I (Andrea) don’t know what sentence is supposed to come after that.
I wanted to talk about this, because his death is important to me (and to Frankie, too). His death ends a significant part of my childhood. Some people heard him on the radio. I grew up listening to him. Endlessly. He was there for all the good times, the bad times, the fun times. He was there driving down the highway on a sunny day. He was there on a lonely evening. His albums were scattered everywhere around me. In college I had a five foot tall poster (yeah, just about life size!) in my dorm room. His concerts were amazing.
When the person that’s “with you” in those formative years of your life dies, all those dreams you dreamed, all those futures you created when you were listening - they all start to fall apart. Because, for the first time, that beautiful, happy past of hopes and wishes crumbles. And it starts to make you realize that those dreams aren’t going to last either.
The things that are behind you start to fall away, and you begin to realize you’re older. When our heroes and idols and connections from the past die, our past, that little nook we keep in our brain of those happy times, it begins to die. And it begins to push us forward in the now. It forces us to look forward into the actual future. There’s no more fondly remembering and dreaming. There’s only you looking forward and what you’re going to do, because there’s not much time left.
You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. This might be the last blog I type. As you read this, maybe someone is mowing me over in the Kroger parking lot. None of us know what will happen next, but we should all be making the most of it and actively pursuing those things we want out of life.
Each morning I(Frankie) walk 4 miles at our local park. I started doing this on my health and weight loss journey. I continue to do it because it is one of the most therapeutic things I do. I don't listen to music or talk on the phone or anything else. I just walk and think. Sometimes I even talk to myself. I work through problems and come up with solutions, even finding inspiration along the way to write a blog, which brings me to the Puff Puff Sip Lady.
I started noticing that if I walk around 9 or 9:30 am, I see a certain lady. She parks in the same spot, which just happens to be right on my walking route. She gets out of her car and has a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. She stands by her car and takes a puff or two off her cigarette and then a sip of coffee, then a puff then a sip, a puff and a sip…It goes on this way through two cigarettes and the whole cup of coffee. Quickly. Efficiently. She then throws the cup away and gets in her car and drives off.
Normally I wouldn't be bothered by this. But the fact is, I am. It upsets me enough that sometimes it ruins my walk. I've even started going earlier in the morning, around 7 am, just so I don't have to see this lady.
Here's the thing. I love coffee. And I used to smoke and I loved smoking. Sure, there were times when I had to be in a bit of a hurry and down a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette fairly quickly, but every time I drank a cup of coffee, every time I smoked a cigarette, I ENJOYED it. Most times I made a big deal of it. I would plan those little breaks so I would have enough time to really enjoy that coffee and cigarette. I'd go outside and get a comfy seat and sit back and enjoy every puff, every sip. And when I was done, I was happy.
I know cigarettes are bad for your physical health. That’s why I quit. But if you're going to smoke, then enjoy it. Cigarettes are bad for you whether you enjoy smoking them or go about it like an airplane on autopilot. So enjoy it. If you're going to have that coffee, enjoy it. Take the time to really taste it. Let that warm feeling wash over you.
This blog isn’t about smoking or cigarettes or whatever your vice and/or indulgence happens to be. (Chocolate, exercise, traveling..) My point is that whatever you do in life, enjoy it. If you're not enjoying what you do, you should probably rethink what you're doing and why you’re doing it. Whether you're smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of coffee, or working at a job, if you aren't enjoying it, if you aren’t happy with it, then really, what's the point?
Do you have chaos in your life?
Chaos creeps in when things aren’t organized. It rears its ugly head when you take on too much without making a plan of action.
What is chaos? Chaos wakes you up in the middle of the night. It screams “Let’s go! Do this! Do that! Get up! You can still get a few hours of work done! Why aren’t you thinking of this? Why aren’t you doing that? You forgot all about those things!” Chaos makes you skip breakfast. Chaos makes you not exercise. Chaos puts your dreams behind everyone else’s.
We all get confronted by chaos. How we address it - how we move forward beyond it - is what matters.
Allowing chaos to get the better of you doesn’t help you to be successful. Instead it helps you to be fatigued, stressed and irritated. It doesn’t show you that you’re full of ideas and a real go-getter. It tells you that you’re becoming unfocused and that you are trying to do too many things at once.
Are you feeling the stress and struggle of building your dream to work at home due to chaos? Are you feeling discouraged because of it? It’s okay if you are. But rather than let that chaos prevent you from achieving anything, let’s talk about what you can do that will help you calm that chaos and refocus your goals.
Have a Daily Plan
It’s so important to plan out your day. I don’t mean down to the very minute, but I want you to have a list of things you’d like to accomplish for the day. Notice that I said like to. Because you can’t control everything around you, and even the best plans fall apart from outside influence. (Note: My plan yesterday was to get some additional tasks around the house done. What actually happened was I had to go out in a blizzard for four new tires!) The plan will help you remember what you want to accomplish and keep you on track.
Schedule a Time for Your Business Goals
Each day I want you to have a set time where you think about your business. Only your business. Even if you don’t have a business yet. Even if it’s just a dream right now. Schedule yourself just 15 minutes, if that’s all you have. And do some real thinking (and note taking!) about what you want to see happen. What is your ultimate goal? Where do you see yourself? How do you get there?
Let the Day End at the End of the Day
This is probably the hardest thing to do. Stop doing. Stop thinking. Stop working. If your day ends at 5pm, end it there. If it ends at 7pm, end it there. Close the office, put the vacuum away, kick off the shoes and get your jammies on. Relax. Be comfortable. Spend time with your family. Nothing else should matter now. Don’t worry about what you didn’t get done. Get a great night’s rest and start fresh with a new plan in the morning. Calm the chaos and refocus yourself to #dosomething great.
That's a tough question to ask. Or perhaps it's more of a tough question to answer. How do you know when you're ready?
The truth is, you're never going to be as ready as you should be. Or want to be. If you have been training for a marathon, you may get up to the starting line and then start having doubts. What if I'm not ready? What if I didn't practice enough? What if my body isn't strong enough? Did I drink too much water this morning? Should I have had that water?
When you get to that starting line - and even before - you begin to question yourself. You begin to wonder what it is that you're doing and why you're doing it. Am I strong enough to do this? Am I ready to take on something this big, all on my own?
Maybe there's never a perfect moment where everything is in order and you're ready to start your work at home journey. But there are definitely moments when it's right, and moments when you need to wait a while longer.
We'd love to help you figure out exactly what moment you're at. Just take our free assessment (yes, it's free!) and we'll review it and reply back with our thoughts on where you are and where you need to be going. No strings attached, really! We want to help you get started, and this is a great first step.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.