Merry Christmas

Gratitude Increases Your Social Standing


This year my husband gave me the gift of heaven in a mug.  And for that, I am most grateful.  It may seem like a gag gift to most, but a pound of Peet’s Coffee makes me very happy.  I am a discerning coffee drinker and the earthy, rich flavor of Peet’s is my favorite.   It doesn’t taste quite as good at home as it did from the shop in Berkeley where I learned to love the brew, but it’s close enough for horseshoes.

My gift to you this Christmas is gratitude.  Well, a tool to help you measure your gratitude.

On a survey of gratitude intensity and frequency, University of Miami psychology professor Michael McCullough found that participants who rated highest for gratitude also had the highest capacity for empathy and were rated as more generous and helpful by people in their social networks.  He developed a short questionnaire that enables you to determine your level of gratitude.  Take the short quiz.  I dare you.  If you aren’t happy with your score, you know how to fix it!

Be Gratefully Geeky and Geekily Grateful!

Merry Christmas!

Further Reading:

V024 Tanya Lavoie Grows Real Estate Business with Greeting Cards

In this Coffee and Cards Conversation with Tanya Lavoie of Gary Green Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate we share tips on how you can grow your real estate business with greeting cards.



IMG_0801 Kandas:  Kandas Rodarte of sitting here with Tanya Lavoie of Gary Green Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. And we’re going to talk a little bit today about how greeting cards can help you grow real estate business. But before I do that, I want to share with you some of the cards that I received this week, it is the week before Christmas. This is a lovely card, that’s a 2-panel card that costs $0.62. This is a great card from a real estate agent that we both know who’s commercial, and it’s a picture of her and her husband and a beautiful template. This card was only $0.93. Here’s another beautiful card with a picture; a $0.93 card. This is the card that my husband created for our holiday card.

Tanya: I love it!

Kandas: It’s a caricature that he drew and our daughter colored and inside we had a picture of ourselves being silly and a little bit of a story. This card was just $0.93 plus postage. The other exciting thing that I receive in the mail this week is this Greeting Card Revolution t-shirt! It came in this beautiful box from the company that I work with and it just means that I have decided to get paid to be nice and join the Greeting Card Revolution. Fun, huh? So let’s talk about what you do.

Tanya: Well, I’m a real estate agent here in the Montgomery County area and Harris County, too. I’ve here, now, 3 years – love the area and my job and my clients and my friends. All is good.

Kandas: Why did you choose real estate?

Tanya: I chose real estate in the beginning because I thought it would give me a “mom-schedule.” I had two young children and I thought, “Oh, this will give me a good mommy schedule,” but I’m not sure that’s the case, but it is flexible.

Kandas: You can work your own hours.

Tanya: Yeah, I can work my own hours and decide just how busy I want to be.

Kandas: Somebody asked me recently how I can do all the things I can do and I said “Because I enjoy everything that I do and I don’t do anything unless I’m having fun.”

Tonya Lavoie B 96dpiTanya: Right. Exactly and I do love what I do and really it’s just helping people and that’s one of the things about me. What I like to do is help people and that’s what real estate is.

Kandas: That’s a very good business tip, by the way. Pick a business that you have so much fun doing that it’s not work. So tell me… I know the story, but I think the audience needs to know about what you did for ten years of your life when you were very young.

Tanya: I lived on a sail boat and sailed around the world and raised babies and —

Kandas: You raised babies on a sail boat?

Tanya: Yes I did. I varnished and that’s how I supported myself and my husband–

Kandas: Varnishing boats?

Tanya: Varnishing their boats, yes. Mine was like the template. so when we would go into port and go to a marina, people would say “Oh my gosh! your boat is beautiful!” “I can do that for you.” That was quite as long time ago, I got paid $15/hour to make their boats look pretty.

Kandas: Wow! And then after you lived on a sail boat for ten years you did something else that’s pretty remarkable.

Tanya: okay, I didn’t know you were going to put me on the spot. I got my pilots license and my commercial license. I ran a flight school at an airport in Maine. My husband ran the maintenance department. That was really cool, too. I loved that. Again, my passion during that time was helping the teenagers. We’d give them free half hour lesson and the teenagers would come and fly.

Kandas: I wish you were still an instructor.

Tanya: That would be so cool.

Kandas: That’s total bucket list right there: Learning to fly. And, it would be really cool learning to fly from you.

Tanya: Okay.

Kandas: Because that means you’re a good instructor.

Tanya: Well, it’s been a long time, but thank you for the compliment.

Kandas: Wow! Okay, so, I was listening to a training tape…I don’t even think I remember what I was listening to because I listen to so much on audio while I’m working, but Jim Rohn said that people are not trees and that we were meant to move, not just stand still, not to be rooted — and people get rooted so easily. I know that one of the things that you do is that you help your clients relocate.

Tanya: Correct.

Kandas: So tell me about some of the services that you offer to people who are relocating.

Tanya: Okay, so when they’re moving here and they don’t know, they’ve never been to Houston, or the Woodlands, or Magnolia, or Conroe, or whatever it is, the first thing I do is I find out what they’re family is. You know, kids? Are they coming with elderly parents? What do they need? What do their kids do? What do they swim? Do they play football? All those kinds of things… Any special needs that they might have… Then I put together a relocation packet that’s specific to that family…

IMG_0799Kandas: Wow. That’s remarkable.

Tanya: So that they can then walk in and talk to this coach, or go get their nails done here, or whatever it might be from simple to really complex. It might be they need home health care for their elderly parent… so, all of that goes into a packet.

Kandas: Wow. That’s called appreciation marketing, relationship marketing. When you work with a client based on their individual needs and you really put a lot of focus onto what they need, and being kind to them, and showing them that you’re grateful for their business, and extraordinary ways. Something –I know that you can’t do, because unless I missed something, you’re not an ordained minister.

Tanya: No.

Kandas: But when we bought our first and our second home, we used a real estate agent who was an older man, very kind and he was also an ordained minister and he knew that we were planning our wedding. We bought our house and we were planning to get married three months later. So, he offered to be our minister (free-of-charge) at our wedding.

Tanya: Really cool.

Kandas: Now, not every real estate agent can offer that extra service, but just going above and beyond makes all the difference in the world and you better believe that every single referral that we ever got or we every had for real estate went to him after that. he’s no longer with us. He passed away a few years ago.

Tanya: Okay, well that’s sad, but now I can be your real estate agent.

Kandas: You do get my referrals.

Tanya: I know, I do. Thank you and I’m very grateful.

Kandas: I remember I sent you a referral for six houses. Something like that – something outrageous.

Tanya: Yes, you did.

Kandas: Okay, so speaking of real estate and how to market it. Tell me about your greeting card story. How did you use a greeting card to get more business?

Tanya: Well, really that boils down to you. You sent me a couple of example. Well, you cards you sent me just for me are awesome and I’m very impressed with them. “Oh my gosh! This is so cool.” Then, obviously we’ve talked and you’ve shown me some samples and I’ve used them and they’ve worked. Like the “For sale by Owner” campaign, it was a listing that I got through Send Out Cards. Just sending them once a week, something that would help them with their home, and giving them some tips, after the third card I got a phone call.

Kandas: So, once a week you sent them a card with tips to help them sell their homes?

Tanya: Correct.

Kandas: And they were just a “for sale by owner” listing that you saw?

Tanya: Just driving by a neighborhood.

Kandas: That’s really good.

Tanya: It’s is awesome and I’m very thankful for you because actually, it was your idea.

Kandas: Really? It was?

Tanya: Send Out Cards was really… My clients like it. I get compliments all the time because I can make it specific to them – a picture of their home and picture of their family, versus just going to the store and buying a generic card. That’s just making it personal.

Kandas: So, very recently, you decided to add greeting cards and gifts as another income stream. Talk to me about that.

Tanya: Well, I discovered that I can actually give it to my clients so that when they close, when they move into a home, I can give them a set of cards that are change of addresses and things that take it to the next level. So, I’ve just taken it to the next level and hopefully that will –I haven’t done it yet, but that’ll be my very next client that will have a stack of cards for change of address. I’m really looking forward to that.

Kandas: Awesome! I love this concept of showing appreciation from all aspects of the sale. So the real estate agent, the mortgage broker, the handyman, the..

Tanya: home inspector…

Kandas: pressure washer, the home inspector, the air conditioning dude, anybody who had anything to do with the sale of the home sends a thank you card to the buyer and the seller. And that that team just became the super team and everybody who ever talks about wanting to buy a home suddenly says “I know who you should talk to because she has a terrific team!”

Tanya: Yup.

Kandas: Appreciation is the best advertisement you can do.

Tanya: Absolutely. Yup.

Kandas: Well this has been really fun. I do want to pitch myself one more time.

Tanya: Okay, go.

kandas-cardsKandas: On January 25th, I am giving a public speaking workshop at the Power Pink Studio here in Conroe. It’s from 9AM until noon on January 25th and I will teach you the trick that I use to wow the CEO of the company that I worked for when I was just 23 years old and I became his go to person in that department. I was just 23 years old and I had the ear of a CEO of a major corporation. So that is January 25, it’s called “On Target Speaking: Breaking the Ice” You can register on my website Thanks for chatting today with me Tanya.

Tanya: Thank you for having me.

Kandas: Kandas Rodarte,

V023 Joy Brasington Builds Rapport with Greeting Cards and Gifts

“I’m kind of a connector type person. I love to help people connect with others… and this is a perfect tool for that.” – Joy Brasington,

We’ve all heard  the “know, like and trust” factor (a.k.a rapport)  is the key to growing your business.   Joy Brasington shares some great tips for building rapport with clients using greeting cards and gifts.


Transcript (verbatim)

Joy and KandasKandas:   Let’s talk about how a greeting card system can help business owners.

Joy:  When I saw this system back a year and a half ago … I was sent a card by a lady at a networking event … I had never seen these cards. She talked about a conversation we had at the event. She included a picture of herself, so I remembered who she was, and I was so impressed with that card when I saw it. I picked up the phone, called her and we chatted. I asked her about the card and she then connected me with you; and that was a great day … for both of us. We’ve been close friends ever since basically.

It also impacted the doctor that I work for. He saw the card and was very impressed by it, and by the system; cause he saw where he could still stay in with his patients but it wouldn’t take up a lot of his staffs’ time of sending… handwriting birthday cards … Where we could log on … The staff there at his office could log on, select a card, send the birthday card to the patient. The patient would actually receive a paper card in the mail from him…and you know a thinking of you card a get well soon card … or whatever… thank you for the referral. We send out a lot of those type of cards to. So he saw the value in these cards, and I after seeing that and his reaction I immediately thought this is a great business; and this is the sort of thing I want to be a part of… I’m kind of a connector type person. I love to help people connect with others… and this is a perfect tool for that.

Kandas: And you know you grow a business when people know, like and trust you…

Joy: – Absolutely –

Kandas: – and they get to know you through these cards… And the get to like you because they know you remember them… And they start to trust you as they see you are a person of character and quality.

Joy: – and that you listen to them. That’s another key aspect. That’s like that lady mentioned something from our conversation … and so I knew she listened. She remembered something from our conversation…and it’s the same thing with the doctor you know. He can tune in to what’s going on in his patients’ lives…or any business owner can do that … as you’re out making calls or talking to customers on the phone, you can sit there right after the conversation, hang up and just follow up with a nice heart-felt card… And it will really impact your business in such a positive way.

Kandas: – And really these cards don’t have to be very long –

Joy: – No –

Kandas: – 2 or 3 sentences that remind them of who you are…including that photo of yourself so they remember who you are…if they never met you and see your face and go… ohhh! That’s what she looks like.

Joy: – And sometimes when you are at events and people meet so many different people, and they’re handed so many different business cards. It gets lost in the shuffle. A few days later they go to their mailbox, pull out a card, and your picture is in there, doesn’t have to be big. You know a small picture and a little note from you is in there, it will definitely bring about…oh yeah… and uhm so later on when you see them again or you make an appointment they are much more apt to uh follow up…with that appointment.

Kandas: – And that’s so important because a lot of times you go to these networking events and you connect with somebody. But then you … yourself never remember to get back in touch with them.

Joy: – yes –

Kandas: – And the best way that someone that you want to purchase from … for you to remember that person, is for them to remind you who they are. So if you’re going out there networking and you’re not following up, you’re not sending out it was nice to meet you card with your photo. You may be missing…you might be losing money, or opportunities…

Joy: – exactly. And it doesn’t always have to be about you. You make the card about them, just those little reminders. You know what’s appropriate and what isn’t, when it’s time to put your picture in or not. Yeah it’s a great tool.

Kandas: But those little reminders that remind you of the conversation … you know you may have been having a conversation with a woman, not a man…man those are great shoes… with a card you can remember… I’d love to go shoe shopping with you one day or something. Just that little humor, will make the card more memorable.

Joy: Exactly … exactly.

Kandas: Talk to me a little about why you choose to be a distributor with this company.

Joy: Like I was saying a minute ago … When I saw the doctor I work for, when I saw his reaction to the card and how he knew it could impact his business. I saw the way I personally connected with it…And I just knew that … that was a type of business I wanted to be in. Everything is online. I had been involved with other business where I had a product and I had to deliver a product, and I had to constantly be involved in shows. I needed to have a show …I needed someone to book a show. If that didn’t happen I wasn’t in business. It was a lot of pressure.

I enjoyed the product but it was a lot of pressure to continue it as a business. When I saw that there was an income stream behind these cards, everything was online. They opened their own account. They took care of their own business. I was there for support, but I did not have to be so personally involved that I would have to deliver anything or book a show off of that. It freed me up and I could just see the potential … this was just the perfect way for me…

Kandas: And it’s low cost

Joy: Absolutely

Kandas: The entry level auto-ship is $9.80… and that residual…it’s a beautiful thing that residual. You make a little bit of money on a lot of people, it adds up to a lot of money.

Joy: It’s affordable for everyone no matter what your budget is.

Kandas: Or how many cards you want to send.

Joy: If you’re a business owner, we can custom fit a budget for you and you know what you need to do that month…and months in the future we can help you customize all of that

Kandas: Exactly. Most people send about ten cards a year, but they need to send seventy… and this makes that easy. Thank you for sitting down with me…

Joy: Oh thank you

Kandas: It’s been fun to be able to actually talk about … cards. So I love that we can bounce back ideas …had a great time… Be sure to check the comments or the description below for a link to Joy’s website – – And visit my website

Thanks tuning in to Coffee and Cards Conversation.

The “Thank You” Experiment

Say Thank You is a Great Idea!

Saying Thank You is a Great Idea!

After finishing a satisfying meal at a local restaurant, my husband paid the check with cash. When the waiter returned, Shane just left the change on the table and prepared to leave. Noticing that the tip wasn’t quite 15%, I pulled out my wallet and added another dollar. As I turned to leave, the waiter approached and gave me a heartfelt thank you.

As I am sure you know first-hand, it is extraordinarily uncommon for a waiter to express appreciation for a tip and I was dumbfounded.

As a society, we have forgotten how to show appreciation. We go about our daily business expecting people to do things. We spend more time complaining and expecting than we do appreciating.

You have probably discovered that the more you complain about how bad things are, the worse they seem to become.

Well, the opposite is just as true! The more you appreciate the people and circumstances around you, the more you find to appreciate!

Did you know that appreciation is the number one motivator in the workplace? Employees who feel appreciated are more productive and loyal. Whereas, almost 50% of people who quit their jobs state lack of feeling appreciated as the reason for leaving.

Here’s a little experiment for you to try if you are not completely satisfied with your boss: train her to be more appreciative. Make it a point to thank her a minimum of 5 times a day. If she hands you a stack of work and says get this done, say thank you! If you ask for time off and she says no, thank her for considering your request. Once your boss starts to feel appreciated, she just may start showing appreciation in return.

I can’t tell you if this experiment will really work, but it’s worth trying. Remember, you can’t train a puppy in a day, nor can you train your boss to appreciate you quickly, so keep the experiment going for 2-3 weeks.

You can apply this experiment to your co-workers, spouse and children. If you are not happy with the way someone is treating you, start treating them the way you want to be treated!

Imagine a world where everyone feels acknowledged and appreciated. YOU can create this world around you!

When the bus boy refills your water, say thank you!

When you pay the toll booth operator, say thank you!

When you pay the IRS, write Thank you on the check.

Pretty soon, more and more will be placed in your path worthy of your appreciation. And when it does, you’ll thank me.

You’re welcome!

A Visit from St. Nick

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Before you start groaning and moaning and rolling your eyes, I must warn you, I am about to introduce some avant-garde notions that will make you question everything you ever knew about Santa Claus, and the beloved poem that shaped the Christmas mythology for most modern Americans.

For almost 200 years, the poem entitled, “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas”, and commonly known as “A Night before Christmas” has been read to American children on Christmas Eve. It has been published in countless books, included in numerous collections and even turned into song, movie and parody. It is, no doubt, the best known poem ever written by an American.

But, who wrote it?

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

The verse was first published in the Troy, New York Sentinel, in the year 1823 as “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” by “Anonymous”. For the next 15 years the popularity of the poem grew; as did, its depiction of St. Nick as a “right jolly old elf”.

But, who wrote it?

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


Image from

In the early 1800’s, most protestant Americans preferred to celebrate their major winter holiday on New Year’s Day. Protestants rejected Christmas as “Catholic ignorance and deception”. His arrival on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day, allowed the St. Nicholas in this poem to become not only acceptable, but also fashionable. In their book, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin Burroughs and Mike Wallace explained that, “New Yorkers embraced (the poems) child-centered version of Christmas as if they had been doing it all their lives.”

The question remains, who wrote the poem?

In 1837, Charles Fenno Hoffman began to tell people that his friend, Clement Clark Moore penned the poem. Moore, a staunch Episcopal, was a stern father to his 6 children. He was best known for his political pamphlets, not his verse. He has been described as a dour, straight-laced academician. Moore disavowed the poem until 1844 when, at the request of his children, he included it in an anthology of his work.

According to legend, Moore drew inspiration for “his” St. Nick from the traditional legends of St. Nicholas, mixed with the image of a local Dutch handyman he encountered whilst shopping on a horse-drawn sleigh.

The “real” St. Nicholas, a Greek Bishop from the southern coast of modern day Turkey, died on December 6, in the year 343 A.D. His parents died when he was just a boy, and he used his inheritance to assist the needy, sick and suffering throughout his entire life. He was given Sainthood in the year 1087 and December 6 has forever after been St. Nicholas Day. He is the patron saint of over 120 different groups, including thieves, pirates, lawyers, virgins, wood turners, archers and children.

The tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace came from the belief that St. Nicholas threw gold down the chimneys of three women with no dowries so that they could marry. The gold landed in their shoes by the hearth.

As the purported author of “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” Moore has been credited with popularizing the stocking tradition and the current Santa Claus mythology. In 2000, Don Foster, a Vassar professor, caused a veritable ruckus when he compared Moore to Dr. Seuss’s Grinch and declared him a literary fraud.
For seven generations, the descendants of Major Henry Livingston, Jr. have insisted that it was Livingston, not Moore, who penned the verse. Livingston died in 1828. Conveniently, when Moore took credit for the poem in 1844, no one from the Sentinel remained alive who could rebuke his claim. In the late 1990’s, 150 years later, the Livingston family recruited Foster, a well-known literary detective to help prove their ancestor was the author. His avant-garde conclusion, currently not accepted by most historians, supports the Livingston family. The Poetry Foundation, on the other hand, gives full credit on their website to Major Henry Livingston, Jr. in their reprinting of “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas”.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;

One of the chief arguments for Livingston as author is the originally published version named the final reindeer Dunder and Blixem, Dutch for thunder and lightning. In four handwritten copies, written decades after the original, Moore replaced these names with their German counterparts Donner and Blitzen. Donner is, by the way, a misspelling of Donder. Moore did not speak Dutch. Livingston was of Dutch descent.

One of those four handwritten copies fetched a neat $211,000 at auction in 1997.

“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

Another argument in Livingston’s favor is that the poem is written in anapestic meter, meaning two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable. (Da da dum da da dum.) This style of poetry had been commonly used by Livingston but not Moore.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

Another argument against Moore, is that he condemned tobacco use while Livingston embraced bawdier literary themes.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;

Regardless of authorship, the image of St. Nicholas with a round belly and rosy cheeks is contrary to the accepted vision of the time. Historical renderings of the real St. Nicholas depict a tall, thin man with a receding hairline and white beard. A few paintings of St. Nicholas as Patron Saint of children show him in white robes with red cloak. The poems jolly ol’ elf is now the modern day accepted visage of Santa Claus.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

The version of the poem I have shared is the original, word-for-word, as printed in the Troy Sentinel. Even in 1823, “Merry Christmas” was the standard vernacular. However, Livingston was known to prefer saying “Happy Christmas”.

As I stated earlier, Moore disavowed the poem for almost 20 years, as being beneath his stature in society. I’d like to offer a work by Moore that he was proud to claim. In 1821, he published the following poem “Old Santeclaus” in the 16 page booklet entitled “New-Year’s Present to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve.”

Old SANTECLAUS with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night,
O’er chimney-tops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.

The steady friend of virtuous youth,
The friend of duty, and of truth,
Each Christmas eve he joys to come
Where love and peace have made their home.

Through many houses he has been,
And various beds and stockings seen;
Some, white as snow, and neatly mended,
Others, that seemed for pigs intended.

Where e’er I found good girls or boys,
That hated quarrels, strife and noise,
I left an apple, or a tart,
Or wooden gun, or painted cart.

To some I gave a pretty doll,
To some a peg-top, or a ball;
No crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets,
To blow their eyes up, or their pockets.

No drums to stun their Mother’s ear,
Nor swords to make their sisters fear;
But pretty books to store their mind
With knowledge of each various kind.

But where I found the children naughty,
In manners rude, in temper haughty,
Thankless to parents, liars, swearers,
Boxers, or cheats, or base tale-bearers,

I left a long, black, birchen rod,
Such as the dread command of God
Directs a Parent’s hand to use
When virtue’s path his sons refuse.

And with that, I shall let you decide for yourself, if believe that just one year after writing how Santeclaus would bring a birchen rod for a parent to use on their naughty son, the same author could have possibly written the beloved tale that has shaped the American Santa Claus myth for two centuries.

Further Reading:

V022 Outside the Box Fundraising Ideas for Non-Profits

“What we should be doing in the second half of our life is to be serving the Lord and serving and helping people, taking the talents that we learned in the first half of our lives with our jobs, and using those same talents by serving others. ” – Judy Paine-Marshall

Judy Paine-Marshall is the Director of the Hollis D. Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Judy shares her outside-the-box fundraising ideas in her Coffee and Cards Conversation.



Transcript (verbatim):

Kandas: Kandas Rodarte here, and it’s almost Christmas time! Look at the beautiful cards that are already coming in. Aren’t they beautiful? Don’t forget, you have until December 13th to get those cards and gifts out.

I am sitting here this morning in Conroe Coffee at 206 North Main next to the Crighton Theatre with Judy Marshall. She is the director of the Hollis D. Marshall memorial scholarship fund, and we’re going to chat today about how to raise money for your nonprofit organization.

So Judy, why did you create the Hollis D. Marshall memorial scholarship fund?

Judy: I created it back in 2001. My late husband, Hollis, passed away, and he had Alzheimers. I had plenty of time to be thinking about what I wanted to do, and my pastor gave me the book that he had just received from Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? ( Expanded Edition). And then I concurrently had read another book called Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance by Bob Buford.   And both men talk about what we should be doing in the second half of our life is to be serving the Lord and serving and helping people, taking the talents that we learned in the first half of our lives with our jobs, and using those same talents by serving others. And I thought, I want his family and I want his friends to remember him (as) the man that he was, and not the man that passed away. That’s why I set it up.

Kandas: Wow. So tell me about Hollis. What was he like?

Judy: An awesome guy. Quiet, in some ways. Kind, very kind. The best way I can tell you about him is to tell you how we met.

And I was, I went out to the geologic convention out in Los Angeles and was at the Bonaventure Hotel, and I’d had a cycling accident right before I went out and messed up this right shoulder. And so I went down to the Bonaventure Hotel, sat at the counter and I ordered my breakfast, and when it came I was doing this: raising my arm to my mouth trying to feed myself.  And this gentleman on my right he says, “Are you okay? Is there anything I can do for you?”

I was so rude? I didn’t turn around and look at him. I just had my blinders on, and I said, “No, I’m fine.  I had a cycling accident and I messed up my shoulder.”

Less than a minute later, this same gentleman says to me, “Well you don’t look like you’re fine! Can I feed you?”

And with that I turned around. I said, “That’s a good line! You need to keep that one. That got my attention!”

So that’s how we met! And think that pretty well explains Hollis Marshall.

Kandas: I love that story, I love that story.

So switching gears a little bit, tell me how you raise money or how you have raised money in the past for the scholarship fund.

Judy: Well, when Hollis passed away, I had gained so much weight, and I needed to figure out how to put money into the fund and I also needed to lose weight. And so I decided to get on the internet and look for the longest cycling trip that I could find, and I found one that went from L.A. to Boston. And I used to be a cyclist before, well, of course that’s how we met! But I decided that I would cycle, and I’d get people to sponsor me per mile or make a flat donation for the scholarship fund. And I cycled across the United States in 2003, and then I cycled the south island of New Zealand in 2005, and then I cycled across the United States again in 2006, and then I cycled down the east coast from Portland, Maine to Daytona Beach in 2008. So each time all together it’s been a little over $35,000 that I have raised to put into the scholarship fund.

But I’m not as athletic as I used to be, and so I figured I needed another way to fund the scholarship,  and I met this wonderful woman, and she was talking to me about SendOutCards, and I love to send out cards to people for appreciate, for whatever. And she conned me into being her first, one of her first marketing directors. And it’s the best thing that ever happened because I love sending cards and it’s appreciation marketing, but it also, you know, helps put money into the scholarship fund now. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Kandas: So those are the ways. Well, how else do you use SendOutCards other than using it to raise money for the scholarship? Do you use it for?

Judy: Oh, absolutely, anytime somebody’s sick, my son has a birthday, I just send him a card with brownies. I used to send him money but I figured I’ll send him SendOutCards and brownies this time.

Kandas: I love it. I love it.

Thank you Judy for being here with me today.

Judy: Thank you!

Kandas: I have really enjoyed this.

Judy: This has been fun!

Kandas: The whole . . . you already know this and now the whole world is going to know that you are one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Judy: Thank you.

Kandas: So I glad you could be here with me today.

Judy: I am glad to be here, it’s been fun. Thank you.

Kandas: So links to Judy’s SendOutCards website will now be in the notes below and probably on the screen, and be sure to visit my website too,

Judy and KandasConnect with Judy Marshall:

Hollis D Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund Website

Hollis D Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund on Facebook

Greeting Card Website

Seven Ways to Use Third-Party Validation in your Network Marketing Business

“My family just doesn’t get it!”

“My daughter used that OTHER company to print her holiday greeting cards this year!”

“My best friend hasn’t talked to me since I showed her my business 3 months ago.  She called it a pyramid scheme!”

It’s a common story.  You discover a great new business that you can work part-time to build a full-time income.  You love the products.  You love the compensation plan.  You truly believe that this business is the answer to all your prayers.   And then you start sharing your new venture with your family and friends and face the ultimate rejection.

It happens to the best of us.  In fact, one of the top income earners in my company posted this message to Facebook this morning:

Two weeks ago, Steve Schulz did a Business Presentation and FastStart training in Salt Lake City at the home office. My youngest daughter was there with her husband. Steve taught them what I could not, how simply easy this business is.

My daughter, Jenny and her husband, Paul took Steve’s advice and wrote down a list of 60 people together and put 3 check marks next to 28 of them.  Well,  She started to talk to her sister, Stacey.

Well, Steve Schulz and Vanessa had a small Business Presentation and FastStart training last night in Vegas. My daughter, Stacey with her husband lives in Henderson (20 minutes from where the meeting was being held). So, I decided to go down to Vegas and take my daughter Stacey to the Business Presentation and FastStart training.

I have been in Sendoutcards for over 9 years and neither of my daughters have been interested in doing the business until they heard Steve Schulz and his simple approach of how to do this business.

After nine years, his adult children finally “get” his business.   This man is top-earner.  He makes more in one month than most people make in one year.   His children watched him grow his business from nothing.   Yet, it took third-party validation in the form of a business presentation before either of them “got” it and “got” to work.

What is third-party validation?

Steve Schultz with my team in Houston, Texas

Steve Schulz with my team in Houston, Texas

Matt Winn, in his article on the subject, defines third-party validation like this “if someone else tells you that an object or idea is good, it reinforces and validates your similar opinion.”

How does this related to your network marketing business?

Your business offers you third-party tools like videos, catalogs, websites, webinars, recorded calls and live events.

Live events are the life-blood of your business.   A live event  is the ultimate third-party validation because rather than you sharing what you are doing,  a group of people share what they are doing.  Those daughters in the story above finally saw SendOutCards not as that little greeting card business that Dad does.  It became lucrative business that Dad and thousands of other folks are doing to change their lives.  Suddenly, the daughters saw how it could also change their own lives.

Seven Way to Use Third-Party Validation in Your Network Marketing Business

Full disclosure, I copied (except my notes in purple) this list from the SendOutCards 7/30/Q Fast Start Guide.  It’s good stuff.  Why reinvent the wheel?

Two-on-One:  You and another distributor (your sponsor) present to your prospect.  (Note:  To maximize the third-party validation, let your sponsor do the talking.)

Lunch Events:  These are usually 4 to 10 people.  (Note:  I host a weekly Coffee & Cards at a local coffee shop that is open to any distributor and their customers.)

Home Parties:  This is an exciting atmosphere with 10-20 other people anxious to hear about the opportunity.  (Note:  This is the best way for a new distributor to launch their business.  Let your sponsor or upline do the talking.)

Hotel Events:  These events are high energy and a great way to introduce your prospect to the other top income-earners.

DVD Presentation:  Just push play!

Website Presentation:  Direct prospect to your website.  (Note:  Try to do this together, one-on-one.)

Webinar Presentation:  Prospects can log in from the comfort of their home.

Unfortunately, family and friends are often times the last people with whom you should share your new business. It may takes months, or even years, of your success before the people that are closest to you are ready to hear about this “thing” you are so excited to share.  When I launched my network marketing business in July of 2012, I joined a networking group and began building through the group.  There are many different types of networking groups.  Ask around, visit a few, join the one or two that best fit your personality and your schedule.

Get really good at using third-party validation to share your business.  When the time is right, your friends and family will ask, and you’ll be ready!

Boba Fett and Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte

Boba Fett and Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte

About the Author:

Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte founded in 1999. She is a pioneer in online custom furniture sales, award-winning speaker, coffee lover, Sci-Fi fan, mom, NADA certified Archery instructor, Girl Scout leader and self-proclaimed gratitude geek. Not necessarily in that order.

When she isn’t hanging out with her good pal, Bobba Fett, Kandas can be found teaching small business owners how she grew her custom furniture business by replacing traditional advertising with an Appreciation Marketing System. Kandas is available for keynotes and workshops on relationship marketing, perfecting your business pitch and being an authentic speaker. Her manual, On Target Speaking, will be launched in January of 2014.



Interview with Cynthia Powell, Chicks and Cubs Baby Shoe Bronzing

Cynthia Powell, is the mother of three boys ages 8 to 16, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Her business, Chicks and Cubs, offers HEIRLOOM quality Baby Shoe Bronzing and Pewtering.

“I just keep juggling keep going and it all gets done one way or another…” – Cynthia Powell, Chicks and Cubs

MG: Sum up your business in three sentences or less.

YOU: We offer HEIRLOOM quality Baby Shoe Bronzing and Pewtering. We focus on the best value (best quality for the best price). We have been in business since 1999 and in the top 15 of sales for the company for the last 5 years.

MG: Where do you sell your products?

CP: All of my marketing for the Baby Shoe Bronzing is based on being in the top 3 of Google when someone searches for our services. I interact with my prospective clients using email, mail and phone. My clients send in their children’s precious shoes to me via mail from all over the country. I process there order, the plant preserves the shoes and ships them directly back to the customer.

MG: Why did you choose to start your business?

CP: I am a former Chemical Engineer turned entrepreneur in order to be home with my kids. Although I love my boys and want to be home for them, I need my business to fulfill a drive in me to be productive and active and interacting with people (adult people that is).

MG: What makes your product or service different? Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?

CP: VALUE. I provide the best quality product for the best price I can, with great service to boot. I have very LOW COST “competition”. And I understand that everyone much choose how to spend their hard earned dollars. Often their price is under my costs so that is just NOT where I compete. Yet, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those offer the exact same product as I do yet charging 3 times what I do. So this industry has a huge range and I encourage my client to do their homework.

Bronze Baby Shoe with Photo Frame by Chicks and Cubs

Bronze Baby Shoe with Photo Frame
by Chicks and Cubs

MG: For whom are you thankful?

CP: I am thankful for so many. Good and Bad experiences – they all make me who I am. If I boiled it down I would have to say my MOM, whom I lost in January of 2012 – she was a business owner, an entrepreneur and she inspires me to be and do whatever I dream. And my husband that allows me to follow my dreams instead of doing laundry and cooking dinner.

MG: What are some of your favorite books?

CP: I LOVE The Compound Effect by Darrin Hardy.

MG: Define your style?

CP:  I’m NOT a girly girl (I was a Chemical Engineer remember). I am very detailed. I am logical. I am thorough. Yet on my softer side I am an encourager. I strive to be an inspiration to others.

MG: Tell me about your typical day.

CP:  WILD. Up by 6:30, kids to school, work in the home office, get kids from school, homework, food from some place, some sort of activities (baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, orchestra, scouts, band….) the bed time fight, and usually some more work. ALL the time shifting and changing and flexing due to the unexpected that always happens (a sick cat, a sick child, a special errand that has to be done today, ….)

MG:  How do you juggle work and family?

CP: I just keep juggling keep going and it all gets done one way or another and if not – well no one died so we will be ok if we missed a second semester open house …

MG: Three tips you would like to give to moms who are thinking about starting their own business?


1. IT IS HARD WORK, don’t try to fool yourself.
2. Get family buy in to help and support.
3. find a few mentors to help you cut down your learning curve.

MG: How have you grown as a person since starting your company?

CP: I am more confident. I have grown my leadership skills. I have a larger respect for those that run any kind of business, what it really takes!!

MG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

CP: My goal is to be the top in sales for my company and I hope to be able to hire someone to help me.


Connect with Cynthia Powell: