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For most of my life, I didn’t understand the power of personal growth. I didn’t work on developing myself as a human being and got pretty adept at making excuses for my faults and failures.

Blame and shame were a part of my norm.

But at the age of 25, I had a life-altering experience of finding my son Hosea black and blue and face down in his crib. He had fallen into the crack and suffocated in his sleep. In one moment, my entire world was rocked.

I went into a pretty dark place, asking God all sorts of questions and demanding answers. Looking back now, I see that my grieving process was even growth because I wasn’t stuffing my pain. I was processing it (maybe not always in the healthiest of ways) and seeking to move beyond it. My son Hosea’s short life on earth sparked a desire in me to always be growing. I never want to stay stuck where I am.

Where before I may have wanted to be a better mom and business owner and have better relationships, I didn’t quite get that committing to personal and spiritual growth is the key to strengthening each of those.

Over the last decade, I’ve gained the ability to show up differently in hard times. And it comes down to one word:


When I’m stagnant and not growing I actually get really down. It’s like the creative part of me has been switched off like a light and I feel completely lethargic. But when I’m intentionally pursuing growth opportunities, I come alive.

Ideas start to flow.

Relationships deepen.

Business begins to thrive.

And I feel a sense of peace and satisfaction in what I’m doing.

But there are certain things for you and I that can actually hinder our growth and leave us feeling frustrated and stuck versus growing towards our full potential.

One of my favorite “mentors,” John Maxwell, is a leadership teacher and guru and has spent more than 40 years devoted to studying people and leadership. He says there is one thing that is true of growth in any capacity…

Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings

This is what Maxwell calls, The Law of Environment. I am a part of a mastermind group of ladies that meets together weekly on a coaching call.  We have recently been working through John’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. And boy, did the Law of Environment hit home!

John believes that:

“At some point during every person’s lifetime, there comes a need to change environments in order to grow.”

This could be a career, relationship, or location change. This doesn’t necessarily mean the environment you are in is bad…maybe it’s positive and nurturing. But if you find yourself dissatisfied with where you are at right now and not reaching your full potential, it’s important to realize you have to be in the right environment.

We saw this play out in our lives in something as simple as a 10-minute move out of town. That physical environment shift for us changed the entire dynamic of our year, alleviating a lot of stress and bringing a whole lot of new friends! On Christmas Eve that very year, we had about 16 kids at our house playing a full match of soccer. That game was the epitome of why we made this move. Our family grew more that year simply by changing our environment.

Nathan and I have also seen this play out in one of our businesses. We spent 7 years working together from home with a great company. Our experience was very positive and loving and we had great success, met 1000s of wonderful people, and were challenged to grow.

But something interesting happened in the final few years of that journey. We began to feel restless and couldn’t shake it. Creativity was dying, energy was not there to work our business anymore, and we realized we weren’t growing (nor was our business) and hadn’t been for a while, in spite of continual effort.

For the last decade, since going through very bumpy waters after the loss of our son Hosea early on in our marriage, we learned the value of investing in our personal and spiritual growth.

As our marriage was threatened and I felt like I was sinking deeper into grief, Nathan and I both committed to intentional growth and taking personal responsibility for the direction our lives take.

So during this restless, frustrating season in our business, we did this all the more – more conferences, books, podcasts, CDs, mentors, coaches…but to no avail. Things weren’t shifting for us.

Until around the 7-year mark of building our business, we realized John’s Law of Environment was in motion – the environment we were in was not conducive to us reaching our full potential.

To say that was a hard thing to admit, verbalize, and begin to act on is an understatement. It’s almost always easier to just stay where you are than go through the hard work of transitioning, upsetting people you love, learning new skills, and facing your fears. But as I have experienced, you will be dying a slow death inside because you know that you aren’t becoming all that you could be, accomplishing all that you can do, and settling for less than your best.

So although this was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made, primarily because of the people we loved that we knew would be impacted, we chose to grow. We chose the path that would take us to new levels of leadership and skill development that we could not get to where we were.

But don’t be deceived. JUST changing your environment doesn’t change the outcome because guess what goes with you to the new place?


And if you are not investing intentionally into your own personal growth you will reap the exact same circumstances in your new location or at your new opportunity. I’ve seen this on repeat in the network marketing world. Believe me, in nearly 20 years of being in this industry, I’ve seen it all! I’ve seen people leave our organization or someone else’s fully believing another company or better opportunity is what they need to be successful. This company doesn’t have x, y, or z so I can’t possibly do well. Or this team doesn’t give me the leadership I need so there is no way I can succeed!

Let me tell you, my friend, these are dangerous lies you tell yourself if this is what you’re basing a move on that will leave you more discouraged than you were before you made the move! We didn’t have in-depth upline training at all in our previous company and were able to skyrocket to the top and make 6 figures. Why? Because we worked on OURSELVES. We skilled up where WE were lacking. We spent money we didn’t have to go to conferences and buy books so WE could learn. I created our own processes and training instead of complaining that someone else wasn’t doing it for me.

I think you get the picture. Before making a shift in environment, first and foremost ask yourself,

“Have I done all I can possibly do to change and grow and do my best where I’m at?”

If you have found ways to grow, you’ve worked with what you were given, and you are still hitting your lid, then it might be time to go.

“The first step to success is taken when you refuse to be captive of the environment you first find yourself in.”  – Mark Caine

To Consider:

  • Has your environment taken you as far as you can go?
  • Are you content with that?
  • What it is costing you to not grow?

Having made a major, life-changing environmental shift, I can personally attest to how powerfully and directly the environment you in and who you are choosing to surround yourself with impacts your personal growth and where you will end up.

We have grown exponentially personally and professionally since changing environments, but it wasn’t something we took lightly. It took us years to pray and evaluate. But in just months of changing our business environment, the cost of transition has been outweighed by the rewards. God did the impossible with us. What took us 4 years to build in our prior business, took us 30 days to do in our new adventure and in 7 months we surpassed what we had ever been able to accomplish in 16 years of trying. How is that even possible? Remember who goes with you to the new environment? YOU! So he took an awesome existing foundation of personal growth and skills already developed and ignited that with a new environment and the result was success.

Begin growing forward today by investigating every environment you find yourself in and asking yourself if that environment is pushing you forward, keeping you in neutral, or taking you backward.

Happy “Environmental Day” – or at least my version of it. 😉