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Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Just Keep Breathing

Today isn’t a good day.  Actually the whole week hasn’t been a good one.  Anxiety is overtaking me this week.  Although I’m taking positive business development steps, these steps take time and I feel like I don’t have more time.  Anxiety has been running through me constantly.  I’m worried, frazzled and then to make things even that much worse — I’m not working.  Yes, I have made it to all my networking events and was charming and nice.  Yes, I answered all phone calls and didn’t send them to voice mail.  Yes, I answered a few emails, but I haven’t done the work.  I haven’t made the calls.  I haven’t sent out this week’s introductory emails, snail mail, post cards, etc. that are essential for my survival.

The Hunter just left for a 10-day hunting trip.  I think it’s a good idea that he’s not here.  Let me embrace my panic and react to it with strong action steps.  Let me control my schedule and not be at anyone’s beck and call but my own.  Let me work as hard and as much as I can so I can reset my activity level.  Let me take some Me Time and sit on the beach to think about where my life is and where I am going.

I think what set off my anxiety is a frienemy who just published a book.  I started my company a couple of months before him and we talked about his pending company launch.  His launch went much better than mine.  He kept several good clients.  He has a free office if he wants it.  He just wrote a fucking book, has it on Amazon and even produced a cool video trailer (using some stock footage, but production quality is excellent) and he’s doing podcasts and small videos regularly.  WTF — it makes me feel like a slacker.  It doesn’t help that the Hunter is connected to him on LinkedIn and sees the guy’s constant stream of contents.  It doesn’t help when the guy tells me he has 4,000+ LinkedIn connections.  It doesn’t help when the guy tells me that he has made some good connections through all of this.  It doesn’t help that we DIRECTLY compete.

I feel like I’m making excuses or downplaying the guy’s accomplishments when I say, “the podcast lost me in the 4th minute”.  Robin agreed, but still.  I also have my own point of view about social media marketing in my profession.  I do it, but I haven’t done the podcasts or videos. That’s something I aspire to, so this guy’s actual execution makes me feel like a slacker. I send out regular helpful content to potential clients and clients alike, so it’s not like I’m doing nothing.  I haven’t bought the book, but my GF said he got a ghostwriter — so what, the dude WROTE A BOOK.  He’s getting activity and people are reaching out to him through LinkedIn.  I’m not getting that type of response.  The Hunter teases me and tells me to step up my game.  At first I laughed.  Now it stings a bit.

I am not living the life I dreamed of when I first left my Ex.  I am taking steps to correct my financial course, but they aren’t bearing fruit as quickly as I want or need them too.  I feel a bit disconnected from my business community and although I am going to networking events, I’m not meeting the big fish.  I’m only catching guppies.  I realize that big fish require patience, persistence, timing and the right bait.  I know that intellectually but try telling that to my lizard brain at 3:00 am.  I am in a business of high rejection and I guess that this week it is getting to me.  I know the size fish I need to catch.  I know exactly how many fish I need to catch in order to survive and thrive.  Now I just have to remember what my coach tells me, “Action, action and more action.”

As the Hunter was preparing to leave this morning, I told him that I was anxious.  He has seen this before so I know that he was thanking his lucky stars that he was headed out of town as I enter a full blown mental state.  I told him that I realize that I’m running a marathon and I’ve hit that halfway point when everyone wants to give up, but I just have to keep running.  I know all of this, but it still doesn’t keep the knot in my stomach at bay.

I have to go.  I have yet another networking event but the good news is I am following it with Happy Hour with my girlfriends.   I have more of the same tomorrow — a lunch with peers and then another Happy Hour with my BFF.  Perhaps being around my friends will help.  At least it will keep me out of my head for a few hours.

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I Definitely Need a Break

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I needed to sleep because I was up before dawn to catch my flight.  I laid in bed listening to the Hunter’s deep, relaxed breathing.  He was sleeping that great rest that comes from a day of hard, honest work.

I, on the otherhand, laid in bed with my eyes wide open in the dark. I thought about my taxes – they aren’t done.  Not only do I need to do them, but I have to come up with the $$ to pay my awesome accountant AND to pay the taxman.  He cometh whether I’m ready or not.  My plans to tuck money aside fell by the wayside as I scramble to pay my day-2-day expenses.  Then my anxiety creept to other money issues, my need to push business development and thoughts of success versus failure. Then I got anxious about getting from the airport to Taz’s apartment.  That’s when I thought, “WTF, I love to travel and that should be a cinch”.  Then I realized that my anxiety may be more of a problem than I thought.

I need to do some research and reading on anxiety.  

I have been thinking about success and failure quite a bit lately.  I run amongst a crowd of very successful people.  They have multiple investments/side hustles that generate additional income.  Multiple homes, expensive cars, amazing trips — all the trappings of success.  I live in a house I rent and dislike, have no savings to think of and a modest 6-figure retirement fund as my major asset.  My dad and stepmother are very comfortable, her sisters all have comfortable retirements,  but somehow I feel like I fucked up.  Like I missed opportunities, never realized my potential during the critical years.  

I was always an underachiever in school.  I made A’s and B’s with little effort throughout school.  When I hit college, I realized I never learned the art of studying, but I cruised through college in liberal arts and graduated with little drama.  

I read books on what makes people successful.  It’s structure and self-discipline.  I have officed next to highly successful people and watched them first-hand.  They are structured, delegate, network unbelievably, perhaps a bit more ruthless than me, but not that much smarter.  They are selfish with their time and don’t waste it. I don’t do that.  

I am thinking perhaps a business loan will give me sone breathing room.  I have no idea if I can even get one since I have no assets to secure it.  My Ex had Lines of Credit for his law firm.  I just know that this aniexty will be the death of me.  I cannot let it get the better of me.  It can hurt me in so many ways: physically, emotionally, my relationships with others, the list is endless

But this weekend is all about my mental health. I wrote the above on the plane.  Then I successfully and effortlessly navigated the airport, train & Lyft to Taz’s apartment.  I strolled through a lovely park, chatted with the Hunter while watching dogs frolic and then grabbed a sandwich & chilled on the rooftop terrace of Taz’s building.  I’m relaxed.  Now pour me a delicious adult beverage.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

I talked to Robin, my colleague, today and she said what I have been thinking all week. September is gone — a complete waste.  Between Labor Day, 2 weeks of Irmageddon and my pending vacation, the month is over.  It has created quite a bit of anxiety for me and a bunch of negative thoughts.  I have to get my taxes done and money brings up a tsunami of anxiety for me.  I just have to remember to take small bites of the elephant.  The Hurricane has given me an extension, but I probably will still have to pay taxes and I have no idea how I am going to handle that.  I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I am taking steps to alleviate the anxiety.

  • Retail therapy:  I went clothes shopping yesterday and spent $$ I really don’t have on clothes and shoes that really made me happy.  This isn’t always the best solution, but I felt great afterwards and still felt good about it today as I sorted my new stuff to decide what to take on my trip tomorrow.
  • Book Club:  the ladies decided last minute that they would descend upon me since it was my turn to host the monthly meeting.  I had less than 24 hours to prepare and when you add in my 4 hours of retail therapy, I was under the gun to have a quasi-clean house, food and wine.  I pulled it off and ended up enjoying the evening.  I was a bit frazzled at the beginning, but with a glass of wine and interesting conversation, I calmed down quickly.
  • Planning:  I spent a lot of time contacting old, new and current clients to see if they needed any help after the storm.  I fixed by CRM to move all my tasks to new dates so that I don’t have to see all the Overdue ones.  I’ve been thinking about the steps I need to take for the remaining three months of 2017 to insure that 2018 will be extremely successful.

I need to get myself on some strong routines.  Routines are one of the things that separate extremely successful people from the rest of the pack.  I need to focus on self-discipline.  Once again, a trait of very successful people.  And patience.  That important quality that is in such short supply with me.  That and money.  Money is in short supply, so I better get back to work and hustle up some new clients.  Sigh.

Still Rowing

It’s funny how my work is never a level line, but jumps up and down sometimes in the span of minutes.  I took some time to do a mid-year review to check on how things have been and how things are going.  It’s OK.  I’m not setting the world on fire, but I’m making consistent progress.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint I remind myself.

Last week I was feeling off, waking to a headache/slight migraine most mornings.  It took me a couple of hours to shake it off and I still felt icky the rest of the day.  I had a networking event at a business conference where I didn’t know a single soul and it was tough.  I met a couple of nice ladies, but for the most part, it was a bust.

Then in the rollercoaster of my work, I go back the next day for a luncheon, miss the keynote speaker, think the whole thing is a waste of $$ until I see one person I know.  Lo and behold he introduces me to someone great, we are meeting tomorrow and I see a potential series of speaking engagements.  Let’s see how that goes.

I guess I shouldn’t bitch and moan, but hey, it’s one of the reasons I have a blog.  I get a bit frustrated and impatient, but I think that’s normal.  I went to my Weight Watchers this week and the new leader asked for a one-word description of our July.  Mine was “undisciplined”.  I know the things I need to do.  I know I need a firm schedule.  That pertains to both work and weight loss.  Yet I don’t do it.  OK, I’m not in the horrible funk I was in last year and I am doing quite a few things correctly, but once again I am being hard on myself and feel like I’m not doing enough.

I did say “No” this week to an organization.  I have been sitting on the Board for years and now they asked me to run sponsorship.  Now?  When I am starting my own business, you want me to ask companies for money for you?  It’s not even a charity — it’s a professional organization with $100K in the bank.  Sorry, but I have to put my oxygen mask on first, thank you very much.  It felt good and I knew I did the right thing.

I am fine.  I just need to keep rowing because I am in the middle of the ocean with no shore in sight.  The only way to be successful or even just earn enough money to pay the bills and stay afloat is to keep on plugging away.

 

I Dreamed of a Black Snake

black snakeI had a very vivid dream last night about a black venomous snake.  The snake wasn’t hidden or slithering that much.  It was actually in a box and then it got out.  Other people around me were afraid of it and looking to me to handle the situation.  It was dangerous, I remember acknowledging that, but I felt in control of the situation and in charge of the snake.

The climax of the dream was that I was lying down preparing to go to sleep and the snake, which was still loose, comes up to me.  I open my eyes and it is by my face rearing up to prepare to strike.  I grab it behind its head and squeeze it tightly.  I get up and declare the I am going to kill this snake.  It no longer deserves to live, but I decide I won’t kill it.  I feel strong and powerful in my dream.  I woke up feeling like quite a badass.

What does all of this mean in my particular situation?  The Google wizards provided a host of websites and they provided some insight.

  • I’m sure it’s not Freudian — it’s phallic shape representing sex.  I am having some great sex but I’m not feeling temptation, repression or anything sexual.  This probably would have been a much more interesting post if it was sexual, so sorry, Dear Readers.
  • Snakes refer to hidden threats.  If the snake bites me then the dream is trying to alert me of something in my waking life that I am not aware of.  If I kill the snake, then this threat has passed or I have overcome it.  That’s interesting because apparently I am in the processing of overcoming it because I didn’t kill it, even thought I could???  I think this represents me controlling my anxiety, which I did last night by going to the gym and having a strong workout.
  • Snakes refer to fear ( and once again for me it’s that awful anxiety again).  They are unpredictable and can strike at any time without warning.  In this situation, the snake may represent something that is unpredictable or out of control.  I could be afraid of the unknown.  With my pipeline virtually empty of new clients (even though I have some great leads with some good potential but a very loooong timeline), I have been having anxiety about work, so I would agree with this.
  • Snakes can point to my creativity and potential (although I doubt that since I was squeezing it’s head and threatening to kill it).
  • Snakes tend to show up in dreams in times of transition and transformation.  A black snake is the dark power of deep transformations from my subconscious. The snake can indicate that I am in the process of healing and transforming.  I agree with this 100% since I am four years out from ending a 25-year marriage and now creating the life I want.
  • A black snake showing up in a dream means I am dealing with a difficult situation, unsettling emotions and I am having a power struggle in my waking life.  They can represent sadness and anxiety in my case.  This would be my work anxiety of late.  Absolutely agree 100% again.  Yesterday I was feeling a bit frustrated and anxious at the end of the day.
  • A key point is to remember is that a serpent in my sleep means I am symbolically receiving a wake up call from my subconscious.  
  • Black snake could be symbol of rejected aspects of my personality.  Points to a dimension of myself that has been avoided and needs to be exposed and dealt with.  Hmmm, that could be with my business development stuff and my relationship with money….
  • Black snakes represent a threat.  It could be challenging and I’m avoiding it.

I think that the snake is my anxiety and by not killing it, I am allowing myself to be anxious, but I am not allowing it to control me.  In conversations with Robin and my business coach today, I described my current state of affairs as being in the wide open ocean and I have to keep rowing because that is the only way to get to the shore.

So let me get back to rowing and kicking the ass of those black snakes…..

 

I’m Learning

My business world is such a quirky, not-normal one.  We like to pretend we are normal and a necessary component of any legit business, but we are a strange bunch.  Entrepreneurial, merciless, and smart — oftentimes a lethal combination.  This week I was at a lovely cocktail party of my tribe and found a whole crop of newbies.  Fascinating.  I have a pragmatic trait of not noticing newbies until they have made it past their first year — why waste my time?  I love the hypocrisy of my buddies telling one newbie that his mentor/team leader is a great guy (he’s not — a complete ruthless asshole) and that he’ll learn a lot from them (only how to be screwed over).   I wanted to tell the kid to make sure that he gets everything in writing up front, but hey, why be a downer when the free alcohol is flowing?

This week was good and flew by without me getting through my To Do list.  Of course, I am not helping matters as I sit here and write, but hey, it’s Friday so WTF and TGIF!  I am trying to get back on a regular schedule and actually made it to the gym pretty regularly and I’m feeling great.  Still fluffy and not losing weight, but hey, I have to remember to be patient.

I continue to find my relationship with the Hunter so interesting as I look from the outside in.  If we had met anytime before now (aka before empty nest), I doubt I would have been interested.  During my previous stage in life, a Provider was key to me.  That’s why I didn’t leave my Ex — I liked the $$ in the bank and the security he provided.  But I digress — sorry, but my writing today is wandering all over the place in some random free thought streams.  I actually just wrote two paragraphs that are going onto another post because it’s off topic.  Wait, do I even have a topic today?  I digress further…

Oh, yeah, the Hunter and our relationship!  We are in a comfortable place.  I am learning that I am a stronger force than I thought.  I am learning to sit back and let other people take care of me.  I am learning to talk about my anxieties and concerns because he (and my dear friends) will provide the love and support to talk me off the ledge.  I am learning that I will be a great success — just like my affirmations tell me — but I have to be patient a bit longer. I am learning to say no to volunteer projects that suck my time (I just bequeathed a great one to Robin — she needs this to get out more anyway),  I am learning that I am not a domestic goddess in any way, shape or form, so I just need to give up that charade and move on. I am learning that the Hunter is a good man with dreams and hopes that are finally coming true.  I am learning to trust him completely and to never be afraid to tell him anything (scars from my past life are healing).

A year ago I was in a different place.  One of apprehensive excitement because both the Hunter and I were launching our new companies.  Folks continue to shake their head in amazement at our courage (or foolishness) in starting two companies at the same time, but I like it because we both understand 100% what the other is feeling.  We are in a good place.  I’ve got $$ in the bank, Robin and I are finally splurging on haircuts after 6 months (LOL), the Hunter has a ton of meetings set up as a result of his smash hit presentation last week, I have a HUGE meeting next week with a potential new client as a result of my relentless marketing campaign (that shit really does work!).  Now my son needs to spend the weekend with his dad so I can fuck the Hunter silly this weekend.

 

Losing Sight of Shore

Losing Sight of Shore is an amazing documentary currently on Netflix. It is the story of the Coxless Crew – 4 women who ROWED across the Pacific from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia. They started with the quote “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Of course that quote was Christopher Columbus, but I had never heard it before this documentary. Grab a bottle of wine and watch it – it’s amazing. These are among the bravest women I have ever seen.

final_ocean_quote_pictureIn any case, that quote has been rattling around my brain this week. It’s been a week of highs and lows. Let’s start with the lows and get them out of the way:
• I have been rejected for new business (OK, shit happens),
• Today marks the last day with a lovely client (I will miss them and the $$)
• A frenemy is riding that high of launching his own company and he’s on that early wave of beginner’s luck that I had. (My green-eyed monster reared its head.)
• I asked a long-ago boss for some business and he soundly rejected me, but I have to say the conversation was really constructive and he was kind enough to walk me through why he was saying no and he was right. (Life lesson, sigh).
• I can’t seem to get myself up on a consistent schedule/routine. I’m really frustrated about this.

Now let’s talk about the high’s for the week:
• I’m winning a new piece of business that isn’t easy, but it could be very cool with a nice payday.
• I have a new project that launched this week – also not easy but cool.
• The Hunter gave an amazing presentation to a small group of his ideal type of client and hit it out of the park.
• My son is hanging with us and it’s been lovely to see him
• I just had a lovely chat with a great friend and we made plans to see each other next week. She’s always a great inspiration and mentor to me.

I didn’t have a lot of wins, but these were good. It wasn’t a particularly busy week (another problem). I spent time on some things that I shouldn’t (correcting that course!). I didn’t spend time on things that do matter (like my cold calling course and other business development).

I am now headed out to sea without the shoreline in sight. I have very little to nothing in my pipeline. Yes, my bank account is now safely in the black with about 6 months of reserve, but I feel anxious and the pressure of an empty pipeline. I have to remind myself that Robin needs to pull her weight with the business development and she can’t be included on every $$ that I bring in unless she has actually worked on it. I’ve been down that road before and I ended up broke & resentful.

I talked to my BFF because I feel the stress. I wake up (unless I exercise and take a melatonin) in the middle of the night thinking about work. I’m having a few anxiety dreams (a man stalking me down a street with the intent of killing me – that was a lovely one). She sadly told me that this is all perfectly normal and probably won’t go away anytime soon. WTF? My other great friend just told me that I just need to give it another 6 months and then I’ll be more stabilized. She should know – she has been an independent business owner for many years.

The Hunter took me to the beach this week with the Kracken. I had an active, not even resting, bitch face on which scares him. LOL. The walk was fabulous. He dealt with the dog and I strolled up and down the beautiful, windswept beach watching the waves, the light dim – it nourished my soul. I have started listening to my daily affirmations and it calms my negative self-talk.  Today we are knocking off early to celebrate his great day and I hope we do a replay. This man truly gets me.

 

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