I (Frankie) hate writing blogs. I guess that's kind of ironic since this is a blog, but it's true. I don't hate it because it's hard. It isn't really. You just write a paragraph or two about something you know, something you are interested in that you think others may be interested in also. Ah! There's the catch. What if no one else gives a flip about what you write about? What if it sucks? What if no one even clicks on it? What if…? My list of "what ifs" could go on forever, but you get the point.
Andrea and I have come up with a solution that makes bringing you a blog every week a little easier on us both. She writes one week and I write the next. I have to tell you though that the week that I don't write the blog, I'm still thinking about it and dreading when it does roll around to my turn. But, we keep writing blogs and keep putting them out there every week even though it isn't our most favorite thing to do.
Why do we keep writing blogs if we hate it so much? It's good business. It's that simple. In this day and age of everything electronic you almost have to have a blog to succeed with an online business. You just keep writing and one day you realize your reach has grown quite a bit and the majority of that growth has come from your blog. So, every week we put ourselves out there in the hopes of growing our reach and our business.
Moral of the story: There are going to be things in this life that aren't your most favorite things to do. It may be blogging or it may be cleaning the bathroom. Either way, you keep doing those things and hope that one day your hard work pays off, whether it be by growing your online presence or by no one getting sick from a germy bathroom during your summer cookout. Blog on!
Are you successful? Do you wake up in the morning thinking, I am successful, or I am becoming successful?
I (Andrea) think I have had success in some things. Do I consider myself “successful?” I’m not sure yet. Well, that’s a foolish answer. The truth is, no, I don’t feel successful yet. Because to me, being successful means that I will have achieved what I set out to do. And in the case of Coffee Talk Consulting, I’ll feel successful when I’ve been able to meet lots people from around the country and help them reach for a more independent work life.
So why am I talking about success today? Well, last week I was doing some research. And when you do research, you inevitably start down the internet rabbit hole, weaving to the left and right, finding interesting and unusual things buried about. And as I was weaving, I came across a website. It was a coaching site, and it was created by someone who was teaching (among other things) people how to become virtual assistants.
Of course, this is near and dear to my heart, so I decided to browse. The site looked professional and seems to have been in business for many years. As we here at CTC are into coaching, and we have worked for different coaches, we like to see what other people offer, and how much they charge. This is where things got sticky.
As best as I could figure out, it appeared to be about $2900 for four months of coaching. Let that sink in a bit. Twenty-nine hundred dollars. For that much money I want to move into the coach’s house and get three square meals along with the program. And use of a car.
So, yes, I had a big problem with the pricing. Because, if you’re just starting out, how do you have $2900 to spend? I know I didn’t when I started as a VA, and I came right out of a nicely-paid corporate job.
But I think the thing that bothered me the most is that, as I read and researched more, the coach really seemed to flaunt the financial success of the business by talking about trips and posting vacation photos to far away places few of us will ever see. I am thrilled to see people making use of their talents and being able to support themselves financially and grow a business. But I struggle with the idea that you must flaunt that success. You ask people for thousands of dollars, and then you show them where that money went. I think it’s an even bigger sore point because we have had the opportunity to provide VA support for someone who does coaching and training - and I absolutely know he makes more money that we’ll ever see. But you’d never know it. Not from his website, or Facebook page, or seeing him in person. He’s extremely successful.
I guess the moral of my story (and maybe it’s only a moral for myself) is this. I am not willing to have success at the expense of others. We’re here to help. To walk the path of success with you. Not to put you back financially for a year while we head off to a tropical destination.
Maybe I’ll never be overwhelmingly wealthy, but I will be a success.
I (Frankie) am not a psychologist or anywhere near that, but last time I had to choose a bathroom in public I qualified as a woman so I think that gives me the right to talk about this particular subject without having any special training.
I'm going to reveal a secret about being a woman. Sometimes we are in a bad mood for no reason. I know! It's a shock right? I'll let it sink in for a minute before I go on. Okay, are you over the shock? Good.
Sometimes it just happens. You have a great day. You go to bed and sleep well. You wake up and as soon as you open your eyes you know. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's going to be one of those days. You are totally, completely pissed off and you have no idea why. It doesn't matter how many times your husband or kids or friends say, "It has to be SOMETHING." That doesn't make it true. Sometimes it is absolutely NOTHING!
Now I'm going to reveal an even bigger secret. It's okay to have these kinds of days. You're allowed. There is no golden rule that says we have to be in a good mood all the time. And even if there was a rule, it would definitely be one that would be broken more than followed.
I've found the best way to handle these kinds of days is to just let them happen. I can't talk myself out of them. I can't exercise my way out of them. Sometimes nothing I do can get me out of those moods, so I just let them happen. I admit to myself that I'm in a bad mood for no good reason and I just go with that. I don't beat myself up or feel guilty. I just let it happen. And then the next day is always better.
So go ahead and have a bad day. If it's one of those days where you know nothing is going to make it better, then spend as much time by yourself as you can so you don't make your bad day someone else's bad day, and just let yourself wallow in it for a little bit. Admit it's just a crappy day and then let yourself be POed until you aren't anymore.
Tomorrow will be better. I promise.
I (Andrea) have heard over and over again, “why do I have to learn that? I’ll never use it in real life.” This phrase is especially true of every highschooler out there. (I’m sure I even said it a few times as I was growing up!)
Knowledge is an amazing thing. You acquire it - sometimes without even knowing - and a lot it is just sitting there in your head, waiting to be used. But it’s important that it’s there. You will use it, someday.
You’ve heard of the Heimlich Maneuver, right? That’s where you apply pressure to a choking person’s abdomen in order to help clear their airway. I’ll bet you didn’t know that Dr. Henry Heimlich, the creator of the maneuver, was still alive. (I didn’t!) He’s 96, and he lives in a senior living community in Ohio. But that’s not that cool part.
The cool part is that, just a few weeks ago, Dr. Heimlich actually had to perform his maneuver on a choking diner seated next to him.
For over 40 years he had been telling people about the maneuver, and had demonstrated numerous times, but this was “the big one.” This time he actually had to perform it on an actual choking victim.
So I want you to start your day today (and every day) soaking up knowledge. Learn something. Each time. All the time. It’s important. You may not use it today or tomorrow. Or not even this decade. But someday, when it’s needed, you’ll be there and you’ll be able to help.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.