Took a minute to reflect on the turn of events that led us to move to my hometown of Cazenovia. For as long as Adam and I have been together, the idea of moving away from Sheldon, NY – where Adam’s 400-head dairy farm was located and he lived his entire life – was only a pipe dream (of mine). And I always felt greedy for dreaming it. Despite always wanting to move “home” the practical side of me always kept that dream at bay. I never saw us outside of farming. But alas, God had a bigger plan. He always does.
I’m most grateful today for saying “yes” to an opportunity 5+ years ago in the Network Marketing industry. I walked away from a full-time job/salary/benefits in corporate America to start with nothing to build our Isagenix business, even when so many told me I was crazy. But Adam didn’t, and he instantly got right down to work with me in the pockets of his 7-day-a-week farm schedule. We worked very hard to build the business together over the past 5+ years.
When Adam’s parents decided to sell their farm, it came as a complete shock. No matter how difficult the times ever got, I had always seen them muscle through it with the endurance and grit I love about dairy farmers. So it threw me off guard.
But when the news hit us, we didn’t have to panic. We had built a residual income stream that literally saved our butts. It gave us the time and time-freedom to make the right decision for our family. And to buy our current home without the contingency of selling our home in western NY.
Adam said he would be open to moving if we found the right place (i.e. not in town ?). So one Friday, when Adam was taking the younger two girls to our local Children’s museum so I could get work done, I trolled Zillow like I did probably hourly on the quest for a home that I prayed would suit Adam. For a long time, nothing jumped out at me. I stumbled on a home that I was instantly head over heels with, FSBO. I called the homeowners Heather & Mike Ketcham, who also had 3 girls, made an instant connection with Heather and loved the place so much I wanted to make a down payment over the phone! Instead, I cooled my jets and pleaded with them to let us drive 3 hours from Buffalo to see it that evening. They were kind enough to oblige, and we bought it that evening. It was yet another scary leap of faith but we knew if we “slept on it”, someone else would have swooped in to buy the house. We’re so humbled they would part with such a beautiful place that was a dream come true for me, and our ticket back to Cazenovia.
Home sweet home. We’re so grateful.
I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote: ”Do what you feel in your heart to be right, you’ll be criticized anyway.” With that, it’s weighing on my heart to share a vulnerable piece of my story.
The past year has been a rollercoaster for our family – a new baby and adjusting to life with 3 kids (4 if you count Adam ? – Ok, not funny ?, back to serious Katie ?), the difficult process around Adam’s family exiting the dairy industry, making a decision to move to my hometown of Cazenovia, NY (and pluck Adam from his own hometown at the same time), buying/moving/selling which in itself is a near-crisis with 3 littles in the mix!
For the past 5 years I have made a career of helping others through our Cougars & Cowboys Nutrition, LLC health and wellness business. I have helped thousands take control of their own health, and in the midst of the past year, despite knowing exactly what I had to do, and with the best toolbox on the planet to do it – put my own health/weight last in line. Because when life happens, and being Mom to 3 kids happens amid big life changes, sometimes it’s easier to snack your way through it then face it head on.
After giving birth to baby #3, it felt like I slipped into a “funk” – wheeling through the motions of adjusting to 3 kids but at the end of the day feeling like both oars were barely skimming water. Being a Mom isn’t easy. Some days I feel like I’m drowning in children; pouring from an empty cup. Flight attendants advise to put your own mask on before assisting others. But so often as a Mom, I forget this, putting everything and everyone else first. It sounds noble. But trust me, it doesn’t do any favors for anyone.
But the kicker and most vulnerable part of the story for me… Health/wellness is how I earn a LIVING! I have built a life of HELPING OTHERS with amazing nutritional products that never fail anyone who uses them. Yet, in my mind all I heard was, “Get your sh*t together, this is your business! You just look like the fat girl marketing health products. Nobody will ever buy from you.” So every time I went to “get back on the horse” over the past year, it seemed like I had a 3 day window of success. Then back to the bad habits. I felt like I was just “treading water” and a hypocrite to those I was helping. And the vicious “I’ll start Monday” cycle. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, maybe you can relate.
I believe God has taught me through this – to strengthen my compassion for those I coach; to have the courage to be vulnerable and to give yourself (and others) grace. I’ve only recently learned how to give myself grace. I’ve always been very hard on myself.
So I’ve just hit the reset switch and have huge goals and a drastic mindset shift. I’ve let go of much of what other “think of me” and know that deep down, any logical person would rather take advice or buy from someone who has had to blaze their own trails and learn the hard way than someone who’s never struggled. I’ve ridden the bumpy road, and know the twists and turns – inside and out.
Grateful for you allowing me to share my heart. Stay tuned on my progress. Once my mind is made up, watch out. Just one week back to following our program I’m down 5 pounds, still amid chaotic life. Super excited for everyone joining our 30-day challenge (still with two more possible start dates to join). I’ve learned that if you can keep the nutrition on point, the rest falls into place. Because life will always be crazy, I just let it get the better of me the past 12 months.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.
With gratitude always. ?
I was honored and humbled to be recognized on stage in Las Vegas with my husband Adam in front of 15,000 people at our company’s annual convention for the 4th consecutive time for earning a six-figure annual income. As I waited backstage, my mind wandered to back in time to when it all started nearly 5 1/2 years ago…
I’m sitting beside our firstborn daughter (then 7 months old) as she’s fighting a very scary respiratory virus that left her in the ICU at Children’s Hospital for a week. Though it was the scariest period I’ve ever experienced as a Mom, that time with her was a turning point in my life.
After that week, I made a highly out-of-character decision to walk away from Corporate America to pursue a health and wellness business with a company whose products I had only used a few weeks, but which had already changed my life. It was a risky, wild leap of faith. At the time we started, we were dependent on Adam’s farm salary, clipping coupons and cutting every corner as we slowly built up our business.
Early on, MANY warned me I was CRAZY. As I built up our business, every “you’re crazy”, “this is a pyramid scheme”, “nobody makes money at these things” – and so much more. To every naysayer, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. Your words were like jet fuel to motivation when the going got tough.
In my 5 1/2 years as an entrepreneur, the biggest thing I have learned is that success requires an impenetrable belief in your own ability to achieve your goals, and a sturdy pair of work boots soiled with consistency, persistency and an unwavering willingness to do unsexy jobs that others are unwilling to do. Being raised on a farm taught both of us that.
Adam and I are Forever grateful for our#cougarsandcowboys team, our tremendous customers and everyone else who has cheered us on in this journey. You will never know the depth of how much you all mean to us.
Posted with extreme gratitude.
Stay humble. Stay hungry. Thank God.
Five years today I walked away from Corporate America to start our home-based health and wellness business, Cougars & Cowboys, Nutrition, LLC. without a single customer. Though a lot has happened since this day, few events instantly transport my mind back to that pivotal week at ICU at Buffalo Children’s Hospital with our firstborn daughter. Had that not happened, I doubt you’d be seeing this article. Looking back, it was the most life-altering week of my life, and one for which I credit God’s timing and intervention. (Thank you, God!) It planted a laser focus in my mind of what’s important.
I was a new Mom and this was the first time our then 6-month-old daughter was actually ‘sick’. We were snowed in with blizzard-like conditions that weekend and I remember her not feeling good at all and sleeping on me most of the weekend. By Monday morning when the roads cleared and I was able to get her to the doctor, they instantly redirected me to the hospital. By the time we got to the hospital she was instantly admitted and within about 10 minutes was laying in the ER with all kinds of doctors and nurses prodding her. It was scary to watch, I had no idea what to expect.
She sat on my lap for a few hours before we were admitted to the ICU. She was so tired and listless. We spent 3 nights in the ICU while Hannah slowly recovered from what doctors determined to be Human Metapneumovirus (HMV) – described to me by doctors as a cousin to RSV. It was a scary time as I sat by her side watching her oxygen levels slowly come back up. She was in rough shape. She did turn around and was moved to the recovery floors.
On the Friday before this, I had just accepted a demotion to an internship with the same company that just relocated my position. After 10 years in Corporate America, it certainly felt like a slap in the face. But when they held my pay, and kept my benefits, I didn’t have much choice but to accept it. the company was gracious enough to allow me to be with my daughter during that time. It truly was a time to reflect.
I read the book “Business of the 21st Century” by Robert Kyosaki and began to feel a ‘fire in my gut’ for entrepreneurship and to start my own business. I was drawn to the appeal of residual income.
By the 5th day in the hospital, Hannah was released. My Mom was out at the time to help watch Hannah so I could return to my first day on the job of my demotion. I went to the new job, after this mind-altering week, and after about 1 hour into the workday, knew I couldn’t continue. I got up from my desk, went to my new boss and told him I was done. It was a HIGHLY out of character move for me. I don’t have a history of being a quitter.
When I told my boss I was done, and told him I was leaving to start my own health and wellness business, he laughed. “But you don’t even have any customers!” he warned. To which I responded. “Not yet. But trust me, I will.” I walked out of that building about 10 feet tall and bulletproof. On a mission to NEVER AGAIN BE AT THE MERCY OF CORPORATE POLITICS. That week in the hospital witnessing my daughter fight so hard showed me that I didn’t want to give the best years of my life stuck in a cubicle, crunching numbers on a spreadsheet making someone else rich only to have my daughter raised by someone else.
They say you can build a successful business from one of two things – inspiration or desperation. Mine was the latter. We would never have a lot of options if we were at the mercy of my husband Adam’s fixed arm salary. And I knew that I would be able to set my own hours to build this business. So I made the decision to get to work. And as much as it might look like an “overnight success” that couldn’t be further from the truth. In another post, we can share about the doubts and wall kicking moments along the way.
I was fortunate that when I told Adam I was quitting my job, he didn’t laugh at me. Truth, he had no say in my decision (liberated woman). Instead of questioning me, he looked closer at the opportunity i was about to pursue and he too saw the bigger vision. I’m grateful for Adam’s help. We certainly balance each others’ strengths/weaknesses.
It was an honor to hear more of Kristin Goodman’s Isagenix journey. She’s a key leader on the team and finally found a program that works! Kristin shares her story below:
by Kristin Goodman
I used to wake up every morning and have egg whites with cheese – guilt ridden over the cheese – coffee with half and half – guilt ridden over the half and half – and a piece of rice toast with butter and jelly – guilt ridden…you get the picture. I used to eat a salad for lunch with some lentils and feta. I used to have more salad for supper with pasta or meat or any kind of dinner you can imagine paired with one or two glasses of wine. I used to obsess about the food I was going to eat or had eaten. I used to feel pain in my abdomen for no apparent reason – or at least no reason my doctors could find. I used to feel sluggish and irritable. I used to hate getting dressed for the day, because I didn’t like how my clothes fit. Those Diesel jeans that I saved from six years ago were mocking me folded on the bottom shelf of my closet, begging me to “get it together already” so they could be worn. But I couldn’t get it together. I tried over and over again, only to fail over and over again.
I worked out and I was strong, but I was twenty pounds too heavy for my body to be comfortable – I thought I was only ten pounds too heavy – and my mental clarity was suffering along with my emotional ability to respond to life’s big and small challenges, rather than to just react. I was at a loss. I was depressed that I had been defeated by myself. I was the failure and I wasn’t going to be successful at anything until I felt good inside and liked what I saw on the outside.
An acquaintance of mine – now good friend – Samantha Martensen, told me about Isagenix in 2014. I was ready for relief and so I ordered a 30 day cleanse. I got it that week and promptly returned it unopened just before my 43rd birthday. I had quickly decided that I wasn’t going to succeed. There was too much going on. I might as well get my money back and go back to the way I had been trying to lose weight before.
I did in fact go back to the ways I had tried to lose weight and feel better before. I wound up with the same results: feeling bad and becoming more inflamed and stressed out over the next year.
Just two weeks before my 44th birthday – almost a year to the day I ordered Isagenix the first time – I was on a 7mile hike with a friend. I was struggling and I heard the words come out of my mouth, “I think I might do this cleanse.” My friend who was on the hike with me said, “I’ll do it with you.”
We ordered it and both did the 9 day cleanse. By day five I had no pain in my body. None. By day seven I had lost 12 pounds. By day eleven I had lost 14 pounds. Three months later while still using the shakes and cleansing twice a month, I lost 28 pounds and have had no pain reoccur. My mind is clear; my emotional life is stable; the jeans that mocked me from the bottom shelf of my closet are too big on me to wear; and my belief in myself has quadrupled. I wasn’t a loser because I couldn’t lose the weight or find the clarity, I was lost in a world that told me I had done it to myself and that I was weak because I wasn’t making good choices and I wasn’t running every morning. I had no idea that no matter how hard I tried my body wasn’t going to release the weight because it wasn’t going to be properly nourished to balance itself out. I wasn’t going to lose the weight or find the emotional clarity to become healthy without the proper nutrition to get me there. Isagenix gave it to me.
Now, I drink a shake – strawberry with chocolate most mornings with IsaGreens; I drink a cup of coffee – black, no cream needed; and neither of these choices leave me feeling hungry, dissatisfied, or riddled with guilt. I have tripled my work load and still have time to see my friends and spend quality time with my daughter and husband. I am smiling when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night feeling satisfied with a completely full day behind me. And I sleep like a rock.
When my daughter yells or throws a tantrum – she’s 6 – I calmly hold my boundaries without emotionally reacting. I feel in control, not threatened. As my husband says, “You are in the driver’s seat now.” I have control over my body and my mental state. My body is balanced. I have given myself a well oiled machine to walk around and play in that isn’t stressed out and neurotic, but rather calm and collected. I’m no longer fighting an uphill battle. I’ve leveled the playing field and even given myself an advantage.
Isagenix has given me the freedom to be and do everything I’d imagined for myself. I am making money by introducing others to the products and the business, all the while benefiting from the nutrition provided. I am so grateful that Samantha introduced these products and this business to me. I can’t imagine going back to where I was before the day I started that 9 day cleanse. I have been healed by this nutrition in so many ways. I hope you get to try them and experience the same transformation I have experienced. It’s a good one. As Louise, from one of my favorite films, Thelma & Louise, says, “You get what you settle for.” I can’t imagine settling for less than what these products offer and the financial boost this company has given me. I hope you don’t either.”
Buffalo/Rochester, NY Health & Wellness Super Saturday November 7
We’re excited to host the Buffalo area’s first-ever Health & Wellness Super Saturday on November 7th, 2015. Event will be held at Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center in Varysburg, NY from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. This event is aimed at those who have goals to take any of the following areas to the next level – weight loss, energy levels, athletic performance levels, healthy aging or wealth.
We have an incredible lineup of speakers planned – from a corporate dropout turned 6-figure Mompreneur, to a tired Mom who only had a few sticky pounds to lose, but regained her energy and took her fitness to unparalleled heights. You’ll also hear several live testimonials from those who have reclaimed their health and/or wealth as a result of the Isagenix opportunity.
The first hour (10:00 am) will overview the entire event, while the latter portion of the event will cover health and wellness training. The event will balance product and health related information with information regarding how to be successful on the business aspect if you choose to.
We have several friends who are curious what #cougarsandcowboys is all about. We welcome you to join us as our guest. Please be contact us to let us know you’ll be there so we have a goody bag ready for you! Any questions can be directed to the email on the flyer below, or via our contact form.
Super Saturday Buffalo, NY / Rochester, NY
If you told me five years ago that I would have walked away from corporate America with and now train and inspire a team of thousands to live the life of their dreams, I would have laughed. And I have a hearty laugh at that…;)
I was raised on a dairy farm in Cazenovia, NY, attended Cornell University and then spent 10 years in Corporate America. …Until one day, February, 6, 2012, I decided enough was enough. In 2011 I gave birth to our first daughter Hannah. Shortly after returning to work, I learned that my position would be relocated in two months. After interviewing for several open positions, on the final day of that job (a Friday), HR called me with “great news” – and I was offered a demotion to an internship. By Monday (the day I was to start my new job), I ended up in the ICU with my 7-month old daughter for an entire week.
During that week, there was a change in me. Something was different and I had a fire in my gut that seemed to be pulling me to a stronger purpose. I returned to my new ‘demotion’ the following Monday. After two hours on the job, and yet another spreadsheet thrown at me, I got up and walked to my new boss and said, “I’m done.” That was completely out of character for me – something I had never done before. He questioned my judgment and voiced his concerns, “you don’t have any customers do you?” to which I replied, “No. But I will.”
And I did. That day was a turning point in my life. I walked out of that office 10-feet tall and unstoppable. And I never looked back. I put blinders on and worked diligently to build my business. Today, our team is international. I show people how to live on their terms from the comfort of their home. I can’t think of a better business to partner with.
I look to partner with open minded, confident, coachable and committed partners. This business is all built off fundamentals, and if you are open to mastering them, and do so with a true heart of service, skys will part.
It has been a privilege to build my own business from home, in the pockets of my life. It has allowed me to watch my babies grow up and not miss all the small moments with them. I can’t think of a more ideal career for anyone. Work hard. Play hard!