Why I was embarrassed to share what I did….

Holy shit balls batman! I just told everyone that I was embarrassed to tell people what I did! By “did” I mean, what I do for a living; how I make money. (aka: that thing I do every single day that gets the green that pays the bills) You know, that thing I say I LOVE! *slap my face *

Photo: Brooke Cagle

What the hell am I doing? I am proving a damn point. Let’s get to it!

It is so refreshing to finally be free of the embarrassment and now I am on a mission! What the hell happened? Let me paint the picture: I was in Phoenix, AZ in a room full of business professionals from ALL walks of life; and when I say ALL, I mean ALL! SO MANY interesting and incredible people in one place at one time, all wanting the same thing. There were 2,000 people (give or take) and our goals collectively were to up level not only our businesses but our personal lives as well. (and boy was I in for something I have never experienced before!)

Brendon Burchard on the stage greeting the room full of entrepreneurs had just instructed all of us to get in groups of 5 and share a few things.

  1. Who are you? Where are you from? and What do you do?
  2. What are you most grateful for in your life right now?
  3. What needs to change in your life and how will you go about it?
  4. Name 2 things you do that keep you at your best.

The one little thing about those four requests that caused me the most anxiety was “What do you do?” I was going to have to tell these strangers what I did and suddenly I was terrified! Wow! this was new! You see, my experience was that typically I watch (even my closest friends) roll their eyes at me or turn away only because if they made eye contact with me I just might ask them to sample my product, buy my product or *gasp* “join my team”. At this VERY moment (remember this is the first day of a 4 day training, just hours in) and I had my biggest “AHA” moment of the entire weekend! Can you imagine that?!

What the hell was wrong with me? I almost walked out, literally. No lie. As a matter of fact, the first three times Brendon asked us to do this I wanted to run for the door to leave; this first time though, I wanted to vomit. I didn’t, I cried instead. Here is the real kicker – not one person rolled their eyes at me – not one person turned their face away from me – and all the people I spoke with the entire weekend were more than supportive. I mention this because my fears and anxieties were my own, not theirs and my embarrassment was my own bull shit story about direct sales and what people thought about it.

Ok, so now I have to get down to the nitty gritty and decide whether or not I can handle this kind of embarrassment for the rest of my life, get over it or if I was going to make a change and do something about it? I felt like I had two choices:

  1. I could change what I was doing for a living or
  2. I could change the way people think about the industry

Both of these options seem big and scary and a huge undertaking. First off, embarrassment or not, I LOVE what I do and second, I WASN’T THE PROBLEM. The Direct Sales industry in general gets a bad wrap because of how a small portion market their business. Why am I holding onto the embarrassment for them? They should be the ones to hold onto that burden.

Just in case you live under a rock, you never check your messenger app or Facebook just isn’t your jam what I am referring to is the influx of Direct Sales vultures on social media that send you a friend request and as soon as you accept, they send your head spinning by adding you to their group (where they sell their goods). In addition to delivering a message in messenger (longer than your arm) chatting you up immediately about their product and how much you really need it and if you are really fucking lucky you get a notification that they have invited you to like their business page too (yay you!) *insert all the sarcasm*

This type of “marketing” has got to stop. Am I right? (the answer is a big fat Yes!!!) so, What am I prepared to do?

Watch this space for my mission and my tidbits and expertise on how I grow my own business. Truth bomb? Now that I am back from my High Performance Academy training, I am on fire and ready to make an even bigger impact and thrive personally and professionally.

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Move over rover. Watch out world. Hold on tight. I own my dream!

Peace, Love and Cheers!


P.S. Let me answer the questions mentioned above: (they really weren’t that scary in retrospect)

  1. Who are you? Where are you from? and What do you do? I am Mara. Wife. Mother. Friend and most importantly a Business Owner. I am from St. Louis, MO but currently reside in Illinois. I love the word Fuck (and cussing in general), theater, travel and enjoying a cocktail in a quiet pub with friends is my perfect evening. I am in Direct Sales. I run a dry nail polish business (proudly!) You can earn more about me and the product at nailingyourlife.com
  2. What are you most grateful for in your life right now? I am most grateful for the support I get from my husband (he is my rock when I let him be) and my friend Louise Cartwright for getting me to HPA. (This event was life changing!) Louise has always believed in me and my time working with her as my coach and now as my friend are my fondest moments. You know, I just needed to believe in myself, trust in myself and do the work to get over myself.
  3. What needs to change in your life and how will you go about it? So many changes but I will start with losing the embarrassment I have for my industry; being proud of my own accomplishments and then move forward from there developing my skills, forever learning and enjoying the journey along the way.
  4. Name 2 things you do that keep you at your best? I have been waking up at 5AM daily on working days since September and it has 100% change the way my days flow. Secondly, I read and I have a goal to read a book a week. This can be a challenge for me but one I am prepared to take on (I plan to share my current reading list very soon in a future blog but if you want to see what I have read in the past and enjoyed, I got you covered. Check out my 2018 list here. ) I would like to add that hiring a coach to help and learning how to quiet my mind through meditation along with always and I mean always looking for the good in everything keeps me at my best!

My 2018 Reads

Photo credit: Nong Vang

I am not an avid reader. I used to read a shit ton more and for years I only listened to books. These were the years of sleepless nights with young children and the strong desire to nap versus doing anything else. I listened to books in the car mostly via my CD player and I was a regular at the library checking out weeks worth at a time for my listening pleasure. A good murder mystery was always my jam! I still love a good “who done it” and the twists and turns that come with the suspense of it all.

2018 was the year that more than ever I dove into personal development, reading more about the betterment of my own life. I sprinkled in a novel or two to mix things up and I was reading more real books versus listening to them. (Audible is my listening pleasure now, putting up the CD’s and visiting the local library less)

Here are a few of my favorites of 2018:

1.You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero – Reading the Badass books felt like reading a self help book from a best friend. It helps that she drops the f-bomb a few times and is not shy about a good cuss word. Jen Sincero is vulnerable and real; achieving her level of success all the time opening up, embracing her true self and being real, this inspired me to do the same. Jen’s second book, the one mentioned above was my favorite of the two I have read.

Jen Sincero and Mara Graff

2. The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Schinn – I have owned this book for several years, have read it more than I can count and have gifted it just as many if not more but 2018 was the year the words really sunk in and made an impact in my life.

“I have noticed, in “casting the burden,” after a little while, one seems to see clearly. It is impossible to have clear vision, while in the throes of carnal mind. Doubts and fear poison the mind and body and imagination runs riot, attracting disaster and disease.” ~ Florence Scovel Schinn

3. The Champagne Diet by Cara Alwill Leyba – I read this book the first time I traveled on my own. It was not in 2018 but it did have an impact on me as one of the first books to influence my team name and my mindset around personal development and my health.
4. The Law of Attraction by Michael Losier – You can not even discuss the idea of changing your life without changing your mindset: Enter The Law of Attraction
5. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – this young woman revolutionized real talk next to my girl Jen Sincero. I love how real and raw Rachel Hollis is as well, she could be my sister from another mister.
6. Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas – I can’t tell you how long this book sat in my Amazon shopping cart, month after month. I took it as a sign to finally read it when it showed up in my Sparkle Hustle Grow box. My biggest lesson from this read is about forgiveness.
8. The Dip by Seth Godin – teaching me when to quit. Literally. It’s a small yet mighty book. Don’t let the size fool you, the hour or two you take to read it will be time well spent.
9. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins – 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. READ IT. Get off your bum, run to buy it and READ IT. This book changed my perception of my own life. I listened to this book on a road trip (thank you Audible) and quickly bought the hard copy to keep on hand.
10. The Miracle Morning by Hal Enrod – This guys morning routine is one reason why he is a huge success. I don’t follow his routine to the letter but I have developed a morning routine that works for me based off of this book. How you start your day WILL effect your entire day and your life. Trust me on this one.

That leads me to a sneak peek of what I am currently reading and how this addition to my library is locking in my habits and helping with all of my routines. I am currently reading High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard.

I can not tell a lie; the first time I started to read this book I hated it, like I wanted to throw it out the window. Who were these nuts that raved about this book? To me, it reads like a text book and I am not prepared to go back to school! There was so much hype about the book that I had to give it another go so let me tell ya how I am making it through: I listen to it while reading it! It has been a game changer! I actually love hearing Brendon’s voice while I follow along (highlighter in hand).  I still read it in snippets, it’s not the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of your seat (read #1 and #5 above for that – I couldn’t put either down) but it is a book I am thoroughly enjoying and learning from. Our daily habits and the tasks we create to achieve our goals are key to our excellence.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”   ~ Aristotle

This is one of many books that is influencing how my 2019 is starting, along with the ten I already shared. Stay tuned to this space and follow my blog to find out what my 2019 reading list looks like!

Peace, Love & Cheers!