What is your addiction…

What is your addiction to social media? Is it a high to see how much attention you can get? Is it a way to ease reality so you don’t have to focus on it? Being an 80’s baby, this epidemic is new and since I didn’t grow up in it, I tend to misunderstand the obsession. I even had to conform to build business traffic. Facebook is the number one way to advertise. Yet, when you scroll your timeline, you generally see four types of people. Attention seekers: people who want to post things that will make you inbox them or comment on their status. People who feel the need to post their whole daily routine.  This also includes those that just have to post every single thing they spend money on, like dinners, clothing items, cars, etc.Uplifting folks: some of these folks want to appear holier than thou and some just want to encourage someone else. Comedians: where everything they post is funny, they want a good laugh and want you to have one to. Politicians: that want everyone to know their political and social stance. I try not to look at FB from a mental level, however every post shows me a mentality. A mental space someone may be in. It shows me something else that may be on your mind that you’re avoiding. It’s hard for me to not read between the lines. I see something other than comedy, or attention, or self- righteousness or political correctness.  I see a need.

Single, Independent, & Unavailable

I, for one, am tired of single independent women catching such a bad wrap. She is single, and independent doesn’t mean she is unavailable. Have you taken a moment and asked that independent woman if she needs help? If you haven’t asked or attempted to ask, a woman, that you know that fits into this category, please don’t complain about women being independent. If you have asked this woman and really meant it. You may have discovered that she does need help. She may even be a little needy but not willing to delay herself by waiting for someone to help her. You may find out that in fact, she can’t do it all, she just has the courage to try. You may find that she is not holier than thou, she is actually very transparent and accepting of her faults and mistakes. You may find that if you try to break thru that tough exterior, by being true.  This woman is vulnerable, sweet, endearing, kind, loyal, dedicated, and just protecting her heart. I believe all relationship conversations need to start with truthful intentions. Most of the time, each parties intentions are different and someone hasn’t been honest.

Remember honesty is the best policy and it keeps us out of trouble.

What does Faith feel like?

It feels like the motivation to get up in the morning and start work. It feels like a hot cup of coffee. It feels like peace knowing that you ’re working and doing things for the right reasons. It feels like the confidence that you’re going to complete your task. Confidence in knowing that the completion of the task will help you reach your goal. It feels like gratefulness. Being grateful for all of the things that you have and have been blessed with. Gratefulness for the things you worked so hard to receive or accomplish. Grateful for the ability, drive, and focus required. It feels like success when you’re almost to the finish line. It is faith, it makes you feel like the finish line is right up ahead, when it may actually not be in sight. Faith feels like when you have all of the energy and adrenaline you need as you begin your race. Faith feels good, confidence feels good, and believing in yourself feels great! Let’s get that feeling back!

Does money trump love?

Life is not about love, it’s about money. Let’s just face it, Money makes the world go round. Right? Thus making people go round too. Being that everything in this world is based on money, many people have placed a value on things that have nothing to do with money. Like relationships, friendships, commitment, support, trust, I can go on, however I rather not.

I am one of a dying breed that believes there are things that money can’t buy. However, I have tremendously failed in all of thee above, life, relationships, parenting, etc. My failures are mostly connected to not enough money.  Let’s join the masses and place money at the top of my list, too. Right?

It truly seems like it works to me. No money no relationship, no money no friendship, no money no trust, no money no commitment, no money no support (no I don’t want to hear you shaggy dog story). No money no favors, etc. This is truly the attitudes of our surroundings. Many have told me they use to think it was selfish and now they don’t. I’m starting to understand their rhetoric. It makes sense. Worry about yourself and no one else. There is no such thing as a no-cost favor. It cost my time, my mental space, my gas, etc. I have always believed in doing no cost favors. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to change that. I still haven’t decided if this is wrong or right. It does protect home, however at what cost.

Although society has decided that money Trump’s loves. This doesn’t mean you have to conform to the group. At what cost do you sacrifice life for money. Do you lose family, friends, loved ones? Do you not cherish the quality of your true friendships and relationships? Should we trade those true friendships for lucrative relationships? Which are generally with those who possess vulture characteristics. What cost is money worth to you? I’m the first to say money is needed, being my background financial. However, it’s only needed for the true necessities.

To enjoy life, you must live life, love somebody, and make deeper connections. Money is not necessary. It’s merely a means of exchange. You can exchange your knowledge, you can exchange your services. There are many means of exchange. You must decide which one works for you. Through this storm, the people that have given me no cost favors have been lifesavers for me and I wouldn’t replace them for anything in the world. Nor would I take back any favors I’ve done for anyone else. I believe that we must truly love on one another from our hearts. Not questioning what we are going to gain from this. You change lives, through no-cost favors, you become a servant, through no-cost favors, you sacrifice yourself just a bit to show someone else that they are loved and not in it alone. That type of support can not be replaced by ANY amount of money. From time to time we may take a loss but the love created will never go away.

Money just does not Trump Love!

The First Year!

One of the things I teach in my book is that you should plan for the first five years of business. This should include to not live off of your income for the first five years. If it happens where you can before then that is great! However, you don’t want your ability to pay for your home to depend on your new customers. You want your committed customers to support your home. I left corporate America in August 2016. I was already active in my parents’ accounting firm. However, I decided to also start a new business at that time. The business would actually take care of my car payments and required very low start-up cost. I planned and factored everything in before leaving the job and knew what I needed to do to stay afloat. Well, business picked up nicely, however, growth brought on  many challenges. I also teach that business set-up is key and critical. The more official you set your business up the firmer your foundation for growth will be. With growth licenses, certifications, insurance, are all costs that people don’t usually take into consideration. I also didn’t plan for the business to completely slow down during summer break. You must know and plan for your specific market. I knew the market would reduce drastically in the summer months. However, I didn’t plan for the steep reduction that occurred. With that loss of income, I had also loss another and was completed knocked off of my feet. I was devastated. I felt defeated, however, I gained many new customers in the beginning of the coming school year. This encouraged me to keep striving.

 

Starting a business is not easy, and I’m not saying you will go to the extreme to survive.  As with any business, whether you are in the first or tenth year, there are always going to be issues and challenges. There are going to be challenges that you will not foresee. Give yourself a firm foundation. Set everything up properly, get cash flowing, establish and set standards. Last but not least, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirty. It’s all a part of your path. I searched the entire first year for web developers. I received quotes from $600 to $200K. I was confused but did not stop searching. I also searched for investors and reasonable trustworthy developers as well. My business deals with children, so hiring dependable and trustworthy staff had also become a challenge as well. Being a financial and business consultant, I was able to analyze my business, and see my shortcomings, however trying to put out fires without a team is challenging as well. In the second year, I started to position the business to create a reserve and hopefully obtain a loan. During the first year, I didn’t follow my own suggestion and I lived off of the funds. I am now in a position where I leave 25-30% of my revenue in the business. I understand survival and if you need the funds then you need them. However, a reserve is critical.  Winning funds for the business right now, would be a miracle. I would first pay for the trustworthy developers I found to create my online presence, then I would invest in safety signage, I would pay the insurance for a year, I would hire 3-5 people, and place a down payment on another vehicle.

 

Desire, dedication & determination

Desire: to long or to hope for; to exhibit or feel desire for; to express a wish for.
Dedication: devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose: given over to a particular purpose
Determination: firm or fixed intention to achieve desired end. ; the act of deciding definitely or firmly. Also, the result of such an act of decision.

These words represent three states of mind you have while pursuing your goals. These mindsets determine your approach and the work you will put towards them regardless of how soon you see results. When you start a business, you must work for a future return, not an immediate return. If you are looking for an immediate monetary return, be very careful. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I’m here to say that consistent actions towards the completion of a project or management of a business is required before you can truly enjoy the rewards. Work is required.

Desire is the first phase. I call this stage the ‘dream mode’. In this phase, you decide that you want to start the business. You start to talk about it and ask questions to find out what starting this business may entail. During this phase, you decide if this is going to be a dream or reality. You decide that you can do this, or you decide that you would love to do that one day. You tell yourself you’ll put it off until  “I have time, when I have money, when I retire, etc.” The excuses roll in and this dream of starting this business becomes just that–a dream. Your dream becomes something you put off to the side and never work on. If you are currently in this phase, research methods of support, different streams of income to include, ways to start things for free, true professional costs, licenses, and insurance, etc. Make a plan and find a mentor. A good mentor is going to encourage you and help push you thru this process. A business consultant can do this as well. If you would like to work with me, check out http://www.blainelacar.com

Dedication is the second phase. During this phase, you consciously decide your next steps. You decide to dedicate your energy towards this cause. You do more research and you find more ways to get this business started. You decide that this can be done and you want to do what it takes to reach the goal. Your desire to reach this goal has expanded and changed into a passion to get this thing done. This is the phase where planning becomes action and you usually start to lay the foundation of the business. You have a need to reach success. You start working in the evenings towards your new business. You may even quit your day job to commit more time to this business and live off your savings. This phase is exhausting. You’re working and seeing some return, but you would like to grow bigger. With a bigger business comes more sacrifices and a greater investment. You definitely want to grow so you move to the next step.

Determination is phase three and this is the phase before things truly take off. This is the phase when you have worked so hard, you may start to become frustrated. You may feel like “maybe I should end this and move on to something else.” You feel like you are stuck. This phase is painful yet beautiful. Your tears of pain, passion, and confusion will turn into tears of joy. You gain a compassion to take your business to the next level. You find plans of action, investors, partners, and new products or services to include. During this phase, many become tired of working towards something without output. You’re investing more time and not making much profit. You may be taking a loss, you may be doing all the work, or you may be having trouble finding dedicated help. This is the phase where you should take the time to analyze. Make sure you are using all of your resources and delegating responsibility properly. Most importantly, keep working towards the goal. On the other side of determination is SUCCESS!

“Listen to Me”

Listen to Me, God said. Today I went on an interview, the interview went well until the last question. Then I bombed a test that I should have aced. “Listen to Me”, God said.

“I put this center in your heart years ago and you haven’t taken the first step? Why my child, why?”

Why do we constantly ignore God? Are we scared, fearful, or defeated before the race even started. We have to get over this fear! I included!

So the interview was with someone who found my resume on the internet. When I looked into the position, it intrigued me. So, I reached out and applied. I still was on the fence about even applying for this position at this point. The HR rep contacted me within the hour. We set up a telephone interview and it went very well. She then scheduled an on-site interview. So I started to do my research (homework)  on the company and it turned out the company was in the same industry as my center. When I arrived at the interview I had time to sit and wait in the lobby. While I waited, the security guard and I struck up a conversation. I found out that not only does the building house centers with the same clients, they also have available space! I didn’t get the job, but I got one more piece to my puzzle!

Be thankful for the pieces. I’m grateful for every piece I’m shown. I have many different projects going on however, the ones I receive pieces for  are the ones that are his will. His will falls into place perfectly! I remember many times I ignored the pieces and continued in the other direction. When I made these choices, I took the long way through the process because of my fear. When I reflected on the process I saw each decision clearly, I saw how each choice made my process longer. In spite of this,  each hurdle added character and strength, I don’t regret one lesson.

Unqualified

I’m sure you have all applied for a job and received a rejection letter saying they have decided to pursue another candidate. At that moment, you felt unqualified. However, were you really unqualified or did someone’s book cover look better than yours?

There are many moments we go through in life where we may feel this way. Yet no matter how things look, we must remember the steps we take are intentional and each choice leads us to a specific position.

Have you been called to do something and you’re scared? What are you scared of? Do you feel unqualified? I feel like this often and it takes different regimens to get that feeling out of my head. If you have been led to do something, speak on something, or called to lead, you are qualified. You have been called to that position for a reason. The first reason is that you have the qualifications! Many times the feeling of being inadequate, or unqualified comes from fear or lack of confidence. We must bury that fear to move forward in life.

You are great, you are qualified! You are great, you are qualified!

We must constantly reassure ourselves that we are more than enough. So many people face this struggle daily. You would be surprised. Some people cover it up in clothes, some cover it up in degrees, some cover it up with cash, some cover it up with love, etc. Do you know that a tree with dead roots doesn’t grow? It doesn’t matter how big, pretty, green, etc. Once the roots are dead, it’s a goner. Don’t let your roots die. Materials are great, accolades are great, cash is great, however, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Erase those negative feelings and thoughts! You are great, you are qualified! You are great, you are qualified!
Believe it in your mind and heart first!

Evaluation

                As I dwell in this time of strife and continue to hold on, I carefully assess relationships. This includes business, personal, and affiliations. Times of strife has always been a time for me to check myself and those that I allow into my mind and heart. These relationships aren’t always good for you. They may also be only for a season, in which that season may have expired. Evaluation is critical if you plan to move things along in life. Sometimes we are so busy moving forward, or working on moving forward, we continue our routine of maintaining these relationships. When in reality, we may be giving the relationships not enough or too much attention. Thus the reason evaluation is so critical.

               The first step of evaluation starts with self and although we are evaluating relationships, we are analyzing our own steps in these relationships. Remember you are not here to change anyone else only yourself–only the way you react to situations that present themselves. This step is so critical as it will allow you to also evaluate the things you allow into your heart. Everything isn’t meant to be there. You can help and love people from a distance, without becoming emotionally involved.

              The second step in evaluation is finding a method to fix the issue. This method should feel good. It should make you feel like this issue is over, it’s in the past, and you’re leaving it there. You should be able to learn, grow, and move on. Learning is important during this step because every life lesson you don’t learn you may have to endure again.

             The third and final step is application and sticking to your solution. Make your solution a new way of life, make it something that will not only move you pass the last issue but make things easier in the future. Many people have decided to adopt a positive mindset. That not only is a quick fix but it’s a long-term fix that attracts positivity into your life. Be aware of the things you do, be aware of the vibes you give out, and be aware of the way you treat others. All of these things help align your path.

The 4 R’s

 

              I often am asked, How do you do this or do it? I feel as though many really want to ask, how are you not breaking down? Breaking down is a mental pull, there are many things in my life that could have caused me to break down. I’ve chosen to not allow these things to do so. Every situation we find ourselves in, we have created or allowed one way or the other. It’s our jobs to get ourselves out of said situation. With the correct amount of willpower and focus, you can do so. The answer to the question is, I don’t allow myself. Sometimes, some straight up cold hard honesty to myself may be the medicine. Evaluation of choices I made, no one made them for me. Personally owning the error, the reward, the sacrifice, is the first step in creating a solution. Own it! Are you owning the choices you may have made to be placed in the position you are in? Have you owned it? My solutions always start with self. I always address what I did, to get me into said situation or position. This step is vital. This is where things change outlook, opinion, perception.  This is where breaking down is removed. If you can accept what you did, you also have the power to change what you may have accepted.

              Shift your focus, I know you have heard this many times before, however, focusing on the wrong things tends to land us where we don’t want to be. This is why rest is needed, the mind needs to calm down and clear out. This is where shifting begins, a  calm and clear mind. Your mind in this state will allow you to adjust your focus, are you focused on progress or regress. This is a big question to ask ourselves daily, as fun is easy. One of my recipes to my day is 70% work, 30% fun. If 70% of my day has already been drenched in work than I could stand to have some fun. I keep it closer to 85%, the percentage is up to you. What can you handle? Many of my days are 100% work. I wake up working and I go to sleep working, I run errands, during my 20-30 minute break and then I’m right back to it. I work during lunch, I work during breakfast and dinner. I work in the car, I work during rest stops. I feel that I can constantly stimulate my mind in some fashion. Whatever your belief may be or your regimen may don’t allow anything or anybody to stifle it. When we add things to our lives, they should enhance our plans, they should push us harder, they should challenge us to move more confidently, and expand your capacity. Those additions will never be distractions as they are keeping you on task and focused.

            Many people with a loving heart tend to take on the issues of others when in reality, it’s not your concern. If you are one of these people, I challenge you along with myself to break away from any situations that are not pushing you the way you are pushing them. Pull yourself away from things that make you feel inadequate. You are adequate, you have a plan, you have a destiny and your running towards, push those things out of your way. Encourage others and don’t get caught up, lift up others and don’t get pulled in, love on others and don’t wait to be loved back. These things require mental strength that you may have but we all get sidetracked.

Rest your mind, review your strategy, reshift your focus, and REVIVE yourself!