It’s time to really party over the small stuff. You in?

Being an entrepreneur is a funny old life.

And for the record, you don’t have to own a bricks and mortar offline business to be an entrepreneur. A friend once told me that she believed not all self-employed people are entrepreneurs. “To be an entrepreneur, you have to own actual buildings”, she said.

I say that’s rubbish! Being an entrepreneur is a state of mind. A way of operating in the world. A view point. I was an entrepreneur long before I ever owned my own business.

Most of all, I suspect it’s about having a mind that sees opportunities. Generates ideas. Imagines possibilities.

That’s why so many of us have multiple businesses or projects. It’s impossible for us to have just one idea and stick to that.

Between you and I, it drives my husband potty.

“Why can’t you just pick one thing and stick to it?”

And I can, sort of.

But there always seems to be this flux between ‘this is the most wonderful thing I ever dreamed up’ and ‘this is a total pile of rubbish. I can’t believe I even thought this was possible!’

It’s just the nature of the beast and instead of fighting it, I’ve learned to acknowledge it and make no business or life changing decisions on the ‘this is total poop!’ days.

TITP days, as they shall from hence forth be known, require careful handling, kindness, lots of cups of tea and either ‘Blink’ or ‘The day of the astronaut’ (depending on where I am in my current re-run fest.)

Work can be done on TITP days but it needs to be the kind of work that doesn’t require too much thinking. Self-analysis is definitely not recommended on TITP days! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But do you know what the best medicine is for those days?

Taking time to celebrate the small wins.

Did you just roll your eyes? Shame on you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I know, you’ve heard it before. The advice to keep a swipe file of nice emails and kind comments is not new. But did you ever actually do it?

My friend Stacy and I were chatting about this a couple of days ago. I’d had an email that had totally made my day. She had too. (And no, we didn’t just send each other an email!)

“How lucky are we that we get to have emails like this? We get to do stuff that actually has the potential to make a difference to someone else.”

I agreed with her of course.

But it’s so easy to negate that stuff. To get drowned by the TITP days. To allow ourselves to forget. Out of sight, out of mind, remember?

It’s time to start celebrating the small stuff, delighting over the little wins and really appreciating what a wonderful opportunity is in front of us.

You are brilliant and every time you step into the world, you have the choice to make it a more wonderful place.

You’re out there, shining your little light, never giving up, keeping on keeping on. And for that, you need to give yourself a standing ovation from time to time.

God delights in the little stuff. Jesus said every hair on your head is accounted for (which in my dad’s case wouldn’t take too long but it’s ok, he loves the attention) so maybe it’s time for us to follow God’s lead and start partying with the small stuff too.

Are you game? It’s easy, all you have to do is start.

 

 

Apparently God really does have a sense of humour! ;-)

After encouraging you yesterday to take your foot off the gas off the little, by 8.30pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open and by 9pm I was fast asleep.

I woke up feeling amazing and ready to go full speed today. Clearly my body needed the extra sleep and now I was ready to go!

And then my eldest daughter accidentally hurt her eye and spent the morning home with me. I’m currently sat writing this on the sofa (and I’m sure I told you before how productive I am not when I try and work from the sofa!) while keeping her company.

My day has gone from full speed to chilled in the blink of an eye. After yesterday’s email, talk about ironic eh? If I ever doubted God has a sense of humour, I don’t today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s almost like God’s saying,

“You know that idea about not needing to go fast all the time? That was for you too you know.”

Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I can hear or read something and it sounds like a great idea but I discount it or decide I’ll get to it later. And then of course I get busy and ‘later’ never gets here.

But then the same thing pops into my day from a different place and it sort of smacks me over the head, forcing me to remember and actually pay attention that time.

Sound familiar?

If so, consider this your smack round the head reminder that it is ok to slow down a little.

Open your eyes. Take a good look around you. Enjoy the sunshine. Giggle at the silly stuff.

As for me, I’m off to bake cakes with my daughter (her eye is feeling much better she tells me) because it’s not often that we get some time just the two of us.

Until the next time, keep smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

Just because you can go fast, doesn’t mean you must!

Our family car died back in February. It had done us proud. Trips to France. Pushchairs in and out and in and out again. Several car sickness incidents. Scrapes and knocks and bumps.

And then it was gone. And for a little bit, I felt sad. Sad for all the memories.

And then we bought my bright yellow sporty skoda – and all hint of remorse was gone!

I’m not one for going very fast but I must confess that I love that I can pull away quickly at roundabouts and gone are the days of getting overtaken before you’ve even had a chance to pick up speed.

So yesterday I was out and about, meeting with the carpenter about Give A Brick (so exciting – but that’s another story) buying flowers for my sister (she turned 30) and popping said flowers up to her house, so they’d be there waiting for her when she got home from work.

And it was as I was tootling along the motorway, singing Christmas carols (stop it! One of my errands was Christmas related so I get a pass!) that I noticed I wasn’t breaking the speed limit.

If you’re a police officer, look away now …

OK, so now it’s just us, I’ve got to tell you, I have a bit of a tendency to drive too fast sometimes. Safely. But fast.

So it was something of a surprise to notice that I was going along, quite happily, slightly under the speed limit. Under the speed limit? What’s that about?!?

And then as another car overtook me, a thought popped in my head:

Just because you can go fast doesn’t mean you must.

And so I didn’t. I sat there, dancing in my seat to my music, taking in the scenery, it was all very nice.

And of course then I thought about you and how this relates to life. Because us girls are great at multi-tasking aren’t we? (Actually, don’t tell my husband but I’m really not. I do everything kind of half-assed when I multi-task but hey, we’ve gotta pretend eh?) Most women though are of the stronger, more dependable sort than me.

Maybe you’re like that and always seem to have three different things on the go at once?

If so, I wanted to encourage you today to slow down a little. Yes, we’ve heard it all before … slow down and enjoy they journey, blah, blah, blah. And be honest … sometimes you hear that and think, “come on, if you only knew what I’m having to deal with!”

And you’re right, I don’t know what you have to deal with today. And yes, you probably have so many demands on you, it feels like if you slow down any, you’ll drop everything. It’s only momentum that’s keeping you going!

But I want you to encourage you to try it anyway. Even if it’s just for today, or even a few moments of today.

You’re wonderful and brilliant and so, so capable.ย You were made for so much more than just rushing from one thing to the next.

But just because you can keep going so fast, doesn’t mean you must.

Driving a car at full throttle will wreck the engine. You’re much, much stronger than any machine but even you really would find life a little bit more sparkly if you could take your foot off the gas from time to time.

And so that’s your challenge for today. Are you game? Get to it!

 

The lonely truth about self-employment that no one ever talks about.

Did you ever have one of those day where everything just feels meh? Or worse than meh, some days it’s downright rubbish?!?

If it’s a good week, it might only last a day or even just a couple of hours. And then you’re back. The grass is greener, the sky bluer and life is good again.

I guess you could say it’s the life of the entrepreneur.

It makes me laugh though. How many people dream of escaping the rat race? They talk about wanting to get away from the man and doing their own thing. And I’m sure they mean it, they really, really do.

And yet, for many people, it never happens.

After a bit of a meh day earlier in the week, I got to wondering if this cycle of highs and lows is the reason why.

I mean, it’s not like the people who make it are any smarter or stronger or better positioned than the people who don’t, is it?

Or maybe they’re prettier? I’m sure we’ve both heard the research that talks about how attractive people earn more than ugly folk.

Nope, I’m not buying that excuse either.

What if, ultimately, it all simply comes down to ones ability to deal with the crap days?

When someone with a job has a horrible day, she doesn’t just decide, enough is enough and throw in the towel. Well, not on the average day she doesn’t. Sure, at some point she might quit.

But most people just chalk it up to it being work and carry on.

In so doing, we brainwash ourselves into believing that life outside of a job is just peachy. Lazy mornings working in PJs followed by long lunches and working in the sunshine. The picture is idillic.

The truth is, some days are just horrible, regardless of what you do or don’t do for work.ย This thing we call life is a series of ups and downs and twisty bits and it isn’t all sunshine, puppies and rainbows.

Sometimes the dog bites!

So the next time you’re having a dreadful day, do the world a favour and remember that this is not the end.

Your gig is not broken.

This planet still needs you to do your thing.

And then go run yourself a bubble bath, take a deep breath and just chill. Because the ability to dictate your own schedule is one luxury I would not swap!

You are brilliant and I will not let you forget it.

 

 

Goodwill is for life … not just for Christmas? What if?

I was thinking about how nice this time of year is (parking and over-spending aside!) What with the twinkly lights, the music, oh and the Bailey’s coffee. Very nice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And yes, it gets stupidly busy and yes, it’s a bit stressful.

But people seem, I dunno, a little bit extra kind and tolerant? It’s fab!

So then I got to thinking (oooh, just a little bit more.) You know that song … I wish it could be Christmas every day?ย Well I don’t actually wish it could be Christmas, like, every single day, not in the way the song means … presents, fairy lights, excess food … but you know what would be really cool?

What if the extra kindness and tolerance lasted longer than the next month or so?

(And yes, I’m well aware that I won’t be the first person to wish such lofty ideals out loud. But hey, a girl’s gotta dream eh?)

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi.

So yes, it’s a lofty big dream but if I keep being extra sweet and kind and lovely and tolerant, and you do the same, and it rubs off on someone else.

And then … before we know it, it could be infectious!

What do you think? You game?

Sweetness, without the calories! ;-)

What is it about the red and white stripy wrapper, set off with the obligatory twinkle lights of course, that makes those candy canes look soooo appealing?!?

Every time I see one I’m reminded of Elf (“don’t eat the yellow snow!”) and my pulse speeds up with just the thought of all that sugar. Yummy!

Of course the little darling in the photo won’t get touched until it’s time to take the tree down (unless it should ‘accidentally’ fall, all by itself, with no help from my eldest whatsoever!) but then I got to thinking about other sweet stuff that we could store up this Christmas.

Words. Smiles. Acts of random kindness.

I don’t really believe in storing up karma. The image of God sat there with some kind of a cosmic abacus, adding and subtracting based on how good or otherwise we’ve been on any given day, just doesn’t feel right. Bad stuff happens to good people and vice versa.

But I do very definitely believe in love and kindness and goodness and how fabulous the world looks and feels when we smile at a stranger in the street.

So I was wondering about the idea of storing up those good feelings, a bit like how all that sugar is stored up, extra concentrated in that candy cane on my tree, but instead of saving them all for after Christmas, what if they got so full up, they couldn’t help but come oozing out the top a bit? (Reminds me of the year my mum’s mincemeat fermented just a little too much. Oooh that batch was potent!)

And so, your mission for today, if you choose to accept it, is to look for little ways to add some sweetness to someone else’s day (and nope, adding an extra spoonful of sugar to their tea does not count!)

For bonus points … keep a record of what you did or said. That stuff is amazing to look back on later!

Go on, I dare you! ๐Ÿ˜‰