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So You Want to Start a Business.

mother and daughter working on laptopDo you ever wish you could go back in time and tell yourself something important about the future? If I had the chance to go back about four years here’s what I’d tell myself about starting a business from home:

Dear Me,
This is the best opportunity of your life!

  1. Don’t worry about what others will think because they’re not! If they are and they think you’re nuts or making a fool of yourself know they are merely projecting their own fears. When you succeed (and you will) some of them will come around. Some will even tell you they wish they had the courage to do what you did. You’re doing this for you and your family, not for them.
  2. This is not going to be easy – simple, yes, easy, no. It is going to take work, effort, and you’ll be on a sharp learning curve. You have what it takes. What you don’t know you’ll learn. It’s much, much easier than dropping your kids off at daycare and going to a job. You won’t miss out on all the kids’ firsts.
  3. You don’t know what you don’t know but you’ll learn! There are resources and people with wisdom and expertise willing to help you succeed. Take advantage of as much of it as you can. Read books. Listen to training series. Read white papers. Join webinars and attend seminars. Put what you learn into practice.
  4. Your family will figure it out. There will be adjustments for everyone. As you carve out time away from home to build your business there will be pushback, but you’ll all figure it out. Your spouse and family just want to know that they are more important to you than your business. Keep them first on your priority list. Love on them. Reserve your best time for them and they’ll be more than willing to cheer you on.
  5. Your business is what you do. It’s not who you are! Yes it’s exciting and fulfilling, but you are not the company nor the product you represent. You are you: an individual with roles, responsibilities, dreams, skills, talents, abilities and a heart that beats intensely for the people and things that matter to you.  The business could disappear tomorrow, but you would still remain. Work in such a way that the relationships you build would also remain. Make sure to keep growing as a person.

So go build. Always keep the end in mind. There will be adjustments along the way. It’s not a straight line, but it is an amazing journey. You’ll get to where you want to go. Dream bigger. Start sooner. Enjoy the journey.

Signed,

Me, 4 years later

PS You can’t even begin to imagine how well it will turn out.

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Did you look it up? We all fall for tricks, hoaxes and scams once in a while, but 2012 seemed to be a year full of scams that we were more than willing to believe. Especially on Facebook.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite too good to be true offers:

Free Disney Tickets

Free Southwest Tickets

Free Apple products

6 Biggest Scams of 2012

They all look appealing and and seem to hit people’s desires. That’s why they work. We are willing to suspend our better judgement and click out of curiosity. The best case scenario is we look a little foolish. In the worst cases though viruses attach themselves to your profile and/or computer and identity theft becomes possible.

What concerns me is that there may come a day when we stop being willing to share legitimate Amber Alerts because we’ve been hoaxed so many times and a life is lost as a result.

So how do you identify the legitimate offers from the scams? True Amber alerts from hoaxes?

* First, take a moment and think: if this were offered to me by a salesperson in the mall would I believe it without reading the fine print? If the answer is “no” then you should probably do some research before you click the link, share or ‘like’.

* Second, it’s not difficult to Google the offer and find out if it’s real. It takes a minute or two and you can save yourself a lot of grief. Others were probably offered this deal first and someone will likely know if it’s a hoax. So save face and look it up before you act.

* Third, remember the old saying, “if it’s too good to be true it is.” This really applies to about 99% of the offers. An airline would go out of business if it offered 2 free tickets to everyone on Facebook. Apple doesn’t give away free product out of the goodness of their heart. Walmart, Costco and such are not giving away gift cards for ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ on Facebook. Clothing manufacturers are not giving away hundreds of thousands of pieces of clothing for sharing photos. They sell them and we buy.

Amber alerts can be easily verified online. The legitimate ones will have a trail coming from law enforcement and news media. The hoaxes will also be easily found by doing a little research.

So in 2013 arm yourself with information and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is!

Happy New Year!

Greater Good

Over the last few days I have been wrestling with the idea of greater good. Our society seems to favour individual rights over being our brothers keepers. Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating we give up our own rights and freedoms for the greater good of others, but I’m just wondering if maybe we weren’t so hell bent on what was best for me then we could create a safer environment for our children to grow up in

Maybe if we weren’t so dogged about my right to watch what I want, listen to what I want, wear what I want, do what I want, own assault rifle if I want then perhaps our children would never have to know the fear of gunmen entering schools, abductors selling them for the profit that can be made off little bodies, vile and cruel words, looks and actions. Maybe if we were a little bit more willing to consider our choices and actions and how they affect others than just maybe we could finally stop asking why these things happen?

For generations we understood that life didn’t begin and end with me. I was just part of a line of lives who came before me and those who would come after me. I was responsible not only to honour the sacrifices of my ancestors for my present freedom, but I was also responsible to pass on even greater to those who would come after me.

Some cultures still understand this, but even they are losing hold of this truth. Instead we have bought into the lie that it is all about me, my fulfillment, my pleasure, my comfort, my ease. If I leave nothing behind it doesn’t matter, my kids need to make their own way. Just so long as I live a happy and fulfilled life. Just so long as I leave a mark on the world. It doesn’t matter that it destroys the generations coming up behind me or those around me. It’s all about my right to do as I please.

I don’t think we need to go to the other extreme and live miserable existences just so another generation can benefit. What if we thought less about our own satisfaction and a little bit more about how our choices impact others? What if we were willing to give up something that we may enjoy but don’t absolutely need in order to ensure that others aren’t hurt? What if we rediscovered the concept of honour?

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A Little Distracted!

I love this blog post by Angela Doell. I love the parenting tip since my son seems to have hit the age where whining is his go-to communication mode. I love it even more because I needed the reminder to focus on gratitude.

So here is my gratitude list today:
1. My husband who loves me and is committed to our marriage and the generations no matter what.
2. My daughter who challenges me in many ways daily. She gives me new vision on everyday life.
3. My son who makes my heart sing with his tenderness and insights.
4. My little circle of close friends who love me as I am and with whom I can share my heart no matter how long we’ve been apart or how far away we live.
5. A community of brilliant women who challenge me every day to be better, smarter, faster and better. It may sound cliche but they truly challenge me to be the best version of me I could possibly be.

What’s your gratitude list? I’d love to hear it.