Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spoil me Silly

This week I write to you from sunny Phoenix. 
I love it when the stars align and things gel together. I have a convention in downtown Phoenix over the weekend, and my parents live in the Phoenix suburbs. I am able to combine a visit with business and through the power of the world wide interwebs, I can even extend my visit to a whole week and work from Phoenix for a couple of days.

Today, we went out for breakfast, did a little shopping, and got massages. 

As adults, we don't get the chance to get spoiled very often, so I'm enjoying my time with my parents and allowing myself to be treated. 

It's not about money or gifts, but just letting someone else take care of things for you when you are normally the care giver, the organizer, the orchestrator is a huge blessing. 

As women, we often have a hard time accepting, heck, most women can't even accept a compliment! 

I'm giving myself the gift of doing just that this week. And it feels GREAT! 

And check out my office! 
 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Timing is everything

You may or may not know my story, but through the journey of the past 10 or so years, my husband and I have both come to believe deep to the core of our being that not only does everything happen for a reason, but everything always works out for the best. I'll submit that when everything works out, it may not be in the way, or sometimes even the time that you wish, but it always does. 

In my family, I am most like my father and my sister is most like my mother. One of the ways that this often presents itself is in the area of worry. I don't do a lot of it, but my Mom and sister both do. 

Neither of these facts should suggest that I simply wait around for great stuff to happen, I definitely actively engage in my life, but I have the ability to release things that i have no control over and to not only hope, but also believe with my whole heart for the best.

Recently, some of you may have guessed from last weeks' blog post, I was met with a disappointing situation regarding my personal network marketing business. My personal business took a hit, and I also found myself faced with a dilemma regarding our upcoming convention where I was left with no roommates. 

In the mean time, I was offered and accepted the honor of serving as the Chapter Director of the Online Community of Over 40 Females. Then, I was offered a coaching session through one of my network marketing company's top leaders. Talk about the stars aligning! He talked me through an outstanding strategy to build my business using a LOT of work I have done previously with another company that I didn't really think I could re-use. By the next morning, I had seen so many parallels that I can put into action immediately to benefit and grow the Over 40 Females Online Community

AND I was connected with the PERFECT roommate. We spent more than an hour on the phone and are both so excited to be sharing the experience as we are in similar growth phases of our business. 

All lining up perfectly in time for an amazing personal development and training conference and right before the holiday shopping season hits. 

What some may have seen as a reason to give up I see as the most perfect thing that could have happened at the most perfect time. 

Things happens for a reason.
Things always works out for the best.
Timing is everything. 

How did we get here?

Do you ever find yourself looking around and wondering how you got where you  are? Of course, I can't help but hear the Talking Heads as I ask that question (you're welcome if you are too - click the pic).

As an Over 40 Female, my story is long but the journey I see as my journey started about 10 years ago. 

After college, my husband like many people found it tough to get a job in his field. So, he took a job in a warehouse with a solid company. He worked his way up and along the way I was hired by the same company. He worked his way from a menial job in the warehouse to warehouse manager when they closed the facility and made him a project manager. Then the recession hit, and in a company that ran on the automobile industry, cuts came and they kept coming.

The day he was laid off, my manager sent me home as well to deal with the situation since we both worked for the same company. (I suspect they didn't want to take a chance I'd freak out or have a melt down in the office.) It was a bit of a surreal experience. I can best compare it to when someone you know has been sick and in pain for a long time and then they pass away. It's sad, and always some level of shock, but kind of a relief too. 

We sat down and talked about our options and decided that it was his last, best chance to follow his dream of becoming a professional pilot. We'd figure out the rest along the way. He had been so unhappy as a project manager that I would have done anything to make it possible for him to have a job he truly enjoyed.

A short time later, I started my first direct sales position along side my corporate position. There were definitely some tight and scary months, but we made it. My husband got hired as a professional airline pilot. 

We learned SO much through this process. I learned things about myself I never knew, I developed confidence, speaking, training and leadership skills I never would have thought I had, all sorts of things. We learned it is NEVER too late to go after your dreams. My husband was in his 40s when he went through the training and certifications and loss of income of changing careers. But it was SO worth every minute. 

Like building a lot of solo businesses, everything wasn't perfect, and I went through some bumps and bruises and some heartache growing mine. As the struggle grew, I got to work with an amazing coach. Through our journey, I started having an inspiration to create a service based event for women. Those that were my customers, or that may become my customers. An event that would give women some much needed pampering and community and also give exposure and promotion to local businesses. I just couldn't quite figure out how to make it happen. 

With a firm but loving nudge, I started doing research and found Over 40 Females. They were doing what I envisioned but even better! With more benefits than I had considered. We started talking and found a great fit, and Chicago Over 40 Females was born.

About a year ago, I was talking with a dear friend, someone who I consider a mentor as she has achieved significance in her business and financial success as well as the impact she has made on others lives. Someone I truly emulate. 
I made the decision to change companies and leave the team and the business I had built in my first direct sales company behind. 

It has been the best decision of my life. 

Some more cool rebranding and exciting new stuff is coming... stay tuned!

   

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Honesty, Integrity and Karma

Like most of you, I was brought up with the belief that if you do the right thing, the right things will happen and if you do the wrong thing, the wrong things will happen. 

As business owners and professionals, integrity is a huge part of how we do business. The women that I interact with regularly operate in their business and their personal lives with the highest integrity. 

Sometimes that faith, that belief system is shaken. Sometimes we are faced with a situation where someone being dishonest, and unethical seems to get ahead, maybe even to your detriment. If it happens in a big enough way, or an impactful enough way, it may do more than hurt our feelings, tick us off or leave us frustrated. It may make us wonder about the very thing we do. Is it worth it if the cheaters and the liars get ahead? 

There is a wide spread belief that "what goes around comes around". In social media when you see an injustice, or someone with their "pants on fire" getting ahead, there is a general outcry of "they'll get what's coming to them". I think that belief is the danger. I think Karma is not a bitch and I think while those people who behave in an unethical way are definitely people that I remove from my circle of interaction, they may never suffer a negative consequence whatsoever from their wrong doings. 

So why should we behave in that ethical, honest, full integrity way in the first place? 

Because I believe like attracts like. 


So, those people who are dishonest, who behave and do business in a sleazy way, they will attract other people who behave and do business in a dishonest and sleazy way. 

And I'd like to thank them! 

Because I do not want any of those people any where near me, and sometimes it's not immediately obvious when you are getting to know a person or starting a new business relationship. 

So the next time, you are negatively impacted by a dishonest, unethical, deceitful person, rather than wishing that the experience comes back to bite them in the butt,  thank them. Thank them for removing those influences from your life, your circle and your business. 

Because we know that nature abhors a vacuum and it only makes space for more of the perfect people to be attracted to you in their place. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Is GPS making us blind?

As I was driving to an event this past week, I was using the GPS feature on my phone. There was traffic, and I was paying attention to driving and to the cars around me, yet, I drove right past my destination as the little lady in the box didn't tell me to turn in time. 

Remember before we had GPS? 
Remember actually looking around for your destination?  
Remember directions given by reference to sites you passed and landmarks? 



Do we even notice those sites and landmarks any more? 

I think our, at least my, reliance on GPS has started to make us blind to our surroundings. 

Kind of a statement to being present in our surroundings in general. We go through so many things on autopilot without even realizing it. 

What are we missing out on by being so focused on the next turn, and not where we are right now? 



Now, don't get me wrong. I love, and frankly NEED my GPS. My poor husband not only can't take my tear filled phone calls when I'm lost, but is also a pilot and frequently unavailable to assist me in my navigational shortcomings. 

Luckily, like most things, I think the realization is enough to start the change. 
I'd love to challenge you to try to see more as you navigate your week. 

  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Managing Expectations

Many of you have heard our vehicular story of 2014. My poor old truck was queued to be replaced. 1998, 196,000 miles, rusting down at the bottom of most of the panels. 
Then, I totaled my husband's car in January in some drifting snow, and he got bumped to the front of the line. 

The great part about this part of the story is that I had been looking at the new Camaro as my replacement vehicle, but had just come to the realization that it wouldn't work as the dogs hate the deep bucket seats in the back and I am the primary transporter of our furry little babies. 

My husband is 6'4" and does not fit into a lot of cars, and fits comfortably into even fewer. So, it was a bit of a win for me when he decided that was going to be HIS replacement vehicle.  
Of course, it's painful to consider going from a house with zero car payments to a house with 2 car payments. 
So now we are finally are near the point to replacing my truck, I don't quite have the down payment saved back up, but possibly the perfect car has appeared. 
I've been trying to manage my emotions and expectations, but my husband's excitement is winding me up like a kids top at Christmas. I feel like I'm going to be dead meat for the car dealer.
How many times do we let ourselves get overly excited with the anticipation of something?
How do you keep your emotions and your expectations in check? I'd love to hear your suggestions. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

GASP! ... I AM a taker!

So, for the past 13 years, Mike and I have been 
attending ProgPowerUSA in Atlanta, GA. We have made some of the best friends we have through and at this festival. We have gotten to be good friends with some of our all time favorite musicians. 


I commented to Mike who would think that the conversation a person would have with Lance King would be about how his son is entering the disrespectful teenage years and how that is going with him and his wife, etc. You know, like a "normal person". 

A dear girlfriend of mine, is married to Urban breed. I can't comment that any conversation with Urban would be normal, however. Love you guys! 

Of course, this doesn't include my random moments of complete fan girl melt down. Poor Floor Jansen. I can only apologize, and then apologize again for my swooning.

There are lots of things that make the festival special, but at the top of that list is the people (both the attendees and the bands) and the fact that the bands do something special for this performance. I have noted that I've become a bit spoiled and my expectations are pretty high after 13 years. Bands that perform their standard setlist are quickly removed from my playlist and we really don't follow them any longer. Sonata Arctica is an example of this. We really liked them, completely blind bought all of their albums and saw every concert anywhere near Chicago. We have not seen them or bought any new albums since they played the exact same set at the festival that we had seen them perform at House of Blues the month prior.

Another really neat thing is that each of the bands has an interview that we get in a program at the fest. I never get a chance to read through them until the plane ride home and always regret missing the opportunity to talk to this or that band member about something they mentioned in their interview.

This brought me to a realization. My expectations are unfairly one sided. I expect a lot from the bands and yet, for hose bands that I'm not familiar with, I don't put in any effort whatsoever into getting to know their music let alone them as people. 

Isn't this true of so many areas of our lives? 
I'm not talking about the professional takers, the energy vampires or the permanent gimme's. I'm talking about those of us who consider ourselves to be givers. Those of us who consider ourselves to be genuinely positive, outgoing, do unto others types. 
Sometimes, somewhere or with someone in our lives, we expect but we don't give in return, completely without realizing it. 
It could be our family, it could be our friends. It could be in business, with our colleagues, employees or customers. 
How often do we lament that we aren't getting what we expect without considering what we are giving in exchange? 

As you may imagine, I'm remedying that this year. I have a year to not only listen to the music for the bands I don't know yet, but follow and really get to know the members as people. If I expect something special from them, they should get something special from me.

Where in your life are you expecting but not giving in return? I challenge you to up the ante and give more of yourself.