Hi, it’s Lori Ballen, also known as midlife monarch and this is the first episode of Midlife monarch podcast. My goal is to bring real life talks to really both men and women. I’m hoping that I have permission to share with you guys honestly, openly and just shoot from the hip.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. [Affiliate Disclosure]
Items Talked about In This Podcast
I’ve been looking for a place where I can bring these 20-minute talks on just life in general. A lot of my followers know me as a big internet marketer and I love that. I love teaching and training, how to rank on the search engines and how to generate leads and conversions and sales through your website.
Recently, I’ve really gotten into the affiliate marketing world, primarily creating content, blogs, videos, podcasts, pins on social media, that type of thing in order to generate traffic by answering questions and solving problems. That traffic then leads to sales.
I earn six figures in affiliate marketing alone, which basically means more than $10,000 a month shows up in my PayPal account and my bank account or in my mailbox.
That’s commission from sending people to particular products. My specialty is software because I’m a trainer. That will probably come up later as well because this podcast is really just going to be all about life.
So let me start with this.
Today, I want to talk a little bit about being a midlife woman and kind of where I am today so that I can kind of set a digital footprint for this podcast.
I am a 47-year-old woman. I will be 48 in August of this year. And I do want to say that the forties have absolutely been my favorite decade of all so far.
I’m hoping that the 50s, the 60s follows suit. I’ve heard people say they do. Now I will admit that it is absolutely not my favorite decade physically.
I personally believe after age 35, at least for women, we start seeing the downward trend where gravity hits and we start seeing more wrinkles and we start gaining on more weight and we develop more aches and pains. And these are just kind of part of the facts of life.
I’ve gone through a major life transformation since age 35 and especially in my forties.
It was in my late thirties towards 40 is when I started really noticing the weight gain, especially in my upper arms and legs. I had major hormonal changes, problems with the ovaries which caused more weight in my hips and rear and I began losing muscle tone in my upper arms.
And in the forties that got worse.
In January of last year, at age 46, I really got fed up with being overweight and I wanted to do something about it. While my marriage was crashing in 2016 and during the year after I left, I put on some of the weight I had lost previously.
It wasn’t terrible, but it was enough to be pretty unhappy with it. I was pushing 200 pounds again and I’m five foot seven and a half and I was back in my size, 12, and size 14 and pretty unhappy with that.
And the truth is, the motivation behind me wanting to lose the weight was that my ex-husband and I were going to be a convention together. We were both still in real estate at the time.
And I hadn’t seen him and I didn’t care at all, not one iota that he might think I looked good, but I cared very much that he would not be able to say I got fat. The thought of him being able to say that really bothered me.
I didn’t want him to be able to say that.
And so that was the motivation, quite honestly. And I’m one of those people that is probably more motivated by pain goals than I am pleasure goals.
I can talk myself into things being just really okay and not push myself to the pleasure goal. But if there’s pain attached, I’m way more likely to hit that goal.
So this was very motivating.
I decided to take on the Keto Diet, which is basically a low carb, no sugar way of eating. It’s a very healthy anti-inflammatory plan and I shed 50 pounds in six months.
I actually got quite a bit thinner than I even had set out originally. And not long after I hit the 50-pound mark, I gained about 10 of it back.
Here’s what I have found. I can get into the low one fifty’s and high one forties, get down to a size four, which is where it was and in order to do that, I really have to stay a hardcore strict Keto.
Well, I very much like to travel and while I can do strict Keto when I’m at home, I definitely like to go all out when I go on my vacations.
And I like to travel a lot.
So I’ve kind of found this spot now where I’m going, “okay, if I can stay in the one sixties, I’m still pretty happy. Not a size 4, but happy.
I’m definitely not at my thinnest, but I’m not overweight. I’m in a healthy category now. When I came back from my Alaska cruise, I hit 170 again. Now I’m in the overweight category.
I’m all about the ebb and flow, not about perfection.
I don’t think I’m really happy living strict keto 24/7. So that’s just kind of the battle.
I had a full hysterectomy in April of last year due to fibroids. I’ve noticed that since that time it’s become more challenging to lose weight. The benefits of the hysterectomy are worth a bit of the weight gain.
I have no hormonal issues at all. I’m very lucky. To be thrust into menopause after a full hysterectomy, I would have expected some moodiness and some depression, hot flashes, and all of the things that I read about.
So far at least I’m one of the really lucky ones that haven’t suffered from that. And I do think it’s potentially because overall, I eat very healthy and I still practice a ketogenic lifestyle more often than not.
I’m eating very healthy foods such as pasture raised eggs and grass-fed everything. I do think that has its benefits too. So I will just say that in the forties and now late forties, while I don’t love the physical side of being 47, almost 48, shoot, almost in my 50’s, I really love the personal side of being this age.
And freedom! I think I’m ahead of the curve a little bit on this one. You know, when I talk to a lot of women that are my age, they’re not quite where I am yet where it comes to the level of “freedom” I should say.
I do still have a teenage daughter at home. She is 16 and so I have a lot of independence there. She is an amazing kid and I love this time I have with her.
At 16. you know, she can stay alone. I can come and go as I please. She can make her own meals. She’s not yet driving, which is a personal choice of hers and I’m allowing her to take the time to develop into that. So I do need to be more available still with, taking to and from school and things like that. But overall I have a pretty free lifestyle.
I got divorced a few years ago.
I’m going to talk about that in another podcast episode. That again has actually provided me with an immense amount of freedom.
I’m not dating.
I just don’t really have the desire for that quite yet. I know it’s coming, but right now I’m just enjoying this time of “me” and I’m focusing on myself and my business and all of the restructure in my life and just kind of finally figuring out who I am and what I want, and who I want to be.
And honestly, in my opinion, I believe that that’s very important for me to figure out in order to be a good partner later for someone.
I need to make sure I know who I am as an individual first.
In my past, I have been very much a codependent partner and I have attracted men that have addiction issues, especially alcoholism.
In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever not dated somebody with those types of challenges.
And you know, when we have a pattern of attracting that type of personality, then obviously the problem is with ourselves.
We need to find what that is in ourselves that keeps attracting that type of person. And so for me, I want to get it really right first so that I don’t wind out going that route again.
I’ve had my own challenges with a prescription pill addiction, even though it was doctor induced, it was still very much an addiction after a decade of being on the medication. I have a history of gambling with my ex husband.
My parents were both addicted gamblers. My biological father, an alcoholic. And so it’s important to me to make sure that I am, you know, figuring all that stuff out even though I’m not a big fan of counseling and things like that.
I’m kind of just working on my own and I’m just really focused on my health and my finances and my happiness and my peace and what I want for the rest of my life being nearly 48.
And again, I don’t know how many of you out there who are in your midlife range who might be thinking like me. I am very much aware of getting older and I’m very much aware of the fact that I need to make sure today that I am setting myself up for where I want to be in the retirement years.
And that to me is why I’ve gotten into this affiliate marketing the way I have.
Let me define it. Affiliate Marketing essentially is when you promote somebody else’s product or service and you receive a commission, and this is done through creating a blog, or video or podcast about something that solves a problem.
I mean, it just goes on and on.
Whatever your niche happens to be. I have several of them. You are talking about solving a problem and then you’re inserting banners, ads, links, maybe Amazon books.
Imagine writing a blog on teen depression. And now you’re inserting books on teen depression in there or you’re inserting banners that lead to online counselors and when the person goes and buys that product or service when they click through from that link, it’s tracked and it’s credited to you for a certain time period. (provided you have established the affiliate relationship).
And then if that person makes a purchase during that certain time period, you would qualify for a commission. And some of these are one time commissions and some of them are recurring commissions, which then allow you to receive passive income month over month, year over year as long as that person is a paying subscriber of that product.
So my primary focus is on subscriptions. I also like promoting things that I receive benefit from.
For example, I receive a monthly shipment of grass-fed meat, beef, and pork. And so we’re doing chicken, sausage, steaks, roasts, and Turkey.
And, it comes to my house from Butcher Box. Well, there’s an affiliate program (referral program really) with this particular company where if I send somebody there with a link, I might get free bacon for life or free hamburger for life or $43 off my next month’s shipment.
So I’ll promote those things as well to save on my own expenses. And this to me is how I’m going to retire. This is where I’m going.
I also own a Las Vegas real estate business.
I don’t work in the business. I have agents that work on my team. My job is to lead generate through blogging (SEO) and social media. That’s all I do.
So it’s not a huge moneymaker anymore for me as it’s kind of a side hustle I guess. It’s not my main focus anymore. That being said, it’s enough to live on.
It’s enough to pay all of my monthly bills.
But it’s one of those things that isn’t passively earning income right? I mean, it’s only as active as I am in the business.
And so at some point that would die off.
I have several other streams of income as well. I have revenue share in a marketing company that I founded, and my brothers now own called Ballen Brands. And that brings in a few thousand dollars each month.
I have a small shampoo business. I’m not really actively out there doing much with it, but it’s passive income still, and you know, a few hundred dollars a month. It’s thousands each month if I work at it.
I’ve got seven streams of income happening, but at this point, they are all in various growth phases. They could definitely be a lot bigger, but the fact that I do have the six figures coming in is really allowing me to enjoy and appreciate this immense freedom in my life to test things, to play, to discover what do I like and what don’t I like.
The shampoo business is easy for me, super, super easy to make money. I started making a couple thousand dollars a month right out of the gate, but what I found was I did not like the active recruiting that it took.
Everybody tries to recruit me to their real estate company, assuming that I’m this major recruiter because I’m an influencer.
Yes, I have a good size following, I am an influencer, but more as a motivational person and trainer.
I’m not as a recruiter so to speak.
It’s not hard for me. I just don’t enjoy it. So I don’t spend much time there. So that’s really why I’m not super actively out there promoting the shampoo side because it is a network marketing business and you do need to always be recruiting to really build that up.
I still get the passive income from it. Lots of people still buying shampoo. I still have team members and whatnot and still, have other people coming in organically through my outreach.
On this podcast, I’m going to be talking about all of these things. We’ll talk about these individual businesses.
We’re going to talk about parenting.
You know, I’m going through a lot of interesting things right now as a mother of a 27-year-old daughter who is buying her first home, heading out to get married soon I’m sure and then comes the baby phase, right?
So there’s this whole new chapter coming. Then, of course, we’ll have the 16-year-old who will be in her junior and senior years of high school and then onto college.
I’ll probably be talking about dating as a midlife woman and sharing what that looks like when I eventually get there.
I’m looking to buy my own home for the first time myself later this year. I want to talk about investments, building for our retirement and the later years. I want to talk about health and fitness and our physical being. I want to talk about religion, life, death and reincarnation. All of it, regardless of beliefs.
I’m hoping that I have permission to share with you guys honestly, openly and just, shoot from the hip without these filters that I always feel like I have to have on when I’m being a real estate trainer or a blogger or making my youtube videos.
You know, I really would like to have a platform where I can just be Lori Ballen.
This is me, this is where I’m at. And I think you guys will find some inspiration in the stories that I want to share with you and talk about: from mental illness and suicide to divorce, to success, to money making it, all of it.
So thank you for joining me. Please subscribe to the podcast and check out future episodes.