Archive for February, 2010

#20 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with John Corippo

I’ve had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ John Corippo through my blog. He became a follower of 6 Feet Over and emailed  me about the lengthy ‘bucket list’ he’s tackling. This fellow blogger is a wonderfully supportive husband, loving dad (check out his adorable son in all the photos below), dedicated firefighter/captain and an awesome goal setter. His story proves that with both self-discipline and support from loved ones, you can achieve amazing things….even if NOT eating bacon is involved.  Read on, you’ll see…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: John, share a little about yourself…

John: I am a 32 year old father and husband. Which would be enough because I hit the jackpot when my wife married me almost three years ago and then gave birth to my son 13 months ago. However I was lucky enough to get the best job in the world…as a firefighter. Actually I am a fire captain in the town that I grew up in, Ukiah California. Pretty much have the perfect life…awesome wife, terrific kid and a job that I love.

I left my hometown and went to college for four years at Chico State. During my last semester I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working in a cubicle underneath fluorescent lights and I left college and moved home where I found firefighting and made that my career. I worked in photo labs through college and really got into photography during that time and am just now getting back into that hobby.  I have always been a reader and love books. I love gadgets and always think that I “have” to have the latest tech toy that’s out. I live and die for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, but I am also a big fan of the Boston Red Sox (way before they finally won the Series!) and sports in general. My own crowning achievement in sports was completing a half Ironman triathlon. I love getting outdoors and especially enjoy seeing waterfalls, but I don’t get out nearly as much as I feel I should. I have to say that my friends are my family and some of the most cherished gifts in my life. I would not be who I am today without the love and support of all of them. Another random fact is that I am a lifelong Parrothead, and if you don’t know what that is…you are missing out on really living life!

My bucket, life, to do (whatever you might want to call it) list was really inspired by my mom coming up with a 50 things to do before she turned 50 list. I just wanted to add some adventures to my life, mostly to be able to be an inspiration to my son. Someone that he can look to and be proud of. That his dad isn’t just a go to work and sit on the couch when he gets home guy. That we actually go out and live life, not just live to work if you know what I mean.

Something that I’ve been plagued with my entire life is having lots of interests, but never really pulling through on any of it. Having the list has given me motivation to get out and finish some of these things that I would like to accomplish.

Melody: What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

John: An item that I recently crossed off my list was becoming a vegetarian for 30 days.

Melody: I’m impressed…I don’t think I could last 3 days!  I’ll admit I have wanted to try though. Why did this become a goal of yours?

John: This became a goal of mine because I was intrigued when my wife decided to become vegan about 6 months ago. I supported her, but thought that it was a passing fad or something. I am really proud of her for sticking with it. I never really thought about how “meat centered” that our society and my own life really was until I was watching her change her lifestyle.

Melody: I think it’s awesome you were so supportive of your wife’s goal. You get definite points for that! Other than being a fabulous husband, why was going meatless so important to you?

John: Sticking to the entire 30 days “veggie vow,” as I came to call it, became more a battle with will power than anything else. It also became a battle between myself and all the people that said I couldn’t make it. I also thought that it would be a healthy challenge and would kick-start another goal of mine, getting my weight down to 185lbs.

Melody: I completely understand how others saying you couldn’t do it became an inspiration in itself! Hmmm, I just may blog about that later. I applaud you for wanting to become more healthy, too!

At any point, did you want to give up?

John: I wanted to give up on this almost everyday. Temptation was everywhere. One day I walked into work at the station to one of the firefighters cooking bacon in a pot. He didn’t eat it, just cooked bacon in a pot and went home. He just wanted the aroma of bacon lingering in the station during my work day. That was one of the hardest of the 30 days. We also went out to dinner at restaurants a couple of times and to an awards banquet for my department where there was lots of meat options, and very few vegetarian choices.

Melody: BACON? Seriously, bacon? That’s just cruel! I think I would have caved at that point. I love bacon. I want some bacon now just talking about it. Mmmmm, bacon.

Your “veggie vow” was truly challenging. What kept you going?

John: I really had three things that really got me through to the end of the goal. My wife was extremely supportive and held my hand through the entire month. She worked hard at coming up with new meal options and just kept my eye on the prize.

The Cartman, a friend that I work with, took on the challenge with me. It was essential, looking back, that I had a partner in crime at work. I found that was where temptation was strongest, and I was at my weakest. In fact I was ready to quit even before we got started. On day one of the challenge I was ready to postpone and start the challenge later, but The Cartman flat out refused and flat out told me that we were doing this and that was that. It was motivation for the rest of the month. I knew that if I caved I was going to have to face The Cartman. It would have been embarrassing if he completed what was a challenge on my list, and I couldn’t.

The third thing was my blog. I had put my list and the progress out there for anyone to stumble across to read and really didn’t want to explain that everyone that said it couldn’t be done was right. I really underestimated how powerful that blogging was going to be. My blog doesn’t get a ton of traffic, but it’s enough to keep me in line. I know this sounds like a plug, but AdventureWannaBe has been the strongest motivating factor and a great new hobby all in one. It’s also great to hear from people that leave comments of support.

Melody: I think having people on your side (your wife and The Cartman) is essential to achieving anything in life. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish simply by having someone to cheer us on. Accountability is crucial as well. Needless to say, I agree with you 100% about how blogging holds you accountable. It’s the reason I started this blog.

What advice would you have for people striving to reach their goals?

John: I think that everyone has goals or a list in their life. Those looking for advice, I can only comment on what has worked for me. Write it down, and let people know. I have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support that I have received since publishing my list. People that I thought might be critical or make fun of me have gone way out of their way to help me. A friend has hired someone to teach me to ride a horse and hooked me up with a friend of his that can teach me to fly a glider. Another has gotten my tickets to a conference where I am going to meet someone with the same name as me. People I don’t even know have left comments saying that they are willing to give me opportunities. So my advice is to put it down where you’ll look at it all the time and tell people about what you are trying to do. All of a sudden you’ll have more opportunities than you have time to accomplish them.

Melody: I have been meaning to do the same…post my list. I think it’s inspiring that you have your list on your blog! Tell us a few of the other items on your bucket list you’re still seeking to accomplish.

John: Some other things that are still on my list, and there is a bunch, are growing a full beard, visiting 50 waterfalls, hiking the John Muir Trail, learning to play my guitar and playing on the street to see how much I can earn, meeting multiple heroes of mine, seeing multiple landmarks of the world, and making one of my son’s dreams come true. There are many many others, in fact 200 of them but you can check it out on my blog if you’re interested in the entire list.

Melody: I think you should post a video of yourself playing the guitar and put a PayPal link next to it! I’ll throw in some change for sure! 😉 Wonderful list you have…I’ve read all 200 items!!

Leave us with  your favorite inspirational quote?

John: My favorite inspirational quote is “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” ~ George Elliot

Melody:  John, thank you so much for sharing your 30 day “veggie vow” journey with us! You not only showed us how challenging this was, but you also took what, to some, could seem like an easy task and turned it into a life lesson. Your adventure to the vegetarian side proved to be more than a diet change. It not only took mental strength, but a supportive team. I believe goals need just that in order to be obtained. Your story is inspiring! I can’t wait to see more of your items checked off that list!

If going vegetarian is on your list of things to do, here are a few websites that will help you get started:

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I’m working on a blog makeover and will have my full bucket list posted. I had wanted to post the list before, but seeing John’s list motivates me to add more to it!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#19 ~ 20 Years

What were you thinking 20 years ago?

Really, what kind of thoughts ran around that pretty little head of yours? Or, maybe I don’t want to know.  heh heh

Let me be more specific – 20 years ago, where did you think you would be now?

(By the way, that photo of me is from 16 years ago. The whole ’20 years’ thing will make sense in a minute. Yes, that was my school’s mascot and yes, I wore an outfit to match the bengal. I had WAY too much school spirit, I know.)

I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day (clutch the pearls, yes, I was cleaning something) and came across some old high school stuff. Recently, I was in charge of my 15 year high school reunion (OK, I just had to take a deep breath. Please, lock me in a closet next time I volunteer to do that again.) and I still have remnants of the event stuffed in the corner of my office. I thought it was about time I did something with it…the reunion was last October.

Being the sentimental sap I am, I had to thumb through the pages of the last school newspaper. May 1994 – seems like yesterday, seems like forever ago. I chuckled as I read through the articles… That one guy is most likely to go bald. You know who will one day be Hollywood bound. What’s his name will surely become a monk. Prom Queen and King were crowned. Scholarships and other honors awarded. Fond memories all bound into a few sheets of paper.

Of course, the article labeled “Melody’s Notes” caught my eye. There was a little section of the paper reserved for ramblings of my own. I was Student Body President and a tiny part of my job description involved writing something inspiring on a monthly basis for my fellow students. The last paragraph in my last article in the last school newspaper read this: (I’m going to quote myself right now. Weird…)

“Twenty years from now you might be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So, GO FOR IT!! Reach for your goals; they’re not as high as you think!

I must admit, I just got a little twinge of pride for my teenaged self. I remember being ready to conquer the world. I was itching to dive into the next chapter of the book of Melody, but to be honest, I had NO clue where the story would lead me – and THAT is what I have always thrived on. Newness. Fresh beginnings. Bold new projects…

I had goals back then. They morphed and transformed into a life I hadn’t quite imagined. A different life, but a great one. College bound, I wanted to become a broadcast journalist. I changed my mind about a month into my first semester. I always swore I wouldn’t get married until I was 30 and set in a career. I got married when I was 19 (and still very happily married 14 years later, by the way). For a brief moment, I wanted to become a private investigator. (That’s a whole story in itself.) I started a wedding business instead. I just knew I’d be doing that the rest of my life and then nine years later we had our first child. It’s true, a baby changes everything.

If I had led my life according to the plans I had in mind 16 years ago, I would be a completely different person now. Life takes us on side trips. There are so many lessons we have to learn along the way and, if not learned, sometimes we have to flip a U-turn, take a detour or go a route we never even knew was on the map.

So, here I am walking down an unfamiliar trail with yet another goal. The ‘project’ … at times I am still overwhelmed by it. I constantly have this banter between my brain and my heart, “You’re crazy. You’re gutsy. This is insane. This is exciting! Seriously, you’re tall and all, but this is way too big. You’re so tall, those jeans aren’t long enough…”

As I look back at the 17 year old who told everyone to ‘go for it’ so boldly, I can’t help but feel the self-induced kick in the butt.

Twenty years from now, I don’t want to be disappointed by the things I didn’t do.

Go for it.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (38)

#18 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Jordan McGee

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a blast with these Motivation Monday interviews. It’s so fascinating to hear about everyday people who have a dream (or two or three…) and are not afraid to go after it and achieve it!

I’m thrilled to introduce Jordan McGee to you today. Her story is that of a young dream seeker who kept her sights firmly on the prize. She was astonished by the timeframe it took to accomplish her fascinating goal and I’m sure you’ll be surprised as well…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Tell us a little about yourself.

Jordan: I’m a Chicago-born twenty-something who has lived in Las Vegas a little more than four years (also a little longer than expected!).  Trained as a journalist, I currently work in corporate communications/PR for an architecture firm.  Always the over-achiever, I also do marketing/PR for a Las Vegas arts organization (Nevada Pops–come see us!) and work with the NV-1 DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team–we’re the government’s first responders in disaster situations).  Oh, and I sell Pampered Chef on the side because I don’t already have enough to do!  😉

Melody: Wow, you’re a busy woman! I’m exhausted just reading a ‘little’ about yourself. Tell me about one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Jordan: Working at the White House–I interned with the Press Advance Office in 2004.  Politics aside, it was awesome to be there, but even more awesome to be there in the home stretch of a campaign.  I worked insane hours, was under incredible pressure, and loved every minute of it.  I literally walked in everyday in as much amazement as the first–I’d be taking deep breaths and telling myself, “Soak it in!  Don’t forget this moment and how great it feels!”

Melody: To have accomplished something so extraordinary at such a young age is simply amazing! When did this become a goal of yours?

Jordan: In high school–I became really engaged by the governmental process then.  I’m a huge geek about politics/policy–my iPhone has copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution on it, so I’m armed and ready if I need to reference something I can’t recall.  (And if you spend the Fourth of July with me, you’ll participate in a reading of the Declaration–I look forward to it all year!)  Anyway, I’d been going door-to-door for candidates since I was about 12, but it took me until high school to really start to grasp it all–the magnitude of what we were doing on election day, how we got there, and why it was so important.

Melody: After learning what is on your iPhone, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit what is on mine. I promise all the kid games are for my two year old, not me.

What was the driving factor behind your passion?

Jordan: If you’re a policy wonk like me, there’s nowhere greater to go.  It’s the ultimate!  I was too young to put qualifiers on my goal–I didn’t tie myself up with what I would actually do there–I just wanted to get there somehow, some way.  You could have asked me to sweep the floors, and I would have eagerly accepted.  That I was able to be there doing something that I love–working with the media and doing large-scale event-planning–was more than I could have ever hoped for as a teenager.

Melody: At any point, did you think you wouldn’t make it to the White House? Were you ever tempted to give up?

Jordan: Yes and no.  When I set the goal for myself, I was still at an age where the world was my oyster.  You don’t have to be realistic at 16!  So, at the time I decided this was something I wanted to do, I was sure that I’d get there someday.  I figured it would be when I was in my 40s or 50s, though, somewhere far down the road.

In 2003, I was fortunate enough to score an internship in media relations at the FCC.  After accepting that position, I remember sitting on my mom’s bed and telling her how cool it would be if I could somehow get a White House internship the following summer–we both thought we were dreaming!  In my mind, those internships were reserved for the privileged; kids of parents who were politically connected, so I didn’t think for a million years that my ticket to the White House would be through an internship.  How wrong I was!  I met some really great people while working for the FCC, and one of them worked with the White House Advance Office–he recommended me to his colleagues and helped guide me through the application process the following spring.  I had never worked so hard to sell myself in my life–I spent more time on that application than I did on most of the homework I received in my entire college career!  One year later, I was back in D.C. and, trust me, no one was more surprised than me!  I was 20 and had already checked off the number one item on my bucket list!

Melody: Besides an extraordinary amount of passion and dedication, what kept you going?

Jordan: I never had a chance to really doubt myself.  I wasn’t aiming to get there as soon as I did; it sort of just fell into my lap.  At the time I set the goal, I figured I’d start worrying about getting to the White House when I hit 30 or some other age that was far enough into the future that I didn’t need to think about it at that moment.  It’s something I’ve struggled with, actually, because it feels like you’re supposed to spend years working toward that ultimate goal.  I came back and said, OK, now what?  I’ve done it; I’ve already done what I wanted to do with my life and where do I go from here?  How can anything I strive to achieve measure up to that?  So, it’s actually post-achievement that I’ve needed something to keep me going.  I think it generally takes so long to check off everything on a bucket list that no one ever gets to discussing what you do after you finish it!  I basically had to start from scratch, find something else that I really wanted, and make that my purpose going forward.  And, honestly, it’s still in flux–what I really wanted last years isn’t necessarily what I want this year, so I haven’t found another ultimate goal yet, but the quest is kind of exciting in itself…and is definitely enough to keep me going.  (By the way, I’m open to suggestions!)

Melody: After learning more about you, I’d love to know your advice for people striving to reach their goals.

Jordan: Don’t discount anyone you meet, and always put your best food forward.  You never know who is going to be able to lend a hand in helping you meet your goals.

Melody: Excellent advice, Jordan! What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?

Jordan: As I mentioned earlier, this remains in flux, but these have been constants:  I broke from my journalism roots a few years ago and started writing fiction–it’s what I do to unwind.  I’d love to publish one of the couple novels I’m working on, because I think they’re shaping up to be pretty good.  I’d love to return to the White House, too, because I think it would be a blast to be a press secretary or chief-of-staff.  I’d like to run for office someday, too, because I think I’d be great at it.  But first, I’m going to finish one of these books!

Melody: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Jordan: “From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man–the function of his reasoning mind.”  -Ayn Rand

Melody: Jordan, thank you so much for sharing your absolutely amazing story! It definitely throws more fuel to the fire in staying dedicated to my goal. I know it will be inspiring to many! I can’t wait to hear about how all the other goals in your life transpire. Just promise me you’ll do another interview.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in an interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

Comments (16)

#17 ~ Audience participation needed … HELP!

You’ve all heard the saying “two heads are better than one” … well, if this is true, then I should be in LUCK. I have a lot of ‘heads’ reading this blog.

This is the part of the adventure where I call on all my readers for assistance. Who doesn’t love a little audience participation anyhow?

I keep coming to a mental road block on something. I have no shame in asking for help. Remember, I professed this a few posts back. Ha. Please, help me…my brain really really hurts right now and I swear the wrinkles on my forehead are going to freeze like this. (Just picture a very thoughtful somewhat stressed look on my face….them are some ugly wrinkles it’s creating.)

OK, this is going to be a challenge to explain. How can I tell you exactly what I need without saying exactly what I need? Ugh.

I just stopped typing so I could think of how to word this.

Just stopped again.

Ten minutes just passed between my last sentence and this one.

Alright, I’m going to keep this as general as possible. I can’t be breaking any confidentiality agreements…

Shout out (in a comment because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to hear you from your computer) any words, SHORT phrases, play on words or ANYTHING that comes to mind when I say the following:

  1. Modern twist on old-fashioned
  2. Unite
  3. Polite
  4. Considerate

We reserve the right to use anything you post here for the purpose of the ‘project’…so make it fabulous and share as much as you can! If you think of something later, come back and post it on this blog entry.  Feel free to leave multiple comments if needed.

I can’t tell you what it’s for, but I will tell you that if we end up using the exact phrase or term you suggest, you’ll get a shout out for it…a very cool shout out. I’ll interact with your comments in order to provoke your thought process if you’re close to where I’m going with all this.

On a side note, you’ll LOVE the LLC name. I wish I could share it right now. Oh and you won’t believe how awesome ‘project 2’ is…holy moly. I really can’t stand keeping all these secrets. Things are moving along so the story will be unfolding…

photo by svilen001

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#16 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview (& GIVEAWAY) with Michele Sipolt Kapustka co-owner of SendABall.com

I contacted Michele shortly after she appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank with her sister Melisa. These are two “ballsy” (pun #1) ladies who definitely impressed the investors with their growing SendABall.com business. Michele also graced the TV screen with Donny Deutch on The TODAY Show as well as Donny’s CNBC’s Show “The Big Idea” …she’s all over the place, those are just to name a few!

Needless to say, I was blown away when she agreed to participated in 6 Feet Over’s Motivation Monday. To top that off, I bounced around (loving the puns, aren’t you?) the idea about doing a giveaway and she was more than willing to contribute.

Michele’s drive is energizing. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She has inspired me even more to strive for the finish line in my project. I hope she ignites a fire in you to reach your dreams…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Tell us a little about yourself…

Michele: My name is Michele Sipolt Kapustka. Live in the same Chicago Jefferson Park neighborhood I grew up in. Middle of 5 children. My sister lives across the street and my younger brother lives next door. Not so strange in our neighborhood. I married my high school boyfriend and we have 4 boys ages 18, 17, 13, 11. Andy, Adam, Alex & Alan. My goal in life is to raise KIND Men who contribute to the world in a positive way.

Melody: I love your life goal….I think your sons should meet my daughter one day. Although, they may be a little too old for her, right now. 😉

So, what is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Michele: Just recently checked off – on my bucket list, was this:

To sit in the showcase studio of WGN Radio, with headphones on and talk on the radio.

I’ve listened to WGN my entire life. Radio was always on in the kitchen growing up. Radio in my car tuned to WGN my entire life.

Monday, Feb 8 – I had the chance. After being on TV on Friday Feb 5th, Prime Time ABC on Shark Tank, the producer at WGN asked if I’d like to do a phone or studio interview, maybe 5 minutes (10 max) on Monday. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT IS ON MY BUCKET LIST!!!! She was really young, and didn’t get the significance of me being so excited to visit the WGN Radio studio.

Melody: Love it! I can picture you with the headphones on trying to contain your excitement! Tell me, when did this become a goal of yours?

Michele: Always imagined what it was like for the radio talent to be sitting there and talking on the radio. I’ve walked by a million times and waved. Kind of cool because it is right on Michigan Ave in Downtown Chicago.

My BFF and I had a goal, to be published somehow, within 5 years. Even if it was just to be quoted for something. I tried writing “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” which I figured was the easiest way. Didn’t work. Then I started submitting ideas to magazines for crafts or tips or stuff like that. My friend got it first, as she is a talented writer, got a gig writing a book for AMERICAN GIRL. Three months later the Chicago Tribune did a story on my little Send A Ball business. That was COOL.

Then it hit me – I want to sit in that studio on Michigan Ave. I thought I would have to win it from a Silent Auction or something … like ‘be on the radio with the morning guy’.

Then it happened.

Melody: Oh and boy did it happen! Why was being on WGN Radio so important to you?

Michele: Why was it important? Not sure – I feel so connected to the people I hear on the radio, I trust them so much, and I wanted people to hear my passion, for whatever the topic was going to be – imagine my surprise when the topic was ME and my ball business.

Here’s footage that takes you inside her www.sendaball.com business:

Melody: I can imagine you were ‘bouncing’ off the wall with excitement! (heh heh Yeah, pun intended…I know, I know.) At any point, did you think you wouldn’t be able to reach your goal and did you ever want to give up?

Michele: I didn’t give up, but I just thought it may take years – I even called into the radio station all the time to try and get on the air. It wasn’t the same as sitting in the chairs in the big window.

Melody: Knowing that something could taka a long time could cause one to lose momentum, what kept you going?

Michele: I had nothing to lose on this bucket list item.

Melody: What advice would you have for people striving to reach their dreams?

Michele: Best advice I can offer is this:

Don’t let people discourage you. Take baby steps. One at a time. It may take longer, but for me, it felt better to be sure footed.

Melody: Great advice! I’m dying to know what else is on your bucket list…

Michele: I want to be able to give back something really big – not sure exactly what, but something big. Maybe be a motivational speaker, and be able to light a spark in just one person. I make a joke that I want my boys to accomplish something great – and when they give the speech, THANK ME … ha ha – just kidding.

Melody: I’ll admit, I secretly (well, not so secretly now) would love my daughter to say the same thing like that in a speech one day. Oh and by the way, you’re lighting sparks in many lives now…including my own! Thank you for that!

Inspire us some more…what’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Michele: “We don’t talk like that around here! “

Oh that’s not my favorite, that is what I have to say to my boys all the time!

“Life is not about being SUCCESSFUL, it is about being SIGNIFICANT”

“The PRESENT is a GIFT.”

Melody: I agree 100% that today is a gift. Sometimes we forget to unwrap it. Michele, thank you so much for taking time out of your extremely busy day to motivate us! Your success story gives me a clear picture of what patience, focus, perseverance and determination produces. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to grow your business!

Here’s a video clip from WGN News in Chicago:

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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**GIVEAWAY** 5 winners will have a ball! Enter to win a ball of your choice to be sent to anyone in the USA!

DEADLINE:
Entries will be accepted until Monday, February 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PST.

TO ENTER:
Leave a comment on this post (after reading the fabulous interview, of course) with the following information:*You must follow these simple rules or else your entry will not count.*

  • Bounce on over to SendABall.com then tell me something (by leaving a comment on this blog post) you’ve learned about the company or the owners AND which ball you will send if you win.
  • You must enter a valid email address on the comment form. You DO NOT need to put your email IN the comment itself. Your email will not be made public. If you have a blog, a link to your blog will do instead of an email address.

**EARN EXTRA ENTRIES** I love extra credit! 😉

  • Earn 5 extra entries: Post this contest in your blog/website with a direct link to today’s post. Include a link to your post on your comment for verification.
  • OR if you don’t have a blog and would like to earn 5 extra entries….Email 5 or more of your friends about this contest and forward the email to me. Please include your name on the email so I know who it is from. Click HERE to email me.

FIVE winners will be randomly selected and contacted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Good luck!

Comments (56)

#15 ~ Photo shoot, 4 hour call, project #2 and a giveaway…

OK, lots to cover so I’ll just dive in…

I had another fabulous coffee date with my girls Jessie and Blair yesterday at Starbucks. Love this weekly tradition we’ve started. We talked and laughed way too loudly which caused management to turn the background music up. Sad to say, this isn’t the first time in my life that’s happened. 😉 We sat next to another gentleman on a laptop … he didn’t put earphones on though. Instead, he joined us in conversation. In my opinion, if you’re talking that loud, you’re giving the invitation for others to join in. I’m totally cool with that.

Had an extraordinarily FUN photo shoot with Jessie. If you want a sneak peek, click HERE.  It even involved me walking into a tree…for real. Seriously, these things happen when you’re 6 feet tall and you wear 4 inch heeled boots. I’ll be using these photos to spruce up this blog soon (blog makeover coming) and when needed for the project. Jessie did an amazing job. I can’t wait to see all the shots. If you need an awesome photographer, look her up. She travels for photo sessions, too…like AROUND THE WORLD. I stayed up until an ungodly hour reading about her journey to India where she captured every detail of an amazing adoption. I don’t suggest starting to read it at 1:30 am…you may become too emotional to fall asleep after. Just sayin’. 😉

I slept in late this morning (thank you dear husband for allowing me to do so) because I was on a four hour call with Mr. Pres last night. I got off the phone around midnight and didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 am. I was just too excited. We made lots of progress. I received the approval on some PR and ad proposals I brought to the table. We’re getting lots of legal matter done, too. We’re also solidifying a relationship with a ginormously known company. Ugh…I hate keeping secrets! I am getting pretty good at it though.

Speaking of how well I’m keeping secrets…I’ll now add project #2 to the mix. I was contacted yesterday in regards to another enormous project, which of course, I can’t go into detail about yet.  Let’s just say that it involves TV. I’m meeting with the creator tomorrow afternoon. It may not pan out in the long run, but it’s exciting to have been approached with the opportunity. The adventure of it all is worth it even if it doesn’t come to fruition.

Now on to the ‘giveaway’ portion of this blog post. I’m SO SUPER EXCITED (picture me practically jumping up and down) about Monday’s motivational interview. The woman being interviewed was on ABC’s Shark Tank last week and she’s offered to do a fun giveaway that will add a little ‘bounce’ to your life….and I’m not talking dryer sheets. 😉

I want to thank everyone for the awesomely supportive emails, comments, private messages, etc. Really, you don’t know how much encouragement you’re giving me. To my fellow bloggers, I haven’t had much time to visit lately, but I will soon. 🙂

Have a fabulous weekend and Happy Valentine’s Day!

headshot photo by jessie baldwin

photo by spekulator

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#14 ~ Nickel, dime, penny for your thoughts…

Ever since the “Life is like a bowl of bananas” analogy hit me like a ton of bricks, I’ve been thinking. (I know, scary.) I’ve been thinking about other reasons we raise the white flag to our bucket lists…

I look at my precious daughter and I see how sweet and innocent life is to her.

When I tell her that she can do something, she trusts me. Then, she does it.

When I reach out to her and tell her how proud I am of her accomplishments, she believes me. It gives her encouragement for her next challenge.

When I snuggle with her on the couch and tell her that I’ll always be her cheerleader, she smiles and says, “OK, Mommy. Tanks.” (Translation: Thanks … she’s two.) She knows I will always be at her side cheering her on.

She’s a clean slate. She trusts, believes and goes about her day without a doubt in her heart.  She tries new things. She’s adventurous. She doesn’t let anything get in her way.

So, at what point in our lives did we learn we can’t reach our dreams? Who taught us that? Did we teach it to ourselves?

I’m sure the answers to these questions will vary drastically between each of us. To be honest, I’ve had a hard time answering them myself. I have very encouraging parents who believed in my dreams…and they still do. Sure, I was picked on as a kid like anyone else. In many ways, that fueled me to strive harder at my goals, be kinder to others and even try to understand the instigators.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to find answers.

And then it hit me…

I’ve shared this story with maybe a handful of people. It’s really not a dramatic event. It’s nothing most people would think twice about, but it’s something that I have carried in my mind for years and years.

I’m pretty sure I was around five or six years old. It was after school and blistering hot. In our Texas neighborhood, that meant there were children running amuck outside. Building clubhouses out of scrap wood. Riding bikes up and down long driveways. Playing Dukes of Hazzard with friends. (I always played Daisy.)

On this particular late muggy afternoon, the ice cream man’s chime could be heard lofting from a street behind our house. Everyone stopped what they were doing, ran quickly in their houses, gathered pocket change and then darted at warp speed towards the truck’s melody. I ran inside, begged Mom permission to buy a piece of frozen heaven, received her approval then ran to my room for my little coin purse. It was filled with gobs of nickels, dimes and pennies.

I wasn’t much of a sprinter, so I was the last one to make it to the truck. I tried not to pant like a tired old dog, but I was out of breath. I had no clue what I was going to get. The choices seemed overwhelming. I didn’t want to spend my life savings on something I didn’t like. I went over the list… over and over and over…all the while panic rushed over me. I had to make a decision now.

He asked, “What would you like today?”

I was so excited to get something on my own, but I instantly felt beyond embarrassed. I wanted to cry. I held back tears.

“Nothing.”

He asked a few times if I was sure. He was confused. What kid rushes to the ice cream man with money in hand and doesn’t buy anything?

I realized I didn’t know how to count my money. I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I didn’t even want to ask for his help. He would think I was dumb. I, for sure, wasn’t about to ask any of the other kids. They would laugh. They’d think I was stupid.

I was just a little kid.

Right then and there, I “learned” to be embarrassed.  I learned to be ashamed that I didn’t know how to do something that, at the time, meant so much to me. Ever since then, I’ve often felt the same rush of emotion when embarking on a new adventure…a new dream.

I can honestly say that the fear of embarrassment has always far outweighed my fear of failure. Everyone fails from time to time. Nobody can win at everything. My embarrassment comes from the possibility that others would think I was crazy to dream so big or the lack of ability to reach the finish line in a race that never should have been run.

As if there would be crowds of people pointing and laughing at me? Well, you never know.

Perhaps prior to this event someone laughed at me when I tried my best at another challenge. Probably. I was a kid. It’s what kids do to each other. Maybe that’s where I learned to be embarrassed, but sad is the day when I can’t brush that off as an adult.

I’ll tell you what…I’m not too ashamed to ask for help this time around. I’m running to the finish line (in heels, of course) with my little bag of coins in hand and I’ll gladly ask the ice cream man anyone for the answers I’ll need along the way.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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