“One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Jim Rohn

Since Verizon appeared in 2000, I have been a customer (well except for that brief affair with T-Mobile that never gets talked about) and for the most part I was happy with their service. That was until December of last year when my year of cell phone hell began.

It began with technical support telling me I had an issue that in fact I didn’t have and escalated to numerous unfulfilled and dis-satisfactory phone calls, extremely high wireless bills, and crappy service plans. You see Verizon suddenly decided that no one should have unlimited internet anymore and instead of informing me that was the case, simply put a fraud alert on my account. Multiple times. Needless to say, I needed to get away.

I knew my contract was up in October and I was hell-bent to find someone who would appreciate my business. (Which for a single person household isn’t small potatoes. I must have a smart phone and a broadband card so they really get to sell me two plans.) After months of research I finally settled on Sprint. Why? Because they are the only wireless company that has truly unlimited internet with their broadband cards. This is crucial to me. I work from home and refuse to pay for Cox/Dish/Direct TV/Century Link to give me internet when I already pay for the Broadband card. It’s not a very sensible use of my money and in this day and age, I shouldn’t have to.

In typical Jessica fashion, I had some difficulties making the switch. (Sidenote: Amazonwireless.com is amazing, however if you are going to use it to switch to a new company, make sure the store hasn’t already created a dummy account for you.) After spending nearly 12 hours on the phone with my favorite Sprint employee, Kaylee, in their customer care department, I finally make a deal with family and got my phone free.

But of course it wouldn’t be me if that was the end.

Having an internal Verizon Broadband card meant some tricks needed to be done once that card was removed in order to make my new Overdrive work with my computer. However, Romi (my second favorite Sprint employee) made it work.

Bottom line. I move to Sprint because not only was their internet truly unlimited, but I am also going to save about $100 every month with their better plans. I’m happy to be here because of their customer service. Both Kaylee and Romi not only went above and beyond, but they were creative and thought outside the box to solve my problem. Kaylee even went so far to say “My job isn’t done until your issue is resolved to your satisfaction.” When was the last time your cell phone company said that to you?

“If you don’t create change, change will create you” – Unknown

The Real Life Yellow Brick Road

Written by an ICAN Youth Staff

An I.C.A.N youth staff went on the yellow brick road to Camp Lee Canyon. The journey was long and worth it. The first time the youth staff went to camp, they all defeated the east witch of all that was evil, lame and stupid. It was so wonderful there. People had so many colors, all sorts of colors. Blues and reds, pinks and purples not a gray in sight.

At camp there are three witches of greatness, the awesome witch of the west Jamie, the princess witch of the north Jessica, and the Yoda witch of the south Mary. All three witches helped the other youth staff and munchkins of the camp through whatever their troubles were. 

The youth staff walked along the yellow brick dirt covered road she looked to her left then to her right and behind her to see if any friends were behind her. She kept on walking forward thinking of all the greatness to come up at camp. She stopped and heard a faint noise and looked to her left again a young boy sat crying quite scared and confused, all his color had gone he was gray. The youth staff walked over and used her super care bear skills to comfort the crying boy.

 “Now now, why are you crying?” asked the youth staff.

“Well, I’ve lost my way. I’ve done bad things and I don’t know how to stop from doing them again. I have to want just not the support or tools. I need help and I need it now.”

“I see, what is your name?” the youth staff held his hand.

“Fred, my name is Fred.”

“What have you done Fred to put you in such pain?”

“I did drugs and lost all that I love. My real friends won’t talk to me, my mom can’t look at me, my grade are falling and I can’t control my self, it’s like I’ve lost my mind.”

The youth staff gave him a hug as he began to cry again. “It’s ok. Come with me Fred. I have friends who can help you find your way.”

“But I’ve done such horrible things, they won’t like me.”

“My friends will not judge you just help you, come with me I know this will work.”

Fred stood up with the youth staff and they continued their walk towards camp hand in hand. No words came out of their mouth. The wind rushed past them. They got quite far until a squeak hit the ears of the youth staff. She stopped dead.

“What’s wrong?” Fred looked around.

“Don’t you hear that?” the youth staff searched for the maker of the squeak. “There!” she pointed to a pale white girl. The youth staff and Fred walk over to this mysterious girl and knelt down to where she was sitting.

“hello” the youth staff touched the girl’s shoulder. The girl replied by attacking the youth staff with a hug. Fred stepped back unaware what was happening. “What’s wrong?”

“I-I” the girl stuttered, “Sometimes I just feel so alone. When people pick on me and call me names because I’m bigger, or I’m smarter, because I’m not cool enough, or sometimes for no reason at all. I used to wear bright col-colors and fun clothes. But the bullying was too much” the girl held onto the youth staff. “I used to like my self, and now I feel alone and like nobody likes me. It’s like they’re all heart less.”

“What’s your name” the youth staff rubbed her back.

“Galinda”

“That’s a beautiful name.”

“Thank you”

“It’s nothing to thank, I’m simply stating the truth. I think you should come with us.”

“Where?” Galinda looked up into the youth staff’s eyes.

“A place that can help you love your self and not feel so alone.” The youth staff stood up. Galinda and Fred followed. They all held hands, Galinda in the youth staffs right hand and Fred in the left.  Again they walked in silence; there was no need to talk. Galinda and Fred were hesitant to keep going up the large hill but the combination of the youth staff’s care bear powers and belief in her camp kept them going. They could she camp’s cabins all lined up.

“It’s just over there” the youth staff smiled and squeezed the Fred and Galinda’s hands.

“Excuse me,” a small voice called from behind them. They stopped and turned around to see an extremely tall boy with a washed out grey color.

“Yes, how can we help you?” asked the youth staff with a wide smile over taking her whole face.

“Well, I don’t believe in myself and I can’t stand up to other people or do what I want. In need some courage and some friends. I was walking when I heard you talking to the boy,” he looked at Fred, “and the girl,” he looked a Galinda. He looked back at the youth staff “I heard you say there was a place where the people don’t judge you and you can get your color back, is that true?”

The youth staff let go of Fred and Galinda “it is, would you like to come with us?” she held out her hand for the boy. He took it in his. “Let’s go the, shall we?”

The four of them held hands all the rest of the way up the hill. When they arrived the three witches stood at the opening of the camp.

“Who did you bring?” asked Jamie the witch of awesome.

“A few friends who need some help. This is Galinda,” Galinda gave a slight smile. “This is Fred,” Fred waved to the witches. “And this is-” the youth staff stopped, she didn’t know his name.

“My name is Justin” the boy said

“Hello to all of you!” the princess almost yelled with a smile.

“Awesome you will all become,” said the witch of Yoda.

“Come on in,” The witch of awesome gestured.

That week Fred, Galinda, and Justin all made you friends and got what they needed to help them thorought live, in camp, and back down the hill. When the youth staff saw them later that week all three had their color back. Fred a bright purple. Galinda a rainbow. Justin a bright blue. They gave the youth staff a death griping hug and whispered to her “ you saved my life.”

#13 Read and finish Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”

I know it seems a bit weird for an avid reader such as myself to have a book on her 30×30 list. I agree it is a bit out of character. However, this is the one book I’ve never been able to get through. Oh I’ve owned it for years, in fact I own several copies of the book. I keep finding them at used bookstores, garage sales, and thrift shops. Everywhere I look , there’s a copy. So I took it as a sign that I should actually read the book.

There are a lot of great nuggets of information in the book that I’m sure to talk about in future posts. However, a few quotes stood out enough to share now.

“The man who can follow a leader most efficiently, is usually the man who develops into leadership most rapidly. An intelligent follower has many advantages, among them the opportunity to acquire knowledge from his leader.”

This one spoke to me because it’s very fitting for a few things going on in my life at the moment both in my position as a leader and a follower. I forget sometimes that in doing everything myself, I am taking away the opportunity of others to learn. Instead, I must constantly be searching for my replacement knowing that someone is always looking for me to be theirs.

“No alibi will save you from accepting the responsibility if you now fail or refuse to demand riches of life, because the acceptance calls for but on thing – incidentally, the only thing you can control – and that is a state of mind. A state of mind is something that one assumes. It cannot be purchased, it must be created.”

“To be successful, you must find peace of mind, acquire the material needs of life, and above all, attain happiness.”

Ironically, when I attended Eagle Quest this idea of a peaceful life wouldn’t leave my head. Since then I have been taking steps to peace – cleaning out my house, returning borrowed items, finding ways to get rid of worry, even making sure my inbox is cleared out before I go to bed at night. I’m not quite there yet, it’s a work in progress, yet I am feeling better in just these few months.

I could go on and on. Pretty much the whole book is highlighted and dog-eared. I do believe I have found tons of material for future blog posts. Goodbye writer’s block.

30X30 #14 Attend Eagle Quest

See Humu E Da ~ Soaring Tribe

I spent an amazing two and a half days at the Rapport ranch attending one of the best advanced leadership classes ever. I did things I never thought I could, met some amazing people, and identified my dreams. I climbed over walls and walked on air. I am an Eagle Quest warrior!

Princess Peaceful Dragonfly

One of the things we were encouraged to do was chose a warrior name. Having had friends go through the class, I was somewhat prepared for this. After a bit of debate, I settled on Princess Peaceful Dragonfly. Why?

Dragonfly: “Dragonfly is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment, and the communications from the elemental world”.  To me they also represent imagination and ideation.

Peaceful: Because I wish for peace in my life. Peace meaning drama free in my social life, avoiding gossip. Peace in my work life, doing the things that need done, ending each day with a cleared inbox and task list. Peace at home, a clean, clutter free living space. Peace of mind, the self chatter limited if not gone.

Princess: I once spent an entire weekend with a Tiara on my head – mainly because someone didn’t think I would. From that day on, I have been referred to as Princess. I almost wasn’t going to add it to my name thinking people would think poorly of me because of it. Then I realized, it’s my name to choose. Princess is a place of self actualized power. It’s a very real anchor to a time in my life where I have never been more on purpose, more focused. About an hour after choosing my name, I realized it wouldn’t be complete without the Princess.

Partners ~ Princess Peaceful Dragonfly and Coyote Otter

On the last day, we got to do a high ropes course. I loved it. There is something freeing about being that high up in the air. For once, I don’t have to words so instead I’ll just let some pictures do the talking.

Where two elements collide.

Weeeeeeeeee

Getting rid of a few lies

Climbing

My coach and me

Princess Peaceful Dragonfly and Kicking Giraffe (With a Ding Ding Bear lurking behind)

‘What the Hell are you doing here?” – The West Wing

I was raised in a Catholic household and went to mass every Sunday, one of my favorite courses in college was the History of Religion, and since graduation I have been reading various works of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Anthony Robbins, and the like. Through all this, I have come to one major conclusion – the universe listens.

In 2011, I have become purposeful in my intentions, gratitudes, and affirmations and what I have discovered is truthfully amazing. When I am positive, when I say strong and powerful affirmations, my day is exciting, fun, and filled with opportunity. When my affirmations and self-talk is negative, I get negative results. The challenge is to wake up and before I even turn on the tv, my phone, or my computer, give thanks and start my day on the right foot – with positive and energetic affirmations. My favorites being “I am an opportunity magnet” and “People say yes to me.”

Recently, I started re-watching The West Wing. (If you haven’t seen it, do. Aaron Sorkin is a genius.) I hope you take the time to watch the clip. It’s one of my favorite stories on the subject.

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance” – Dan Greenburg

I recently joined a blogging mastermind group because not only do I enjoy sharing ideas with my colleagues, I also felt it would be a great accountability tool. in our very first meeting, we talked about what our expectations were and one of mine was to keep me accountable for posting consistently every Monday. Which is why at 8:40pm PST I am staring at my computer screen completely blank on what to write while searching for inspiration in anything.

You see we meet tomorrow. In fact tomorrow, it’s my turn to run the meeting and while we usually meet via conference call, this time it’s a webinar. Talk about accountability. I know that in a matter of hours my fellow mastermind teammates will be looking at my blog, meaning I have to post SOMETHING. The moral of the story – accountability is key, tough accountability is vital for success.

In honor of the perfectly fitting quote at the top…

Bailey giving blog post advice.