It’s hard to believe it was a year ago that Debby and I were coming home from San Jose after an amazing couple of days at Oprah’s ‘Live Your Best Life’ tour. I keep thinking of us all fired up on the plane ride home – papers spread all over our laps – revising our ideal org chart and mapping our dreams for The Branch.
Toots (as I affectionately refer to Deb) and I both love Oprah. We believe in the benefits of self-reflection, self-knowledge and setting personal goals. One of our many bonding moments early on in our friendship was reading and discussing Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. Heading to see Oprah and her panel of growth gurus was a dream come true for us. It was beyond exciting to have the chance to hear people like Rob Bell and Elizabeth Gilbert speak – to meditate with Deepak Chopra! I mean! Just incredible.
Our goals in attending the conference were to get energized and inspired both personally and professionally in anticipation of the new year and the launch of the new website. And, let’s be honest, to have some amazing girlfriend bonding time!
When I came to work for Debby I was clear that our overarching goal was building a strong structure for growth. That requires a clear sense of who we are as professionals and what we are trying to accomplish. I had only been working as the Office Manager for a little over six months at the time of the conference and I wanted to really understand on deep level Debby’s thought processes so I could help her recruit the right people with well defined job descriptions, and be able to fine-tune her systems, policies and procedures.
While we didn’t and don’t want to be the biggest floral company on the planet, we knew we wanted to grow in steady and healthy ways. We wanted opportunities for each team member to grow professionally. We wanted a plan for financial growth so we could provide these opportunities. And we each had personal goals we wanted to weave into our business plan.
Oprah’s conference, the exercises and her amazing panel challenged us to reflect, rejoice and reclaim who we are and what we wanted this company to be. Heading into this weekend we were hoping for real clarity on how we were going to bring our vision to life. Spending the weekend contemplating “Our Best Life” was an intentional act of building our brand and developing our leadership skills and it gave us some additional tools to frame our discussions about the future of The Branch. And that’s exactly what we started on the plane home and continue to execute.
Oprah’s team created an atmosphere of both high energy and a feeling of being peacefully grounded. Not an easy balancing act. The speakers and workshops were powerful, uplifting, and thought provoking. And, of course, we had plenty of “aha moments”.
One of them was the confirmation that we do know who we are. The Branching Out brand is indeed Debby – and then some. It’s a goal-oriented and talented entrepreneur who values her relationships and wants to be surrounded by others who are seeking the light and striving to live their best life. The Brand is us. Toots and Poots. It’s the staff behind the scenes as well. Me and Debby and the team. Of all the tour gifts we received – oh, yea, we got some serious swag! Of all the tour gifts, having the conviction of knowing who we are is the one that keeps on giving.
What Toots and Poots know for sure:
It is easier to have the life you want when your personal and professional goals are in alignment.
The greatest of goals cannot be achieved without the strongest of systems.