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How to Be Healthy Enough with Amy Van Liew (Empty Nest Empires, episode 6)

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Hi Empire Builders! I am really happy that my first episode after the introductions we’ve been doing is this one about being healthy enough. I’ve noticed a tendency to have an all or nothing mentality in this area. Every time we open a magazine or turn on the TV we are bombarded with images of others we would like to emulate, but really – it’s unattainable for most of us. So what do we do? We do nothing. 

My guest today is going to teach you a better way. A way to be healthy enough – for you. Amy Van Liew spent 26 years as an engineer for HP, and when she took early retirement at age 50, she knew she needed to improve her health. All those years of corporate sitting had taken a toll. So, she educated herself and now is helping midlifers find the balance they need to be healthy enough. Healthy enough to enjoy life on their terms. I hope this episode sparks some ideas for changes you can make to be your healthiest self.

Here are some of the resources we referenced in this interview:

Book by Jack Canfield: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Instagram account comparing photo shopped images to real life (in her IG stories): @indyink

Connect with Amy:

Sign up here for Amy’s 5 Minutes for 5 Days Challenge

Be Healthy Enough on Instagram and Facebook

YouTube: Amy Van Liew Fitness

Connect with Tami – Instagram and Facebook

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Your Financial Empire – Pillar 5 of Empty Nest Empire Building (Empty Nest Empires Podcast, episode 5)

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Okay. Did I save the best Empire Building pillar introduction for last? Or is it the worst? 

Love it or hate it, the idea of leaving a legacy always comes down to money, for most of us. Yes, the point of this podcast is that we build empires in so many different areas, which is why we introduced the five pillars of empire building – and we will tell stories from all of them.  Fitness, Fun. Family. Faith, and Finance…But that money thing? It’s the one that haunts us, am I right?

Maybe you’ve done just fine in this pillar of empire building. Or maybe you haven’t. Or maybe you are somewhere in between.

We will talk about all of it, and hear stories from the planners. The non planners, and even those who have successfully turned their finances around, even in their retirement years. Get ready for some ideas, some strategy, and some insight. 

Just a few of the questions we need to tackle are – 

Are you ready for retirement? Do you feel like you will never be able to retire? Did you invest wisely or live paycheck to paycheck? Did you teach your children about money or are they floundering as young adults? Are you generous, or do you feel like you need to keep every last penny because doggone it, you earned it? What will people say about your money skills when you’re gone? Do you even care? Does all this talk about manifesting and attracting money really work? And by the way, Where did our money mindset come from? Did your parents live through the great depression?  Did you grow up hearing your parents say things like “money doesn’t grow on trees!” and “ What do you think I am, made of money?” And finally, is it possible to rewire your brain to have a different attitude about money and lighten up on the self-imposed pressure a bit?

Oh boy. Money. Finances. We will talk to experts and non experts and hear their stories, and their advice – then, it’s up to you whether you take it to heart or not. We will discuss business ideas, how to crack the code in online marketing… and let me reiterate here – YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD, AND IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. I might go on a tangent here, this is one of my pet peeves… every week I hear someone say things like, “I don’t do email because I’m old.” (uhhh my mom learned how to email in her 80s and was delighted to have a new way to connect with people – it was so much easier for her than hand writing notes..) I think if my mom was still with us, she would have had a blast doing live videos on Instagram and Facebook…. So, lose that limiting belief, okay???

I cannot wait to see what shows up as we unpack and learn new things together…Are you ready?


We should connect on social media – I’m @tamiromani on every platform, but my current favorite is Instagram

More resources:

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A Legacy of Faith: Pillar 4 of Empire Building (episode 4 – Empty Nest Empires Podcast)

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The next pillar that’s so important to leaving a legacy is your FAITH. For some, this might be a sticky topic, and maybe you are thinking, how on earth can I equate having a personal faith with empire building? But stick with me here. I personally have a great heritage of faith in my family history, which I’ll get to in a minute – but even if you have never stepped foot inside a house of worship, you are leaving a legacy of faith for your family. Sticky topic, indeed. Let’s dive in:

Here’s what I believe: I believe that even if you say you are an atheist or agnostic, you are leaving a faith heritage for others to remember. It will most likely be a “no faith” heritage, but it will stick, nonetheless. Yes, I do believe that having faith or not is a very personal matter, but I also have experience with a very personal God who meets you where you are. So, yes – I’m a God girl, a Jesus follower – but I’m not like the so-called Christians in the political news who give us a very bad name. In my faith world, all are welcome. All are accepted for who they are, and everyone is responsible for their own relationship with God. I am blessed to attend a multi-ethnic, intergenerational church here in southern California – it’s important to us to do life with those who don’t look like us, think like us, eat like us, love like us and vote like us.

That doesn’t mean I won’t talk about God, or share my stories of miracles or times when He showed up for me, and for others. I believe that sharing our stories encourages others, and helps to build that faith empire. Have you ever been to a memorial service for someone who had great faith? 

No one says, “we really don’t know what she stood for.” No, they say things like, “her great faith was an inspiration to all who knew her,” or “ She loved others just like Jesus would,” or “she worked tirelessly to serve others and help them in their distress..” Great faith is a heritage, a legacy, an empire, if you will – and that’s where, for me, my mother comes in…

My mom was the backbone of our family. By the time I came along, she was 40 years old and had been through the hardest of her years in terms of building her career as a lady preacher. In the early years, I believe she shared the pulpit more with my dad, but by the time I was 7, she was the full time pastor of a church, and she didn’t retire for about another 30 years after that. When I think of my mom, the words faith, heritage, and legacy come to mind, for sure. My mom was confident in her faith. She knew God and God knew her. You will definitely hear more stories about my mom in future episodes, but for now I want to bring you up to speed about what I mean when I say I have a strong faith heritage.

A few years ago I was visiting my sister – at the time she lived in a house on the beach in Massachusetts. It was springtime, but it was bitterly cold. All we wanted to do was stay warm. Then we got a message from our cousin Jan, who is the family genealogist…. And I’m not kidding about that. She has done so much research on our family heritage, that she’s published a 637 page book (available on Amazon) that outlines the family history on my mother’s side back several generations. It’s a big, bold, beautiful, and overwhelming book. But back to my story – Jan’s message said, “oh, you’re in Massachusetts together, how wonderful! You will, of course, be going to Nantucket, right?” 

Our response was, “why would we do that?” We immediately called her and heard “well, your 9th great grandfather , Tristram Coffin, was one of the first settlers on the island. In fact, his daughter, your 8th great grandmother, was known as a great preacher on the island. Her name was Mary Coffin Starbuck, I’m sure you’ll see her name all over Nantucket.”

Bam! That’s all we needed. At about 3:00 the very next morning, we left the house for a 3 hour drive to catch the ferry to Nantucket, and spent the day exploring. And you know what? Jan was right! The names Coffin and Starbuck were everywhere… and even some mention of our grandmother in a display inside the whaling museum. But let’s go back to the part about her being a great preacher, and this idea of faith heritage…

Mary Coffin Starbuck who became known as “Great Mary of Nantucket,” and was a woman of great power and influence. She was consulted upon all matters of public importance, because her judgment was superior, and she was universally acknowledged to be a great woman. She is often compared to Deborah in the Bible’s Old Testament. She regularly held church meetings in her home and was instrumental in establishing the Quaker faith in that region. 

Seven generations lie between Great Mary and my mother, and while I am not really sure how many other men and women of great faith are among them, that heritage definitely stood the test of time.  And I do know the similarities between Mary and my mom are many. There was a heritage there. A lineage of purpose with an intentional faith that led to impact for generations. This is something I now carry with me – and every day I am asking how can I carry on that legacy, that heritage – and continue building this empire of faith in my family line? 

Maybe you can’t trace back your family history of faith like I can. Well, I couldn’t either until a few years ago. Now. I’m astonished at God’s faithfulness in calling members of my family into a place of ministry. I’ve not had that type of a calling, but the question remains – how can I carry this on? And maybe you should ask this question, too? How can you and I carry on, or establish the foundation of a faith empire in our families?

Something to think about, for sure – and we will be hearing more stories in future episodes. Stories of this legacy of faith – how to establish it, and how to nurture it. 

It’ll be so good. 

Well, I think that’s all I have for today. We will introduce the final pillar of empire building next time – and that is finance. A big, big topic, for sure. I can’t wait to bring you the stories as this podcast grows. 

See you next time…

Friends and Family – Pillar 3 is More Important than Money (Empty Nest Empires Podcast, episode 3)

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Our third pillar I am calling Family and Friends = or maybe just Framily for short…

When building empires and leaving a legacy – the first people we think of would be family, right? But I am keenly aware that some people don’t have family, or they don’t have a healthy family, and so, their friends are their family. So for our purposes, whenever I say FAMILY, I mean all of it.  Both are so important.

When you google family legacy, websites like Forbes will have a financial take on things, and we will get to that later when we talk about the Finance pillar of Empire building. For now, I want to introduce the concept of leaving a powerful family legacy in another way.  All families have a set of beliefs, values and attitudes that are passed down through generations. Some are beautiful, some are harmful – but they exist, nonetheless. It is possible to redirect a harmful family legacy and reestablish a new one of hope and beauty, but it takes intentional action to do so. If you’re an empty nester, you may think it’s too late – your kids are grown, maybe out of the house – but working on yourself to change first, will create a ripple effect through the family. It will. But you have to Be patient. That’s what empire building and legacy leaving is all about. The long game.

In future episodes, we will dive deeper in what it means to have a heritage. And what it means to pass down a heritage. A legacy. We will talk with those who have done it well, those who have turned around a negative heritage and those who are being intentional daily to leave a legacy of hope for their family – even if the kids are grown and out of the house. We will talk about grandparenting – and as a grandma, this topic is near and dear to my heart. We lost a friend of ours to cancer several years ago. At her memorial service, I watched intently as, one by one, each of her four grandchildren paid tribute to her. This grandma was so intentional with each of them, it just made my heart swell. They were now well into their high school and college years, and they each could list countless times when their grandmother sewed seeds of kindness into them. She made a point to spend alone time with each grandchild, and taught each of them how to cook, bake, and play fun games. I did not have grandchildren yet when we lost this friend – but I think of her nearly every day when I plan how to be the most excellent grandma to my current and future grandchildren. Yes, we will talk about this more in future episodes, and I’m excited to bring even more ideas to your grandparenting skills. So stay tuned.

Yes, family legacies can be changed. Being intentional to bring forth the excellent things, and let go of the negative could, quite honestly, change the course of history. Your words and your actions have great power, and You never know who in your family will become someone great because of your input into their life.

Ah, yes – this will be a good topic. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into this one. 

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The First Pillar of Building an Empire is FITNESS! (Episode 1 – Empty Nest Empires)

If you don’t have your health, you will struggle with any kind of empire building or legacy leaving… Okay, so let’s start with Fitness. I could have called it Health, but that doesn’t start with the letter F. Also, I wanted to challenge us a bit on what that word Fitness means. Now, I realize that when most of us hear the word Fitness, we automatically disqualify ourselves. We think of all the images we’ve seen over the years of quote FITNESS MODELS, and compare ourselves to that. But I’m gonna take this a different direction. What if we each had our own very personalized notion of what fitness is FOR US?

Are You Having FUN Yet? Pillar #2 (Empty Nest Empires, Episode 2)

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The next empire we build just screams to follow after Fitness because the two are connected – and that is FUN.

One of my best friends says you have to Plan to Play…. And oh boy, is she right! The worry and cares of life often overtake us, and I’ll just bet that weeks or even months can go by without you doing something fun. Am I right? Think back: WHEN was the last time you laughed so hard your face hurt? Or danced with a big smile on your face? Or took a drive to a place that makes you smile? If I’m honest, I have to say it’s been at least a few weeks for me (and that was because we were at a wedding.) 

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the have tos of life, that we forget to include the get tos. Think about it, we Have to work for money to survive, but we get to share a meal with friends we haven’t seen in awhile. The have tos are a given… but if we make a plan – plan to play, like my friend Staci says, we can pepper some get tos in between and make life richer. Do you have a friend with the gift of planning fun times? When we dive deep, I’m sure we’ll find those friends share the same Enneagram number or some such thing, but these times are vital to our very survival. It would be good for us all to take a cue from Staci and plan to play now and then.

I hope you enjoy this preview of what’s to come as we talk about building an empire of FUN.

Welcome to Empty Nest Empires!

Every day we are building empires – creating a legacy to leave behind. Whether we mean to or not, we build empires in faith, our relationships with family and friends, our level of fitness in body mind and spirit, even by having fun – and of course our finances. Most of the time we let the chips fall where they may, but what if we were more intentional about the empires we are building? Hosted by Tami Romani, an empty nest mom and grandma with a passion for leaving a legacy.

Welcome to the Empty Nest Empires podcast!

How to Tell a Better Brand Story with Olivia M. Gonzalez – Voicing Your Brand Podcast, episode 17

My guest today is Olivia M. Gonzalez – she is the CEO, Copy Curator, and Chief Brand Messaging & Development Strategist of OMG Brand Story, LLC. Olivia has established herself as a Communications Consultant and Copywriting Expert with over 10 years of experience shaping culture and engagement for national organizations. She helps business owners create brand stories that drive engagement, reinforce company culture, and effectively create a positive impact on their bottom line. She does this by working with brands to attain clarity of their brand voice and identity — and she helps businesses communicate their unique brand magic to attract, convert, and retain business while expanding their circle of influence, impact, and income.

You’ll hear in a moment how Olivia and I met – it was one of those God moments that you just can’t plan. She is a dynamo in person, and everyone who works with her gets that fire, along with her ten years of working in this industry, helping big brands tell a better story. 

Olivia says that having a brand story used to be a “nice to have” and now it is a “must have” for your business. 

In this lively conversation, Olivia shares her top three areas to focus on when crafting your brand story:

  • Know Your Audience
  • Identify What’s Universally Unique to Your Brand – there is a need to identify what’s unique but that is also a shared value with your audience to drive connection
  • Don’t Make Statements — Tell Stories

If you’d like to work with Olivia, check out the Work With Me section of her website at www.omgbrandstory.com Use this Exclusive Code for 15% Off All Consulting Services: VYB2019 (good through December 31, 2019) AND you should go right now to omgbrandstory.com/brandmagicmap to get on her waitlist for the Brand Magic Map online course launching soon – or, send an email to info@oliviamgonzalez.com  – just be sure to type “Brand Magic Map” in the subject line. 

Her adventures happen on Instagram here: @theoliviamgonzalez

How to Stop Using Filler Words in Your Speech (Voicing Your Brand Podcast, episode 16)

Using filler words is one of the most common ways your speech fluidity is stifled. You’ve heard it in others, but are you aware when you are doing it yourself?

Let’s start with the definition. When you use filler words, it just means you are filling natural pauses in your speech pattern with something other than words that continue your concrete thought. Instead of a pause or a blank space, you fill that with a word, a sound or even a phrase. Some of the more common filler words and phrases are like, ah, um, so, do you know what I mean?, I’m like… some people even fill that space with a smacking noise. 

Using filler words is a normal part of speech BUT if used excessively, it keeps your listener from hearing your message. The first way to find out if you have this habit, you need to do some self-assessment. Listen to a recording you’ve done – or record something new if you don’t have one. Make a list of the things you’d like to work on. If it’s filler words, Tami shares some tips to teach yourself to stop doing this.

The first option is to practice closing your mouth during a pause to remove the ability for any sound to come out during that pause. A second way to break this habit is to enlist the help of a friend who will remind you when you use filler words, Toastmasters actually has someone at the back of the room ringing a bell they call the “ah bell” – some chapters even collect a 25 cent fine for each filler word used during a speech. If you are by yourself, tap your leg or your wrist each time you use a filler word. This will help with awareness and you will retrain your brain and your mouth to stop using filler words.

It takes some conscious work and practice, but in time you will break yourself of this habit and have a voice that is heard!

If you’d like to join Tami’s group coaching program called A Confident Voice, go to aconfidentvoice.com and join the waitlist!