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Did anyone ever leave you a note in your lunch box when you were a kid? If you’re a parent, do you ever write an encouraging note in your kid’s lunch box? Would you ever think that a lunch box note could change your life or someone else’s? For my guest today, that’s exactly what happened. Kristi Hayes is the founder of Be Strong Story Family and host of the Be Love podcast, a company that was inspired by a lunch box note that her husband wrote to her son. The note said, “Be strong, protect the weak, love everyone.” Kristi is hilarious and so inspiring. I love the way she and her family live out this mantra that came from a lunch box note. I had the opportunity to be on Kristi’s Be Love podcast (episode 45). It was such a blast to have Kristi on my show, so join me to learn more about how one little action can change the course of your life and change lives!
Kristi lives in Denver with her husband and two kids. She’s always had an entrepreneur’s heart, but her background is in youth ministry.
Kristi’s husband was in the secret service, and while her family was living in DC, Kristi worked in politics on Capitol Hill and press advance for the White House. After DC, the family moved back to Oklahoma City and Kristi went back into youth ministry.
About four years ago, Kristi and her family started a company called Be Strong Story. One day Kristi’s son started having trouble with a friend on the playground. Her husband put a message in his lunch box that said “Be Strong, Protect the Weak, Love Everyone.”
Kristi wanted her family to live out the message in their family and now the share that message through apparel, family coaching, and a children’s book. Be Strong Story also has a podcast called Be Love podcast that shares stories of people loving each other well.
When Kristi started her career in politics, she didn’t know anyone nor what she was getting into but learned as much as she could along the way. One day in a meeting Kristi froze right before she was called on to speak about an amendment. One of her coworkers buzzed her Blackberry to tell her exactly what she needed to say. It’s a great reminder to Kristi that even in a competitive environment, people can give with no agenda.
Moving so often and living in places like DC, Oklahoma, St. Louis, and Colorado taught Kristi and her family so much about making community wherever life took them
The impact of Be Strong is about teaching our kids (and ourselves) to be who we are created to be. She wants to prepare her kids, other kids, and adults that negative words or gossip to not define them.
All of us are weak. Usually those who appear weak are actually the strongest. At some point, any of us in life will be weak. It’s ok to be weak and ask for help, and when we are the ones able to bring light to others, it’s our job to step up for those who need a little help.
Be Strong encourages us to keep an eye out for those who need help. We especially need to keep an eye out for those who are a little harder to love.
There is a Be Strong Families group that serves every month together. Families that work toward a mission together to live their values form a very special bond with each other and grow as individuals too.
When we sit with others and hear their stories, it removes our judgements and preconceived notions and we see the humanity in someone who is more similar to us than they are different.
When you strengthen a family unit, entire communities are made stronger as well.
Often children don’t care about the things that adults notice. Kids often teach us as much or more when we’re serving with them than we teach them. Kids don’t have the same biases as adults, and don’t care when someone else acts different or looks different or had a very different life.
Everyone has their own talents that can be used to serve others. You don’t even need a grand plan, and often you don’t even know what someone else needs.
Be Strong asks people what they need instead of making their own plan or agenda to help. Helping is easy, and you can get involved even if you don’t live near Be Strong.
Each month, Be Strong has a Family Coaching Network that helps teach different topics like communication, love languages, building a family mission, how to serve in your own home, serving with your kids when they’re little and more!
There’s also an online community you can join to network and get connected to other like-minded people in your area who also want to help.
Find out what trends Kristi thinks people might be nostalgic for in 40 years, how she’d prove she’s from the future if she could travel back in time, what her walk up/hype song would be, and of course, what it means to Kristi to run a business with purpose!
19:01: “There’s a phrase I say everyday to my kids as we fist pump out the door and it’s “Eyes Wide, Light Shine.”
21:30: “People are seeing the benefit of building relationship with those who are different than them and those who have different life experiences.”
28:08: “The more that we interact with those who are different than us who might be struggling, and we hear their story and we learn that they are like us in so many ways, that is when we have this open-hand approach.”
28:23: “I love giving the opportunities to families, young and old, to serve one another together.”