Oct 27

Spas – The novel and caring gift

As it gets more and more difficult to think of unique gifts to give your friends or even your wife, how about gifts that simple say “I care”? day at the spa

What woman does not like to be pampered?

All of us appreciate some me time, away from our daily responsibilities.

While we normally manage to do our nails at home after the kids have gone to sleep or color our hair at home, but getting it done at a professional spa has a certain indulgence that we all crave.

It used to be pricey and not within everyone’s budget to get a massage or mani pedi, but that has all changed.

For a massage Leesburg spa has many options on offer that are easy to book and won’t kill your wallet.

These massages are done by professionally trained therapists so that you know your friend is in good hands, literately!

Same with manicures and hair appointments.

Many places in Leesburg offer all these options under one roof, so you can enjoy your own pampering while being with your spouse or special friend.

Most places offer gift vouchers which are excellent, as your friend will not be bound by a set date, but can pick a time convenient to her, usually within a stipulated time period.

Also she is free to choose whatever she feels in the mood for.

For instance perhaps your wife had a tough week and just needs to have some peace and quiet and alone time. What is better than a massage to power her up for the next round of mommy hood?

Not to mention her being very grateful to you as well.

There cannot be a better and novel way to show your care than sponsoring some pampering for your loved ones and friends.

Imagine her delight as she finds that she is to be treated for some complete rest and relaxation.

A relaxing massage would probably be the most unique and beneficial as it heals while pampering.

She will probably feel years younger as she grows a year older on her birthday.

So next time you are in doubt as to what to get your best buddy try sponsoring some pampering and earn her eternal gratitude.

Oct 19

Go After Your Dreams Today

chasing my dreams“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.

So what. Get started now.

With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

This has been one of my biggest obstacles with becoming self employed.

It is sometimes very hard to jump into the unknown. It is tempting to wait until everything is perfect before acting but in doing so, a lot of times the opportunity is gone once all the stars have properly aligned.

It took me quite a while to realize that just because there are challenges and obstacles in the way does not mean that it is not an opportunity worth pursuing.

In fact, it is quite the opposite. If there are not any challenges, then I’m either not looking at it hard enough or it will not be very fulfilling in the end as it will be so easily accomplished.

I have a notebook full of business ideas. Some are just that – ideas. It is fun to think about them but I know I don’t have enough interest in them to really see them through.

Others are great ideas that just need to be implemented but I sometimes find myself making excuses for why they need to be put on hold whether it be timing or financial issues.

I must have put off starting this blog for at least three months.

My total expense? $19.95 for the domain name and $7.95 a month for hosting.

I didn’t think twice of going out to eat and spending much more than that on a one hour meal.

It is funny how our minds will comprehend things and throw up obstacles that really shouldn’t be obstacles at all.

What I told myself was that it was the money. In actuality, it was the fear of putting myself out there and opening myself up to others.

Would others be interested?

Would anyone read it?

Would someone think some of my thoughts were crazy, ridiculous or stupid?

The answer to all of the questions is probably.

But when it came down to it, I just had to do it. Buy the domain name, purchase the hosting and start writing. Take the first step and see where it leads me.

I think I will revisit my notebook and see what else is out there that I am putting off until the “perfect” time.

I have always said that I never want to look back and wonder what if. It is about time I stand behind that.

Oct 19

Can You Really Do It All?

We have all heard about the superwoman mom who is expected to juggle everything from the household to the kids to a busy parentfull-time job.

Before I had a baby, I thought I could easily manage it all.

After all, I had faced challenges in the past where colleagues left and their work was dumped on my desk without a problem.

I simply picked up where they left off and continued to do all of my own work.

Surely adding a baby to the mix wouldn’t be too much harder.

I don’t know that I have ever been so wrong about something in my life.

Having a baby has been a massive change in my life. On some levels, I expected the change. But I wrongly assumed that at least while he was small, I would be able to continue to work as I always had. It wouldn’t be until he was crawling and walking that things would truly become challenging.

Wrong again.

Trying to work from home with a newborn has been nearly impossible.

To those who have figured out a system, I applaud you.

I scoured the internet for ideas from other moms who had mastered a system.

What I found was moms who were getting up at 4am or going to bed at 2am in order to be able to work.

Where is the fun in that?

I decided to work from home nearly seven years ago so that I wouldn’t have to keep up with a schedule like that.

But I figured if it worked for them, maybe it would work for me as well.

So I tried it. I was so exhausted (since he wasn’t even coming close to sleeping through the night) that I could barely think straight much less work.

I considered it an accomplishment if I kept my eyes open.

Not to mention, any hope of quality time with him went out the window when I was being pulled in so many directions for 20 out of the 24 hours of the day.

I held out for 5.5 months trying everyone’s system that I could find.

Then I did it.

I admitted failure.

I can’t do it all.

And by trying, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors.

My work was suffering because I was doing it with a brain that was in desperate need of sleep, my son wasn’t getting quality time with me because I was so tired all the time and my husband, well, he was beginning to forget what I looked like.

So Plan B was implemented or would this be Plan X by this point? Not working was not an option for my husband or for me.

And that left daycare. Luckily, I was able to find a great place for him where good friends take their kids. This is his first week there.

The result?

I’m rested. My work is done.

My husband has seen me this week and my son and I are enjoying time that is completely uninterrupted each morning and afternoon.

So you may not be able to do it all but I certainly believe you can have it all.

Oct 19

Letting Others Belittle Your Ambitions

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

This is a quote I found today by Mark Twain and it is so true.

When I started working for myself, I had more naysayers around me than cheerleaders. People had no problem telling me I had officially lost it as I quit my corporate job and decided to trek out on my own. I didn’t know a lot of people who had their own business so I sought to find them online. I read through their blogs and spent time following other entrepreneurs through forum postings. I learned a lot simply by reading about what they were doing and implementing some of their most successful approaches that they graciously shared.

Even as my business took off, those naysayers remained. Apparently, if I didn’t have a job where I put on a business suit and worked on the 20th floor, I didn’t have a career at all. After all, according to them, it is impossible to make money unless you work for “the man”.

When I started my MBA program, I was asked repeatedly why I was there if I didn’t intend to get a “real” job after I graduated. At first, it irritated me but I eventually learned to ignore it all. I sought out others who wanted to be entrepreneurs and spent my time with them. My entrepreneurship professor was a great resource and one of the few who actually “got it” when I talked about working for myself.

I attended many entrepreneurial events and was always so inspired when I was in the presence of these people. I always had a notebook with me and it seemed to be the time that I was able to brainstorm the most ideas. Simply being in the same room with people who were successfully self employed was enough to motivate me to keep going.

Finally, I realized that these other people (who by the way, even now, seven years later, still ask me what I do all day) just are wired different than I am. Just because it won’t work for them doesn’t mean it is not working for me. And even though I am sometimes tempted to plaster my bank statement to my forehead when I’m around them, I have learned that it would be useless. They just simply don’t get it. To them, you either work for the man for thirty years until you get your gold watch or you’re not successful.

To me, that seems like an absolutely dreadful way to live. I have put these people on ignore and learned to do a lot of smiling and head nodding around the ones that I have no choice about being around (such as family).

I seek out those who are like me. Those who think it can be done. Those who have done it and who are more than willing to help anyone else do the same. I encourage you to do the same. Being around like minded people has tremendously improved my outlook on the future of my business as well as my motivation to keep plugging along.

Oct 19

Finding Your Purpose in Life

This is a question I have been struggling with as of late.

What is my purpose in life? Am I fulfilling it? Do I do any thing that is truly meaningful?

I must say, I am still looking for the answer and I’m not sure I have found it yet.

There are parts of my business that I found immensely rewarding and satisfying on a very personal level. It motivates and inspires me to do more.

However, unfortunately, those same parts are also the parts that do not bring in the most income. The parts of my business that generate income seem rather mundane, boring and monotonous.

Same stuff, different day.

Is it possible to bring meaning to every thing that we do? Is it even advisable to do that? Should the things that make us money to live (and by live, I certainly don’t mean extravagantly) also serve a purpose in our lives? Or should it just be the means to a financial end?

These are the types of questions I have been struggling with in the past few weeks. When I focus on the parts of my job that I love, I feel like I’m not even working. My juices start flowing and I feel like I am in a very happy place.

I continually put off those other tasks that do not produce the same effect. But that also means, I am putting off a significant portion of my income.

Grass is Always Greener?
It is easy to say that the grass is always greener on the other side. Then when you get to that side, all you want to do is go back to where you came from in the beginning. How do we get beyond wanting what we don’t have?

I absolutely despised having to be dressed in a business suit and heels every day when I worked in the corporate world. It was a major relief to me to be able to dress however I please without having a strict dress code in order to work.

When shopping with a friend over the weekend, she was picking out suits and heels for work. I felt jealous. I still to this moment cannot tell you why I felt that way. I really do not want to have to dress up again but the feeling was there nonetheless.

So what do you believe? Do you think every thing that you do can serve a purpose or do you have to separate your life into monetary activities and those activities that truly fulfill you?

Oct 19

Pleasing People, A Horrible Personality Trait

This is a tough one for me to swallow, personally. But I absolutely must learn that I can’t please everybody all the time. In fact, I probably can’t please even some of the people all of the time.

In one of my businesses, I routinely deal with hundreds of people on a daily basis. This is all in the online world so we only have the benefit of the written word when communicating. That can easily be read in ways that the writer did not intend, especially on easily debatable topics. As a moderator of all of this, it can be difficult to keep my opinion out of the mix while imparting fair judgment on those who cross the line with insults and attacks.

Everyone is not always happy with the decisions that I make. It can bother me quite a bit and I admit that it is certainly a weakness of mine. Unfortunately, its a known weakness and an easy advantage point for those who know it.

Why do we have such a need to please people?

I suppose my own personal need goes back to my childhood with always wanting to please my parents. It bothered me greatly if my parents were upset with me or even if there was a possibility my parents would be upset with me in the future. This often led to me turning myself in whenever I broke a rule even if I had not been caught. The people pleasing has continued through my jobs and now into my own businesses.

People Pleasers and Managers Don’t Mix
In my last corporate job before starting my business, I was the director of several departments and had a few people who reported to me. I hated it with a passion. I despised having to manage other people and to reprimand them when they went against the guidelines of the company. I wanted to be friends. I wanted them to like me. I wanted to please everyone, including them. What did this ultimately result in? Me hating my job.

How Do You Change?
Those who are able to have a cavalier attitude about what others think about them will easily tell you to just ignore it or shrug it off. They make it sound so very easy. It is not easy for me though and requires a conscious effort on my part.

I have to remind myself that I cannot please everyone. I have to make the best decision that I can based on the information I have at the time. I think about my decisions and ask myself if I would be comfortable with it being on the front of a national newspaper? If the answer is yes, I proceed. If not, then I rethink that decision. I look into the decision and ask am I uncomfortable because its not the right thing to do or because someone may be upset after I implement my decision? If it is that someone will be upset, will it be because I wronged them?

Obviously, I don’t go through all of these questions for every decision that I make. But I have found that dealing with these questions makes me more comfortable with making bigger decisions that will impact people other than just myself. So far, it has not led me astray.

How do you deal with your people pleasing tendencies?