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Spring 2019



iFlourish Magazine Š


Our Founder and Advocate Hello, Beautiful! It is my desire to see you “Flourish” to your fullest potential; because I love seeing others succeed. Over the past twenty-five plus years I have gained valuable experience and a wealth of knowledge from my corporate career within the International Telecommunications area. I specialized in building successful business to business relationships; and setting core strategies for driving client-customer based initiatives. During my tenor in Global Communications, I have managed and supported large teams in the US, UK, Canada, South America, Asia, Australia, and other amazing places across Europe. The scope of my role as Global Director was to create and maintain end to end processes to support the overall implementation of new products and services for the world's largest carriers. Beyond my corporate career, I have led and founded several non-profits, held several offices within the inspirational support arena, and delivered countless motivational speeches. Most recently in 2015, I founded and built an amazing Networking Organization for Women which has grown rapidly to over twenty chapters in several states. I am also the founder of a Business Advocacy and Development Company that supports women entrepreneurs. In addition, I have held several top-level positions in a few Network Marketing (MLM) companies building my teams from the ground up in very short timeframes. I've held a spot in Success from Home Magazine and led my team to the Millionaires Club with one of the past companies in just six months. My passions are my faith, family, inspiring others, supporting community efforts, and philanthropy. I want to share both my passion and experiences with other women to help them reach their fullest potential in every area of their lives. I am excited for what’s on the horizon with The Flourish Network, Ardia’s Hope, and iFlourish Magazine. Get ready… we have some amazing things coming your way! I can’t wait to see you flourish and I am looking forward to meeting you soon. Here’s to your success!

Linda Barbour

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flour¡ish : to grow luxuriantly - THRIVE : to achieve success - PROSPER : to be in a state of activity or production : to reach a height of development or influence : to make bold and sweeping gestures

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Karen Camp ~ Founder of This Is The Day… Karen grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and attended Rockhurst University on a basketball scholarship. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Theology. Life has taken her in many directions ~ from Dude Ranches in Colorado to Outdoor Ministry in Alabama; from Protective Home Services in Texas to Mary Kay Cosmetics in Missouri; and currently to head coach and manager of CrossFit Canton in Georgia. In January 2008, while attending training on how to break through limiting beliefs, Karen wondered, “Why doesn’t anyone teach us these things as kids? Why do we have to wait until we’re adults and then try to go back and fix things?” He Opened Doors Nationwide for His Ministry Now youth all over the world have a greater sense of who God has made them to be, and how they play an active role in fulfilling His plan for their lives. Karen’s passion and excitement caught on quickly, and she has become a sought-after speaker for youth and adult workshops, retreats and conferences. My Day to Day Life “So that was the formal me ~ the day to day life is just crazy and busy like everyone else’s! I am a Midwest girl by birth, but my heart is found in the mountains. I have a husband that I adore and we have been a team for life going on 28 years. Our 2 boys are at a stage where they are spreading their wings and flying on their own ~ one is getting married, and the other is 17 hours away at college. My baby girl is 2 breaths away from graduating high school. My love for the Lord runs deep but like any human relationship, my side of the love story has had its ups and downs. I’m good at handing things over to God and asking Him to release me from their burden. And I’m great at taking it back from Him…I find myself on my knees quite often!” “I praise God daily for His unconditional love for me, and I am grateful for His mercy and grace on my iFlourish Magazine © 4 imperfect life.” website Facebook Page iFlourish Magazine ©


Overcoming Insecurity

By: Linda D. Barbour

Feeling insecure is a normal part of human existence. Believe it or not, everyone feels insecure from time to time. Yes, that’s right, everyone! We all have moments where we wonder if we’re good enough, smart enough and whether people like us. We have doubts about our relationships, we question our decisions as it pertains to business, anxiety about our futures and wonder if we’re living up to everyone’s expectations. But enough with not feeling good enough! You are ENOUGH! Therefore, you deserve to feel confident, capable and accepted every day. But it starts with you! It’s time to overcome the insecurities that keep bringing you down and build up your self-esteem. You are probably asking, how? The process starts by taking action and taking control of your life. Believe it or not, confidence isn’t something you’re born with, but a quality you develop in yourself over time. So often many things and opportunities pass us by because of our insecurities that we have about ourselves. I don’t know about you, but there comes a point where something must give in this area because there is so much more beyond the limits that we set for ourselves. So, why wait another day? Decide not to let insecurities ruin the beauty that you were born with. Try these five simple steps to power past your anxieties and build confidence without a doubt. Become Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable Yes… It’s time to get out of the zone—the comfort zone, that is. If you’re like many of us, the fear of failure prevents you from trying something new. However, the only way to face your fears is by putting yourself in circumstances that make you feel uncomfortable. Push past the boundaries of being uncomfortable, and to

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step outside of your comfort zone and push yourself to do something completely unfamiliar. Something totally new. Something you’ve been too nervous or hesitant to do. It may sound scary, but you can do it. You can do anything that you set your mind to do, and you’ll find that once you’ve done it, you’ll gain confidence in the activities that you tried, as well as feel good that you were able to confront your fears head-on and stay strong throughout the struggle. PUSH past uncomfortable! Say No to Negative Thoughts What you think about you bring about. If your mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts, you will get negative results. Condition yourself to stop being your worst critic and become your biggest cheerleader! Stop putting yourself down and start building yourself up. When you have stinking thinking you’re only holding yourself back from achieving the things you want and feeling as good as you should. When those negative thoughts sneak up, you need to flip the script and replace them with some positive affirmations. These are simply supportive, uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. They’re compliments, rather than criticism, that build you up instead of putting you down. Repeating them like mantras makes your brain accept them, which allows you to believe them and builds your self-esteem. If only you could be a fly on the wall at my house! You’d think I’d lost it because of the way I have implemented “self-talk” and “affirmations” into my life. They work!

Feel Insecure? Come Flourish with Us! Did you ever wonder why the kids in the popular group always seemed so cool and confident? Turns out that it wasn’t because they were really all that cool, it was because being part of a group makes you feel more confident. It’s true! According to recent research, people that belonged to a large number of clubs, groups or an structured organizations reported much higher levels of confidence than others who had a large circle of friends, but didn’t belong to clubs, groups, or were members of a structured organization. Wonder why? Structured groups contribute to your sense of self and social identity because they surround you with people who share your views and values. This, in turn, makes you feel accepted, understood, and gives you the proper atmosphere to FLOURISH. And when you’re among like-minded people, you feel less socially-awkward and have plenty of opportunities to make some new friends, gain lasting relationships which boosts

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your self-esteem even more. If your confidence could use a boost, maybe it’s time to regroup and FLOURISH! Help Yourself by Helping Others When you suffer from low self-esteem, you spend all your time focused on how you don’t measure up, and what’s wrong with you, which only brings you down. Do you want to become more confident? If so, stop obsessing over yourself and start helping others. Supporting others and giving back can increase your selfesteem in several worthwhile ways. First, improving another’s life makes you feel appreciated. Secondly, it gives you a chance to take your thoughts off you and direct them towards something bigger than you. And lastly, you’ll see that it will give you a sense of belonging when you find an area of compassion for something beyond your personal corner of the world. So, I encourage you to connect with Flourish and become a part of something that purposes to do things with purpose moving past the status quo. You’ll soon discover how connecting with something that helps others FLOURISH will help you feel good about yourself, as you help others FLOURISH and feel good about themselves. It’s never too late to improve your self-esteem. Be assured that these four simple tips will give your confidence a boost—beyond a shadow of a doubt. Never let insecurities ruin the beauty you were born with. You are enough! You were born that way.

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One Minute

by Erin Erbeck Hurst

Everything can change in just one minute. We had just returned from my son’s MRI. The sedation left him very grumpy. The toys they offered him at the hospital weren’t what he wanted. He was crying so hard that we missed my phone ringing. Before we had even arrived home just 15 minutes later, I noticed that I had a missed call from Henry’s pediatrician. The nurse had told us the MRI results wouldn’t be available for 24 hours, so when I returned the call, I wasn’t surprised to hear her asking how Henry is feeling. I was surprised to hear that the results were in. I had no clue that in this one minute, my life of blissful ignorance and happiness would shatter. My boyfriend, Eric, and my mom had taken the kids to the next room to get them settled with a movie. When the pediatrician said, “Brain tumor” it was just me. In that one minute, the wind was knocked out of me, tears immediately flooded my vision as she continued to speak, but she sounded so far away. She instructed me to get a pen and some paper and write down the name of the tumor so I could do some research, “craniopharyngioma” I wrote. It used to be so hard to spell. Both Eric and my mom came into the room and saw my face. It was in that one minute that the muffled world came crashing back. It was so loud, I could feel my heart breaking and hear my world cracking. My mom took the phone from me and put it on speaker. As Henry’s pediatrician repeated everything, she had told me, “brain tumor”, “non-cancerous but aggressive”, “brain surgery” …

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When she hung up the phone, I heard this noise, it sounded like an animal in pain. A moan so guttural and so unnatural that I couldn’t believe it was coming from me. I could hear my own pain, like my heart was screaming out to the world. I sat there convulsing with the agony of knowing in this minute that my five-year-old has a brain tumor, a realization that made me so sick to my stomach that I vomited. Through the course of the next week, minutes blurred into each other. My grief was thick, and my terror felt overwhelming. I was riddled with guilt, he’d been having headaches, I should have known. He is so tiny, I should have known. I spent days pretending to be happy and nights releasing that same guttural moan as I cried myself to sleep. Eric would wrap his arms tight around me and tell me he loved me. I can’t imagine what those minutes must have been like for him. During that week we met with a neurosurgeon to plan Henry’s surgery. A reservoir would be placed in Henry’s brain to drain the cystic portion of the tumor and we would discuss therapy after the tumor had been placed. We met with a pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist and discovered that the tumor had destroyed Henry’s left optic nerve, he was 95 percent blind in his left eye, and he would never regain that vision. I sat each night on the couch sandwiched between my two boys. I held them as tight as I could, and pretended things would be fine. I would find myself staring at Henry and trying to imagine a life where he is changed, or one where he doesn’t exist. In that minute, I felt the panic rise as I realized, two weeks ago a brain tumor wasn’t anything I would have ever guessed, and it suddenly struck me that I could just as easily lose Owen as Henry. In that minute, I realized how helpless I truly am. The surgery was just two weeks later, scheduled for a Thursday on the first week of the new year. We had been told it would take 60 to 90 minutes so when Henry had been taken back, all went off in search of food. I remained with my mom, shaking and terrified. That is why it was so shocking when my name was called only 20 minutes later. As I tried calling everyone to return, I was brought by myself into a small room. In that minute, I had never felt more alone in my entire life. It was the greatest blessing when I heard my mom’s voice asking where I was. She sat on the floor next to me as the neurosurgeon came in. Relief flooded my heart as he told us that Henry was fine. Panic began to rise again as he explained that the fluid drained was not the type of fluid expected from this type of tumor. Either he was wrong in his original diagnosis, or they missed the tumor and Henry would need another surgery. After testing and another MRI, it was determined that Henry would have a second surgery just 24 hours after completing his first.

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I was then ushered to a room where Henry was screaming and crying for me as he woke up from surgery. The nurse said I could crawl in the bed with him. Immediately, he was in my arms, his crying slowed, and he fell to sleep. In that minute, I closed my eyes and wondered who would ever have the strength to pry him from my arms again? The next day’s surgery was successful, decreasing the original 3 cm tumor by nearly 50 percent and confirming the original diagnosis. We all exhaled briefly as our neurosurgeon introduced us to our oncologist. This for me was unexpected. His tumor is non-cancerous, I couldn’t understand why we needed an oncologist. She explained that the tumor is aggressive, Henry would need to regularly see an endocrinologist to see the impact of his tumor and surgery. He would also need weekly chemotherapy, given at home by injection. It was their hope that with the proper dose, as well as consistent bloodwork and MRIs, that Henry’s tumor would remain small and give him additional time before radiation or another surgery would be needed. She explained that at just 5 years old, either radiation or another surgery could have devastating side effects. It was in that minute that I realized this would be a life-long fight. Today, just 8 months post-surgery, Henry is on a regular regiment of chemotherapy. He was since diagnosed with hypothyroidism, ADHD, and a lack of growth hormone. He wears glasses to protect his eyes and is about the same size as his 3-year-old cousins. We have a team of doctors that includes a neurosurgeon, oncologist, endocrinologist, 2 neuropsychologists, psychiatrist, neuro-ophthalmologist, and Henry’s pediatrician. A team which I lovingly refer to as ‘The Avengers’. Henry knows about his diagnosis and takes his shots like a pro, sometimes singing The Greatest Showman hits while I administer. We’ve become actively involved in different groups for childhood cancer and pediatric brain tumors. Henry has become a bit of a star in them as well. I have developed problems with anxiety and an inexplicable desire to do more and more. I find that paired with some medicine, taking my life from one minute to the next minute helps keep me from drowning in the magnitude of this life. I joined several groups for parents of children with craniopharyngioma and do my best to reach out to any new parent that comes on the site. I have spoken with 6 different women to date, some of which have the same tumor, others with something varied. Every day I take one minute to think of each of them. I take life minute by minute and for now, in this minute, everything is as good as it will ever be. iFlourish Magazine ©


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Michelle Schomaker Once I started learning about the toxic chemicals in and sprayed on our food, it turned into learning more about household cleaning products, then onto essential oils and their health benefits which then led me to Beautycounter where I fell in love and found my passion. Our company is only 6 years young and we are absolutely the leader in the clean beauty movement. Last year, 2018, Beautycounter was the top-searched beauty brand online. We are growing leaps and bounds and have a business opportunity that is unmatched in the industry. You can find out more about Beautycounter and even shop in your pjs for safer skincare, makeup, men’s skincare, haircare, bath & body, baby and kids lines through my personal website or Shop Now button on this page or message me anytime. In health and beauty, xo, Michelle

Michelle Schomaker, Director Shop Now

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Meet Coach Katy Katy has been described as an avid adventurer. Why? Because Katy wakes up each morning with purpose and a desire to connect with others. She enjoys discovering new life experiences each and every day, whether that is beginning a routine day or traveling to different parts of the world to share what she has been led to do in life. She has a message and wants you to not only hear this message but live it day in, day out. She decided never to just SURVIVE each day. Instead, she THRIVES and has developed a coaching skill and process for you to also find HOPE beyond transition.

Katy Nelson Transitional Life Coach

"The ONLY thing life can guarantee us... is CHANGE" iFlourish Magazine Š


You were Created to Win by Linda D. 18 Barbour

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Have you ever heard sayings like “If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door” Or, “If one door shuts, another will open”? The truth is, people used to tell me these things all of the time whenever I was facing what looked like a disappointing moment. So much so, that these statements became a cliché to me. I was reading something a little while back about “doors of opportunity”, and it really caught my eye. I realized when reading the book that this was much more than mere clichés. When I look back at my life, every single time a door closed, another door really did open, and when it did there was another opportunity for me to grow. I also realized that at times I actually kept trying to walk through the doors that had been closed, or doors that weren’t meant for me and those were the times when I struggled the most. I have had many doors in my life open and many shut right in my face. When I was in my twenties, I had a vision of which I was certain was my destiny. It started out great, then BAM! Life Happened – and the door shut. Then a new door opened, and I embraced it without a clue of what the future held in store for me. What if I told you another door shut? It did, however, another door of opportunity opened up. Fast forward a few years as I was rocking my corporate career traveling the world making a generous six-figure salary, and out of nowhere I was downsized (door closed). At the time, I felt as though my life had crumbled right under my feet. However, what I didn’t know at the time was that a new door was being opened for me. So, picking up my pride as I brushed myself off and straightened my crown, I walked through a newly opened door of opportunity. Much to my surprise, it turned out to bring another great level of success for a while. But then things started to feel a bit uncomfortable, I was finding myself in a place where I wasn’t happy, and surrounded by people that challenged me to go against my values, so guess what? That time, I chose to close the door myself in order to stay true to my character and core values; as well as maintain my sanity and peace. It was a hard decision, but I “asked” for a new door of opportunity to open and I "believed" that it would happen. I desired an opportunity that would allow me to walk in purpose, one that would fulfill my desires, and most importantly one that would allow the lives of others to be touched. I realized that I had learned a lot from my past experiences and that I had the ability to change my course if I wanted. However, I had to fight to protect my vision, and it took a sacrifice of time, much energy, major trust and much selfbelief that I could do it. But I also understood that it was a door that I must walk through to reach my fulfilled purpose. You may be thinking that I make it sound easy, trust me I know differently. It took overcoming much adversity and withstanding things that were thrown at me. Was it easy? No! I was criticized in many ways for choosing to go against the grain of the corporate mindset because of my past experience and

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success. Being your own business owner, especially when you are starting something from the ground up isn’t easy, to begin with, but the added scrutiny from family, friends, and colleagues never helps. Because what they saw from their perspective and viewpoint of my life was that I tried and failed, tried and failed, and tried and failed some more. But this wasn’t the case, I was on my “purposed path” for my life and the door that had just opened for me was the door that was purposed for me. I also had a new perspective, and a new level of tenacity like never before. All of the other doors had been preparing me, teaching me, training me, and cultivating me for my purpose. I am a firm believer that nothing in life happens by accident, and that everything we endure is for our greater purpose; the good, the bad and the ugly. You may be reading this and find yourself in a place where you feel that nothing is working. Maybe you are in a place where you feel stagnant, or that everything you try fails. I want to pose this question… What would’ve happened if Walt Disney had given up when they told him that his big eared mouse cartoon idea was crazy, and no one would pay to bring their families to his harebrained fantasy of a theme park? What if the Walton family would’ve bought into the idea that no one would want to buy groceries from a local department store? What if Bethany Frankel would’ve stopped after hearing that Skinny Girl drinks were a stupid idea, or when someone knocked down her idea of offering low-calorie cocktails? These individuals all ran into roadblocks but that didn’t stop them. They kept having doors close, and new doors of opportunity open for them. There are doors of opportunities for each of us. And… it doesn’t mean that because one door closes in your face, there isn’t going to be another door of opportunity that will open. What it means is you have to be willing to hear and endure the no’s, be willing to face the challenges, and overcome the ugly stuff that life throws at you and allow all of it to build your faith, grace, and endurance muscles. It means that you have to roll up your sleeves, put your big girl panties on and make it happen! Don’t ever give yourself permission to give up, quitting is not an option. You have to trust and believe that great things will happen even before you step foot across the threshold of the doors of opportunity; and you have to be willing to endure in the midst of the doors that close on you in the process. Never, ever let an obstacle knock you out of the game. Trials and tests are a sign that what you are embarking on is leading you to the place of your purpose. If you get knocked down, learn from it, get up, brush yourself off, straighten your crown, and move forward! Here’s the real raw reality, there are still doors that I’m fighting to burst through in order to realize my full purpose, and yes doors still close from time to time. But, I’ve learned to cross every threshold with grace, even when under fire. My crown may get knocked to the side, it may even fall off once in a while, and sometimes sadly others may try to knock it off. But I refuse to quit! I challenge you to take the same

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approach. I encourage you to do the same. Whatever your goal, whatever your promise, whatever your purpose, decide today that you won’t give up until it’s yours. Take possession of your dreams and goals, even if you can’t see them just yet. Straighten your crown, stand tall, and look for doors of opportunity to open for you, no matter what your current situation may appear to be. Grab your grace and overcome any firestorm that comes your way and watch what happens. Mastering grace under fire will ultimately carry you through whatever comes your way… You were created to win!

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Jane Bishop

Jane Bishop is the founder and owner of Take The Next Step which emerged out of her passion and desire to help others “go for their it” with confidence and clarity. Using her teaching skills, education, and experience from academic, athletic and organizational environments, she invests in others and helps them create a sustainable shift. Known as someone who lives forward, Jane’s passion for life and encouraging others is evident, whether chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee, brainstorming with a leadership team, or addressing hundreds of professionals from a platform. Her authenticity, her enthusiasm, and her innate desire to keep it all about the other person, provides the foundation for a captivating experience. One of her favorite quotes is by John Mason: “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” She believes when a person’s passion intersects with their purpose, they are at their best. Jane holds the ICF ACC coaching credential, has degrees from three academic institutions, is a trained facilitator for DiSC, Emotional Intelligence, Basic Coach Training, and has over 500 hours of coaching. She is a published author with her solo work of The Bread Box, Life By The Slice and as a contributing author to the Amazon bestseller Overcoming Mediocrity: Remarkable Women. She has had published articles in periodicals, a former contributing writer for a local magazine, and a featured guest on blogtalkradio, Gwinnett Business Radio and LATalkRadio.

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Cindy Lou Reed

As a mobile communication consultant, I work with you to set up a keyword and short code for your business. This is called the call to action. We set up an offer, and response with a giveaway, special, or percentage off as a thanks for joining your text club. Your customers can also see pictures, links to your Website, and video's in the text message you send out. You choose when to send the message, now, or schedule it for a future release. You promote this everywhere to inform the public that you have a VIP Text Club to join. If they sign up, that means they want your texts. They are going to say, yes - text me when you have something going on. And why is it effective? Just about every customer has a cell phone with them at all times, and they check it often. So, build a large base of customers who have given you permission to directly communicate with them! Whenever you have something to say, you simply log on the SenText Platform from your laptop, iPod, or smart phone. Type your message, include your business name, the offer, the week, day and time to respond, and an expiration date. That’s how our system works. As a communication tool reaching out to people the way we as people communicate with one another called texting. SenText Solutions business texting service is available through Cindy Lou Reed anywhere in the Continental United States. Call, text, or email me to have a conversation about your business communication needs, and how to get started promoting through text messaging.


Mobile Marketing Consultant SenText Solutions

Instant Mobile Message Connection to your Audience, 99% Reach. iFlourish Magazine Š


Repeat this daily…


And… I ATTRACT GREATNESS! iFlourish Magazine ©


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The Flourish Network An Exclusive Virtual Networking Platform for Women in Business. The Flourish Network is proud to announce our new exclusive virtual networking platform for women in business. It boasts endless amounts of new features for our network that will link business to business collaborations, foster one to one entrepreneurial relationships and extend the overall reach for business portfolios.

"Bridging women entrepreneurs across cities, states, and countries!" This program will not replace Flourish’s existing monthly Chapter Meet-Ups. The Flourish Network Virtual Networking Platform is a new program to enhance the existing Flourish experience. It will allow our attendees to expand into new territories that they would otherwise not be able to link into. In addition, this platform will also allow women that want to connect but don’t have a local chapter in their area to have a Flourish offering to be able to connect to our network.

Put me on the VIP Launch List to Join!

Get ready to FLOURISH at a whole new level!

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Ana Leonardy Life Coach iFlourish Magazine Š


I am one who rarely has that many activities requiring actual planning, but beginning 2018, I began planning at the start of the New Year. It was a big year with big events and a few life-changing moments. Along with the things I had planned, came the unplanned and unexpected. Some good and some bad. While the good was exhilarating and for which I am grateful, the bad was heartbreaking. In 2014, I began a journey to reinvent myself. For the entirety of 2014, this journey was the only thing on my mind. I envisioned and contemplated something more for myself… something that would make me feel alive again. This was the beginning of something unseen and only in the imagination of my dreams. So here I was, beginning 2018 and feeling on top of the world. I had succeeded in conquering my dreams and the things imagined in 2014 were coming into fruition. I was looking back at my accomplishments; I felt confident and my vision was clear. I was unstoppable! Until… until the unexpected. The unexpected that flicked me right off of my victorious mountain like a tiny, insignificant pebble. Nothing about this was fun. While feeling like that insignificant pebble, my mind felt trapped on how easily I allowed this circumstance to make me feel so worthless. How did I go from feeling like a valuable stone to an inconsequential, barely noticeable tiny piece of rock? I was spinning with questions and doubted myself in a deep way. The very thing I had overcome was back in my face, taunting me. I had a difficult time recalling the things I knew to be true, the things that had taken me from square one to square two. The moments of hurt and confusion were enough to block my vision and I forgot the “new me” that God was in the process of creating. After agonizing over this in prayer, I reached out for help. I couldn’t continue in this alone and I needed a reboot. Once I was able to put my focus back where it needed to be, I soon realized that my previous experiences had prepared me for this exact moment. It took recalling what I already knew was possible and clinging onto faith and hope for the things that were still yet to come. It took remembering my vision and that I was in the process of doing a good work. It took trusting the process and believing that God believed in me to do great things. The journey that previously took me to the top of that mountain had created a new person within me, and with that, came the experience and tools to get me through this time in my life. Being on the other side now, this is what I learned; the unexpected is inevitable and some will knock us off our feet. However, our journey through them can bring us out as better people, if we choose. With each breakthrough, the potential is there to learn new behaviors that change and prepare us for anything that may get in our way. Just remember, start from the square you last conquered. I’ll tell you something else I learned, a pebble isn’t insignificant at all. Have you ever had one in your shoe? iFlourish Magazine ©


Socially Savvy Article by: Ava Wilkey

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Top 6 Mistakes you are making on your Business Facebook Page and the Easy Fixes: In a digital world full of fake news, gimmicks, and “steals” all out there to grab your attention on Facebook, there’s a new trend with users expressing their desire to see only legitimate businesses that have something to offer that applies to their interests. Across the board, there’s a desire for sincere connection. Facebook noticed this trend and began pushing algorithm changes that affect what users see in their News Feed. Basically, Facebook wants to know you a real business with genuine services. Competition is tough and almost every small business in your community has a Facebook page. What can you do to be noticed and make this connection? Well, I can tell what not to do and how to fix it. 1. Not optimizing your Business Profile to its fullest potential. Research supports that users are searching for businesses in the same way they use Google. The more organic information you can provide throughout your profile, the better chance you have of coming up in a Facebook search. Know your keywords and use them throughout your profile, just don’t overdo it. Facebook offers customized page types for each kind of business and within those types there are tabs that can added to the left column of your page. Do you know the one I see empty the most? The “Services” tab! This is the most important opportunity for you to showcase what you do! It is not enough to simply describe your business in the “Our Story” section and call it a day. Utilize every tab available that applies to your business and take the time to enter thorough information. 2. Speaking of “Our Story,” please do not make it as dry as toast. This is the opportunity to offer that genuine connection users are looking for. Here’s an example, if you’re a Baker and your story begins with “My bakery was founded in 1982 and has provided superior baked goods. We have served thousands of customers in Woodstock….” Are you bored yet? Put personality in to it! Don’t make your Facebook page only a salesy platform to promote your business. People will not Like your page or Follow it. Think about it. If you were searching for a local bakery, would you Follow this page, does it excite you? If the answer is no, you’re on the wrong track. If you’re an energetic entrepreneur who started a pie shop because you love to bake and what to share your results with your community, then say so! Tell your Followers all about your Grandmother’s recipes as your inspiration, baking with her in the kitchen and so on. The reward for sharing a bit of

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yourself will show in the number of Followers you accumulate and how long they stick around. 3. YOU- That’s right, there are too many Facebook pages that I visit where I do not see one picture of an owner, employee or a customer. In fact, many are loaded with stock images. As a small business, its important to market your brand, but YOU are a huge part of that. When your page has pictures of you out and about doing what you do best, it resonates with people. Take a picture with a customer, do a Facebook Live showing your Followers the behind the scenes of your business or check in at your favorite lunch spot. They want to see YOU and I guarantee you will see a rise in your Engagement and Reach by doing so. 4. No video. A page without video = little to zero Engagement. Facebook’s algorithm rewards video the most. What does this mean? It is more likely that a video post will be seen by your Followers than any other post type you make. Are you posting regularly and feel like there’s nothing but crickets? What’s your barrier to video? “My hair doesn’t look good today” or “I don’t like what I’m wearing” are simply excuses and more than likely, your audience doesn’t notice any of those things. Make a video! There are also tricks of trade where you can turn graphics easily into a video .gif file. Check out and others. There are tons of resources on how to do this. 5. Not creating original content. Create original material for your Facebook page. There are content generating services out there that produce quotes, links and articles relating to your business topic. Problem is, the material is painfully generic. What’s missing in these kinds of posts? YOU! I know there I go again, but you are the heart of your business and when you take YOU out of the equation, your Reach and Engagement drop. While we are it, borrowing all your graphics by searching the web and finding premade inspirational quotes or funny Memes, isn’t the way to go either. While some of these are super funny and would apply to your business, don’t make it a habit. It becomes obvious to your Followers when everything is borrowed. What can you do instead? Follow your favorite blogs, magazines and local newspapers. If something you read strikes you, share it, but relate it to your business when you describe it in the status update. Better yet, tag a customer or friend that you think the article relates to. What about those cool inspirational quotes or funny memes? Create your

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own easily with a graphics tool like Canva. Register for a free account at and create content with your logo and brand colors. 6. Never looking at your Analytics. Your Facebook analytics can tell you a tremendous amount of information about your audience and what’s working and what isn’t. You can find out the percentage of your audience that are men or women, age range, and what cities your Followers are from. You can see when most of them are online and determine the best time of day to post. You can look at the overview of the last 28 days and see if your Reach and Engagement are up or down. You can review published posts and immediately see which got a response and where you received crickets. You want to know what’s not working. Make your job easier, try to look at these once a month.

“But Ava, all of this sounds like too much work!” I hear you. It takes less time than you think, are if you’re willing to schedule to block an hour a week of your time? In as little as few hours a month, you can produce 3-4 posts a week. Is it better to do more? Yes, ideally post daily, but be realistic about what your time commitment is. There are awesome scheduling tools out there that allow you to create all your posts ahead of time. If you’re looking at your Analytics, you will find the most popular day and time to post. Include video and photos of yourself, article shares, inspiration, pictures of your product, customer testimonials, etc. You want to keep your page active and worthy of a spot in your Follower’s News Feed. Still too much for you? There are small business support companies out there that specialize in social media and can do your posts for you. Even if you hire out social media services, you should still post a picture or video of yourself anytime it strikes you. A good social media company will learn your business inside and out, know what your target market is, meet with you regularly and encourage YOU to participate in the process. Ava Wilkey, is an Independent Social Media Management Contractor in Woodstock, GA. Her clients include Your Right Hand, LLC. of Canton, Georgia and Classic Staging, LLC. of Woodstock, Georgia. She also offers Office Management and Administrative services and teaches workshops to small business owners on Canva and other Social Media topics. Ava can be reached at

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Wine with Purpose. Our goal is to see others FLOURISH. We are passionate about bringing awareness to causes that do just that. We invite you to join us in our philanthropic efforts this quarter by simply purchasing wine for a cause. One bottle of wine will support dual causes. One Hope gives back to specific causes per wine type, and we’re also giving back for each bottle purchased. Our cause for this quarter is bringing awareness to sex-trafficking and helping domestic violence victims overcome their existing circumstances. Together we can make a difference one bottle of wine at a time.

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Bobbie Ruth’s Story Overcoming Hurdles and Realizing Dreams by: Amanda Duttry iFlourish Magazine ©


Imagine working a job you grew up as a child dreaming about. The one that was your “dream job”. The one that others epitomized. The one that typically consumed way more than forty hours per week. The one that took you away from your family more than you ever imagined. The one that caused more stress, anxiety, and heartache than you ever expected. The one that you eventually no longer enjoyed. The one that eventually left you burned out and wanting something more. Many of us have been there, right? I have. And this is my story, and my encouragement to you. Growing up, I always dreamed of working in law enforcement. After working many years supporting or in the background in various ways, I achieved that in 2014 as a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. I was a field investigator in Northeast GA, investigating all kinds of major crimes. For a long time, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the challenges and fast pace. I enjoyed waking up each day and never knowing what each day held for me. But it eventually consumed so much of me, taking me away from my family, and even myself. By that I mean, it didn’t allow me certain creative outlets I always had to relieve anxiety and stress. After three years, I started feeling it was too much, for many reasons. My grandmother, Bobbie Ruth Durham Cox, passed away at the end of 2016, leaving me to look hard at my life and the realization that we only get this one chance to make it what we want. Why do we settle for less than what makes us happy? Why do we settle for less than what we are passionate about? My grandmother passed on so much to me in her life. One of those things was her love for baking and decorating cakes. This was one of my main creative outlets utilized much of my adult life. I decided in early 2017 that I was going to leave my law enforcement career to pursue opening my own business, a bakery. I had considered doing this many years prior, but it was not the right time. I was a completely self-taught baker, and with the exception of some basic cake-decorating classes, completely self-taught in the art of cake design and decorating, too. I resolved that pursuing a bakery business would be something I did upon retiring from my law enforcement career. But in 2017, I realized there was no reason to put off something that I enjoyed, was good at, AND could make money doing. I prayed on it, repeatedly. I visited my grandmother’s grave, and asked her for a sign as to whether this was right for me to do. The same night I visited her, I was in one of my favorite clothing stores. During my walk through it, my eyes were drawn to a vintage business card holder, and my heart filled with this overwhelming presence of her. That was her sign to me, or at least that is what I told myself. And yes, of course I bought the business card holder. I still use it to this day, too. So that was it, I had made up my mind on this new path I was starting. My bakery would be named after my grandmother, homage to her. It was my way of allowing her to live on, every single day. My first hurdle – convincing my husband that this was a good idea. Some would say I am the more carefree, wild spirit between my husband and myself. He is would be the more practical, straight-forward one. While he believed in my talent, he was not convinced this was a sound life strategy for us. While continuing to work my full-time law enforcement career, for the next six months I spent hours creating a business plan, analyzing statistics, breaking down numbers and recipes, and proving to him that this was something I wanted, and I was not going to give up. Every time I showed him more work done, he pushed me for more. In September of 2017, I finally turned in my notice to my employer. I left GBI at the end of October 2017. iFlourish Magazine ©


At this same time, I officially created Bobbie Ruth’s, LLC, also currently known as Bobbie Ruth’s Southern Style Bakery. My husband was finally supportive, but I will say he was still questioning how this would go. My next hurdle to jump – proper licensing and production location. In the state of Georgia, there are so many regulations when it comes to producing and selling any type of food. I knew our home would not be appropriate for a cottage food license, nor did I want my business based in my home. I wanted that to be kept separate. Without a retail location, I was incredibly limited in resources to properly run such a business. But I was not ready for a retail location for many reasons. I wanted to grow this from the ground up, organically, starting small. I found a concept called a commercial shared kitchen – an ideal place for food producers who do not have, or do not need, retail space. While there are a handful of these commercial shared kitchens in the Atlanta area, there was literally only ONE with availability. The rent was more than I was comfortable with for such a thing, but I did not have much choice. I prayed on it, and asked God to provide me with the amount of business to sustain the overhead. I was literally starting with nothing but friends and family knowing my talent and plans. So, it was a big risk. We signed on with the commercial shared kitchen, PREP Atlanta, and obtained our business license in February of 2018. There was no looking back. Since starting, officially just over ONE year ago, we have grown so much. Our sales in our first year reached numbers I never dreamed they would in such a small amount of time. While I started with the expertise as a cake baker and cake artist, I made sure to market Bobbie Ruth’s as a fullservice bakery. And we are. Cookies, cakes, pies, cheesecakes, cupcakes – you name it. There aren’t many of these full-service bakeries around anymore. One of the best decisions I made in our first year was to reach more customers and grow our business by participating in multiple local farmer’s markets. Throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2018, I participated in four weekly farmer’s markets, which ended up bringing in approximately 60% of our sales. In doing this, Bobbie Ruth’s became known for some of the best soft-baked cookies and cinnamon rolls locally. As a matter of fact, we had to take January and February of 2019 off due to me having Carpal Tunnel correction surgery on both of my hands. Yesterday was my first return to one of our local farmer’s markets after being gone for over two months. It was a day of record-breaking sales for us. As for the remainder of 2019, I have goals set. My biggest goal is to open a retail location. We are currently working on a possible location in Loganville. Operating as a business based mostly on custom orders limits my creativity. I want a space where I can bake and create without limits and invite community members in for a cup of coffee and a sweet bite. That is my big objective for the year. But, I also set smaller goals as well. I want to book a certain number of wedding cakes this year. I want to learn new techniques and attempt things I have not attempted yet. Being a self-taught baker and cake artist means there is so much that I do not know, so I have to continuously focus on education and training, to stay competitive and expand what we can offer. While going through all the motions of leaving behind a career and starting a new journey, I learned that I also had a passion for helping other women. Whether it is help in finding their voice or their passion, networking, or just being a person to bounce ideas off of, I thoroughly enjoy helping other women who have visions of something great. Women often underestimate themselves, and compare themselves to others in the world. iFlourish Magazine ©


I know I personally said so many times “What do I have that makes me able to compete with every other baker or cake artist?” and “Can I do this when there are so many others in this industry?” The answer was that, yes, I could. As for what I have that allows me to compete with some of the best, well I have to constantly be changing that. There are a million clothing stores you can shop at, but that does not mean that new chains and boutiques don’t continuously open. It’s not about quantity, but quality. I know that my product, my story, and my passion for what I do permeate through to our customers. If you ever wish to learn more about me or my business, come visit me at the Flourish Buford meetings, typically held on select Tuesday evenings each month. You can also reach me via our website at

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Healthy Sleep… Healthy Body! Article by: Angelica Foster Polysomnographic Technologist Rochester, NY

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In the past, sleep was so often ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths. However, now more and more people are beginning to understand the importance of sleep and how it is connected to overall health and well-being. For example, when people get less than 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night, they are at a greater risk of developing diseases. Healthy Sleep – Healthy Body. Here are a few reasons why you should call it an early night to cultivate a healthy sleeping ritual. Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur during the early morning hours, which may be due to the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep May Help Prevent Cancer Did you know that people who work the late shift have a higher risk of developing breast and colon cancer? Researchers believe light exposure reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is thought to protect against cancer as it appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark and avoid using electronics before bed in order to help your body produce the melatonin it needs. Sleep Reduces Stress When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, and the stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep. Learn relaxation techniques to counteract the effects of stress and fall asleep faster. Sleep Reduces Inflammation Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. This creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age. Sleep Makes You More Alert A good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great but increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get iFlourish Magazine Š


out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged with your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level. Sleep Improves Your Memory Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but they have found that sleep plays an important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to make memories and links and getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better. Sleep May Help You Lose Weight Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don't forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is a huge part of the equation. Napping Makes You "Smarter" Nighttime isn't the only time to catch ZZZZs. Napping during the day is an effective, refreshing alternative to caffeine that is good for your overall health and can make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease. People who nap at work show much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function, and mood. Sleep May Reduce Your Risk of Depression Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with serotonin deficiencies are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep: between 7 and 9 hours each night. Sleep Helps the Body Repair Itself Sleep is a time to relax, but it's also a time during which the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage.

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Intentionally Fit

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Hello I’m Kim Waits! The CEO and founder of iFit! I have been married to my husband Jeremy for 13 years and we have 4 boys. I live a very busy chaotic life and we are constantly on the go. Three years ago, I created my first challenge group as a new year resolution, and it has only gone up from there! I was sick of the 90% focus on workout boot camps, being told I was a failure over and over again because I ate something sweet and the lack of education on nutrition that most boot camps provide so I created iFit. It is a 6-week online nutrition group. iFit stand for “Intentionally Fit”. I designed my program to be a Lifelong Transformation! I will teach you one healthy nutrition tip at a time, day by day, and will guide you to success. I believe in fueling your body so you can be the best version of yourself that you were meant to be. It’s focused around the physical and mental transformation. Exchanging bad habits for good ones to add to your quality of life by getting your mind and body working together to work for you. My program works because it's simple and easy to follow. You are part of a community of like-minded people who support each other through the entire journey and ongoing. I also have a team of 10 certified iFit coach’s, 4 Members on my nutrition board, a quality assurance member and 2 iFit Life coaches who will continuously guide you and support you. It's not about a smaller you. It's about a healthier fit version of you who is living your best life because if it. Live the life you want to live without extreme workouts, without eliminating your favorite things or feeling restricted. iFit knowledge is powerful and I guarantee that it will change your life FOREVER if you let it!

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We Love our Chapter Leaders! Chapter Spotlight

Laura White – Milton, GA Chapter I am the wife of an entrepreneur and mom to 3 young children. My dream of being a stay at home mom came true when my oldest was 15 months old, but my desire to be creative and help people was always driving me to do more. I catered to that desire by expanding on things that I already loved like creating beautiful and fun meals for my family, constant DIY projects around our home and eventually teaching myself how to sew and machine embroider. It wasn’t until I was introduced to network marketing that I realized that while the creative part of me was fulfilled, the isolation that I had established for myself over the years was really keeping me down. I started going out of my comfort zone and experienced more self-growth than I could have ever imagined which led me to my true passion of empowering and connecting women. After my very first Flourish meetup I was hooked because of how amazing I felt and the true connections that were created. I was completely flattered to have been offered the chance to lead the Milton/Alpharetta Flourish Chapter meet up. Never did I think that some of the great joys in my life would be Flourishing with wonderful women. Watching connections happen before my eyes in my Flourish networking meetup fills my cup to the brim. One of the biggest compliments I have received as a chapter leader was in a handwritten note (yes, you read that correctly) from someone who attended my chapter meet up saying that because of a simple invitation to attend, she made 2 great connections that led to 2 more great connections. I know in my heart that the connections for her will not stop there. Flourish is an unbelievable network and I look forward to meeting and connecting countless more women.


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Marian Wilson – Land O’ Lakes, FL Chapter

I am a Portrait Photographer with a love for modern glamour and the transformation of women like me, the everyday woman. My focus is also on family, generations, couples, boudoir, personal branding and headshots. “When was the last time you were professionally photographed? I invite you to a personal session with me. It will change the way you see yourself."


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Missy Singer – Evansville, IN Chapter

I am excited and honored to be leading the Flourish Network Chapter of Evansville, IN. I am passionate about our tri state community and about helping women build successful careers. As a stylist and strategic leader with cabi, I have created a business of excellence that inspires women to radiate beauty and joy into the lives of others. I want to take that knowledge and experience and help all women live out their dreams in whatever industry they choose. I am confident we can build a community of boss ladies that will Flourish by joining smart, fun and passionate women together.


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Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

Stop looking for signs and just do it! iFlourish Magazine Š

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Pay close attention when people react with offense, anger and hostility to your boundaries.

You have found the edge of where their respect for you ends. iFlourish Magazine Š


Come FLOURISH with us!

We offer a "selfless networking" environment that is void of competitive, aggressive, hard selling tactics, and overbearing business practices. Our goal is to provide an environment to grow, as we support each other in the spirit of love and integrity. We strive to be different on purpose with purpose. We desire for women to come and FLOURISH on both a personal and professional level. We are not just your average networking group. Our Flourish Meet-Ups occur once per month at each location. Each of our meet-ups has been designed to build your business, connect you with wonderful women of purpose, and make an impact in the lives of others.

We can’t wait to see you at one of our amazing chapter meet-ups!

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CONNECTICUT Fairfield (Coming Soon!) FLORIDA Brandon (Coming Soon!) Clearwater Ft. Lauderdale Jacksonville Land O' Lakes Miami Ponte Vedra Port St. Lucie Riverview St. Augustine Spring Hill Tampa Wesley Chapel West Palm Beach (Coming Soon!) GEORGIA Acworth Buford Canton Cartersville Cumming Dallas Dawsonville E. Cobb Marietta Hiram Johns Creek I Johns Creek II Kennesaw Milton Peachtree Corners Rome Roswell Snellville Townlake Woodstock West Cobb Marietta

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IDAHO Boise INDIANA Evansville Indianapolis KENTUCKY Florence Louisville (Coming Soon!) MASSACHUSETTS Boston MISSOURI Springfield NEW JERSEY Mount Lauren (Coming Soon!) Ocean City (Coming Soon!) NORTH CAROLINA Charlotte Greensboro PENNSYLVANIA Blue Bell SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston VIRGINIA Roanoke Don’t see your state or local area listed? We’d love to speak with you about FLOURISHING in your area. For more information email us @ Or, feel free to submit a leader application via the following link and someone from our staff will contact you to discuss the possibilities.


Advertise with us… We are elated that we offer iFlourish Magazine to wonderful women in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Our goal is to inspire, motivate, and provide a platform to feature amazing women entrepreneurs and their businesses. Cost-effective advertising options are available in the iFlourish Magazine. Our publication features editorial coverage that is meaningful and relevant for today’s business women and female entrepreneurs. We will offer you the opportunity to connect to unique audiences otherwise unreachable. We also promise to present your brand’s specific message in a big, bold and beautiful way so that you can flourish to another level in your business.

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Embrace the pace of your own journey.

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Flourish on Purpose!

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