Sensational Saturday – Good Books – Guess How Much I Love You

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Sensational Saturday – it is sensational to read a book that is good for you and your kids.

Over the course of the last few weeks, the Sensational Saturday articles have focused on older books that are good for you. We have looked at the non-religious inspirational aspects of the Bible,   Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers for its interesting take on the role of genius in success and Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice for its advice to get the right mental attitude.  This week is all about one of my favorite books, Guess How Much I Love You  by Sam McBratney.

photo credit: euphro via photopin cc
photo credit: euphro via photopin cc                                                   Sensational Saturday, bedtime story, read, love, children, nutbrown hare

Many years ago, in a land far away, when the teenie bopper turned two, one of my sister gave her the book, Guess How Much I Love You for as a birthday present. Today, fourteen years later, that book is old and frayed from use and all four of my children have had me read it to them at bedtime for many, many years. I tease the teenie bopper and tell her that when she goes away to college, I am going to call her and read her the book each night.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, a little nutbrown hare is telling his dad how much he loves him and the dad, the big nutbrown hare always says he loves his son more. The story ends with a big show of love and a good night kiss. It is a sweet story. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you read it soon. I recently had the privilege of sharing the story with one of the twin’s kindergarten class. The children who had not heard the story before, enjoyed it and wanted to hear it again.

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sensational Saturday, bedtime story, read, love, children, nutbrown hare

Children crave love and attention. It is wonderful to share it with them via a bedtime story about the love between a parent and child. So, the question for you this sensational Saturday is do you have a favorite bedtime story you read with your kids?

Fantastic Friday – Sharing Your Balancing Secrets

Fantastic Friday – it is fantastic to share the secret of your home and work balancing act.

Each Fantastic Friday throughout the month of December we will be continuing our exploration of ways to balance work and home.  In previous weeks we looked at the notions that all work and no play makes you a dull girl,  all play and no work make you broke and building  teams that respect each other. Today the Fantastic Friday is all about sharing the secrets to your success.

photo credit: RayBanBro66 via photopin cc
photo credit: RayBanBro66 via photopin cc                                                                                                                    fantastic Friday, balance, work, home secret, share

Almost everyone knows someone who has the home/work balancing act all wrong. These people are easy to recognize. It is the co-corker who is always in danger of getting fired for handling all his personal affairs on company time.  It is the mom who never has time for her husband and kids because she is either always at work or taking care of work when she is at home.

Those are people who do not have their home/work lives in balance. It is human nature to seek out balance and harmony. Often people who are living out of balance are not as happy as they could be. It is a kindness to share your secrets for balance with a person who is living out of balance. I am a work at home mom, so my work and home life overlap very directly. Here are a few of my secrets to balance home and work:

*     have set hours for work – you can train your family that certain time is your work                                                                       time and that you have to work just as if  you went to an outside office each day

*     keep your work area separate from your home area – by separating your work and personal areas, it is less likely that your children will use your reports for coloring books, organization is a crucial component to success

*     have set hours for home – when your family knows the time you will dedicate to their concerns, they will look forward to and appreciate the time you have set aside specifically for family.

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fantastic Friday, balance, work, home, secret, share

The secrets for balancing success vary from person to person and you must find a way to achieve balance in your life. However, that is not enough, you must share your balancing secrets with others so we can all live in balance and harmony. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday is what are your balancing secrets?

 

Thrilling Thursday – Know Where You Can Get Help

Thrilling Thursday – it is thrilling to be able to find help for your business when you need it.

Once your business plan has been completed and you are following it things will start running smoothly for your business. Then sooner, rather than later, problems will arise and you will need help. In the spirit of you don’t get ready, you stay ready, prepare a list of resources to depend upon for help before help is actually needed.

 

photo credit: marc falardeau via photopin cc
photo credit: marc falardeau via photopin cc
thrilling Thursday, business, help, where to get help, when to get help, resources

There are a myriad of sources entrepreneurs can go to for help. The following is a list of resources I have found particularly helpful:

  • Small Business Administration
  • SCORE (Society of Retired Executives)
  • Local University Business Development Centers
  • Local Chambers of Commerce
  • Social Media Entrepreneur Groups
  • Entrepreneurs you know and respect
  • Industry lobbying groups
  • Professional associations for your industry
  • Local Bar Association

The source of help that will be best for you depends upon your industry. It is important for you to compile  a list such of this so that you have names, addresses and phone numbers at your fingertips so that when you need help you can immediately start asking for help. Most people are a little frazzled and out of sorts when problems occur.  Some even resort to panic if the problems are big enough. This is why having all the contract information for several sources of help is a critical part of business operations.

An important part of having places to go for help is knowing when you need help. This is a crucial component in the process as well. The times when an entrepreneur needs help will vary with each individual. The following is a list of some occasions when entrepreneurs may find it useful to get help from an outside source:

  • your business is having problems getting or keeping clients
  • despite your business’ best efforts you are not able to make a profit
  • a competitor steals a trademarked idea or practice
  • your business wants to expand operations but don’t know quite how to do so
  • your business is having problems retaining quality employees
  • your business gets sued

 

122712 thrilling thursday  jmjd
thrilling Thursday, business, help, where to get help, when to get help, resources

Every business needs help on occasion, it is important to know where to get it and when to ask for help. When you need help, get help early in the process, as early as possible, do not wait for things to hit rock bottom. So, the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is, do you have a ready source of help for when your business needs assistance?

Wonderful Wednesday – You’re Out of Work – Stay Positive

Wonderful Wednesday – it is wonderful to stay positive and focused while on the job search.

 

Each Wonderful Wednesday throughout the month of December has been  dedicated to dealing with what you should do if you find yourself out of work unexpectedly. In previous weeks, I wrote about adjusting your budget,  using your social network in the job search and  starting something new.  Today, in the final Wonderful Wednesday of December will deal with the idea of staying positive and focused during the job search. First we will look at a technique for staying positive no matter how bad things get. Then we will look at an idea for staying focused while searching for a job.

 

 

 

photo credit: AngelaArcher.com via photopin cc
photo credit: AngelaArcher.com via photopin cc

 

 

There is no way around the fact that searching for a job is a stressful, aggravating and frustrating process. To try to deny that fact would be fake and disingenuous. However, it is also a fact that a lot of what happens to us is determined by how we react to situations. When  you are especially frustrated, angry, or tired of the search for work, this is the perfect time to put on my favorite outfit. By this I mean put on your big girl panties and fake it until you make it dress. In order to do this you should literally do the following:

  • stand up
  • take a deep breath
  • smile
  • tell yourself, this is only a step in your journey, not the end of the line
  • force yourself to maintain a smile and a good attitude

 

Now keep in mind, when you first start this cheer yourself up program, you may only be able to maintain a positive attitude  for a few minutes at a time. That is okay. If you need to repeat these steps over and over throughout the day do it. Eventually you will get to a place where you can maintain a positive attitude for longer and longer periods of time.

 

Searching for a new job is a time when focus is extremely important. I am an entrepreneur at heart and I got my start helping clients to write business plans in order to get financing. It is natural therefore that I think of business plans when I think of the job search.  When you are looking for work, you are like a business in need of financing.  Gather the following information together and have it at the ready for interviews, conversations and looking through job advertisements:

 

  • resume (this is like the executive summary section of a business plan)
  • personal and professional references (this is like the personnel section of a business plan)
  • good press, internet articles, social media good points. and the like (this is like the marketing section of a business plan)
  • your salary history and current salary requirements (this is like the current financial section of a business plan)

 

by gathering all this information together and keeping it readily accessible, your mind won’t be scattered while you are filling out applications on-line, speaking with interviewers or planning where to look next for work. Once you have all the information listed above at your disposal you should be able to narrow down the areas in which you will search for work and focus your efforts on finding the best job available to you at the moment.

 

 

122612 wonderful wednesday jmjd

 

 

In sum, when searching for new employment you must maintain a positive attitude and stay focused on the task at hand. This will express itself as a calm and confident demeanor that will be evident to employers you come across. So, the question for you this Wonderful Wednesday is what are your secrets for maintaining a good attitude and focus while on the job search?

 

Serene Sunday- Lessons for Our Children – Don’t Get Ready, Stay Ready

Serene Sunday – it is important to teach your children to stay ready.
 
Each Serene Sunday throughout the month of December has been devoted to sharing lessons I learned and am teaching my children. These lessons are good tips for both children and adults. Previous Serene Sunday articles dealt with teaching our children  it’s okay to failget all you can and can all you get, and  be a friend to yourself.  Next week, the final Serene Sunday in the lessons for our children series will be – one monkey don’t stop no show.
 
 
 
photo credit: C. Young Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: C. Young Photography via photopin cc                                                                                         Serene Sunday, lessons, children, get ready, stay ready, teach

 

The lesson for today comes from a phrase I heard in a rap song while walking in the city, “don’t get ready, stay ready.”  This is such an awesome lesson and it comes in so many different forms. I know that most people have heard it more than once. The boy scouts talk about being prepared. In the military, people are taught to be ready for the battle to come.  I am a church girl, so in church you might hear them say:

  • be ready because you do not know when Christ will return  or
  • don’t be like the foolish virgins who were not ready for the wedding invite

No matter how you slice it, “don’t get ready, stay ready” is a powerful statement.  Often it is the case in life that when opportunity comes, people miss it because they were not ready. Look at some real life examples:

  • You want a promotion at work that requires you take a special class, but you never take it
  • Your family plans to have pancakes for Sunday breakfast, but you have no syrup in the house

It is important to prepare for what is to come and to be ready for the things to come.  Many opportunities are lost because we are not ready, but planning to get ready. If you want to succeed in life you must learn, “you don’t get ready, you stay ready.” I often wondered if my children are actually paying attention to the lessons I teach them. My wondering stopped when I heard the following exchange between the twins, age 5 when they were playing a game:

Z:      Stop C I wasn’t ready yet

C:     You not supposed to get ready, you stay ready

I had to turn my head so they wouldn’t see me laugh.  But you know I was proud. These are children who will not miss opportunities for lack of preparedness. When Monday morning comes and it is time for school, their backpacks have been packed all weekend. Why? Because they don’t have to get ready for school, they stay ready. When we are ready to go on vacation, I don’t have to tell them to go pack, their suitcases are all ready filled to overflowing with toys and treats.  My babies don’t get ready, they stay ready.

 

Serene Sunday, lessons, children, get ready, stay ready, prepare, teach
Serene Sunday, lessons, children, get ready, stay ready, prepare, teach

 

 

Don’t get ready, stay ready. It is not smart to miss opportunity. When you miss an opportunity you feel at a loss and defeated. There is a great deal of serenity that can be found in staying ready for things to come. So, the question for you this Serene Sunday is, do you have to get ready or do you stay ready?

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