Category Archives: Life Lessons

What I wish I knew then and I’m glad I know now

These things for which I hope

It’s been quite some time! I didn’t mean to ditch you, my small but mighty crowd. I’ve been in the car a great deal, traveling on mildly long road trips for weekends spent with family and friends. I’ve been busy enjoying that time, but have been quite neglectful in this virtual space.

These recent commutes has provided me with some much needed time to reflect on some really nice things in my life. Please note: “things” is representative of quality time, fun events, great dinners rather than Ray-Ban sunglasses and Tiffany jewelry. See where I’m headed?

I have great, great people surrounding me. I have loving, genuine friends who care about what I do, what I’m interested in and why. I have family members who I don’t see nearly as often as I talk to them– for a 15 minute walk to grab lunch, in between errands and soccer games (theirs, not mine) and trips to and from hospitals to see more loved ones. Yet, I feel as close as ever. And for that I am grateful.

I truly hope you have these things too:

-Someone to call at 2 a.m. who will still want to talk to you at 7 p.m. the next day.

-Someone who questions what you say, preach or believe because they believe in you. Sometimes challenge is a great thing- it makes you think.

-Someone who knows that you couldn’t bear the idea of eating your mac and cheese with a spoon. And they don’t force you.

-Someone who shares the things that make them happy, like taking a weekend to write and reflect on your goals and dreams, because they think you would like it too.

-Someone, many someones, who express how important you are to them. And I sincerely hope they are important to you.

Surround yourself with great people. People who remind you that bad days are temporary, good days are momentous and life is really, truly fun because you’re a part of it.

Embracing Change, Staying Hungry

After many months of revisiting my passion and motivation, I’ve taken a leap of faith and left a job that was no longer fulfilling. The best part: I know it was the right decision.

I know in my heart that I cannot fool myself, and for that I am grateful. Too much time was spent on convincing myself that I was just having a bad day, week, month. All was true, and I couldn’t let it go on for much longer. I was having a bad time- a change was necessary.

The things you do may not seem ideal at the time, such as leaving a job without the next lined up, but as Steve Jobs famously noted, “Stay foolish, stay hungry”. In the eyes of many, I may have been foolish in my decision to take a risk and a leap of faith without a safety net, but I’ve never  been hungrier. Hungry to learn, to connect and to grow. I’ve been preparing for a change for quite some time, meeting with others who are eager to help connect and motivate. Many have followed their dreams and are working for themselves; they’ve reassured me that failure and challenges are parts of the process but it’s been worth it. Excited to jump out of bed every morning, ready to take on a new challenge and exert your energy for something you love is rewarding beyond belief. And very, very possible.

I’m searching for my next big adventure. Staying foolish, staying hungry.

“Caminar con Dios”

My favorite shaggy-maned Starbucks barista bid me adieu with this lovely farewell today. When I asked him what it meant, the English translation is “Walk with God”. Now that I think about it, I could have figured that one out. Regardless of religion or bias, it made me think- life is good, that was nice, sir. (Side note: I still maintain a male coffee enabler should be called ‘baristo‘).

How often do I find myself ready to flip someone off for driving like an freak (it’s always them)? Often. How frequently do I say hello or wish someone well with intention? Not often enough.

Today has been a day of re-invigoration and reigniting a fire for my passions. I had a great breakfast with an incredibly unique and motivated individual named Kevin M. We discussed career moves, new and exciting paths in personal and professional life and asking yourself ‘why not’ more than ‘why’. What a worthwhile thought!

As someone who likes to plan and is not always the best at following through, the idea of going after my Masters degree without a specific intention or focus seemed wasteful. Yet in a different light, Kevin encouraged me to seek out certifications for my passions (cooking, writing, planning). I don’t have to brush aside the cooking classes I take because I like them- I can make them work in my favor too.

Like Steve Jobs said, you can only look back and connect the dots. You cannot look forward and know that everything will make sense. But I do know that everything will work out. Caminar con Dios.

Pitching yourself on sales

What’s not to love about being completely in control of you potential to earn? Constantly meeting a new challenge each and every day? Talking as much as your tonsils allow?

For many, there’s a lot to love. For others, myself included (at this stage of my life), sales is a hovering black cloud of shouldacouldawoulda. Potential is a terrible thing to waste, and it comes alive after an experience in sales. As I prepare for a session with my entire management team this week, I think of all the things I would have liked to accomplish/done differently/achieved. While that can be purposeful at times, it can also be debilitating. Such is true for me.

I took pride in the fact that you were solving a problem and making money at that same time- sales makes the cash register cry “cha-ching”. But that driving force of a sales, that intrinsic passion to move from one account to the next, knock on door after door to sell a widget, that doesn’t resonate with me. However, the importance of sales should not be undermined by preference and passion. I’ve sold many ideas (encouraging a friend that she can do better than her current employer has stated), visions (raising funds for one of the best places on earth for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities) and dreams (my future). What I currently lack is the passion behind my product, my service, my “widget”. To sell something you are not passionate about becomes a job, and one that nags at you without fail.

The link below reminds me to pick apart the sales aspect from the idea, the service, the widget and reconnect with my passions. It will come naturally and will be more sincere when you can’t wait to tell someone about this great, new (INSERT AMAZING REASON TO LISTEN HERE).

Fashion Startup Goes Viral: Entrepreneur.com

Focus While Juggling

There is something about lists I love. The satisfaction of checking an item off your list of to-dos fulfills me in extreme ways. I firmly believe that stems from my unorthodox way of life. Perhaps it’s typical to some, but I have little to no “methods”. Analytics and order are not at the top of my list of strenghts. (There I go with the list again). But connection and communication are– which make up for my lack of order.

As I re-evaluate my passions, my strengths, my habits; I’ve looked to my weaknesses, to comply with the Robinson-Patman Act, of course. I thrive when surrounded by energy and positivitity. This applies to the environment, the people and the underlying current of any place you spend time. Your workplace, your bedroom, your coffee shop.

Specific to work, I can be a master juggler. However, because one can do does not mean one loves. While I can complete many tasks, rearrange priorities accordingly and change direction at the bat of an eye, I don’t work best in those scenarios. I don’t know many that can– unless they are parents. For me to accomplish the above means I accomplish in a mediocre way. Mistakes are made, unintentional errors are committed, and I feel shitty. I am tired and questioning my ability to do my job well. To be on the defense, or feel that way, is exhausting. One an error is made, it must be rectified. Admitting is the first step, but after that, no one is at fault. Everyone is on edge. That has been my experience, but I firmly believe it doesn’t have to be that way.

I am pledging, over these next (hopeful: soon-to-be last) weeks at work to forge ahead with confidence. Attempt to commit to tasks you can firmly state you will have done on time. If not, state why that’s not the case, then get over it. I am one person who does well with a few things on her plate. I will take my time with each item because it demands my time and effort, not because it’s another thing to add to my list. And when I am finished, I will reward myself with a check: complete.