the layout with you just yet, because I was still doing traditional pages then but it's time for an update, so when it's finished I will upload it to share.

Anyway, here is the playlist:
Pass Me Over by Anthony Hamilton
I Belong to Me by Jessica Simpson
Fallen by Sarah McLachlan
Good Times by Edie Brickell
Have a Little Faith In Me by Chaka Khan
If I Could by Regina Belle
Little Wonders by Rob Thomas
Sunny Skies by Teena Marie
Drops of Jupiter by Train
Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood
To Love Again by Gordon Chambers
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
You Found Me by The Fray

So, here's my challenge to you...create your own playlist, whether you do a layout with it or not. Think about music that has spoken to you, defined a moment in your life or maybe even got you through something. Your playlist should almost describe the essence of you, what's important to you or lessons you have gleaned. When writing/journaling is hard for you, lyrics to some favorites may just be all that you need to say what you want to say.

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memory Keeper's Coach Takes A Stand

One of the best things about what I do is being able to help other people preserve their heritage. I reached out to the Alzheimer's Association and got an appointment to speak to them about how I can contribute my services. While I have never had anyone close to me suffer from this, I did watch the Notebook. It's my favorite movie. If you haven't seen it you should rent it. It gives you a glimpse into how loved ones are affected when a family member has Alzheimers (just a glimpse). Since then it's been heavy on my heart. Then yesterday I read a book entitle, My Last Conversation With Mom. It was about a woman's journey in being the primary caregiver of her mother, who was suffering from Alzheimers.

Needless to say, I was moved and I was confirmed. I called the Alzheimers Association and I am meeting with them next week. There are so many reasons as to why you need to preserve your family stories. Everyone should be doing this! Is there someone in your family who's story needs to be told?

Yolanda~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Coach~Unknown or Known?

"I don't want to be unknown
The little things that make me who I am
I need to share
I need to know that someone cares

That I write down my dreams
That I love when it rains
I burn candles when I'm alone
More then anything
I don't want to be unknown
More then anything
No one wants to be unknown"

This is an excerpt from one of the songs on my personal soundtrack, yes I have a personal soundtrack-more on that another time. The song is "Unknown" by Chely Wright. No one wants to be unknown. The passion of memory keeping is so that it doesn't happen to you or the heroes of your family. If you take pictures, you are probably doing so, to capture a memory of a particular moment. The concept of taking pictures is to preserve that moment so you can reflect on it at another time. But a picture only tells half the story. This song inspired me to start a scrapbook about me and the things that me who I am; the things I enjoy, my friends and activities, my thoughts, dreams and aspirations. I want my children to know the woman I was before I had brought them into the world. If you don't tell your story, who will? Who knows you better than you do? Have someone take your picture, if you don't have a recent one, look at it and then get a pen and paper and tell the future about the person in that photo.

Thank you for stopping by, please come back again soon.

Yolanda Ventura~The Memory Keeper's Coach

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Memory Keeper Coach Builds Community

What started out as a hobby 7 years ago has blossomed into a wonderful business. They say when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I started "memory keeping" or "storybooking" out of a need to preserve my family's history for my children. I became so passionate about what I was doing that I felt the need to share my hobby with everyone and convert them into scrapbookers! Little did I know that I would be able to do exactly that same thing and get paid for it. I started my Heritage Makers business so that I could work my job around my family and not the other way around.

As a service to my clients, I started a book club called Memory Keepers because what I do primarily is coach and assist others in becoming the Memory Keeper for their family's stories. That's how I got my name "The Memory Keeper Coach." We get together to work on our projects, find inspiration and develop friendships. What started out as a monthly laptop crop has turned into Memory Keepers Book Club meetings spread throughout the city, throughout the month! And it's free!

New digi-scrappers and veterans can join us on and come to any of our crops and learn from scratch or just to work on their projects. Through the book club we are building friendships that will last a lifetime and what a joy it is to be a part of something that can have such an impact on one individual, a family and a community! That's what I love about what I do! That's why this is hobby, now business and hobby, has become such a huge part of who I am.

Yolanda Ventura~The Memory Keeper's Coach