BREAK TIME

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 all about living better… everyday.

Beautiful Hankies

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.apron

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. hankie 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?

It’s Been Awhile

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.  vladislav-babienko-703733-It's Been Awhile.jpg

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.

 

 

 

Long weekend Try-Outs

I tried a few new products this weekend.

First, Oui French Style Yogurt, from Yoplait.

Now, I know it’s probably not new, but it is new to me.  I’m that girl that hates to shop in the store. You know the crowd,  the overwhelming choices and being the planner I am… I never go with out a list.  AND, I only buy what is on the list!  So, for me to find something new on my own, without first hearing about it from a friend, is just a miracle.

So, on this day, I just couldn’t get up the appetite for anything at home and went looking for “yogurt”.  Thank goodness my list didn’t have a brand or flavor already chosen!  As I entered the dairy section, (after a 6 months absence) I noticed the yogurt section had changed dramatically. There were so many different labels and offerings.

Point of clarity: I shop a small local grocer when I’m desperate. Price won’t matter. Cleanliness does. Service does.

So back to the hunt for the yogurt.  I’m sure someone who walked up might have thought I was a wax figure as I stood there reading each variety of label front.  Peach, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla, orange, caramel, chocolate… and it goes on!  Line after line of white plastic containers with all sorts of flavors and styles.

THEN! Right above my eye level there’s this glass jar of yogurt. I could see the product inside. Brightly colored yellow on the bottom…lemon. Pastels with fruit were strawberry and raspberry.  Beautiful!

So, as you can tell above, I tried it! Don’t you love the smooth texture of yogurt?  This is supposed to be french style… and I’m not a gourmet, so I really couldn’t tell the difference between it and other Yoplait yogurts. But, let me tell you… on this day, at this time… it tasted excellent!

I love that the label is removable and the container is glass.  It has a rounded edge and it’s quite adaptable for other uses.  I do love to re-purpose.  Here’s what I used the first jars for:

I can’t wait til I find some ribbon or maybe tape to decorate them. I’m sure I’ll have a complete collection soon. While I like the clear water in the flower container, I think I have some music print wrap paper to decoupage the pencil jar for the piano. I’ll be looking for rose gold washi tape for my foundation, to match my system!   I have a special event coming up soon and I think they’ll make nice bases for centerpieces. Maybe if I start now, I can root some pretty ivy for the table.   It’s sort of like having baby food jars again, without the twist at the top.

The next thing that was new to me was a personal cleanse product. I’m not great at this but why not? It’s a long weekend, no where I have to be and it just might give me a jump on next week’s health kick.  Yeah, I decided to try to summon up some extra will power and do a better job planning meals and getting exercise.  So, I read some labels and most seemed rather daunting. I found this one from ESPIRA.  It says it’s a 3 day cleanse.  Three caps in the morning and three in the evening for three days. Easy to remember… the power of 3!  I really couldn’t tell I was “doing” a cleanse and I felt great at the end of the three day period. Everything seemed quite natural and it seems it helped reset my metabolism rhythm.  I read someone said it’s the gift that keeps on giving, ha!

www.youravon.com/lil
three day gentle cleanse to help reset metabolism

Of course this brand has other products and I think I might try the Hunger Block. Taken 30 minutes before meals appears to be the secret. All the products are Vegan. And, as I’m going to do a better job of meal planning, that may just support my goals while I return to better habits. There are also shakes that one friend loves. She adds peanut butter and almond milk to hers. We’ll see.

Next, I will be moving around more. I’ve decided to sweep the sidewalk everyday instead of every two weeks. I’ll also take both dogs walking instead of one. If the hubs wants to walk one of them, that dog will be extra happy.  I earned a Fit Bit once during an incentive, and I have it all charged up and ready to go.

So, I think having a long weekend when you are retired is a little useless. I enjoyed them more when I was working. Now, they appear to be an opportunity to explore and find something new. Of course, it’s still a time to remember or celebrate certain historical acts, but as far as being off work… I’m always off.  (maybe in more ways than one)  Just as a note, I may earn a little from any purchase you make of espira, but the yogurt review is all on me. I love it and plan to be specific on my shopping list.  Lemon is my favorite flavor!

Finding new products and taking time to share them with others is a great way for me to be about living better, in my book!  I’d love to know your thoughts about how I spent my long weekend. Just take a minute and jot it down at the bottom of this post.  Subscribe, if you like.  I’ll let you know what else I discover about my new retirement adventure.

Walking in Texas

Clematis bloomed for the dogs
Aren’t they scrumptious! I wish everyone, not just the dogs, could see!

The weather is beautiful!  It’s about time.

The sun is bright and the wind is fair, so it’s time to walk.

In Texas, a walk at certain times of the day will almost always include mosquitos. The little jiggers just think they belong with someone who is trying to work up or sweat…or not.  They buzz around one’s head until you feel like you will fall over from swatting. I guess they actually help increase your heart rate. That could be a blessing in the long run.

I try to remember to wear something dark so just maybe, I can hide from them.   You know, I read the herb, jojoba, is a natural repellent, so apparently that’s why those bath oils work so well.  I put a 1/2 cap full in the dog’s bath water to help her fight them off.  It’s not a product for outdoor-in-the-sun use! It’s OIL. Duh!  If you plan on being in the sun, around the water, find your SPF!

So during our walk, before I got off point, I noticed beautiful blooms in my garden! Everyone knows I have a brown thumb, so I was so excited I had to take a picture. Any beautiful thing that I don’t kill is a miracle to be sure.  So, I hope you love my picture of the clematis growing in my yard… on a trellis… facing the dog’s yard.  Ugh!

That’s right. The one thing I planted myself, that’s growing beautiful, only faces the dog’s yard! No one from the street can see  it.

Even if they are in the driveway, they can’t see it.  It’s the one plant I planted and grew successfully and my dogs are the only ones to enjoy it.

Except me.  Except you.   I hope you enjoy your walk… without any pesky tag along flying blessings. Enjoy the view.  It’s a great way to live better!

It’s a Process

Stunning photo! by Patty Black on unsplash
The time it takes to change to a beautiful creature, with a peaceful purpose, is for me!

It’s a process.

Trying to find balance in a world that was created around family and work and responsibility.  To renew beliefs that have always been there but not fully explored while off doing other things.

It’s a process to be comfortable doing nothing, or having nothing required of you except what you determine.

Photo by Patti Black on Unsplash   (beautiful, huh?)

As a young mother, the days were ordered.  Get up at the first whimper, place everything in order before the full-out assault to the morning and get everyone and everything done before running out of the house to work. After work chores included a time schedule to get everyone to bed on time and ready to repeat the morning ritual.

Hopefully, everyone leaves in a great mood, ready to attack the day with a positive attitude.  That, too, takes it’s toll.  It can be exhausting to take on the responsibility of everyone’s happiness.

As I’ve aged and they are raising their own, I see the challenges from a different perspective. I see them accepting the responsibilities with more grace than I.  I think that’s a positive thing. They have a clear direction for their families and goals for the future.  More positive to enjoy.  I see God’s blessings as they move forward with their lives.

My mom and dad retired. I mean, they actually did not work or even think about having anything else to do after they retired.  They fished, she quilted, he watched tv, they gardened, took long drives, played dominoes with church friends, helped others and they took turns bugging us on the phone.  It was sweet and I loved those little phone calls about the weather or the mosquito population.

I don’t know anyone doing that anymore.  I just don’t know them.

Everyone retiring has something else to do.  They trade stocks, write blogs, sell handmade crafts, sell antiques, sell a used car or two and some even work part time at local businesses (where they probably have a trusted connection) that need a little extra help now and then.

I have an 80+ year old friend that continues to care for one infant in her home, until  the baby can crawl.  Then they move on and she takes another for some lucky working mom who needs a grandmother to nurture her newborn while she is away. What a great job!

Many sign up to sell something. It’s the easiest thing to do.

Some just want to sell a little product they believe in.  It’s a good way to earn a little and stay sharp with business skills.  It’s a good way to contribute to social causes, too.  Selling the products that benefit the American Cancer Society, for instance.  Those who sell the products earn a little here and there and enjoy a personal discount.  Usually, 20-40%, based on their volume of designated products.  They purchase materials and pay shipping from those earnings (so take about 10-15% of those earnings away) and the sales taxes collected benefit the communities where the products are sold.

The problem is the recruiting.

Most direct sales companies have realized that using the MLM model is a money maker for them… and their top recruiters. So, why wouldn’t they offer that to everyone?  The truth is, very few recruit. Most sell and will take a recruit if they walk in the door or sign up under them.  They’ll get a small bonus for that effort and possibly a 1099 to go with it.

Those associates who choose to pursue the dream of success, using the MLM stream, are flooding the social networks, emails and all other phases of communication. There’s so much of it that now  many potential customers will not even look at the products (which could be smart purchases) because they don’t want to get flooded with opportunity reminders… over and over and over again.   I don’t blame them.

The saturation of consultants in MLM’s is great. I have seen, from experience, that there are so many more non-successful at reaching their dreams, than there are those who reach the top.  But, then… where is the “top”, for you?  HOPE.  That’s their magic.  Offering hope. Because anyone CAN, but few DO.

The saturation is so great because they tout  “start your own business” for such a small monetary investment and the “freedom to work as you please” while the newbies dream of posting on the social medias and waiting for the orders to flood the carts!  NOT! When the big offers of success disappoint, they quit.

Because the company forgot their new associate signed up to sell a few good products to their contacts and that WAS their dream. Then the companies brainwash those well meaning sales associates to buying into the HOPE.   And, the MLM label killed their initial dream.

It’s a process.

As I enter this new stage of life, I really want to sell some great products I believe in. Having worked in the industry as an employee, I have learned the value of the products and their ingredients.  While I’m not actively recruiting, I’ll gladly help anyone who does happen to sign up under me.  I’m not goal-reaching, other than buying and selling at a good return. It’s something I love to do and I hope the MLM aspect of my company will not hold me back.

This is truth. And it took me a time to come to this point.

When I first started, I went all out. I worked it like a business.  Every day I made 5 to 10 contacts and every day I posted or wrote posts for scheduling. I gave up weekends for events and spent a portion of everyday in self development.   In the first six months, I signed over 20 new associates. I earned bonuses and even a trip. It was fast and furious.  It was fun, getting to know my team and helping them get started.  Within 3 months, all but 11 are gone. Because they only wanted to sell a few products, not recruit. Because selling just a few products doesn’t make the money all the video’s and training talk about and everything the company offers as incentives, is focused on the recruiting.  They only wanted to sell!

So I asked myself.  Do I want to retire with the stress of working it like a business?  Or why did I come here?   I know, first hand what must be done.  I came here to prove a point.  I wanted to show them they chose wrong. I could do it better than most.  So, I did.   I took their bonus money, their rewards, even the trip and now I have confirmation that I don’t want to retire with the stress of working it like a business.  I want to sell a few great products.

And, I still love some of the products. And, I really like some products my friends sell.   I want to speak honestly about those products, and if someone orders from my affiliate website, I could earn a bit, but I want them to not be afraid of receiving too much spam. Did you know you can buy and then unsubscribe? A customer has a choice!

When I started blogging, my goal was to document the discovery process of my unplanned retirement.  I’ve looked into affiliate links, cottage industries and the printable market.  The thing they have in common is that they are selling something.

What I’ve learned, is it’s the same.

While it’s not a designated MLM, numbers do count.  They earn by recruiting others to their affiliate or t-shirt business or download or membership site!  It’s the same thing – without the label.  Getting attention to your site or the proper link is recruiting. It’s selling.  The payoff doesn’t come with a pre-paid trip (but you can buy your own without paying income tax on it) and you don’t need a fancy title to find your success.  The dream is the same… hope.  We hope to find joy in writing and recruiting to our affiliate(s).

It was a process.

I choose to sell a few great products that I believe in. Those products happen to be sold by some companies who also offer the MLM stream of income  – but those companies  are more than an MLM and, personally, I believe they do themselves a disservice by not finding a better balance between the earning opportunities and the product offerings.

The associates who represent the products should not be punished or held back because of that lack of balance. After all, they came here to sell a few good products with a good name to some good people who have supported the company for years and years.

I hope the MLM description of the companies that sell my favorite products, won’t kill my selling dream. My dream is about living better.  What’s yours?

 

 

The Magic of Adulthood

Something happens when you are a young parent.  Every baby seems a bit brighter than the last, more talented than the neighbors child and more calm than the kid at the day care.  Oh, and those eyes! How adorable and did you know her poop smells sweet?

I remember one evening after work, sitting in my mother in law’s den after dinner talking about all the important lessons I wanted to teach my newborn.  Music, (classical, of course) books (Chaucer, thank you) and museums (art!).  I went on and on about what was available in our large city and how important it was for my baby to know all of them.  She said (probably in an effort to get me to stop talking), “I’m sure you’ll give your baby a wonderful life and then, you’ll have to enjoy the magic of adulthood”.   I didn’t understand.

Every child has challenges and rewards… even the golden and seemingly perfect require special attention that keeps a mom busy from daylight to dark.

Teens stretch the boundaries, practicing what we taught them as babies, to see if it will get them to adulthood at a quicker pace.  Letting them (and encouraging them) to reach a little further with each experience may be a little tough, but necessary.

How else will they learn to properly react and to make those secondary decisions? Tethers like rules, curfews, dress codes, speed limits, allowances… all are about living better in the future.  They are the seatbelt that keeps our children safe in the traffic of life.

Then the true magic happens.  They live to adulthood.  They graduate, make a few decisions, regret a few choices and reboot to survive nicely… without you.  Making that adjustment is easier for some parents (and children) than others.  It can be a sad time or a glorious freeing time.

Some however, must be stuck in the middle for a bit.  Being stuck in the middle can be an obvious bother to the new adult and the parent… that’s where I was for a long time. Stuck in the middle. Between their childhood and their adulthood. Between guiding and nurturing and helping them move on! Eventually, they move and finding your place becomes a little more difficult.

Stuck in the middle is like being forced to live the life of a wall flower. With emotions swelling up when you (think you know) know the answer, they won’t listen and both are afraid to take that step out – for fear of offending someone or being outdated and just flat wrong, or being ridiculed for a belief.  After spending years as the teacher, all of a sudden they can think for themselves and you wonder… “who told them they could do that”?  It’s humorous when you think of it.

Just recently, I discovered the magic of adulthood means someone else can plan the menu for a get together, take a dare and live through it, purchase clothes for the grandkids and be the helping hands this world needs. These magical adults can have their own opinions, disagree with mine, change their spiritual direction and move away!  They can move into a house, mop their own floor, fix their own car, shop for food and stay away for months, if they like.  They’ve learned the magic of adulthood and are living it.

So what does this magic mean for me?  freestocks-org-547542-unsplash.jpg

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

The magic of adulthood allows me to move forward, pretend they aren’t sneering at my suggestions or political views, and enjoy their children and their futures from the side.  The magic of adulthood is not just for the children, it’s for all adults.  Music, art, museums without the diaper bag, road trips, laundry for two instead of for five is a snap, and trying new dances or walking paths can be an adventure. Enjoying the passion of entrepreneurial fun for profit, practicing music again, sharing free time as a local volunteer may be rewarding for some.

It’s looking pretty bright out there.

So, here’s to the magic. Here’s to the babies, now grown and gone from my lap. Here’s to the freedom to have beer at breakfast or champagne with lunch.  Here’s to time… to walk, to visit, to read and write.  To play dominoes and cards, to create beautiful gardens and clean guest rooms.  More music, art and museums, too!

The magic of adulthood awaits us, one and all and it’s definitely living better!

Play in the Traffic to Build Your Business

Building a business?

Whatever you do, MAKE A PLAN TO PLAY IN THE TRAFFIC!

We learn to make friends as children. Usually with our cousins or siblings, first. Then at day care or primary school. Remember, the teacher reminding us to be kind, to share, do our own work and to be fair?   Those rules in relationship building still work today, especially in business.hannah-rodrigo-320734-unsplash.jpg

So remembering those lessons, let’s consider our business contacts.  What type of person do we want as business partners?  How many new business partners will it take to make a positive change in your business?  What will my new business partner act like in our relationship?

Photo by Hannah Rodrigo on Unsplash

Having identified the type and number of similar behavior-ed partners needed, it’s likely you’ll identify their traffic pattern.

Where do they play?  Do they spend time at ball fields, on running trails or online?  Do they eat at great restaurants, shop at finer clothing stores, travel to places you love?  Do they love a great deal and wear your brand?

Where do they work?  Do they work in offices, dressing trendy? Do they work outdoors and have sun-kissed skin and calluses?  Are they tech-smart or tech-challenged?

Where do they live?  In apartments, with lots of people around them or in single residences, maintaining beautiful yards and entertaining others at dinner? Are they rural, soaking up the peace and quiet or in the hub of controlled chaos or excitement?

Discovery is important as you intentionally plan to Play in Their Traffic!

After you PLAN to create new contacts, build your strategy for meeting your new business partners. Having friends as business partners will definitely be a better way to live.

Practice giving compliments.  Genuine, beautiful statements of truth.  Take a couple of hours to play in their traffic.  Where are your ideal partners sitting on park benches? Where are they having coffee, what are they reading, which walking trail do they visit, which events will they attend and very important… may I join them in social media groups.

That’s where you meet people.  For every person you make eye contact, find an amazing attribute and compliment it!    “You have beautiful eyes”, “you should wear blue everyday”, “what an adorable bracelet”,  “precious children”, “I love the way you wrote that post”, “thank you for helping me understand” – –  be real!

When you make eye (or private message) contact,  your door is open!  

Now practice those relationship building lessons you learned as a child.

Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things. 

So… PLAN.   Choose a time and be prepared with information, conversation starters and yes, your short 30 second blurb about your business (in case the opportunity presents itself) . Enter your plan on your calendar and highlight it when you completed your task. Share your calendar with a partner who has agreed to ask you about your day.

INTENTIONALLY, sit in the traffic until you have met your goal of contacts.    That means you started the conversation, received their contact information and have their permission to contact them again!

How will you continue to build the relationship?

Connect through Social Media… text a “hello, I’m glad we met… here’s my link”, text.

INTENTIONALLY, revisit the traffic area, you’ll know them the next time. If there’s interest in the beginning, you may choose to visit the traffic weekly, monthly or maybe more. Go with your gut. Can this person be my friend, my business partner? Should I introduce this person to another partner?

Follow the rules of your youth: Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things.  BUILD the relationship from contact to friend.

Email or text:  ” I wondered if you’d like to visit when I see you at the coffee shop tomorrow” “I’m thinking I need to buy some new running shoes, do you mind if I ask what brand you wear”. “The friend I mentioned yesterday will be running with me next week, I’d like to introduce you”…  “I don’t know if I mentioned, but I …”

Mail:  Send cards for holidays, birthdays (it’s on FB), etc.  Write personal notes to your new friend, share experiences.

Consistently, work the plan to build contacts.

Consistently, work the plan to build the relationship with each contact.

Change, the “contact” label to “friend”.   By really getting to know your new contact, you’ll build a friend. We never have enough friends.

I’ve read that people find more jobs and opportunities by networking with those they know.  I personally find this to be true.  Every team member I have personally recruited started as a contact and progressed to acquaintance and then friend.  Sometimes it’s months before they need my business, sometimes it takes years. But, always, we are working on the progression of contact, acquaintance and friend. Maybe, they’ll choose me as a partner, maybe I’ll choose them by  being kind, polite, sharing, doing our own work and fair in all things. 

So, go Play in their traffic.  Remember the childhood rules of relationship building and enjoy building your own team… and growing a group of friends that fit in your life, and business, in a most comfortable way. It’s about living better!

 

 

Running Out Of Time?

How many days do you run in circles?

Today was my day. I had three items on my Bling list.

  1. Change the beds.
  2. Schedule social media posts
  3. Listen to 2 development webinars.

Have you used Bling? It’s a fun and Free Messenger App that helps me stay on track… if I keep my phone close.

I find using a digital calendar and keeping the deets in the notes section to be a grand help. Every evening before I retire, I check my calendar, lay out everything I need, enter the quickie notes in Bling and wash my face.

The few minutes that little routine requires, allows me to sleep peacefully and wake up confident. There’s nothing like an organized mind and a clean face on a lavender scented pillow case!

To make it even easier, I have beautiful containers labeled by day. Each time I schedule a follow up or delivery, I place materials in the coordinating day container, schedule any tasks I need to complete before the appointment and relax. When I schedule every step, I know the meeting will be a success because I consistently plan. By the time I’m ready to prepare for that day, I can usually find it already assembled. Just grab my materials for the day and go!

When I was selling, I had a routine.

Each week I’d take time to prepare 30 sets of handouts. Sometimes labeled samples, sometimes postcards, some are brochures or flyers. Each morning, as I entered the office, I’d pick up five or six and determine how they’d be distributed. Maybe they go in the day container or the mailbox. However it gets done, the day was not done until I’d made the contacts.

How can one follow up, if there’s nothing to follow?

As your own organization system takes shape, you’ll be finding extra time for fun or work. Just remember… leave some white space so you can join an impromptu lunch with friends or a video call with the granddaughter. Networking with friends and business associates is never wasted time.

Take it one step further… Here’s an example: Monday I work from home – no scheduling of errands, but it’s a great day for changing the beds, etc. Tuesday is volunteer day, errands are scheduled before and after. Wednesday mornings are a great time for recruiting, as long as I get home to be with my granddaughter by 3. See, you may find breaking down your days for maximum efficiency helpful and while it takes time to get in the habit, it’s well worth it!

Hint: if you prefer a paper schedule use a pencil for flexible appointments, ink for the unchangeable. Using a white eraser keeps it neat. On my digital calendar I end each flexible entry with F (flexible).

Granddaughter’s are not flexible and she loves gingerbread cookies-they go in the Wednesday container!

Becoming the organized master scheduler of your time allows more flexibility for you! Believe it or not… creating an intentionally organized life is… a matter of living better!