Joining me today is fellow Bucks County native, Danielle Gannon. Danielle is mom to three adorable kiddos Abigail (9), Gabriel (7), and Sebastian (4). Like many of us, Danielle wears many hats–including, mom, local entrepreneur and business owner, but her most recent accomplishment is as co-creator of The Red Barn Homeschool.
Last year when the pandemic shut things down, Danielle put her business on the backburner, and joined forces with a few of her friends to create a non-conventional learning experience for their children.
Collectively, the three families have kids ranging from 4 years old to 5th grade. During our conversation she walks us through how they converted a barn on one of the properties into a one-room schoolhouse where they have been teaching the kids for the past year.
In addition to traditional learning, each day includes incorporating nature, music and community into the curriculum (by the end of the episode I want to go there!)
Later in the show, Danielle and I switch gears and talk about what organization looks like in her house. What “jobs” each of her kids have, and how she navigates time for herself amidst her busy schedule.
After listening to the episode, I encourage you to check out all the links in the show notes- and be sure to follow @redbarnhomeschool on Instagram to see what the kiddos are up to!
One more thing, If you haven’t already heard, The Enneagram & Clutter Course is available now! It’s a self-paced digital course connecting the dots between Enneagram Types and the different types of Clutter. The feedback has been great, and I’d love for you to check it out.
For a limited time, I am offering a special promo for all of my TOL listeners:
To learn more, please visit: https://simplyborganized.com/enneagram-clutter-course/
Enter promo code TOL30 at checkout to receive 30% off the course price.
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ANNOUNCER 1: Welcome to This Organized Life. If you're a mom, wife or coffee lover seeking advice on how to reduce clutter and reclaim time, look no further than your host, Laurie Palau, founder of Simply B Organized and author of Hot Mess: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized. For a lot of people, clutter is their dirty little secret, but it doesn't have to be. Each week we will share practical tips, chat with experts and provide strategies on how to keep you organized. I hope that by sharing our stories, you feel a little less alone and more empowered to tackle the areas that are holding you back. So let's get started.
LAURIE PALAU: Hi everybody and welcome to today's episode of This Organized Life. I am your host, Laurie Palau, and today I am joined by Danielle Gannon, and I'm going to bring Danielle out in a minute, but I've known Danielle for several years now and she is a Bucks County native. She's a business owner of a natural market, locally, which is amazing, Organnons, shout out to Organnons, she's also a mama to three littles, so that's a whole to do. She also, during right as the pandemic was hitting, she started - and I can't wait to talk about this - she started a cooperative homeschooling initiative. She started the Red Barn Homeschool, which I look at the pictures on Instagram and all I want to do is send my kids there, if they were little. And she also has her own entrepreneurial venture where she interviews local business owners and entrepreneurs. So I love her entrepreneurial spirit. So I figured for all of my fellow moms, entrepreneurs, business owners, just our entire TOL audience, Danielle is all of that wrapped up into one. So I wanted to bring her on the show, just have her share a little bit about herself, her story, and just give some inspiration to all of us as we can all look at other people's stories and hopefully take little bits of nuggets and apply them to our own lives. So without further ado, let me welcome my friend Danielle to the show. Welcome, Danielle.
DANIELLE GANNON: Hi, Laurie, how are you? Thank you so much for having me.
LAURIE PALAU: Oh, thanks so much. It's so funny, we're going to, by the time this episode drops, we're going to hopefully be well into 2021, but we're recording this now and I'm looking at your adorable Christmas decorations behind you, and right now we're all in the holiday spirit. So I hope all of your holidays are going well.
DANIELLE GANNON: I know that's actually why I had to get my, I got my decorations up like a week prior to when I normally do it like a week and a half before Thanksgiving, because I'm like this year has just been full of a lot of uncertainties and a lot of things that did not feel good, so I couldn't wait to like decorate for Christmas. Christmas always makes me so happy. So I just had to get the house festive.
LAURIE PALAU: I think a lot of people can share that sentiment because I saw Christmas decorations going up earlier than I ever have. So which, hey, listen, we got to find joy in the little things whenever we can.
DANIELLE GANNON: Yeah, for sure.
LAURIE PALAU: So I gave our listeners a real top line overview over who you are, but in your own words, just tell us a little bit about Danielle: Mom, entrepreneur, teacher now. All the things.
DANIELLE GANNON: To put it into the simplest terms, yeah, like number one, first and foremost, my priority are my three children. Abigail, who's nine, Gabriel, who is seven, and Sebastian, who's four. So you know, they've kept me busy now for the last 10 years that I've been either pregnant and or you know, parenting all of them. And it really all started, my real deep journey into discovering who I am and what I wanted to do, really all started with the birth of my babies because it led me down this rabbit hole, so to speak, of how do I want to, like how I can be better, how I can be my best self. And when I became pregnant with Abby, I started digging through, you know, all kinds of information which was, you know, organic food and the rabbit hole that that took me down. And so essentially, that's why we wound up opening Organnons, which is the natural food store in Wright's town. And you know now there's a second one in New Britain as well, about a half a mile or so from del Valle Community College. But that was the initiator of that was understanding the importance of eating healthy while you're pregnant and staying away from toxins and pesticides and things like that. And then it led us down this rabbit hole of being like, you know what, we really want to do something that we resonate with, that feels good to us, that we want to raise our children around, and so that was, you know, the birth of the store. Then I would say, you know, a couple of years into that I really started to well, then I got into essential oils. So I started hosting essential oil classes at the store, and throughout the tri state area and people would always, I became kind of, my guests were like, by default, the organic mama in the area that everybody reached out to for holistic alternatives of how to heal their children, if they have an ear infection, and they're teething or they're not sleeping or, you know, your tummy issues and all kinds of things. So organically, it just kind of became where I was giving a lot of information out. So then I started hosting these classes that turned into a really big thing and I was getting requests from different businesses in the area to come out and host, to bring people in. So that really took off about 2014 until now, doing the classes and I'm a gold member, I'm a gold leader with Young Living and, you know, I love doing that. This year has been different in terms of I'm not able to do my in person classes and travelling around because of what's been going on, but I'm still able to withstand that business and do a lot online. And then, you know, a couple of years ago, I went to school for journalism. So I went to Penn State University, graduated with a degree in journalism and I always wanted to have my own little broadcast program, from the time I was a little girl, I used to set up a video camera with a tripod in my bedroom and videotape myself like interviewing strangers, interviewing neighbors, interviewing dolls, friends, whoever would sit down and talk to me. Dad has a big old box of VHS videos that we sit down and watch like every couple of years, and it's really, really fun. But that little dream always still sat inside of me. And so last year, with the store, I started doing these little local spotlights where I was videotaping, going out and interviewing entrepreneurs in the area that had their own business, that made their own cookies, or breads, or chocolates, kombucha, whatnot, went out, interviewed them, told a little bit about their story and we used it as this little weekly local spotlight feature at the store. And it really went well. It was so much fun, it lit a spark inside of me that I had been missing for so many years. Because as you know, Laurie, like when you have your kids and you're so busy with the motherhood stuff when they're little and they're in their baby years, it's like you can barely keep up, you can barely even brush your teeth or run a brush through your hair. So, you know, it's like that lack of love for yourself, because you just don't have the time for it. So the local spotlight kind of brought that back and sparked in me again last year. This year I decided to kind of branch off and do my own version of it. Not necessarily associated with store vendors, but just local mom and pops, local community, and that's where that was reborn. And then the most recent thing is Red Barn Homeschool. So basically, with the turn of events that have happened this year, my kids were in traditional schooling in the spring when this all, when this pandemic and everything started, and they were doing Zoom calls every day and I could see how draining it was and how much it affected them and how much it affected me too. Through the summer, myself and a couple of other like-minded moms and dads got together and we're like, okay, like, what's our plan if school doesn't go back, like, you know, quote, unquote, normal for the fall? And through a lot of different conversation, we formed what we call Red Barn Homeschool, and it is on a 30 acre property in Furlong, it's in a big old red barn that we converted to a big classroom, and it's a co-op type situation where each parent, you know, volunteers their time to take on something that the school needs. So I'm the English teacher, we have a parent doing math, history, science, you name it. We have a gym teacher that comes in, an art teacher, we take field trips. So yeah, so it's been incredible. It's been a really, really big feat, but I can see the impact that we're having on the kids every day and it just warms my heart and makes me feel so good.
LAURIE PALAU: For everyone out there, like and I've been following this since you started, as soon as you started Red Barn Home School I was like, Oh my god, I love this.
DANIELLE GANNON: Yeah.
LAURIE PALAU: You have your own like Instagram feed for them, and the stuff that you guys are doing is incredible. And when I look at how these kids, at least through the Instagram lens that I'm seeing, these kids are thriving. The things that they're doing, the hands on, the connection, safely, everybody, you know, say, it's just it's like a throwback, in the best way.
DANIELLE GANNON: It is.
LAURIE PALAU: Like in totally the best way. I just, I love it. So I encourage you guys to check them out and just see some of the amazing things. And to me it's just incredible to see like how parents, because there's moms and dads so I don't want to just, you know, single out the moms, but like the problem solving, how you guys rallied and this is not to say for anybody that has kept their kids through a traditional setting that there's anything wrong with that, but to really see that you had the opportunity to do something alternative and even though it ate into people's times, and probably took a lot out of you, you know, in everything, in every possible way, but it's incredible. Talk a little bit, talk a little bit about the age range of the kids, I'm just curious to know a little bit more about, because obviously, I know your kids, but talk about like kind of the spectrum of kids and how that, from a logistic standpoint, plays out with kids at different levels, and because you guys aren't trained educators per se.
DANIELLE GANNON: Right, and that's been the biggest hurdle of figuring this out. And like you said, it goes back in time, like something from, you know, like, prior like, I don't even know how many years ago, maybe even like the 50s or 40s, or I'm not sure when they used to do these little like community schools like this, but this is what it is. It's like a little schoolhouse, a little old fashioned schoolhouse. So there's a large range of different children here and you're kind of like, okay, how are we going to make sure that nobody's falling behind, and that they're all like being taught what they need for their level within a group of 11 children that are there for the schooling? So there's three kids that are in what we call our lovebirds program, and the lovebirds, which I love that little name for them.
LAURIE PALAU: I know, it's so cute.
DANIELLE GANNON: It's so cute. That's like our little preschool. So they are all four years old. Miss Brittany, who is the owner of the farmhouse and the barn, she is the teacher of the preschoolers, she's the teacher of them. So what happens is, we all come in in the morning, and we all do a big circle time, all of the age ranges of the kids and the little preschoolers are involved too and we go around and we ask questions. Like, we do a little song, we hold hands, we all like, you know, there will be a topic of the day like what is your, you know, what were you most thankful for, for Thanksgiving this year? Or what is your favorite candy? We just like lots of little get to know you. And then after that commences, the little lovebirds go upstairs, and they go into their preschool room and then we all start our day. And the remainder of the kids, we have a first grader, a second grader, three third graders, a fourth grader and a fifth grader, or two fifth graders. I'm sorry, however that adds up to 11.
LAURIE PALAU: Yeah.
DANIELLE GANNON: We range from first to fifth grade. And so luckily, because we have such dedicated and committed parents that really wanted to do this, and we all had to, like you said, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of coordination. Now when you usually have like your quote, unquote, time off when your kids are at school, and you can do errands and run around and do all these other things like now, no, we're there, like we're there for the full day. So the first couple of weeks, I was literally exhausted. Like I would come home every single day and I would like lay down on the couch, I'd fall asleep for an hour and I'm like, I've never, I haven't napped since I was like a baby. I don't have time to nap. But I was so exhausted. I'm like, I can't believe how much this is draining me like mentally because it's that I'm tapping into that I haven't tapped into before or for a long time. And so how we do it is, you know, the class starts off with English. I'm the English teacher, I follow a program that we purchased, a curriculum called Surely English, which is excellent by the way. It's unbelievable like the amount that they're learning in that program. So I follow a curriculum and it does have different age ranges and so I try to teach the first 20 minutes of the class to the whole group but then when we break down into more specific things that are a little bit more difficult for the younger kids and whatnot, we'll split off. I keep the older kids in the classroom setting, teaching them how to classify a sentence, the breakdown of a preposition, an objective preposition, like all these things that I'm relearning.
DANIELLE GANNON: Oh my gosh, like, I was going to say, I feel like I'd have to relearn this all myself, you know, like the actual deconstruction of a sentence.
DANIELLE GANNON: You do. And the funny thing is, I am not a trained educator, but I am a trained like English major, essentially, because I am in journalism, so it does come easier to me. But I mean, I'm relearning all kinds of stuff through this program. So it's been really cool in that way, too. But yeah, and then I'll continue teaching the older kids and one of the other parents will take the younger kids, and they'll be with them and they'll practice like sight words and we'll break down in that way. And then that continues for math too. We do like an overall lesson kind of for all of them, like something that they all kind of need to learn, and then we break down. And the cool thing is too is one of the grandmother, Nana that lives at the farmhouse as well, she is a math professor, a retired math professor, so she's completely hands on with having to help develop that program with our other parent. And then she has, every day, two of the students go up into her apartment and they sit for one on one with her. And it's just like, so beautiful to see because they're gaining so much from that interaction with the senior citizen, and she is too and she's feeling important and they love going to her. It's like this whole beautiful synergy.
LAURIE PALAU: Oh my gosh, I have chills.
DANIELLE GANNON: I know, I'm not kidding, like, this may be the best thing I've ever done, like, and there's no money involved, there's no financial gain, like this is just purely like pure and good, and love and feelings all around that we are like actually impacting these kids in such a good way, and you can see them every day, like they are so happy, they are thriving, they are and they know what's expected of them, they sit down, they do like and you know, the thing is, is like sometimes in the beginning, the parents and I would be a little bit hard on ourselves, like, Oh, we feel like we didn't, you know, we didn't do so well with that class, this and that. And I'm like, you know what, these kids are so proud of their school and where they're at right now, and it's so important that we just hone in on that, and make them feel like this is so good and so special. And they are learning so much, because they are, they're free, like they're in this space. And we're all together every day, you know, it's a safe space and all that, but like, we've been together now for the past, you know, 60, 90 days, and so that's the group, that's the group. That's our friends, these are the families. And it's a co-op, it's a community of like-minded people that feel the same about everything, or the majority of things that are important in life, and we're passing that on to the kids, and it's just awesome. It's just awesome.
LAURIE PALAU: I love everything about it. I mean, you are living the it takes a village. Like you are living proof.
DANIELLE GANNON: I say that all the time, Laurie.
LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, I mean, because I'm always like, it takes a village, but like you are walking that walk and leading by example. Obviously, this is and like, so many things with you, if you listen to a podcast or watch an interview with, with so many people, like things that they become known for or passionate about, were like, not even on their radar, they just happened naturally, right? Like this. What is your vision? Again, you know, you're going to see this through, this is something that you started out of pure necessity, because of the pandemic, and you're seeing how, despite all of your own personal sacrifice for it, it is having so many more benefits. What's your goal, like moving forward? So like, let's say life returns back to normal or a new, healthy, normal, where kids are in next fall, let's say, kids are and I don't even know if you've thought that far in advance. Is this something that you and the parents have sat down to talk about continuing on? Or is this going to be just a capsule of your time, which is fine as well?
DANIELLE GANNON: You know, we have given that thought and there are, the majority of us are pretty committed to this and doing this moving forward too. There are some that if their school goes back to normal, their private school, they really are very privy to it and they're thinking about maybe going back, if things change enough to where they are comfortable, like sending their kids back. But, the majority of us are pretty committed to growing this and expanding on it. And you just see how and again, like you said, there's nothing against sending your children to traditional schooling and whatnot and that works for a lot of people and people are in those situations where that's what's got to happen, you know, that that is our, you know, is an option. But for us that are really interested and have seen the way cultivating this smaller hands-on school that's led by the parents, and we are like, so involved, we know what they're doing all day now and we know what questions to ask them when school's done, around dinner. We know what they're learning, what they're struggling with, like, I've never had a more hands-on, tuned in idea of where my kids are academically, you know what I mean? Like, we just get used to sending them off to school and assuming that they're getting what they need and then when they come home it's the rat race of Okay, karate, and then this and then that, basketball, lunches, dinner, it's time to go to bed, you know? But this has really given me an idea of what's going on in their life every day, and it's such a short period of time. It's such a small amount of years and you know that from your kids already being grown, you know. I want to continue doing this. Now, the one mom and I, the one who owns the property, and then we've talked a lot about expanding this and the potential of, you know, eventually opening it up to additional children coming in and what that looks like right now it's all co-op so there's no finances exchanged or anything like that, but and that makes it easy, in a sense. But if we were to open it up and we have a ton of people reaching out to us, a ton of people.
LAURIE PALAU: I can only imagine. I can only imagine just within your own neck of the woods, just with your own extended friends and network.
DANIELLE GANNON: Like so many people want to be a part of it, but we're kind of maxed out as far as the co-op capacity goes in terms of like what anybody could do else that would make it so that it was fair and everything. So at this point, it would have to go into that conversation of a monetary exchange and then, you know, you drop your kids off and pick them up. But we just are not quite there yet but we have spoken about the potential of growing it in the future, and then even potentially expanding it or franchising the idea. And we have all kinds of ideas, and we really need to sit down, like iron them out, and we keep talking about it. But of course, like, this is a lot every day, and we're still getting a full handle on it. But you know, sometime in the early part of next year, because then it's going to be getting to Okay, this school year is over, now what's happening for next year? We're going to have to really get a handle on that, because if we're going to continue this, and then eventually franchise or something like that, or charge people to come, that's like a bunch of other, lot of other red tape and loopholes and things like that.
LAURIE PALAU: Well it's a whole other job, like, in addition to the teaching that you're doing, you know. Of course my entrepreneurial mind is like, my wheels are spinning, unbelievably, I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is incredible. But I just, I love it and it's really, I'm sure, given you this intimate knowledge of just seeing your kids in a different light, like you said, and I'm sure because of this and you were a working mom before, like you have the business, you have to store, all the things, but this requires you, Red Barn, to be out of the house. So I'm sure that there's been an impact or a change in priorities when it comes to organization or what organization maybe looks like in your own home, because like you said, even if your kid was in preschool, you could have two hours to yourself, right? You could go run errands, go shopping, or maybe do something quick. And you know, I think for so many of us with the pandemic, obviously, our free time was sucked away, even though life kind of temporarily took us on pause. I guess I have a few questions, and you can kind of just, I'm going to put it out there and you can answer them however you like. A what does organization look like in your house? What did it look like before? How has it changed, evolved? And then as a mom with three kids, like what's the role that your kids play in getting involved in the process? And you're also, you're a single mom, too. We didn't mention that. But like, you know, I know you co-parent, but like you're wearing a lot of the hats.
DANIELLE GANNON: Yeah, it's yeah, things have changed a lot in the last year for me, for sure, and I've had to like adapt with it. And you know, some days are really a challenge and you're like, How the heck am I getting through all of this? How am I doing all of this? How am I checking all these boxes? And then other days you're just like, you know what, like, I got this and I'm doing this and I can do this and you feel really empowered. In terms of how my health and my organization is, basically like we have a very basic system here. We have a mudroom with a, you know, coat hooks. The kids all have their own hook, they have a cubby for their shoes, they hang their school bags up when they come in the door. They know they all have, I pop the trunk, they all have to grab their school bags, lunch boxes, coats, shoes, whatever's in the trunk, they bring it in, they go right to the mudroom and hang it all up. They then go to the trash can, empty out whatever remnants from their lunch, put their lunchboxes on the countertop, cleaned up and ready to go for repacking. You know that's at the organization in terms of like their stuff goes, It hasn't changed much really since they pandemic. I mean, I would say in the pandemic, we were probably less organized because it was just like mass chaos here every day, you know. I felt like I was just walking around-
LAURIE PALAU: It was Groundhog's Day, it was like Groundhog's Day for all of us.
DANIELLE GANNON: It was, and it was just like you know when your kids are home for like a long weekend and you're normally ready to like ship them off on Monday again, you're like okay, like I want to get the house organized again and I want to get things tucked up and put away, but it was like that extended for months on end. It's just like you're walking around like oh my God, like when is this, why are like Legos everywhere and this and that and crayons and art stuff. But at this point I think like I really like the structure that we have from leaving the house, going to school again and now it's like the house is cleaned up and organized during the day, when we come home our school stuff goes back in the mudroom, lunches go up on the countertop, and then you know it feels more organized and we're more in a system. How the kids take part in that is they all have different age appropriate chores that they've always had. I mean, you know, probably from the age of like four to five is when I really kind of start with them and giving them just little age appropriate things like, okay, like when you're done playing all your toys have to go back in the toy box, toy box has to be closed, no toys left in the family room on the floor, no Legos left on the floor for mom to, you know, stub her toe on. And then as they get older it's now like, you know, Abby and Gabe, they're seven and nine. It's, you know, they make their bed every day, all their clothes go back in their closet on their hangers. I still wash and fold all the laundry, but they put their clothes away in their drawers, and then they empty, split the dishwasher, they empty the dishwasher every night. So that's where we're at with what they do. They haven't been the best with like the chore chart, like, I tried to do the chore chart and give them little stars for it and then, you know, have associated like, a couple of dollars at the end of the week so that they can make money, but that just never works out for me. I don't know, I just never keep up with it.
LAURIE PALAU: I try. When my kids were little, I tried everything under the sun, and none of that ever was consistent. And I kind of just landed on we're all part of team Palau, and sometimes you're riding the bench and sometimes you're out there and we all just pull weight in different ways. And that's kind of, I don't know if that was just my easy way out, but keeping up with the whole chore chart was rather becoming stressful for me, you know.
DANIELLE GANNON: Because then it's like an expectation, well, if I do this, am I going to get a star?
LAURIE PALAU: Yes.
DANIELLE GANNON: So you really need to do this, because this is what you need to do. Because in order to maintain life here, and in order to know what's important for you, and how to take care of yourself, this is part of it. So you're not getting a star for brushing your teeth today, you’re not getting a star for flushing the toilet, you know.
LAURIE PALAU: I love it. But I love the fact and even these little things and I think it's really helpful for our listeners, because to just hear it again, these are like reminders that sometimes either A, it's reinforcement, like, Hey, I'm on the right track, or again, just like your four year old can carry in his own backpack, you know, like, you don't have to do it for them, like empower your kids to do that. I think this is not meant to shame or put figures or cast judgment on anybody that's doing these things, but like your kids can handle, there's certain basic things that your kids can handle that a lot of times, we just do, because -
DANIELLE GANNON: It's easier.
LAURIE PALAU: It is, it is. So thank you for kind of just walking us through that. We're going to take a quick break, and when we come back, just want to continue with the conversation and talk a little bit more about your goals for everything. So sit tight.
LAURIE PALAU: Hi guys, I am so excited to share with you that after months of planning, my first ever enneagram and clutter course is here. The framework looks at how our motivations, not just our behavior, play a role in how we deal with clutter. So if you're interested in the psychology of clutter, or why some people struggle while other people are more naturally organized, this course is for you. It's a self-paced, fully digital course that includes over 20 video lessons, downloadable PDFs, journal prompts, you can watch a little at a time or binge all the lessons at once. To learn more, visit simplyborganized.com, click on the courses tab, and make sure that you enter code TOL 30, that's T-O-L 30, at checkout, to receive 30% off your purchase price. Now, back to our show.
LAURIE PALAU: I know that you have, you know, all these things between, and I'm listening to your story, right, I'm listening to your story about starting when you were a kid, you know wanting to be a journalist or a broadcaster, and then your journey to motherhood and going down the rabbit hole of eating healthy and organic food and just keeping your kids like natural and safe, and that then turning into a business. And all of these things just naturally very grassroots seemed to evolve to where you are today. Where do
you see all of them, and yet they're all intertwined, right, every, all the things that you're doing are all intertwined in some way. What do you attribute to that? Like, where do you feel like how those things kind of all connected?
DANIELLE GANNON: I feel like when I really think about how that formed it's just like really like getting in touch and in tune to like what's important to you, and what really resonates with you, and how to live the most authentic life that you can. And I think in this day and age, it's particularly difficult and challenging to do that because there's just so many expectations and so many things and then social media brings a whole other level for people of like, you know, comparison and you know, should I be doing this or maybe I should be doing that and yada yada yada. But, for me, I think that like when I started learning about all of the things that, like the organic food and that whole rabbit hole that that brought me down into natural, you know, natural healing and all of what spiraled from that and then that gets you that kind of got me in it, it just feels so right. It's like when something just feels so right inside of you and you know that you're on the right path. It's like, you don't have to ask anybody, you don't have to second guess yourself, you know, this feels right and this is the natural way I'm going. This is the natural, organic progression of my life. And so I think I've just followed that and once I really tapped into it, you know, when I was in my 20s, I didn't know. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do. I was chasing, I feel like I was chasing the dollar back then, you know, because you're graduating college and I have all these loans to pay off, you always thought that you were supposed to do X, Y, and Z and so you're trying to follow all of these, you know, rules and life lessons. And it wasn't until my 30s that I really kind of understood more about who I am, what I really want, what feels good and having the confidence to just follow that, because I think you're so uncertain of yourself. I mean, not everybody, but I certainly was when I was in my 20s, in my teens, I was so uncertain of myself. I was uncertain of like, just what I wanted to do and how people were going to receive it and this, that and the other and then the parental stuff and all the pressures and. But when I got into my 30s, and I really started, it was really when I became a mother and I really started to look into things like deeper because you have to be, you're forced to become the best version of yourself when you are pregnant and you're raising, you know that you're going to have these other lives that you have to care for. So I tapped into, like, you know, all that natural stuff, which felt right that brought the store about, that brought the oils and natural healing. And then the next thing was like, obviously, the oils fell right in line with that. And as far as the local spotlight goes, that is more or less something that it just it feels so good to me, it feels so right, because I love local business, I love small business, I love entrepreneurship, like it's like you said, like when you heard me talking about the school, it's like, all of these ideas start to go off, and you're kind of like, Oh my gosh, this is what I have to do. This is what I have to do. You know, you just start to think about all of these ideas and ways that you can expand and make money. I love to hone in on that for people, because I just think it's amazing. It's like, that's what America is based on. That's what makes our country so unique and so different, is that we can come up with an idea, we can start an LLC, and we can go out there and it can become whatever we want. The sky's the limit. I am so inspired by entrepreneurs and their story behind what made this their vision, why this? You know, what makes them tick. And I wanted to go out, and I wanted to capture that and really bring those stories to life. Before I did it more of like, I'm just so interested in hearing, like what it is you want to do and, and why, you know, because it was like a hobby that led me up and I was like, I'm going to ride with this and see what happens. But now I'm seeing it as being even more of a need. And that's where like this second phase of local spotlights coming in, because right now, like in the middle of this pandemic, we have so much that is at risk here, you know, for changing, for changing the way we know America and changing the way we know our country and the world and people's livelihoods are, they're being really tested right now. And a lot of small businesses with the capacity that they're able to keep open and run, they're not even able to cover their rent. So this second phase is really going to be about spotlighting these local small businesses and really getting that like story out there to really resonate with the people. These are your neighbors. These are your moms, dads, sisters, ancestors, like this is what our country was built on. If we stop supporting them, because it's easier to click a button and have it, you know, sent to our house, we are going to lose all of what makes our communities so special. And I just want to try and get that message out there to resonate with people that, I know we're all guilty of doing it, you know, everything is one click away right now. I mean, they're talking about drones, like Amazon's going to have these big blimps next year that are being constructed right now. That's all we're going to see when we look up in the sky are a bunch of big Amazon blimps, they're going to be dropping drones out of the sky with boxes down to people's front doors. It's insane to me, like it's totally crazy. Like I'm like, is this the Jetsons? Like, I'm just like, you know, that's dating me too, right? 80s baby.
LAURIE PALAU: Yeah. I love it.
DANIELLE GANNON: I don't know. I just want to get back to like basics, and that's where the school is, too, and that's what the food is. It's all kind of like getting back to basics. Like before they were manufacturing our food in a warehouse and putting it in bags and boxes, it was grown out of the ground, you'd grow it out back and that's what you ate. Right. That's back to basics with your food. That's The most simplest of terms, into organics. And then, you know, with the school, it's like back to basics. Let's do a little schoolhouse, moms and dads, we're all participating. We're all teaching, we're all going to be hands on with our kids’ education and know what they're learning and have control over it too. And then same with this, you know, the spotlight, its back to basics, you got to support your mom and pops, you have to go out there and you have to buy your shirts and your pants from them, it might be a couple of dollars more, but it's overall going to impact you in a more healthy, positive way. So.
LAURIE PALAU: I love it. I think we can end the interview right here because that, I couldn't have said any of that better myself. I mean, as you were chatting, I wrote down the word community, because to me, everything you described just has to do with community. And that's on a personal level, something that's so important to me, and I think, really something that a lot of us crave, you know. We crave that, wherever we are, whether you're living in Manhattan, you know, amongst thousands and thousands of people, or you're living in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania, you know, on a 20 acre farm, we all crave what our community is, and being surrounded by those people that matter, and that we want to matter, right? Like we want to be making an impact. And I love, you know, I've been very fortunate and blessed to be able to take my passions and the things that I feel very strongly about and turn that into a profession and be able to hopefully have a positive impact on other people. You know, that's, you know, what I want to do, and I love the fact that you are going out there on the front lines to help share those stories and those messages for people. And you're living, like you're living proof of the importance of walking the walk, between the store and the oils and the school and all the things. So you're just, you're the whole package, Danielle Gannon.
DANIELLE GANNON: Oh, I hope so. Thanks, Laurie.
LAURIE PALAU: No, you really are. I want to leave our listeners like, you've obviously just had some amazing, like, advice and kind of pearls of wisdom with just talking about shopping local and thinking about it, what do you want your kids to grow up, what's the message that you want them to have? You know, they're in these really formative years, and they're growing up through this like, crazy, wild time. And I often like talk to my friends who have bigs going, you know, I wonder what it would be like, because I think my kids are going to have a very different narrative of like, looking back of this particular time of our lives, like, what they remember and their takeaways from, you know, kids your age. What is it that you want them to learn from this example and from everything that you're doing, as they continue going through life?
DANIELLE GANNON: I think the biggest thing that I want them to know is to follow your heart, and listen to yourself. Like listen to that inner knowing. I want them to feel confident that they can tap in and listen to what their dreams are taking them. What is it that you're dreaming of? It's not, it's not crazy, it's not unheard of, you don't have to follow the traditional way, in any sense. You can do and become whatever you want to do and become. The sky's the limit. You just have to think it and then it creates, you know, it's like, it's a thought that becomes a feeling and the feeling drives the action. And that is the way I try to live my life and be conscious about that, be really conscious about the thoughts that I think because they cause this feeling inside that then drives an action and it's either a positive or a negative thing. And I want my kids to know that they are very much in control of their lives and their destiny and what they want to do and that anything is possible, absolutely anything possible, because I always felt that way as a little girl and I don't know, necessarily, where that came from, because my parents kind of somewhat had traditional, you know, a traditional life and but I had these like dreams inside that I just knew one day I was going to do them, that I was not going to follow suit and I wasn't going to do the traditional, normal way of things. It's just a knowing that I had inside and I want my kids to know that from a much, like I knew it, but I wasn't able to totally act upon it or I lacked the confidence or you know, maybe the support to do it before, but now that I know it so well and I fully support myself in it all, I want my children to know from a very early age, like look what my mom, look what we can do. You know, like if we follow our dreams, look what can happen. And I just want to be that example to them that anything is possible.
LAURIE PALAU: Well you are. I mean, you absolutely are. You are living proof of that. They're very fortunate and we're fortunate too, I'm fortunate to have you as a friend, and our listeners are fortunate to be able to hear your story and hopefully feel inspired or motivated or championed to go after their own passions and kind of follow their instincts and, but to really not necessarily feel like you have to follow the path. And I love that. I love that message, because I think nowadays, it's really hard. There's so much fear, there's so much uncertainty, there's so much, you know, this comparison in life, you know, that we face and to be able to say, you know what, I can, I can go and I can do this and make a go of it. And even if it doesn't work out the way that you intended, at least, you know, you've given it a shot.
DANIELLE GANNON: Right. And like, at that point, like, usually what happens is like, you're led to something for a reason and so if that particular idea doesn't pan out, or that particular thing doesn't, well, then you're led to something else or something else happens that shows you no, this is the direction. But if you never jump and leap into that first thing that's burning inside of you, if you never leap into it, then all of the other good can't come. You know, like nothing good comes from just staying stagnant. Nothing good. Nothing grows. No ideas come. Nothing good. You can't, like you've got to jump. You know, like, I love Mel Robbins.
LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, five minute rule.
DANIELLE GANNON: Awesome, awesome things. Yeah. And I actually had the pleasure of hearing her speak in person at a convention once, but she says like, there's nothing good staying on the side of fear. Like, you know, if you jump, only good can come when you jump onto the other side. I don't exactly know the way she says that, she has a really good way of relaying that message, but it's basically like, where there is fear, that's where you have to go, in any way, in life, because you have to tackle it. Even if it's something as silly as like, my biggest fear is like a mouse, like I hate mice. And I grew up being paranoid, like, I didn't see a mouse until about five years ago, because I was so scared like, I would never ever, ever, ever look at one. I was petrified. It got, I had to be confronted with it, like in my home, when my dog put it on the countertop. And it was scary. Basically, what I'm getting at is, it's just like you have to confront your fears and then you know, okay, like, this really isn't that big a deal. This really isn't that scary. It's just like a little animal. Okay. And then the same goes for like your fears of like, what are people going to think? What are duh, duh, duh, duh. You're always going to have people that aren't going to agree with you, whether you're doing what you think you should be doing or not. Why not do what you want to do? Why? You know. And then you're only going to inspire more people, and you're going to wake up that feeling inside of you that's just going to grow so many other things in your life.
DANIELLE GANNON: I love it. Tell our listeners, where can they find you if they want to learn more about any of the things that you're doing, or if they want to follow along on your Instagram, with the kiddos. Tell us where’s the best place.
DANIELLE GANNON: So the best thing is, the local spotlight is, which I'm super excited about that, because I actually just. I have a new person that's going to be filming and editing them and by the time this rolls out there's going to be a lot of videos up and he's like really good, really professional, really, really, really cool stuff that's going to come out from that. So I'm excited about that. And you can find that on @LocalSpotlightwithDanielle, that's on Instagram, and then a lot of, all the videos are on there. It's also @ Local Spotlight with Danielle on Facebook. And then Red Barn Homeschool is @RedBarnHomeschool, Instagram and Facebook. And then my own personal one is Danielle Kay Gannon @DanielleKayGannon on Instagram and on Facebook.
LAURIE PALAU: And we will have links of course in our show notes so everyone can just go there and click there, they don't worry about writing it down feverishly looking for a pen right now. We're going to take one more quick break, then we're going to come back with our wrap up questions. So sit tight.
LAURIE PALAU: Okay, guys, I know we're all struggling being stuck inside, so hopefully this offer is going to cheer you up. You might remember my conversation with my friend Jeannie Stith-Mawhinney, from Your Color Guru. We spoke back in Episode 163, and if you listened to the episode, you will remember me talking about how she completely rocked my world by doing a color analysis on me and proving the basically 90% of the items in my closet are not the right color for me. Shocking! But the good news is that she made it so easy for me to know exactly what colors I should be wearing. So now, when I go shopping, something that I dread to begin with, it's so much less painful because I can immediately go to the colors that she recommends based on my specific colorings. Well after that episode aired, Jeannie was flooded with people wanting their own color analysis. So I asked her if she would offer something special for our TOL community. So here you go. Jeannie is offering 10% off any of her consulting services to any TOL listener with the code, organized life. So whether you're looking to fill in gaps in your wardrobe, or maybe you just need some guidance and permission on what items to donate, Jeannie is a great resource. We're going to have specific links in our show notes for you, but if you can't wait, hop on over to yourcolorguru.com and enter the code 'organizedlife', that's one word, 'organizedlife' to receive 10% off any consultation package. And when you talk to her, you're going to love her as much as I do. So make sure that you tell her that I said hi, all right? And make sure to also post your pics in our Facebook group, This Organized Life Podcast, because I want to see. Now back to our show.
LAURIE PALAU: Alright, Danielle, this has been so much fun. I've loved hearing your story. I mean, I'm feeling inspired and motivated. So I just, it's been great. We always like to wrap up our interviews by asking a couple of questions. So this year, I started asking our guests what book or podcast has inspired you in your life? I know you just recently, you earlier referenced, you know, Mel Robbins, but is there a particular resource or somewhere that we could tell our listeners like, this is really a game changer in my life?
DANIELLE GANNON: The first book that I read that really started to get me thinking a lot, I'd say about five, no, it was like three or four years ago, three years ago, was Change your Thoughts, Change your Life, and that book is by Wayne Dyer, and he's a very like, inspirational spiritual guru, who, he's passed a couple of years ago, but he has like a wealth of knowledge around the ego and how to like come from like your spirit, which is where you feel aligned, and where you feel right and tapping into that knowing, that inner knowing, like that intuition where you kind of know exactly what you need to do. Because it's all about we already know, we go outside of ourselves looking for all of these answers, but we really already know if you can just learn to hear the voice within. And that taps into my whole thing about like, you know, listening to your heart and all. So that book I love, Change your Thoughts, Change your Life, and that is Wayne Dyer. Another one was You Can Heal your Life from Louise Hay. And that's tied into that as well, which basically explains how our emotions drive so much of our physical ailments and our issues in life and how it's basically like once you can alleviate and release and control those thoughts and bring only in what is going to serve you, your life gets better. And Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. That is, you know, an oldie, oldie, oldie but goodie. And that, again, is about thinking it into existence, that really gets into the financial piece of how, you know, money is an energy exchange, and you can really, you know, can really make exactly what it is you want to when you fully believe it yourself. So all those three have really been, you know, pivotal to my personal growth. And then there's a podcast by this guy, Mastin Kipp, K-I-P-P, he has like a couple of really different really, really good ones. It's about like tapping in and tuning into yourself, but the one I love so much, it's like a six minute video and I used to listen to it all the time a couple years ago when I was like going through like a lot of transition and it's
called How to Listen to Your Heart, and I love that podcast so much, so.
LAURIE PALAU: Well thank you for all these great, I'm like feverishly writing down, so I can, yeah, no, this is great. I love it because I always love hearing, you know, what books were important and pivotal for people. So this is great, great resources and obviously a podcast listener so I always love to link to other podcasts.
DANIELLE GANNON: Yeah, yeah.
LAURIE PALAU: And of course, our infamous two wrap up questions which are, where in this particular season of your life do you feel the most organized? And where do you feel like a bit of a hot mess?
DANIELLE GANNON: That is a good wrap up question for this podcast, isn't it?
LAURIE PALAU: Yes, of course, we have to bring, we have to full circle it right back to organizing.
DANIELLE GANNON: Yeah, yeah, beautiful circle. I would say that where I feel the best in my organization is my goals and my ideas. I feel very organized in that way. I have it compartmentalized in my head of exactly how I want to get to the next step of what I want to do, and I jot it down and I'm always taking notes and I'm always just implementing. So I feel very organized in that way, like in my goals, dreams and ideas. In terms of where I'm a hot mess, I would say my time management is slightly messy, because I do feel like because there's so much going on I, a lot of times, I'm just like running at full speed ahead, just trying to, you know, get get get get all this done, and I could be a little bit better. Like, I allow myself five minutes to get somewhere that's really 15 minutes away. Like, every time I'm meeting somebody or a friend or a contact for dinner or whatever I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I'll be there at 715, and I leave the house at like 7:08 thinking I'll get there at 715 and I'm not going to get there at 715. So I do want to be better about that and allow myself better time management skills.
LAURIE PALAU: I love it. I love it. It's great. Well Danielle, thank you so much. Thank you for carving out time out of your very busy schedule to sit down with me and all of our TOL community. And for all of you out there, if this is your first time tuning in, please don't forget, click the subscribe button, follow us, we're on social media @ SimplyBOrganized or hop on over to our Facebook group called This Organized Life Podcast. You can post questions, asked for different topic ideas that you want to hear about or guests you want us to showcase on the show. We just love connecting with you. Thank you so much for tuning in. I am Laurie Palau, until next week.
LAURIE PALAU: Thanks for tuning in. If you liked this episode, make sure to click the subscribe button wherever you are listening, so that you never miss an episode. And while you're there, go ahead and leave us a review. A special shout out to our amazingly talented Podcast Producer Don Jackson of the Raven Media Group, for all of his hard work. And finally, if you want to connect with me, visit simplyborganized.com, or find me all over social media at Simply B Organized. I'll see you next week for another episode of This Organized Life.
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