Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Business Boutique: Notes & Quotes

fullsizerender-14I totally forgot to post about this event after attending in November. Maybe that’s because I feel like I sat with it so long, which is a good thing. One of the facets that I really liked about this event was that the notebook also served as a workbook. So, I’ve had it sitting out since coming back from Nashville just waiting to finish my homework. I’d intentionally set it aside for this year’s personal retreat (more on that soon!), so really, I think my conference experience just ended.

Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a conference aimed for Christian women entrepreneurs. She started as a Dave Ramsey coach and speaker, and has now moved into this niche, which I believe will thrive. Business Boutique is extremely practical, which I appreciated most of all. And one of the most interesting pieces of the event to me was that it’s aimed at dreamers, starters and builders. The “dreamers” were the people I found most fascinating. I’d never seen a conference aimed at people who had no idea what they want to do! I talked to several of these ladies, and they confirmed that they either had a super vague idea (“I want to sell something online.”) to no idea (“I am open to anything. I just want a change.”) There were also a wide variety of women there from young moms looking for a career or something to contribute to their family, to new or established business owners, to retirees looking to begin again. It was kinda fun to hear the range of stories, backgrounds and ideas.

Outside of this two-day annual event in Nashville, she also has a really good podcast and a series of one-day events around the U.S. during 2017. Her events are extremely affordable, and a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend this conference to other Christian women entrepreneurs!

But for now, here are just a few of my take-aways:

Christy Wright:

  • Your dream should be so big that if God’s not in it, you’ll fail.
  • If you set your goals before the why, dreams, vision, and mission statement, your goals have no soul.
  • You’ll be the most successful when you stay in your strengths.
  • Stay true to yourself by building your business around your personal values.
  • When talking about your business, focus on the benefit to the customer, not the features of the business. Start with why.
  • If you don’t believe in the goodness of business and making money, you’ll never have a good business or make money.
  • Turning your hobby into a business requires a mind-set shift. Its no longer a part of you. The business is its own thing.
  • You teach others how to value you. If you don’t value your work, no one else will.
  • Faith and fear require you to believe in something that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Fear doesn’t mean you’re doing something bad. It means your doing something bold.
  • Anything that tears you down is not from God.
  • Creating balance in your life comes down to what you spend your time on.
  • Stress and anxiety are caused when there is a disconnect between our values and our behavior.
  • Life balance is simply living from your values.
  • Jesus wasn’t focused on the need. He was focused on the assignment.

Dave Ramsey:

  • Goals must be specific.
  • Goals must be measurable.
  • Goals must have a time limit.
  • Goals must be yours.
  • Goals must be in writing.

Rachel Cruz:

  • Quite the comparisons.
  • Steer clear of debt.
  • Make a plan for your money.
  • Think before you spend
  • Save like you mean it.
  • Give a little…until you can give a lot.
  • Talk about money, even when its hard.

Christine Caine:

  • Impossible is where God starts.
  • You can’t change your past, but you can change your future.
  • Just be willing.
  • God has a plan, purpose and destiny for your life.
  • God always uses unlikely people.
  • It’s the job of the people of God to carry the message of God to their generation.
  • You’ve got to make a decision that what God did for you is bigger than what someone else did to you.
  • A word you’ll never find in the Bible is retirement.
  • Leave a gap in your business that only God can fill.
  • You’re going to have to take a step of faith to step into your God-given gifts.
  • Do not say no when God says go!

Hillary Scott:

  • One door closing is not all of them closing. Resilience and perseverance are required.
  • Have wise counsel and mentors.
  • Be humble enough to ask questions.
  • Remember you’re defined not by others, but by Who created you.
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – CS Lewis

Amy Porterfield:

  • Social media works when you know your ideal customer identity.
  • Social media works when you create original content that serves your ideal customer.
  • Your content should be aligned with, but separate from, your product.
  • Social media works when you ignite action.
  • What does your ideal audience need to experience, be aware of, or believe in in order to want or need your product/service?

Nicole Walters:

  • Sales is not about pushing; it’s about influencing.
  • Sales comes from confidence and confidence is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
  • Be kind, but firm. Be specific.
  • It’s your God-given duty to share your gifts with the world.

Donald Miller:

  • Demonstrate empathy and authority.
  • Solve internal and external problems.
  • Give customers a plan.
  • Make your call to action clear.
  • Define how you will improve people’s lives.


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Happy New Year!

Happy 2017 to you! Before I move on to this next year, I’m taking a moment to look back at the past 12 months. Here are just a few of my highlights!

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-39-25-am

 


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RENEW: 2016 in Review

0srgmqwaxz0-wayne_ooone-wangWhew—What. A. Year. It’s been a crazy one, but mostly in good ways!

If you recall, my word for 2016 was RENEW. It came to me instantly, and was a breath of fresh air. I was really looking forward to this year because I couldn’t wait to see what these months would hold in the face of such mental exhaustion just one year ago. And it didn’t disappoint!

The first few months of 2016 were all about setting up to leave my job well. I had a date in mind when January began, but I had a lot of work to do in the meantime. Not only did I have several events to manage with my job, but I also wanted to put more systems in place to make it easier on my replacement. And I think I did a good job on both. I still have great relationships with my old co-workers, and love the mission of the company, so I wanted to make sure things were taken care of. It wasn’t just about not burning a bridge; it was about being someone of integrity.

I left at the end of May, and took most of June off. It was a very welcome respite! Of course, I would’ve loved to have a six-month vacation, but finances just didn’t allow. So, I enjoyed every moment of the down time mostly by sleeping, binge-watching TV shows and catching up with friends. It was glorious, and I look forward to my next extended vacation!

July was my official first month. I’d already been working on a freelance project, actually my first to sign on after I announced self-employment, but this is where I kicked in high gear. And several people had also already told me they’d like to work with me when I made the leap, so I reached out and was soon consumed with work! July was actually my most lucrative month.

From August through December, I’ve had steady work as well. Some months were, of course, better than others, but I knew that would be the case. It takes time to grow a client base. However, I’ve been extremely blessed to work so far solely with people I know first-hand and referrals. In the less busy months, I’ve worked on my own website and branding, and am excited to show that to you in a couple of weeks! There were also plenty of admin tasks to keep me busy. I also just hired a business coach, and have enjoyed that process. It’s quite challenging, but it will help set me up strong for 2017.

So, that’s the business side of things.

On the more touchy-feeling aspects of life, those have improved as well. I’ve seen additional improvement in my health now that I sleep more and work less, and am not wasting as much energy on brushing my hair and getting dressed most days! I do miss my long commute for the purpose of listening to audiobooks, but I’m learning to enjoy podcasts more now.

And the mental exhaustion is sooooo much better. I still have stress, obviously, because who doesn’t, but it’s different. It’s self-imposed now. I really dislike bookkeeping and HR duties, but the tradeoff still can’t be beat. I also love being my own boss, and the flexibility in my job.

I was also able to travel a good bit this year, and you know I loved that! As before, conferences made up a good bit of my travel schedule. But I wouldn’t really have it any other way. My biggest travel milestone also came this year when I took my first solo international trip to Barcelona! It was a place I’d wanted to visit since I was in high school, and it was fantastic! I hope to go back one day.

On my Barcelona trip, I turned 40! Another milestone. Wow—so hard to believe! I think I handled it well, but it’s still rough looking back to see the things I would’ve changed. I think that’s human, though. The hardest part, which has been mostly out of my control, is knowing I have had health challenges since I was 35. I spent the entire latter half of my 30s sick. That’s not fun at all, and it makes me really sad to see how much time has passed. I’ve still been able to do some incredible things over the past few years, but it definitely held me back in a lot of ways. All I can do is look forward, though, and make the days to come count. I’m holding on to RENEW for a little longer.

Like many of you, there are goals that I didn’t hit. There are things I wish I’d done better, or done at all. There are things I regret. There are short-comings and wishes and plenty of what if’s. But tomorrow, God willing, we all get another chance to try again. I just watched Finding Dory on my last plane ride, so when things get though, I’ll “just keep swimming.”

I’m mostly quite happy with RENEW. It has served me well, and taught me a lot. And really, that’s exactly what a word for the year should do!

I’ve already got my word for 2017, and I’ll share it soon! Until then, be thinking of yours!


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Merry Christmas!

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-10-28-07-am“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

You’ve probably heard that line. It’s one of my favorite holiday stories. In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun. It’s gone on to become the most reprinted newspaper article in history. And, in my opinion, it’s absolutely beautiful.

A few years back, I decided I wanted a nice copy of it, so I bought this book which recounts the tale. I read it every year because it’s full of hope, joy and magic. So, if you’ve heard of the story, but never read the actual article, I wanted to share it with you:

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.”

——

“VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

 

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. It’s been a rough year for our country, and our world. And we all need a little more to believe in.

May you be blessed, and share the blessing.

Merry Christmas!

 

(Source: Newseum, which by the way, is an awesome place to visit.)

(Note: Amazon link is an affiliate link.)

 


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My 2016 Reading List Recap

pexels-photo-46274If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably realize how important acquiring knowledge is to me. I love learning! And up until June, I did most of that through Audible books on my commute. However, now that I work from home, I didn’t make it through as many books as I normally would during a year. That was probably the only bummer about losing my commute. But I made a big attempt during the first half of the year to compensate, and I’ll certainly squeeze in another one or two during my holiday travels.

Here’s my recap:

If you need more suggestions, here are my previous lists:

And if you’re in a short or no commute situation like me, but you still want to learn, try podcasts. I began substituting more podcasts for books since they are shorter, but still convey a lot of information. Here are the ones that top my list:

Interested in trying Audible? Click the image below.

*30 days of membership free, plus two free audiobooks to keep.
*1 credit a month after trial, good for any book regardless of price.
*Exclusive members savings. Get 30% off any additional audiobooks.
*Easy exchanges. Don’t love a book? Swap it for free, anytime. Seriously.

HAPPY LEARNING!

(Note: Amazon/Audible links are affiliate links.)