Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Writer's Cramp

It has been quite a while since my last posting. I have been writing though, just not here. I feel like I've been cheating. But the good news is, I have been selling articles for a few bucks, plus lifetime page views compensation. I enjoy it, however it leaves me empty to post on my blog. Plus, I cannot post the same articles here, I would be in void of a is a link to my most recent articles...
Hope you read them.
I will write something this weekend for my blog. I feel I have been so very neglectful lately.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Motivated Against My Will

Some times we are expected to be motivated, before being asked if we want to be motivated in the first place. It is assumed we will be over the moon about some thing, when we haven't had the time to contemplate any possible interest. Other times there are tasks that need to be tackled that we'd rather be burned at the stake than do the work. Such is life, full of surprise and mystery and the mundane. Who really wants to clean out the rain gutters on a sunny, Saturday afternoon...not me, but it might be the only free time I have to get it done; so I do it, thinking of what enjoyable activity I may have to look forward to later.
Though I must admit, at the completion of such tedious activities, I do feel a sense of accomplishment for having finally got it done. I do not, however, like it when I am expected to do something I had no intention of doing in the first place, like being volunteered for a weekend charity car wash...not my cup of tea.
So, what is the trick to getting through these things without having an aneurysm? Tell yourself, this too, shall pass. It is only temporary. In the case of being volunteered, you may even tell the person who did so that you didn't appreciate it, and to ask you next time. But go ahead and finish the task anyway, you will feel better for doing so.
We all have to do things we don't want, it is part of our daily lives. How we approach the situation is what will determine how we feel inside. Trying to keep a positive attitude in the face of adversity can be hard, but well worth your peace of mind.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Working From Home: Julia's Story

What follows is a fictional account based on interviews and comments submitted by actual people who were, or are currently working from home. Any similarities between the character, Julia, and any other living person are strictly accidental. Julia is a composite created to observe a hypothetical, work from home, scenario.
Julia is thirty-two. She graduated high school then attended a local community college. Julia finished college in 1998, with an AA in psychology, fully intending to follow a career in social work. However, finding the entry level job market slim in her community, Julia winds up waiting tables at a local pub for tips, where she meets her current husband. After dating a few years, they are married in 2003. In early 2005, she gives birth to their first child. Julia waited tables up until three weeks of her due date before taking maternity leave. Money was tight for the growing family; dreams of being a social worker seemed to be slipping away from her.
Julia checked the classifieds periodically, and applied to some local agencies, hoping for a break. Finally, in 2006, Julia is accepted as an Assistant to the Social Advisor in a senior center. She also begins volunteering her services to the community by working for a local nonprofit organization on the weekends. Though she is now doing what she loves, Julia finds her time consumed by her work. She is driven to succeed at what she had waited for so long. But she felt her family was suffering for her cause.
After only a year, Julia started to feel drained. She had been pushing herself very hard to get ahead in her job. Then one afternoon, quite by accident, while searching on the internet, she came across a web site about moms working from home. It talked about many opportunities for the stay-at-home mom. That was something that had never occurred to her, setting up shop from her own home. This web site sparked some ideas in Julia, but how could it be applied to her field? She began investigating everything she could find on the subject of working from home.
To her amazement, opportunities to work from home were overwhelming in number. It took a lot of homework to weed out the scams from legitimate opportunities. For about a month Julia was working out a plan of action to begin her career at home. Her family and friends wouldn’t take her seriously. And when she began setting her plan into motion, they criticized her for wanting to take such a risk.
Julia’s husband was very understanding of her wishes to continue to earn money to help support the family, while also finding her own independence in the work force. Though he wasn’t entirely onboard, feeling it might be a waste of time. As before, Julia was determined to succeed. At first she didn’t completely quit her outside jobs, but she was able to cut her hours in half while devoting the rest of her time to getting her home-based business off the ground.
She found other ways to supplement her missing half of income by doing odd jobs she had found online. She also placed ads offering services like writing papers, articles, doing research etc. Now things were seeming to come together for her. She was more enthusiastic than ever. Her family, however, thought she just had more time on her hands. Since she was home more, they assumed she had more time to spend doing things with/for them. Her time spent at the computer working wasn’t viewed as actual work to them. Her hours invested in growing her business and income was underappreciated and misunderstood.
Julia’s family couldn’t comprehend that, as with any business, a lot of time and effort are necessary to make it successful, especially in the beginning; working from home was no exception. Now and then she would slack off, giving family and friends the attention which was asked of her. At times she found it hard to keep motivated. Those were the times that hit hardest in the pocketbook. Little time investment meant little paychecks.
With much perseverance and determination, Julia did not give up. She joined support groups online of other women working from home. From them she learned many insightful things about managing her time and her family. Eventually, she came up with the idea of treating herself as her own employee. She scheduled regular work hours and days off, and no working holidays. Every month she issued herself a paycheck, putting any extra into a surplus account, which was able to help compensate for those times when business was slow and pay was little.
Over the months that followed there were many bumps in the road, but she was able to take them in strides, never letting an opportunity to learn new things about managing and growing her home business slip by. Julia is grateful to have choices in her life that would never have been available to her had she not stumbled upon that web site. The advantages have far outweighed the disadvantages of working from home. Being her own boss is not always a picnic, but Julia is happy to face any obstacle to maintain her new found way of life.
Her family still has times when they don’t quite fully understand the dynamics of working from home, but they’re coming around more and more all the time. They certainly cannot argue about the money side of things. Julia’s has been one of a few success stories, in comparison to the thousands of failed ventures every year. Many people do not succeed their first time out. She is truly blessed.
Authors Note: The character of Julia, in no way represents everyone I spoke to for the preparation of this article. She was created to represent a majority of which have been successful in their ventures working from home. I am deeply grateful to all who took the time to offer me their insights and stories. I found many more positive messages within them then negative, and so chose to show the upside of creating a home-based business, a happy ending, if you will.
The message I intend for you to walk away with is simple: If you have determination and the willingness to succeed; if you do your homework first before jumping in with both feet; if your plan of action is well thought out, you too may be successful in your goal to create a business at home.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog...

Everyone is blogging these days. Young and old alike are blogging their brains out. The funny thing is, some people don't even care if no one is reading it, they just want to blog for the sake of blogging. Others are hungry to share in some of the spotlight; they feel the need to air everything, for all the World to see.

Remember when you were a kid and were given your first diary? It was secret, hidden away for no other eyes to see. You would have died if any of the information collected in there were to 'get out'. I wonder what it is about sitting at a computer screen that makes us willing to bare all? Our World is full of public diaries. I think that says a lot about who we are as a people in 2009.

I personally, have a diary (journal, if you will) that has been very neglected since the start of my own blogging. Putting pen to paper is a dying form. It is a bit sad really, when you think about it. But here I am, more motivated than ever, typing away in my blog, as my diary sits not two feet away from me; probably wondering if I will ever open it's fine cover again.

I think it is wonderful we all have something to share with the World. But as I sit here now, I'm wondering if I might start keeping some things in my journal again; keeping some of my private thoughts private.

It's a break from my usual boring motivational spiel; just a random thought I've been mulling around my brain for a few days; and see, I just couldn't help but blog about it. LOL

It is okay, Journal...I still love you. I think I will save some time for you once in a while from now on; just so I can connect with the old-fashioned side of me again. I'm swept away with technology. I don't want to forget what brought me here. Good ol' pen and paper. Amen!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Criticism: The Door to Self-Improvement

Most people hate to be criticized. We feel as if we're being attacked if someone gives us an honest opinion and it's not the opinion we were hoping for. We have done our absolute best at something and want to be recognized for our accomplishments with praise. We are hurt if anyone finds fault or points out something from a different perspective. Even if somewhere inside us we secretly agree, it is instinct to protect our hard work and so we puff up our egos to sow disdain in their criticism. "Who are they to judge us?" we ask ourselves; when we probably asked for their opinion is the first place. They veered from the script we had intended to hear from them, and we are not amused.

Granted, some are better than others at accepting criticism. Even if it's not outwardly shown, everyone is at least a little hurt by negative remarks about anything they put so much time and effort into. We see ourselves as failures if we don't 'hit the mark' on the first go. We are a proud people, us humans. I doubt that little birdie building his nest in the tree out in the yard would care in the least what you thought about his efforts.

Ego is good. We all have one. The trick is learning to keep it in check. We have to teach ourselves to remain grounded, no matter how great our accomplishments have been. We are, after all, still human as everyone else. We are limited to our own sight. Having an outside opinion can open doors to areas we might never have considered had we not listened to what was said to us.

Most importantly, if we ask for a person's opinion, we have to be willing to accept it without becoming defensive. We have to ask ourselves, "Do I really want to know what this person thinks?"

The answer will all most always be, yes. The real question is if we are ready to hear it.

We are the worst critics of ourselves there are. We condemn everything we do at one point or another, until it is perfect to us and we are satisfied we have done our best. That is why we are so quick to defend ourselves. Learning to let go of our ego isn't an easy thing to do. Letting our work open for interpretation of others takes a thick-skin and a certain comfort level with our self. Until we can be comfortable knowing we will never perfect, we will never be able to accept honest criticism with on open mind.

Self acceptance and realization that we are fallible and imperfect are so necessary when we are reaching for our goals in life. We have to free up ourselves to mistakes. Allow ourselves to fall once in a while so we learn to pick ourselves up again and not quit. Acceptance equals determination. If we are determined to accept ourselves, our acceptance will determine who we are.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Have you ever been so excited about something that you suddenly discovered you were doing so many things at once you couldn't keep them straight? Lately I have been learning so many new things, I've been trying them all. I find that there aren't enough free hours in a day to keep track. It seems to me, as I sit here reflecting, that a certain someone (myself) wrote an article about not adding too many new activities to your day. [Let me take a break here to go back and read my own advice...]

Okay, now that I have reread my own writing...what the heck am I thinking! Obviously, I have not been walking the walk. I have taken so many new avenues over the last week, I find myself lost not knowing which direction to take throughout my day. It's great to be motivated, but not to the point of confusion; which is about where I am now. Not to mention that I am in no way completely knowledgeable in any of the tasks I'm attempting. That makes it all the more confusing, when you have no idea what you are actually doing. Luckily, my basic knowledge has kept me afloat; for now.

So I have sat myself down, and even as I write this, I am thinking of ways to thin things down a bit. I'm collating thoughts in my head and prioritising what I should do; could do, can't do, can wait to do. As you might guess, there is a lot going on in there [my head]. Amazing that I can put anything coherent into this article. [Again, let me take a break here to gather myself and find my direction...]

All right, once again having sorted out the garbage floating around my brain, I can now devote my full attention to finishing this article.

The point is: focus, direction, priority, ability. If I keep all those in mind, I can be motivated without being overwhelmed. A big lesson to learn when you are trying too hard to succeed at anything. Quality also suffers when you spread yourself too thin. It's impossible to give the best of yourself when you're caught up in quantity. I found that your brain will actually smoke if you try to input a vast quantity of information in a small amount of time. Moderation is the key to motivated motivation!

My message for the week: Take it easy. Slow down. Think things through. Keep it simple. Moderation and common sense.

Don't smoke your brain!