Sunday, February 9, 2014

Random Thought Sunday

A week ago, I learned that Maya Angelou used to be a stripper.

Let that sink in for a minute. THE MAYA ANGELOU!

Then, I thought about that for a second and came up with this:

The next time you feel inclined to look down your nose at someone for doing something that you don't approve of, remind yourself that the person you're judging can go on to do something REALLY great in my RDJ...yes, MY RDJ or Dr. Maya Angelou.

Remember that life is a collaboration of experiences. Not one single thing defines who you are or who you will become.

Also, the next time YOU are in a less-than-desirable situation, you should also remind yourself that you don't have to stay there and it's not permanent. YOU can go on to be the next great such-and-such.

There's still time to do something spectacular for yourself and others.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't Push Me

I can't STAND pressure tactics, especially when it comes to business.

Mainly, I think it's rude!

I've been on countless pitch-inars, you know, those "free" webinars that are really an infomercial, where so-called experts will use phrases like "If you're serious about ___" or "If you're REALLY ready to make a change" then you will buy their product or sign-up for their service, etc.

Those key-phrases just leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Just because I don't want to spend my money with you or because I'm not jumping up and down like a contestant on the Price is Right doesn't automatically preclude me from being "SERIOUS" about what's going on.

I'm serious...about my business, my life AND my money! As a result of my seriousness, I am going to take the appropriate amount of time to consider what I want to do with it and that MAY or MAY NOT include you.

Think about it!

Can you imagine someone in a business meeting with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson or Warren Buffet and telling them "Well, if you're REALLY serious about this, you'll sign the contracts NOW!" I think they'd be promptly shown the door or something would mysteriously come up that pulls Oprah, Richard or Warren out of the meeting.

Sometimes, a person is going to be able to jump into a situation with a resounding YES and not think twice about it. Other times, it's going to take them a little while to think about or even get more information about something before they make a decision.

I shouldn't be belittled for being cautious and thoughtful about my money.

I used to work for a cell phone company. When customers came in the door they were there for 3 reasons, buy a phone, pay a bill, or upgrade an existing account. The serious shoppers had already done their due diligence and would often come with their own comparison sheets on the different cell phone companies. The mere fact that they were in the store said that they were basically leaning towards purchasing with us. All I had to do was smile, be friendly, and answer their questions and I'd close the deal. I had the HIGHEST sales numbers in my store and often in my district. No amount of pressure was required.

Even if a customer wanted to think it over, shop around or discuss it with their spouse, they often came back because I didn't pressure them. That also led to referrals and when they wanted to add phones, they'd come find me. I don't sell phones anymore, but the basics haven't changed.

I think that the people who live and do business based on pressure tactics are working from an altered version of reality.

They want you to believe that YOU'RE the problem and not the way they approach you.


The alternative to what they're saying is "If you're not going to do business with me, then you must not be serious about your business." (Yes, I've heard someone say that)

More recently, I was told that "The mature thing to do is just say no if you don't automatically want to say yes."

Ok, so now, I'm immature by this standard because I haven't made my mind up yet?

I believe you should treat every amount of money that you spend as if you were spending a million dollars and as such, you should use caution and consideration when making decisions and doing deals.

An automatic YES does happen. Sometimes, something sounds so good to you on the inside and it FEELS like a wise decision. Other times, your heart and head need a little more time to get in sync with each other. That's ok, too.

I tell you what though, I appreciate a person who would allow me to take time, even when I don't need it, to make sure I'm making the right choice FAR MORE than I would someone who makes me feel weird about wanting to say no.

In situations with high-pressure, sales, pushy people, it's important to do what feels authentic to you.

When you have/offer something that people are wanting, needing and/or hungry for, you don't have to convince them to spend money on it, this is true. You may have to answer clarifying questions for them to help them make a final decision, but, to completely cut them off as not being serious/mature/whatever because they didn't say yes before you finish your sentence is a bunch of BULLSHIT!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Telling My Story

I never was big on telling my story. 

When it was time to write the bio for my website, I struggled with it. You want something compelling, to help make the human connection (people do business with people, etc), but, for my ideal clients, I always have to remember to keep it short and to the point because I'm respecting your time.

So, my first version was somewhere in between the two. Then my second version was based on what someone else told me was interesting. Then version number 3 was based on someone saying they don't think anybody cared about a lot of the parts of version 2. And so on and so on.

I don't know what version it is now. But what I do know is that none of the previous versions were the real DRAW to the site in the first place.

I also realized last week in conversation with friend that there's so much more to my story than I'd put in my bio, although I think it's important.

Today, I was asked to write a "Why you" statement and that's when I decided to talk about my whole story and let the chips fall where they may.

I'm committed to the career choice of being a personal assistant. I have 7 years of direct personal assistant experience; however, I've been doing this since I can remember. When I was in high school, I was the assistant to both my algebra and science teachers. When I was a junior in high school, and all my classmates were getting jobs at McDonald's, I got a job as the principal's assistant at my old elementary school. In my senior year, I got a job as the principal's assistant at my old middle school. Then, after I graduated high school, I went back to work as the assistant to the assistant principal.
Sure, I tried other jobs in that time frame, but none of them gave me the same FEELING as being an assistant. It's always been the thing where I felt most "at home."

I never really thought about any of that or pieced it together. But, now that I have, I realize the importance of it.

Sometimes, something is just printed in the fiber or your being and you may not even notice it, but, if you look back over your life, you'll see all the dots connect. Some people identify it early in life. Others identify it later, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that if you really take some time to reflect, you will see it.

Try telling your story.

To a friend. To a dictation app. To a blog. Somewhere.

You might be surprised where things line up for you.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Random Thought Sunday

It's Sunday, and I'm allowed to have random thoughts. I told you, I'm going to write about whatever inspires, here goes.

Have you ever taken the time to observe - I mean REALLY observe a homeless couple? (Talk about random)

I take the train into downtown-ish area every day and there's always a lot of homeless people on or around the train. I made a conscious effort to not be one of those people who is always staring at their phone because you miss a lot of LIFE that way, so I prefer to stand by the window. I don't sit on the train, as a rule, because we do a LOT of sitting already in life and the train ride is never more than 15-20 minutes. I figure it's ok and good for me to stand for that duration.

So, I'm riding on the train and I look around at the people on the train and I look out the window and I look at people in their cars as we pass them by, they're normally on the phones while driving, and I look at the people at the various stops...and I'm rambling...but stay with me.

There's a church near my final stop that (I assume by the line each morning) does something along the lines of providing food for the homeless. I always look at that line of people and the people who are leaving and something struck me...which brings me to my point.

Homeless couples seem to be the most IN LOVE, happy people you'll ever come across. When I see homeless couples on the train or on the street...they just seem so content to be with each other, it's as if their circumstances don't hinder the love. They're often smiling at each other or holding hands or have their arms around each other. Something like that! Not a care in a world. In my mind, they seem to be singing Sonny and Cher, I got you babe!

Then I think about other couples that I may see on the train or walking and they seem to be a little less happy and content with each other.

They say that a large portion of divorces are brought on by fights over money. When you're homeless, that's not an issue. Even the homeless couples who have clear signs of a substance abuse problem...there's still a happiness factor to them that you rarely see with people in much financially happier situations.

I guess Notorious BIG was right - Mo Money, Mo Problems.

But, what if it didn't have to be that way? What if you had the power to choose to be happy in the situation you're in, with the person you're with WITHOUT all the extra drama? Oh, do!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Thursday started off kinda weird.

I woke up that morning with all my gratitude and everything, as is my custom, but, things were just off in my house and for a split second, I allowed myself to be ill-at-ease.

The problem with that is that the floodgates open and one itty bitty negative thought turned into a SWELL of negative thoughts and I could hear my heart in the background whispering to me.

The one thing my head and my heart agreed on was "put on some happy music and smile!"

So, that's what I did!

"It isn't necessary for you to accept blame for everything that occurs in life. But just because you don't accept the blame does not mean that you can assign it to someone else. Why give them the control over a situation? Things happen, but it is up to each of us to use these things to our advantage whenever possible and take charge of our lives."

Then, I started thinking of who I could help. You see, I've learned that life sucks sometimes...but it doesn't have to...and one surefire way to make life suck less is to go out and do something nice for someone else. There is ALWAYS someone in a worse situation than you are.

I went to Starbucks and thought about paying for drinks for the people in the line behind me.

Then, I noticed a homeless man in the line a few people ahead of me. He wanted a donut, but I don't think he had enough money to buy it, so he settled on getting coffee. The gentleman in the line in front of him paid for the donut, which made me smile!

I placed my drink order and while I was standing at the bar waiting for it, I noticed the homeless guy over at the condiment stand fixing up his coffee. He had left his donut and his belongings on the table behind me. When nobody was looking, I slipped a $10 under his donut bag on the table and stepped back over to the bar.

I kept thinking, "I hope he sees it and doesn't toss it in the trash when he's done with his donut." I didn't want to turn around and look at him because I didn't want to give myself away...anonymity is a great thing.

I can only assume that he found it because I heard him say, "Today is going to be a blessed day!"

That made me extremely happy!

I also observed his precision in preparing for his breakfast. He sat with his donut and his coffee placed just so on the table and he had a look like he planned to deliberately enjoy every bit of it. He seemed REALLY happy!

Everything that happened prior to that just fell away. I didn't care about anything else.

Complaining is SO easy. It's pretty habitual. Don't fall into the trap.

When shit happens...and we ALL know it does...look for the most immediate opportunity to do something nice for someone else!

Here's a list of options that come to mind:

  • Pay for the car behind you in the toll road
  • Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru (thanks Tory Johnson)
  • Buy a stranger a coffee at Starbucks (or whatever coffee shop)
  • Make a $20 backpack to give to a homeless person 
  • Call up the utility company and offer to pay something on the bill of an elderly person
  • Visit the PayitForward site for other ideas
Life opens up when you do!