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Welcome to episode four of the Real Life, Real Passion podcast. Today our guest is Bridget Schwebach, she is a Senior Executive Ambassador for Forever. In our interview, Bridget shares her experience loosing precious family photos and how she uses her passion for pictures to help others find a safe place to keep their family memories.
Bridget has been a wife for twenty five years, and is the mother of three. She is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Bridget has a passion for memory keeping and is a Senior Executive Ambassador for Forever. We met when she came to Roots Tech 2017, which is a genealogy convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Love of Memory Keeping Started as a Child
As a little girl, Bridget remembers feeling so loved when she would look at photo albums. Her mother was really good about printing pictures and putting them in magnetic albums where they were accessible and easily viewed.
Bridget is the middle child of three girls, and she remembers laying on the floor in the living room in the warm spot on the floor where the sunlight came in from the window, just pouring over the photos and laughing and giggling. Little did she know that those experiences would trigger a lifelong passion and career in memory keeping.
She has always loved pictures, cutting out newspaper articles and things from magazines, journaling, and putting together vision boards. Scrapbooking was a natural hobby for her to develop. She has even taking some college courses in photography and has become the family photographer.
“I love my family through my photos.”
Bridget loves her family through her photos and encourages other people to do the same thing. It is a tangible and powerful way to keep memories and tell family stories.
Forever is a company that Bridget loves, and one that she prayed for. For Bridget, it feels like everything in her life is coming together—from her yearbook editing days to her sales experience, it has all culminated in her position at forever. She feels that at 44, she has found and is living her purpose.
Forever.com is a platform for memory keeping. It’s your one digital home online. It’s a permanent website that people can purchase one time, and then they own it. It literally will outlive you and can be passed on within our families for our lifetime plus 100 years. It is perfect for connecting many generations.
Forever.com has an endowment fund and other guarantees that no one else offers. The website is guaranteed for your lifetime plus 100 years, but her favorite part is the file format migration guarantee. As technology keeps changing, Forever will update your jpegs, mp3’s, and all your core files to the most current technology so nothing is lost. You can always view, watch, look and enjoy and most importantly tell your stories through the generations.
Current technology makes it really easy to take a lot of photos, but more times than not we just put them on external hard drives, or thumb drives, or on the computer and it “is like a band-aid to the real problem.” The problem is that those devices aren’t guaranteed to never fail. Forever.com is the solution and guarantees that the pictures will be there for your children and the generations beyond.
Social media is wonderful and it makes the sharing of images and stories really easy. And that’s what a lot of people are doing, they post their pictures online, and it is like a grown-up version of show and tell. We share part of our life, the wonderful experiences—the highlights. Which is wonderful.
But not every picture goes on Facebook.
There are stories behind your daily life. Your lows as well as your highs. Talking about the struggles as well as the beautiful blessings is important.
Social media is great because it’s instant. Forever thinks long term.
Although people are taking more photos they aren’t sharing all of them, they post one or two and the rest stay on their phone, camera, computer… Some people may have problems when they get a new phone. They’ll save their old phone because they don’t know how to get their pictures off their old phone, or they don’t know what to do with the pictures when they do, and then they have information stored on a variety of old and different technologies.
Forever “isn’t Facebook sharing, it is real life friends and family sharing.”
As the photographer of her family, Bridget is always sharing photos. She used to have to email them, burn them to cd, use dropbox or something else to share her images. But now, the people that care about her and want the pictures that she takes, can simply go to her home tab and download the full resolution pictures without her having to spend time sorting or transferring them anywhere.
One of the great things about Forever is that they will keep up on technology for you and you can share your pictures, and not just social media quality pictures, but you can share full resolution pictures with your friends and family. You can print your photos, re-download them, you can use Forever’s print shop or your other favorite printer. You can digitize the old things and let Forever upload your memories directly to your Forever account… It really is the complete package.
A Lost Year
Have you lost pictures? Have you experienced the blue screen of death on your computer or hard drive?
Bridget has a personal experience of losing photos. One day Bridget logged into her computer but it was dead. She had an external hard drive but hadn’t synced it to the computer for a while, and she lost an entire year of photos. She does not have any of her digital pictures from 2012, including her kids’ birthday’s, there is just a hole.
She has already spent at least $1,000 trying to recover those images, without success. And she will continue trying to recover the images. She is willing to pay whatever it takes because those pictures are so important to her. It is her family memories.
Forever.com helps you be proactive instead of reactive. It is a safe place to store your photos because there are multiple backups around the nation and it is backed up daily.
Bridget is the memory keeper of her family, and she lives her mission and purpose of preserving family memories every day. She has found her Forever home, not only in the business opportunity, but as a way to preserve her pictures and her memories.
Senior Executive Ambassador
Bridget is a Senior Executive Ambassador for Forever, which has been a dream come true. She has been in direct sales for 20 years, and has never reached the top before. Now, in only a year and a half with Forever, she is realizing her dreams.
She has enjoyed the opportunity of working with other companies, the experiences were always positive and taught her a lot, but those experiences also gave her the perspective to see and appreciate how special Forever really is. She has developed a successful team of passionate memory keepers and photo enthusiasts because Forever offers a solution that no one else does.
It’s easy to share with people because she feels like an educator. She helps people fix real problems because Forever offers real solutions. She loves it when people get excited and have “lightbulb moments… “this is what I’ve been waiting for!”
Real World Problem
For example, Bridget had a conversation with a woman the morning of our interview who was a Shutterfly user. Bridget commented how Shutterfly was a great service, and then asked if the woman had a backup of her photos. Her answer was no, that she just stored them for free on the Shutterfly website. Unfortunately, she hadn’t read and understood the terms of service of the free cloud storage. The woman now has to pay to get back her full resolution pictures and she didn’t realize that. She is willing to do it of course, because she wants a copy of her pictures, but it was an unfortunate way to have to find out.
With Forever you own your photos, you aren’t renting space that someone else owns and has control over, everything is yours.
If you are like Bridget and love your family through your photos, and want use the photos that you are taking, then Forever is a great solution. You can cross-share full resolution photos, and share real life with your friends and family, connecting generations in a useful way; versus show and tell.
Where to Start?
Bridget offers great advice for starting a project. She recommends picking a landmark event like a graduation or a birthday that you want to create a project for. Then set a goal with a deadline. People are better with deadlines, so help yourself be successful and come up with a deadline.
For example: I will compile all of my graduation photos, organize them, and journal a few entries. I will layout everything into a book and I will publish the completed book within the next two months.
You Only Have to Compile Once
Another positive, is that when you move a copy of all your photos to Forever, it is the last time you will have to gather your photos in one place. Once you gather all your old videos, and hard drives, and tapes, you can send them off to Forever and they will digitize and upload them to your Forever account. Once you have everything there, you never have to do it again.
There is such a piece of mind knowing that you have found your Forever home.
The hardest part is transferring your photos over, once you have them there, “it’s bliss.” You can organize them, play, edit, create, and do whatever you want with them knowing that you own them and have full control over what happens to them.
There is an app you can download to your phone that when you open it, can auto sync all the photos from your phone to your account without taking up space on your phone. You can also use the app to tag and organize photos, delete duplicates, or re-organize while you have down time, or you are waiting at the doctors office or waiting for your kids at sporting events or whenever. It is accessible and makes it easy to be productive because we always have our phones.
Make Keeping Memories a Lifestyle
The best way Bridget knows how to help people make keeping memories a lifestyle is to become an ambassador for Forever. As an ambassador, you become a part of a community of people who inspire each other, who notify each other of finished projects and accomplished goals, invite each other to different events, and get together at conventions. It’s a great place to belong.
The Three B’s:
Something to Believe in. Bridget feels that she is a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend, when she is actively loving her family behind the camera and looking for the good in life. “You can’t help but see the good when you are looking through the camera.”
Someone to Become. Bridget had no idea that this was going to become her path. She has always believed that she was a leader, and that she loved helping people, but she never knew that she had the potential to become a Senior Executive Ambassador in just over a year with her new business. It is exciting to know you have potential to become something great.
Somewhere to Belong. When you belong to a community, you can’t help but to be inspired. You have people cheering for you and someone to cheer for.
“You can live life through the eyes of the lens of a camera and focus on the good, and you’ll get more good.”
Bridget is spiritual and loves flow. She is always learning and growing.
“Intention to live on purpose is what keeps me going.”
Bridget’s parents are the richest people she knows, and they don’t have a lot of money. They are rich because they have friends and an incredibly close family.
“They are wealthy in spirituality. They are wealthy in love. They are wealthy in grandchildren… They are wealthy in their experiences in life.”
When Bridget thinks of success the question that comes to mind is: Are you experiencing life?
“Experiences are the intangible things that we want to collect in this life.”
- Do you travel?
- Are you making a difference?
- Are you influencing others?
- Do you give back?
All of these things contribute to success as well as health and wellness.
Her parents are 70 years old and climb rocks in Sedona, AZ, they practice tai chi and yoga. They are healthy and happy.
“They are amazing people and I am privileged to be their daughter.”
Know What You Don’t Want
When you are trying to find your passion and purpose, it’s important to know what you don’t want and it’s important to make mistakes.
Don’t be afraid to try things, risk things, and make mistakes. Sometimes the only way to find out what you want, is to experience what you don’t want. That includes partners, that includes businesses, that includes a lot of things.
“Really find out what you don’t want to find out what you do want.”
Trust yourself and find your faith. Faith is essential because you will be guided and you will trust the guidance that is being given. “Faith is everything when it comes to knowing your purpose and your path.”
People call Bridget a “bridge.” She really identifies with idea of being a bridge and has used it in all aspects of her life. In her business, she bridges people to their hopes and their dreams, their wants and their needs. She has taken on the persona of a bridge and even calls her Forever team the “Bridge Builders.” Their mission is “building bridges and connecting generations together forever.”
In her home, she likes the saying: “The best place to be is together.” While it may not always feel true, she tries to live by those wise words because it doesn’t matter where her family is, life is good when when everyone is together. Time goes by so fast and it’s the little moments sometimes that make the most precious memories.
Bridget is not a fiction reader; however, she loves to read personal growth and development books. These books have helped her develop as a business person, and one of her favorite authors is John Maxwell.
The book that changed her the most is by Dr. Tom Barrett called Dare to Dream and Work to Win. It’s about discovering the industry of network marketing and direct sales. It inspired Bridget to dare to dream and be her own boss. It is full of great analogies, vision, and helps put everything into a tangible business plan. This book helped Bridget truly believe in herself, it was what enabled her to say, “I can do this!”
Believe in Yourself
Believing in yourself is everything.
Everyday you have a choice; you can choose whether or not you are willing to work to chase your dreams. But don’t be afraid to fail, because that’s how you learn. Make failure a part of your success. You’ll fail better next time.
“Fail better next time.”
- Forever. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.forever.com/ambassador/krista-palo
- Roots Tech. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.rootstech.org/