Somedays you need a break. Somedays you just need to look away from the normal and lock your gaze on something new and different.
You live better, when you do. A new perspective, a new background, a new short term focus helps the blood pressure decrease, the muscles relax, the future look brighter.
Times change and with that, responsibilities often become different. New responsibilities can be stressful – confining and confusing at times. These are the moments when distraction becomes important.
There are days I need multiple distractions… how about you? So leaving home or always having to purchase something for my personal “entertainment” is not always in my best interest.
When looking for distractions, there are a few things we can do quickly, without leaving home:
a. Find a box of photos that need sorting – photos bring good memories to mind, organizing anything from photos to cans in the pantry will provide a bit of distraction and a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
b. Survey the pantry and freezer for meals that can be prepared and frozen for the future. You’ll be glad for the distraction and happy when you are too frenzied to cook.
c. Choose one window and clean it thoroughly. Add a drop of your favorite essential oil to the water… like lavender and lemon.
d. Lock yourself in a quiet room with a facial mask and quiet music. Wrap yourself in a warm robe and just close your eyes for 20 minutes… you’ll be fresh and feel energized for the next phase of the day.
e. Match socks. Shell pecans. Shred Cheese for tomorrow. Shine shoes. Mindless activities can provide a welcome distraction from a busy world.
f. Find time to read. Even one chapter will offer a distraction. Sometimes I need to read the same chapter 3 times, to actually understand it (concentration required), but for a short break… holding a book, looking at the words and illustrations can be a welcome break, when you can’t really leave the room.
These are just a few ideas, there are so many more that don’t require leaving home, spending money or gathering tons of supplies. The point is, when life gets too busy and you find your muscles tightening and your heart racing with frustration, find a distraction for a minute or twenty.
It’s About Living Better is where I started trying to deal with no work, or different work, or a different lifestyle, or how do I explain it?
It was a regular thing to hear a few years ago… and maybe now. “Our company is down-sizing and you are now out of work”. Or a few sentences similar. Everyone I knew professionally, was in the process of regrouping. Either they were looking for a new position, or adjusting to a new position that allowed them to continue working, or making a decision to improve their odds of remaining with the current company.
I tried a few things, researched many more and made a few starts.
Finally, I’m here. Working. “Semi Retired” is my description to my friends.
I am among the fortunate. I live in a small rural area where connections are still made at lunch or walking down the street. No interview required, just an agreement and bam!
I absolutely love working now. Probably better than I have for years. My work is tailored to the company’s needs, and my schedule at home. I give them my all. They receive way more than the agreement pays for because I care about them-and they, about me.
I work for someone who cares more about the people than any workplace I’ve ever been in. Because of that, the workers are loyal, the work is well-done and everyone is engaged. It’s not perfect for everyone. And, it’s not perfect for them. But a consistent, caring company giving consistent, caring service, as a means for earning, is the goal.
There will always be those who take advantage of this atmosphere. Supervising the milliniels hired into this workplace requires much patience and a steady head. However, the loafers will eventually weed themselves out. This is the company that you join when you know you are good at what you do, enjoy working with others and want to earn your own way.
I should send my former company a thank-you. Without that down-sizing, I may never have found this peaceful, caring and engaged company.
What is it that keeps you from reaching your end- of-day goal?
One more phone call? Answer that all important email or tag someone on a lovely picture of success? Text a reply, encourage the team?
Virtual Assistants perform a variety of time saving functions, helping you end your day on an up note.
Updating reports? Updating your social media? Tracking your email responses? Any task that will free you up to finish your day and grow your business. Sometimes, it pays to outsource time consuming tasks in order to complete the bigger picture.
Before you contact a virtual assistant, think about the tasks that might stop you from feeling overwhelmed or just overdone. Are you willing / able to share documents for editing or layout? Would the sharing of your calendar to someone who can take part of the days’ work, help complete tasks faster or more efficiently?
As a VA, I’ve had the joy and the surprise of sharing calendars. Joey’s wife had a birthday while he was in Europe. While he did the shopping and left a card on the breakfast bar for her to find, I had the privilege of making her day even brighter by posting his love note on social media, reminding the teens by text to be nice to mom, and have cookies delivered to her office at the precise time that her break started-all while he signed a multi million dollar deal across the way. They will all benefit from his previous attention to detail on this special day.
Reminders of upcoming anniversary, shopping assignments, arranging social media posts to post at the correct time and place are all very important tasks that tend to slow down the day to day processes of business… but are actually more important than most care about knowing. It’s the little things that make the work day bright!
A VA may be your trusted right hand that confirms appointments, gather quotes, schedule interviews, completes pre-interviews or someone that is available for your call when you need a voice of reason or someone to ask questions so you can come to your best conclusion, read your blog and post a comment or edit that email you wrote in a hurry. A VA can add your content to your own profile pages. The list is endless and the time saved will add needed hours back to your otherwise loaded schedule.
Most virtual assistants work for a company with prescribed services and fees. An independent VA is able to help you create your own right hand, providing needed services, for just the right agreed-upon price.
Try scheduling a Monday morning virtual meeting and discussing the week’s requirements. Or, share an online location where your VA can pick up and deliver work assignments, text, have a private text group, Facetime or Skype to communicate. Assign your virtual assistant with projects that move quickly, but help your week go smoother. Agree on the service fee, pay half to get your week going and complete the payment online when the service is done satisfactorily. It’s a win-win.
What’s stopping you from giving it a try? Drop us a line! firstname.lastname@example.org
For me, that meant I get to take baby steps into this new world.
1. I don’t have to dig.
2. I don’t have to plant.
3. I will water.
4. I will shop for plants and other fun stuff.
5. I will still be organizing the world around me. (control freak).
6. I will pay money to NOT dig and plant.
Ha! I enjoy sitting outdoors looking at “our” hard work. When I drive up the driveway, I am pleased and proud that “we” did all that hot work!
Fast forward 4 months. Here we are in January, starting a new project. No girlfriends. Just us. You can pray for us, if you are so inclined.
So step one was to get Ronnie to commit to the project.
Wow! I can’t tell you how many objections I had to overcome. I know that objections are just requests for more information, so I tried to use my best marketing techniques to answer his questions and sell him on the idea.
It must have worked, because three months after I began the campaign, he showed up for the appointment with our new friend Gail at Lowe’s. She’s a magician, let me tell you! We know we are over our head when you talk about construction.
The new project:
The front bathroom. The one our visitors see. Our home is around 30 years old, and it needed to be redone. We didn’t want to spend a lot, just enough to update it for selling purposes, in case we decide to downsize.
We decided to use a GC (General Contractor) to install a simple walk in shower and hardware and replace the vanity and countertop. We were pleased that Gail came by first to take a peek and take some general measurements. Then, she brought the GC by and took even more measurements.
We spent a lot of time talking about what I thought it should look like when it’s done, the colors, textures and any changes we might consider. I really felt like they listened well, and didn’t try to sell us on anything extravagant. The budget was always at the top of mind.
I’ve always loved the furniture vanities popular in some custom homes, so it was decided that I would be in charge of acquiring that piece of furniture and finishing it to match.
Gail found the most beautiful granite top, called Chaldonea, so the race is on!
I searched all the online garage sales and used a couple of apps to locate the perfect piece. A beautiful maple Bassett Buffet.
Today, I find we are starting in 6 days! I ran to my favorite “paint” store and quickly got directions from Melanie at Sisters Restored, in our cute little downtown . Picked up a few supplies and off we go!
Step one: WASH the buffet. Really, that’s what she said. With Dawn. That was too easy.
Step two: Ronnie will repair the one drawer that has a loose groove. GLUE.
Step three: Let it dry. I got this!
Step four : Paint. We are using Annie Sloan Graphite… recommended by Melanie.
Here we go. The buffet was a bit more narrow than the previous cabinet, so we have a little work to do. A panel for each side, painted to match, will take care of the fit. All in all, we are happy with the look. Now to find cute little ways to disquise the makeup, lol. I do enjoy cosmetics, so we need a place to keep them organized. Stay tuned!
Where do you begin? When does it really start? What’s the first actual business step you should take?
I once met a very young mother, single and barely getting by. She invested her last $25 for the month in the hope of being able to give her 3 year old child a fine birthday party. Her ‘why’, well it was simple – and by many standards, mundane. I tried to help her understand that she could have a yard sale to earn the money she wanted.
THIS, was a business… for her future. Surely, she had a larger goal… a “real” reason for giving up her last $25 for the month. Maybe, she could plan to pay the electric bill each month with her business profits, how about growing a big enough customer base to make a car payment, even save for an educational goal. That size business goal would surely allow her to give the child’s birthday party each year and not just meet her immediate need.
So, what I’m trying to say is … your next steps are up to you and your ultimate goal (or your ‘why’). As the “goal” goes, so does the “success”.
In all cases, the next step is about you… not what someone tells you to do. There are normal steps in normal companies… but you are building YOUR personal business and it has to be about you. So, how do you grow you?
Maybe you’ll spend time investing in yourself… spending time learning about the company, the products and services you choose to represent, the top producers in the company and the possibilities and probabilities. If there’s time, it could be beneficial to learn the top earners routines, success stories and regular work habits. Which of these can you adapt into your own life? Did I say “life”?
Depending on your destination in business, you’ll need to invest time, money, other resources, your imagination and business skills. How will your business be defined?
How will it differ from the other thousands of entrepreneurs? Can you see yourself with a calendar ALWAYS at your fingertips? What about carrying business cards and maybe samples in the car. Is it your desire to get up everyday, dress up and look smashing? Will you love being “on” all the time? That’s what we sign up for when it’s a real business to grow.
How will you decide to run this business? Will it be in person, in an organized area, online only or a combination of available options? Will you learn or use your skills in social media or special events along the fair routes? I even know one woman who purchased an air-stream trailer and outfitted it to sell her wares in a pop-up store of sorts. How will you operate? What do you look like in your business? What are you wearing, driving, listening to? Just close your eyes and make that mental picture. Is THAT you?
Now that you know your WHY… what’s next? What do you need? What resources are required of you? In my business, I invested. Not just the $25, but 750.00 in event fees, 200.00 in event equipment (tables, signs, etc), and $2,000 in event inventory. Within 90 days, the investment was returned, plus an average of 30% on the inventory, by following the companies suggested steps and a few of my own.
So the next months and thereafter, the earnings have been 40% and about 10% reinvested. Do I have inventory on my shelves? The company says it’s not required, but they don’t tell you it’s a good thing to do. Your judgement will tell you.
I know which customers will always order their favorites, so I purchase ahead for them to receive the best price or incentive. That’s the only inventory on my shelves. I invest more heavily in samples. I did a test once, I invested $5.00 in samples and the orders from those samples totaled $32.80 (at 40%, I earned about $13, the first time and I’ve lost count of the reorders of those products, to those customers. Samples are a good thing.
So, how will I answer the original question?
When you know your WHY, then what?
Then, visualize yourself being successful. Where are you, how are you working, what do you look like? What car are you driving? Are you alone or with others? Do you sit at a desk, in a booth or walk on the street? Do you work everyday or once in a while? Will you stay with it til you reach the goal or will you give it a set time to work for you? Do that by writing it down, studying the winners, list the pros and cons, survey your support system for their opinions. Do the work, if it’s a long term plan.
If you just need a birthday party, I’ve got lots of fundraising ideas for you.
If you want a real business, and you’re interested in my company, click here and make your easy investment. You’ll decide later, what other investment you’ll make.
I’m anxious to hear about your answers to the question. Feel free to comment below or message me here.
When I was a girl, I remember seeing Grandma with an apron in the kitchen and a small hankie in the pocket of that apron. In the hankie was a small round box of snuff. Close by was her coffee can (we won’t talk about that). She had a quilting frame hanging from the ceiling and a sewing basket was always nearby. She sat in “her chair”, sometimes with her feet propped up, always with a hankie in her pocket or sitting in her lap.
It was white, most of the time. Sometimes it had lace, or ruffles, sometimes it was thin and transparent. Sometimes it appeared to be more of a face cloth. But, ALWAYS a hankie on her person.
On the other side of town, Great Granny (other side of the family) rocked in her chair on the braided rug. She died when I was about 9, so my memories of her are not as complete. She cooked, sewed (in fact she smocked our dresses), and could tell good stories when she wanted us to take a rest on her big bed with the chenille bedspread and tufted pillows. She always wore an apron (hankie inside the pocket).
Mom gave me Great Granny’s apron when I started my Hope Chest, at 16. It was the first item to go in! It hangs proudly in my laundry room on a faux clothesline. The pocket has clothes pins in it, a safety pin through it and a hankie peeking out, of course.
Her hankies were printed, I know because I gave her some for Christmas. It was a box of three! I wanted to buy them because I saw her using Grandpa’s handkerchief once and it seemed so big in her tiny hands. I was so proud to give her that gift. Mom let me deliver the Avon brochures to earn the $.75 it cost to purchase that box with the cellophane lid.
Her daughter in law, my Granny, used elegant hankies. Her’s were more costly, I supposed, and fancy, as she was the first woman in our family to become a business woman. She was very fashionable, could design clothing and then sew them for the public. She mixed face powder downtown in her regular job and later took up bowling tournaments to win a little on the side. She finally landed in Real Estate, joining the Million Dollar Circle when I was 14. She pinned her hankie to her dress with a sweet brooch in the 30’s, kept one in her bowling bag at all times and I found one folded neatly inside her Bible when I was a child sitting in church. She used her beautiful hankie to wipe my mouth clean of the Ruby Shock red lipstick from mom’s Avon box when she came for a visit. And in her 90’s, she kept one in her hand or pocket to wipe her eyes as age related Macular Degeneration slowly and viciously stole the vision from her soft blue eyes.
My mother used hankies many times through the years. She tied my lunch money in them (until it became fashionable to use socks) and pinned it to my dress. She embroidered initials and sweet little flowers on the corners of some for gifts to give. She made dolls from them and we used them once for Halloween ghosts. She pinned one across the v-neck of my sweater for modesty when I was 12. And once, she lost a lot of weight during an illness and her wedding ring fell off. I watched as she tied her treasured black-hills gold band to a hankie and then tied it to her bra inside her work uniform.
When I was 18, mom really didn’t want me to marry. But sadly, she participated with a smile and a hankie. Her mother, my Grandma, had given her a beautiful blue hankie with small pink flowers on the corner and a white edge. Grandma didn’t get dressed up to go anywhere anymore and this was a fancy, sheer hankie – made for a special occasion. Mom tied it to my bouquet so I would have all the generations of love with me. I kept it in my wedding journal with the pictures neatly pressed with the dried boutonniere worn by my dad. Later, I tied that same hankie to my daughters bouquet in order to send generations of love down the aisle with her. I made a baby cap with some purchased hankies for my granddaughter and my friends daughter and made hankies for work peers as gifts, back when I could sew. For a long time, I kept a hankie in my Bible, like Granny. It came in handy with small children, emotional moments and emergency spills.
My friend, Rita, slipped a hankie in a card when my mother died. I was surprised to find it there and appreciated it at that moment. I used it for months as her absence became more and more real. What a lovely gesture of thoughtfulness. That one measure of kindness has added comfort to my life so many times. The same hankie comforted me as I bid farewell to my sister and a few good friends since then. I used it when I was nervous, when I was sad, and when I was afraid. It’s like the tears in that hankie brought strength when I needed it most.
Yesterday, while cleaning a buffet drawer, I came across a stack of hankies. The fabrics are all different, some are printed and not, lacy and plain. They are everyday hankies that were owned by some great women. I started collecting them as the powerful and loving women in my life left the earth. Today, I washed them fresh and pressed them (yes, with an iron) and made them ready to give someone else comfort. I hope the new owners will feel comforted by the generations of love carried within the tear-filled and lipstick- stained threads of the women who came before me- full of love, faith and determination. My heritage.
I think it’s time these treasured hankies get back to work, don’t you agree?
I’ve never taken a month off in my life! This was a first.
No writing, no recruiting for my direct sales endeavors, no creating posts or following up. No phone calls for orders (I just took what came in and felt grateful), no suggesting new products or looking for new affiliates. No cooking or dishes, no yard work.
I didn’t even enter my office.
The laptop was more of a dust-top!
So, how did I spend that valuable time? We took a little 10 day road trip, then a smaller 3 day road trip and then… we did whatever the day brought.
Studies have long suggested that vacationing was good for productivity, creativity, employee morale and our overall health. Many workers still don’t take vacation due to work constraints or finances.
In our case, Honey was physically worn out and needed to just lay around and let his muscles recoup. After years of physically carrying his day to day load, walking more than 7 miles with it and the time pressures of completing his daily rounds successfully, he was tired, sore and finally required hip surgery. These days, those same workers drive that 7+ miles and work in clusters. I guess it took the old guys time to get to the decision influencing level to save those following in their footsteps.
Later, workload didn’t keep me from going on vacation, it kept me from taking time to plan a vacation. We would choose the date in January and then, months later, the appointed day would appear and nothing would be in place to make it a good, quality release. So short “vacays” or combining vacation days with other events became the norm. I’m here to tell you that those are just not the same as the last month we took off and were spontaneous most of the month.
We are not big travelers. Airlines have their share of issues these days and the airports are so crowded. There are just too many people around for us. We don’t live off the grid, but my children would tell you we are in the middle of nowhere. We like our peaceful surroundings, trees, no traffic (about 6 cars a day)… so traveling to big cities, in airports, train stations, etc. have no appeal. Been there. Done that. It was fun.
We like to drive. We like to be close enough to see the mountains, the trees, the animals, the local restaurants, the artisans and walk around small town streets. I like visiting local museums, playing with grandchildren, cooking with my daughters and swimming alone. He likes sleeping late, hotel waffles and looking at old stuff. If we could figure out how to travel with both dogs, we would be in heaven. Leaving them overnight, much less 10 nights, takes planning! And not worrying about them while we are gone uses up half the time of the “no stress” theme. They are so spoiled, boarding just won’t work. Besides, they always stink when they get home.
The dogs are big and what I call, yard-dogs. They are mixed up breeds, sweet, affectionate and loud. We didn’t train them to walk on a leash or socialize them (because that wasn’t a thing in our rural home), and they really like running in and outside all day. We won’t be traveling with them anytime soon. They think the only time you get in the car is to go to the vet for shots and pedi’s. Walks down the oil top road are familiar routes and don’t require leashes that keep control.
We planned half this vacation. I put my direct sales business, Avon on auto and we hired our friend to come each morning to feed the dogs, give them access to the yard and play with them for a bit. Then, our daughter stopped by each day to rub on them and hand out the treats. Our friend returned again and locked them up for the night because in the pasture and woods there are coyotes and now, a lingering bobcat. See what I mean, it takes planning.
For my direct sales businesses, (retired doesn’t mean dead) I used Hootsuite.com to schedule all the posts on the pages and groups, packed note pads and copies of brochures to have at my fingertips. I notified everyone that we would be on vacation, left them the website addresses and promised them a treat if they placed orders on the website during my absence. These businesses, can run automatically because they can use technology to get service and I’ll still earn a bit. I just need to work ahead. Knowing that everyone is taken care of makes leaving for a few days, quite easy. The few messages I received on my phone were forwarded to my lovely daughter for handling. She was able to fill some emergency orders (gifts) from my very limited inventory and enter a few orders for non-techy customers in the Avon app, so I could complete it when I arrived home.
A couple things came up (with the dogs) during our half-planning that made us delay our trip by a week. But, when you are driving and retired, a week is nada!
Finally! The day has arrived. Did we get up all energetic and ready to go? No… we slept late, ran some errands, had lunch with friends and left at 5:30 pm on a half planned 3,000 mile road trip! No reservations, just the gps app and an end goal. First stop… Ft. Worth (3 hours), to drop off my favorite living plant. Daughters-in-love are grand, especially when they have a green thumb!
No stress, no mess, ready to drive. Looking for mountains and grandchildren out west.
What a great way to earn extra money for those perfect community service projects!
Why not sell one of the most iconic products available in skin care today?
New Avon, LLC (US, CAN) supports you in your community service projects by offering full size, discounted products that have been loved for decades!
Skin So Soft, by Avon is available in three formulas. The Original is most iconic and favored among millions. The herbal scent of jojoba is gentle, welcoming and great for sensitive skin, even reducing redness! Ask your neighbors, you’ll find very few people who do not use Skin So Soft.
While Avon only recommends this for bath oil, check out this list! My 100 pound Great Pyrenees, Trixie, bathes in it! I use 1/2 cap in 1 Gal. of bathwater with a smidgen of Dawn Dish washing Liquid, a tad of Downy Softener and a cupful of Hydrogen Peroxide. It keeps her fur beautiful, thinned out and flea free. (It’s a neighborhood secret and we don’t have a vet, so you may want to check with yours before trying our concoction).
Make your event memorable by personalizing the products for delivery. A few ideas might include:
Decorating the delivery bag with your organizations theme, logo or colors. Children could draw on the bags and sign the drawing. Seal closed with blue or whimsical washi tape.
Using a colorful permanent pen, write a sweet note. “thank you for your support” on the side of the bottles.
Deliver in colorful gossamer bags with iridescent fill, like jewelry!
Copy the 100 uses for SSS on colorful paper, allow the seller to sign each one before wrapping the product in the flyer for delivery. Write the customers’ name on the outside and tie with raffia or grosgrain ribbon.
Skin So Soft is usable by the entire family, is affordable for everyone and gives your customer value when they support your project. In addition, your customer will receive a code offering them 10% discount when they reorder online.
When you register your fundraiser with MORE THAN JUST MAKEUP, you’ll also receive a special MEMORY JOGGER Activity for students or club members to help identify potential participants.
School fundraising sponsors may schedule a virtual video introduction to the fundraising event for parents, sponsors and students upon registration. Your earnings can range from 35% to 50% depending on the choices of your organization.
Now is the time to give your supporters value in return for their loyal participation year after year. What other ideas could you use to personalize your fundraiser?