I love spring. It's almost like emerging from hibernation. I am referring to the hibernation of winter, staying in, not wanting to get out too much because of the cold etc. The only drawback to spring in NC is that my kids have horrible pollen allergies and it is wreaking havoc on them. However, the leaves begin to change colors, we get more daylight and the sun shine is beautiful, making for great photo opportunities. On top of that...business expansion!
I am really excited about the opportunities that become available for my Heritage Makers business in the spring. There are some great events scheduled for this spring and summer and I have the opportunity to meet some really amazing people. I do hope that you will keep up with the event schedule. There's a crop for the cure coming up at the end of this month. Keep your eyes open for those details!
So what's been going on? I know you think I gave up on the early riser thing. I didn't. I have kept it up, most days in fact, but it has had it's challenges. Mostly because I have had to get up to go to work and not for the reasons I originally set out to accomplish by the challenge. Nonetheless, I am getting up earlier.
I am also excited to say, that I am officially a chamber member!! This has been something I have considered for a while. If you live in an area where you have an active chamber, it can be a great thing for your business. However, if you join the chamber expecting that your business will grow because you are in the directory, and you don't attend any events or get involved, you will be disappointed. That was the biggest obstacle for me was making sure I could find the time to attend events. Juggling a full time J-O-B, a family, kid's events etc. Let's just say you don't want to add too much to your plate. At any rate, I am excited and look forward to meeting more fabulous people in my community!
Great news! The Waiting Child Project is moving forward! I am not sure if I have mentioned it here or not, but this is project that has been a passion of mine for a while now. Basically, it involves helping to put one of our Heritage Makers books into hand and heart of a children in foster care. I heard recently that when you put a child's face (picture) on something in your home, it increases their confidence. Wow...our books can make a difference.
So I attended the DSWA Elite Express Weekend last weekend, and WOW... and I am not referring to within one week. It was really a great experience! I learned so much about myself, about this industry, self-imposed limitations, about myself in this industry~oh I said that already didn't I? Anyway, I have a renewed sense of direction and purpose and I am just so excited about moving forward armed with these new information and revelations. That's the important thing. This week, I am making it a point to look at my business through a different set of lenses.
In all, there were fourteen of us enjoying this experience...onene more thing I really enjoy about this industry...I get to meet and share space with some truly amazing women that I might not otherwise have had the chance to meet. It is amazing to me how quickly you can touch someone's heart or change their frame of mind (or them for you). Women in business+working together+in support of each other=Power House!
On another note, while I didn't falter on my early to rise project, I didn't follow through on my morning to-dos. I guess that is to be expected when traveling or away from home. It becomes a little more of challenge to stick to the morning routine. So thumbs up for getting up early but room for improvement on keeping the routine in order.
I thought that at the end of the day yesterday I would be completely wiped out. I wasn't any more tired than a normal day. We went through our normal routine and I was in bed by 10. I don't think I fell asleep before 11, also a no-no. If this new habit is going to stick, there can be no late nights. Eleven was my normal bed time so I am shooting for 10-10:30. I REALLY want this to stick.
So how did it go this morning? I hit the snooze button...but I didn't get back into bed. I went on to the bathroom and then I knelt down to pray. Soon the alarm went off again and I walked over and turned it off. I sorted some laundry, did my crunches and hopped into the shower. I was able to get a load in the washer before I left for work. This is also a new routine I am implementing, so the trick will be to remember to rotate it to the dryer when I get home and then fold them and put them away after dinner. Yeah...wish me luck.
Anyway, I remember walking to the car, not dragging wishing I could get another 30 minutes of rest, but feeling ready to take on the day~the power of prayer!
I recently came to the conclusion that I must begin my day earlier if I am going to accomplish the things I would like to accomplish each day. It's just so much harder trying to get things done after work. I am consumed with dinner, homework, bath time, story time~mom's you know the drill. Anyway, if I am fortunate enough to get the kids in bed on time, I sit down to catch my breath and gather my thoughts and that's a wrap! So, I came across a blog post recently (unfortunately as I write this I can't think of the name of the blog) and got inspired.
Yesterday, I moved the alarm clock across the room. When it went off this morning, I got up walked over and hit the snooze button (a no-no)! I knew it was wrong, and I guess that is why when I laid back down I just laid there. I didn't drift back to sleep. I was up 5 minutes later and began my morning routine baby steps. I did some calisthenics, jumped in the shower and got ready for work. I had 20 minutes of quiet time and enjoyed some praise and worship this morning. I feel great!
I can't believe it. I am always ready to talk about Heritage Makers but this time I had an opportunity and I missed it. I am still kicking myself for it and this was Monday! On one hand, every time I go to this place there is hardly anyone else waiting and the few who are, are glued to their computers or books. They look as though they really don't want to engage. So when I jumped out the car with my son and without my bag, I decided that I wouldn't go back for it because there wouldn't be anyone to share HM with anyway.
Low and behold...I walked in and soon there were 3 women there and then there were 4 women!! They were in two separate groups, chit-chatting amongst themselves, engaged and appearing to enjoy one another's company. If I had a catalog, business cards, or sample, this would have been a great opportunity to share my business and invite them to a class. But I didn't have anything. I was unprepared.
Lesson learned. How many of us run out the door to dash into the grocery store in sweats, a pony tail and no make up and realize we could have had an opportunity to talk with someone but didn't approach them because we looked like we just stepped off the treadmill? Maybe they would have been interested, maybe not~but Wayne Gretsky said, "you'll miss 100% of the shots that you never take." Always, always, be prepared to share what you do.
I had an epiphany. I have been trying to force a square peg into a round hole. When you keep trying to fight a battle, uphill, that you know you really can't win, I think it's called insanity. I've been trying to arrange my life around my business instead of fitting my business into my lifestyle, which is not the reason I was drawn to this industry!
I think many of us stuggle with this same thing. We decide we want to work our business "this much" because we want to achieve "this title, rank, income or whatever" and then when it gets tough, we throw in the towel because we just "don't have time." Well we all have the same amount of hours each day and while we all have different responsibilities and/or obligations, most of us do have them. My kids have activities, we have our family time and events; I work a full time job and my husband works a completely different schedule AND I'm building business. I spend more time coordinating babysitting, pick ups and drop offs and trying to fit in the income producing activities than I do actually working my business. Many times after dinner, homework, and the bedtime routine, I am wiped out myself. Then I feel defeated because I didn't have time to make all my calls before it got to late. Well...this just isn't working for me, but I refuse to give up on my dreams.
Then I was reminded of the Serenity Prayer. " God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference." I can't change the way things are right now. I know it won't always be this way. I know that there are sacrifices that need to be made during this stage of business building. I don't have a problem making sacrifices when necessary, that isn't my issue. The lesson I am learning right now is that I have to fit my business activity into my current lifestyle AND not feel bad about it. I may not advance as quickly as others, but the growth and success of my business isn't measured on someone else's yard stick. You can't compare yourself to someone else.
This is a race everyone can win. It's not about being the first to cross the finish line. It's just important to cross it.