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So, a little bit about myself, let’s see where your leadership style is compared to mine. Recently I went on my daughter’s Washington DC trip for school. I had a wonderful time!  The older I get, the more I appreciate the people who have taken a risk to change our country. The whole city is built on it. There was a few that stood out for me , FDR and MLK. When I was walking through the monuments and read the words that they had written, I was so moved… and not to compare myself to them at all, but at that moment I thought I am a  writer too. Even though I had not started yet but I knew I had to. I have been working on trying to bring life into Integrity for nine years now, even though I’ve failed over and over again. I knew I had to keep going and I had to continue to tell my story and maybe…just maybe someone would hear the idea this way and help me. 

During the trip we went through the Holocaust Museum , the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial,  the 911 Memorial and more.  I saw suffering after suffering which just confirmed my need to help the humans. There are those who are on the planet to help the animals and unborn children, but I’m here to help all of the humans.  I can detect with my sixth sense when there are other people who are on the planet who trying to help the humans also.  I am looking for the leaders in our field who really are trying to make a difference not just to make money or be famous.

My husband sums up leadership as either sheep or watch dogs. He was in the military and  they consider themselves watchdogs. I guess I consider myself a scout bloodhound looking and sniffing around trying to find the answers.  And when I find the way, I lead others through it.  He says my leadership style is “Lead, Follow, or get out of her way”.  What do you think after hearing the rest of my story?

So back to my DC trip,  on the way back we had to take a tram or an enclosed car to get our airplane that was in a faraway hanger. The car was full of people and it was unseasonably warm in Washington DC. So we all had our luggage on our back’s and we had our coats layered up for what would probably be a 10 minute journey. They happen to leave the doors open, but we were still crammed into this car and there was no air conditioning. There seem to be some type of delay because we sat there  getting warmer and more uncomfortable waiting for 10 15 or 20 minutes. But we are all patient pleasant passengers, we knew this was part of the drill,  anyone who travels knows that there’s some level of discomfort along the way.   However, the doors were still open and it was manageable.

Then the driver finally showed up close the doors drove two feet and got out to assist some other workers on a different plane. Now it was sweltering hot in this crammed car!   There were windows all around so we could see the workers right outside. It got warmer and warmer, like sweat dripping down your neck and between your breasts …hot.   There are times when you decide to sweat, like during a spinning class, and there are other times that you avoid it at all costs.  This was one of those times. I believe the workers thought there was air conditioning in the car so they were taking their sweet time at the other plane.

So now what would you do? Would you wait patiently as a good passenger, the good citizen that you are, until they came back and transported us literally 30 feet? Well I did that too for about five minutes.   I was in the middle of the pack and my teenage daughter, who is starting to whine and rub her sweat from her for head onto my shoulder, was trying to tolerate it.   I could see the workers in the window, but I couldn’t reach the window. So I said out loud “can you please just knock on the window and tell them that we need the air on? “ The people who are by the window turned around and looked at me… in a way that said “can we do that?”.  Now,  I assure you, I said it nicely and not in a way that they were thinking “oh my gosh you’re just a bossy bitch”.  No one did knock on the window or spoke up like I did.  We finally moved our 30 feet and everyone got out safely.  Should I have pressed the issue?  What I did do, is say something to the driver when we finally arrived at the plane, explaining on everyone’s behalf, that there was no air on and we were all extremely uncomfortable.

So there’s this point where I wait for someone to lead, and I have no problem following a good leader, and fact I’m a great supporter. But if no one leads, I’m the person who will stand up and said let’s go! Now what I’m not, is someone who will turn into the raging bitch or push my way through the crowd and bang on the window. What kind of leader does that make me?

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The Second Nut

I need to tell you about the second nut, Kelly Dues. Have you ever seen the video on TED talks about how to start a movement? It shows this crazy dancing guy at a concert, just having the time of his life. And it first glance everyone to think wow what a crazy guy… Whatever… But then a second guy goes by him and starts crazy dancing with him.. The effect that has on the people around them shifts the whole group. Before you know it  there’s 100 people dancing on the hill having a great time and it becomes a movement.

One of the things my patent attorney told me to do was to establish the business as a for-profit with shareholders. And in order to prove that it was my idea and validate the patent pending, I had to have a public disclosure of the idea.  I had to do research to find out if there is a program like this already, so if I started publicly talking about it that was one way to find out. I worked with my financial planner, Kathy Gordon-Beatty at Edward Jones,  to use her space and I invited the various professionals in the  community that I had worked with as a holistic psychotherapist. I invited my supplement rep from Standard Process Hallie Hancock,  my cousin Erica the chiropractor and her mother Terry who is a nurse and one of my favorite aunts.  The holistic store Simple that was next to Erica‘s chiropractic office owned by Kelly and her employee Dawn Shapiro also attended. My friends Robyn Castles and and Teri Langley, who are massage therapists, and my accountant Donna Peters from Fausey and Associates were there supporting me too. So I prepare this presentation and told everyone about the idea for a  Holistic Insurance Company and asked if anyone had ever heard anything like this.  They had not. Good News! I ended with, “I love what I do for a living, but now that I have thought of this…I have to try and make it happen!”

Kelly had recently bought the holistic health food store from a man named Troy and her background was in the insurance industry. After hearing my talk and seeing how passionate I was about the idea, She called me the next day and said,  “I’m going to sell my store and work for you “. Now, I just structured  the business and had no money, so my answer was “let’s meet for dinner talk about it“ “. We met for dinner the only thing I could say is “ what do you what role do you want to play in the business? “

So Kelly is my second nut because she saw something in me, something in my idea, that was so valid to her that she decided to sell her business, invest in the company, and take a leap of faith with me. It was then that I realized that this idea was bigger than me and that she saw something in it just like I did. She knew it had to happen.

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The Journey to Integrity

Me and Dr. Patrick Carnes 2009

Journey to Integrity

The journey started when I was in Arizona in 2009.   I was attending a conference to be a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (no, I won’t be talking about sex…Yet) and as the presenter,  Dr. Patrick Carnes, was talking I asked him if he ever used inositol to help clients who are struggling with anxiety.   He said “no” and then later in the week I asked,  “do you ever use any kind of energy work like Reiki in your in-patient program to help with stress?” and he said “no”.  Now for those of you who do holistic methods…you know we have this sort of radar about who are “awake” and who are traditional in nature.  So I took the clue that this was not in the holistic arena and made a note to not mention it again.

He later approached me at lunchtime and said, “what are you doing? and where is your research? and you should get your PhD and speak at the next conference …you should be presenting what you’re doing!”  At first I was taken aback and excited by what he was saying, but the gremlins in my head said… I’m a single provider in Flint Michigan, who is going to listen to me?   Besides that I don’t have time for research… I am doing everything myself, I don’t even have a secretary to do my billing or scheduling, and I never really thought of myself as a researcher.

Later that week at the end of the conference, he had us do a legacy chart and I included the idea of me doing research and how I would share it with a few other providers in the area. After the session was over,  I had planned to take a road trip to see an in-patient program in Arizona. It was on my way back driving through the beautiful mountains that I literally had an epiphany. Have you ever had an epiphany?   it’s like nothing I have ever experienced!  It’s like all of all of the thoughts I have ever had and everything I’ve ever experienced come together in an atom bomb kind of explosion in my head and then my thoughts started racing!  I imagine this is what it feels like to be manic. I stopped at a restaurant, the kind that have the paper tablecloth‘s and the waitress writes “my name is Susie and I’ll be your waitress” on.   At that point I cleared off the table and literally wrote my idea on it.  It stemmed from the legacy chart idea that Dr. Carnes started. I took that same format and flipped it macro.  My Optimist Prime voice said…Your right, one social worker in Flint may not be able to prove that holistic methods work, but if we build a holistic insurance company that could track the benefits, then we could make a difference.

The program was a holistic health care insurance plan one that would integrate providers, corporations, and consumers.  It would be a three tiered program to reduce healthcare costs. That night I couldn’t sleep… and I always sleep.   I thought of all the people that I needed to call and one of the first was my cousin,  Erica Peabody who is a Chiropractor, and just happen to be dating the President of Life University, Guy Riekeman. He was the biggest leader in the field that I had ever met and I thought he could help me.

My husband pick me up at the airport, thinking that I just got done with a certification and maybe… just maybe I was going to charge more for my therapy services, I tell him I’m going to start a Holistic Insurance Company. He said, “we don’t have millions of dollars to do that what are you talking about?”.  And I said “I’m going to call my aunt Sue , she’s a consultant for business insurance and she’ll know what to do”.  “Don’t worry about the money, it will come.”

I had a called my aunt Sue and she made arrangements for me to come see her the next day in Lansing. I explained to her my whole vision and showed her my tablecloth. She listened intently and didn’t laugh at me. She said, “I’m not laughing at you, the first thing you need to do is get a patent on this idea and don’t talk to anyone until you do.”  I was a little surprised “you’re not laughing at me“, she said “I’m not laughing… this could work.”  The following week I got into see a patent attorney who needed $2000 for me to apply for a process patent and the holistic insurance company journey begin.

The story I’m about ready to tell you in these blogs tells the journey of all the people that I’ve met since 2009 in order to bring Integrity to life.