Time to Smile!

written by Derlene Hirtz, Founder of You.Empowered Services

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Theresa

Continuing on my journey to meeting 1200 people by the end of January 2108, I met Kenneth this week.  I have been out of town traveling, taking Uber’s when necessary.  Kenneth was one of the Uber drivers last week.  He seemed like a really nice fella.  Imagine, I started talking to him.  He drives Uber as a stress reliever from his full full-time He shared stories of other Uber drivers and why they drive. The majority of drivers use Uber as a means to supplement their full full-time positions.  There is a small percentage that drives full time.  For Kenneth, it is his stress reliever.  He enjoys driving people to their destinations and talking to those who want to talk along the way.  He does have a full-time job in which he is responsible for other workers; driving is a means for him to supplement his income and not having the stress of a staff in which he is responsible for their performance.

As we were heading towards the Ontario Airport, (did you know there is an airport in Ontario, California?  Neither did I the first time I went out to California!) I asked Kenneth if he would like to be one of the 1200 people I am meeting this year.  He was happy to play along.

“Kenneth, what do you do to change the world?”  I asked.

Without skipping a beat, “I smile all the time.”  We had an immediate bond right there!

“Why do you smile, Kenneth?” I continued.

“Because I notice that when I smile, almost all the time, people smile back.  That makes me feel good, knowing I made someone smile, it is my way of making a difference in the world.”

It’s true, science proves that when you smile, others smile back.  Often times, when sitting in the airport, I have my own unscientific research to prove this point.  Often times, people in the airport are focused on their phones or computers, sometimes sleeping, sometimes just not paying attention to the world around them.  I will walk around the airport and make eye contact with as many people that are paying that much attention.  My research shows that approximately 9 out of 10 people smile back at me.  Sometimes I am looked upon with suspension; however, the majority of the time, a beautiful smile is reflected back upon me.  That’s about as scientific as it is.

I became curious about people who smile, and about smiling itself.  Did you know there has been a lot of research done on smiling?  Aren’t you curious as I am?  This is some of the findings:

Not only do babies smile immediately after birth, science show they even smile into the womb!  Before they are reacting to our smiling at them, they are smiling in their sleep.  I wonder what they are dreaming about that brings a smile to their pure, sweet faces?  Perhaps it is knowing they are so well loved, maybe being content in a warm bed, all snuggled up, or maybe for no reason at all.  Whatever the reason, it is sure to make the parent’s heart leap for joy when they see the first smiles of their children.

Smiling boosts your immune system and improves your physical health.  Your body is relaxed when you smile; that contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.  Even if you are in a bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.  Your body releases endorphins when you smile, even when your force it.  People who smile are known to live 7 years longer on average than their counterparts.  Plus, smiling is contagious!  It’s true, as my unscientific study proves in my walkabout through airports.  There are studies out there, one conducted in Sweden shows that people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other people smiling.  Their muscles twitched into smile all on their own!

Smiling helps get you promoted.  Smiling, over wearing make-up, makes us more attractive, sociable and confident.  So you know what that means, when you are more confident and social, chances are you are what managers look for when building strong teams.   We should be training our employees to smile when talking on the phone.  It translates over the phone lines!

Am I convincing you to smile more?

Smiling is a great form of exercise!  A smile involves something like 22 muscles to smile.  A frown?  Approximately 37, but who wants to over-exercise!

Although language is sometimes a barrier, more often than not, a smile is universal.  Notice I said more often than not; some cultures may have different values or customs, so check it out when traveling abroad. However, one study found that a tribe disconnected with Western culture used the expression of smiling in the same way Western culture does:  a sign of happiness, well-being, and joy.

There have been studies (2010 Wayne State University) that look at pictures, for instance, of high school graduates or maybe even the cards of baseball players that can predict well-being and success throughout their lives based on the facial expressions.  This, according to Ron Gutman, founder, and CEO of HealthTap, who became intrigued when his long-distance running brought him challenges.  His answer that got him through:  smiling!

So now we know that:

  • A smile can make you look and feel good.
  • Can get you the promotion you deserve.
  • Can predict your level of success and well-being.

Before I leave you, I thought I would share the story of Ontario Airport with you with the hopes that you smile as I often do when I think about my experience.

We lived in Northern California for four years.  On my first trip out to look at homes, the pilot announced we were approaching the Ontario Airport.  I started experiencing great anxiety (secretly) because I didn’t bring my passport with me.  I just could not figure out or imagine why the airlines would fly me to Canada and then to Sacramento.  The young girl sitting next to me announced her grandmother lived in Ontario and she was so excited to be introducing her baby to her.  I was so happy for her and concerned for myself!

Finally, “Welcome to Ontario, California!” came over the speaker system.

“Oh, you mean there is an Ontario, California?”  I laughed.

Remember:  a smile can be seen in the distance.  So, go for it!

Let’s make this the best week of our life!


June Speakers

Wine & Workshop

Thursday, June 1 at 6:30 pm – 8 pm

Stone Summit Steak & Seafood, 17 Cliff View Dr, Wentzville, MO 63385

Speaker: Derlene Hirtz, You, Empowered Services

Topic: The Greatest Reason in the World to Rock the Talk

According to the Mental Health Institute, 74% of Americans fear public speaking. We all have to do it regardless if it is in front of 5-10 business colleagues, selling our product or standing in front of an audience of 1000: public speaking. Thursday’s presentation will examine what is really behind the fear of public speaking and offer thoughts and concrete tools to overcome America’s biggest fear. Join in this lighthearted conversation that walks through the greatest reason we should overcome our fear and share ourselves with the world.

Hi!  I am Derlene Hirtz, Founder of You.Empowered Services.  Happy wife, joyful mom, and now a very proud GiGi!

I vividly remember the day a friend called me on the carpet about an answer I gave to a question.  It was a rote answer that I knew (so I thought) was expected.  Once challenged about what I REALLY believed, I was surprised he found my opinion important enough to challenge me.  Then there was this “nag” always hanging out in the back of my mind.  By always, I mean years and years. The more I tried to ignore it, the more of a nuisance it became.  Until the day came when I could no longer live making excuses for all my unhappiness and always saying, “It’s not my fault…”  In a strong emotional moment, I made the decision to look into that “nag” or dark place in my mind, discover what was there, learn from my past mistakes and experiences, and eventually create a life that allows me to be truly joyful and happy.  It was sometimes very difficult; I would show up in my daily life all happy and pretend I was on top of my world.  Then, the drive home from work become darker and darker as I got closer to my house.

Making that decision to address the darkness is the best decision I have ever made.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had the perfect people in my life to help me through my journey.  A life/business coach that was available constantly to talk to me, a friend that I “just happened” to meet, and very few friends I trusted enough to share my secret journey.  When I reflect on the time of darkness, I feel like a woman who was underwater, holding my breath for as long as possible.   When I could hold it no longer, I came bursting through the crystal clear water, shooting up to the surface with incredible force, taking a deep breath and finding … life!  A life in which I do not just survive, but THRIVE! Let me share with you, IT IS PHENOMENAL!

As I became more and more aware of my true identity, I knew God gifted me with this journey so that I could be of service to others to support their personal and professional empowerment in their life journey.    Whether it is a parent facing the last child leaving home, a failed marriage, fear of child in the military and in harm’s way, the transition to a new job, or an identity crisis, I journey right alongside you, supporting every step of the way.

My husband is very supportive of my desire to live my dream of empowering others and sharing my story and the life lessons I learn from living, learning and growing!  My daughter is recently married.  I am very proud of the young women that she is.  One of the hardest jobs we as moms have is raising our girls to become confident and self-sufficient in an environment in which everyone outside of the front door is sending messages as to why she is not pretty enough (have some surgery!), smart enough (women are not as smart as men!), dressed to style (seriously, what is “style?”), and happy enough (take a pill, that will help!).  My son is married to a wonderful woman who is supportive of his goals to be a soldier in the US Army.  Talk about a difficult time being a mom!  I fully support and respect his choice to live his calling; although it is very difficult sometimes to watch the face of someone when I tell them that my son is a peacekeeper in the Army.  My read is they immediately feel sorry for me and say that, or they simply cannot understand how I can support him with the danger of it all. My mantra is, “God’s Divine plan is greater than my human fear.”  This is my mantra as he once again faces deployment, this time with the birth of my grandson imminent.

One of my greatest loves has become bike riding.  Three years ago I decided that I wanted to ride a bike for exercise.  Little did I know at that time, riding a bike would be pivotal in my personal journey toward living a full life!  Every time I get on my bike, I am reminded that this is one of the tools that I use to challenge myself physically, mentally, and even spiritually.  I recall the first time I rode five miles and thought, “Oh yeah! I have really gone far this time!”  I laugh now as I have my sights set on a century ride (100 miles!).  I very much enjoy riding in charity events; I seem to be able to push myself even further when I know others are going to benefit from my great love!  Bike riding has become a beacon of my personal understanding that I can design and live a life that I choose to live.  That is the greatest gift I have received when my husband gifted me with a three-speed bike that, when I rode it for the first time with a friend, I thought I was going to die!  Actually, it was quite the opposite, I found life!

As an educator, I have mentored young people for many years.  I discovered that the real reason why I love teaching was to be included in their journey toward adulthood. Empowering students to seek and then stay true to their own person is the greatest gift I can offer each of them.  I have enjoyed watching young people become thriving members of our community.  Working with their parents has also offered great opportunities for me to coach.  Whether it is encouraging parents to remain consistent in parenting or dealing with their own issues of life changes such as loss of job or divorce, I have gained invaluable experience as a coach.  I have given talks on faith, empowerment, forgiveness, and parenting.  Knowing that I have empowered others to be a better parent through accepting, knowing, and understanding themselves is priceless!

If YOU are ready to step into YOUR life, give me a call for a free consultation.  I am confident I can help YOU to change YOUR life to one of authentic, joyful living. Emotionally, physically, professionally, or spiritually; design the life you desire and most of all, the life you deserve!

Reserve your Space TODAY

Ladies Who Lunch

Thursday, June 15 at 11:30 am – 1 pm

The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey, 5065 State Highway N, Cottleville, Missouri 63304

Speaker: Becky Pagel, Accentra

Topic: Writing our biography and helping our clients write a testimonial for us

Becky Pagel has more than 20 years experience in marketing, communications, fundraising and account management with both private and nonprofit organizations. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and an MBA from Lindenwood University. Along the way, she has worked at a number of advertising and marketing firms including Stealth Creative, Meridian Enterprises, Concordia Seminary, St. John Church and SWM Printing. She has a passion for finding what’s unique about her clients and helping them share their story in a way that engages and motivates their audience.

Reserve your space today!

Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries

Rupert Boundariesby Kimberly Rupert, owner of TimeHelperz

Do you feel like you are always being taken advantage of from others? Do you feel like you do not have time to get anything done for yourself?  Then you may not have good boundaries in your personal and professional life.

While I was researching the topic, I didn’t realize there were several different types of boundaries. According to TherapistAid, there are the following types of boundaries.

  • Physical boundaries refer to personal space and physical touch.
  • Intellectual boundaries refer to thoughts and ideas.
  • Emotional boundaries refer to a person’s feelings.
  • Sexual boundaries refer to the emotional, intellectual, and physical aspects of sexuality.
  • Material boundaries refer to money and possessions.
  • Time boundaries refer to how a person uses their time.

In this blog, we are going to discuss Time Boundaries.  I learned very early in my business I had to set boundaries otherwise I was having clients call me at all hours of the day and I was returning emails at all hours of the night.  I finally had it and I set up sound boundaries.  Do I break them every now I then, sure, but for the most part I stick to them?

Personally, I believe before you can set boundaries you have to know what you value most.  Currently, in my life, my family is more valuable than my business.  (Oh my goodness, a business owner says her family is more important).  Things may change in 10 years when our son is at college.  Sometimes, I have to say No to something because I choose to be with my family or until a scientist learns how to clone me I can’t be in 2 places at once.  (I’m not sure my husband could handle 2 of me. Sometimes, I can be a little OCD).

For example, tonight I had to say No to TOP’s Networking at the Rail and an event for a friend in Westport.  I have to wait till my husband gets home to pick up our son to take to baseball practice.  By the time he gets home and the long trek to The Brass Rail, I would have been there for all of 30 minutes.  This doesn’t seem like a good use of my time, especially, when I still needed to write this blog.

So, back to boundaries! Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn, according to psychologist and Coach Dana Gionta, Ph.D.   Below, are some of her ways, I’ve added my thoughts on each of the topics.

Name your limits.

You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. Don’t make yourself stressed!

Be direct.

Tell your clients when you are available to work. My hours are set up in my contract and I also tell them before we start working together.  I may work on the weekend or in the evening after my son goes to bed, but I don’t respond to emails.  There was one weekend, I was sending invoices on a Saturday morning and a client texted me and asked if I could take dictation. I said no, that I was heading out the door shortly.   So, now I no longer send out invoices on a weekend.

Give yourself permission.

Give yourself permission to say “NO”!  Remember your No is someone else’s “YES.”  If you are easily talked into doing something, say this “Give me 24 hours to look at my calendar and see if I can help you.  If I can, you will hear from me, if I can’t you will not.”  This way, they will have a harder time talking you into something if you don’t respond to them.

Do not say sorry.

If you do, you are giving them an in and they will try to talk you into doing something.  This is hard for women, I used to do it all the time. STOP IT!

Make self-care a priority.

Schedule out time for yourself to accomplish tasks you need to for your business and yourself. I have started scheduling out time every 3 weeks to get my nails done and my hair is every 6-8 weeks.  This is called my ME time.  I also started scheduling out the morning of the first work day of the month.  They used to be tasks, but now they are appointments.  I send invoices, pay subcontractors, update website/receipt/mileage/etc.  Do NOT feel bad for taking this time for yourself.  Your family and business will NOT suffer!  They will actually thrive because you are taking care of yourself and not drowning.

Seek support.

Ask for help from your significant other and your kids.  If you can get your 4 legged kid to help – more power to you!  I finally had a breakdown one Saturday and I went to my husband and said, it is time to get a cleaning lady.  I felt horrible because I couldn’t keep up.  His response, I’ve been waiting for you to say you need one.  SERIOUSLY!!!  It is ok to ask for help with the house, the yard, meals, and your business.  It does not mean you are weak because you ask for help.  (Yes, I still need to remind myself of this every once in a while.)  Yes, I still try to be superwoman to everyone.  I do have a cleaning lady and a neighborhood kid who takes care of our lawn.  Since my business continues to grow, I have 5 people who work for me in various capacities.  Oh, was it good to ask for help, but SCARY.

Be assertive.

Not too assertive. You can find gentle ways to let people know your boundaries.  I simply do not answer an email if it is after 5 or on the weekends.  Yes, I do break this one periodically.  Especially, if I’ve had too much coffee (yes, I’m one of those people who doesn’t drink it on a regular basis and when I do – Watch Out).

Start small.

With any new change in your life, you have to start small. This way you feel comfortable and your circle of family, friends, and business associates isn’t too put off by your life change.

I hope this helps you add some boundaries to your personal and professional life.  Feel free to ask me any questions about my boundaries.  

May Speakers

Wine & Workshop

Thursday, May 6 at 6:30 pm – 8 pm

Quintessential Dining and Nightlife, 149 N. Main St., St. Charles, MO 633301

Speaker: Michelle Perry, Motiv8

Topic: Deleting the Negatives and Accentuating the Positives in our lives

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Michelle Perry is a business -minded Training Facilitator with experience in successfully customizing and delivering employee skill building programs, customized training platforms and business impacting continuous improvement efforts.  She establishes quick rapport and can motivate team members to own their developing skill sets.  Dedicated to promoting life-long learning and maximizing employee’s potential, Michelle ensures individual goals align with the company’s strategy, vision and bottom-line success.

Previously Michelle has served as a Trainer/ Training Coordinator, HR Generalist and Project Manager for local companies AAIM, Nike IHM and Matrix/Sonoco.  She holds a Masters Degree in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Training and Development.  Her current focus is on Talent Mapping and developing employees for future-focused skill sets.

 Register for Wine & Workshop

Ladies Who Lunch

Thursday, May 18 at 11:30 am – 1 pm

The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey, 5065 State Highway N, Cottleville, Missouri 63304

Speaker: Ann Walton, Regions Bank – Branch Relationship Manager

Topic: Obtaining and Using a Bank Credit Line

Ann Walton, Regions BankAnn Walton comes to Regions Bank with over 29 years of experience in Retail Banking.  As the Assistant Vice President, Branch Relationship Manager she oversees the Spencer Rd location, which has over 2 billion in funded loans.  While directing these efforts, Walton is personally responsible for growing her branch in new and existing account relationships both personally and with small business, loan growth, and Regions at Work.  For the past ten years, she has maintained active involvement in several community organizations.

Prior to joining Regions, Walton served as an Assistant Vice President-Small Business Development Officer with Reliance Bank.  Her area of expertise is retail banking with a focus on growing numbers of households and helping business owners reach their potential.  She is married and has 2 children and has lived and worked in St. Charles County for the past 28 years.

Register for Ladies Who Lunch




There is a fix.

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by Michelle Perry
owner of Motiv8


Did you plan to feel stressed today?  Did you plan to stretch yourself so thin you are exhausted and looking forward to bed by 9 pm?  There is a fix.  We used to call it “time management” and the time seemed small and management seemed like the bigger part of the equation.  Then we realized we can’t manage time – oh, yeah 24 hours in every day–duh.  Then we called it “Prioritizing” but realized everyone else was delegating their priorities to you – keeping your plate more full than ever.  Now we take a deep breath and focus on what we can control.  Manage our own activities – easy right?  How?

Here are some helpful tips.

  • Yes and Know.  Consciously decide when to say yes – to the important things.  Not because of guilt trips or pressures…because you want to say yes.  And know when to say no.  I find saying “No, I’m sure you understand” or “No, I can’t volunteer at trivia night since it is the same night as my son’s birthday.  I’m sure you understand.”  Everyone does understand.
  • Plan today tomorrow.  Take 15 minutes at the same time every day to review tomorrow’s schedule – at work time, my planning time is 3:00 pm and in real-life, my planning time is 9:00 pm.  Look at tomorrow’s day – what appointments and tasks are to be done.  Identify the key 3 things you must do to prevent stress or panicking in the future if postponed.  Then I look at the timing of the day – did I double book myself?  Is there enough drive time between activities?  Is there anything I can prepare/print/gather today to avoid scrambling tomorrow?  I am an avid list maker so I make a pocket-sized list and check it off as I get things done during the day. My must do’s are always at the top and the “wish list” follows.  If I have more than 5 things, the lower priorities go the next day’s list.  If I don’t get the tasks done, they carry forward to tomorrow’s list.  I often pull a coat or jacket out of the closet and find a list and laugh at the progress I made weeks ago.
  • Have a long-term plan.  We have a 5-year strategy plan for work, why not life?  Include all the areas in your “Wheel of Life” – Business/Career, Finances, Health, Family & Friends, Romance, Personal Growth, Fun & Recreation, and Physical Environment.  Focus on the areas you can control.  You may not know how your income will grow in the next 5 years, but you can decide to live on a budget within your means and that includes having an emergency fund and savings.  You may not be able to control your romance, but you can schedule time for dates – especially if you are married.  Picture yourself in five years.  Close your eyes and envision yourself in 2022.  What steps do you need to take to make that picture a reality?  Dream big.  Then Dream Bigger!

So what’s the point?  Be proactive.  Make a 15 min appointment with yourself every day.  Treat you like your best client.  Don’t miss your appointment – just modify the timing if needed, but don’t cut it short because of someone else’s “fire”.   Use your planning time to focus forward.  You will feel good starting tomorrow with an action plan.  You will feel good as you check off your accomplishments.  Suddenly you will feel good – much better than stretched thin since that is not on tomorrow’s plan!

April Speakers

April’s Theme is Wheel of Life

We will be discussing, how to

  1. Finding balance in life
  2. Work Smarter not Harder
  3. Incorporating local Art & Culture into our routine
  4. Balance Faith, Family, Finances

Wine & Workshop

April 6, 2017
The Old Spaghetti Factory, 17384 Chesterfield Airport Rd., Chesterfield, Missouri 63005
Speaker: Monica Adams, KTVI Fox 2 NewsMonica Adams

LBB is proud to welcome Monica Adams as the featured speaker at April’s Wine & Workshop. Monica is the Morning Host for Traffic and Fitness at KTVI Fox 2 News in St Louis. She is also a personal stylist and professional fitness trainer. She recently married the love of her life and spends as much time as possible with him. When it comes to achieving work/life balance, Monica has it figured out.

For more information on this event.


Ladies Who Lunch

Thursday, April 20 at 11:30 AM – 1 PM
The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey, 5065 State Highway N, Cottleville, Missouri 63304
Speaker: Nina DeAngelo, Director of Member Engagement for the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Nina DeAngeloIndustries

Nina spent just shy of nine years in the field of Logistics in the US Army and attained the rank of Sargent while serving our great country. After her years of service, she became a stay at home mom until her now 17-year-old son reached the age of six. When he started school full time, Nina decided to get back into the work force.

At a community bank here in the St. Louis area, Nina returned to work as a part-time teller and quickly worked her way up to Branch Manager. She spent nearly ten years molding her bank career, which included sales, team building, and leadership. This is where Nina developed her passion for relationship building with other business owners and forged her relationship with the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

In the later part of 2012, Nina went on maternity leave and shortly thereafter, a new and exciting opportunity came about. In February of 2013, she started at the O’Fallon Chamber in her current position.

Nina loves learning about business owners and what makes them thrive in their industries. She also has a passion for helping business owners succeed and attain goals within their growth plans. This is why Nina’s position at the O’Fallon Chamber is perfect for her. You will often hear her say, “I don’t go to work every day; I go to a place where I can help others become successful.”

Nina is married with four children, ages 23, 17, 6 and 4. She enjoys spending time with her family and being outside, particularly in the spring and fall.

For more information on this event.


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