Health, Personal

Volume 4

I must begin by reminding anyone reading that I am definitely not a doctor. Duh- I mean, come on. That said, I need to share this story because it literally changed my life for the better, and it could for you too. 

I was a teenager when I first experienced my first episode of what I would quickly learn was heartburn, aka acid-reflux. By my mid-twenties it had gotten to where I had heartburn symptoms daily, and was eating anywhere between 2 to sometimes 10 extra-strength cherry flavored Rolaid tablets every day. By then they were barely even working anymore. Then somewhere around 28/29 I used Prilosec for the first time, and LOVED it. I only had to take one pill, and my relief was far better than with the Rolaids, and lasted for several days. 

Over the next ten years or so my “tolerance” to the Prilosec had grown to where I had to take 1 or sometimes even 2 pills EVERY DAY just to keep the severe symptoms at bay, even if only temporarily. When the symptoms came on they were sudden, and often so painful they were completely debilitating. 

In 2015 at only 38, I was facing the harsh reality of having to take these pills that I knew literally nothing about EVERY DAY, FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. 

There had to be a better way. 

I started doing a ton of research online, and what I found shocked me. The overwhelming consensus among health professionals everywhere is that heartburn is NOT caused by too much stomach acid, but from not enough. The drug companies all know this, but they obviously don’t want you to know because of course they need to make their billions- regardless of the fact that these products are literally poison. 

One ebook in particular explained it to me in the absolute best way I could understand. I’ll do my best to sum it up here, but I HIGHLY recommend everyone read Heartburn/GERD by Chris Kresser. You’ll need to enter your email to get the free ebook, and you might get occasional emails with other awesome health tips, but it’s totally worth it. Once you’ve entered your email, scroll all the way down to find the Heartburn/GERD book. Seriously, if you’ve ever had heartburn, or had any other digestive issues (who hasn’t?) GO READ IT. BTW, I’m not being paid to advertise here, I just really believe in this important information! It could DRAMATICALLY improve your health, and quality of life, as it has mine. 

The symptoms of acid-reflux are caused when the valve (called the Lower Esophagul Sphincter, or LES) at the lower end of your esophagus that opens to your stomach malfunctions and acid comes up out of the stomach into the esophagus. This malfunction is caused by an insufficient amount of Hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach. When you take antacids (especially drugs like Prilosec and Zantac) it reduces your stomach acid to zero, and that can cause intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and a multitude of other very serious health problems (including cancer), not the least of which being MORE HEARTBURN. They actually WORSEN the problem they are trying to treat, making you have to take more, and more. We need stomach acid to digest, and absorb nutrients. I was also highly-prone to food-poisoning, which I now know was also from not having enough stomach acid! 

After reading the ebook, I went to my local health food store and bought a HCL (with Pepsin) supplement, and immediately stopped taking Prilosec. Along with some very slight adjustments to my diet ( a little less sugar, carbs) I took the HCL with every meal at first, and slowly tapered off over the next few months. My heartburn was completely gone within the first couple of days. 

It has now been 15 months since I have taken an antacid of any kind, and I almost NEVER get heartburn anymore. When I do it’s very mild. I take an apple cider vinegar capsule (I was even able to stop taking the HCL a few months ago), and it goes away almost immediately. I also try to eat fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, raw kombucha, or Greek yogurt, plus I take a probiotic supplement to help out my overall gut-health. It’s likely that my stomach still produces a lower-than-normal amount of acid, (it’s actually extremely common, and is becoming more-so from widespread antacid use) but it’s also likely I permanently affected my body from the years of taking them continuously. 

I physically feel better than ever now. I never get sick anymore. Oh and another fun little side-effect of quitting Prilosec? I had been carrying about 25 extra pounds for many years- and dropped it in the first 3 months after quitting, and have kept it off with literally zero effort. 

Seriously, I love talking about this, so if you have any questions or just want to chat about it let me know. This has changed my life, and could change yours, or someone else’s too. 

Don’t take antacids anymore. Get rid of heartburn forever.  Read that ebook. Now. https://chriskresser.com/heartburn/

<mic drop>

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Personal

Volume 3

I wasn’t going to write about the election. I’m still not completely ready, but I at least wanted to share a couple of things. I already wrote a few pages of what was essentially just emotional word-vomit, so I erased that whole draft and started completely over with this version. 

I will say that the candidate-for-president that won was definitely not who I voted for. I actually almost just said “presidential candidate,” but that term “presidential” would be far better-suited for describing literally ANYONE else. Even MY dumb-ass is more presidential than that guy. If you voted for him, and this offends you that’s fine. We can disagree. The beauty of this country is that we all have a right to express our beliefs, and these are mine. 

No matter what you believe, or who you voted for, the plain and simple fact is that this election (AND the forthcoming presidential administration) has divided our country more than at any other time in my almost-40 years on this big blue planet. Our country has seen huge spikes in hate-crimes against literally every single marginalized group (of actual real HUMANS- our mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters) all over our country (not just red states) since the election. It makes me physically sick to my stomach on a daily basis. How can we possibly stand for that? 

I woke up the day after the election feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I was emotionally hungover- perhaps slightly actually hungover too, as it definitely took a lil’ extra merlot to get through the previous night. After some coffee and scrambled eggs with Rachel I had a moment of clarity. I sat down with my pen/legal pad, and wrote myself a note. I want to share it with you because it’s my hope that it might be able to help someone/anyone who might be feeling like I did that morning. 

“Okay. It’s time to FOCUS. Make more art. Make more music. Share it. Work harder. Play more. LOVE more. Sing more. Learn more. Get stronger. Fight harder. GIVE more. Be selfLESS. CREATE. Read more. Write. LISTEN. Say ‘do,’ not ‘don’t.’ HOLD YOUR BABIES CLOSER. Be a leader. Be GRATEFUL. Laugh more! Be a LIGHT, and SHINE! It will be FAR from easy, but WORTH IT. YOU GOT THIS. Remember that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.”

I also shared this in hopes of making myself more accountable, because I really need to do better at all of these things, now more than ever. 

I will never give up. I hope you won’t either. 

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music, Personal

Volume 2

It has always been difficult for me to choose favorites. I like lots of stuff, and I have rarely been able to say without-a-doubt that my “favorite” something-or-other, is definitely so-and-so.

Recently I created a new playlist on my Zune (whatever, I love my Zune) with the intent of creating one of the greatest of all-time. Once I hit “shuffle” and started listening to said playlist, I had a bit of a personal realization.

After all these years I think I finally know who my favorite band is.

I am a music FAN. I love all kinds of music from blues to bluegrass, from rock to hip-hop, and everything in-between. I’m always thirsty to find new music, or just old music that is new to me, but I always end up finding my way back to what-I-now-know-is my favorite singer/songwriter/rhythm-guitarist, lead-guitarist, keyboard/pianist, bassist(s), drummer(s), and multi-instrumentalist of all time- I’m talking of course, about Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (or TPATH for short), from Gainesville, FL.

I’m not here to tell you about their story, but you ought to check out Runnin’ Down A Dream (2007), a fantastic documentary (It’s on Netflix right now) that chronicles their history.

I’m here to tell you why (TO ME) they are the best ever.

It all begins and ends with the man himself, Tom Petty. As a songwriter his songs are perfect. Melody. Catchy choruses. LYRICS. For me the hardest part of writing a song is the damn lyrics. His seem effortless. They paint a vivid picture in the listener’s head, and are the perfect combination of storytelling and imagery. Here are lyrics from the song “Square One” from the 2006 album Highway Companion:

 

Had to find some higher ground

Had some fear to get around

You can say what you don’t know

Later on won’t work no more


 Last time through I hid my tracks

So well I could not get back

Yeah my way was hard to find

Can’t sell your soul for peace of mind


[Chorus:]

Square one, my slate is clear

Rest your head on me my dear

It took a world of trouble, took a world of tears

It took a long time to get back here


Tried so hard to stand alone

Struggled to see past my nose

Always had more dogs than bones

I could never wear those clothes


It’s a dark victory

You won and you are so lost

Told us you were satisfied, but it never came across

 

His songs also tend to have an air of simplicity,  but are also filled with thoughtful subtleties and restraint. All while still maintaining the raw and powerful essence of pure ROCK & ROLL. At this point you might be saying, “But Tom Petty has a weird voice, he isn’t a great singer,” but that’s where you’re wrong. Go back and listen to any of those early records (or THIS amazing live recording from 1982 of a song called “I’m In Love”), and he was hitting some crazy, hard-to-hit notes-  with more precision and SOUL than some of the best singers in history. His voice has aged over the years for sure, but it’s still as soulful today as it ever was, if not more so. His ear for melody is unmatched. Something that sometimes gets overshadowed because of the lead-guitar, is that to have a truly great rock band you gotta have some solid rhythm guitar. TP is one of the absolute best rhythm guitarists I’ve ever heard- not-to-mention his sweet, sweet TONE! Once-in-a-while he’ll even bust out a really nasty lead that will make those hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up.

All of this, wrapped up into a guy who’s appearance doesn’t at all fit into the typical mold of what a”rock-star” should look like (let’s face it, he isn’t going to win any beauty contests), but if you’ve ever seen him live you know that he absolutely oozes sexuality. His masterful stage-presence completely captivates any and every audience worldwide, both big, and small. He has the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish- leaning in on every chord, and every word. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I think he might be magic.

Long before I started writing songs, I was a guitarist first. I still consider myself more of a lead-guitarist than anything else I do musically. My electric guitar heroes are some usual suspects like Hendrix, SRV, Freddie King, Duane Allman, Warren Haynes, and so on, but I’m here to tell you that if I had to choose just one electric guitar player for all eternity it would be Mike Campbell. His tone, his grace, his delicate- yet confident touch, his colorful rhythm, his restraint- and of course his face-melting distorted solos- whatever he does, it always fits PERFECTLY in the song without EVER overplaying. And those riffs! You can always tell the songs he co-wrote with TP by the rock riffs that sound so magical that it feels like there was never a time when they didn’t exist. Here is a perfect example on this track from the 2010 album “Mojo,” called “Good Enough,” co-written by Campbell.

They wouldn’t be a Heartbreakers without Mr. Benmont Tench. His skills on the keys are unmatched. Whether he is playing a slow-burning-then-escalating-to-a-huge-climax piano solo, (like THIS epic performance of a song he also co-wrote with TP called “Melinda” from 2003) or a simple- yet powerful Hammond B-3 organ part to add texture (check out THIS track from 2014’s “Hypnotic Eye” called “Shadow People” where Benmont gets to show off a little bit of everything- such a great track!)- his contributions are purely essential, and undeniable. He is also a great songwriter/producer, and has played with literally everybody. He released his first solo record in 2014 called “You Should Be So Lucky,” and it’s loaded with great songs, and some of the best players in the business. He is also a member of Watkins Family Hour, a bluegrass outfit with Sean and Sara Watkins, Fiona Apple, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, and Sebastian Steinberg. Their eponymous debut came out in 2015, and it’s so good! I have to mention that Benmont is also the only one in the band that is active on Twitter, and Instagram, and is a great follow!

It’s impossible to talk about the two bass players without talking about the band’s timeline a bit. Ron Blair was the original bassist, playing from 1976 until 1982, and then again from 2002 until now. His rock-solid bass lines are powerful, and easily recognized. He had begun getting weary from non-stop touring, and decided to quit the band in 1982.

Blair was replaced by Howie Epstein. He hadn’t even been playing bass for very long when he joined, but then began studying it seriously, and became one of the best bassists of all-time. He was also a talented songwriter/producer in his own right, producing albums by John Prine, Eric Anderson, and Carlene Carter. Epstein found a natural style, which he said, “Emphasized simplicity, playing in the pocket, getting into a steady groove. I’ve always considered myself a good team player and that’s the way that the Heartbreakers operate. Everyone listens to what everyone else is doing musically.” Sadly he battled with drug-addiction for much of his adult life, and by 2002 had really deteriorated. He couldn’t physically play anymore, and was replaced by the man whom he himself had replaced 20 years earlier, Ron Blair. Tragically, the following year Epstein died from complications due to his chronic heroin use.

Side-note: Fuck heroin. I admit I have experimented with many different intoxicants in my life (most of which weren’t for me), but I have never, and will never touch the stuff. It’s pure evil.

Tom Petty said this about Ron Blair:

“It’s great having him [back] in the band. It reminds me of the old days just seeing him around… We hung out. We knew each other. And he was always the best bass player in town.”

There’s no Rock & Roll without drums. The Heartbreakers have had not one, but TWO of the best Rock drummers ever.

Original drummer Stan Lynch was (and I’m sure still is) a force-of-nature. I would call him a power-drummer- very precise, full of intensity, on-top of the beat- combined with an incredible singing voice (he sang all the harmonies until Epstein joined). Check out THIS 1978 TV performance of “Listen To Her Heart” that showcases Lynch’s drumming/singing throughout. Tom Petty said this about Stan Lynch:

“Stan was a little younger than us. But he was a very good drummer and he was really conscientious, and he worked really hard. And he sang as well. He sang harmony. He was like our main harmony singer in the days before Howie. He was a powerhouse onstage. He reminded me sort of [like] Keith Moon in a way. He was so powerful I used to say he had this fifth gear that he could go into and just really make everything explode. He was really good at that, and he knew the songs really well. He and I had incredibly good communication onstage; he could read the movement of my shoulder. He could go anywhere I wanted to go. He never took his eyes off me. Anything I did was accented on the drums. Any movement I made. We had great eye communication where I could turn around and look at him, and he knew just exactly what I wanted to do.”

Lynch and Petty famously fought quite a bit over the years, which culminated in Lynch’s decision to leave the band in 1994. Since, he has been a successful songwriter/producer, working with countless artists like The Blasters, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Scotty Moore- the list goes on and on.

Enter Steve Ferrone. What can I say, I love Steve Ferrone’s drumming. It reminds me of how my uncle used to play- just as deep-in-the-pocket as can be. He had an amazing career prior to joining, and still finds time to play in non-Heartbreaker projects as well. He has played with Average White Band, Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, etc. Ferrone joined for the “Wildflowers” (1994) sessions, and has been in the band ever since. Check out THIS track from “Echo” called “Room At The Top,” that showcases Steve Ferrone at his best.

Last, but in-no-way least is multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston. Thurston plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, lap steel, ukelele, keyboards, harmonica, and since Epstein’s departure has taken over almost all of the harmony-vocal duties. He joined as a touring member in 1991, and Petty decided to keep him on for-good thereafter. Before that he had played with the likes of Iggy & The Stooges, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt among others. I LOVE his contributions to the band- he can fill any need musically for any song, whether it’s a subtle acoustic part, or the occasional fiery electric dual-lead with Mr. Campbell, or of course his many perfectly-placed harmonica solos. Said Petty, about Thurston:

“I was trying to get him out of the corner over there, because he always saw himself as a sideman—’I’m a Sidebreaker’—and he tried to stay over to the side. But we love him, he sings great with me, and we want him out there with us. He’s a good buffer between the rest of us. When we’re fighting or have some cliqueishness, he’s good at getting in there and saying, ‘Let’s look at it this way,’ because Duckhead [Thurston is from Medford, OR- land of the University-of-Oregon Ducks] as we call him, is neutral. He doesn’t come from Florida, wasn’t there when this or that happened.”

Put it all together, and you’ve got one of the greatest Rock & Roll bands ever, but to me they’re perfect. I don’t mean to say they aren’t human, and don’t make musical “mistakes,” they absolutely do. It is that humanity, that pulse, that breath that fluctuates, that potential for human error- that makes great music well, GREAT. Imperfection is beautiful.

I would be doing an injustice if I didn’t also talk about Mudcrutch. Tom Petty formed Mudcrutch back in 1970 with Campbell, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, and then added Tench in 1972. The band ended up being broken up in 1976 by Petty’s newly-found record-label Shelter, which was followed shortly thereafter by the formation of the Heartbreakers that same year. In 2008 Petty, Campbell, and Tench decided to reunite with Mudcrutch, and they released their first full-length album (Mudcrutch) that same year. What an album! A perfect blend of country and rock- and of course incredible songwriting by Petty, AND amazing contributions from all the other members. In 2016 They released their second album (2), and it might even be a tiny, teensy bit better than the first record! It just expands on the themes from the first album, taking the lyrics & melodies even further. I love this album so much I’ve worked up my own versions of more than half the songs already!

This past summer my wife Rachel and I were lucky enough to take a road trip down to San Fransisco to see Mudcrutch play at the legendary Fillmore in front of a sold-out crowd, and I have to say it might be the best show I have ever seen. I had seen the Heartbreakers twice already, but both times were at much larger venues, and much less intimate. The Fillmore also holds a special place for me since I got to play there back in 2008, and this was the first time I had been back since then. The history there is so special you can literally feel it’s power. If those walls could talk…

 

Of course you can’t talk about Tom Petty without talking about perhaps the-most-super Supergroup ever formed- The Traveling Wilburys. Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Petty. They only released 2 albums (only 1 with Orbison), but their impact on music as a whole (and little ol’ me) is immeasurable. I love those records so much.

So, back to that playlist I mentioned earlier. I’m almost 40- do people even make playlists anymore?  Doesn’t matter. They’re basically just a digital mix-tape (remember those?)! I combined the entire TPATH catalog with the entire TP solo catalog (most of which were still with the band members), added both Mudcrutch albums, and both Wilburys albums. Then I put it all in chronological order, because why wouldn’t you do that?! Now with almost 22 hours of pure Tom Petty, I have quite possibly (definitely, in my book) the greatest playlist ever made- featuring my favorite Rock & Roll band of all time. 

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lularoe, Personal

Volume 1:

Ahh the dreaded blank page- every writer’s nemesis. Okay, there’s a few words- that feels a little better. Oooh, multiple sentences! Alright. Here goes!

I love to write. I always had somewhat of an affinity for it, but I give full credit to my genes- my family tree is full of writers. I have always preferred writing about real-life (as opposed to fiction), although as a kid I dabbled in some fiction on occasion. Nothing inspires me more than true stories! A few years ago I started a blog on Tumblr and wrote a few entries (which you can read here), but between that platform not being ideal for just blogging, having a crazy amount of different changes going on personally, and just not making time for it, I haven’t written anything in quite some time- until now.

I grew up in a home where music was all around me, all the time. My Mom- a classically trained vocalist, pianist, and actress. My Dad played guitar, bass, mandolin, and was also a great singer. As I was growing up they were always playing, and singing around the house. I LOVED IT. I loved it so much I begged my Dad to teach me some chords on the baritone uke when I was 8 (I still wasn’t big enough to hold a regular guitar). I was hooked. By the time I was 10 I was sneaking around the house with my Dad’s Martin D-28 when he wasn’t looking (sorry Dad), so my parents decided it was time to get me my very own guitar. It was a basic Alvarez acoustic, and I still have it to this day. My parents had to literally pry that guitar out of my hands just to get me to do my homework (which I still skipped most of the time), or when I had to go to bed every night (yes, I did sleep with it- yes, that’s indeed a thing).

I’m now in the final year of my 30’s (gulp), and I’ve been a professional musician for over 20 years now. It has been nothing short of a wild ride. I’ve performed in more than 20 different countries, almost all 50 states, played in many different bands, made several band albums as well as a solo album, met countless wonderful people on tour, and seen/experienced many different and amazing cultures all over the world. I’ve played in stinky dive bars, coffee shops, street fairs, bowling alleys, weddings, all the way up to huge theaters, and some absolutely legendary venues. I am so very grateful for all of these experiences and friendships that music has brought me.

Sometimes as a working musician you either land that gig that puts you on a bill at a sweet venue opening for your favorite band (these rarely or never pay well), OR you land that really well-paying gig that pays your rent for the month, but might be less fun (like playing in the “Insert-Brand-Name-Here” motorcycle dealership parking lot for literally zero people).  Or sometimes you’ll get that once-in-a-blue-moon gig that is both fun, AND pays well (like playing a sold-out show as part of the headlining band), but this type of gig is generally fairly elusive, no matter how good your band might be. This is one of, if not the most difficult part of making a living at making music- the constant struggle to make that living. In more recent years with downloads/streaming sites it has become even more challenging to make a decent living as a musician. Album sales have dwindled, so bands/solo artists are having to tour more and more just to support their families, often having to be away from home for weeks/months at a time.

Enter the Day Job. I haven’t always needed one in order to make ends meet, but mostly I have. When I think about this subject it reminds me of the song “Should’ve California” by one of my favorite bands, Two Cow Garage. The first line says, “I should’ve gone to college, made a lot of money, and given you everything your heart desires.”

I actually did go to college… for one quarter. What can I say, I just wanted to play Rock & Roll, so that’s what I did. I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

At 19 my uncle took me under his wing by letting me sleep on his couch down in Phoenix, and by putting me in his band playing lead guitar. He was the best drummer ever. He died in 2010, and I still miss him dearly. He told me if I wanted to play music, I had better get used to not only working extremely hard on my craft, but also working hard doing something else as a day job (also he really just wanted his couch back), because music wasn’t always going to pay the bills, no matter how good I thought I was. 

My day jobs over the years have varied from selling shoes, to pumping gas, cooking, bartending, washing dishes,  etc. you-name-it. I enjoyed some more than others, and always worked hard at every job, but I ultimately never got anywhere near the pure joy I felt when I was working my night job- playing music. 

I am very happy (and a bit shocked) to say that I have found something new that fills me with that same joy music has brought me.

One night back in December of 2015 my wife Rachel came home from another long, and exhausting night at her bartending job, and told me she had had enough. The job had been wearing her out physically, mentally, and emotionally for months now. She loved and valued the personal connections she had made there, but felt that the job itself was no longer fulfilling her greater purpose in life. She just came right out and said these words that I’ll never forget.

“I want to own my own business- a mobile clothing boutique. Do I have your support?”

I had no idea what she was talking about.

“A what now?”

“A mobile/online clothing boutique. It’s with a clothing brand called LuLaRoe,” she said.

“LuLa what?”

“LULAROE,” she said again, more emphatically this time.

Slight pause.

“Tell me more.”

She proceeded to tell me about this company that was started by an amazing woman named DeAnne Stidham. You can (and definitely should, if you like inspirational success stories- um, who doesn’t like those?) read her incredible story HERE.

She then told me that DeAnne and her husband Mark started this business with one goal in mind: To bless lives, and strengthen families. That is the LuLaRoe culture. Women of all walks of life all over the country are being empowered by the ability to own/run their own successful shops. These women (known as LuLaRoe Fashion Consultants) aren’t just earning a little extra spending money, but are actually providing for their entire family- all while working from home, and being with their families!

I’ve always been a bit of a skeptic. But I already had an overwhelmingly good feeling about everything she was telling me. I wasn’t sure why I had these feelings yet, but I would find that out a little later. I told her she had my support, 100%. 

The initial investment was around $6000, so we scraped up the money any way we could and went for it. One thing many people don’t realize is that we OWN our inventory. There is no catalog. We aren’t “reps.” We simply own a LuLaRoe clothing boutique (right now we have around 700 pieces, but we are continually growing that number), and it all lives in our house with us. We take the inventory (yes, all of it) to people’s homes, vendor events, fundraisers (LuLaRoe has a VERY generous fundraising program), or we simply set up shop in our home and have “pop-ups!”

Pop-ups are SO MUCH FUN, and have been some of the most positive, and uplifting experiences both Rachel and myself have ever had. We have already met/made personal connections with so many amazing people through LuLaRoe! 

I haven’t even talked yet about THE CLOTHING. Every single style was thoughtfully and carefully designed to be both flattering, and comfortable on ALL BODY TYPES. As a result, women who have struggled with confidence (who hasn’t ever struggled with confidence?) are trying on these gorgeous clothes, and feeling beautiful again! LuLaRoe is all about body-positivity, empowering women, and helping them feel good about themselves.

One of the many building blocks for success in LuLaRoe is the ability to sponsor others who want to own their own boutiques as well. One of the keys that sets LuLaRoe apart from other direct-selling companies is that the price point for clothing is much higher than that of cosmetics, or tupperware, etc. so it is very feasible to make a very good living purely based on sales alone- without sponsoring anyone. However, Rachel and I decided that we want to help others acheive their financial goals in any way we can, and have begun sponsoring a team of consultants! I have to share a beautiful piece written by the very first member of our team on why she decided to become a consultant. Her name is Tess Nelson-Hamilton, and she had this to say:

“I started Lularoe because I needed something for me. When I first discovered Lularoe I was more than spent. I had just given birth to an amazing baby boy, and then spent a week in the hospital with him due to a few episodes of apnea. I was tired, and now being a mom of two I needed a break in a comfy chair more than anything. I hadn’t felt truly beautiful since before my first baby was born, and I really only went to the (pop-up) party to support my sister. After a bit of nudging, I finally tried on a Perfect T just to see what all the fuss was about, and I broke down crying in the bathroom when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I felt effortless, and gorgeous just from a single shirt, and that moment changed my life. I began to see again that I could do something just for me. The money that would come with would help me support my family, but more importantly it gave me something that made me feel like a contributing part of society again. It made me feel like I was more than just a Mom. That feeling I had when I tried on that shirt is a feeling that I think every woman should have. To feel effortless and beautiful. That is why I am a consultant. I want to be my own independent person not just a mom, and I want to show every woman I come in contact with that she is beautiful and effortless.” — Tess Nelson-Hamilton

ALL. THE. FEELS. Tess is so inspiring! I think she said it better in one paragraph than anything I have said so far, but my point is this. For the first time in my life, I have found something that fills me with as much (if not more?!) joy as making music has. Making a difference in people’s lives is one of the absolute greatest feelings in the world. I will always make music, but my goal is to no longer have to depend on it for income, so I’ll be able to enjoy it even more. 

The best part? Working from home, actually having time to write, practice, garden (haven’t done that yet, but at least we can now!) make meals, or just relax, and play with our dogs. Most-importantly I get to work alongside (or sometimes actually go on dates with) my beautiful wife, who also happens to be my best friend in the whole world. What more could a guy ask for?

If you are interested in learning more,  you can follow Rachel:

FB: 

Facebook.com/lularoe.rachelparker/

IG: 

Instagram.com/lularoe.rachelparker

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Introduction

Hello.

Hi! My name is Jack. This is my blog. I’m going to write about things I’m passionate about, things that intrigue me, things I’d like to learn more about, things that are challenging me, things that I think will help others, positive things, feelings, emotions, personal struggles/victories, music, books, movies, tv, jokes, technology, politics, sports, and most importantly- I’ll be oft shining my spotlight on all the amazing humans in my life who inspire me to be a better person every single day. Those are the people that make life worth living! I haven’t decided how often I’ll write yet, but I’ll figure that out as I go. Thank you for reading!

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