If it Don’t Make Dollars, it Don’t Make Sense.

Let’s keep it real: businesses are designed to make money. Sure, there’s childhood dreams, life-long aspirations, passion, talent and love involved – but the purpose is positive cash flow. The whole idea is to make money in a different way.

Dreams & passion aside, we all need income to survive. To pay bills, keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We don’t always like to talk about it, but it’s true.

When you start a business, the scariest leap is the financial one. Will this business make enough money for my life? Will I go into debt? Will I lose everything?

We were lucky that our business was pretty cheap to start. We had cleaning supplies, our real estate licenses, some software and a shared laptop in a one-bedroom apartment. That was it. As the business started to take shape, though, we constantly came up to the same obstacle:

This would be great for our business, but does it make financial sense to do so?

The answer to this question popped up as a lyric from one of our favorite groups: if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

We wanted so many things: a luxe office space, all organic, locally made cleaning products, sustainable/fair trade cotton linens, and a third person to help us out.

We settled for a new laptop, a cheap desk from Walmart, and generic cleaning products/linens from amazon. It was what made financial sense at the time, and it was absolutely the right choice.

Two years later, we’re moving into a beautiful three-bedroom home so we can have a proper office. We’re still working towards our third person, but for now, we’ve started contracting out the cleanings and laundry work, so we can focus on accounting and growth.

It’s what makes dollars and sense, where we are right now. And that’s what has empowered our business to grow and improve without putting us into debt.

So keep in mind – if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. You have to put YOU and YOUR business first. Before all the partnerships, collaborations, and shiny, attractive services you can’t quite afford yet. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on what you really want – it just means that you have to take your time to get there.

Motivation Monday: Do what feels right.

The other day I woke up at 4 a.m. for a 15-mile long run before work. I was sore, tired, under slept, achy, grouchy, hungry, and cranky the day before. I was positive I wouldn’t wake up for my run and subconsciously sleep through the alarm as an avoidance tactic. Begrudgingly, I set my clothes, shoes and water out the night before. Just in case.

When the alarm rang at 4 a.m., I popped right out of bed and laced up my shoes. I didn’t feel any of the cranky feels of the previous day or even tired or mildly annoyed at such an early wake up time. It just felt right.

As I took off on my run, it felt even more right to be winding through dark, empty streets and cool air before the heat kicked in and the rest of the world woke up. I watched the city I so dearly love awaken, as the light gently began to creep in as the darkness faded away. Honolulu slowly rubbed its eyes and awoke and unfolded its morning and I was there, with each and every step and breath, to see it.

The key with a healthy lifestyle – just like every other aspect of life – is to find something you truly enjoy. Even something you love. If I had to cycle, or lift, or swim for over two hours I would have been ready to throw a temper tantrum – in fact, I probably wouldn’t have even made it out of bed.

Find something you dig. Discover what works for you, and then run with it – literally 🙂

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Motivation Monday: Reaching Goals

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Every Monday is a gift. A fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to start the week with an open mind, positive vibes and a grateful heart.

We all have goals. Whether it’s to eat better, or run farther, to train for a race or show or just to see some definition in our arms or abs, we all work towards something. Goals are the ultimate motivation, because our efforts are moving us forward. With that momentum, we’re pretty much unstoppable.

Here’s some goal-oriented motivation for your goal-oriented selves and a kick off towards a great week!

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Stay Fit While Sick

A few weeks ago, a brutal cold knocked me OUT. I mean sleep-for-three-days, don’t-leave-my-house and drink-nothing-but-green-tea sick. I was forced to rest because I didn’t have much of a choice, but the second I got better I went right back to working out. What can I say? Old habits die hard.
The first day I felt a little better I played a soccer game, woke up the next morning for a morning swim and played another game that night. Except I couldn’t play much, because my body completely gave up. My legs locked, my lungs ached and I couldn’t breathe. It was bad enough to that I finally gave in and went to the doctor.

I found out I had bronchitis, because I hadn’t rested properly and let my sinuses and lungs heal from the congestion. Now, I had to pay the price of taking a full week off. Which for me sounded like torture.

I was training hard for a half marathon before I got sick, and had built up strength, stamina & endurance I did not want to use. Even though I couldn’t work out per say, I used my free time to focus on these activities to stay as fit as possible while I was sick.


1. Stretch 

If you’re a runner, you know the plight of stiff muscles – such a buzzkill. To keep my legs and core strong & loose, I did a few gentle yoga routines every morning and stretched liberally before I slept each night.

I found this to be really good for my sanity, too. I woke up peacefully and drifted off to sleep with ease. This is one practice I’ll keep in my daily routine even after I’m back to 100%.


2. Walk

People tend to underestimate the power of walking, but our grandparents had it right. Walking is good exercise and a great way to keep legs strong & loose. It also provides some mental clarity and a spiritual boost, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Walking is also really easy to fit into your routine. I walked during my lunch break, to the store, on the beach, with my boyfriend’s dog…you name it.

3. Eat well

This one is super import if you’re sick, injured, of healing. I filled my meals with nutrient-rich fruits, nuts, veggies, seeds and herbs that offered a breadth of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins to boost healing. I cooked all my dishes with coconut oil, garlic, ginger and tumeric, threw spirulina & dark leafy greens in all my smoothies and covered my salads with nuts and seeds.


I also kept my food relatively bland and easy to digest, so my body could focus on healing. Eating this well made a huge difference in the recovery process; I actually could feel myself healing from the inside out. 

4. SLEEP


The best part about being sick was given myself free permission to nap. I went to bed at 8, took naps after work and on Saturday mornings. Sleep is a pivotal cornerstone of health, wellness and recovery in general – even more so if you’re active.

Happy healing everyone 🙂 hope you have a great week!

Motivation Monday: Spartan Fit!

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In case you haven’t noticed, I get down with plenty runs, races, and events. As a life-long athlete, nothing brings order and happiness to my life quite like training for something. It’s exciting, all-encompassing, and effects every aspect of my life: sleep, training, diet, nutrition, alcohol, and choices. When I have a schedule full of races (especially Spartan Races – AROO!) I find myself sleeping more and earlier, making healthier food choices, and cutting back on alcohol. It’s an easy, natural process because it makes logical sense.

That’s part of the reason I’m proud to participate in Spartan Races. It’s not just a race – it’s a thriving, vibrant community of people and an equally healthy, vivacious lifestyle. It’s a way of being, focused on health and mental and physical badassness all year round. That’s why all of us Spartans are so addicted and adamant about our big, international family. This lifestyle of working hard, eating right, and being tough is personified in co-founder Joe De Sena’s newest book, Spartan Fit! spartanfit

Spartan Fit! is a 31-day guide that won’t just get you ready to tackle one of our kickass obstacle races. It’s a cheat sheet to crafting a Spartan life from the ground up – no gym, products, or gimmicks required. The book focuses on utilizing our own bodyweight, mental toughness, and spirit to create a strong, sexy, and successful body that’s capable of handling any obstacle with gusto.

The beauty of a no-gym, no-equipment workout plan is multi-faceted; it preaches self-reliance, which in turns boosts self-esteem and confidence in all areas of life. It empowers people that are logistically, economically, or socially unable to join or uncomfortable in a gym setting to still get a great workout without monthly fees or judgment.  You can workout in your garage, the park, while your kids are at school or the baby’s sleeping. NO excuses, no exceptions.

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Since the Spartan Trifecta is coming out here to Hawaii in August (yay!) I’ll be gearing up to do a giveaway very soon! Hawaii folks, remember that the race sold out last year, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible!

Mahalo, and happy lifting, running, and being a badass 🙂

Motivation Monday: Body Love

  
This week I read an incredible article on FitSugar about body confidence, size acceptance and straight up happiness. In the cacophony of cleanses, fad diets and spotty nutritional advice all over the internet, it’s easy to forget the first step in making any positive changes in life: self acceptance. Self Love. Crafting your own happiness from the mind first, and the body second.

Although frustration, anger, and self hatred can be great motivators, changes are more powerful when they come from a place of love, instead of fear. Positive intentions yield positive results, whether you believe in karma in the cosmic sense or not.

As a thicker female, I’ve felt the societal pressures of body image weigh me down for most of my adolescent and adult life. Loving yourself when you’re not textbook ‘perfect’ isn’t easy – and growing into my shape as a teenager was rough. It hurts to see my younger family members going through the same thing – figuring out where they fit on the body spectrum, how they should feel about it, and what they can do to stay healthy physically without compromising their mental and spiritual wellbeing.

As much faith as I have in this world, I’m a realist at heart – to me, accepting myself at whatever size/shape/fitness level I’m at makes logical sense. Why would I feel bad about myself, when I’m the only me I have? This is the only body God/the Universe have blessed me with. These genes, curves, legs, are mine and mine alone. They have carried me through foreign countries, across marathon finish lines, powered me through incredible hikes and kicked me on to killer waves.

The least I could do in return is to love and appreciate them, exactly as they are.

Motivation Monday: Staying Fit & Happy While Injured

  Being injured is no walk in the park. It’s upsetting, frustrating, show-stopping, and causes general panic among the most seasoned athletes and runners. When friends of mine get hurt, I joke, Hey, what’s so bad about resting and watching Netflix for a week? When it happens to me, I want to throw my computer throw a window. I’m so bored from watching Netflix and being so still. The reason I run is because I’m restless; now, all that energy has nowhere to go. Except to seriously interfere with my sanity.

I’ve been off the road for about a week and a half, after injuring my back from a colossal case of overtraining. I was loving the changes in my body and energy levels so much that I got too crazy and woke up one morning physically unable to get out of bed. Back strains are no joke – it’s humbling how a little pain here and there can derail almost any activities or plans. The back is the boss of the body, and mine was forcing me to do nothing but rest.

  
Despite the pain, I’m shocked by how quickly I bounced back. The first day, I was convinced I’d be out of the gym & trails for at least a month. Yet, somehow, I felt better the next day….and the next. I was healing fast, and today, I’m finally read to tackle a short run and see how I feel.

Being injured after building up such a solid base and months of consistent good eating and training taught me a few things about being injured. While I’m no expert, here’s what I learned 🙂

1. Taking good care of yourself = faster healing

When we take good care of ourselves whole-heartedly – which means getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, and working out consistently – our bodies reward us. Particularly in times of injured strife. When we function well as a whole, we’re able to bounce back a lot faster.

 2. Nutrition is key

No matter how tough your workouts are, it’s the kitchen where abs are made & injuries are healed. Protein, potassium, flavonoids, antioxidants, iron, magnesium…they all aid in healing. Since I’ve been out, I’ve been shooting for at least 100g of protein a day to help my muscles, tendons and ligaments sort themselves out.

3.Keep it active

Rest is super important, but there’s a difference between laying-there-helplessly-all-day rest and active rest. Active rest means there’s lots of (gentle) stretching, foam rolling, icing, elevating, compression, and movement happening to facilitate healing. Even when I could barely move, I forced myself through some painstakingly gentle movements and stretches, followed by ice and a nap. The most important thing is to keep the rest of the body functional. Gentle yoga and stretching are great ways to let the body heal without losing strength & flexibility.

4.Rest is crucial

Once I felt a tiny bit better (not healed, but just better than before) it took every inch of self control to keep myself on the couch and off the trails. The problem is that a lot of runners and avid fitness freaks get hurt, rest for a few days, and then go back out there and go HAM – thus undoing all the rest they’ve already done. Unless you want to be on the bench for another week, it’s more cost effective to rest a few more days instead.

Motivation Monday: Marathonspiration

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Marathon training has crept into every aspect of my life lately. I’m always hungry, I’m always tired, and eternally stuck in runner-laundry purgatory. I’m constantly ducking into the copy room at work to  stretch. I’m asleep by 9pm most nights, given that I’ve somehow managed to stave off my nonstop hunger.

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Side effects aside, I am starting to really see my body changing. That lovely line that runs along the side of my calf is now a deep, sexy groove from my foot all the way up to my hip. My legs have leaned out, my abs have flattened, and the slightest hint ofrunner’s abs are starting to come through. I find myself craving healthy, beautiful foods like bananas, almond butter, vegan protein shakes and avocados. My happiness has runneth over.32bded4327cc079fc30de86fb8a8bcb0_400x400

Running has become such a crazy addiction that I’m heartbroken when my rest days roll around. Having a solid plan and a goal to work towards has cleared out so much chaos in my life. I can tune out, focus, and burn off all the stress, worry, and clutter. Every run feels like a victory.

I gathered up some of the best marathonspiration I could find to get you through a tough monday – since, like me, you’re probably stuck at the office daydreaming of your next PR.

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Motivation Monday: Making Changes

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Motivation Monday is usually all about fitness. Hard-bodied, brightly-colored, fitspo-quote-filled gems found after hours of happily scanning through Pinterest for the best out there. But fitness is only a small part of our daily lives, right? Just as we need to push ourselves through tough workouts and overcome unhealthy habits, we also need to push ourselves to make changes in other areas. Changes that lead to healthier, happier, and more at-peace lives.

Changes can be either negative or positive, welcome or undesired. And even intentional, positive changes can be overwhleming and terrifying. We often stay in broken relationships, at crummy jobs and in places we’re not happy because our comfort zone is, well comfortable. And shaking things up is anything but.

Whether it’s a relationship or job situation, I hope you find the courage and confidence to make the change. Here’s some real, positive motivation to do just that 🙂

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Motivation Monday: Self Love

 All aloha aside, I am happy to be back in California visiting with friends and family – some of which I haven’t seen in years. Every time I go back home, I feel as if I’ve spent the last weeks and months and years in a proverbial Narnia; so much time has passed, yet everything in the real world seems exactly the same.

While I’m here, enjoying the comfortable love and sameness of where I grew up, I notice how much I’ve changed. How the current me is similar to and different from the old me; how the future me may continue to grow. California, for me, is a lot of surfing with my Dad, riding bikes with my siblings, eating Mexican food, and catching up with my Mom. It’s also a lot of self-reflection.

Part of it is being surrounded by people that love me; old friends, a big, supportive family, and the humans that have watched me grow from a stubborn, adventurous child into a stubborn, adventurous adult. As I’ve spent more time with them, I’ve realized just how much I love myself; the person I was, the person I am, and the woman I feel myself becoming.

After a tough year of breakups and the harsh realities of leaving college and entering the workforce, I’ve realized just how important loving yourself is. In fact, it’s crucial. When you’re sure of who you are, it makes you confident in what you do, say, and act. Self-love enables you to think clearly and logically, and to stand your ground in times of uncomfort and conflict.

When you love yourself deeply, the world takes note. Others sense it. Our bosses, coworkers, acquaintances and friends treat us differently when we are comfortable with who we are. Why? Because they see us treat ourselves differently.

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When the worst things happen, self-love is the life raft that keeps us afloat. When my fiancé and I broke up, my world fell apart; I had to find a place to live, buy a new car, cancel a wedding, swallow a $1500 venue deposit and walk away from the person I never doubted to be my soul mate. There was a lot of crying and nightmares and despair, but I made it through. I honestly felt as if I separated into two people; the sad, broken me and the tough, lets-get-through-this me. We took care of each other, supported each other, and, over time, have reunited to forge a much stronger, savvier, and happier me.

Today’s Motivation Monday is all about self-love. Of course, this applies to our fitness journeys too. We operate either from a place of love, or fear. When we eat right and exercise because we truly love ourselves, and our bodies, and pull motivation from a place of love, we are unstoppable. Strong. Capable beyond belief.

This quote by Marianne Williamson is, by far, the greatest self-love quote I’ve ever heard:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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