For me, that question is very easy to answer. I'm never happier than when I'm surrounded by the ones that I love. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to me and I wouldn't trade it for anything. When I'm with my family, nothing else matters. I am at peace.
I also find happiness in my work. I know that sometimes I complain, but I have to admit that I have a pretty amazing work life. I get to work from home with a phenomenal group of counselors at Eddins Counseling Group, and I am co-owner of this kick booty company called Coffee Talk Consulting. I never dreamed that I would be co-owner of anything so this is pretty great for me.
I just want you to understand how very important it is to be happy in all aspects of your life. Enjoy your family and friends. You'll argue, sure, but you'll get over it. Love what you do for a career. Money is important, but it's much more important to be happy with what you do. And always remember while you're pursuing happiness, to take time to just be happy.
I spent a lot of years looking for something to make me happy without ever stopping to actually be happy. I've learned to slow down and just enjoy the happiness that has found me. It took me awhile to get here, but I'm here now and I hope you'll join me.
Leave us a comment and let us know where you've found your happiness.
Before you go to the dentist, do you brush your teeth first? Before you get a manicure, do you trim your nails? Before you get your physical do you frantically work out in the hopes of dropping a few pounds?
Yes, you do. I do. We all do.
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago as I was getting ready for a manicure appointment. I hadn’t had one in years, and I was treating myself because it was my anniversary. As I was getting ready, I pulled out a nail file to shape my cracked, snaggly nails so that they would look okay for the manicurist.
And then I realized how stupid I was being. Why am I trying to make my nails look better? Isn’t that the whole point of paying for a manicure?
We do this a lot, with so many things in our lives, and it’s really the wrong thing to do. When I gain a new client for my VA business, I don’t want them telling me how great they are and how great everything is going. That’s not why they’re hiring me. I can’t help them if I don’t know know all the ugly. I can’t change things if I don’t know what the “pain points” are for my client.
Why are we all looking for help, and then pretending we don’t need it?
The best way to succeed is by identifying all the problems that are happening. If you have a client or customer, you need to know what their problems are and then you can solve them.
What's Mule Day you ask? Here is an excerpt directly from the Mule Day Website:
Mule Day is an annual celebration of all things related to mules and is held in Columbia, Tennessee, the “Mule Capital” of the world. Begun in 1840 as “Breeder’s Day”, a meeting for mule breeders, it now attracts over 200,000 people and takes place over seven days. In addition to mules, traditional Appalachian food, music, dancing, and crafts are featured.
Did you see that? Over 200,000 people! What? I (Frankie) had no idea about this when I moved to Columbia, TN in 2010. Columbia isn't a huge town and 200,000 is a whole lot of people. I get road rage on a regular Tuesday around here because I feel like there's too much traffic for such a small town. Can you imagine how I am when over 200,000 new people roll into town for seven days? It isn't pretty.
For a long time I just held my tongue about Mule Day. It's kind of an old tradition, 1840, and I thought maybe it brought some revenue to the town. I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. Maybe through the week some of our small, locally owned businesses do some extra sales, but I found out this year that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Mule Day week, most of those close. They have to. They can't get to work to open shop even if they wanted to. Most locals actually leave town that weekend. Some make sure to plan their vacations for the whole week so they don't have to deal with the crazy overcrowding of our town.
It's really not fair to those of us that live here year round. I'm sure the influx of people does help with our revenue on some level, but is it worth it? There are a ton of us that walk at our local park every day. The county made a walking trail just for us and we love it. Mule Day is held at the park. There are signs that designate where to park trailers and tell them not to have mules or horses on the walking trail. I went to walk the Thursday of Mule Day this year and I couldn't. Not only could I not find a parking spot, trailers were parked all across our trails and of course the whole walking trail was littered with crap…literally. It was awful. I missed four days walking because of it, and I know I'm not the only one.
You may think I'm just being a crybaby here, but I'm really not. I do have a point. Sometimes we think what we're doing for our work from home or brick and mortar business is a good thing. Maybe we keep doing things the way we've always done it because that's what has worked in the past. Maybe we start doing some new fangled crap because we think we need to get with the times and try some new ideas. All I'm saying is whatever you do; make sure it's actually good for your business and your clients. Adapt and evolve, but don't alienate. You can't make everyone happy all the time, but you can sure give it a try.
And don't bring in 200,000 new clients and expect your old clients to be happy.
Do you think holding onto traditions is a good or bad thing? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Last week my husband and I (Andrea) went away for a couple of days for our 15th anniversary. We choose a hotel/casino “resort” a few hours from home. Because, well, let’s face it. We haven’t been anywhere since our son was born, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I don’t know how many of you have been to a casino before. I’ve been to Las Vegas once. I’ve wandered around a couple of the casinos in Detroit and Windsor. And I tried my hand at the roulette wheel way up north years and years ago. I am not any type of gambler. And I don’t mean this blog to be anti-gambling. Don’t take it as that. But, as a newbie and outsider of the whole casino craze, I want to describe what I saw, and what I thought about it.
Machines. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of machines. Ready to take your money. Great. I know slot machines are the worst thing to do in a casino, but they’re easy and no-brainer. (Which is where I go. Tables are intimidating to me.) In front of those hundreds and hundreds of machines where hundreds and hundreds of people.
Sitting. And sitting. And sitting. Now, when I was in Vegas decades ago, you still had to drop quarters in and pull a lever. Today everything is a plastic card and buttons. Put your players card into the machine and click the button. Click the button. Click the button.
These people are sitting there for hours and hours. Clicking and clicking. The majority of them were seniors. Several in wheel chairs. Some with oxygen tanks. Sitting and clicking. The rest of the people were middle-aged. Smoking. Drinking. Sitting. Clicking.
My husband and I played video poker. Well, I played video blackjack. And after a few minutes I found myself zoning out. Not really thinking about the buttons. Just sitting and clicking.
And waiting for something to happen.
Sit. Click. Wait. Hope.
If you’ve seen the TV commercials for casinos (if you have them in your area), everyone is laughing, celebrating, throwing their arms up in the air because THEY WON!!!! WOO HOO! I never saw that. I never saw anyone cheer. I never saw anyone jump up and say “Finally! I finally won! YESSSS!!!!”
Sit. Click. Wait. Hope.
Pushing a button in the hopes of winning is not winning.
Sitting around in the hopes of something happening does not make it happen.
Waiting for your success does nothing.
I titled this blog “It’s a Complete Waste of _________!” Fill in the blank. It could be time. It could be money. It could be resources. It could be effort. You pick the word that is going in there. What are you doing that’s a complete waste of you? What are you doing that has you sitting around, clicking, waiting, hoping?
You have to DO something. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, TAKE ACTION! Get off your ass and walk away from the machine that is wasting your life away and go LIVE YOUR LIFE. You want to win? Go out, take action, and make yourself a winner. No one, no machine is going to do that for you.
Get off your ass, find your path and do it.
Planning for vacation is a wonderful thing. At least it is for me. I get really excited just thinking about those days off that are coming up. I get caught up on work, let clients know I'm going to be off and take care of any other arrangements so I can just sit back and enjoy my time of no work. But, what happens when I'm sick or an emergency comes up and I have to take an unplanned day off? Where does that leave me and my clients?
I (Frankie) hate pretty much anything that isn't planned. I mean, I can be spontaneous sometimes, but mostly I just want a solid plan. So, when I get sick or an emergency comes up and I have to take an unplanned day off work, it really throws me for a loop and when I get to return to work, whether that is the next day or a week later, everything is a mess. I despise a mess. I can't work in a mess. Even though I work from home, everything has a place and everything is in its place. Clutter and disorganization are not my friends.
So, what do you do to keep things running smoothly when you have to take an unplanned day off? You plan for an unplanned day off. Huh? Yeah, let me 'splain. After a couple times getting sick or an emergency coming up and having to take off work unplanned, I learned a few things. I learned that if I don’t do some preemptive planning for these situations, not only will work be a mess when I come back, but so will I. I'll be so anxious about getting things caught up that I won't be able to get anything done! So, I've started doing little things to help me be a little better prepared if I have to take an unplanned day off work.
Do a little extra each day. I know some of us have a hard time getting done what we're supposed to get done every day much less doing extra work. But, let me tell you that a little extra work today will put you in a much better place if you have to take an unexpected day off tomorrow.
If you blog, keep a few ahead. This one is big for me. I write a blog for CTC every Thursday. If I keep a few written in advance I don't have to worry if something happens Wednesday night because my blog is already written and scheduled.
Make a plan with your boss and/or clients. Go ahead and talk with your boss/clients about how you will handle unexpected time off. Having a plan in place for situations like this takes the pressure off you and your clients because neither of you are scrambling around wondering what you're going to do. If you have a boss, it's really important to discuss a backup plan with them in case you're unexpectedly off work so they know the most important work will still get done.
Those are just a few things you can do to help plan for an unplanned day off. If you have more suggestions on planning for unplanned days off, let us know in the comments.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.