IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

“Dreams are renewable.  No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” 

What is it that makes us think that at some point we need to stop dreaming? What obstacle could be so big that we push aside our dreams and keep doing the same old thing, day after day?  Life is short. I am of a certain age and I have never felt more confident, more sure, more willing to take risks, and more capable.  Part of that new found power comes from the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out, so what, who cares.  So let the possibilities begin and let your dreams come true.  As long as you are alive, it is never too late to be what you might have been.  

xo, jan

THE GRAVEYARD IS THE RICHEST PLACE ON EARTH

One of my favorite motivational speakers is Les Brown and he once said something to the effect, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.” I sincerely hope that you will take that advice to heart and not let your dream die with you. I sincerely hope that whatever you want to do that you will not let anyone or anything stop you.  Just imagine if Mozart had never written his music, Steve Jobs had never brought us APPLE (oh god!, I don’t’ want to imagine!), Disney had not developed his park, and Shakespeare had not written his plays. Of course the list goes on and on and we can learn a lesson from every business we know. It takes determination to stay in the game. The future is up to you and you choose.  I hope you choose to share your dream with the world and help to make it a better place and a richer place.

Customer Service and Another Way to Skin A Cat

Sorry for the cat reference.  No disrespect intended.  

The other night we went out to dinner with a friend to Delancey’s.  It isn’t necessarily my favorite restaurant because the service has never been that stellar, but oh how I love the vodka pasta!  So when we went the other night, I wasn’t surprised when the hostess was rude but I was dismayed when she told me we would have to eat in the bar or lounge (both were full) because we didn’t have a reservation, even though there were several tables open.  I walked around the lounge and bar looking to see if anyone was going to get up and leave soon, but no, everyone looked as though they had just arrived or were settling in for a long winter’s night.  How long will the wait be, I asked. Again.  She finally answered an hour and a half.  I went back to find my friend and shared the sad news.  He looked up at me smiling and said, “I just booked us a reservation through open table for 7:30.” It was 7:28!  For tonight?!! Yep, he said, Are you sure? I asked again.  Yes, Yes, and with ultimate delight, shared the news with the same hostess that had just told us we couldn’t get a table for an hour and one half!  Her anger was quite evident as she had to seat us immediately!  Will I go back?  I’m not sure.  Maybe I will get my vodka pasta to go next time.  But I will never ever forget that we were able to bypass their hour and one half wait!  And in a time when customer service rules, Delancey’s better watch their back.  

xo, jan

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?

Ok, so a popular little quip that’s going around these days is “what’s your number?” .  Just recently, the Celebrity Apprentice used it in conjunction with an ad campaign for a mop. Really?  A mop?  Of course the reference is to ” how many people you have slept with?” so it is a little racy, but certainly garners attention.

I’m not about to visit that subject and don’t want to know your history either, LOL!, but…… I do like numbers.  (Well, not adding or subtracting or figuring out statistical things) but I like grouping things in numbers and have a few favorite numbers I might use in selecting a lottery ticket.  This year, ONE of my favorite numbers is 12.  To help me get certain number of things accomplished, I list my top 12 things to do a day and check them off as they are DONE.  Some of them are regular things like walking, blogging, and drinking at least 57  (another favorite number) oz of water a day.  Other items on my list include phone calls, meetings, errands, emails, etc.  Listing my top 12 gives me a sense of accomplishment and organization. It helps me to see what I really need to do so that it isn’t fighting for space in my head to remember what I need to do.  Apparently Obama responds to 10 written letters each day. That sounds like a good thing to do.  Whatever your number, you decide what is reasonable and manageable, and watch your stress level go down as you check off one task after another.  What’s your number will add up to a whole lot of numbers getting done. And that makes for a happy entrepreneur!

THE CHOICE THAT IS MINE

I’m a girl that likes choices, especially when I go on a trip.  I want clothes for if the weather is cold, and if the weather is warm, then of course I need clothes that will work in that climate too. I always take my own pillow 🙂 and It probably goes without saying that I want an assortment of shoes, different bags, all my beauty products, reading materials if I’m stuck somewhere or have free time.  So on the last trip I took, I packed my suitcase with plenty of choices.

This trip was a chance to spend time with my brother, but also a chance to do a lot of sightseeing. So keeping that in mind, each morning my choice of what to wear came down to pretty much the same one or two outfits and comfortable shoes.  I realized this happens every time I take a trip, regardless of the activities. I stick to two or three outfits almost always!  So this trip, as I lugged this overpacked suitcase through long corridors and a crowded airport, I made a choice that is mine; never again will I pack “everything I own”, just so I can have multiple choices. It also got me to thinking about all the extra luggage and choices we carry in our business. The extra weight keeps us from being efficient.  Overstuffed and overpacked businesses keeps us from staying focused on what we need to focus on, as well as the extra costs we incur from all that extra baggage we may be purchasing. So think about trimming the fat, bringing into your business no more and no less than what you really need to operate. You may just find that you feel lighter, more energetic, have more money, and more success!

 

xo, jan

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.”

Once upon a time, a student came to math class, exhausted from working two jobs. He was a dedicated student, receiving funding based on a high point grade average, but this day he fell asleep during class time.  He awoke just in time to copy the two problems listed on the board for homework.  Frantic and feeling guilty at not paying attention during instructions about the assignment, he stayed up all night working on the difficult problems, until finally, he solved them both. At the next class, he apologized to the instructor that his homework was a bit messy, explaining he did not have a chance to recopy it.  The instructor looked at the student in astonishment. The problem her student had completed had never been solved before!!!   And since he had fallen asleep and never heard the instructions, he didn’t know that it was considered unsolvable.

Before and after we launch a business, we constantly get messages telling us we can’t.  We can choose to listen to the critics.  We can choose to give up when the going gets tough.  We can choose to let a brick wall stop us in our tracks.  And we can succumb to the fact that what we are trying to do has never been done before. Or, we can fly anyway, we can solve the problem, anyway, we can go around the roadblock or think outside the box, anyway!.  Ignorance is bliss and sometimes, it is the best attitude to take when it comes to being in business!

xo, jan

WHAT IS THE LEGACY YOU WILL LEAVE BEHIND?

While vacationing in Williamsburg, VA, this week, I’ve visited all the historical sights of course.  It was particularly interesting today as I went down the famous Duke of Glouchester St and listened to several actors (clad in traditional dress and assuming the role of shopkeeper, cabinet maker, furniture maker, tavern owner) discuss their beliefs, concerns, and business practices.

What would someone say about me a 100 or so years from now? How would they describe my business and what I did?  What kind of impact would they say I had made, if any?  I realize that although I tend to live in the future with most of my actions regarding my personal life, my business operates in the present. I want to start thinking forward and help decide what my legacy will be rather than letting it just happen.  I want to be the business owner that people speaking about me in the future will talk about my passion, my desire to help women realize their dream, my commitment to my students and becoming a great instructor, my ability to connect and help bring together joint ventures and life changes among individuals, my innovation and bright ideas. So starting today, I will direct my actions with the future in mind and the legacy I want to leave behind.

xo, jan