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Elizabeth Barbour, M. Ed.
The Revitalized Business Woman
Missouri City (Houston), Texas

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Life is Short. Celebrate BIG!

In the middle of all the craziness and chaos in the world these days, I think it’s important to find joy where you can. And this week, I’ve got something to celebrate! It was 16 years ago this month that I started my coaching business!Back in the year 2000, when you told people that you were a coach they would invariably ask “For what sport?”

The coaching profession has come a long way. The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study estimates that there are now approximately 53,000 coaches worldwide. I think back in 2000, I remember the number was only about 10,000. Just think how many people are leading happier, richer, more fulfilling lives as a result of working with a business, life, career, health or productivity coach? I think it’s the best profession in the world and I’m so grateful to be part of it!

I’ve learned so much along the way and have had the honor and privilege of helping thousands of people around the country shift from tired to inspired in their personal and their professional lives.  I love that I’ve been able to serve in a variety of ways as a coach, speaker, retreat leader, trainer, facilitator, emcee, teleclass leader, writer and more!  

I’m so grateful for all of the clients I’ve had a chance to partner with, for the incredible mentors that I’ve been able to learn from and for all of the friends, colleagues and family members who have supported me on this journey of entrepreneurship! I love learning from other people’s stories and I’ve been grateful to share my own story, too.

If you have a big milestone that you are preparing to celebrate, I suggest you do it BIG! Whether it’s a landmark birthday, a wedding anniversary, a promotion (or retirement!), a new degree, or a business milestone, be sure to build in plenty of opportunities to celebrate. Life is short. Celebrate BIG! Here are some articles that may help you to celebrate your *next big thing*!

Got Gratitude? 3 Practices to Start Today!

My Six Word Stories. What Are Yours?

5 Great Reasons to Celebrate Life’s Milestones

15 Gems from 15 Years in Business

If you’ve got something you’re celebrating, tell me about it via email or over on Facebook! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Thanks for being part of my journey!



How Can You Pay It Forward?

With all the negativity and chaos in the world today, it is important that we share stories of light and generosity and collaboration. Our relationships with family, friends, and community members are critical for our health, well-being and happiness. And of course our business success, too! I’ve got a great story to share with you today about two of my colleagues, the value of networking and the joy of paying-it-forward by creating win-win experiences…

I got a surprise package in the mail last week. That's always exciting, isn't it? 

I saw on the return label that it was from my realtor, Sara Nguyen. I adore Sara, and she is always sending cool emails and eye-catching snail mail, not the boring things that a lot of realtors send (part of why she is a top producer nationwide for her company). For example, just today, she sent me a postcard of the upcoming Olympics events and what sports are on what days. Very helpful!

But this was different. It looked like a present. Fun!

Sure enough, when I opened it, there was a note inside that started off "Christmas in July!" along with a note lamenting the horrid heat in Texas and invoking dreams of cooler winter temps. (I’m right there with you, Sara!) She went on to say that she was giving me the gift of a product that she really liked and believed in…two Norwex microfiber cleaning cloths.

I was thrilled because I already like and use Norwex products. I bought some last year from the awesome Erin Mahaffey. Sure enough, when I turned over the package, Erin's contact information was listed as the Norwex representative. But when I got to thinking about it, I saw what an incredible opportunity that Sara had given Erin by choosing to purchase her products to give to her clients.

I sent Sara a text immediately to say "thank you" for the awesome gift. And then it dawned on me to ask her if she had met Erin at Sienna Women in Business, the networking group that I started almost 2 years ago, and she said yes. That was music to my ears! (I love knowing that I’ve helped to create a space that is a catalyst for other women to build relationships and do business together. Cool!)

Do you see how powerful networking can be? Sara could have easily gone to a local big box store, bought some cool cleaning cloths and sent them to her clients. Same note, similar gift, with the goal of keeping her name in front of her clients.

But because she met Erin in our networking group, and has learned to know, like and trust her… and her products.  Sara made the decision to buy in bulk from Erin and gave her a marketing opportunity as well. She gave her real estate clients a better quality product and an introduction to a saleswoman that she feels good about recommending other people to. And because Sara bought in bulk, Erin made sure to give her the best possible deal on the products and threw in some bonus extras to say thanks for the business. Win-Win!

Sara is a Pay It Forward kind of gal and that’s exactly what she did. I checked in with Erin this week and she told me that she’s hoping to garner some new business as a result of the mailing that Sara sent out. Of course that will make Erin happy and I know it would make Sara happy, too. She’s a naturally generous person and it shows through in how she runs her real estate business (including her client retention strategy!) No doubt, Erin will likely refer some potential clients to Sara down the road because of the success of this collaborative effort.

Can you think of a time in your life where you paid it forward or where you were the recipient of someone who paid it forward to you?


  • Have you ever paid the toll for the car behind you in line? Or their coffee? Or even their lunch? Last week, a friend of mine bought lunch for 5 police officers at Chipotle because she just felt like it.
  • Have you ever stopped to help someone in need? A mom with a screaming baby in the store? An elderly person crossing the street? A car stranded by the side of the road? A few years ago, I was driving my mom to MDAnderson during her cancer treatment and I got a flat tire. A thoughtful cowboy (I do live in Texas, y’all!) stopped to help us and offered to change my tire.
  • Have you ever made a meal for a neighbor with a new baby? A sick friend? Someone who’s new to the neighborhood? I organized a meal delivery for my sick neighbor last year and was amazed at the number of people in the community who signed up to bring meals who never even knew the family.


Revitalizing Action: Think about any experiences you’ve had with Paying It Forward. How did they make you feel? Commit to Paying It Forward this week to at least one person (maybe more!) and tell me how it goes! Send me an email or tell me about it over on Facebook!

Here’s to Paying It Forward!


P.S. And if you have no clue what I’m talking about, watch the movie Pay It Forward with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment. Worth your time!

P.P.S. And no matter where you live, if you want to check out the amazing Norwex product line, be sure to check out Erin Mahaffey’s website. And if you’re Houston based and need to buy or sell a home, Sara Nguyen is a rockstar. 


Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

With the tumultuous times that we are living in, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the world around us. It seems that 2016 has been a challenging year for the world, for our nation and for individuals. Please let 2016 be over soon.  2016 sucks. Let's push the reset button for 2016. These are all comments I’ve seen on social media in recent months. I will admit that I was one of those people trying to press the reset button (with no avail!) earlier this year as my personal life sustained challenge after challenge.

The events of recent weeks have been the catalyst for a variety of emotions. Last week I shared some small actions that I personally am taking to educate myself about the racial issues that are plaguing our nation and made some suggestions for you to consider, too. I appreciated hearing from many of you and learning what you are doing to educate yourself on this very important topic as well.

Peace, or the state of tranquility and quiet, has been elusive in recent weeks for me and many friends and colleagues that I know. But with strong intentions and inspired actions, peace really can be ours. I can’t guarantee it will last for days or weeks but even if you can find a few minutes or a few hours in the midst of the chaos of your daily life, it will help to fill you up to face the world again!

So where can you go to find peace in the midst of chaos?

Your backyard.  My friend and client Maureen Cooper, an inspirational personal trainer, does a 5 minute gratitude walk in her backyard every morning and takes a photo of something beautiful and she posts it on Facebook. I look forward to her posts every day to see what gems she’s found! If your backyard isn’t the spot, find a place in nature close to your house that will fit the bill!

Your journal. One strategy employed by famous author and artist, Julia Cameron, is the concept of morning pages. Before you start your day, she recommends writing three whole pages to empty your head. That way, you step into your day with a “clean slate” and a sense of peace.

Meditation. My friend Nina Patel is a busy mother of three but she finds time to meditate every day and she’s one of the most zen people I’ve met! I try to meditate daily although I admit I’m not consistent. But it’s amazing what 10-20 minutes of sitting in silence can do to quiet the mind and recalibrate the body.

A concert. I took my mom to a short concert by a former Broadway singer last weekend and she loved it. We were in a gorgeous church with beautiful stained glass and as the music filled the air, it was a very peaceful oasis from the rest of the world. Music is always a balm for the soul.

Other ideas? Museums? A place of worship? The ocean or mountains? Where else might you go? I’d love to hear about your favorite peaceful place – drop me a note!


I’ve gathered some favorite quotes about peace for you. Feel free to use them as a journal prompt, as a social media share or perhaps start a discussion with your family over dinner one night about how you want to try to contribute to more peace in the world.

  •   Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.  Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
  • Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  Francis of Assisi
  • If you want to end the war, then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.  Malala Yousafzai
  • We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.  Dalai Lama
  • Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.  Albert Einstein
  • You cannot find peace by avoiding life.  Virginia Woolf
  • Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.  John F. Kennedy
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18
  • True peace is not merely the absence of tension… it is the presence of justice.  Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.  John Lennon

Revitalizing Action: How will you be seeking peace within yourself today? How will you contribute to a more peaceful world today? Go seek peace, do peace, be peace… and let me know how it goes!

Peace be with you,