Week two of being a Real Housewife and I’m still standing! I have to extend a huge thank you to all the fans and viewers of last week’s episode. The outpouring of love and support has been OVERWHELMING and it truly means the world to me. You all make this often stressful and always crazy journey, worth it. This week you really see me get down to business, and rock a very fashionable hair net! Developing an "elixir" for Hard Night Good Morning has been so much fun and a lot of hard work. I can’t wait to unveil it to you very soon. It has been far too long since we have launched a new product, which is something I think we should be doing as a company on a regular basis to stay relevant in the beauty industry. My mother, however, has other feelings about that (surprising, I know).
Before I could even take this new product idea to my mother for her thoughts and approval, I wanted it to already be in the works, and have all my little ducks lined up in a row. So, when my mother had reservations, I was ready. It was something I had anticipated. Jackie, whom you see with Amelia, my Marketing Coordinator, and me on this episode in the lab, is a long-time friend and business advisor, and I value her knowledge and opinion a great deal. We had a great time discussing and planning the bright future of Hard Night Good Morning and the next phase to include the roll out of a new beauty product in our line.
Cut to the conversation with my mother, and imagine a giant bulldozer smashing all of those positive plans, into the dirt. Unfortunately for me, the way this meeting went was no surprise, as this is typically how things go between my mother and me. To say she is "set in her ways” would be an understatement. She started our company, Ultimate Living www.ultimateliving.com, more than 20 years ago, and made it into a multimillion-dollar success. But times have changed, as they tend to do!
We started back in the day (twenty-one years ago) by selling our nutrition and skincare products on Christian television. This was a perfect outlet for us back then because it aligned so well with our beliefs and foundation. My mother is actually an ordained minister—a fun fact most people do not know. Mom made the transition from being a guest on Christian TV telling her story of surviving cancer, to selling her line of nutritional products in that arena, because of her incredibly supportive and close connections in the ministry. We still have many of those relationships today, and you can still find us on a few networks across the world. It would be a foolish business decision to only market your products across one platform…that would be irrational for any company! My mother has a hard time accepting this fact because this platform worked in the beginning for her, and is what she knows as a successful business model. This is within her comfort zone. Unfortunately, it is out of mine and we have to evolve and grow.
Do I believe what I said about my inexperience in our industry being due to my mother not giving me the chance? Absolutely!! The training wheels have to come off at some time. Can you believe we have gone for so many years without a marketing budget? Well my mom is, as she says, “not doing that.” My mom knows my feelings about the way these conversations go, but I’m not sure it is enough to get her to change. I hope that one day my mom can just listen to my ideas without immediately shutting them down. I don’t think she ever entertains what I am proposing because she is so averse to change that she doesn’t even listen to me when I am speaking about fresh ideas and ways to increase our business. Frequently, she later comes around to my ideas, but she acts as if it was her idea to begin with. My mom’s initial reaction to change is what always causes the most strife. So, I often end the conversation as you saw, in pure frustration!
Some battles are just not worth winning. Let her have it! I have learned many things over years of dealing with my mother and one nugget of truth is, “sometimes winning leaves you wanting,” meaning sometimes it just isn’t worth being right! This works well in almost all areas of life and relationships. I can only bang my head against a wall for so long. I do still wonder sometimes if turning down a job in DC was my biggest mistake - but when family calls, you answer. I went from working in nuclear waste (yes, that is true) to what seems to me to be a nuclear WASTE OF TIME waiting for my mom to turn over the reins of the family business to me.
Now, to the other couple on the show that has some serious communication issues…Stephanie Hollman and Brandi Redmond, or should I say Stephanie and Travis? Let’s deal with Stephanie and Brandi today. There is only so much I can cover in this blog! Let’s start with the text that is so popular I feel like it is on its own book tour. At the time of the dog party, I still had ZERO clue what was going on. Could you see my confusion?!
It seems that Stephanie would like for us to believe that she also had no idea what was going on between her and Brandi. I’m sorry, but I need to interject some common sense here. If you have been best friends with someone for many years and have not spoken for four months, I think you would have an idea of what the argument was about…call me crazy?!!! So, I am having a hard time believing that Stephanie is clueless as to what happened between her and Brandi. It seems that both women are not talking about some bigger issue, and who knows if they will ever cop to the truth about what caused them to distance themselves from one another. It all seems suspect to me, but this is coming from someone who blows her top when she’s angry...ME! And you can ask LeeAnne, if you are questioning my sincerity, you will KNOW when I am mad at you, so this is all a mystery to me.
It makes sense that Stephanie would send Brandi that text, in what Stephanie thought was a show of loyalty to win back her friendship. However, I don’t think she should have put Cary Deuber’s name in there, because she threw Cary under the bus for no reason, and that was in no way fair to Cary. Cary is sincerely trying to stay out of controversy, and what Stephanie did was just throw her back into the fire. She twisted what Cary told her, and used it to try to push Brandi away from her new friend,LeeAnne Locken. I think she was doing it out of self-preservation, but making false claims about another person is never excusable, even if you have good intentions behind your actions.
Honestly, this whole thing is a little like kids on the playground...and in fact, we are on a dog playground…how fitting! I understand why LeeAnne was so upset about the text, because she was really just trying to be there for Brandi, and has worked hard to turn over this new leaf with the girls, especially Cary. Sadly, none of this should have even taken place. If Brandi and Stephanie had just gone to each other right from the start of all of this and aired their dirty laundry with each other, they could have moved on and been besties again drinking Jesus Juice together in a matter of days, not months.
As I sat at that picnic table watching these girls bicker like I was watching debate club, I grew more and more perplexed as to why this hadn’t been dealt with earlier, and why they just didn’t talk from the get go. I won’t say that my suggestion to mend fences is what convinced them to finally decide to talk to each other, but I do think it helps sometimes to get a perspective from someone completely removed from the conflict. In most relationships in my life outside of my relationship with my mother and sometimes with my husband, I am the voice of reason. To me, this is completely illogical, but from a psychological viewpoint, it actually makes a lot of sense. The area where I am the weakest in my personal life tends to be my strongest attribute as a contributor to my circle of friends.
Outside conversations will only keep us spinning around in circles. I always prefer to take a more direct approach to things, which you will see in action this season, stay tuned.
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