interview, Mental Health, motivation, Women

Move over Nike!


This post is very overdue!  A few months ago I visited Ashlee Secord, MA, LMFT from Thrive Therapy in Burnsville, Minnesota. Ashlee was referred to me from a networking friend. I have been attempting to contact professional women within the Twin Cities Area to seek advice and resources as I start my LLC and my friend referred Ashlee because he thought she would be a perfect fit- was she ever!  After my perspective-changing discussion with Ashlee,  I wanted to write a huge post about my experience with her after only a few hours. I had a word document draft written up, wrote her a card letting her know I will be writing a post about our meeting…anndd well, it’s now 2 months later and instead of looking at the word document I have drafted up or thinking what I could write I will just do what Ashlee repeatedly told me at our meeting, to “just do it.”

Ashlee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who not only provides individual/group counseling services, but also does workshops on weight-loss, communication and women’s strength, has an Ebook called, “Confident Women”  and is an influential speaker. (More to come, I’m sure!)

I met Ashlee at her office while she was wearing her comfortable workout clothes. I noticed immediately how confident she was (is).  I reviewed her website before we met and figured she would be very easy to talk to (especially after I read some of her educational and entertaining  blog posts) but our meeting was even more informal than expected. The whole hour (plus) I was there, it was like having a laid back conversation with a friend.

I could write about the questions I asked about her business start-up and  balancing work & personal life but that can mostly be found on her website. What the website doesn’t show you is how the Thrive Therapy title could not have been a better fit for this woman. She was glowing with passion as she told me all her plans for her business, her hobbies, passion for people, but most importantly (and noticeably) self-care. She mentioned numerous times how important it is to take care of ourselves, and as healthcare professionals practice what we preach.

She was very open & honest about herself and her business. She told me about her successes, but also told me about some of her challenges (e.g. a presentation that once did not go so well). But it was clear she took those challenges, which are typically seen as a negative things, as something positive that has helped her learn & grow to be the successful professional she is today. Why don’t more people accept challenges like this?

After asking her a few times about her business and her Ebook preparation and planning, she repeatedly said, “You just do it”.  I know I get caught up in wanting to do things the “right way” and thinking about it too much that it just doesn’t get done. When it came to her Ebook she said she just wrote and wrote. And while networking she goes as herself and no one else.  What resonated with me after that meeting was not only the “just do it” motto (move over Nike!) that she clearly practices, but how her passion made her very personable and how being open & transparent can establish trust within your first meeting with someone. No one wonder why she has so many clients 🙂

I’m going to go now. Get things done. Thrive like Ashlee. You know, do things!

Thanks for reading and thank you again Ashlee.


Follow Ashlee on Facebook and subscribe to her newsletter!


May Goals

Well this lil lady is currently sitting down enjoying a banana and chai tea, ready to type. I went to bed ridiculously early last night (930pm-very early for me) after my grocery store tour and am now feeling like a gem today. I’ve learned that I need about 7 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. Even though we are encouraged to get 6-8 hours of sleep, a doctor who once presented on sleep said everyone is different and some may need less than 8 hours of sleep-more-or less- than others. How many hours do you need?

Alright, let’s talk about April & May Goals….since there are one hundred of them. Since I do not have a lot of wedding shenanigans this month (I just got done with a 5 weekend bender) I am using the extra time to help my friend’s parents out with building their deck, picking up shifts at my other job andddd taking on all of these goals, plus whatever else comes up. I feel confident I can accomplish them so it’s not overwhelming for me. I’m almost to a point where if I have something on that dang whiteboard-which I’m obsessed with- I will make sure it’s checked off by the end of the month.

Before I recap last month’s goals, do you remember the post about goal setting? What does the acronym SMART stand for when it comes to goal-setting? When I write these goals in my posts, I am adding in the rest of the SMART components in my head, I try to keep them somewhat simple when I write them on here.

April Goals:


  1. Schedule a presentation through my LLC- nope. Bummer, eh? I feel like I get so close with scheduling one and then something doesn’t execute. Still working on it. I really would like to do a presentation on summer cooking, summer safety, sun protection (which I will be blogging about this month) or any health topic, really. They are all interesting to me and I know I could add a creative twist to keep the audience entertained.
  2. Run twice around lake– yes I did; a few times. I did a figure 8 around the 3-mile lakes around my place. One time with a friend. With the run to and from the lakes, the run totaled to be about 8 ½ miles. I felt really good, too. There was only a little pain in my left knee which I’ve had since college.
  3. Back into every parking stall I can– still makes me giggle when I read this goal but hey I did it! I did not back into a stall only 3 times this month only because I would have hit another car. Not “I THINK I would have hit another car” no, I really would have hit another car.

May goals:


  1. Run every Monday at 6AM– it starts my week off well, and then I can get in another workout at night to crank up my Half-Ironman training. This Monday morning I saw a baby loon (chick) and it made the early run all worth it.
  2. One or more brick workouts per week- time to start training my body again how to transition from biking to running. Want to learn about brick workouts? Click here.
  3. Melodica 1+ times/week- Thanks to listening to “La Vie en Rose” five-hundred times while in New Orleans last weekend, I am back to watching the scene from “How I met Your Mother” where Cristin Milioti is playing her ukelele to the song. It encouraged me to start playing some cheesy songs on the melodica again. Plus, since I know my one of my girlfriends, who I am the Maid of Honor for, doesn’t read my blog, I can tell the whole blog world that I am going to bust out some Lady Gaga on the melodica with some other people at her wedding- pretty excited about that.
  4. Thank You Card– After reading Dan’s post on Thanking People, I’d like to write another one this month. Try writing one this month, too! Mother’s Day doesn’t count- you should already be thanking your mother 🙂
  5. Volunteer/Donation– I want to donate blood, volunteer at a race or donate this month. Some sort of contribution.
  6. Sunglasses/Visor every workout– I am terrible at protecting my eyes. I wear a hat when it’s really hot out and my sunglasses when I bike, but otherwise…not so much. It’s bad. Like mentioned above, I will be writing a post about sun protection this month. Sunscreen, visors, hats, sunglasses and whatever else I can think of will be mentioned!
  7. Run around lakes 3 times. It’s time to step up my running yet again and do 3 loops around the lake, a total of about 9 miles of lake running, plus running to & from the lake will give a grand total of a 11 mile run. Here we go legs.
  8. Health video– I just need to start making these videos I keep thinking about.
  9. Whiteboard challenge draft– I would like to do a whiteboard challenge with goal-setting. Kristen from Happy Hour Effect said she would help promote it. If I can get a draft started it’ll help just get going on it.
  10. Join a club or team. I would like to be more social. Being in New Orleans with a group of girls was so good for me. I love people and am a very social person, but I need at least 3 times as much time by myself to be that social.  I do not know too many people in the cities so I know I should join some sort of group. I’m thinking bike group, tri group, volleyball and/or softball group. is great to find these type of outings so hopefully I’ll get to a volleyball game in or two by the end of the month.
  11. Lastly, swim 1.5 miles– I just bought new paddles and a new suit so I’m good to go for the equipment! My previous suit was…awesome. It was so used that when I would get out of the pool it looked like I had a rapid weight loss of 500 lbs. There was a lot of wear & tear.  My friend, Ami, encouraged me many times to get a new suit. Now she won’t be (as) embarrassed to swim with me anymore 😉

Whoofta-all done.

And just for a little extra information:

Did you ever see my IPC Blog video? Watch it here! (Don’t you love the claw hands are my thumbnail?) The video is also in my About page.

Peel a hardboiled egg Crazy Fast! – this video cracked me up.

Why do your knuckles pop? -video

Recommended books to help you learn about you

And I just want to give Katie a shout out – I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,


Twitter –> @InPower Coach

advice, Did you know?, links, Medicine, motivation, nutrition, Resources, Science, Self-Care, Technology, Weight, Women

Lovin’ these links

Ah yes, more articles for you to read. I’m finding that it’s a lot easier for me to consolidate articles I find into one post instead of putting each one aside and think, I’ll write about it later!”

Dan Simms is the writer and creator of Irrational Living LLC. You can receive daily emails of inspiration which I LOVE or you can occasionally check out his blog to get a dose of education & motivation; whichever you prefer. His email topics have varied from how others can affect us to working towards progression. He plugs in a lot of great books, quotes and videos, too.

Ban the word diet from diet sodas? Are you a soda drinker? If you’re trying to lose weight, I highly suggest you try not drinking a soda for even a month to be surprised by the differences in your weight and overall health. Just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean there are no calories or additives in those drinks! Don’t believe me? Try a tracker like  (available online or by phone) to track your soda intake for a week- those calories do add up…and so does the money! is a new site from AMSSM website that provides sports medicine resources about pretty much anything sports & medicine related. For easier site guidance, if you look to the left you can search by injury or by sport. Right away I went to the foot injuries and read about Achilles Tendon Ruptures…interesting stuff. Have you checked it out? What did you learn?

Quick and Dirty Tips provided a helpful article on How to Avoid Awkward Silence at work and How Power Poses Can Build Confidence. I enjoyed them both, but I thought the power pose article was really interesting. Why aren’t we taught these things growing up?!?

Thanks for reading,


Twitter–>@InPower Coach


goal setting, motivation

Goal Setting/Motivation


When you’re ready to set some goals for yourself it is recommended to make them 3-Month goals and make them SMART goals:


Don’t just think what you want to accomplish, but HOW.

Below is a great TEDx Talks video. Mel Robbins provides an entertaining, yet motivating, presentation:

Search under the “Motivation” topic for related posts, tips and articles!

phone apps

Phone apps that may help you out in life

There are a few FREE phone apps you should look into to live a saner life:

1. Fooducate -You can scan your grocery items and compare them to better or worse options

2. Mapmyrun– Track your mileage on your feet, bike, blades, whatever!

3. Myfitnesspal– It’s a great app if you don’t mind entering your calories and workouts

4. Coupon Sherpa– coupons for the fancy stores

5. Flipboard– add your favorite topics to this phone app to read the daily news you’re actually interested in

6. IHeartRadio– free. music. You can listen to health radio stations or local ones too

7. Your bank’s mobile phone app. Most banks have mobile banking where you can check your account, or take a picture of a received check and have it deposited in seconds!

8. ColorNote– who needs a paper and pen anymore?


Nutrition & Weight Management:

Whole Foods Market- great recipes

allrecipes- more great recipes

Calorie manager- keep track of your diet!

Fooducate- see above

LoseIt!- Calorie tracking app that creates a weight loss plan for you!

Argus: the app monitors pretty much everything you do

Myfitnesspal- see above

Physical Activity: manage and track your fitness activities!

Charity Miles- a corporate sponsor matches every mile you run, bike walk, etc.

7-minute workout- 12 workouts, 7 minutes

EveryMove- rewards you (with points) for your active life!


Sleep- combines soothing base sounds for better sleep

Calm- offers a soothing meditation for a break, anytime of day

Mindshift- This app helps teens and young adults cope with anxiety

Headspace-A 10-minute guided meditation

Brain Teasers- fun brain teasers for any age

Miscellaneous: the best phone app you can find for a drug lists, information, etc.

Pock First Aid & CPR- you just never know when you might need this!

Period Tracker- helps women track their moods, menstruation cycle, and more!

Thanks for reading,


advice, Career, Education, goal setting, interview

Kevin Gives us a REAL Interview

Hello again everyone! I recently interviewed my former boss and now healthcare co-worker, Kevin Monroe from Monroe Real Training. He provides personal training, right in your home within the Madison Area. He has a lot of insight about going into the health field, especially as an entrepreneur, and I hope you enjoy his advice as much as I did!

Kevin headshot[1]-1

Kevin, What made you want to start your own business?

“One reason, every time I worked somewhere I had ideas, but sometimes my ideas weren’t always 100% accepted.
Another reason, when the health club I managed got really busy and the machines were being used, I would start using the fitness bands and other functional fitness equipment that wasn’t as popular – in the corner of the gym.  A personal training client told me they ‘enjoyed the corner and the functional fitness equipment,’ and asked me, “Can’t we do this at home, or on the road; when we travel?”  And there came the idea to start my own business of in-home personal training.  I identified the possibility of training people without having to use expensive equipment.  The gears started turning and whenever I wasn’t at the health club I worked on my business plan.  I was always researching and thinking of ideas and things started growing & coming together!  It was years in the works before I was doing my own in-home personal training business part-time.”

Advice for those starting their new business or wanting to?

“Never be afraid to ask questions from people you respect and are successful in your field.  Ask questions and read.  I like to read constantly.  I generally have at least one book that I’m always reading, not necessarily about fitness.  They’re usually best sellers about business or self-help and motivation – they help me think differently. So, read, ask questions and more importantly find a have a mentor.  I have two. One is a client.  That mentor once said, “You’re going to make mistake, but don’t make a real costly mistake, because you need financial stability so it doesn’t ruin your business.  Remember that.”

My business mentor teaches me many lessons.  For an example, every single week, after every training session, he’d ask me if I had a couple of business cards to give to his connections.  I would always have to get them from my vehicle. After about three weeks of doing this, I learned to put them in my pocket and always keep them with me.  Now, I don’t leave my house unless my business cards are in my front left pocket.  You never know when you might meet your next client.  Think of them like car keys – don’t leave the house without them!

I also encourage those to write a business plan, it’s extremely important. I wrote mine in a notebook.  I think it’s great to start clarifying ideas in a notebook, but if a person is going to a bank or an investor you probably want to have your business plan  clarified and typed.  Think of a business plan like a relationship, you have ideas of how things will go, but things change and you have to tweak plans and keep going with it.

And, if anyone wants to go into fitness and wellness don’t be afraid to go for it, because if it’s something you really enjoy, you will do well.  Put your heart into it, and don’t be afraid to fail.  We learn sometimes by our mistakes and our failures.  If there is one thing I’ve noticed, when it comes to helping people in fitness and wellness, there is plenty to go around.  So, I recommend anyone that wants to start their own business, don’t worry about the money, it will come…if you put your passion into it! ”

Advice for budgeting for your business?

“I recommend, keeping all expenses as low as possible.  It could be something as simple as packing your food for lunches instead of purchasing them at meetings.  I recommend being really frugal.  I bartered everything in the beginning (i.e. logo, website).  Try to get everything paid off as much as possible so you have leeway for cash flow to start coming in.  And when it does come in, don’t spend it all… see it as the business’ money.  Ask, “What can I do for the business with this money?”


“How I have my business structured – there are no electronic funds transferable (EFTs), so I only get paid when someone meets with me. So just because they buy a personal training package, if they cancel, are on vacation or have a medical appointment – I don’t get paid.

That challenge encourages me to keep my clients motivated so they continue seeing me
on a regular basis.  I motivate them by texting or e-mailing them, be a good listener when I’m training them in their home, and making sure clients are enjoying each workout experience with me.  I always ask myself, ‘Why do they want to train with me…to be with Kevin?’  I’m always hoping to keep them motivated so they stay training with me on a regular basis so they see & feel results.  In return, this also allows the business to stay afloat.”

What do you prioritize/schedule first? 

“The top priority is my fitness; my workouts, because when I feel better… I have more to give to others.  I don’t need to write in my workouts, because I know I will get them in between personal training sessions.”

What type of advice for those seeking greater happiness and health? 

“I encourage people to make goals that motivate them – other than the scale.  I am personally intrinsically motivated, but most people are extrinsically motivated.  Goals could be to finish a 5k, jump higher, 5 pushups, or your first pull up.  When you accomplish your goals, you’ll feel really good.  To me, it’s about having a better quality of life.  As a person goes through that transition and they feel better, they’ll have a better quality of life; they’ll feel like a better person and have more love to give to others.”

Thank you for your interview, Kevin!

Check out his website at
And follow him on Facebook & Twitter!

Thanks for reading,


advice, books, Career, Education, Finances, For the Kids, Mental Health, Women

Interview with Kristen Brown


Happy Monday everyone!

For those of you that are regular InPower readers you probably have read many times how much I enjoy getting emails from Kristen Brown, the owner of The Happy Hour Effect. She is a Work/Life Strategist, Bestselling Author and a strong Public Speaker. She provides an extensive amount of motivation and education on how to do everything from boost your happiness to making effective to do lists. Kristen has just announced she has created a second business, Brandivorous, “It’s a think tank for entrepreneurs and brands to generate fresh ideas and create solid strategies for business growth. If you need that kind of help, head over and give the new Facebook and Twitter pages a little love – and share with any entrepreneurs you know.” …She’s great.

Well, I was lucky enough to get a telephone interview with her! I cannot tell you how grateful I was that she opened some of her valuable time to answer some of my questions. I hope you learn some insight to being proactive of your own health like I did.

What made you decide to start a business?

Well, when I was widowed 7 years ago while having a 10-month old baby and a boss, that I loved, tell me he was leaving, I was stressed out personally and professionally. I realized within the demands & pressures in corporate America I was doing okay, but I wasn’t thriving. I was trying to fit so much in and I with this new life and juggling things with my daughter; it was too much. So, I started journaling which became my first book, The Best Worst Thing. The idea for Happy Hour Effect came afterwards in 2008 and officially launched in Fall 2009.

Advice for those who just started their own business or wanting to?

There are a couple of things I wish I knew in beginning and I suggest:

One, immerse yourself in every type of learning opportunity about business. It requires a lot of work and skill set. Learning how to do it all well is critical. I’ve always liked learning, so I did it naturally, but now looking back, I realized how important it was. Blogging, business, etc. are critical to become differentiated from others. There are many entrepreneurs out there. Read, listen to podcasts, do everything you can to learn about owning a business.

Two, Make sure have right support around you. I didn’t know that there were networking groups for entrepreneurs. So find the people that get what you do and get the lifestyle you’re living to get ideas and bounce ideas off of.

Financing and Budgeting advice for young entrepreneurs?

I, admittedly, am an over spender and so for years I invested in many conferences, ads, etc. These are important, but it is better to set up a schedule to review what money you’ve spent and what kind of impact that money has had on your business. Example: if you bought a book on social media, did you read the book? Look at impact on what you purchased. Are you putting into action what you invested in?

Second one; keep very copious detailed records of everything. I was audited last fall by the IRS, and it took me forever to get it all organized to the IRS. I passed the audit, but it was very time-consuming in 3 weeks. Keep notes and be very organized!

What do you schedule first & prioritize?

The first things that go on my schedule are my big business appointments. I have a big whiteboard and write-on calendar on my wall, those days are “X”-ed out in red so I know not to schedule anything. Also, being a mom, my daughter’s activities go on my schedule as well.

Every day I prioritize things that could hire me; things that could directly bring me income. You should be thinking strategically, ‘If I do this it will get me this.’

Do you have a daily routine?

No, I wouldn’t say I have one. It’s a little different every day. There are things I have to have every day. I love to make a smoothie in the morning, with fruits & the good stuff to fuel me. I like a cup of green tea after my daughter is dropped off at school and as I transition into the work day. Also, if I am tired I will occasionally take a nap. Sleep is important.

What does your work environment look like?

My office usually looks like a tornado has gone through it. It’s like organized chaos. I have a lot of quotes, pictures, my big whiteboard with a to-do list, and a whiteboard event calendar. I have a mix of stuff that keeps me smiling and on task. The office only has stuff I use regularly, and my garage has extra stuff I don’t use. This is so I don’t feel as cluttered in office.

Do you have a mentor?

There are a lot of people I haven’t met, but follow online a lot. I’ve used several business lifestyle coaches throughout the years but I am finding the most benefit with my accountability partner. We say what we will do every week and check in. I‘ve learned so much more when I’ve helped someone else do something. And when I explain to them what I do, it solidifies in my mind what I need to be doing. So, I encourage young entrepreneurs to get mentors and an accountability partner.

Advice for those seeking health and happiness?

The number one thing that people are doing that hurt their health & happiness is cluttering up their life with stuff they don’t want to be doing. Committing to plan a shower, volunteering for an organization, that they don’t want to do actually drains them but they do it because of guilt. We are causing our own drama by saying yes to things that don’t make us happy.

Another thing people can do is get off your phone and focus on things that are happening around you. Phones are not a bad thing, but if you look the way our bodies are changing because of cell phones…the human body will look completely different in 100 years b/c of these. You look at relationship with parents that are on their phones more than interacting with their kids. The kids then think they are less important. OSOMBOX is a cute leather box with a hole in box that you put your phone in when you’re with your family, at happy hour, in a meeting, etc. It’s such a cool, simple thing we can do to occasionally disconnect.

Lastly, what is the goofiest thing you have done in last week?

I have an 8-year-old daughter that is goofy so she makes me goofy. My daughter actually keeps me young and on the pulse what’s happening in the world. Sunday afternoon we went to the park and sat on the spinners. She kept falling off and so did I. It was perfect.

Thanks for all your great tips, Kristen!


Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & on her blog.


Quantum Leaps Tips for Success

Did you know?, money, motivation, Self-Care, Wellness Programs

What’s one of the WORST ways to motivate someone? Hint: You see it all the time.

Money is never the best incentive to see sustainability in one’s health. Here’s a fun link/video to remind us of that.