Weaving DreamsThe Joy of Work, The Love of Life
Tami Longaberger is CEO of The Longaberger Company, the premier U.S. manufacturer of handcrafted baskets and other home and lifestyle products. With great tenderness, transparency, and candor, this book opens her heart, offering readers a glimpse of her unique “American Dream”—the kind not handed down or given freely—but earned by hard work and fierce tenacity. Whether sharing memories of her impoverished childhood in Appalachia or accounts of reaching out to business women of the Middle East, Longaberger evokes a balanced nostalgia for the sweetness of the past comingled with a passionate call for hope for the future. Weaving Dreams prompts readers to dream bigger, think more broadly, and risk taking the road less traveled in business and in life. The life lessons remind us that we are all much more similar than distinct, that we have much for which to be grateful, and that the love of family is a treasure to be valued above all else. In Weaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, the Love of Life, Tami Longaberger emerges as a clear voice of encouragement and inspiration, challenging us all to live each moment to the fullest.
Foreword Bernie J. Kosar xv Acknowledgments xix Part 1 AMERICA 1 1 Love Where You Live: Finding Joy at Home 3 2 Only in America: Seizing Opportunities and Finding Silver Linings 9 3 Lessons from Purple Hands: Learning Work Ethic from My Father 15 4 With Feet Planted: Learning Respect for Our Country 19 5 A Pocket Full of Coins: Connecting with Bravery and Honor 25 6 An American Privilege: Being a Voice for the Voiceless 29 Part 2 INTEGRITY 35 7 The Legacy of Right and Wrong: Learning from Mom and Dad 378 Right Is Right: Taking the High Road behind the Scenes 41 9 Parenting with the End in Mind: How I Worked to Instill Responsibility and Work Ethic in My Children 47 10 Making Things Right: A Consultant’s Story of Longaberger Values 53 Part 3 THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING 59 11 ‘‘Getting It Right’’: The Struggle toward Self-Confidence 61 12 Our Minds Are Double-Edged Swords: The Power of Positive and Negative Thinking 71 13 Finding Balance: A Four-Part Recipe to Positive Thinking and Harmony 77 Part 4 ENTHUSIASM 81 14 Reflecting on a Legacy: Dad’s Enthusiasm Was Contagious 83 15 From the Homestead to the Office: Promoting Enthusiasm 87 16 Feeding Joy: How I Remain Enthusiastic 93 17 Applause!: One Consultant Reflects on Finding Joy and Purpose with Longaberger 99 Part 5 LEARNING 105 18 Cream Pies and Ohio Buckeyes: Defying My Dad and Going to College 107 19 Supporting My Kids: Why Education Is So Important to Me 113 20 What Diversity Can Teach Us: Lessons in Tolerance 119 21 Longaberger 101: Improve Yourself and Pass It On! 125 Part 6 FAMILY 131 22 Thick and Thin: Sticking Together as a Family 133 23 Memory Making: How Family Traditions Became Our Glue 141 24 The Best Medicine: Laughter Is Critical for Any Family 145 25 Expanding My Family: Opening Doors for Longaberger Consultants 149 Part 7 COURAGE 157 26 Learning to Pull Myself Up: Finding Courage Within 159 27 Empty Shoes at The Bee: Finding Courage in Loss 167 28 Grace in the Trying: Finding Courage in Difficult Circumstances 173 29 Horizon of Hope: Finding Courage in Illness 179 Part 8 SHARING AND GIVING BACK 187 30 Hands in Dresden Dirt: My Love for Nature and the Beauty of the Earth 189 31 Random Acts of Kindness: Teaching My Children the Joy of Giving 195 32 Come Along with Me: Sharing My Days with Others 201 33 Landing in the Desert: Sharing Business with the Women of the Middle East 209 34 Philanthropy: A Way of Life 215 Part 9 GRATITUDE 223 35 Remembering to Say ‘‘Thank You’’: Important People, Important Moments 225 36 A Posture of Gratitude: How I Live with a Grateful Heart 229 37 How Can I Say ‘‘Thanks’’? A Consultant’s Gratitude 233 38 Grateful to You: People Make Longaberger What It Is 239 Index 243
Tami Longaberger, The Longaberger Company's CEO and chair of the board, has led the organization through significant growth, product diversification, facilities expansion, and new technologies. She is the former chair of the National Women's Business Council, a federal council created to advise and recommend policy to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues important to women business owners. In 2004, she also served her country as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights held in Geneva, Switzerland. Tami previously chaired the Board of Trustees at The Ohio State University. Her proudest accomplishment is being the mother of two bright and talented children, Claire and Matthew.
The Longaberger Company, now one of the largest direct-selling organizations in the United States, began with Dave Longaberger's dream that he could market fine, American-made baskets. Even when others said it couldn't work, the company persevered and overcame doubters by sticking to a core set of principles. These principles of success still guide the company today, under the leadership of Dave's daughter Tami. Then and now, the center of that success has been Longaberger's highly creative and engaged employees who, together with Tami, carry forward the company's one-of-a-kind culture. With great tenderness, transparency, and candor, Tami Longaberger opens her heart, offering readers a glimpse of her unique American Dream—the kind not handed down or given freely, but earned by hard work and fierce tenacity. Whether sharing memories of her childhood in Appalachia or accounts of reaching out to businesswomen in the MIddle East, Longaberger evokes a balanced nostalgia for the sweetness of the past commingled with a passionate call for hope for the future. Weaving Dreams prompts readers to dream bigger, think more broadly, and risk taking the road less traveled. The life lessons remind us that we are all much more similar than distinct, that we have much for which to be grateful, and that the love of family is a treasure to be valued above all else. In Weaving Dreams: The Joy of Work, The Love of Life, Tami Longaberger emerges as a clear voice of encouragement and inspiration, challenging us all to live each moment to the fullest. Filled with common sense and wisdom that defies today's slick, impersonal business culture and lays the foundation for long-term growth, Weaving Dreams shares reflections from the heart of American doggedness, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship that will inspire you to new heights in business and life. The Longaberger Company is the premier U.S. manufacturer of handcrafted baskets and provider of other home and lifestyle products. It was founded in 1973 by Tami Longaberger's late father Dave. Since 1999, Tami has served as president, chair of the board, and CEO of The Longaberger Company. One of the largest direct-selling organizations in the country, it provides considerable income opportunity, as well as trips, recognition, and incentives to its 40,000 independent consultants.
Discover inspiration where work and dreams meet We in America have been granted the unbelievable opportunity to search for silver linings every day. In the great expanse of this country, I truly believe that you can do whatever you set out to do—as long as you get up every day and keep trying. It's possible! Who would have ever dreamed that my dad—a poor boy in the early part of the twentieth century—would have made a living at weaving baskets . . . let alone build a company that would go on to employ thousands of people? Who would have thought that in less than fifty years, I could go from a baby in an Appalachian cottage to CEO of this company? But in America, it's possible. At Longaberger, we like to tell people that they can achieve their ownAmerican Dream. And one of the shining joys of my job is getting to see people whose lives are changed because of their determined efforts to find that dream and call it into reality. When I meet a person whose life has been revitalized or transformed by the opportunity Longaberger gives them, my spirit floats. It is such a magical thing when people who did not grasp their innate, raw power suddenly stretch to their full potential. What are your hopes and aspirations? What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children? What's your silver lining? —Tami Longaberger
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