Page 32 - Fall 2013 Issue
P. 32

 How old were you when you knew this was your calling and what you were going to do for the rest of your life?
After graduating from Penn State and becoming a high school English and Drama teacher, I moved to NYC where I met my husband David, a successful self- made business manager/accountant in the entertainment industry.
After successfully transitioning to corporate as Director of Research for a Park Avenue consulting firm, at the age of 34, I began to feel trapped like a corporate prisoner in a 40 story Manhattan office building, working over 70 - 80 hours a week.
To overcome this, we took refuge each weekend to decompress at our NJ mini-farm, only to dread driving back through the Lincoln Tunnel each Monday morning to begin all over again. Deep down inside I knew I was not living my truth after all those years of running in the corporate treadmill chasing the next promotion.
Watching David's entrepreneurial activities, I wanted to take back my life and my freedom. So David & I talked about finding something we could do together, where we could draw upon our individual talents, and create something bigger than the both of us, that would allow us the platform to give back to our communities, and travel the world together.
“When you turn yourself on FIRE ... others will come to see you burn!”
Too often, we tend to allow our FEAR of the unknown, or the fears expressed by others who think they
know best, to hold us back. WHY? Because we have been conditioned to play it safe, not take chances, and to stay within our comfort zone.
In a recent keynote on "Dance with Your Fear ... and WIN!" I talk about why pain & fear are 2 things most people don’t want to talk about, yet are necessary steps toward EPIC kick butt breakthroughs that had the audience on their feet ready to “Bring it on!”
How hard was it breaking into the business? Which one do you think there's more of? Those who pay their dues, or opportunity meeting preparation?
Twenty-six years ago, before the internet, social media, cell phones, and technology like Skype, we built our business locally first face to face in NYC, then expanded to NJ.
I can remember my first mentor telling me "Ann, you need to think nationally!" I must have looked like a deer in headlights when he told me that ... after all, who did I know nationally to talk to? But I just couldn't let go of his suggestion ... it haunted me day & night and I knew that meant it was time to expand my comfort zone. After all, I had braved the move to living and working in NYC, which had opened my eyes to the multi-cultural world potential waiting.
So I gathered my courage and wrote a tiny ad for the NY Times classified section advertising my business... that was one of my big first
steps as an entrepreneur! And, as I look back, the ad was not tremendously clever or brilliantly written -- just 3 simple lines, and all I could afford.
Now, besides some very strange people responding, the ad caught the attention of a dentist from Israel who was looking for a business to expand back in his country. After a few meetings with him and David in NYC, and laying the ground work over the next several months, I decided to fly to Israel about a week after the Gulf crisis. I can remember telling my mother about my plans, and her response was: "Honey, didn't they just have a war there?" to which I naively responded, "Yes! But that was over last week!"
You see, when you have a purpose with clear vision and a plan, the fear just falls away ... and my global business began from that one contact which eventually expanded into 13 countries with over 100,000 people involved. Sometimes it only takes one person, or one door to open, that can change everything! And, looking back, that early experience prepared us for our next opportunity eight years ago to launch a new global company and build a multi-million dollar team in more than 40 countries.
Right place at the right time? No, I think it was more of the courage to take action and build relationships, mixed with tenacity and purpose that create opportunities. I truly believe that we are always one choice away from changing our lives.
“Impact ... It’s NEVER about where it happens ... it’s ALWAYS about WHO makes it happen!”
And impact starts with developing the right mindset, making a decision to move forward and stop all of the excuses, and create a working plan with a mastermind of like minded people, who collaborate together with a

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