Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I found this quote, and it really resonated with me because quite frankly I have felt incredibly lonely lately.  I started a journey of starting a business in June, and I thought I was ready for the journey.  I read all sorts of books.  I listened to numerous podcasts.  I joined a local incubator.  I prepared financially and mentally as best I could.  I met other people who were also working on their business.  I created a product and even built a website. 

However, by about July, my personal life took a total nose dive.  I am still working through that chaos, and I suppose that is the primary reason I am struggling with this transition of self-employment.  I thought maybe if I picked up a part-time job that would help, but it didn't.  To be fair, I know the majority of my problem is me, and thus, the reason the quote above resonated with me.

Since July, I have ever so slowly started to work more and more alone.  I have had an annoying cough or cold since July that will not go away.  I now realize the feelings of loneliness and illness are the result of working alone so much.  I need people in my life again, so I am working on that.  

I decided to blog again because I figured I am not the only person out there feeling like this particularly at this time of year.  So, if you happen to stumble upon my blog to read this particular post and just want to say "hi," please by all means drop me a line or leave a comment.  I would be happy to hear from you.

Happy Holidays.

P.S.  Thank you http://www.ultraupdates.com/2015/05/inspirational-teamwork-quotes-for-work/ for the image above.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Old Photos of My Family

Family.  What does that word mean to you? 

I had the privilege of attending my Grandpa’s celebration of life this past weekend in Detroit.  Before attending, I would have defined family in terms of people.   For example, I would have defined it as Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, Aunts and Uncles, kids, Grandkids, etc.  However, after this past weekend, I now define family with only one word:  Love.

My Grandpa’s famous saying to his friends and family was “I love you more.”  Needless to say, LOVE was the theme of his celebration of life.   My Grandpa lived his entire 87 years within the suburbs of Detroit, so it was no wonder that hundreds of people were in attendance last Friday. 
There were literally thousands of photos streaming about the room on various projectors, and I would be willing to bet just about every single person that attended his celebration of life was in at least one of those photos.   

What surprised me the most was how many photos there were of me.  I lived in the Detroit area until I was about 7 years of age.  I know that the first several years of a person’s life are the most formative, and yet I somehow blocked many of those memories in Michigan out of my mind.
I came across a slew of photos of me at the wheel of my Grandpa’s sailboat, and then my Dad shared the story of those photos.  Apparently, I was not a good sailboat captain, but the love of sailing hit me at a very cellular level.  In fact, one of my first jobs was teaching kids how to sail at the local Yacht Club.  I always attributed my love towards sailing and bodies of water to the fact that I lived in Florida for most of my life, but now I believe it has to do with that time spent with my Grandpa on his sailboat.  

What I took away from my trip to Detroit was to pay attention to what makes my heart sing because that’s a good indication that love is present.  Over the last several weeks, I have been so hard on myself and even doubting myself about whether or not I am going to be successful in this new business of mine.  However, I realized I am successful already.  I am successful because for the first time in my life I can say without a doubt I love my job. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Image .....http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Famandaonwriting.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F60822985243&ei=de2aVb-mHcq9sAXc2YOQBw&bvm=bv.96952980,d.b2w&psig=AFQjCNEGosMbMlv6SGHOpnEKA8CyLbAwww&ust=1436303055158631

As I mentioned before, I am in the midst of a rather large transition in my life.  I am going from 'employee' to 'self-employed.'  At first blush, it may not seem like that big of a change, but believe me it is.  The simplest thing such as finding a regular routine is a slippery slope.  Just when I think I have found my groove, life throws me another detour to consider. 

The first detour which was actually a good one was that I had the opportunity to attend The Moth's Miami Story Slam (www.themoth.org).  I have been following The Moth since 2008, and attending one of their story slams was on my bucket list.  So, I received an email about the Miami event, and the next day I was on the road to listen to some interesting stories.  The scariest part was that I went alone.  The last time I did anything like that was over a decade ago, so that detour was an excellent  exercise in independence. 

The second detour occurred the same night as The Moth's Miami Story Slam.  I received a call from my Dad right after the event notifying me that my Grandpa passed away.  My Grandpa had cancer, and my family made the decision to not treat him with chemo or radiation.  With that being said, the doctors' could not tell my family how long he would live.  Everyday was a blessing.

I have not seen my Grandpa in many years because he lives quite a distance from me.  I never thought I had the time or money to make the trip.  However, he held a special place in my heart.  I have his eyes, and I have fond memories of him as a kid going sailing and eating sweet onions sprinkled with salt.  When I was in college, I dragged all of my friends down to Daytona during Spring Break so that we could hang out with my Grandpa and his friends at Bike Week.  My Grandpa meant so much to me that I named my son after him.  So, when I heard my Dad say "Grandpa just passed away,"  I sat there stunned. 

The next day, I drove back home, and it took me days to digest the news and finally cry.  All last week, I was in a funk.  I didn't make much progress with my business, and yet I heard the clock ticking ever more loudly and my bank account dwindle just a little more.  Nevertheless, I kept putting one step in front of the other regardless of how small the progress I was making. 

Over the last month since leaving my corporate job, I have asked myself a million times...'did I do the right thing by leaving the security of my job?"  "Can I really survive as self-employed?"  "Will I really be able to pull off this crazy idea I have and make a business out of it?"  The doubt and fear has been so loud and clear particularly this past week when I felt as though I was losing traction.  

Then today, my Grandpa's obituary was posted.  I read it and read it again.  I was reminded that he also left his Corporate job and started his own business, and all of my fear and doubt somehow disappeared. 

My courage grew, and I decided to post here again.  As I was looking for a picture to add, I stumbled upon the Mary Oliver quote above.  By leaving my Corporate job, I am ever so slowly finding the answer to that question.

What about you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When I was working at a regular 9 to 5 job, it seemed as though time was in slow motion.  I remember dragging myself into work on Mondays, and thinking to myself...'it's only Monday..ugh.!"  The days dragged, and it seemed as though Friday was never going to arrive.  Friday would come and go.  The weekend would fly by in an instant, and there was Monday once again staring me in the eye.

Since leaving my job, it seems time is at warp speed.  I still technically have the same amount of hours in a day, and yet 24 hours is simply not enough time to get everything done.  I have been tweaking my routine, but to be honest I still have not quite figured out what works best for me. 
What does work for me is that I exercise in the morning.  It gets my body moving and my brain functioning.  I step away from my computer to take lunch, and I take the dogs for a short walk both mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  The walk is as much for me as it is for them although it is sometimes difficult to turn off my brain during those walks.

What I haven't figured out is what is the best approach for all of that time in-between the exercise and eating.  I make a daily to-do list and utilize google calendar to keep me on track.  However, I am finding that because my learning curve is so steep at the the moment, activities are taking longer than anticipated.  I suppose learning how long it takes to accomplish a task or goal is part of the process. 

Maybe it's not time that is at issue here as much as it is my patience with myself.  I suppose as I learn more and as more time goes by, time will once again slow down to a regular rate.   I sure hope so.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I'd Like to Buy a Vowel, Please

Okay.  Two days  have passed, and I have not posted.  Yes, I thought about posting, but then time just escaped me.  I have been very busy trying to work on this business of mine.  I am grateful for the time I have to focus entirely on this new adventure, but yes, in the back of my mind I am thinking..."what in the world was I thinking?  This is hard!"  Regardless, I have learned a great deal in just one week.

Each day, I take 45 minutes to an hour to read.  This week I am reading Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton.  One of the exercises in the book is to take a Strength Builder test on Gallup's website which I did yesterday.  The test took about 30 minutes.  The test consisted of two sentences, and I indicated which sentence more closely described me or my way thinking.

My results were the following, and please note that all but one characteristic started with a vowel which was the reason for the title of this blog:

I = Individualization
C = Connectedness
A = Achiever
E = Empathy
I= Ideation

As I read over the definitions of each one, I kept saying to myself...wow...that is exactly how I think.  

Now to be fair, the test was based on my perception of myself, and I could not help but think the results may be different if someone close to me took a test about me.  So, I asked some of my closest friends and family to share what they thought are my three best qualities or strengths.  To my amazement, the words they used to describe me fell into each of the Strength Builder category results above.  So, maybe the test is accurate.

Now that I know my strengths, I am about to find out how to utilize them in my business.  I also look forward to learning more.

If you have take then Gallop Strength Builder test or if you have read Now Discover Your Strengths, please feel free to leave a comment below.  I would like to hear your thoughts about the test or book and what you have learned.  

Have a great weekend.

Image courtesy of imgfave.com

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


More than a handful of years ago, I was probably in the best shape of my life.  I worked out five to six days per week at the gym.  I used various exercise video series when I could not get to the gym, and I attended a few yoga classes from time to time.  Then, I had a significant life change, and I fell off the fitness bandwagon. 

With the onset of my new business venture, I decided it was time to get back into shape.  I figure if my body is in shape, then it will surely help my mind, as well.

So yesterday I started the Insanity exercise Series.  I completed the Fit Test, and yes my results were rather dismal.  However, I am hopeful in two weeks when I complete the Fit Test again that the results will be a bit better.  Overall, I felt pretty good yesterday.

This morning I woke up a little sore.  I did the first video in the series, and quite frankly it kicked my behind.  Nevertheless, I felt pretty good about myself because I did it.  By mid-afternoon, I REALLY felt it.  My muscles started getting tight and sore, and with each hour, my body is letting me know that it has been a very long time since I exercised. 

I vaguely recall when I was fit that I had oodles of energy, but today I must admit I feel tired.  I am hoping this will change as my body adjusts to the new exercise routine. 

Until next time...

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Not-So-Blue Monday

I woke up this morning ready.  My list of things-to-do ready...check.  Schedule laid out...check.  I am ready. 

For the most part, my day has been steady and productive.  I may tweak my schedule and add a few more things to do, but overall, I think I am doing okay for a Monday.  

I allowed myself to take the weekend off.  However, I must admit that I did not sleep all that well because I worried that I would fail if I took some time to just 'be' with this new direction.  Nevertheless, I am glad I took this past weekend to relax and enjoy because I am going to be very busy from this point forward. 

During lunch, I logged into Facebook, and I saw the typical Monday memes that indicate the weekend was too short and Monday means back to the grind.  For the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say I am glad it's Monday, and I am so thrilled to be doing something I believe in and enjoy. 

Happy Monday!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ok...Now What?

It's day #2, and I am still in a bit of shock.  I woke up this morning, and I am fairly certain I looked a lot like the image above.  

I spoke to a few people who are self-employed, and the vast majority of them suggested that I give myself a few days to acclimate to my new role as self-employed.  Initially, I was hesitant because the only way I am going to be successful is if I work at it.  However, I have to say that giving myself permission to just 'be' with this new life was probably the best gift I could have given myself.  

In just two days, I have learned a great deal about myself.  Yesterday, I learned that a routine is very important particularly for someone like me.  Today I learned how beneficial it is to schedule fitness into my day.  

I worked out for the first time in well over a month.  It made all the difference in the world with regards to my mindset and energy level. 

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day One as CEO


Today is my first day as the head of my own company, and I think I am in shock that I actually did it. Even though I have dreamed of having my own business for years, this change from employee to self-employed is significant. I am quickly realizing that my entire mindset must change.   I have second-guessed my decision about a million times today, and I have taken a lot of deep breaths as means to calm my nerves.

Lesson #1:  Change can be stressful.  Be kind to yourself. 

I woke up early this morning without an alarm clock which is really quite amazing given that I am not much of a morning person.  I took a shower and drank a cup of coffee.  I tried to watch the news, but then I turned it off after about five minutes.  I turned on my computer, and stared at it for a minute.  Then, I got up from the computer to make the bed, clean the house and eventually get an oil change.   

Lesson #1:  Establish a routine and set daily goals.

The oil change turned out to an all-day affair.  Generally speaking, I have had no issues with my vehicle.  However, today I was told that I needed new tires.  Gulp.  My first day without a regular paycheck, and now I need new tires. 

Lesson #2:  Expect the unexpected.

As I left the repair shop, my tire sensor went off, so I turned around.  The repair shop mechanic took a closer look at my tires and air pressure.  Again, I was given the all-clear to go, and just before reaching my next destination, the tire sensor went off again.  So, back to the repair shop I went, and this time they discovered the issue was a result of a software malfunction.  The mechanic pulled out his laptop, connected it to my vehicle and within a few keystrokes, my vehicle was good to go.

Lesson #3:  Have patience.

I finally made it home to write this post.  As soon as I am finished here, I will be setting my goals for tomorrow, and yes, I will establish my new routine.  

If you are an entrepreneur or solopreneur or simply self-employed, I would love to hear from you.  I would appreciate hearing about your routines, rituals or any helpful advice for that matter.  

Until next time....