Discipline to Work

I missed yesterday’s post. I’ll admit it. It was supposed to be about business; in fact, I had it all planned in my mind- a look at the Starbucks model.

But things don’t always go as planned. People showed up, and I never did get my work done. Any of it.

But! Today is a new day, so here’s to a new start. You’ll have to wait for next week for the business post, though. Sorry!

Some days, though, you just don’t feel like working. When you’re your own boss, the motivation is even worse since there’s no one looking at your shoulder. This is what my day is like today. I’d much rather sit and pretend that I’m a vegetable- just one of those days.

But where motivation fails, discipline takes over. I can’t afford to take a day off so easily like that. I’m already going to be missing a few days this week, thanks to a retreat this weekend. So I need to stay on top of it and work.

That’s when I force my motivation. I work because not doing so is not an option. It’s not because I can’t afford it, although I certainly could use the money. But bills aren’t a real motivator; their screaming voices are too easily shushed by a lazy attitude. Rather, the motivation has to come from within.

Discipline is inward motivation.

Simply put, I don’t make it an option to skip work. It’s not in my mindset. The work gets done, whether I feel like it or not. And I find that with that attitude, I’m able to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time.  It takes a lot to work from home; half of it is in that inward motivation. Without the boss giving you that outward motivation, you need discipline to motivate you from the inside.

It’s the only way it will work.

What motivates you?

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Rock-a-bye Baby

Ask any parent, and they will tell you- teething = fussiness. Some babies have less trouble with it than others. Mine doesn’t. My almost-4-month-old is teething. Some days are better than others. On her not-so-good days, she wants nothing more than to just sit and rock with me while we listen to music. (The music is important)

So we sit there, rocking… for an hour… while the rest of the house sits there… for an hour. I have chores to do, meals to cook. My articles won’t write themselves.

And yet I sit there. Some days, by the time Daniel gets home from work, I am very tired, worn out from a day of nothing. Amazing how unproductive days can make you feel so tired, isn’t it?

Sometimes it does drag on me. My little girl is a Daddy’s girl- except when it comes to moments like these. Times like these, all she wants is Mommy. She wants to sit in my arms, lying her head in my shoulder, where she’ll rock and listen to the random songs I find on Youtube.

It drives me ragged. I don’t remember the last time I had a girls’ day.

And she still wants me.

Despite all my shortcomings, she wants me.

Despite my frustrations and impatience, she wants me.

Despite the messy house, the chores yet undone- she wants me.

It doesn’t matter to her that the house isn’t clean enough or that things aren’t organized as they should be. It doesn’t matter to her that I don’t have all the right snacks ready to grab from the kitchen or that the bed (both hers and mine) is a colorful mess or that my pillows remain on the ground where they were tossed last night.

It doesn’t matter. All that matters to her is that Mama is there to rock her and has nothing better to do than to sing to her. She wants me… just me, just as I am. It’s all she wants.

And so we sit on the couch, mismatching pillows scattered around us for comfort. I balance my computer on the arm of the couch and keep ten Youtube tabs open in order to have the next song loaded and ready when the last one is done. And I sing to her, in my slightly off-key sort of voice- which she still doesn’t care about.  I go through every song I know, breathlessly hoping I don’t run out before she’s happy again. Sometimes I play the same song twice.

Because it matters to her.

Intro to Business

 

 

Every Monday, I sit down with a woman who has a dream of one day owning her own cafe. This dream of hers is very specific- a place where you can come in, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee at your leisure, where you can get caught up on work and friendships.

For this dream to become reality takes work. It also takes imagination for it to succeed. A business does not just come on its own out of the blue. It needs something to give it a push, to make it stand.

And that’s where I come in. I have been working from home for a few years now, and in that time, I have learned a lot on a lot of topics. Mostly, I have gained a lot of understanding about business.

For instance- we all know that marketing is important to a business, but did you know that a business plan must be heavily integrated with marketing? Did you know that even a work-from-home business often requires trips beyond your front door? Did you know you can start your own business with very little capital to work from?

Many myths abound about home and small businesses. I aim to dash these myths into the ground and supply you with real, honest information. I’ll share tips on how to get started and keep it running. I will show you the importance of technology and how you can use it for your own business. I’ll reveal the truth behind the glory and I’ll point out mistakes that you can avoid.

This is MY dream. I want to help others achieve success- not in getting rich, because I am far from it myself, but the true success of building your own dream and doing what you love.

* Just as for this lady I mentioned, I also do provide one-on-one consulting. Find me on my “Contact” page and send an email for help in getting started or for help with an already established business, or if you just would like some personal tips for your business. Consulting rates are personalized based on the established level of the business and your personal ability to pay, and only AFTER a personal consultation about it.

 

Weekly Challenge: Forgotten History- 9/11

9:11 Memorial

I have a challenge for you.

Every week, I’ll post a challenge. It can be about anything, on any topic. They will challenge the way you think, the way that you see the world. It will make you think, forcing you to step back and reevaluate. In the end, you may find that it will change your world.
Today’s challenge: Forgotten History- 9/11

The Internet is abuzz today with passionate posts commemorating 9/11. And while I admire everyone’s passion, I am struck by the phrase “you are not forgotten.” Much is said about these events, and we declare that those affected by them are not forgotten. We remember the lost, the injured, those that gave their lives both in unwilling and willing sacrifice.

They are not forgotten, but… We are very good at forgetting the past. No? Let’s go through a few simple questions just to find out.

Does anyone know what happened on December 7? Can you tell me about the Lusitania, much less the date that it happened? How about much more recent (for the younger kids on here): does the name Columbia mean anything to you? Or the Oklahoma bombing?

See, tragic events are not forgotten… until that generation moves on. All too often, the children know nothing of what has occurred, and history is forgottenHave you forgotten?

Weekly Challenge: Dangerous Labels

I have a challenge for you.

Every week, I’ll post a challenge. It can be about anything, on any topic. They will challenge the way you think, the way that you see the world. It will make you think, forcing you to step back and reevaluate. In the end, you may find that it will change your world.
Today’s challenge: Labels

Labels are everywhere.  It seems that everyone is a part of a label, a particular “group” that defines who they are. Some are harmless. Sports fans and writers enjoy the particular topic their label refers to. In this case, the label is simply an expression of their interests.

But what about those labels that come to define a person? That’s when it gets tricky. When labels become a definition rather than an expression, then they become stereotypical. And that spells danger. Stereotypes = isolation or even hatred.

Do you label people with stereotypes? No? Well, let’s check. I’m going to be bold and jump right into it with a hot topic- Muslims. What do you consider when you think of a Muslim? For many, especially in America, it’s the image of the blanket-wearing, gun-toting terrorist whose sole purpose in life is to blow people up.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. It’s all over the place- I see it all the time on Facebook. But that’s a label. Not all Muslims are trying to run the Jews to the sea or take over America. Not all those who observe Ramadan or spend their holy days in a mosque instead of a church are plotting the destruction of American troops.

I saw two women in the grocery store recently, both dressed in “traditional” Muslim outfits (which, ironically, in itself is a misconception. But that’s another story). I have a hard time thinking that these women are going home to terrorists husbands.

That’s where the problem lies. Not all people are the same, no matter what banner they flock to. Muslim, Christian, or whatever other label you want- they all have extremes. Christians are famous for the brutalities during the crusades. Does that mean I want to force a “convert or die” mentality simply because I attend church? Certainly not.

And so it is with them. Yes, I’m addressing a hot issue right now. Religion is one of those topics people shy away from. But you know what? Some things just need to be said.

So there’s my challengeinstead of seeing a label, rather consider the individual behind the label. You just might be surprised at the person you’ll meet. They just might turn out to be very much like you.

Mocking Dreams

We all have dreams. Little, mixed-up pieces of mismatching puzzle, thrown together in a blender called Life, churned with bits of job, sports, and sudsy dish soap. These pieces get all blended together until they come out with sharp, jagged ends that rip into your soul until, tired of the tears, you bury them beneath a layer of solid work schedules, where they remain reinforced with steel bills that remind you you’ll never have the capital.

But here’s the thing. You don’t need it. You don’t need the gobs of money and whatever else just to start that dream. It doesn’t have to be shiny and gilded, shnazzed with the latest pizazz and glitter. It doesn’t have to be the best technology or need the best sign. It just needs YOU.

YOU are what makes a business. You are what gets it going, gets it off the ground. All you need is a start. All you need is a stepping out and the courage to fly.

“It’s not possible. I don’t have….” Fill in the blank of what you don’t have. Money. Material. Supplies. Okay, maybe you don’t. But you know what you do have? Time. Resources.

See, there’s things you can do to get it started. Even once you do have $10,000 in your pocket, what will you do with it? And there it is- before you start, you need an idea. You need a plan.

That’s what this time is for. Research. Learn. Find out all you can about running a business and how to make it succeed. Take a bookkeeping class, learn about tax records and auditing. Begin networking and building your contacts.

By the time all this is done, you’ll be ready. Start building, just one step at a time. One nail, one hammer, and build your city of your dreams.

It isn’t overnight. And to be honest- you’ll never reach that plane. It will always be out of reach, little more than a glimmer on the horizon, mocking you.

Your dreams mock you. Are you going to let them win? Or are you going to get up and take them by force, make them YOURS? That’s for you to decide.