How Do You Know When You’re Good Enough?

Professionally, my life looks like a mosaic or a connect-the-dot puzzle, except for the fact that rarely did the dots ever connect.  I had 13 jobs before the age of 32.   I’ve spent the next 18 years working for myself.

Looking back, every single job I had when I worked for someone else was critical to what I do now, but at the time they seemed pud and meaningless.   Together, they turned me into a dynamo, an idea factory that could create something out of absolutely nothing and could do it in the next 13 minutes.

Continue reading “How Do You Know When You’re Good Enough?”


What I Learned From Week 1 of Facebook

I did it.

After 5 years and hundreds of questions from friends and colleagues about why I wasn’t on Facebook, I stopped resisting. I spent an entire weekend uploading photos, censoring my thoughts, ‘friending’ people I hadn’t seen in 30 years, informing my ‘inner circle’ aka the family of what I was doing, scrolling senselessly and reading posts. At one point on Sunday night two days into my journey I found myself sitting perched on the edge of my seat awaiting a comment or a Like.

Instant gratification comes in the form of Facebook.

My first goal was 100 friends. I made it in 2 days. Week 1 garnered me 135 friends. Good start, I guess.

If you want to get all the Grandmas of the world to come together, post a picture of your adorable grandson online. If you want to start a political rant, post a controversial ‘idea starter’ and then wait for everyone to go wild. If you want to put God on the map, simply write about him while the MU/KU national showdown game is on or immediately following the Super Bowl.

Since my inaugural post I’ve set up lunch with 2 friends I hadn’t seen in 2 years. I’ve stalked my kids sites and flipped through every picture they post (my son just informed me he’s thinking of taking his Facebook down since I’ve gotten on). I’ve instant messaged people and contemplated the new “Timeline” format, even though as a newbie, learning the new format wouldn’t be any big deal for me. I’ve posted mostly quotes from famous philosophers on my own wall which puzzles me. Am I hiding behind other people’s words instead of writing my own?

I’ve learned that certain people love themselves incessantly. They post a new profile picture on average of 2 times per week. I’ve learned that not much changes from high school…that the beautiful high school cheerleader now also has the most beautiful family on the planet. The guy who had a gold tooth now runs the local tow company and is as nice as apple pie (always was). The guy and girl voted most successful are still that…successful.

I’ve learned that weekends aren’t nearly as busy as the weekdays on Facebook. Facebook’s still in it’s infancy, officially less than a decade old and within months of it’s own Wall Street debut will make its founder ga-ga rich to the tune of around $24 billion the first day it starts trading stock. Facebook connects over 800,000,000 people at this moment in time.

I’m big on people and relationships. I know Facebook’s claim to fame is that it connects both…people and relationships. But here’s what I found from my first week on Facebook; while I like the photos, the questions (my first poll was Does God Care if I Wear Pantyhose to Church?), the camaraderie and the real-time info, Facebook hasn’t changed my life.

It’s enhanced my life, but it’s also sucked 20 hours out of last week. Perhaps those were piddle hours, hours when I would’ve been on my butt anyway watching “Revenge” with my hubby or “Mickey Mouse” with my grandson. I know this. I take total responsibility for the time I’ve invested in the 21st century’s technological idol.

Facebook is here to stay. It’s up to me to manage it instead of the other way around. And I believe that if you want to have real friends it still takes two things, t-i-m-e and e-f-f-o-r-t. It’s not as simple as hitting the buttons “Add Friend Now” or “Confirm Friend Now”. The real friends are the ones who will throw dirt in at the funeral.

How many of your Facebook friends will do that?

The 4th Detour of Every Overwhelmed Woman

The 4th detour in the life of every overwhelmed woman is…Escape to Busyburg.

We fill every imaginable moment of our lives with things to do.

I think we do this to escape or forget about what we really should be doing or spending time on. It’s Saturday night and I’m writing this post (a good thing). I was going to do Pilates but I couldn’t figure out the DVD. I was going to clean my bedroom…was going to pull the weeds, and I do have 2 loads of laundry going.

You could call me a busy woman.

But am I busy doing the right things? Am I doing anything that matters or am I just filling time? Do I create things to do so that I don’t have to the things I should do.

They Told Her Not To Try

“You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” -Lucille Ball

A young Lucille Ball was nothing like the Lucy we all remember from TV. She was perceived as shy by teachers at the John Murray Anderson dramatic school she attended and was discouraged from pursuing a career in show business. They told her to find another career because she’d never make it in this one. Guess she proved them wrong. When someone tells you not to try because your results will prove futile, make sure that you decide what your response will be. Take your life into your own hands. Don’t wait for others to determine your destiny.

How To Start A Business While You’re Still Working

This is what I call “straddling the fence.” You know that you want to be home with your babies but you have to keep your job’s income long enough to make a transition into your new work-at-home career. It’s possible, but it’s not easy.

The first thing you have to do is know your business. Can you work it on your lunch hour? Can you get up at 5:00 am before the babies need to be fed and the lunches need to be made? Do you have the patience and the sanity to do both?

You may not have a choice. You may have to do both, at least for a while.

Keeping a roof over your family’s head and food in their belly is important. There are ways to do it. I didn’t use the transition plan. I made a BIG BOLD leap and it worked for me. But it won’t work for everyone and in hindsight, I could’ve fallen flat on my face.

Before you tell me you HAVE to keep working your full-time job, I’d like you to figure out your REAL cost of work.

I talk about this alot. Very few women listen to me the first time.

If you’re making $2,400 a month, paying $480 in taxes and $900 in day care, your net take home pay is only $1,020. That’s before the gas you put in your tank to get to work, the lunches you eat out, the clothes you buy to keep up with your colleagues and the birthday parties you chip in $20 for when the hat is passed. That’s before the McDonald’s run 1-2 nights a week, the Starbucks you buy on the run and the convenience food you pick up at the grocery store because you’re too exhausted to cook.

Let’s say all that totals another $500. Your net is not $480. So, you don’t have to replace $2,400. You only have to replace $480. You’re simply shuffling money. That’s what most working Mothers don’t realize. You’re gain is $480, not $2,400 a month. And if you start your home business you’re also going to get tax breaks you never thought of before.

How to Start a Business While You’re Still Working:
1. Start logging your expenses down to the penny. What do you do because you work outside the home? Day Care? Fast Food? Make an entire list right now. Know your real cost of work and what you’re actually earning, not what it looks like you’re earning.

2. Start logging your time. How much time do you spend getting ready to go to work, dropping off and picking up kids at the sitter or school, running like a maniac to do it all at work and at home? How much time do you really get to be a Mommy?

3. Know exactly what kind of business you want to start and then experiment with it while you’re still working. Get help if you need to. You have to see if the business you choose has any traction. Can you make real money?

4. Ask for help. We all need a strong support system, especially when making a transition from work outside the home Mom to work at home Mom. Call your mother, your neighbor, your best friend. Don’t do it alone, you’ll fail. Guaranteed.

5. Find a cheerleader. You’re going to need a cheerleader while you make this transition. It might not be your Mom, your neighbor or your best friend. Often those who are closest to us are our most negative opponents. Or, they may simply not understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ll know a cheerleader when you find her.

6. Get set for success. Raising babies is tough. Being away from your babies on a daily basis is even tougher. Decide. Act. Celebrate.

You can do this. Being a Mom is the most sacred job on the planet. Creating a business of your very own is one of the most fulfilling projects you can ever take on. You can do both, and you can do both well. All you have to do is decide.

What To Do With a Whiner

No, I’m not talking about your kids. I’m talking about your clients who whine.
Is it ever the right thing to do to ask a client to stop whining? No. Clients don’t even know they’re whining, they’re simply being clients. They want it when they want it for the price they want it.

You get to decide if they’ll get it that way.

The loveliest part of being a business owner is that you’re ‘in charge’. You get to decide who stays and who goes.

Timothy Ferris, author of The Four-Hour Workweek was a mental basket case while he was running his body supplements company. One day he decided he’d had enough. He fired the people who were constantly causing him grief. The majority of them were his clients.

His workload went down.

His profits went up!

Sometimes we have to get rid of the troublemakers…the whiners. Not only does this apply to our business, it applies to our life. The negative nillies fill us with worry, with angst, with their pain-in-the-butt attitudes. The negativity closes in. It grows like mold.

Sometimes you have to do the only thing you can do with a whiner…fire’m!