Walmart, Target and Your Business

By now you’ve seen me post a lot about branding, marketing and business positioning. So why is it talked about so much? Why is it so important to your business?

Let’s take the example of Walmart v. Target. Why do more people prefer going to Target even though they charge more for products? There are several factors in their marketing efforts like calling their customers ‘guests’ and creating an experience of higher quality products. Walmart is known for their low prices which attract a certain clientele. How have these competitors fared against each other? Target has figured out the formula combo:

Right Thing. Right Time.

Wrong Thing. Wrong Time. 

Right People. Wrong Thing.

Wrong People. Wrong Time. 

You get the idea. Target is able to charge higher prices for their products because their marketing efforts were placed to the right people, on the right platforms at the right time. They create a focus on what their clients are looking for. They use store displays, language and campaigns that elevate their client’s status.

What are you doing in your business that elevates your client’s status? Is it something they’re proud to repeat to their friends? To wear? To say? To bring others in on or brag about?

When you hire a service provider or purchase a product, let’s talk a blender or house painter for example, what do you think when comparing prices?

you get what you pay for. or do you?

Do you question the value and quality of the lower-cost blender compared to the higher-cost blender? Do you automatically assume you’ll receive higher value for the higher cost? Psychology of people spending money. If you plan on charging more for your products you better have a website and online presence that reflect your business.

Now reflect those same viewpoints on your own business? Do you not believe you’re worthy of charging that much? Do you bend and sway and adjust prices for everyone or do you believe what you create and sell is worthy of selling and paying you for your time? Do you think because you can’t afford those big-name advertising agencies that you don’t have anything worth sharing? You don’t have the need for a social media account or website? You don’t have a need to grow your audience?

These are limiting beliefs and lies you’re telling yourself!

Your job is to effectively overcome those objections with your clients, too. No one is exempt from putting themselves out there to best serve the people who need what you have to offer. Your business is not exempt from what is working for everyone else. The proof is in the numbers. The best way to succeed is to MODEL the behavior of what other successful people have done. Let’s take an experience we’re all familiar with.

discipline over desire

When you were a kid, you may not have FELT like doing something your parents told you to do but you still had to do it. These days you might not FEEL like working out but you still have to do it. You might not FEEL like doing laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to do it.

You might not FEEL like marketing, social media and self-promotion are things you want to do but you NEED to do it or else 1) You won’t get paid and 2) Your potential clients won’t find things they’re in need of and looking for.

I’ve talked several times about branding, content, social media promotion, and other factors of why branding and marketing are vital to your business and you can check them out under my Local Collaborative Updates blog section.

If you have tried, failed and tried again to figure out what to post online or who your ideal target audience is, you are not alone. You might have tried replicating a sales system or social media strategy you saw work well for someone else but became discouraged when it didn’t work. Maybe it was even a little overwhelming?

Don’t worry, my sweet digital friend. Just as they have formulated a plan to market a product to a specific audience at a certain time does not mean it’s right for you and your business plan. During our Branding + Positioning Strategy we customize an approach that puts you in an optimal position to market yourself. Would your products work better printed in a magazine or filmed in action on a video? Should we sign you up for a podcast interview or would a collaboration with influencers work better? You might have heard great advice but tried implementing it at an unsuccessful time in your business.

time to re-evaluate and implement

If you find yourself creating 80% new material when you really only need to create 10% new material and can re-work or republish other content with a new email campaign structure. When you re-evaluate your efforts and your results you can see where your struggles are. What’s received a great reaction? Where were the mistakes made? What can you outsource?

Maybe you think of social media as a draining time sucker? Is that really what you should be focusing on when you haven’t even honed in on your own audience or done ‘enough’ elsewhere?

Overcoming the mental hurdle of a scarcity mindset will earn you more money in the long run. Investors search for more than one portfolio to invest in.  Multiple revenue streams provide steadier income. Outsourcing your business tasks creates more opportunities for you to do what you enjoy in your business and brings a fresh pair of eyes with innovative ideas to your business.

You can also watch this video posted with the spark notes of everything we just talked about.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you found this helpful please share with your business friends!

Cheers!

Marin

Supporting the Unsupportive: Some Things Grow Well In Shade

WOW What an awesome response so far! For the entire month of March 2019 we are celebrating our first birthday by giving YOU a present: FREE Discovery Session + 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy!

Schedule your call here and get ready to transform your brand. 

When I first started Local Collaborative in March 2018, the amount of excitement and support I found was addicting. People were cheering me on. They were sharing, liking, commenting and encouraging. In conversations I would be shy to say ‘I own/run/lead a Branding + Marketing Company’ but they would exclaim how exciting that was.

As with anything new and shiny the lust eventually wore off. Probably because it didn’t pertain to them working their 9-5 or the fact they just passively glance at social media, the once vocally raving fans welt away. Once my initial promotion died down, I also saw my business wind down. I wasn’t worried as it lined up perfectly with a big move across country but I found myself still trying to bring in leads and this included inspecting my current practices.

 

I had long since realized that being physically far from friends and family impacted my interaction online. It was funny how people in the same town were talking more than those who had moved to another state or country. Once the excitement of change wore off they went back to being ‘just’ so-and-so. Not so-and-so who just moved to Germany, who just went on vacation to Hawaii, who just filmed her slot on the game show. These changes can make you feel like you’re an imposter in your own life and in pursuit of your own goals.

I noticed friends hadn’t liked my business page. They weren’t reading my posts and they sure had never, ever shared anything. I noticed past acquaintances lurking and observing but never outright supporting even if something did resonate with them.

WHY, as one of my best friends, does she not like my posts? I like every one of hers. And she likes everyone else’s stuff.

WHY, as someone who I know I should be collaborating with, schedule that call?

 

I felt selfish and petty. It’s just social media.

But no, not to me. As a home-based business serving digital platforms I am solely based online. I NEED comments, likes, shares and reviews. I would love to have that support and encouragement from someone close to me especially when they’ve heard how hard things have been. I’ve had to do a lot of realization.

You have to realize that what you’re trying to do

is bigger than those opinions.

If you wouldn’t trade places with them then why are you worrying about what they think? It’s easy to realize they are not my target audience but it is difficult to see people you view as your support network not supporting.

I quickly realized that they thought I had changed because they were left behind. Because I quit settling and living a life that they were accustomed to. When I challenge them to find a job, a better partner or the healthy body they always want…it requires too much and they shut down. I am consistently recognizing myself in situations where someone will try to pick up years-old stories, insecurities or complaints in hopes of some kind of agreement.

But I don’t want the only thing we agree on to be being miserable.

 

You can still love them without agreeing with them. You can still love them even if they never send you a referral. You can still love them and be friends (or family) with them even if it’s not the easiest thing while they’re being unsupportive.

You have likely started a new venture knowing you will grow and change. You are going to see changes in yourself and in your business; that’s good. You’re going to have to hang tight and hold close the reality of what you are doing and how that’s bigger than any judgmental eye who will see it. You want to know why? Because someday when you do get that breakthrough, they will come back. You cannot wait to be happen ‘until then’ or ‘when’ something happens; you need to realize that the work and words you’re putting out now are bigger and more important than the opinions of people behind a screen who will never be happy with anything you do.

Who is paying your bills? Them? NOPE. Go do what you do afraid. Do it unapologetically. Do it without reassurance or thunderous applause. Do it because you know you’re amazing and you’re doing awesome.

Don’t hide your products and services just to annoy people less!

I’ve also worried about this and I find it’s a hurdle for many of my clients. In reality, not every person will see every post you put out. Don’t dim your light because someone is afraid you are challenging them. Not every person will understand why you like painting signs, writing blogs, taking photos of your outfits or sharing your health journey. But out there, somewhere, and usually a stranger is your biggest supporter. If you don’t put what you have out there that person will never see it. 

 

So what is more important? That person’s snide screenshot to their partner in misery or leaving your legacy.

some things grow well in shade.

some things grow well in light.

 

Let the shadiness be in the shade where they thrive. They’re sad, hurting, insecure and filled with negativity. I’ve read that friends like this are similar to shadows in that they will stick around during your brightest hours but disappear when during your darkest hours. They like the dark to hide problems and find companionship with hate, sneakiness, gossip and failure. I hope you choose to be and spread the light. I hope you choose to serve people, guard your time, share your knowledge and build a network who supports you. If you’re circle isn’t applauding for your successes and instead showing up when you fall short….get a new circle.

 

This world is mindlessly scrolling through pages and there’s no interaction. No wonder engagement and interaction is down on every platform for every business! When is the last time you sat down for 10-20 minutes to engage with someone?

Write Happy Birthday and a personal note on the friend’s pictures that day.

React and comment to someone’s article share after you ACTUALLY read and check it out.

If you’re a business owner it is so important to reach out and help people, solve problems and get the solutions out there. That is how you are going to grow.

If you’re not a business owner and you’re not going to buy from your friends good or service support them by engaging with their posts. Getting a review or comment literally makes me ecstatic. It’s a reminder there are real people out in the world I am currently viewing out of my second-story office window.

When you comment on my posts, I literally break out in a smile. When you schedule a call, I literally dance around. When you want to move forward with monthly projects I literally hang up the phone and say ‘Thank You, Jesus.’ By doing something as simple as this, it might not seem like a lot, but you really do make someone’s dream come true.

If you’re struggling with finding a network I would love to support you! Drop your info in a comment below or reach out on Facebook or Instagram. I would also love to hear about your networks to join.

 

Cheers!

Marin

WOW What an awesome response so far! For the entire month of March 2019 we are celebrating our first birthday by giving YOU a present: FREE Discovery Session + 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy!

Schedule your call here and get ready to transform your brand. 

The Personal Side of Complaints, Apologizing and Forgiveness

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In Success Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue they had a large several-page spread with one liners on how to improve areas of your life in 2019. One paragraph stood out to me. It went as follows:

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice. Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong. Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way. Forgive yourself.

This simple paragraph out of all the writer had spewed out was exactly what I have been focusing this season of my life around and it’s a source of my largest stress as well as what I am most proud of.

I believe they wrote this down in a certain order because it’s often the way we need to process through these mentally. Let me break it down…

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice.

We all have the friends and ‘group’ that you can rant to, uncensored, and it’s okay. But be careful who you tell what to. I have had several friends or confidants who I believed were on ‘my side’ but the same toxic things they would spew about their other ‘best friends’ shows you exactly how they will speak to others about you.

Even after removing the toxicity they are free to spread whatever they want around. It is about how you react to it that shows your character. It frustrates me to see them doing this same vicious cycles to others but who am I to tell others what they can and can’t do? If you’re someone who believes you are a good person then let your actions reveal that. Trust that people have the ability to decide what is and is not true. Trust that even if they’re in bad company they will soon figure that out the same way you did. Adding more trash doesn’t clean up a pile of trash…it just makes for one messy area no one wants to go near.

Don’t give in to the urge to reveal the truth. (I KNOW it is tempting but you will find it will reveal itself.) The minute you talk poorly of someone you become known as the person who talks poorly of others. You can say what you mean without saying it mean. It’s that simple. Wish them well. Bless their heart. Spread love where you can.  And just change the subject. You will feel much better avoiding that guilt hangover.

Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.

I remember every time I have extended a white flag and it was not returned. Not that I necessarily expected one (there must have been something off that caused the conflict in the first place) but it would have been nice! It’s like telling someone they’re beautiful and they respond with ‘I Know.’

See some of those stories below. Don’t worry, they’re comin’.

It’s not all just boyfriends and girlfriends but also in professional relationships. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than when people say ‘I’m sorry.’ in situations that do NOT require those words!

I worked with a person primarily over a conference line. She would never say the first word, she would never take the lead and she often only took action when guided how to. Nothing wrong with that at all. She did great work.

But every single time, often more than once a conversation I would hear her say Sorry for an accidental interruption, project missed, wrong title read, etc. It loses all sense of the word when it’s part of your regular vocabulary!

I am all for owning your mistakes and truly meaning you feel empathy for something. But do NOT go through this world apologizing for being here and assume every misstep you take is a bad one. NO. You’re better, smarter, tougher, stronger and too good for that.

I’ve known several people who are serial offenders to repeatedly adding condolences in their everyday sentences. I started asking ‘What are you apologizing for?’ They would mumble out some line about how they weren’t sure it just felt like they should say it. Break the habit!

 

Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way.

Ah, offering forgiveness. It’s like volunteering and internally expecting something in return.

I remember when I was younger and going through a break-up there was always the conversation to bring ‘closure’ aka not a thing. Days, months, years later I would cross paths again and apologize for my wrong doings. Not because I thought profuse I’m Sorry’s would reconcile anything but truly recognizing where I fell short, what I learned from that and what made me better for the next relationship I would be in.

Alexa, start playing God Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts…

 

Do not feel the urge to apologize when you feel you have done nothing wrong. I’m going to make this realllll big so you don’t miss it.

When a person tells you that you hurt them you didn’t get to decide that they didn’t.

-louis c.k.

I eventually told most everyone who hurt me in some way, shape or form what they did. We may have both been at the same place, same time doing the same thing but our memories of the event could be very different. If you felt humiliated, unsafe, hurt or let down they do not hold any kind of special power to say ‘No, you didn’t’ or ‘I didn’t do that.’  Believe wholeheartedly that it is better to agree to disagree and walk away than it is to convince them they fell short.

One response I got was fantastic. They said they were also sorry for not recognizing the major support I needed in a very difficult time and we were both grateful it happened and move forward. We are friends and it’s not weird. A large gap of time and space did help that (most annoying thing to hear, my bad) but it truly does. It can happen. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.

Another response, the big one, I apologized for my wrong-doings…and was met with Thanks for saying that. And trust me they had a lottttt, a lot they could have apologized for. Now there is a long, long story attached to that I won’t get in to but the main point stands out. Had I stayed with that person I would more than likely still be where they are (physically and mentally). It’s no wonder that was a leading reason I left the relationship. If you ever get the chance to experience something like that, it will be the  most clarifying moment. Just like you couldn’t fix someone back then  there is nothing you can do now.

Apologizing to those does not show defeat at all. It shows maturity. It shows growth. I would much rather leave telling someone ‘I’m for all I did wrong. Thank you for everything.’ than something cruel I said in a moment of anger.

 

Forgive yourself. 

I’m not much of a person to #selfcare #selftalk #forgiveyourself but #hereIam. Mostly because it was in the previous excerpt so I will give this my best shot. This is usually something I only speak about with close friends because, damn, is it hard.

I considered myself to be an extroverted, confident teenager. I liked being liked. I liked being everywhere with everyone at every event. The last place I wanted to be was sitting at home in what was, at the time, a place I felt extremely uninvited to. I much preferred to be out where things were lighthearted, where I had people who also wanted to be around me, where I could ‘make memories’ and be apart of everything.

Because of this outward image I was putting on it came as a big shock to those I opened up to what was going on at home, in my mind and in my personal life. Some people believe me; some of my closest friends still don’t. Some believe you can’t be two people at the same time.

You can’t be a party girl and also be someone who went through something invasive and demoralizing.

You can’t have amazing parents who love and support you and also physically, verbally fight with them, get kicked out and told you’re stupid or in need of a workout.

You can’t be the captain, the homecoming queen, hold a crowned title, several leadership positions and also see how many pills you can take to get away from the issues.

But you can. People go through things like this every single day.

You’re bound to screw up. It will happen. It’s important to have someone, at least one person who you trust that can help carry that burden with you.

There are things only my friends know. There are things myself and those who were there with me know. There are things only my husband knows. And there are things that are only between myself and God that not a single other person will ever know.

I am okay with that.

I have only been to two counseling sessions in my life. One I was tricked and forced to go to (which scarred me you could say) and one I chose to go to when I had a panic attack/actual breakdown in college. Neither one personally allowed me to open up but I encourage you to find someone you can trust, a licensed stranger if it helps, and let it out. You’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I still have moments where a bad or annoying memory will pop up and in the deep pit of my stomach right under my ribs this anxious feeling creeps in. It’s all consuming. I recognize that and I let it pass; knowing it will come back sometime. Someday.

 

I was self-conscious about a lot of things in my life and several of those still exist. I am proud of who I am and what I have done.

I forgive others for thinking they get to say who I was or am. I forgive those who took their own personal vengeances out on my wedding day. Including someone close to me who has never publicly said one positive thing about me and instead pointed out everyone in the room except for me. For saying the only good thing I ever did was marry my husband and not screwing it up. I forgive them because they were blind to anything that was every actually going on.

No. Marrying him was the greatest experience of my life but I have definitely done many, many more good things. Being his wife is the favorite thing I have ever been but I am much more than that. I forgive myself for thinking anything less was ever true.

I forgive myself for every time I treated my body less than. For thinking I wasn’t worth something special. For going through phases of not eating, not eating enough, or eating junk. For harming myself, picking, pulling, prodding, treating, comparing. I forgive myself for ever letting words from teasing or bullying hurt me.

 

 

I forgive myself for thinking things happen to everyone. I forgive myself for being too ashamed to tell anyone. I forgive myself for feeling the shame of not stopping it from happening to someone else. I forgive myself right now for putting this out there in the world after being engraved in my mind and scribbled on paper for years.

I forgive myself for every time I thought I had to compensate for being something someone else wanted me to be. I forgive others who didn’t reach out, see the problems, or be the leader and mentor I needed them to be. I held on. I figured it out. I know what to look for and what to ask and when to ask it. I can take the shortcoming’s that adults gave me and use that for something much, much better now. I will break the cycle of what I have experienced.

Even if I never received a much-deserved apology, the justice that should have been served or the outcome I was too afraid of pursuing…I forgive myself. At 25-years-old I understand I no longer need public validation like I once thought I did. Just because you publish a post or a photo and no more than 10 people like it does not mean you aren’t beautiful or have nothing important to say. Not every person needs to see something to make it true or untrue. Not every person needs to believe or support everything I do or say. If I feel it is true, it is true. Wherever that is, Let It Be. 

I forgive myself for thinking terrible, awful things are happening in my body because of some twisted karma from an event that happened in 2009 or 2011 or last week. God loves me and he wants everything that I want. He’s just better at knowing what I need.

Forgive someone today. Don’t over apologize. Don’t insert a complaint when you could just change the subject. Forgive yourself.

Love,

Marin

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.”— @nikita_gill

 

In case you haven’t heard we are running a huge promo to celebrate our first birthday in March! Make sure you’re following (social media and enter your email) so you don’t miss out. Once March is over, so will this promotion.

It’s Not The Leap of Faith That Scared Me. It’s The Landing.

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We’ve all shared that feeling of being at your lowest of lows. When you can’t seem to do anything right, nothing fits, you’re in a bad mood, you’re secluded and isolated and the deafening combination of noise and silence is all that surrounds you.

Which makes the highest of highs even sweeter.

I’m talking you don’t know what to do next because you are so overwhelmed with joy. you get a phone call, a text, an email…and you just sit back to stare out the window, hands clasped and repeat ‘Thank you, GOD, for this!’

 

So I also know the last thing you want to do when you’re in a low is hear about someone else’s high point. If you want to bookmark this and come back later, no offense taken. But I am such a believer in finding the positive out of the sh**iest day (YOU.ARE.ALIVE! YOU ARE BREATHING!) that I hope you will stick with me and know that my DM’s are always open for you to slide in and talk to me.

 

I look back at the girl I was as a young adult/teen and it amazes me how ‘fearless’ I was. I tried out for everything I could, I interviewed for every job, I applied for every scholarship…you name it I was probably there.

It was never taking that leap of faith into the unkown that scared me.

It was trying to figure out how or where I would land. 

 

I wasn’t worried about having to dance or sing or speak in front of others. No, not at all. In fact I was known for usually impromptu-ing the entire thing.

It was when the results came in that I felt the sense of embarrassment or excitement that usually comes from a performance or interaction.

 

Let’s take dance for instance since I am currently figuring out yet another foot injury. (I promise I am a 25-year-old with 80-year-old bones.) 

I learned the technique, the movement and how to land. I memorized the entire routine and big picture in my mind and all it took was a few bad falls to land sideways and roll my ankle HARD to make me timid of approaching it again. Babying an injury that usually resolves with I.C.E. Then, once you’ve cured the issue, you head back out for your next ‘first time’ and you’re fine doing things full out.

This was quite literally a leap but I understand we all have similar experiences. You ever have those dreams where you’re flying or jumping on a huge trampoline and you just keep going and going like Superman pushing the atmosphere into outer space?

And it’s an amazing, euphoric feeling to FLY!

But then you realize you are a human….and you aren’t built for flying.

Cue your stomach dropping and that sick feeling deep in your gut trying to figure out the next move. How will I keep going? How will I land? Uh oh, going back down better figure this out quickly.

 

In both of these experiences I was most scared about the landing. Getting height on your leap or knowing you can fly are some of the best feelings. Only when you are up as high as you can go do you realize how much you can see around you. You can see the big picture, every person you love, the good, the bad, the ugly, maybe even a glimpse at the future. But you have to take the action and make the jump to see that.

You’ll never know if you never try.

 

I find it ironic that the thing I was most scared about–aka falling on the ground, landing on my face, breaking something— was the one thing holding me up. The foundation I was standing on, the thing that holds up multi-story structures, protects us from elements and storms, literally grows and re-grows living things…and I was concerned it would let me down???

How selfish.

I love this quote.

if you think

Your foundation is your faith. Your discipline. Your family and friends and support network.

You are standing on the ground without literally ever questioning how else you will walk, not afraid of falling in (except city grates those things I avoid at all costs) it’s as natural as breathing and you’re telling me you’re more powerful than that?

 

As we approach the one year mark of starting Local Collaborative, I am reminded of the fearlessness and determination I felt when setting my site to live and publicizing my new venture. The chain of events leading up to the launch were extremely evident and on my mind daily. When the opportunity arose to find another work opportunity or create something I wholeheartedly believed in; I chose to chase after what set my soul on fire.

I know a lot of things I want out of life and I’m intimidated by declaring a ‘purpose’ but I do know had I settled yet again for being taken advantage of, smothering my creativity, following mundane tasks that led nowhere quickly…I would also be headed no where quickly.

 

I had no clue that I would go months without replacing my income and I am still nowhere close! But I’m fine. We’re fine. I feel no stress. I would be doing this for free if I didn’t want to contribute to my family’s income and time is my currency. I love collaborating instead of closed-off delegation and the flexibility this allows me is exactly what our lifestyle requires.

I often think about if I were given the chance to go change something in my past or take a glimpse of my future…I would probably go change something in the past. If nothing else but to guide that fearless but lost and insecure girl. I find so much of the payoff and surprise of the unknown takes you back to your roots, your gut instinct and trusting the foundation you’ve built for yourself thus far.

 

A challenge is inevitable but defeat is optional. Even if you ‘lose’ you will gain a lesson.

Don’t worry about how big that leap of faith is. In fact, I hope you take it and soon! No matter how, the ground will always be there to catch you.

 

Cheers!

Marin

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Book Club Review + Bonus Download. GET THIS BEFORE THE NEW YEAR! (November & December 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

Read For Fun

beautiful ruins Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A romantic love story set in Italy and Hollywood, this novel takes you back and forth in time and place. This story spans fifty years between people who dreamed of loving each other but cannot find each other or reconnect. There were lies, deception, missed connections and sacrifices. The story revolves around several characters interfering in one another’s lives with surprises and rocky navigation written with descriptive, rich language and telling a beautiful story. It’s less about travel and more about the depth of the characters. While I don’t think this is one that’s the most memorable, it could make for a great romance novel, beach read or audiobook for background noise.

 

 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Russia Investigation PTSD? No worries this is much, much different than that. It focuses on an in-depth character named Count Alexander Rostov who is a Russian aristocrat. He is convicted (Wrongly? Read it and find out) and is sentenced to confinement in the attic of a luxury hotel. While this might sound luxurious for some of us, the Count finds himself in a deep depression and is saved by the hotel staff before jumping off the roof. He finds a new purpose in sharing his knowledge of manners and etiquette which he shares as an employee, mentor and friend to others in the hotel. This book follows Alexander, the loveable Count, and his tribe in a journey of triumph and complications in communist Russia. Interesting but an easy read.

 Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza

This book stood out because of the political climate and was #GirlPower without being super feminist. It was entertaining, heartbreaking, realistic and entertaining enough I could picture it as a TV show. I finished this fairly quickly so it’s great to read on a weekend or during a short trip. This was well-balanced and so well written I recommend to all!

 

 We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

If I could make it mandatory to read one book this year, it would be this one. When the author, Georgia Hunter, was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. While this novel is inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family, the author explained “The story that unfolds in We Were the Lucky Ones is based on true events. Every significant movement, incarceration, brush with death and escape described in the book actually happened.” The Kurc family is separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. This will draw you in, keep you there, take you on an unbelievable ride, pull your heartstrings and make you hold your breath. This is a must read. 

 

stay with me Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I completed this audiobook in less than three days. I felt like hearing the character’s voices helped jump into the story. This is usually not a book I would ever have picked up or been interested in but it was raw, authentic, emotional and it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. If I only had a select few words to describe this book I would say it starts off as a young-love romance and the intentions of a happy marriage every new couple has. But after years of infertility and the pressure and shame from the Nigerian culture, they face polygamy, murder and several other high-stake costs of the ‘happy life.’ 

behind closed doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This was so.good. There are two books with this title so make sure you double check the author before reading. Behind Closed Doors has you cheering for the murderer throughout the novel and takes you through the physical and psychological life of domestic abuse from the wife’s point of view. What you would most likely suggest the husband is already two steps ahead of. This jumps between Past and Present chapters in the most seamless way and I came back eagerly waiting to read it every time. 

same kind Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

You can’t afford not to read this. This novel was written by the ‘characters’ and tells the true story of how their lives intersected. The book was also released as a movie in 2017. It was recommended to me by a friend and you can easily have it read in 1-2 days. It revolves around a white couple in Forth Worth who begin volunteering with the homeless when they come across a black man named Denver. Denver tells his stories about growing up on a Louisiana plantation and the unimaginable life obstacles and pain he had to face; ultimately deaths of everyone ever close to him lead to his being homeless. As the title suggests, the couple and Denver find out how the other reflects so much in them and 

 

Read For Improvement

straight-talk-for-startups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight Talk For Startups by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman

 

This book was gifted to me by a family who created their own startup business and I was excited to find it was broken down by these 100 rules into chapters; making it a lot easier to read through. They had examples of moguls you always here about, lessons learned from personal experience and went fairly in depth on investors, funding and liquidity. While this is nothing I see Local Collaborative going through any time soon it was great information for on boarding a team and being aware of what OTHER clients who are startups might face. 

girl wash your face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I finally came up on the waitlist for this instantly famous non-fiction novel and it was just as entertaining as you’d think…I finished it in two days. There will for sure be a dedicated post to just this (or even 12,390 posts) so make sure you’re following on the right. I love books like this so much that I filled up an entire sticky note on my desktop with favorite saying, pieces of info and story prompts. My favorite thing about listening to the audio book was hearing the famous speaker’s voice motivating you and the Q&A at the end. It’s a great read for women and young girls and, even if you don’t share in the publicly embarrassing stories like she does because that would be weird, you will internally relate. 

Unlimited Book Review at mylocalcollaborative.com Unlimited by Jillian Michaels

While I didn’t hear a ton from this book that came across as groundbreaking, I did find a few good examples of the hard-ass approach that Jillian Michaels is famous for. Unless you’re a fan of Jillian then I don’t think you’re missing much. Every chapter is filled with examples from her Biggest Loser contestants. One of my favorite excerpts in her last chapter was the difference of quitting vs. letting go because I resonate with that daily

 

There will be more in-depth blogs coming up on the self-improvement books especially so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. Simply enter your email in the Follow box on the right and let the world wide web take care of the rest!

 


You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2019 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!


Girls Weekend in North Carolina

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We had just moved in to our new home in North Carolina and would host our first guests the next week. Over Labor Day 2018 two of my friends, Lauren and Tessa, made the drive down from West Virginia!

We were new to the area and had much less to do than the PNW but we still had a blast! The first day we had together was spent driving out to Caswell Beach on Oak Island. We chose the Oak Island stretch because of the liquor laws and the atmosphere. There were lots of young couples and about as many families during the busy weekend. Before you go, research what the rules for alcohol are , because some don’t allow it, then pack a cooler of canned beer and head out. 

We made the wise decision of eating lunch before heading out to take beach photos. Much like Oahu. Grab a table at Shagger Jacks for some seafood, burgers and simple drinks. It’s a short drive to the beach and free parking for  beachfront access. 

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We had a great time laying out on the beach since the sand was super soft and surprisingly clean. We were to the left of the Oak Island Pier that’s experienced multiple hurricanes and was built/rebuilt a total of three times from what I’m aware of. We liked playing in the warm Atlantic water even though we couldn’t see much. 

After a day in the sun, grilling at home and having friends over for game night was perfect. 

The next day we wanted to take our friends on a tour of Fort Bragg (something we usually do with any guests we have in a new area) and on up to the infamous Southern Pines. Southern Pines is just south of Pinehurst which is known for their world class golf courses and hosting several events. Southern Pines is easy to walk around eating, drinking and shopping in this area. Over the multiple trips we usually visit Chapmans, The Bell Tree, Neville’s and The Jefferson Inn. New favorites include the Mockingbird on Broad for unique gifts, Betsy’s Crepes for the infamous treats, Southern Pines Growler Co. and Southern Pines Brewing Company just a few minutes down the road. We have a few places on the still-need-to-visit list including Sweet Basil

If you’re looking for any suggestions, reach out! 

If you’re worried about having fun…don’t be.

On our way home we also stopped in at the hometown star of the show, and well loved by locals, The Mill at Puppy Creek. They frequently announce live music guests and have homestyle food with a few local and domestic beers. The thing that really sells this place, however, is that it is set in the woods down a gravel drive with an old mill feel next to a river. During Hurricane Florence it was amazing to see how many people volunteered times and services at The Mill to help block the rising river from destructing the restaurant again. 

There are basically two levels to the restaurant and bar with an outdoor seating patio perfect for twinkling lights and live music. It was not only fun to meet new friends but also get an initial bachelorette party for Lauren! (Hint: The Bud Light hat.)

How we feel after hosting a whirlwind Labor Day Girl’s Weekend.

If you’re familiar with anyone in a military or long-distance position you know how important it is to visit them and make an effort to explore a new place. We have lots of places left on our list but we are excited to get out and see the east coast! Please leave your suggestions below. 

Cheers!

Marin

Want to increase your social media following this year? Ask me how.