Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

The Benefits of a Routine

November 1, 2013

I was raised in my childhood with a routine, actually a very strict routine.  Nothing we did was ever [rarely, if ever], done outside of one.  I believe habits are developed from routines.  Personal, I like a routine and I don’t think its just my personality or training that developed that taste, I believe there are qualities that support it that I am drawn to.

A routine makes me feel like I don’t or won’t forget anything.  It makes me remember tasks and not forget them because after I do one there is another that follows.  It makes me stay focused on all the things that have to be done each and every day.  It makes me make sure I do it the same way each and every time.  It makes me know where I left off when I stick to a routine.

Some days a routine is the only thing that saves me.

You know what I mean?  Ever have one of those days?

The phone interrupts every little thing you try to accomplish.  The computer shuts down when it supposed to be up and running.  The printer jams and doesn’t spit out the job you were trying to get out.  Sometimes so many of these interruptions make you forget what you were doing or trying to do.  A routine sometimes is the only thing that keeps these days anywhere near somewhere on track.  If you don’t have a routine, you are liable to come away with not having even accomplished even the little things, like eat, drink water and take your medication.

A routine usually means you have less wasted time because all efforts are accounted for.  A routine gives prediction to your life patterns of people around you and they create expectations out of your routine.  A routine allows you to plan.

The problem with always sticking to a routine and not throwing a routine out of the window is that you never get to enjoy something a little longer than normal, because you are focused on the routine and the next step.  You never get to do something out of order, because you are afraid if you do you won’t remember the next step or come back to the missed step.  A routine usually means you won’t make a mistake, but is not a guarantee of it.

Are you a person who enjoys a routine?  If not, share with us why.  If you do, then we would love for you to share with us one thing that you have developed to create your routine work for you.

creating video content

October 15, 2013

Today we are working with Jordan Productions on video content for the business.  This is a project I have been anxious to do for some time and can’t believe we are finally working on it!  The picture above is taken in the living room at my house by Evie, an assistant to Jordan, during the work in progress.

You can follow Jordan Productions at http://www.facebook.com/JordanProduction or on Twitter at @JetblackJordanD.

What creative work have you been involved in lately?

Do You Comment on Blogs?

October 4, 2013

I am an avid follower of about 20 blogs, via email.  They vary in topics from personal life stuff, business topics relating to my industry, entrepreneurship, hobbies, spiritual, and minimalistic simplification blogs that inspire me.

I like to receive the blogs I follow via email because if a post is a good one, I can easily forward it to a friend.  If it’s one I want to keep, I just put it in a folder for the topic that it applies to.  Everyone has their own form, some people prefer RSS Feed.  I don’t.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t found a way to make it work for me.  Regardless, I love being inspired by blog posts.  I look forward to them each day.

Any topic the blogger writes about that grips me, I comment on.  I share.  I engage.  I reflect.  I ask questions.  Does the average person do so?  No.  Why do I say this?  Because I have blogged business wise since 2010 [two blogs with exact same content, a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org] and personally since 2007.  Do you know how many people comment?  Very few, ever.  The most comments I get on the business blog is SPAM material.  I believe there are lots of reasons for this, but that’s a topic for another post.  Today I want to share why I comment as I do.

I want the writer to know their efforts were not in vain.  I want them to know that their content was interesting and that it had value.  I want them to know what they shared meant something to me.  I want them to get feedback so if the topic could be expounded on even to a deeper level, they will use the comments to generate more blog posts with additional thoughts.  I wish to create a relationship.  I want them to know they matter to me.  I want to support them.  I want to learn.  I want to maximize the learning.  I want to engage other readers.  I want to share hope.  I want to make a difference.  I want them to be inspired.  I want the comments to increase their rankings through Google.

Are you a blog follower?  Why do you comment on blogs?  Will you share your blog if you have one?

LifePlan Testimonial

September 27, 2013

It’s been a month since I did LifePlan Coaching with Chris LoCurto.  If you remember, I did a video testimonial the end of the second day.  They asked me if I would do a written testimonial, and I thought I would share it with you, my readers:

 

In a nutshell, the Life Plan has you evaluate everything you have experienced in your life to clearly understand why you are who you are today.  We tend to get so focused on “pressing on”, so fervently, leaving the past behind, that we do not stop to reflect and let it impact our lives.  I believe the verse and principal of God is a crucial concept to moving forward, but until I accept, acknowledge and address the past I am unable to move forward with freedom.  It’s really hard when your past is ugly, because nobody likes ugly stories, we all want to read, hear and live the good ones.  This is emotionally tough to do but required in order to let God have his perfect work and use this greatly in my life.

 

I strongly recommend you check into this if you want to grow yourself as a Leader, Entrepreneur, or just personally because you are interested in understanding your life.  Head over to Chris LoCurto’s website and contact him for further information.  He will be delighted to meet you!  Don’t forget to tell him you know me…

Nomination for Savvy Chicks Rule 2013

September 20, 2013

I received word yesterday, that I was nominated for the Savvy Chicks Rule 2013!

I was chosen as a Savvy Chick who is “Ruling” in a Spiritual Influence or Teaching category and recognized for Surpassing every obstacle that stands in my way, for letting my life Shine in everything I do and for realizing that I can Succeed in everything I put my mind to!

I want to publicly give a BIG Thank You to Pam Long Weatherford for nominating me for the Savvy Chicks Rule 2013!  My goal is to be generous, encourage, support, and inspire you both personally and in business.  I consider it a great honor to have received such a reward and want to give a special thanks to my friend Pam for her friendship and believing in me to the point she wished to share with Savvy Chicks why I was qualified to earn this reward.

I am blessed!!!

Tests while on Vacation

September 6, 2013

As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I had tests while I was on vacation as to how I would handle my commitment to unplug during my mixed business and vacation trip to Tennessee.

The first test came my first day.  I was out by the pool and had been on Facebook, catching up on some friends walls and happenings going on when a Facebook Message came through from someone who has been asking me questions the last three months or so about getting into Medical Billing.  I have always promptly answered and given her a thorough response.  I responded that I was out-of-town on vacation and would be glad to get back to her when I returned.  She asked more questions.  I responded again that I would love to help her when I got back and would check into the link she sent me then, but that I was going to break my bad habits and break away from all work related tasks.  She then responded that she had to have an answer now as the class was starting before I returned.

I felt cornered.  I felt pressure.  She wasn’t taking no for an answer.

The deep issue was that I love to help people, however I can and in whatever ways I can be supportive, I desperately wanted to help her, but at the same time I knew myself, I don’t just do a little bit of research, and this short “check this out and let me know link” would turn into at least a two-hour ordeal.  I am thorough in every aspect of my response to people, paid and unpaid.  I didn’t feel I could take the time to go read this link and give her a short response and come away feeling that I had done my job justice and give her the response that was what she was really seeking from me without violating my commitment to myself during this unwinding time off work.

I was frustrated.  Really frustrated with myself.  I decided that I would not respond.  I had already told her my position, I couldn’t be more plain.

Then guilt set in.  She couldn’t control my vacation and she honestly wanted my help.

Then I remembered she had all the advice and information  I had sent to her previously.  I could not make this decision for her.  It was hers to make.  I responded and let her know this and answered a few more questions she had hurled my way in the lapse of my attention to it, and told her that I couldn’t help more at this time, I truly was sorry.  I put the phone away and ignored it.  I had to.

This was really tough to do, especially by this point, I had already spent 30 minutes doing what I literally said I was not going to do.  I was angry at myself.

I then took a deep breath and gave myself a pep talk:  “This is your first time to do this.  Chill.  You didn’t give in completely, relax.  Yes, you could have handled this a better way, but you made a stab at it and you did what you did.  It’s done, move on.”

I should have let my first response be my only response and let it go.  It was not a life and death emergency.  If she chose to enroll in a class less than a week to go, this was not my problem.  There was no “urgency”.  A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.  When will I learn?

Awwwhhhhh, this was part of the learning.  I had to learn.

The second test came from a voicemail of a clients employee calling me and asking me for the shredding services contact name and information.  She stated “I know you are on vacation but know you will have this with you if you could kindly contact me back”.  I made a note on my todolist for when I returned to get this to her.  I did not call or text her back.

This one, made me feel like I had achieved something!  For once.  I kept my promise to myself.  No, I was not going to work was a complete NO.

The third challenge came from a sibling insisting that I talk during my coaching session.  I had left my phone on silent in my purse downstairs intentionally.  I spent a lot of money to do this and I was not going to be interrupted or loose my focus during this intense session.  This was not acceptable to this person and I was told “Everyone has two seconds.”

This hurt deeply.  To the gal who wants to help you more than you even know, this cut deep.  But I held strong and said no.  I will spare you the drama and the other things that were verbally hurtful to me and used to put me on a guilt trip, because it doesn’t matter.

I share these three tests I encountered to encourage you…IF you struggle with work life balance issues like I do, I came away with five nuggets from these encounters:

  • Don’t be afraid to step out from your routine and learn to do things different.  Just because you “always have” doesn’t mean you “always will”.
  • In order to replace a bad habit, you have to create a new one.  You can’t just do nothing, something has to be different or you will automatically do the same thing again.
  • Set boundaries and stick to them.  Be disciplined to know your pitfalls and what will cause you to trip up and not be able to focus on your commitment.
  • Don’t go back on your commitment to yourself.  Stay the course and learn from the tests that come your way so that next time, you are a winner from the get go and you don’t have any internal war with yourself!
  • Not everyone will understand.  Not everyone will get your need to unplug.  Do it anyways.

5 Steps to Unplug During Vacation

September 3, 2013

I recently took a 10 day vacation [actually just got back to the routine today]…something that is really very hard for me to do because I absolutely LOVE to work!

I am passionate about being available for my clients.  I never want to not be able to help them when something comes up.  I want to resolve their problems quickly and never want to have them in a position where they have to wait.  However, that “ideal” desire means I never call it quits and hence when I typically take a vacation, I still work.  They know this.  They know my response time is near immediate, or as soon as I get out of a meeting or training session.  So when they hear me stating I am going to go away, they don’t assume that means I am unavailable, because they have gotten used to my habits.

My bad habits which have created a life long work life balance issue.

This time, I felt it was time to make a serious change and not continue to just keep talking about making changes to my work life balance issues.  I made a commitment to myself that I would not work for a full 10 days, even if 2 full days were going to be spent doing a one-on-one coaching session.  I promised myself I would not read any business email, I would not talk to any clients via text or phone, and I would not discuss work with anyone the entire time. Believe me, I got my tests at this, which I will talk about in another post.

Today, I want to share with you the 5 things I did to ensure that I totally kept my commitment to myself.

  1. A week ahead of my departure, I sent an email to all my clients, strategic business partners, employees, and vendors letting them know that I would be out of the office taking a vacation and business coaching course from date to date.  I let them know I would not be taking phone calls, responding to emails or text messages until I returned.  I thanked them for their support and patience.
  2. After I completed that, I created the auto respond to all emails and set that up to start the night before I was to leave through the morning I returned to work.  It pretty much stated the same thing that I had sent out a week in advance, but was shorter and straight to the point but included a response would come the day I returned to work.  As always, I thanked them for their business.  I want them to know they mean something to me, because they do!
  3. I put my cell phone on silent the entire time I was on vacation.  In order for me to not answer a call or text message, I felt I could not be in “normal mode”.  I had to set new boundaries.  Since I did not want to be pinged by the voicemail, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or text message alerts [yes, I could have just gone into all these and reset the settings but that probably would have taken more time than to just turn the sound off], this was the easiest solution to silence the incoming message.  If I wanted to engage in social media or emails, I had the option and could choose when I wanted to be on my phone but outside of that, I was not available and would not have to make the hard decision to respond or answer because I couldn’t and wouldn’t hear it.
  4. I limited my “online” time at the computer each day.  When you spend much of your time in front of a computer, in order to unplug, you have to change things.  I checked personal email once a day, blogged at the end of the day or the next morning about the previous day, and I logged into business email to delete the trash and keep the inbox from getting too full to quickly.  However, I did not once read any of them nor did I respond.
  5. I changed my Voicemail to state I was unavailable and would return calls when I was back in the office and the date that that would transpire.

I have had friends state they have had to delete their application so they didn’t do email while on vacation. I am sure there are many ways to accomplish the task and achieve your goal.  Would you like to share one way that works for you?

I am pleased to tell you…I kept my commitment and though I had 3 different tests come my way, I made great strides at creating a new habit to break away and unplug from work, the phone, emails, texts, and social media…just relax and enjoy life with no set routine!

The Story behind the Smile

August 22, 2013

This is the profile picture of me on my business website and canvas print in my home office.

Would you have known that this picture was taken the night after my brother attempted suicide for the 6th time?  Would you have dreamed that the bags under my eyes come from tears of sorrow for the pain of life?  Would you have known that I was determined to move forward with the creation and update of my website and would not back out of this appointment for anything?  Would you dream that behind my smile is the fear of the unknown outcome of my brother’s life?  No, you wouldn’t unless you were one of my close friends and knew what had happened.

The point of this blog post:

You never know what is going on in someone’s life…you never know what is being hidden behind their smile. Take time to make their day, you have no clue what battle they are fighting!

Give them a smile, a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear!

a worthy vocation

July 18, 2013

I have been reflecting on work, specially my career work as an entrepreneur providing Medical Billing, Credentialing, Accounting, Consulting & Training Services to my clients.  What does it mean to be doing something worthy?  When I say worthy, I mean a vocation that is beneficial, has value, is serving?  

Growing up, my parents did not want me to continue schooling beyond High School.  And in reality, they wanted me to “get out of school” as soon as I could.  Thus, I graduated High School at 15, in the 2nd Semester of my Sophomore Year by taking the California High School Proficiency Exam.  This is a test for 16 year olds [or those who are in their 2nd Semester if not 16 yet] similar to the GED that is known nationally.  The test was 6 hours long.  I passed the first time and got my certificate December 1991.  No walking across the stage though I did get a certificate mailed to me.  Now what?  My parents plans for me were to get married and have kids.  They didn’t believe it was right for girls to work, in fact they believed it was independent and haughty to hold a job.  In case you don’t know, I am now 36, not married and will never be a birth mom.  This is another way I haven’t fulfilled my parents dreams.  In the interim to this plan, my parents wanted me to learn to type and I did on an old fashioned typewriter of my Dad’s.  I got my speed up really fast, nothing like a computer keyboard where you have auto correct and can easily backspace.  You had to put these tape stuff in the slot to correct your mistakes.  The goal was to type really fast, not looking at my fingers and reading from a script to the right or left of the typewriter.  After hours of perfecting my skill, timing myself, striving for 100% accuracy, I got really good at it.  Then my parents had me go door to door trying to solicit work to type.  Really?  Out in the desert where nobody lives you think someone is going to use me?  Nothing came of it.  I did some babysitting, until that infringed on my mom’s schedule.  I was forced to get a job when my Dad’s health insurance policy was going to go up $100 because of my age and to keep the option of staying on the family plan until I was 21.  They stated they could not afford this and I would have to get a job, though it was without their blessing.  I landed my first job from my first interview.  It was a job in the medical field at a Dermatologist Office, March 1996 at age 19.  I was hired as a Part Time File Clerk, but only worked Part Time the first day.  They had so much work for me to do they needed me to come back Full Time until they got caught up.  Needless to say,I have never worked Part Time.  They taught me more and more and more things and by the time I left that job, I was doing Medical Billing.  I have been in the medical field ever since. I started my own business June 2004 doing what I had learned to do on the job and through classes, continuing education, research, seminars and the like.  I have devoted my life to learning it so much that I know it backwards and forwards.  

In reflecting on all this, I have come to believe that my parents thoughts on what was a worthy vocation were wrong.  The “Group of Christian’s” I have met with my entire life believe that in order to be doing a worthy vocation, you have to do something that blends in with any skill relating to being a mother, anotherwards it would be best that be a midwife, babysitter, seamstress, or a massage therapist.  Any other type of work is “not profitable” or “not as God has called you to do”.  Your job can not take you away from attendance at “meeting”.  Your lifestyle must be simple and you can’t make much money.  Over and above this, our society believes that you are doing something great if you are a doctor, policeman, fireman or someone doing great work for or to people.  Don’t get me wrong, these are great professions, but I don’t believe they are more worthy than any other profession.  They may outwardly “help” people more, but they are not any more noble in God’s eyes then the clerk at the bank.

In reflecting on what God considers worthy, I have thought about Christ’s life here on earth.  Who could have had a more worthy vocation?  Complete service to everyone, not just the disciples, but even the Pharisees that hated and mocked him.  He clearly states he has given each of us different gifts.  Each of us have gifts.  To believe you don’t, means you don’t believe Romans 12:6.  God calls us to be Servants, to Serve and Love His People!  

What is a servant?  Simple.  A person in the service [an act of helpful activity; useful, providing; a supplier; to make fit] of another.

I believe with all my heart that if you do what you do as unto Him, with a servants heart, with the focus of benefiting other people, you will be doing a worthy vocation.  The career you choose or that you land by happenstance, will be a worthy vocation if you put your heart, soul and mind to doing it with a passion and for God.  It may not be your dream job, but you can turn it into a worthy job by making it the lifeline you use to serve.  You can be doing something nobody see’s, but the behind the scenes work also has to happen for the front row people to get in on it.  Don’t let the lack of title or professional experience keep you from serving and loving.  It doesn’t take much to serve, but you must have a willing heart and you must be willing to work with all your might…to serve well and often.

Awww, this is the true definition of a worthy vocation!

25 Random Facts about Me

July 9, 2012
In an attempt to let you learn more about me, I am doing a different type of post today.  This one is some facts about me.
  1. I am the oldest of 3 siblings, I have a brother and a sister.
  2. I graduated High School at 15 years of age.
  3. I absolutely love recharging by the pool (or other water venues).
  4. I love chips & salsa.
  5. I have only owned Honda Civics, am on my 3rd one.
  6. I have been an Entrepreneur for 8 years.
  7. I love to knit.
  8. I learned to play the piano as a child and wish I played it more.
  9. I love to read books, particularly books that help you develop as a person.
  10. I am addicted to Facebook.
  11. I love to help others.
  12. I can never eat enough sushi.
  13. My favorite movie is The Sound of Music.  Second favorite is The Titanic.
  14. I am an Android user.  I refuse to get on the Apple trail.
  15. As of today, I have 726 friends on Facebook.
  16. My favorite Starbucks drink is the caramel macchiato, iced or hot.
  17. I taught knitting lessons at a quilt shop for 3 years before they discontinued carrying yarn.
  18. I was not raised with nor own a TV.  Not sure where I would find the time for one.
  19. I wear a lot of white and black.
  20. Most all of my close girlfriends are married and have moved away.
  21. I send 2000+ text messages a month.
  22. I have work eyeglass since the 6th grade and contacts since age 14.
  23. My dream job as a child was to be a 911 Operator.
  24. I have owned my own home for 5 years.
  25. I dream of someday not working 6 days a week.