I love discovering someone’s story. What are their interests, beliefs and their why? What are their habits and rituals? Was there a moment that changed everything and triggered a powerful, positive shift?

Recently, an uber-successful businessman told me his story. He told me about being on top, crashing to the bottom, and rebuilding even better. A few years ago, he seemed to have every area of his life clicking along in fifth gear…lots of profitable businesses, a happy home and family life, and excellent physical health. Alas, he made an off-the-cuff comment to one of his associates about wanting to get out of business. He said, “I’ve had enough.  I want to do something else.”

Words matter.  He put it out there…and he got it.  The dominos started to fall and he lost just about everything. He’d taken his eye off the financials. He neglected the good people who worked for him. The cracks opened and his businesses failed. His family relationships fell apart.

Wow.  I was eager to know, “What did you learn?  How did you recover?”

He replied, “Deep down, I knew I could rebuild.  I had built a life I loved and I could do it again. My wife expressed her belief in me. My mom  and sister did, too. At first, it was survival.  I did what I could think to do to make progress. As I started to see results, I could take a broader view. I decided to adopt better thoughts and actions. I started reading great books, and listening to Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar.”

He continued, “Every great leader talks about gratitude.  So, I started to write down what I was grateful for every day.  That stopped the downward spiral.  I had been taking everything and everyone for granted, as evidenced by that thoughtless remark. Once I focused on all the good things that I had, life started to turn around for me.”


Want to make Business UN-Complicated?  Want to live Life UN-Leashed? Be grateful. Everyday, write down a few things for which you are thankful.  It’s an easy-peasy habit to adopt, with amazingly powerful results.  Do you do this already? Want to make this a commitment for 2017? Let me know in the comment section below!

With my family, every year over the holidays, we spread out the art supplies and get creative. Hotrod and my sister, Trish, lead the charge, and make project suggestions.  This year involved lots of metal work – airplane sculptures! hydronically heated coat rack! – and Trish helped us make art-filled journals. We started with blank mixed-media journals and painted, stamped, scratched, distressed, embossed and decorated the pages. Now, I’ll will add to my journal daily with hopes and dreams and BIG “thank you”s for all the good things that are happening in the here and now.

A new journal always inspires me. The open pages hold the promise of my thoughts and words and the greater collaborative potential. This year, my hand-made version is already simmering with creativity. I’m grateful for that. And for you. May 2017 be our best, happiest, biggest, funniest, most prosperous, goal-getting, heart-expanding, love-filled year yet!

Happy New Year!

xo$, Ellen

PS…For art journal inspiration check out these sites…

PSS…Let me know what you’re grateful for!  Comment below…  🙂