29 November 2015

Christmas - Keeping it Real

I love the holiday season for a number of reasons - the one that is top of mind for me is that my daughter comes home from university. But hear me out - young adults are developing their own traditions and I may have to make a reservation to get to spend any real time with her. That's just the plain truth.

Have you looked at social media lately? It is overflowing with examples of people being charitable on a large scale and a real trend toward advertising it. This can put a ton of stress on people to try and do what they do not have the means to do. Know this, there are many people out there who live lives of service who never post a single thing about it. Avoid the trap of trying to measure up.

What about the food? No one enjoys food as much as I do but I am not a person for pomp and circumstance.  My Red-neck roots always get the better of me here. I love to have a crowd in but not much for the rules and conventions around dining that some folks encourage. My grandmother would put a tray of sweets out at Christmas and have to crack my fingers more than once for trying to steal a cook before the crowd arrived. People remember how you made them feel - not whether you had the correct fork.

Here's what I suggest - put it all into perspective. Use your heart and make that heart an instrument of good will "without advertising". Do what you need to do to make it special for you - without worrying about what the Jones' are doing. Keep it real and find time to really enjoy it in spite of or maybe because of the humbleness. .

24 November 2015

Speaking of Company...

Who do you have in your corner? Business is a bizarre beast. It requires us to build relationships even if our personality is such that we would prefer to be alone.

During a sales workshop with Rocky Lake Crossfit, we talked about how nice it would be if we were all in a position to hire a professional sales team. But let's face it, in the early days we have to wear many hats, and some of those hats we may not be fond of. Learning to get out there and connect is not such a bad thing, is it?

The other company that matters is peer support. Do you have peeps in your corner that you can turn to when life is tough? Do you have folks around you who know more than you do – so that you can reach out to them on a tough day? If not, get out there and make it happen. Who you network with makes all the difference in the world.

Business is all about the company you keep. (click to tweet this)

22 November 2015

You're Exactly Where You're Supposed to Be

I can recall the first time I ever heard that quote "You're exactly where you're supposed to be." which I believe was attributable to Mother Thresa. Sitting on the step, waiting for a truck to load my furniture I was reading a book of inspirational quotes. Forced to sell my home where my daughter and I had shared so many happy memories made for a heartbreaking day.

At that moment, messages that were intended to inspire had a way of irritating me. "Really Thresa, is that what you think?"

Hindsight is 20/20. Fast forward 7 years and I can look back on that difficult time and see the lesson in the whole experience and the quote has taken on new meaning.

That experience taught me so many lessons - lessons about living beyond my means, asking for help and accepting myself for who I was. I won't wax eloquently about those here.

The point is to know that timing is everything when a message is delivered. I think every quote should come with a bit of preamble.

"You may not get it now but....you're exactly where you're supposed to be." Even you.

14 November 2015

Embrace your Grief

I was in a group a couple of years back and they were talking about grief. The gist of the conversation was that grief is not linear; there are cycles of grief in life - no two people grieve the same. Even though books have been written about the stages of grief, it is generally accepted that these stages don't really follow a set pattern either. Some grieve quickly and move on but most, grieve across the lifespan and you never know when it may hit you.

I'm grieving today. Not for a person but for a lifestyle. Losing my drivers' license really impacted my lifestyle. The life I have today is one that I tolerate but not the one I want.

I was bored when I awoke this morning. When I'm bored, I want to hop in my car and crank up those tunes - the soundtrack from "Chariots of Fire" brings back memories. I want to drive and arrive at some obscure location to explore. I want to do that alone.

But I can't and so I cried instead for a lifestyle taken away too early. For all of you rescuers out there who want to offer up solutions for how to solve this problem, don't bother. Just let me grieve - tomorrow is another day and I will be just fine.

For all you grievers out there, honour your grief. It's the only thing to do.

10 November 2015

Greenback Only - Show me the Money

This has been one of those months where every conversation has been about money. Nowhere was this more pronounced than when we were charged 1.35 to purchase some US green!! 

Phew!! that was brutal.

During our talks on income tax matters, it was agreed that we all detest paying taxes.  Hiring a professional to do your taxes makes good sense because frankly, there are too many nuances for untrained people to rely on off the shelf software. Point blank. I love talking about money since I've become reformed. 

Yes, you heard it here first. I used to have a poverty mindset that came about as a result of many things including the way that I was raised. How liberating to be free from the worst of it (although there are always areas where we need to be on the lookout). I'm excited about money; making it, saving it and teaching it. 

Financial literacy, the new focus for 2016. Sharing what I know. Here's the deal.

1. There is life after bankruptcy if you have a plan.
2. If you have money issues, deal with them!! You'll be glad you did.
3. If you failed at business once because you didn't manage the financial back end well, no biggie. Try again. But make sure you've learned the lesson. If you haven't then don't bother. 

Past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour unless there is an intervening measure like learning a lesson. 

You heard it here folks from the lady who did it all wrong before she learned to do it right. Money is good and fun and you're never too old to learn all about it. Make today the day that you start to invest in your own financial literacy