Posts tagged ‘business’

Summary Saturday/Sunday: Working with Change

This weekend came at the tail end of some big change.  I left my full-time warehouse position on Friday and finished up my Spanish II tutoring Saturday morning.  I am relieved to have completed both of those, but I feel like I haven’t gotten a chance to breathe yet — and maybe I won’t!  There are things to do.   Goals to accomplish.   Gotta get moving.

It is a pattern of mine to be busy, and I’m taking a look at that.  Part of it is that I seem to fall apart without structure.  Another is that it’s an excuse not to look at my goal, purpose, and ideal.  Having downtime means having time to think, to reflect.  Busyness means I ain’t got time for that.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Based on my experiences from the last days, the next few weeks are going to mean a couple of things for me.

  1. Baby Steps.  I feel a swelling panic within me because of the huge projects lurking over me; i.e.  starting my business, securing supplemental income, and cleaning the whole house.  If I panic, I will shut down.  I will procrastinate or do nothing at all.  So, my first plan is to find the mini goals within the big goal and schedule them and knock ’em out.  If the little goal still seems like too much, I will break it down even further.  For example: getting myself completely organized and the house completely clean turns into: Cleaning all of my excess stuff (changes of clothes, school books and papers, old winter jacket!, out of the car and dumping it in the kitchen.  Next small step: taking things off of the kitchen table and putting it back where it belongs — a few items at a time.  Also,  I’m wanting to set up a new bank account for the business, and I’m considering a local institution.  Seems daunting!   My baby step can be calling them up to get some info.  Or researching them for a few minutes.  If I’m being perfectionistic about setting things up, maybe I drop in and talk with someone first and then come again another time.  Anything to get me started.
  2. Stay Solid, But Stay Open.  I feel I don’t do well with change, especially anything that originates from an outside source.  One of my metaphysics classmates said that she struggles with change and that it’s a “Virgo” thing, and — as a fellow Virgo — I pounced on it as a convenient excuse for my limitation.  I know from experience and my intuitive reports that I desperately throw down anchors around me when things begin to shift around me.  The important thing is to become centered within myself.  Part of that is becoming secure in myself and who I am and what I’m meant to do.  If I can be secure within I will be able to take advice and suggestions better from without — a moldable, squishy  outside with a rock-hard core!

What have you learned about yourself this week?  How do you deal with change?

Tribute Tuesday: Faith

Image courtesy of thepathtraveler /

Image courtesy of thepathtraveler /

My word of the day today for Tuesday was “Faith”, and I looked for faith in my dreams this morning.  I think I found him. 🙂

I’ve been thinking back on my job transitions and the job transition to come and how important faith is.  As I reflect, I am continually amazed by the faith that my tutoring families have had in me.  My very first tutoring family took me on as an unknown, right into their household, and without them I would not have had my current tutoring foundation.   Something about me clicked with them, and I am forever grateful.

As I look ahead, I know that I will again depend on faith.  I will again be mostly an unknown, depending on the faith of strangers to help me build my business.  All i need is my start.  All I need is that first person — that first group of students–  to bridge the gap, to take that leap, to have faith.  And I know I will find them.  Because I have faith, in my enterprise — and in myself.

So, this post is a tribute to those out there who have that faith.  This is a tribute to the optimists, the non-cynicists, the ones who trust their intuition, and who take that first step.

Thank you, thank you. You are the stuff that dreams are made of. 🙂

How Do You Succeed In Business? Part I

It’s interesting that I’ve been approached about three business opportunities in the last month. It’s interesting because I’ve always hated business. When I was younger, I had an honest-to-goodness fear of offices. I would enter offices, see the rows of cubicles, and feel a queasy feeling in my gut and be generally creeped out. And I never trusted businesses and businesspeople. They were push, aggressive, and were willing to step on you to get a leg up or use you to get a sale. Now that I’m older, I no longer fear offices but I’m wary of salespeople, and I mostly hate corporations, feeling frustrated with their exploitation of people and systems.

Earlier this month I as approached by a friend about an energy company.  I was encouraged to switch energy companies and also to promote the product.  I had heard about what can happen when you switch energy companies.  Things are great for the first year, and then they go downhill from there.  Or, you lock in your price, and if you don’t update your contract by the deadline, you lose your deal.  I have no interest in keeping daily track of my energy bills and watching suspiciously for the chance of change.  Neither do I wish to make money for a business I don’t believe in.  Also, I just don’t like to push products. So, the deal was a no-go.

My second proposition comes from my own boyfriend.  He is very involved in his health and wellness business, Shaklee.  This is a fantastic business.  I use the products and love them, and I like that they are ec0-friendly and recyclable.  This is definitely a company I believe in and could (and do) support.  However, to succeed in this business,  it requires getting the word out.  It requires attending meetings and seminars and investing time in getting to know the product and how to talk to people about it.  I don’t like doing that.  I would be willing to help present.  If someone approaches me, I’m willing to share whatever I know — but I’m not aggressive, and I don’t want to be.  People have to make their own decisions about their own health.  I’m not going to try to convince them that they can make better decisions.  Maybe someday I’ll find a way that I fit into this business.  But not yet.

So, this week I got proposition number three.  It came from one of my very good friends, a fellow teacher.  Immediately I was a little nervous.  Was this another energy scheme?  I didn’t believe she’d do that to me.  Was this one of her previous ideas that she had dreamed up in the past?  When I met her and another colleague, I found that some of my suspicions were correct: she wanted to open a restaurant.  I was suddenly uneasy.  I knew what this meant.  Loans.  Risk.  Things I could have nightmares about.  Sure it could be great, but what if it all went wrong?  I was trying to get out of debt, pay off my mortgage so that I could take it a little easier in life.  And I knew nothing about business.  This did not sound like me.   The other woman with us told us about all that we would have to consider, such as: Location?  Were we renting or buying?  Corporation or partnership?  Workman’s comp.  Insurance.  Small business grants.  What was our competition?  Lawyer.  Accountant.  Where would we get our supplies?  What changes would we have to make to our building?  We’d need bank loans.  But first we’d need a plan.  And what about our credit???   I receded further into my seat as the list went on.   “So, what are you thinking?” she asked me.  “I think this is stepping beyond my comfort zone,” I told her honestly, “I would be willing to work there and help you out here and there, but I don’t think I can go in on this as a partner.  It’s too much risk for me, and I’m terrified of business.”  Risk was a part of life, she assured me, but she understood what I meant.

But then she threw open the doors.  “What would you be interested in?  It could be anything, a business, an invention. . .  What do you think?”  Anything?  Any idea?  Immediately Brian’s idea came to my head: opening my own school, and I told her so.  That was an idea I’d immediately dismissed as a completely overwhelming task, but also something I knew I could be passionate about.  But did I really want to go into the business of education?  Didn’t I want out?  “A daycare or preschool might be a good way to go.  There’s definitely demand for that here,” the other woman chimed in.   This was something to think about.

We chatted more about the preschool/daycare and dabbled back on the restaurant idea and other miscellaneous strands.  But I had so much to think about.  My first mental reaction to a business idea is to shoot it down.  I’m a conservative money monk who is cautious and slow to change.  On the other hand, I felt like I had little nudges from the universe that may be pushing me in that direction. 1) My New Year’s Resolution this year is to be myself, and I’ve felt that part of that involves being in a job I can believe in and not looking back and regretting my life, wishing I hadn’t been afraid to change.  2) I’ve felt increasingly frustrated in my job that higher ups have not listened to my ideas.  I’ve had two great ideas over the last 5 or so years, and they were both completely dismissed.  Here was a chance to implement them both at the same time!  3) At dinner last Thursday with some friends, one of them made the off-hand comment that it is not possible to be completely happy in any job unless you run your own business.  I heard this the day after I’d gotten the text from my other friend that she wanted to talk to me this weekend about a business proposition.  Was this serendipity?

I had a lot to think about.  As we left the restaurant, we decided to peek in a neighboring property that was up for rent to check out the possibility for the restaurant idea.  I didn’t know if this idea would work for the three of us.  We were already beginning to disagree on how to make the food and what ingredients to use!  But my mind was racing, already imagining the possibilities for our own utopian school.

Image: David Castillo Dominici /

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