a WORD ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES and WHAT’S PERFECT?

There are opportunists and there are opportunities and I think it is important to clarify the distinction between the two. I am not in favor of an opportunist because by definition it is “A person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by principles or plans”.  On the other hand, I love opportunities and encourage all entrepreneurs to seek, create, and be open to every opportunity to promote you and your business so that your customers/clients are able to get to know the authentic you.

So in that vein, I want to say, “I had the opportunity to have my loft featured in the LA Downtown News”. It’s important to note however, that I created the opportunity for myself.  A lot of us wait for opportunities, but sometimes you have to grab your opportunity by the hand and say come on! When I first saw the special section, “What’s in my loft?” in the LA Downtown News, I thought, “I want to be featured in this section.” But how do they find me and learn about my loft, I wondered.  So I found out who published that particular section and I contacted them.  They followed up and asked to come photo shoot my loft!

I was so excited! The only problem was, the date they wanted to come, my husband had just started doing some work in the loft installing a TV in the wall, and he had drywall and all kinds of other materials all over the loft! This meant I had to postpone the feature because I couldn’t get things cleaned out to make my loft camera ready in time.  Skip to several months later, the LA Downtown News asked again! Awesome! Except one problem. My daughter needed to temporarily store her things in our loft while her remodel was completed.  This meant moving a king size bed into the main living area! I couldn’t postpone again! What if they decided to discontinue the feature? This was a conundrum, and especially at a time when I wanted everything to be perfect. This got me to thinking about entrepreneurs that are afraid to launch, entrepreneurs that want to wait until everything is perfect. I had to do it now, and hope that by the time the photographer came, my daughter’s furniture, including the bed would be gone.

That didn’t happen. With the bed still prominently displayed in the living area, the big moment arrived.  Sporting a smile on my face and a look that said everything is alright, I welcomed the interviewer and the photographer into my loft. Perfect is never perfect, and you are the only one that really knows the difference. If I wanted to say yes to this opportunity, I couldn’t wait for perfect. Besides, what’s perfect anyway?  I asked them to shoot around the bed, and this was the result on pages 10-12.

http://issuu.com/ladtn/docs/ladtn10-15-12?mode=embed&documentId=121013002332-16c82ffefa6c46d5888a1960bd5ef358&layout=http://www.ladowntownnews.com/app/issuu/basicGrey/layout.xm

xo, jan

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I FEEL PRETTY, OH SO PRETTY

Many days I do the same thing many women I know do.  I find my flaws and blow them up bigger than anyone ever would.  I focus on all the ugly parts of my body, and waste time wishing my legs were longer, my hair was different, my eyes stood out, my age wouldn’t show, or any number of things that I can’t change about how I look. I appreciate the wisdom and experiences I’ve had and I am grateful for many, many things, and it’s not that I’m not ok with the way I look, but I don’t feel pretty as Maria of West Side Story does when she sings.

I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

I feel pretty and witty and bright! 
And I pity 
Any girl who isn’t me tonight. 

I feel charming, 
Oh, so charming 
It’s alarming how charming I feel! 
And so pretty 
That I hardly can believe I’m real. 

The other day, I got an email asking for an updated headshot. I have a headshot and it isn’t that old, but the one I had didn’t work technically (don’t know why and not important), the thing was they needed a new one and that meant I had to prepare to get in front of a camera immediately because they needed it now! I didn’t feel like I looked my best, but at an event, I asked a very talented photographer to take a picture of me. She did a great job, but when I looked at it, I didn’t feel like I looked pretty. My friend Cyndi offered to take some more photos and so I decided to get a blow out before the shoot.  Cyndi suggested getting make-up done too, so I did that as well.  And something magical happened.

I feel pretty!

I felt pretty!! Oh so pretty!

One simple thing and it completely changed my outlook and made me feel confident.  I’ve included a picture taken right after hair and make-up.

So please remember, if you aren’t feeling so hot, do something that will make you feel better.  It might be as simple as taking a walk, putting on a new shade of lipstick, taking a step towards accomplishing your dream, changing your hair, or just getting a blow-out, but do something for you, and magic might happen.

xo, jan

p.s. The photo shoot turned out great. (Thanks Cyndi!) You will have to wait for the official photos from the photo shoot because they are for an exciting honor I will share with you at a later date.

DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?

I’ve been having trouble with my computer. Messages are popping up that I don’t understand so I took snapshots to show my daughters in hopes they could tell me what’s going on.  Their response was super helpful.  Make an appointment at the genius bar. So I did.  Yay, finally someone would actually hold my hand and tell me step by step what to do. I went in for my appointment and had to wait for 40 minutes.  The guy sitting next to me asked me what was wrong and I said that I was getting messages that I was running out of memory. Oh, he wanted to help and started asking me all kinds of questions.  “I don’t know,” I replied to most everything he asked me. Looking at my computer, he started telling me all these different things, but mainly that I had plenty of memory and now I needed to do this, that and something else, and then midstream of him helping me, his name was called and he abruptly left me in mid download.  Ugghhh!

Finally, my name is called. Mr super young all-knowing genius starts rattling off information.  I really have no idea what he is talking about. Here is the deal I say. I want to make sure I have enough memory to hold ALL my STUFF and if anything happens to my computer, I have everything backed up so I don’t lose it. Simple, right?  Eventually after going through all this dialogue, he tells me I need an external hard drive.  “Ok, what does that mean?” I ask. A new girl (about as young as is eligible to work) comes over to explain about my new choices of three different hard drives available for purchase. They range in price from $130 to $199.  I question the differences.  She doesn’t know, but they all have at least 2 Terabytes.  I don’t know what terabytes is either. When I ask for more explanation, she just looks at me like she can’t believe I just asked that dumb question. “Speak English to me I plead. I don’t know what a terabyte is. I don’t know what I have so I don’t know what I need. Is it like I have memory about the size of an apple (no pun intended, although in retrospect it is kind of funny that I should ask that! LOL!) and now you are trying to sell me a refrigerator or is a terabyte more like a big grapefruit. What’s the difference?”

I finally made my decision. Eventually she told me a terabyte was like the difference between a Honda Civic and an SUV for inquiring minds that want to know.  I’m not sure if it was actually an informed decision or not, but I bought a 2 Terabyte external hard drive.

The thing is, we need to speak to our customers in a language they can understand.  It was disturbing that upon visiting a different store with a completely different problem later that afternoon, that I found myself having a similar encounter.  Having this experience twice in one day has taught me the business lesson of clearly communicating, loud and clear!  I am going to do my best to ensure I am communicating to my customers in a language they can understand. Hopefully they all speak English.

xo, jan

ANYTHING is DEFINITELY POSSIBLE!

Watching this video reminds me that anything is possible.  Human nature tends to set limits on ourselves and think there are things we can’t accomplish, and yet this masterful artist reminds us that anything is definitely possible, if we set our mind to it or create an illusion.  Be the one that has others gaping at what you have accomplished with wide-eyed astonishment.   ANYTHING is POSSIBLE!

xo, jan

Enough

One thing that people may not know about me is that I’m really really good at getting out stains.  (That doesn’t mean that I want everyone coming to me for stain removal tips!) but I am the queen stain master!  I’ve honed my skills too, so that I know what works best for certain kind of stains and fabrics and I pride myself on the fact that I’ve never met a stain I couldn’t obliterate.  So imagine my utter frustration when in the span of two months, I actually had two separate pieces of clothing that I could not remove the stain.  I used every trick I knew. and finally, finally, I had to say, “enough is enough.”  I had to give up. Sometimes we have to recognize that something is bigger than we are and that the time and effort we are spending on that particular task is simply not worth it.  So if you see me walking around with little drips of chocolate on my cotton knit dress, you will know that this is the reminder that sometimes we have to let go and move forward to something else.

xo, jan

AN UNEXPECTED GIFT

sometimes we receive a gift when we least expect it. this morning i woke up to this beautiful bloom.  a bloom i’ve waited for since may, when i first received this gardenia bush as a gift from my daughter. gardenias are my favorite flower and are symbolic of my roots in the south, and a tie to my parents whom i miss very much. unexpected gifts give us hope and a look toward the future. xo, jan

 

 

“DO YOU FEEL LUCKY?”

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?” No, not as seen in the movie, Dirty Harry when Clint Eastwood asks a punk that question, but LUCKY as in seeing opportunities and creating your own luck.  I think I have shared one of my favorite quotes before, (ok, I have lots of favorite quotes!) but “The harder you work, the luckier you get” seems apropos for this post today.

LUCK happens when you seize opportunities that present themselves.

LUCK happens when you have the vision and the instinct to recognize that you can make something happen out of a situation and turn it into an opportunity.

LUCK happens when you keep your eyes open.

LUCK happens when you raise your expectations.

LUCK happens when you say out loud what you want.

LUCK happens when you take action.

LUCK happens when you show up.

LUCK happens when you ask for what you want.

LUCK happens when you believe in your dream.

LUCK happens when you work hard and never never never ever give up.

I got involved with Ladies Who Launch because I jumped on the opportunity as soon as it presented itself. LUCK happens when you take action

I got the opportunity to become the host of my own TV show because LUCK happens when you say out loud what you want and when you ask for what you want.

I had incredible things happen in my life because LUCK happens when you show up and it enabled me to make some incredible contacts AND friends who I treasure as part of my work or life every single day.

You can make this day and everyday, your lucky day! And when someone asks, “DO YOU FEEL LUCKY?” you can say,  “DAMN STRAIGHT I DO!”

xo, jan