Saturday, November 24, 2018 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Support small businesses and buy local!
The fourth Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving, has been the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. However, the term “Black Friday,” wasn’t used until the 2000s, when retail companies did what they could to lure customers into their store, including offering ridiculous deals and extended shopping hours.
Small businesses have a difficult time competing with the bigger national companies, whose Black Friday deals can be made up throughout the year.
This is one reason American Express came up with the idea of Small Business Saturday, which was first held in 2010, but wasn’t recognized by the Senate until 2011. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize local small businesses and show their support as part of the community.
According to Forbes.com, consumers who support small businesses are also helping to build their community. Small businesses have the potential to become tourist attractions, bringing more customers to the community, as well as offer unique and locally-made items, personalized service, and face-to-face conversations with the owners themselves.
Another reason to patronize small businesses is, according to Forbes, 47.5% of U.S. employees (59.9 million) are employed at a small business. Small businesses produce new jobs, fueling economic growth and contributing to a low unemployment rate. Therefore, when you support small businesses, you are also supporting the individuals working there.
Forbes reports that there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 99.9% of U.S. businesses. Last year, consumers spent about $12 million on Small Business Saturday alone.
For more information about Small Business Saturday, go to www.americanexpress.com.
By Cynthia Petersen
"If you want to find happiness, find gratitude."
Steve Maraboli is credited with this quote, and he is not wrong. Maraboli, a best-selling author and life-changing speaker, had to overcome challenges of his own and stumbled upon the realization that happiness is equated with how grateful one is.
When we are grateful for what we have, we are content. And when we are content, we have a positive attitude. And when we have a positive attitude, we can't help but feel joyful.
Too often we don't appreciate things and people in our lives because we expect them to always be there; a spouse, a parent, a job, a house, money. Unfortunately, it seems as though the only way we appreciate something, or someone, is when we lose them. It's a lesson that is difficult to learn, but harder still to forget.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to take a few minutes and give thanks to all the wonderful things in our lives. It's true; we shouldn't need a holiday to remind us of all the wonderful blessings in our lives, but most of us get so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to think about how blessed we really are.
One way to appreciate what we have is to count our blessings. Making a list of the things precious to us every night before we go to sleep might give us a better perspective and help us to feel more content, and therefore, happier.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Even before the Christmas decorations appear in retail stores, nonprofit organizations are busy making plans so those in need can have a nice holiday season.
Boxes for Toys for Tots are available at area businesses, and the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle volunteers are ringing their bells. Food drives are popping up all over, with food basket distributions being planned by local churches.
And though it's no secret that everyone is watching their wallets this time of year, you can still give a gift; a gift of your time. And to help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you, United Way has provided a guide that will help locate the organizations in need of assistance.
Volunteers are needed for a Family Volunteer day, Nov. 17, making literacy kits for kids in the community. Information for this fun activity can be found on the United Way website.
You can adopt a family through HACAP and Catherine McCauley, or serve meals during the holidays. You can help with holiday parties and other activities during holiday events, including Willis Dady, Waypoint Service, Families Helping Families, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Arc, Four Oaks, Aging Services, and more.
Jessica Butler, Volunteer Manager and Special Events Assistant for the Salvation Army, said the annual Red Kettle campaign raises money that stays in the community and funds programs such as supporting youth activities, rental and utility assistance, food pantry, emergency disaster services, sending kids to camp, and more.
“We have some great volunteer opportunities available,” she said. “We also need volunteers for the Toys for Tots program and food box distribution.”
Closer to home, the Hiawatha Library is offering to pay your fines for you during the month of November, when you bring a packaged food item to the library, 150 W. Willman street.
The library is also collecting men and women socks until Dec. 1. Kid-Powered Kindness is collecting blankets at the library until Dec. 1. The blankets and socks will then be distributed to those in need.
For more information, the Salvation Army’s volunteer page, or on the United Way’s website at www.uweci.org.
About the Coach:
Chris Lembeck grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota with three brothers and one sister. He had many interests, but one mainstay was the sport of wrestling in which he immediately fell in love. Under the guidance of world class instructors Chris won countless youth titles, was a two time undefeated high school state champion and earned a world silver medal at the world championships in Stockholm, Sweden. At the University of Northern Iowa Chris served as a team captain and earned All American honors by placing fifth in the country in Ames, Iowa. Chris has spent much of his adult life helping wrestlers achieve extraordinary success. Chris has coached at all levels of wrestling from youth to division one college and has been featured in numerous national wrestling stages including Take Down Media with Scott Casber, USA Wrestling magazine and Amateur Wrestling News. Chris was inducted into the Minnesota Hall of Fame in 2015. He currently lives in Marion, Iowa where he coaches a wrestling club and serves as a consultant to many elite coaches, teams and athletes across the country.
Chris Lembeck is hoping to produce a whole new breed of wrestlers. And he’s doing it with help from a concept that teaches discipline and respect, as well as strategic wrestling moves.
“Everyone always asks, so what's your secret sauce?” said Lembeck. “The one and only is always inspiration. Inspiration is the one. Inspiration is our everything.”
Lembeck, owner of Optimized Wrestling Systems, is the author of 90% Mental - The Way of a Wrestling Guru. He teaches boys and girls the importance of working hard to reach their goals, as well as a few good habits along the way.
Lembeck assigns “homework,” which requires the kids to make their beds, do their calisthenics, and write in their wrestling journals every day.
“Understanding and honoring that these kids are still very young, one of our aims is still to optimize their training experience ergo their over-all rate of development and evolution.”
Lembeck implements the "Plan Stan," which involves fun, engaging, and smart training methods.
“We slowly, but systematically weave many championship attitudes and habits into the training at a time when it's easiest to do so,” he said. “The parents seem to enjoy and appreciate that we ask them to make their beds first thing. We can find common ground, work together, and move faster. It's a win/win.”
Lembeck said communication is another key to OWS’s success.
“We break wrestling concepts down so they can understand it fully,” he said. “This feeds the kids’ confidence in self, which has more benefits than I can list.”
Lembeck said the kids’ families have been very supportive and like the idea of requiring the kids to make their beds every day.
Abby Devine said she and her son, Wes, loves the program. “He loves coming here for practices, and it’s really made a difference at home, too.” She added that the “homework” the coach gives the kids is a bonus because she doesn’t even have to tell Wes to make his bed; he just does it every morning.
“The kids are so interesting and the unique make up has been nothing short of magical, it truly has,” said Lembeck. “I'd even go so far as to characterize them as movie-like.”
Lembeck offers private and group lessons in the Revolution MMA building at 5309 North Park Place NE.
“Our wrestling room is quite nice, comfortable, inviting, easy color accented with a long stretch of mirrors flanked by some striking wall posters,” he said.
The group practices are held twice a week while private lessons are given at various times during the week.
“Our practices aspire to be extra organized, purposeful and powerful,” he said. “We try to be spot on with techniques and philosophy and are rigorous in our focus of high standards. Yet at the same time, we try to keep the room light and fun as you will see as kids seem to learn better when they are enjoying themselves.”
Lembeck also offers consulting services to all wrestling levels including college.
“We offer simple but potent Systems that empower teams and individuals to move further, faster. You'd be surprised at all the ways that there are to achieve this task. There's a whole world of tools and tactics to be discovered out there. We're just getting going but so far we have an NCAA, Big Ten school, a Division lll College, and several high schools that we currently serve.”
Lembeck said that one thing he does differently than any other coach is that he also incorporates life coach techniques.
“I’ve researched philosophies, tactics, mind sets and mind hacks on how to be effective and efficient, successful, and happy and believe that focusing on doing your best, no matter what that might be, not only raises your self-esteem, but your self-worth, as well.”
Lembeck graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Master’s degree in Education Administration. He has been recognized for his coaching abilities by several publications, including USA Today and coached five Iowa High School Individual State Champions.
“Coaching these kids is literally the best part of my days.”
For more information, visit owswrestlingclub.com or call Lembeck at (319) 491-1235.