There are SO MANY benefits to having your own business when you work from home with a flexible schedule.  A business colleague told me over a business breakfast last Friday that he happened to have a couple of tickets that were expiring in a few days to the amazing Biltmore Estate 2 1/2 hours from where I live in North Carolina.  Could I use them?  I didn’t even have to hesitate.  All I had to do was mentally adjust my flex schedule for the following Wednesday, invite a delightful advisor to join me, and take off on an adventure even more delicious because I know 96% of the business people I know couldn’t take advantage of something like that!

By the way, if you don’t have Biltmore on your bucket list I encourage you to put it on.  It’s still the largest home in America.  Their tagline is “Travel to a whole new state of mind.”  I came away with more than a break from my usual schedule as I talked with people from all over the country, laughed, saw what’s new in the craft shops, enjoyed good food and got A LOT OF EXERCISE walking up and down hundreds of stairs on a couple of tours.  I also learned more about how business practices have evolved in the last 122 years and how good ideas endure.  I got a new appreciation for US conservation efforts that began at Biltmore and the self-sustainability philosophy that still continues.

But the most intriguing benefit of the day was what ties into my passion and mission–reminding us all that what we can’t see CAN hurt us.  One of the guides told us that George Vanderbilt essentially built this country home so his mother would have a place to live as she, like so many others, traveled to Asheville at the turn of the century for the health benefits of the mountain air and water.  It was seen as a health mecca.  To minimize the possibility of getting sick, husbands and wives slept in separate beds, they bathed only once a week thinking bathing weakened immunity, servants shook bedclothes out the windows instead of laundering frequently, clothing was washed infrequently (i.e. men just changed collars, not sweaty shirts), and more.  They clearly had not yet understood the need to wash their hands frequently, and because of that, illness was probably more quickly spread through the family and guests (and everyone in that time who believed the same)!  So despite Vanderbilt’s being able to buy anything in the world–owning 130,000 acres of woodland, having enormous wealth, making contributions to art and conservation and business–he was not able to buy health.  He died at the age of 51 of complications from an appendectomy after enjoying Biltmore only 20 or so years.  Yikes.  HEALTH is the true wealth.

I’m so grateful to have both with this AIR APPARENT biz.

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