Day 1 – Boarding the boat there was a definite electricity in the air. People were excited. The process went smoothly and we walked on. As soon as we boarded we were greeted by greeted by home office staff and music, free clothing and of course a lanyard with our names on it (LuLaRoe loves a good necklace lanyard) We found our way around the boat and made our way up to the top deck to say goodbye to Miami.
And then the Superbowl happened. You should know my husband and I are originally from New England and so being able to watch the game was a requirement for my husband. We found our way to the main show stage where they had projected it on big screens along with a huge buffet of game foods – wings, nachos, munchies, etc. You name it, it was there. Needless to say we were hoarse the next day from screaming. It was a very good night.
Day 2 – I woke up early and took a spin class (I know, crazy right?) This was me keeping a promise to myself that I would try to remain active and make some good choices for my health. Turns out I met 4 other women from all over the country who I would sit with at the LuLaRoe training session immediately after the class.
LuLaRoe trainings, in my experience are an exercise in soaking up inspiration and receive a shot in the arm of love from DeAnne and Mark Stidham, the owners of the company. There is a feeling that they truly believe in this business, in us the retailers, and there is no limit to what we can achieve. I sat there in the back row in my sweaty workout clothes with my new friends and nodded in agreement throughout the whole thing.
Later that afternoon Mark ran a question and answer session that was explained as “more for the husbands.” There are a lot of spouses on board and it is no secret home office values the impact a united front at home can have on our small businesses. I went with Jim and listened as many of the more skeptical husbands hammered questions about the future of the company. Even my occasionally doubting husband felt Mark handled everything thrown at him quite well. I walked out of that chat feeling confident in our bright future and the steps that are being taken to grow our business.
That night at dinner I felt embolden to just sit us down at a table with people we did not know and the result was the wait staff, who had another seating to serve, had to kick us out after 2 hours of conversation. We talked about politics, about business, about our kids. It was as if we had known each other for years. These new friends we would see over and over again throughout the week and would share a drink with and have some laughs.
Day 3 – Cozumel was an experience in ultimate relaxation. We had pre-paid a day at an all-inclusive resort where we were able to relax on a beach, swim, lounge and had some really excellent Mexican food for lunch. The water was gorgeous, clear and we were actually able to spot starfish at our feet. I remember reflecting on how lucky I was to be exactly where I was.
We had made plans to have dinner with some friends from my team who were also on board. These ladies are familiar faces from home and we laughed and laughed and laughed. The night ended with us entertained by some live band karaoke. We did not participate ourselves but were totally shocked by the talent of our fellow retailers. Who knew LuLaRoe consultants could sing so well?
Day 4 – I had never been to Belize and so I was excited to see a new place and take in a new culture. After hearing rave reviews and learning there was a large group going to the local caves for some tubing we signed up for the excursion and it was a highlight. The organization, comically called “Butts Up” outfits you with an innertube and guides you through this amazing underground cave system. They yell “Butts Up” whenever we run through a shallow section so we were not to bruise our rear ends. We saw stalagmites, stalactites, underground waterfalls, and the spot where the cover of the 2005 National Geographic cover was shot. I will never forget coming into the opening where this was. Completely breathtaking.
When we got back on board they announced over the loudspeaker that there would be a spontaneous question and answer chat with DeAnne and Mark, the owners of the company. I looked down and my river drenched bathing suit and cover up and went anyways. I have loved how casual and informal everything has been this week. Influential people from home office and high volume retailers that I follow on Instagram are just walking around enjoying themselves as well. There is no celebrity status here, just amazing exchanges of ideas and I am soaking it all up.
Day 5 – So the day started with some disappointing news that due to high winds and choppy seas we would not be able to pull into Isla Roatan. We would be having a day at sea instead which honestly didn’t bother me in the slightest. We headed down to the formal breakfast in the dining room and again sat with people we did not know. The exchange of ideas is truly the greatest gain from this trip. I have loved every minute of conversation I have had with other retailers from all around the country.
After breakfast I opened my laptop and did a little work in the room as I have been thinking about my team back home. I knew snow was coming down so the least I could do was work on a few documents I had been wanting to prepare for them. After a bit of that a lounge chair was calling my name on the 10th deck so Jim and I made our way up for a few hours.
We got about an hour outside before it rained for a bit but the boat had this cool retractable roof over the pool area. We got some lunch and weren’t really impacted at all. That rain was the only rain we saw all week which I could suffer through since my mind was on the snow on the ground at home. After lunch they announced a bunch of impromptu sit down trainings with the leaders in the company. I spent the rest of the day being inspired by Meagan Parker and Tori Mechiz, my upline and also more listening in on DeAnne and Mark, who answered more questions from those onboard. This unexpected day at sea proved to be quite productive.
Jim and I had dinner and sat with both some team members and some new faces. I have to say truly enjoyed spending this time both with my husband but yet exposing him to this world that has been woven into mine. I feel like he is going home with a better understanding of what I’ve been devoting myself to.
Day 6 – I got up on the early side, grabbed a latte and made it up to the 10th deck to make this video. After enjoying the fresh air a bit I made my way down grab Jim and we hit the sit down breakfast which is proving to be our favorite way to start the day. We were seated with a lovely couple from Ohio who lived on a working farm, and had no kids. She worked her business full time, while he worked the farm. I was struck by how this business can work for anyone. Our lifestyles are so different and yet we could both find success in what we were doing.
Not long after that Jim and I found our way off the boat and into Grand Cayman. We had heard that The Royal Palms is the place to go – lounge chairs and a restaurant right on the beach. Yes, please. We spent the day in and out of the ocean – reading, sunning and talking to other LuLaRoe consultants who ended up at the same resort as us. It took quite a bit to for me to take my feet out of the sand because I knew this was our last port day but my mind is already turning back to our kids.
That evening after dinner I felt like the day of sun caught up with us so we retired early to the room and caught a movie in the room. It felt like just what I needed and I slept soundly that night.
Day 7 – This is our last day on board and our final day at sea. As lame as it might sound there was so much good training on this last day. It was as if everyone was trying to soak it all up and take home as much information as possible. I spent the entire day, from breakfast until dinner, walking around the boat with my notebook – feverishly writing things down. That isn’t to say I didn’t spend an hour up on deck soaking up the last of the sun before heading home to depths of winter in Pennsylvania but even then I thumbed through my notes and thought about what and how I could present what I learned to my team.
On the last night of the cruise I had a really hard time sleeping. I felt like my head was so full of ideas and plans for the future. There is a unique confidence that comes from being in an environment like this and having the opportunity to exchange ideas as I have. We build each other up and improve each other and I am eternally grateful for the impact I know it will have on my future. I am so looking forward to hugging my kids and giving them some undivided time but at the same time I’m really so happy to have been here to absorb everything I have this week. I have big, shiny goals for the future and I’m ready to hit the ground running.