Look 5 Years Younger and Get More Done V031

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week’s “Coffee & Cards Conversation with Gratitude Geek” features 5 savvy business women from The Woodlands and Conroe, Texas. We chat about setting SMARTer goals in health and business, plus one simple thing you can do that will make you instantly look 5 years younger. It’s all good stuff, so watch.


“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Connect with the Coffee & Cards Conversationalists:

The Kindness Jar is available from SendOutCards gift store. For a free trial of this powerful online greeting card and gifting system call 936-718-7099 or visit my SendOutCards website and click “Send A Card.”

Interested in having a Coffee & Cards Conversation with Kandas?  Leave a comment below.

“Don’t frown because your smile is what lighten up the world.”

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 GratitudeGeek.info 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 GratitudeGeek.info. Thanks for chatting today with me Tanya.

Tanya: Thank you for having me.

Kandas: Kandas Rodarte, GratitudeGeek.info.

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, JoytoSend.com

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 – joytosend.com – And visit my website GratitudeGeek.info

Thanks tuning in to Coffee and Cards Conversation.

V021 Guerrilla Marketing Tips from an Independent Coffee Shop Owner

“If you can’t promote yourself, who can you promote?” – Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte

Leo Harris, owner of Conroe Coffee in historic downtown Conroe, Texas offers two important marketing tips that apply to any business:



Transcript (verbatim):

Kandas:  Hey, Kandas Rodarte here at Conroe Coffee in beautiful, historic downtown Conroe. 206 North Main, down the street a little bit and to the right, no, to the left of the Creighton Theatre just in case you need to find it. And I’m with Leo Harris, the amazing, beautiful and very British owner.

Leo:  Me? What? It’s Rosetta Stone.

Kandas:  Rosetta Stone.

Leo:  Yes.

Kandas:  Yes. And she is sitting on her arse.

Leo:  On my ass.

Kandas:  We’re going to talk to you a little bit about marketing, but before I do that I want to just plug myself because, you know, if you can’t promote yourself, who can you promote?

Leo:  Amen.

Kandas:  This is the latest version of the SendOutCards magazine called SOC Stars.  On page 14 is a picture of me.  Can you get in on that, baby?  Me.  Me.  Me.

Leo:  Ta-da.

Kandas:  Leo brings out the silly in me, doesn’t she? All right, Leo. Let’s talk about marketing.

Leo:  Okay.

Kandas:  What did you do recently that changed how fast you sell a certain product in your pastry case?

Leo:  I have a muffin called the Sweet Potato Oatmeal Muffin. And I had a customer in the other day and she had one and she said it was awesome. And she said, you know what you should do. You should change it from Sweet Potato Oatmeal to Oatmeal Sweet Potato. Put the healthier item, even tho sweet potatoes are good for you, you know. So I did and those have been flying off the shelf. They’ve sprouted little wings and out the door they go.  That all came about because of my Healthy Harvest Muffin.  But that is Healthy Harvest. That’s how that is. But those sell. So I was tempted to put healthy in front of everything.

Kandas:  Healthy blueberry.

Leo:  Yes. Yes. Healthy double chocolate.

Kandas:  Healthy double chocolate. Dark chocolate. Double dark chocolate. Healthy.

Leo:  Yes. Yes.

Kandas:  Okay.

Leo:  Yes.

Kandas:  We got it. We got it.

Leo:  Yes.

Kandas:  Do you have any other marketing tips?

Leo:  I don’t know. I’m having soup and chili. I mean, is there anything else you can think of?

Kandas:  Listen to Leo promoting herself!  If you can’t promote yourself, who can you promote?

Leo:  Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. That’s right.

Kandas:  This morning Leo made chili, veggie chili. It’s…

Leo:  It’s really good.

Kandas:  When do you normally serve the chili? Or the soup?

Leo:  It’s ready by 11:30. Well actually, 10:30, 11:00. But I sold out on my potato yesterday. So this is a trial period. Something different every day.  Small batches just to see what sells.  But we were discussing soup this morning and a customer said to me that KISS, I’m sure everybody’s heard of the KISS system.

Kandas:  Keep it super simple.

Leo:  Yeah. His idea was, keep it simple and special.

Kandas:  And special.

Leo:  And I like that much better.

Kandas:  That’s because you’re special.

Leo:  Oh. Thank you. She’s so sweet.

Kandas:  She so special.

Leo:  I’m special.

Kandas:  Hey. What?

Shane:  I want to get in on that. The special bus is right out the door.

Kandas:  He’s special.  Hey!

Leo:  That was not nice.

Kandas:  No, that wasn’t. That’s gets edited out!  Alright, we’re going to wrap it up here. So I hope those marketing tips, you twist it so that you’re promoting the concept that is the most appealing. So if you sell liverwurst, talk about how it’s imported liverwurst.

Leo:  Right. And European liverwurst is much better

Kandas:  Yeah, much better than American liverwurst.  Always promote the item that appeals the most to people.  That is your marketing tip today from Kandas and Leo.  Be sure to visit my website, GratitudeGeek.info.

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VIDEO: Is Your Sales Pitch Perfect?

Do you have trouble explaining to others exactly what it is you do or sell?

A perfect pitch will increase sales and referrals

Sharing your business concisely and “umm” free is as easy as 1, 2, 3.   Join us Saturday, November 23, 2013 for an intensive hands on interactive workshop and you will leave with your perfect sales pitch.

  • 2-Hour Hands on Workshop<
  • 1-Hour of networking and video filming
  • Craft the perfect pitch for your business in 30 seconds or 3 minutes.
  • Learn how to adjust your pitch to any length.
  • Tips on how to market your pitch videos
  • Includes a 30-Second Elevator Pitch Video with your URL on screen
  • Includes a 3-Minute Perfect Pitch Video with your URL on screen
  • Mary Kay Make Up Artist to assist with camera ready look
  • Minimum 4, Maximum 6 Participants
  • $299 $99/participant introductory pricing

“Kandas did a public speaking workshop with our young women at Lone Star College. I was very impressed. They connected with Kandas right away. A lot of them are very shy and introverted. Kandas brought out their voice, which is a big component of the MCLatina iniative – giving young Latina women their voice.” – Maria Banos Jordan, Texas Familias Council

Be a star

Gratitude is Powerful Medicine

I am rarely moved to write at 7:00 in the morning, as I haven’t quite managed to drink a full cup of coffee until 8. I am so grateful for my morning coffee, lovingly sleepily prepared by my husband and available to me at the press of a button from my Hamilton Beach Brew Station.  This morning, I am so moved because when I opened my email, I found this  gem from my Juice Plus + consultant, Dawna Dyson.

“Research has shown that being thankful confers a whole host of health benefits, from improved immune systems, to feelings of connectedness, even higher team morale.” – Juice Plus +

Included also, was this powerful graphic that should stop you in your tracks and make you rethink any little complaint you have about your current circumstances:




The fact is, if you live your life appreciating everything you have, then you will soon have much more to appreciate.  Today, I am choosing to begin my morning by sharing 3 things for which I am grateful.

  • My husband.  He keeps me grounded – reminding me to be humble when my ego gets in my way.  He also grinds my coffee and keeps me caffeinated.   He has many other virtues, and vices.  Today, I choose to focus on the grounds – both mine and the coffees.
  • Juice Plus + Children’s Health Study which provides free whole food nutrition in a capsule or chewable for their client’s children.   My daughter, a teen, has experienced great results from the chewables.  She has always been a finicky eater and rejects most things green.   She happily eats her Juice Plus + every day.
  • The Culture of Network Marketing.  I know many fine folks who represent Juice Plus +, including my coach, friend and Coffee & Cards contributor, Reeshemah Holmes.   You can tell the culture of a company by the integrity of its’ representatives.   Reeshemah encouraged me to purchase my Juice Plus + from Dawna because Dawna approached me about the product first.

Speaking of Network Marketing Culture, this weekend the President of Field Operations for my company, SendOutCards, will be in Houston to share the business with interested folks and then train current distributors.   Houston is an interesting demographic for SendOutCards because, unlike most major cities, there isn’t one “big” leader.  There are a handful of us, each from different “legs” of the organization, who are working together to grow the brand and spread the mission.   I better add a number 4.

  • Houston Area SendOutCards Leaders including Callie Shields and Cyndy Justice, for ignoring organizational hierarchy and sharing your wisdom and your “stage” with me! Callie leads a monthly Saturday meetings in the Town & Country neighborhood of Houston.  Cyndy and I offer monthly meetings in The Woodlands the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Tradition Bank on FM 242.

What are you grateful for today?  Share in your comments below.

30-Day Gratitude Challenge

Today is the first of November.  You know, November is a month of Thanksgiving and a great month to take the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge to express gratitude to at least 1 person a day, anywhere in the world, for any reason, for 30 consecutive days by sending a real greeting card with a heartfelt message using the SendOutCards system.   Are you up to the Gratitude Challenge?   It’s guaranteed to change your life.

Boba Fett and Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte

Boba Fett and Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte

About the Author:

Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte founded MomGeek.com 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 all-around groovy woman.  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.



The Night Before Christmas (SOC Style)

Simplify the Holidays

by Linda Farmer

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the land
the need to send cards was in high demand.
I sat with my boxed cards purchased two years before,
And I knew I’d be writing till my poor hands were sore.

The hubby was nestled all snug on the couch,
Writing cards,” not his thing”, it made him a grouch.
So I sat in my jammies, all prepared for the chore,
While hubby was sleeping and beginning to snore.

When out on the street there arose such a noise,
I jumped from my chair, totally lacking in poise
I ran to the door to find the commotion,
And there she stood, with a novel promotion.

Those boxed cards are cheesy and the price way too high,
What on earth were you thinking she said with a sigh.
Send Out Cards has the answer she said with a smile,
Doing them by hand, well that’s just old style!

We print, stuff, stamp and mail them with one simple click,
In a time that’s so fast it would rival St. Nick!
You can add your own writing and that sleeping guy’s too,
You can send gifts and gift cards and add pics of Aunt Sue.

She pulled out her laptop and in the blink of an eye
Logged on to her website and said, “give it a try”
I saw the selection and sent two free cards,
Impressed by the ease and the reasonable charge.

She said not a word and allowed me to play,
This Send Out Cards rocks, I could do this all day!
She said “my name’s Kandas, I’m your Send Out Cards girl
I knew you would love it, why not give it a whirl.”

She showed me my options, explained each to a tee,
And I knew how much easier this Yuletide would be.
And I heard her exclaim as she left in the night
“A new happy card sender, my job’s out-of-sight.”