Kick-Start Your Motivation!

financialfreedom2Procrastination and wasting time are common ailments.  Even if you lose only a few hours a week to them, it can be annoying.  Why?  Because you may realize that you didn’t really ENJOY the wasted time.  If you had actually planned to take that time off, you might have done something much more enjoyable and relaxing.  And if you had been more intentional, you might be seeing profound improvements in your business.

If you are ready to rev up your motivation, here is the place to start:

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Farewell, Dear Friend… I Love You

Today I am sharing a personal message.  A piece of my life is shifting.

Dear Friend, It has been a long journey together.  Since 1993 you have shared my life, seen it all, and been there to support me.  What a ride we have had together.

I remember the first time I saw you.  My son, Patrick, was an expert in finding and negotiating the best car he could find for me.  There you were.  Your silver shine with a beautiful depth, and luxurious leather seats.  A special sound system that could become a concert hall or a jazz club with the click of a button.  And a smooth, silent engine that sometimes had me guessing whether you were running or not.  My 1993 Acura Vigor.  An all-time classic in the making.

Today your shine has dulled from years of sitting in the sun and rain.  Your leather seats have held up well.  They only have a few cracks and are still comfortable.  The sound system broke long ago, but it was for the best.  I prefer to drive with my own thoughts or to share them only with you, my silent friend, my dear car.

You have given me your all.  You have taken me from your maiden drive to over 280,000 miles.  And you have been supportive and reliable all the way.  22 years we have shared.

The early years were very busy.  Shortly after you arrived some of our personal challenges began.  There was a time when we had 4 drivers all vying to use you.  Corinne, Patrick and Lauren and I had to share you.  We were dropping each other off and you were almost always on the road.  I think you clocked 50,000 miles that year.  You never complained.

You took me to the hospital during Corinne’s last days.  I remember sliding into your seat and still sensing Corinne right there with us.  You witnessed lots of tears.  You helped me be brave when I loaded you up with all my belongings and started life again after my marriage had fallen apart.   You moved me to Southern California to transition to a new era of my life.  You took me on countless dates for 15 years as a single woman.  And YES, we shared lots of laughs over some of those dates.

Strangely, I always felt that you were there for me.  You were reliable and got me where I needed to be.  I got into the habit of saying a prayer of gratitude whenever I got into the driver’s seat.  “Thank you for being here for me.  Thank you for being so reliable, and beautiful.  Thank you for being part of my life and reminding me that God is here and always with me.”   While there were a few repairs, you were the most amazing car I have ever had.  You didn’t get out of alignment.  You never left me in a difficult spot.  You truly deserved the gratitude that I offered.

You were my symbol of God being with me through the biggest crisis events in my life.  Your sunroof allowed me to see the heavens above, and the beauty of nature along the way.  I never gave up.  I always knew that spirit was guiding my way, and you would take me there.

Now, it is hard to say goodbye.  We all get older over time, and things don’t work as well as they once did.  Unfortunately, I can’t get the parts to keep you running reliably.  I’m coming to terms with the fact that my own parts are wearing down as well.  I can still service mine and keep them going for (hopefully) quite some time.  But it is a different matter for your parts.

I didn’t think it would be this hard to let you go.  I have a new husband to be here with me and dry my tears.  I have wonder and joy in my life.  You brought me to a good place, full of hope and vision.   Yet when I saw that you would go to a “local dismantler”, I fell apart.

I pledge to you.  Nothing of our past together will be dismantled.  I will honor all that we learned together.  I will continue to love and trust and be grateful each day for all the good around me.  You will always be a symbol of God’s love.  Forever.

Will Your Home Business Boom or Bust?

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Seven Personal Challenges That Determine Your Home Business Future

Are you one of the many people who are working from home? Perhaps you operate a home based business or work for a company who is saving on office space. Either way, you have some new challenges. Here are the top seven challenges to having a successful home based business.

  1. Doing everything your way. Most home based business owners get very excited about being their own boss. Truthfully, it IS exciting to set your own hours knowing that no one is looking over your shoulder. Yet there are two sides to this story. You are also your own employee! Be honest! Are there some tasks for which you would never hire yourself?
  2. Dealing with delays and interruptions. When you’re working at home it is a challenge to separate your private life from your workday. Children, pets, neighbors, mail men, and gardeners are part of your office landscape. There is no hard and fast rule to guide your attention. You will get interrupted. Your priorities will determine your outcome.
  3. Staying focused. Even if there are no delays and interruptions, most people find it a challenge to stay focused. You may find that your mind strays, or your online research becomes an episode of “Lost In Web Space”!! One of the best things you can do is anticipate this challenge. Learn to forgive yourself and come back to productive work.
  4. Motivation. It is no secret that your motivation will fluctuate from day to day. When your motivation is high you’re likely to achieve more. Be aware that if your motivation slips for more than a few days it can become a destructive habit. To be successful you MUST have a support system. It can be devastating to watch your business fail, knowing that you are the cause.
  5. Communicating effectively. This topic could be a series of articles. There are so many ways to communicate using the phone, email, print, social media, networking, advertising, speaking and many more. There are times you can communicate by telephone and many other times that you must meet in person up. Once you decide what is most effective for you, commit to becoming a master. Take a class, read a book or look for someone to mentor you. It is worth it!
  6. Listening effectively. To be successful you need to identify and solve your customer’s problem. More importantly, your prospect has to BELIEVE that you understand them and are proposing the right solution. Ask lots of questions and listen to your prospect’s answers. If you find yourself twisting your product or service to fit every possible solution you may want to ask yourself, “Was I really listening?”
  7. Doing everything yourself to keep expenses down. You may be working from home in order to save on expenses. We are fortunate to live in a time when we can be in business with a computer, phone, printer and internet connection! When there is very little money coming in, it is tempting to economize by learning new skills. You might put up your own website, design your business cards, start a newsletter or create a mail campaign. Before long you find yourself losing days or weeks in front of tutorials without any additional revenue. You are caught in the trap! Set aside funds to hire professionals. Spend your time on revenue producing activity. That is the fastest way to create success in your business.

Your home based business can be an adventure that brings out the very best in you. It will be a learning experience every single day. You will be called upon to be the very best you can be! Decide every day to enjoy the process, to learn from every choice and to create a support system of friends, mentors and professionals who have a stake in your success. Lastly, smile and enjoy the ride!

How my sister changed our family in three words

christmasholly9Can you smell the turkey baking?  Or are you driving to friends and relatives for your feast?  Perhaps you are escaping to a movie?  This is the time that you come together with the special people in your life.  Spending time with friends and family is an opportunity to appreciate your roots and to expand the possibilities.

What could make your family experience more fulfilling?  My own family was lively.  I am the eldest of 6 children.  And we have always cared about each other, but we didn’t always express it in words.  I never remember hearing the words “I love you” when I was growing up.

My youngest sister changed all of that about 14 years ago.  She began to end her phone calls to our parents and siblings with the words, “I love you”.  The first time she said this, I was speechless.  I put down the phone and tears came to my eyes.  I realized how much I had longed to hear those words from my family.   The next time we spoke, I ended the call with “I love you.”

Soon it was a family practice.  I am grateful to Cynthia for opening our hearts.  My father passed in 2001 and my mother this year.  We all told our parents that we loved them on a regular basis.  And in the midst of dealing with the family trust, my siblings and I often say “I love you.”  We don’t always agree on how to do everything.  Yet we know that we have each other’s backs.  We are family.

What can you do to impact your family?  What traditions and habits support good relationships?  Are there ways in which you are stuck in old patterns which feel uncomfortable?  Each family is different, so you are the best judge of what will make a positive shift.

Choose one action that can bring more love to your family.  You might give hugs instead of handshakes.  Or special compliments which acknowledge each person.  You might listen more carefully.  You might bring a song or music.  Or simply say “I love you”, especially if you aren’t in the habit.

Making changes, even for the better, isn’t always easy.  Did you have the courage to take action?  Did you prepare the way for action in the future?  Or was it too daunting to risk disapproval?  Can you approve of yourself regardless of the outcome?

Imagine festive gatherings with your family and friends that fill you with inspiration and a feeling of deep connection.  Take that vision and ask your higher self for one simple thing that you can do to bring it to fruition.  Then DO IT.  Just one simple thing.  Isn’t that easy?