SHE INSPIRES: write your story

Once I saw the physical product, I immediately understood why she panicked. My sister in law Amanda had switched to a new phone and her journal, that she had faithfully written in for years, was gone. Fortunately, she was able to retrieve it…but until she worked it out, she was pretty devastated. After you read her words, you will understand why. These journals are beautiful and are just a daily commitment to enter pieces of her life on her phone every night. Amanda has been a faithful journal writer most of her life and since May 2018 she has kept her journal digitally with DAY ONE JOURNAL. Currently she has created 564 journal entries with them. This is not a sponsored post, we both just genuinely love their product.

Why are you a faithful journal writer?

It’s a combination of a few things. I remember the day that I got baptized, our family friend Chris Snell gave me a children’s Bible and a journal for my baptism. I was so excited to get such nice gifts. I remember Chris telling me to record this special day so I could always look back on it and remember it. So, I have Chris Snell to thank for planting a priceless seed.

I started documenting my life at 8 years old. I still have my first journal to this day. I think starting to write every night like I did really helped my handwriting! 🤣

My mom has also been a very good journal writer. I remember as a young child I used to watch her write in her journal. About eight years ago, when my grandma Davis passed away, I really had a life-changing experience. My sister Michel got my great grandmother’s journal (Goldie Davis.) Michel called me over the phone and was reading me page after page. I had never seen these journals in my life. My grandma Davis had stored them safely at her home for all those years. I remember that day as Michel was reading stories about my grandpa Davis and him being born with curly blonde hair, I literally just sobbed on the phone. In that moment I had a burning testimony about journal writing. The story just came to life. I didn’t want Michel to stop reading. I wanted to hear every detail. The story of my grandpa Davis as a baby and somebody I just had an amazing connection with- it just changed me to read those journal entries. I made a promise to myself that day, that no matter how busy I was, I would try to take time and document my days so I wouldn’t forget. I also found out that My grandma Davis rarely wrote in her journal. The few journals that I do have of hers I cherish every page. She wrote things about me that melt my heart. I knew she loved me but, to read her words calling me “her girl” just is a testimony to me of how journal writing isn’t just for you, it can literally change generations. 

“Seriously, look how beautiful skiing was today! I was able to capture snow falling from the trees! It was so pretty! I had a great day! I met up with Michel and Carin and we went shopping at TJ Maxx then met Jimmy and the kids at Red Banjo Pizza! Jimmy gave me a pass and I went and skied for two hours! After skiing I picked up Rivers from water polo. We went and had dinner at Slap Fish and then took her to drivers ed class! She better get her drives done so that she can get her dang drivers license in a month!” Monday, Mar. 4, 2019

Has your DAY ONE JOURNAL changed your experience?

Of course, I love hand written journals. But the day one journal in my opinion just really takes any efforts out of finding a journal and a pen and all the things. With Day One journal it’s just so easy to pick up anywhere and write about my day or things I’m grateful for or something funny that just happened. For the fact that you can also add pictures, it’s honestly priceless! It’s on your phone, it’s like having a journal in your pocket. You are already looking at your phone 1 million times a day. One of the times that you look at your phone make a journal entry. It’s that easy. (I should honestly be a spokes person for day one) I could sell this app all day long. Who am I kidding I’m gonna get my own app? I want to be the next poster child for Journal apps!

“We rolled up to St. George today at 4:47 a.m. I was so trashed, Lauren seriously drove the entire way. I woke up at 10:30 a.m. when Michel called to see where I slept last night. Oh hello, I slept in St. George. I just sleep wherever I want! We unloaded the car and decided because we missed breakfast we should just grab lunch at Mad Pita…Came home, jumped in the pool. I fell asleep in the pool for probably 45 minutes. The pool temperature could not be one degree better. So freaking magical…Lauren’s friends just showed up. They are going to stay the weekend. I hope they have so much fun and are super good kids! (THEY ARE!) I think I’m off to bed! It’s been a long day! Sunday, July 7, 2019 @ 12:35 am

What is the greatest blessing in having kept your journal faithfully?

Right now, I feel like my journals are actually making me money. I’m right in the middle of a divorce and for the fact that I have such detailed information and photos and documentation. My attorney loves me. 

Another major blessing, I feel like I have the worst memory. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday. I love going back and looking at my journals. It brings me so much joy to watch my kids grow and remember all the tender mercies that have taken place in my life. 

Amanda and her five beautiful children

What is the biggest obstacle for you keeping your journal daily?

Waiting too late in the night to start writing. How do I overcome this? Get in a routine. The first thing I do as soon as I sit on my bed is try and document my day. Sometimes when something really awesome happens, I try to document it right in that moment so I don’t lose any of the emotion and feeling.

Don’t you love my sister in law? She radiates joy in her life…and on these pages! She inspired me to keep a DAY ONE JOURNAL too. How could I not after seeing them printed? That is a service they offer, to print your books. On my next post, I will share my experience of keeping a DAY ONE JOURNAL myself.

You can follow Amanda on Instagram HERE.

create a dream: an apartment complex

My husband Danny read daily from his vision board, OWN A 10PLEX. His vision became a reality when our dear friends decided to sell their apartments. It is a complex that houses 10 families…55 and older. It has been a lot of work for him. He spends every Saturday there, especially in the warm months, and some evenings too. He never complains. His love for this project and place override what it does to his freetime.

How did your dream to own apartments come about?  What has been your inspiration?

My father and grandfather invested money in real estate.  I always knew that I would do the same. 15 years ago we bought our first investment property (a rental house) and we knew that it was the right thing for our family.

Imagine yourself at 80 years old-what will be grateful that you did in this stage of your life? 

80 year old me, will be grateful for the sacrifices I make now.  I love the quote- “today, live like no one else so that tomorrow you can live like no one else.”  Being a man of faith, work and family will be what my future self is most grateful for.  I think I will be grateful for the exercise I do today too.

Is there anything that you do daily no matter what? 

pray

What does the world need more of?

Grateful hardworking people

If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?

Spend it with my girls, long walks with you.

What is the best professional decision you have made?

Take a job with the Woodbury Corporation out of college, and learn about commercial real estate.

What was your first job?

Working on the farm with my grandpa (age 4)

What is the best advice you have been given? Who is it from?

From my grandpa- “hardwork is the only option”

What ______________tool could you not live without? Why?

My truck, It gives me freedom to do a myriad of tasks…haul off old water heaters, pick up loads of trash, pull trailers and not spill gas in my car when I am hauling gas powered tools! 

What does confidence mean to you?  How do you create it in YOUR life?  Confidence is being prepared to take the opportunities when they come to you.  Those opportunities come after a lot of hard work.

What is your favorite failure/mistake?

Anatomy 101 at the University of Utah. It made me realize that I was not going to be a physical therapist, as I had hoped.  I switched to Economics and have loved my profession in commercial real estate and property management.

What is your favorite quote or thought to think?

The scripture in the Book of Mormon, Ether 12:7 “And if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that  humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

Will you share a favorite routine?  How does it benefit your life?  I get up at 5:20 am every weekday.  I pray, read scriptures, write 10 dreams and 1 goal, what I am excited to do that day, 1 hang up might arise and how I will overcome it.  I read from a book, instructional or inspiring.  Then exercise.  This makes my whole day go amazing.  If you can do those things everyday, you will be ready for the rest of your day.

How do you define success?

Waking up in the morning-being excited about your day.

His hard work and determination inspire me every day.

create a dream: a carwash episode

I was listening to a motivational podcast this week. The subject of the episode was finding your purpose, your personal legend. They suggested reflecting back to the dream you have had since your youth. It was intended to be motivating. I was actually left in somewhat of a stupor. There were things like writing and art that I was interested in from a young age. I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember-but a calling that has fueled my decisions, or that I have always known was mine, has not been my experience. I am really inspired by people who follow a dream, CREATE IT for themselves after hardships, set backs or just the hard knocks of life. I think that’s what I love so much about Lauretta CREATING A DREAM of owning a car wash- ST GEORGE CAR WASH

I met Lauretta 14 years ago. She was my neighbor. She and Scott were working hard raising a blended family, children from their prior marriages. Their children were motivated, sweet, responsible, kind- just the examples I loved having for my young girls to look up to. Some of our favorite neighborhood memories have been in their backyard eating gourmet s’mores visiting with everyone they could think to invite. They are amazing cooks and even better friends. Lauretta, unfortunately for me, is no longer down the street, but I made the excuse to visit her at the very thing that took her away. I love the opportunity to introduce her to you-

How did you become a business owner?

I worked for Xerox as a Group President, Government Healthcare Group. I was responsible for $610M in annual revenue with over 6,000 employees. I came to Xerox through an acquisition of ACS (Affiliated Business Services). After seven years, Xerox decided that the acquisition wasn’t successful and decided to spin off the former ACS as a separate business. Through this transition, my group was combined with another group and I found myself without a position. I could have taken a different position within the new company, but I decided it was time to leave and do something different. I took a lucrative severance package and moved on.

Why did you choose a car wash?

Leaving my corporate job was a huge shock to me. Much of my identity was tied to my position which I no longer had. In the initial months of being “retired”, I felt lost and unsure what to do next. I started to look for another corporate job but my heart wasn’t in it. It didn’t feel right. One day, I was in my home office upstairs and Scott was in his home office downstairs. He texted me with the idea that we should purchase a business and I could run it. My heart instantly felt at peace and I loved the idea. We started to look around for business opportunities. Although my background is in healthcare, my real passion lies in business, specifically how to improve processes, growth, retaining and developing talent, and delivering exceptional service to customers. We evaluated many businesses and loved the car wash because it is a simple business model, and it had been in business for 24 years with an excellent financial history.

What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?

Unrealistic customer expectations, bad weather, and employee turnover. The labor market in St. George has changed and I have had to raise my starting pay for new employees in order to attract people to come to work here.

What is the most rewarding part of owning your car wash?

I absolutely love being a small business owner who can make decisions, set strategy and a vision for the future without having to get corporate approval. I love the lack of bureaucracy and politics that are common in large corporations.

Imagine yourself at 80 years old-what will be grateful that you did in this stage of your life?

Until two years ago, I have always worked full-time and found it difficult to have balance in my life with work, family, church, and outside interests. I am so grateful for the opportunity to own a business with a full-time manager which allows me time to pursue other interests such as friendships, personal development, hobbies, and self-care. I have more time to spend with my family. I am grateful to lead a life with less stress and pressure.

Who inspires you to be a better person? Why?

My husband Scott. He knows me better than anyone and isn’t afraid to challenge my thinking and assumptions. He has strengths that I do not have and together we make a great team. He gives me advice and is great at listening to my ideas and talking through decisions. It is critical for me to have someone I can share everything with – the good, the bad, and the ugly. My personality is such that I like to talk through things, often more than once. I am fortunate that my best friend is also my husband and he is always there for me.

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite business book is First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham from The Gallup Group. They did in-depth research and presented findings of what makes great managers turn individual employee’s talent into high performance. These managers didn’t hesitate to break virtually every rule of conventional wisdom.

What is your favorite failure/mistake?

I have been fired from my job not once, but twice! But wait, it gets better. I was fired both times from the same company. Feeling like a failure is not fun but the experience helped me evaluate my life, my motivations, and what is really important. I heard someone say, “Your worst day will end up being your best day, because it is the day you are forced to change.” As I look back on these difficult experiences, I see how much I grew and learned.  The second time this happened made me realize that corporate life wasn’t the right fit for me anymore. If I had still been working in my corporate job, we would not have searched for a business to purchase and we wouldn’t own the car wash. I am right where I want to be in my career.

“Your worst day will end up being your best day, because it is the day you are forced to change.”

Favorite dessert?

I have such a sweet tooth. I have many favorites but if I need to narrow it down it would be my homemade triple chocolate toffee brownies or Scott’s Lemon Blueberry cake. I also love cookies. My current favorite cookies (besides homemade) are Crumbl. I love their flavors, their size, and the dense texture.

What is your favorite book to give away?

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE by Clayton Christensen

If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?

For half of the week, I would want to spend the extra hour with my family. On the other days, I would spend the extra hour on personal development. I have been listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcasts and I ordered the start today journal. I am going to start doing her goal setting practices. I received an email from Rachel Hollis to her email list saying that for three years she has been writing down the goal to speak at a Tony Robbins event. She was recently invited to speak with Tony Robbins.  I had told Scott a few months ago that I wanted to attend a Tony Robbins event. As soon as I got the email, I purchased tickets to the event in Calgary, Canada where both Tony Robbins and Rachel Hollis will be speaking for me and Scott to attend in July. I am a podcast and personal development junkie. My favorite podcasts are: How I Built This, Rise Together, Better than Happy, Planet Money, Ted Radio Hour and Work Life with Adam Grant.

Which trait are you most grateful for in yourself?

I am loyal. I try to see the best in others and give people the benefit of the doubt. I believe that most people do not try to hurt others. Most people are trying to do their best.

Most people are trying to do their best.

What tool could you not live without? Why?

This is pretty corny, but I could not live without my phone since it is the most powerful thing that I have. I am very curious by nature and I find myself looking things up in Google several times each day. When I see or hear something that I do not know, I can instantly look it up. I use the notes app for lists and to store information. I just opened the notes app and I have 155 notes. I do not make to-do lists or take notes on paper anymore. Instead I put it into my phone which I have wherever I go.

What is your greatest success?

My greatest success is my happy marriage to a wonderful husband and the success of our children. They are righteous, happy, healthy, independent adults who are contributing well to society. They are great examples of courage, determination, strength, tenacity, kindness, and love. As our kids were growing up, we felt it was important to create family traditions and memories. For 10 years, I drove a red Dodge Durango and didn’t buy a new car. There were many things in our homes that we wanted to remodel but we put if off for years. Scott and I knew that when the kids grew up they wouldn’t look back at their childhood and marvel at the amazing bathroom we had. Instead our children would remember and cherish the memories that we made through our traditions, family vacations, and family activities.

our children would remember and cherish the memories that we made through our traditions, family vacations, and family activities.

I hope from this, that you have a sense of the kind of person she is. She is a woman poised in every situation I have seen her in. She is a loyal friend. She is a dedicated wife and mother. I have looked to her as an example in so many situations. If you are ever in St George, UT, stop by to get your car washed! Your car will look and smell amazing and I know that you will love Lauretta (and Scott!) as much as I do!