28 August 2014

A Bowl of Coffee Anyone? Staying motivated when the arse falls out of her.

Anyone who has been in business for a while knows that it is not for the feint of heart. Truth is it toughens you and teaches you how to be creative when it comes to problem solving. In order to be successful in business I believe that you also have to have a hunger to succeed, a real determination to get the job done. You’ve got to have a willingness to figure it out. Once you have it, nothing can stand in your way not even when things go wrong in the kitchen.

There’s a Hole in my Bucket

As I started to fill the pot with fresh water, I noticed it pouring right out the bottom – the arse had fallen out of her. No pot,no coffee. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have to have a morning coffee. I’ve  walked 8 miles in my jammers uphill in a snowstorm to get a cup of Tims. Lately I’d taken to brewing my own because it was too far to walk and I don’t drive.

We had a class A crisis on our hands. I tried shoving a mug under there to catch the coffee but the mug was too big and it was a bit tricky. The original lid on the pot actually sat against a mechanism that opened a valve where the coffee flowed out. My mug was not cutting it. After a few choice words, I decided that I’d have a tea. Truth be told, I didn’t want tea – I wanted coffee and I was hellbent on getting one.

What Have You Tried

In business when we hit a roadblock we need to get creative but only if you’re hellbent on getting it done. If you’re certain that you are going in the right direction, you won’t let obstacles stand in your way.  Will you? Just because you got turned down for that loan or grant, are you going to take that as a reason to quit or are you going to kick the creativity into high gear. It really is your choice.

I get clients who are ready to throw in the towel and when they tell me how big the obstacle is I do ask what they have tried. They pay me to help them make good decisions.  What about you – what do you do when faced with an obstacle. Have you really tried everything? Really? Really?

Get ‘er Done

I looked at that coffee maker and thought about my father – he taught me how to figger things out – he was a hardy Newfoundlander – a cross between Red Green and MacGyver. If he was here, he would size it up for a minute and then he’s say “Hang on now Debbie, I’ll show you how to fix that.”

My father knew what most business people know, there is more than one way to get the job done. Sometimes you have to be creative. Inspired by my father, I got up and got a little bowl and placed it where the pot should be. I then got a spoon and pushed up on that little valve and what do you think happened? You got that right – that coffee was flowing into the bowl, nice and hot and with a rich aroma. I was a happy camper.

You’ll be Tested

In business, like in life, you’ll be tested. Sometimes the test will really be a test of your commitment. If you’re walking away every time you have a challenge, you may not be in the right career. If you have a hunger, the right determination and a willingness to get creative, you will get the job done.

A bowl of coffee anyone?

23 August 2014

The Buck Stops Here

No Avoiding It

No matter how hard I tried, I could not avoid bankruptcy. I thought I was doing it all right. Anyone who knows me well knows that I pride myself on being good with money.  No matter how good we are at managing money, when life shows up with a ripple, even the best of us can get derailed.

Double Edged Sword

Bankruptcy was tough – it took a toll on my self-esteem when the arse fell out of her. I thought I was down for the count. Bankruptcy was also the best gift I was ever given. Yes it was a tool that helped me to start over. But for me it was more than that. There was no way I was ending up back in this place again. I needed to take a long hard look at what it was that I could do to ensure that this didn’t happen. I had lessons to learn and I was like a sponge when it came to finding out what would work.

Track Spending

You don’t know where you need to trim if you don’t know where you’re spending. The first step for me was to track my spending. It took some time to get into the swing of things but I did it. Tracking alone wasn’t enough. Now that I knew were every penny was going, I sat there and asked “Where do I want it to go?”

Time for Reflection

You don’t lose it all and remain the same person. You only get lost in keeping up with the Jones one time and you learn a lesson. Now that you know where the money is going, you have to ask, where do you want it to go. What do you want the future to bring? I know that my values and needs had changed in the process.

I took the time to do my homework. The only thing that I ever knew about money was that if you get it you spend it. That’s what got me into this mess in the first place. Taking time to reflect helped me to make some good decisions. There is so much you can do when you have sound financial advice and you take a bit of time to make good decisions.

I think that life gives us the lessons we need to learn and when it comes to money, you have a choice. Learn it now or learn it next time around. For me, I decided to get off the Merry Go Round and take charge of my spending. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making better decisions one day at a time.