The Bellwether January 1, 2024





Editor’s Note

As we embrace 2024, The Bellwether's vision is clear. We aim to influence and inspire, encouraging businesses to adopt our Credo. Our goal is not just to reach but to resonate with 10,000 companies, guiding them towards a framework of ethical and conscientious business. Looking Ahead Our Movement We invite you to delve into our pages, find inspiration, and join us in a movement that seeks to reform business culture. Together, let's make this year a landmark in creating a world where businesses thrive responsibly and equitably. Enjoy the journey through this edition, and here's to a year of living well and prospering fairly!

Happy New Year and welcome to this special edition of The Bellwether Magazine. As we step into a new year, full of potential and promise, our commitment to being a unique voice in the entrepreneurial world remains steadfast.


The past year has been a journey of discovery and innovation. In a world brimming with content, The Bellwether has stood as a beacon of insightful, ad- free journalism, dedicated to entrepreneurs and business leaders with a passion for fashion, travel, and diverse cultures. Ethical Compass In an era where the line between right and legal can blur, we continue to champion the integrity of business practices. Our mission extends beyond providing exceptional content; it's about nurturing a community where ethics and values are not just words but actions.

Executive Editor Michael Garrison

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ABOUT THE TEAM The Bellwether Magazine began as a humble passion project by a group of visionary entrepreneurs with a shared goal—to create a platform that celebrates the journey of entrepreneurship, from the thrill of starting a venture to the triumphs of scaling and beyond. Like you, we know the exhilarating highs and daunting challenges of forging one's path in the business world. It was this shared experience that drove us to build a community of like-minded individuals, pooling together our collective wisdom to inspire and support each other on our entrepreneurial quests.

Tanya Brockett | Managing Editor

Deborah Froese | Contributing Writer

Michael Garrison | Executive Editor

Debra Wallace | Contributing Writer

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Real Estate Road Map



Whats the Word

Lightlines 24

After The Game

51 Tech Bytes


76 Not Forgotten

Health Hacks


Exercise is a key factor in managing work-life balance, reducing stress, and enhancing productivity and decision-making in business, as supported by scientific evidence and case studies.



The Bellwether Features... Tatiana Pushkina's travel experiences emphasize the value of real-world exploration for personal growth and cultural understanding, beyond the confines of virtual interactions. Boris Blum 's approach, as discussed in "A Reason to Act," centers on guiding high performers to achieve impactful results by making elegant, purpose-driven decisions aligned with their core principles.


Money With Morals


Distinguishing between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion, debunking the misconception of "tax loopholes," and highlighting accessible tax-saving strategies and philanthropic opportunities.

Author Advantage


The article addresses and offers solutions to four prevalent self- deceptions that hinder aspiring authors: lack of time, doubts about writing ability, uncertainty about starting, and finding a topic to write about.

STAY FOCUSED stay determined give up AND NEVER

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Maximizing Returns The Art of Depreciating Investment Properties

Real estate investment is a multifaceted venture that goes beyond mere property acquisition. Savvy investors understand that the true value lies in the strategic utilization of tax benefits, and one of the most potent tools in their arsenal is property depreciation. In this article, we will dissect the often overlooked yet crucial practice of appraising land and improvements separately, emphasizing why investors stand to gain significantly from this approach.

depreciation, it's crucial to conduct a meticulous appraisal that distinctly values the land and improvements.

former, reducing their taxable income. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows for this through the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), enabling property owners to recoup a portion of their investment each year. Beyond the immediate tax relief, depreciation can also serve as a shield against capital gains taxes when the property is eventually sold. By having a lower adjusted cost basis due to depreciation, investors may find themselves with a significantly reduced tax burden upon the sale of the property.

Strategic Itemization: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

In the appraisal process, it's not uncommon for non-property items to be mistakenly included. Trees, landscaping, or even certain fixtures may find their way into the overall valuation. To truly harness the power of depreciation, it's in the investor's best interest to have these items either removed from the appraisal or meticulously itemized in a separate category. This not only refines the property's true value but also enhances the tax advantages.

The Appraisal Dance: Land vs. Improvements

The Value Proposition: Pros and Cons

When investing in rental houses, apartments, or duplexes, it's imperative to recognize that a property comprises both land and improvements. The former, being a non-depreciable asset, holds its value over time. On the contrary, improvements— buildings, structures, and fixtures—gradually lose value due to wear and tear. To optimize the benefits of

Tax Implications and Advantages


The magic of depreciation lies in its ability to translate into tangible tax benefits. By accurately differentiating between depreciable improvements and non- depreciable elements, investors can claim deductions on the

1. Flow: Depreciation allows investors to offset taxable income, resulting in higher cash flows during the property's holding period. Increased Cash

2. Tax Deferral: Through depreciation, investors can defer taxes, freeing up

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more capital for further investments or property improvements.

1. Landscaping and Outdoor Features:

Identify and separate the value of landscaping elements such as trees, shrubs, and outdoor structures. These are typically non- depreciable and should be categorized separately.

3. By maximizing depreciation benefits, investors can significantly enhance their overall return on investment. Enhanced Returns:

2. Furniture and Decor:


If the property comes furnished, the value of furniture, decor, and other personal property items should be separated from the overall appraisal. These items are not considered part of the depreciable structure.

1. While depreciation provides immediate benefits, it's essential to be aware of recapture tax, which comes into play when the property is sold at a profit. Recapture Tax: 2. Reduced Basis: Depreciation reduces the property's adjusted cost basis, potentially leading to higher capital gains taxes upon sale. 3. Market Fluctuations: The property's overall value may fluctuate independently of improvements, impacting the investor's return. In the arena of real estate investment, recognizing the nuances of property depreciation is akin to unlocking a hidden treasure chest. By meticulously appraising land and improvements separately, strategically itemizing non- property elements, and leveraging the tax advantages, investors can maximize their returns and position themselves for long-term success. It's not merely about acquiring properties but understanding the financial intricacies that transform a real estate portfolio into a thriving investment powerhouse.

3. Appliances:

While appliances are often included in a property, their value should be itemized separately. This includes items like refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines.

4. Specialized Equipment:

If the property includes specialized equipment for specific purposes (e.g., industrial machinery, medical equipment), their value should be separated. These items may have their depreciation schedules.

5. Unique Fixtures:

Certain fixtures, especially those with high aesthetic or historic value, may not depreciate at the same rate as the building itself. Examples include chandeliers, antique fixtures, or custom-made installations.

6. Detached Structures:

If there are detached structures on the property, such as a separate garage or workshop, their value should be appraised separately from the main building.

7. Land Improvements:

While the land itself is not depreciable, certain land improvements may have a separate depreciation schedule. Examples include paved driveways, fences, or retaining walls.

Michael Garrison is an investor, real estate entrepreneur, and construction industry consultant whose mission has been to promote purpose, security, and success. He was once a radio celebrity and is also the executive editor at The Bellwether magazine. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn..

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Click Here to Read Previous Articles by Michael

Health Hacks for Happiness

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Exercise, Business, and Happiness Business demands and personal aspirations often collide in today’s world. Finding the right process to manage work and happiness can be daunting. However, a growing body of scientific evidence and compelling case studies suggest that there is a powerful tool at our disposal—exercise. Beyond its well-known physical benefits, regular physical activity has a profound positive impact on business success and overall happiness. A well-rested mind is more creative, productive, and resilient in facing the demands of the business world. The Science Behind Exercise & Happiness

She worked with a personal trainer and Next Crest for over two years to reshape her next decade. Losing over 140 pounds was life-changing in and of itself. However, that doesn’t often complete the happiness equation. She took up her childhood dream of becoming a ballroom dancer. That hinged on her remaining at a dancer fitness level. Over the last twelve months, Izzo has kept the weight off by exercising daily. She is competing in Las Vegas in an International Ballroom Dance competition and has grown her business to over $30 million in annual sales. Not only did it elevate her life and business, but her family started following her lead by exploring their happiness factors. I asked Izzo if her business would have seen this growth without her significant health journey. She quickly responded, “Not in a million years!” More than the money, she is living her childhood dream of wearing ball gowns and dancing with renowned

Before delving into the impact of exercise on business success, it's essential to understand the science behind how physical activity can boost happiness. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, often called "feel-good" hormones. These natural mood elevators reduce stress, improve mood, and increase our quality of sleep. Stress reduction leads the way as to what we find of immediate benefit. Numerous studies, including a meta- analysis published by the American Psychological Association, have shown that regular exercise significantly reduces stress levels. When stress is managed, individuals are better equipped to focus on their work, make sound decisions, and foster positive relationships. Sleep runs a close second to stress in our happiness. Exercise has been linked to better sleep quality, as reported by the National Sleep Foundation.

If we put the data aside and look at real results that prove the claims, we can get a front- row seat at our happiness as we grow in life.

Case Study: $10 Million to $30 Million and Down 146 Pounds

To illustrate the impact of exercise on business, let's examine a first-hand case study —prominent real estate leader Amy Izzo. Izzo was running a $10 million real estate practice near Chicago three years ago. She weighed over 400 pounds and ran her business based on her physical abilities. That is to say that she never showed a client a two-story property because she struggled with climbing stairs. There was a grave point in time when she knew something must change. She was not happy or living to her potential.

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instructors and dancers as she builds generational wealth for her family.

survey found that 90% of leaders believed that regular exercise positively impacted their leadership skills. Strategies for Incorporating Exercise into Your Business Life Understanding the positive impact of exercise on both happiness and business success is the first step. The next step is to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine. Set Realistic Goals: Begin with achievable exercise goals that fit your schedule. Start small and gradually increase your commitment, whether it's a 30- minute daily walk, a weekly yoga class, or a gym membership. Time Management: Prioritize exercise by scheduling it into your calendar. Treat it with the same level of importance as a business meeting or deadline. Find an Accountability Partner: Partnering with a friend or colleague can make exercise more enjoyable and hold you accountable. Variety is Key: Mix up your exercise routine to prevent boredom. Try different activities like swimming, hiking, cycling, or dancing to keep things interesting. Track Your Progress: Use fitness apps or wearable devices to monitor your progress and stay

motivated. “That which is measured is improved.”

In the quest for business success and happiness, exercise is a potent tool that should not be underestimated. It's time to recognize that exercise is not a distraction from your business goals; it's an essential ingredient for achieving them. So, lace up those sneakers, hit the gym, or embark on an outdoor adventure—your business and happiness will thank you.

Exercise Success



Now that we understand the profound possibilities exercise can have on our happiness, let's explore how this happiness translates into business success. What key transition tripled Izzo’s business in just a couple of years? Enhanced Productivity: When leaders and employees are happier and less stressed, productivity soars. A study published in Health Affairs found that leaders who engage in regular physical activity are 27% more likely to report better job performance. Decision-Making: Exercise not only boosts mood but also sharpens cognitive functions. A British Journal of Sports Medicine study revealed that regular physical activity enhances executive functions, including problem-solving, decision-making, and multitasking. Improved Better Leadership: Physical fitness is often linked to leadership qualities such as discipline, determination, and resilience. Leaders who prioritize exercise tend to inspire and motivate their teams more effectively. A Center for Creative Leadership

Kevin Hoover is the founder of Next Crest, a consulting & coaching firm for business leaders who want to explore a more profitable & exciting next decade of life. He has written for Inman News, been featured in Yahoo! Finance, and has released a new quick-read book, Escape the Rut: The Midlife Awakening. Connect with Kevin & get a free copy of Escape the Rut at

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Meet Stacy Renee Wig, the powerhouse behind The Bodybuilding Roadmap. As an IFBB Bodybuilding Pro and Trifitness Hall of Fame athlete, Stacy’s achievements have placed her in many fitness magazines and online publications. With her experience and passion, Stacy coaches middle-aged men and women to reclaim their fitness and love their bodies again. Connect with Stacy at for a complimentary breakthrough session and unlock your potential!

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Hey there! How many times have you tossed your healthy habits aside over the holidays as an excuse that THIS YEAR, I am going to eat cleaner, stop snacking, exercise daily, and journal each night? Then you desperately make the commitment to change all of your self- limiting habits as soon as your hangover ends on January 1. How many years have you literally not made it to January 2? A perfect example of this is the influx of people joining gyms in the month of January just to quickly return to old habits and hit the snooze or go out for happy hour instead of “gym hour”. Why do we keep setting ourselves up for failure? There is a different strategy that is less overwhelming and has a much better chance of solidifying new healthy habits that result in a body you love and a much more energetic and fulfilling life. Let's dive into the game-changing concept of the 1% rule and how it can help you break free from the New Year's resolution cycle. Instead of overwhelming yourself with all of the lofty goals at once, let's focus on small, manageable steps that lead to monumental progress over time. Remember, this process is not about perfection but rather a powerful approach to finding your sexy and keeping it! The 1% Rule: Unlocking Lasting Transformation in 2024

"We cannot change our past, but we can start where we are and change the ending." - C.S. Lewis -

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Here is an example of how the 1% rule works:

Day 3: Prioritize Restful Sleep!! Set aside 15 minutes before your usual bedtime to wind down. Examples: 1. Use this time to read a book 2. Listen to calming music 3. Practice relaxation techniques that promote better sleep. 4. Do 2-3 Restorative yoga poses

The above provides many examples, just focus on ONE that best suits YOU that you can stick with each day. These are simply examples but a great place to start. Imagine if you adopted 7 new small habits week 1 and then spent week 2 solidifying these new small changes…what a great way to set yourself up for success. Embracing one daily habit from above takes approximately 36 minutes per day to vastly improve your overall health and wellness inside and out. The great thing about these habits is that many, you can also share with your kids, spouse, friends to broaden your relationship and share a healthy journey. Remember, the 1% rule is about consistent progress. Embrace the power of daily small steps that add up to significant results over time. As the days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a transformative year, your dedication may yield a remarkable 365% improvement by the end of 2024. Stay motivated and know that you have the ability to make profound changes in your health, fitness, and overall well- being. Let's embrace the 1% rule and create a vibrant and extraordinary 2024!

Week One: Embrace the Power of 1%

Day 1: Nutrition Hacks: Make a small dietary change that supports your fitness goals and then carry that habit throughout the week. Here are some simple examples: Remember…do not choose ALL of these but rather your biggest challenge that will have a “domino effect” on other self-limiting habits 1. Eliminate non-fibrous carbs at all meals outside of pre and post-workout. 2. Stop noshing after 7:00 pm 3. Incorporate a minimum of 4 oz of lean protein at lunch and dinner and always have a protein source at breakfast 4. Keep a mixer bottle with whey protein in your gym bag or car for after workouts to improve those gains…maybe also a banana so you have carbs and protein to repair those muscles 5. Before grabbing a snack, ask if you are hungry

Carry this habit on throughout the week and if life gets in the way, just get back after it!

Day 4: Roll Your Way to Recovery!! Commit to 3-5 minutes of foam rolling before your workouts. This simple yet effective practice helps improve mobility, reduce muscle tension, and prevent injuries. Day 5: Veggies for Vitality!! Add one more serving of veggies to your daily meals. They are packed with essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that support overall health and vitality. For example: - Add more veggies to your recipes like stir fry, chili, stews, etc - Add veggies to your morning meal like an omelet or egg scramble - Snack on raw veggies and hummus Day 6: Discover the Power of Stillness!! Set aside just 5 minutes each day for guided meditation. Find a quiet space, focus on your breath, and let go of any stress or tension. Embrace the calm and clarity it brings. Day 7: Nurture Relationships!! Allocate one hour each week solely for connecting with friends. Examples include: 1. Write snail mail letters 2. Make phone calls 3. Send small thoughtful gifts 4. Create short "thinking of you" videos or even voice messages

CHOOSE ONE or customize your hack to your personal habits.

Day 2: Prepare and Conquer!! Spend 5- 10 minutes each night preparing for the next day. Here are some examples: 1. Lay out your workout clothes 2. Have morning supplements ready 3. List priorities for the next day and keep them concise (example: 3 main priorities and 2 others) 4. Set timers for important meetings/tasks. 5. Have meals ready to grab and go 6. Do the dishes or put them in the dishwasher. 7. Clean your space….a cluttered space = a cluttered mind

WHICH of the above would best set you up for success?

Strengthen your bonds and enrich your life.

Empowering Women in Business: Embracing Our Cyclical Nature

Being a woman comes with its own set of unique challenges and triumphs in the business world. It's a journey marked by resilience, determination, and the courage to push through barriers. Many women today face the demands of corporate life while silently grappling with their own pain. The belief that one must push through and keep going is a familiar refrain, often leaving their well-being on the back burner. In this environment, many women feel a disconnect from what defines them as a woman. The misconception that solutions lie in doing more and finding quick fixes perpetuates the cycle of suffering. What we often fail to realize is that the power for change lies within us, rooted in our lifestyle choices and self-care practices. One of the key, yet often overlooked, factors contributing to the struggles faced by women in business is stress. It's the silent disruptor, wreaking havoc on our hormonal balance and exacerbating existing symptoms. Recognizing stress as the number one adversary is the first step towards reclaiming control over our physical and emotional well- being.

Today, a staggering 80% of women grapple with hormonal imbalances, a significant portion of which remain unaware of their condition. This statistic highlights the urgent need for a paradigm shift in how we approach women's health in the workplace. In the pursuit of success, it's crucial to acknowledge that our bodies are not invincible. Ignoring the signs and pushing through can have long-lasting repercussions. We must learn to prioritize our health, recognizing that it is not a sign of weakness, but a testament to our strength and self-respect.

To thrive in the world of business, women must embrace a holistic approach to their well- being. It starts with acknowledging the power within us to effect change through conscious lifestyle choices. By nurturing our bodies and minds, we pave the way for a more balanced, fulfilled, and empowered existence. As women in business, we have the capacity to redefine the narrative. It's time to break free from the notion that success comes at the cost of our health and well-being. Instead, let us forge a path that celebrates our unique strengths and embraces the cyclical nature of our bodies. By fostering a culture of support, understanding, and empowerment, we create an environment where women can thrive. Reflecting on the conversations I had with my mother, I'm pained by the knowledge of her silent struggles. Like countless women, she lacked the knowledge and resources available today. She endured surgeries, battled fibroids, and faced ovarian cysts. Her uterus, the very symbol of womanhood, was taken from her. It didn't have to be this way, and it doesn't have to be for the millions of women still suffering.

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Women possess an incredible capacity for multitasking, often putting their needs last. We're adept at juggling responsibilities, even when we yearn for rest. How many times have you wanted to cry out, "Just give me a break!"? The turning point for me came when I listened to my body and made a decision that few understood. A job in marketing, once my dream career, had become a source of exhaustion and apathy. It wasn't a reflection of my performance, but my body's plea for change. It was a moment of saying no to the job, to the naysayers, and yes to myself. Have you ever ignored your body's whispers, only to have them grow louder until you had no choice but to listen? Today is the day to heed those messages. Your body loves you, and it knows what's best for you. Imagine a life where you knew this, where you honored your body's wisdom. It's time to debunk the myth that pain, PMS, and hormonal imbalances are normal. This is your wake- up call. Imagine a life where you feel vibrant and in harmony with your body's natural rhythm. Embracing the cyclical nature of our menstrual cycle unlocks a world of vitality, creativity, and balance. Through the four phases – follicular, ovulatory,

luteal, and menstrual – we tap into our body's symphony of hormones, enhancing our well- being and productivity. The follicular phase, akin to spring, brings a surge of energy and creativity. The ovulatory phase, our summer, primes us for peak productivity and focus. The luteal phase, akin to fall, calls for self-care and introspection. The menstrual phase, our winter, invites us to slow down and prioritize self- care. By aligning with these phases, we honor our unique strengths and thrive. It's time to let go of the expectation of consistent performance every

day and recognize the power of embracing our cyclical nature.

Envision a world where women harmonize with their natural cycles, supporting and uplifting one another in embracing this innate rhythm. This transformation begins with each individual. Begin today. Place self- care at the forefront, foster meaningful connections with fellow women, and be kind to yourself. Embrace your authentic nature, align with your cycles, and unlock the boundless power within. Embodying womanhood means attuning to the wisdom of your own body—a truly empowering evolution.

Jessica Karwat is a Women’s Health Expert, Vegan Nutritionist, Trainer, and Yoga Teacher. Through her Women’s Academy of Transformation, she has empowered numerous women worldwide to thrive, heal their relationship with food, and reclaim their confidence. Jess is also a TEDx speaker, devoted vegan advocate, and passionate about women’s empowerment.

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The Law Of The Lady

Transforming Memories, Transforming Lives: The Power of Memory Reframing By: Lenora Edwards, M.S.

Have you ever experienced a memory from your past that suddenly resurfaces, bringing with it a flood of emotions, both positive and negative? Memories have a unique way of staying with us, influencing our actions and emotions, even years after the events have occurred. These memories, whether pleasant or painful, can significantly impact our lives and choices. The truth is, we store a multitude of memories not just in our brains but in our bodies as well. According to experts like Bessel van der Kolk and Babette Rothschild, our bodies retain memories and emotional impressions, especially those related to difficult or overwhelming experiences, often below the level of conscious awareness. Our body and subconscious mind retain somatic memories of distressing events such as shame, humiliation, and abandonment, which continue to unconsciously influence our behaviors, health, and decisions long after our conscious mind has forgotten or repressed the original incidents. Even when our conscious mind forgets or represses painful events, our body and subconscious still carry subtle imprints that respond and react to triggers in the present. While our conscious mind may move forward, our subconscious mind and our body maintain a grip on the past. But what if there was a way to transform these memories, release their emotional grip on us, and communicate with our bodies by bridging verbal language with the sensory language of the nervous system? This is where Holographic Memory Resolution® (HMR) comes into play. HMR is an incredible technique designed to help individuals overcome emotional pain from their past. As an educational and therapeutic process, this "emotional reframing" technique is categorized as a body-centered, client-centered" form of

therapy. It operates on the fundamental premise that memories are malleable and that by shifting our perspective and emotionally reframing these memories, we can communicate with our nervous system in a language it understands, ultimately allowing us to leave behind the pain and move forward. Recent research published in September 2023 showed promising results. In a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research & Clinical Practice, participants reported reduced anxiety, PTSD, and emotional well- being improvements after using HMR. While more studies are needed, this initial evidence suggests HMR may help resolve memories at the core sensory level, facilitating the rewriting of old narratives. The concept behind HMR is rooted in the idea that our bodies are not just passive vessels for our minds but intricate containers of memories and emotions. These memories, both positive and negative, are encoded in our bodies and can be triggered by various cues in our daily lives. For instance, a childhood memory of failure might deter us from pursuing a dream job or cause us to remain in unhealthy relationships due to painful memories of parental conflict. HMR harnesses the innate sensory language of the body and nervous system to help resolve distressing memories and feelings from the past. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us through a primal vocabulary that experts like Dr. Deepak Chopra refer to as our sensory language. This sensory language expresses itself through metaphors of colors, shapes, textures, and sounds – a mode of communication we instinctively understood from birth, according to experts. As a board-certified Speech- Language Pathologist (SLP) with specialized

training in verbal communication, my education did not encompass this profound unspoken lexicon. HMR taps into the body's primal sensory language, allowing the release of emotional charges trapped in memories without reliving them. This process empowers us to unlock our full potential by aligning empowering thoughts and emotions with the body's innate wisdom. HMR provides a pathway to regain mastery over emotions that once overwhelmed us, moving beyond obstacles that previously held us back. HMR equips us with tools to rewrite limiting inner narratives and establish an empowering connection with our nervous system through its sensory language. So ponder this: What might it feel like to transform memories that once constrained you? If you could let go of self-doubt, how might you boldly pursue your dreams? Consider this: What if you could harness your memories to build confidence instead of shatter it? By aligning your inner voice with your body's wisdom, you reclaim the power to create your future unbound by the past. HMR guides this inner alignment, allowing us to overcome the obstacles within and finally move forward freely into our highest potential.

Lenora a communication coach and board-certified speech- language pathologist, integrates clinical expertise with certifications in Holographic Memory Edwards,

Resolution®, NLP, and hypnosis. Through her practice, she empowers individuals to rewrite limiting narratives, overcome inner obstacles, and communicate confidently. Lenora is dedicated to guiding people towards their empowered, authentic voices. Explore more at Page 19



ONE THOUSAND, ONE-ON-ONE, AND ONE HUNDRED AND TWO. I was recently asked what road map led me to create a thriving speaker’s academy for retired professional athletes and what my intention was. Three numbers emerged as I reflected on what brought me to where I am today.


Over the years, I have taught others that if people don’t laugh at you when you share your goals, your goals are not big enough. And when naysayers tell you you cannot achieve your goals, use it as fuel to do it anyway. When I was a young boy of about six years old, I set three goals for myself: 1.To get paid to play basketball, To play with and against the top players in the game, and 2. 3.To travel the world. Those may sound like lofty goals for a young, motherless boy from Panama City, but those were my intentions. I was not concerned with how I would accomplish them; I just knew I would.

I cried when I received my first check for playing professional basketball in Costa Rica. It was only one thousand dollars, but it was a long-term goal achieved. Mind you, I didn’t say how much I wanted to be paid, I just said I wanted to be paid! One down, two to go. The next goal was achieved when I left college to play professionally in various countries and just before signing a contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. I scored my most significant role in a commercial, doubling for Michael Jordan—an unforgettable three- day, one-on-one shoot for one of the most popular commercials of all time. Two down, one to go.

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During my ten years playing with and being captain of the Globetrotters and my recent travels as a speaker, I have now been to one hundred and two countries. My most recent trip was to Tanzania on vacation. Three down, and they keep coming. That young kid who set big goals that others saw as impossible has grown to achieve all of those goals and more. Though initially achieved, each goal can continue to be fulfilled repeatedly. I can still get paid for basketball in some way, still “play” with top players in the field, and still travel. Now, I accomplish this as the founder of the Daley Speaker’s Academy. I retired from the Globetrotters while there was still game left in me. I sometimes felt guilty for leaving when I didn’t have some lofty project to move to, but I wanted to take what I had learned in other directions. While still playing, I finished my college degree online while traveling worldwide. Despite naysayers saying I couldn’t play ball and complete my degree, I graduated with high distinction. I look for those little motivations to drive me to success. THE GAME DOESN’T HAVE TO END

I began motivational speaking while still playing basketball and expected to transition to it full-time after retirement. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the industry or how to run a successful speaking business then, so my first attempt failed. I had to work, so my first significant venture after the game was working at an entry-level corporate America job. Here I was, a 6’ 5” tall man sitting in a cubicle at thirty-eight years old. Yet, using my skills as a player led me to quick success and fast promotions within six months. I then went on to help a startup company reach a $2.2 billion valuation during my tenure there. Leadership, being a team player, getting up after a fall, and setting goals to achieve afforded me great success after the game. After receiving coaching and training, I began booking big gigs in motivational speaking with large corporations and universities. Other athletes noticed and asked how I transitioned after the game to create anew. Some are not ready to walk into a 9-5 job. Many athletes end up being coaches in their sports. That made me feel like a babysitter, caring for people’s kids who didn’t want to be in sports camp but had to go somewhere. I took a different route into real estate, authorship, and speaking. I saw the gap in support for

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The Academy guides athletes through video training, customized support, handouts, worksheets, and tailored one-on-one coaching. One of the key benefits of the Academy is that we match the speaking format with the athletes’ personalities. For example, I am more comfortable speaking to larger audiences than small groups. I prefer a keynote to a slide presentation. So, I gravitate towards larger audiences as they align with my dynamic personality, yet I remain open to engaging with more intimate groups as well.


You are doing this world a disservice if you are not out there sharing your story. You have a wealth of experiences that other people can benefit from. Others can learn so much from you. Be prepared, share your story, and be compensated for your impact.

athletes transitioning out of the game and developed a curriculum tailored to them and their needs.


The Daley Speakers Academy provides a Five Step Road Map specifically for professional or collegiate athletes: Vision & Goals: Setting meaningful goals based on your clear vision and the why behind it. 1. Crafting Their Message: Designing a speaking presentation in alignment with their values and message. We work with them to extract their greatness and prepare them to become experts in that industry/area. 2. Branding: We help them create a brand that represents them or their philosophy. 3. Marketing: We help establish a marketing system for their business. 4. Booking: We teach strategies to help them book engagements of $5,000 or better. 5.

Dr. Kevin Daley is a leadership speaker, award-winning author, and global entertainer serving as the CEO and founder of The Daley Speakers Academy. His innovative coaching company is dedicated to guiding former professional and collegiate athletes in transforming their athletic narratives into engaging, paid speaking engagements. Master your post-game life at and book Kevin to speak at

New Speaker Tip: Use a quality sizzle reel/demo video. A bad video lowers the value of your brand. Don’t rush it; wait until you can produce a quality video.

With Deborah Froese

Life Story

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to settle back, evaluate the year gone by, and plan for 2024. But consider taking a different approach this year and examine your life as though it were a story. In his book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, Jonathan Gottschall writes, “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” So, if your mind is going to stay up all night anyway, why not give it a story that works in your favor? Just like a story, life has turning points that occur when events or circumstances propel us in new and sometimes unexpected directions. Welcoming a new partner or child into your family. Losing a job or someone you love. Starting a new business. Change forces decisions and character growth. The greater the adversity, the more compelling our story and expansion become. Embrace your life story by examining its turning points thus far and envisioning new ones for the road ahead. Grab a pen, a notebook, and your favorite beverage, find a comfortable place to muse, and begin.

New Turning Points

Now, dream. Employ every visioning tool at your disposal. Picture yourself living the life of your dreams and imagine the events—or turning points —that would help you achieve them. Don’t skimp here. Think like a novelist and let your imagination run wild. Begin by determining your overarching goal. This could be an objective for the year or a longer period of time. Make sure you choose something that really resonates with you, regardless of what anyone else may think. 1. Why do you want to achieve this goal? Dig into the nitty gritty and consider how this goal makes you feel. 2. What are the most audacious steps you must take to achieve this goal? 3. 4.What synchronicities would help? Organize your ideas into a logical progression so that one step naturally leads to the next. 5.

Your Story

Now that you’ve figured out your life’s turning points, write your story. Yes, you heard me correctly. Draft a story about a character—you— struggling to reach a goal. As you write, describe the setting and people around you. Explore the emotions that arise as you get closer to your goals and how you celebrate your achievements. Emotion is key: if you can feel it, your brain registers it as real.

Previous Turning Points

First, review. Make a list of the turning points in your life thus far and arrange them chronologically. They don’t have to be big events, just impactful moments, the ones that tend to stay with you. Reflect on each one. 1.What happened? How did each of these moments impact your life? 2. 3.What did you learn from them? 4.How have they moved you forward?

That’s a powerful kind of magic!

You don’t need to share your story with anyone but yourself. Read it regularly to visualize the future and create momentum for your journey. Life is a story, and you’re writing it whether you take pen in hand or not, so why not make it a good one?

Author, editor, and story coach Deborah Froese is on a mission to spark change through the stories we share.

Click Here to Read Previous Lightlines by Deborah

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Corporate Retreats: A Catalyst for Business Success

Corporate retreats, whether spanning a day or a weekend, offer a strategic platform for companies to address critical issues, foster team cohesion, and realign their purpose in an ever- evolving business landscape. In this article, we explore the key goals companies can tackle during retreats and the myriad benefits that arise from this unique environment.



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If you have any questions or want to see if you qualify to build your own retreats... Catherine Kontos, Founder & RetreatEO at RetreatBoss™

Click Here to Read Previous Articles by Catherine

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Travel Itinerary

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Beyond Borders The Entrepreneur's Guide to Unlocking Global Opportunities Through Travel

Traveling and seeing planet Earth makes you come alive with gratitude for the riches that are within our grasp and much more empathetic to the unique cultures of distant lands. Have you ever asked yourself what your wildest dreams are? Yes, I know at different life periods we all want different things. As we mature, we all want to settle down with family and kids, have a beautiful big house and a dog, and have cozy Christmas dinners together with our beloved next to the fire pit. But what are your actual soul desires? Isn't it the expansion of your whole being? Getting wiser, collecting all these beautiful memories, pictures, emotions, meeting new people who may influence you, so much so that you may even change your life course? Nowadays, social media gives you virtual access to the world, but at the same time, you also become increasingly comfortable with your surroundings and miss out on forming connections in the real world. Sometimes meeting that one person can hold the key to a new career or a new opportunity or even marriage. Yes! Even marriage!

Have you ever dreamed of seeing more colors that you haven't in your entire life by scuba diving for just one hour at the Great Barrier Reef or hitchhiking on the back of a six- foot-wide sea turtle off the coast of the Philippines, or driving in an open-air jeep deep in the African savanna where a giant jaguar is staring at you only a few feet away? I dreamed of it and have seen it! And it's just a small part of the miracles of our planet! My name is Tatiana Pushkina, and I proudly can call myself a world traveler, having been far away from my native land ever since I graduated from my university and having visited more than 15 countries so far. It's funny how God seemed to already have that travel plan for me when I joined the dance studio named "Travel" as a teen. I still remember that thrilling feeling I had when the aircraft was taking off for the first time. I was only 16, traveling for a summer job with the hotel entertainment team to Turkey. Little did I know at that time how traveling would enrich my personality in the future and make me so grateful for all the beauty of our planet.

All this can't be possible if you are still in your comfort zone of your local zip code and don't yet dare to travel far! Travel entails wishful thinking. It demands a leap of faith and imagination to board a plane for some faraway land, hoping, wishing for a taste of the ineffable. Travel is one of the few activities we engage in not knowing the outcome and reveling in that uncertainty. Nothing is more forgettable than the trip that goes exactly as planned! Travel used to be just getting a ticket and booking a hotel. But nowadays, there are so many ways like customized adventure trips with travel agents that are experts. Some specialize in offering luxury vacations like "Abercrombie & Kent" or others that have unique travel platforms where you can become your travel agent and book cruises, hotels, rental cars, and even flight tickets in one place, including every aspect of travel with one button push like "Travorium." The most important thing is to lead your dreams and make them your reality. Travel is not a luxury; it's an essential industry, an essential activity.

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Travel is essential the way books and hugs are essential. It's food for the soul. Travel has always been my biggest passion, and as I was looking for a new way to see the wonders of the world, I found the way to realize my dream when I joined the Vip travel club "Travorium," which allows me to travel the world and even make passive income at the same time! to America from Russia, every day is brand new for me, and having been introduced to the culture of The Bellwether could never cross my path if I were living in Moscow. So, I want to inspire you to live your best life and fulfill your souls desires by traveling and exploring all the beauty the world can offer. Always remember you're much more than you think about yourself, and you are destined for greatness! Having immigrated

I am so thrilled for all the new adventures that come my way here in America and meeting all The Bellwether readers.


Boris Blum




H aving a conversation with Boris Blum is always enlightening. He’s garnered significant financial and academic achievements and has 25 years of experience working with ultra-high-net- worth family businesses and entrepreneurs. His wealth of knowledge shines through, yet his wisdom is easy to grasp. The beginning of the new year is a perfect time to learn from an optimal performance consultant who focuses on high performers and shows them how to make elegant decisions that lead to impactful action.



and why? You might have a vision and a plan, but the truth is that may not be enough. In a recent online webinar for The Bellwether Magazine (The Art of Taking Action), Boris shared a quote from Mike Tyson, who says, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Boris said that no matter your personal or professional goals or objectives, be prepared to metaphorically be punched in the face a few times and keep getting up. You are not likely to take the right action the first go around. You may stumble or stub your toe a few times without success, but you must be resilient. Otherwise, you will quit before you reach success. “The missing element,” explains Boris, “is the reason for the decision. Why do you need to make the decision?” Being uncomfortable with the status quo and making a decision to change is not sufficient.

New Year, Same Approach? A new year often brings thoughts of starting anew, planning a new year ahead, setting goals, and making resolutions. These activities imply that you are uncomfortable or discontent with where you are and are ready for a change. Many of us say we want to change our income, weight, career, habits, and more, but that change often does not last. Why? Boris believes that to make lasting change and produce results, you have to figure out how to take action in a more elegant way. How often have you said you are committed to losing that extra ten pounds, learning a new skill, or creating another income stream, only to fizzle out on that commitment a few months later? What are you truly committed to Commitment Isn’t Enough

RESULTS ARE THE PROOF OF YOUR COMMITMENT. DR. BEN HARDY “Do you have an inner purpose for waking up in the morning?” Boris asks this question in presentations and the answer is no for most. Many go to work and take action out of necessity, often pursuing uninspired goals. This often leads to making decisions each day that will not likely lead to optimal results. Considering your purpose, what drives you, Explore Your Core

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