Unclutter Your Life

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Today would have been my grandmother’s 104th (I think) birthday.  As I reflect on her life (what I can remember), I wonder what my legacy will be?  Have you ever thought about yours?

During a recent study at church, I was hoping to discover my spiritual gifts, personal style and God-given passion for serving.  I will admit, some of it was eye opening but it got me thinking about my past.  Now for those of you who follow my blog, you know memories are in short supply as a result of the MS lesions but I try to reflect often in the hopes, the gaps will one day be filled.

What will be your legacy?  

A legacy is “an amount of money or property left to someone in a will” but it is so much more.  I remember hearing once it is not the dates on a tombstone but the dash in between which people will remember.  On this Monday morning, I am wondering what my legacy will be and how it will be linked to my business.  

I want to make sure my business speaks to my passion.  Does yours?  I want to be sure “my dash” represents what matters most in my life, my passion.

When I am struggling in my business, reconnecting with my passion (or what I want my legacy to be) is a the easiest way to get back on track.

My degree is in Administration of Justice.  Yup, I bet you didn’t see that one coming, right? I wanted to be a lawyer, actually a public defender so I could help those who couldn’t afford an attorney.  I used it for a little bit when I worked for the Police Department and Security at the Claridge Casino many years ago.  During recovery from my drug addiction, I found a new way to use my degree – in Social Work.  It was the early days of HIV/AIDS so it was better known as “case management”.  It was there I found my passion.  My passion to make a difference in the lives of others.  Not sure what your passion is, here are some tips from a recent blog post I read:

  • Have kids? Ask them, “what does mommy/daddy do for work?” As you hear their answer, listen to your heart.  Do you beam with pride if they guess it right? Or do you feel pangs of disappointment when they guess things like “go shopping” when you really sit at a desk all day. For years, I’m not sure Belinda understood the work I did BUT she did get to know some aspects – Easter baskets for kids, special events, helping deliver gifts at Christmas & turkeys at Thanksgiving.
  • Once you have their answer, then ask what they think you should do for work. This could really be interesting.

Being in direct sales, I can pretty much guarantee when I am gone, my business will be gone.  No one to carry on the “purse gig”.  It wasn’t my intent to put a damper on your day!  I didn’t want to make you sad or think about things you had no desire in thinking about right now, but sometimes things come our way for a reason unknown to us.

Have you been thinking about changing jobs, starting a business or just feel there’s something bigger out there for you?  If so, know “life is short”.  You are not promised today or tomorrow, so why not live big? Why not put yourself out there and do exactly what you were meant to do?

Talk to your kids and see if they know what you should be doing!  I know it can be a little scary because you never know what they will come up.  Of course, it could depend on their age.  Put a plan in place to move towards your passion if you aren’t already living it.

When you sit back and look at your life, think about all of the lives you are touching.  I’m sure it is more lives than you know (or think)!

What will be your legacy?  Share it with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: More About Me

I decided to step back in time.  I realized there may be some who have not been on this roller coaster journey with me since the beginning.  Blogging started as a challenge for me in March of 2013, and 1,547 posts later I am still blogging.  Things have changes some but I am still sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences with you.

So let’s go back to June 22, 2013 and see what was happening:

It has been 84 days of blogging – sharing all of the random tidbits of information that have been stored away in my brain for all of these years.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I know.  Crazy, right?  Today’s post is going to let you get to know me a little bit better.  I know I may loose some readers here but it is a chance I am willing to take since I don’t do it often.  I figure every few weeks, I would share some personal stuff to let you in on life as Hope.

After graduating from Ocean Township High School, I headed off to Roger Williams College (which is now a University) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  A small school on the coast of Rhode Island about 20 minutes from Newport.  I started out in Education but quickly changed my major to Administration of Justice.  I actually excelled in these classes, unlike my first semester of freshman year when I almost flunked out.  This Jersey Girl never let the sand leave my shoes even when I wasn’t in NJ, I was always close to a beach.  After graduation, I stayed in Rhode Island to work for the Governor’s Justice Commission.  A fancy title for a Program person that wrote evaluations and recommendations on services that were available in the Juvenile Justice system for at risk youth in Rhode Island.  My first “funded” position through a grant and I had no clue what it all meant.  I truly thought that I could make a difference.  About 6-months into the job, my Aunt Elsie sent me a job posting for Neptune Township for the Police Department.  I applied and actually got the job!  WOW!  I was headed back home.

Don’t get nervous folks, I wasn’t a police officer – I was a Crime Prevention Specialist.   Fancy title, huh?  Basically, I along with Howard O’Neill who was a cop, were to do crime prevention seminars, rape prevention classes, home safety checks, etc in the community.  You remember McGruff the Crime Dog?  We were partners with him.  It was a job back home and I enjoyed being home, close to family and back at my roots on the Jersey Shore.  For those that have heard me tell the story of why I answer to the name “Heather” this is why.  It was at this job that the Police Commissioner for the ENTIRE time I worked there called me Heather.  I guess that she either didn’t like my name or really wanted Heather for the job.

The casinos opened in Atlantic City and I went to AC for the first time to see the casinos.  There was lots of excitement and the listings for available jobs was long.  At this point, the only casino was Resorts but there were many building and looking for employees. I came back to Neptune and put my resume together.  Never thinking that I had shot.  You guessed it, I got called for an interview by the Director of Security, Gordon Jenkins, for the Claridge Casino Hotel.  The interview was at a little coffee shop in AC at one of the converted motels that was being used for offices.  Gordon was from Las Vegas and was brought in to set things up.  A sweet man who was looking for a secretary that could transition into an Administrator as they go closer to opening.  He always had a smile on his face and loved to have breakfast meetings.  In fact, this is where I developed the habit of putting strawberry jam on cheese omelets.  Don’t knock it till you tried it!  He offered me the job and I jumped on it.  More money.  The excitement of AC.  This was when commuting became a part of my life.  I traveled 5 days a week from Ocean Grove to AC for many months….This was the first part of what I often call “my previous” life.

Treasure your memories, learn from your past and your mistakes, then use the things your have learned to grow in your personal development which will help you in your business.

As I look back on old posts, it helps me to remember.  Memories have been slowly disappearing as a result of the lesions on my brain.  Little did I know how much blogging would help me to catch glimpses of the past.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

Let’s Get Ready to Travel

In my other life, I worked for a Hotel Reservation Center where I spent ALOT of time traveling.  Sometimes it was a long trip for a conference to share about our services and other times it was quick jaunts to different cities for a travel agent tour.  I miss the days of hopping on a plane and just going.  Belinda got to do a lot of traveling before the age of 2 for this reason.  Whether you travel for work or are planning a vacation, here are a few tips to make your trips a lot less stressful. 

Pack less

I know this sounds like a no-brainer but the truth is, most of us pack more than we will ever need.  We always used to take “just in case” clothes.  Just in case could mean anything so you know there was way too many clothes.

Getting ready to pack?  Take everything you think you’re going to need for your trip out of your closet, NOW halve it. I know it is scary!  But it’s what you should pack. Yes, it’s good to be prepared for different weather and all, but think about it, do you really need six jerseys and five pairs of shoes?  The lighter you pack, the easier your trip will be.  Also, invest in either a distinctive suitcase so you can easily identify it at baggage claim or have something to distinguish yours from others.

Keep it compact

I am one of those who likes to travel with my laptop.  Why?  Security, I guess.  What if I need something from my computer?  Crazy, right?  Well, I have uncomplicated my life by using an envelope bag (a VERY old Thirty One product which might make a comeback) or to carry my laptop, and laptop charger.  Sometimes I use my Thirty One Cindy Tote because it will hold my laptop along with my book and my Organizing Shoulder Bag.  

Valet services

I have never done this since friends and family have always helped with dropping off and picking up at the airport.  Find out about the valet parking service available at the airport so you don’t struggle with parking, especially if you’re running late. With a valet service, you just drop your car off at the drop-off zone and someone from the service drives your car to the secure parking lot. When you return they’ll be waiting for you with your car right where you left it.

Travel with a hoodie

The benefits of travelling with a hoodie are countless, especially on a long flight. First of all hoodies are super comfortable and they make great ‘cushions’ when you want to sleep. Thanks to the hood, you’re also able to shut out the chatterbox stranger you always seem to find yourself sitting next to by simply putting it on and facing the window.  I never thought of this benefit – I travel with it because I am always cold.  LOL.

Jiggle-a-bit

Just because you’re a regular flyer doesn’t mean you like flying, right? And it’s easy to assume the worst part of any flight is turbulence for any person with the slightest aviophobia (the fear of flying). Believe it or not, jiggling around slightly during turbulence counteracts (to some degree) the bumpiness, making it a bit more manageable.  

My next flight isn’t until September for the Leadership Incentive trip BUT I will definitely need to think about some of these.  What are your best tips for air travel?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – A Holiday Weekend

Yes, I know it is only Thursday but I am sure you are already planning for a long holiday weekend, right?  This post was originally written back in 2013 (when I was a newbie to blogging).

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend was filled with mixed emotions. It was the start of the summer season which meant the “bennies” (or shoobies as we called them in South Jersey) would be invading for the next few months.

In high school, I worked at Kohr’s at Third Avenue so this was the first BIG weekend we got to work. Typically, we started working on weekends when it was nice around Easter. This was the weekend we were able to reconnect with old friends who came home from college or those who traveled to work for the summer. We enjoyed days on the beach and long nights on the boardwalk – working and hanging out with friends. The summer traffic was never really thought about nor did we really think about the people invading our beaches.

Fast forward to my mid-20’s when I moved to South Jersey – living just outside of Ocean City and working in Atlantic City.  I came to dread this weekend. No longer did it hold the joy of traveling to the beach and long nights of hanging on the boardwalk. Now it was filled with shoobies/ bennies who congested the roads and littered our beaches. It made parking impossible. The joy of the summer was replaced with dread. Honestly, we spent more time at the beach from Easter to around the middle of June then we did the entire summer. Those were the days filled with sunshine, quiet moments on the beach and only a little bit of traffic mostly caused by locals.  

Yes, I know it is great for the economy and a definite plus for all of the small businesses in the area. For many businesses, the summer season is what carries them through the long cold winter.  As for me, I will wait until the mid-week between now and mid June to enjoy the warmth of the beach and strolls on the boardwalk. Then I will wait, patiently, for the crowds to go home before I head back to the beach. The pool at the complex will be my haven during the day and on an occasional mid-week night, we may travel down to take a stroll on the boardwalk.

Last Sunday after we celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Wharfside in Point, we rode along the beach.  I will admit, the excitement of seeing the rides going, people walking on the boardwalk and some traffic brought back so many memories. I actually can’t wait this year to enjoy some of the craziness.

What are your plans for this weekend at the Jersey Shore? Do you have any tips for avoiding the crowds and still enjoying our wonderful beaches? I would love to hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

So You Want to be a Leader?, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Working for Yourself……..

Sometimes I like to go back to “this day in history”, well not really but I do like to go back to posts I wrote when I first started blogging.  Those days when I draw a blank and wonder if I should continue to write daily.   The original post was called “Working for Yourself” but I have updated it just a little…

I think dreams of being my own boss go back to a time when I made pre-mature baby clothes.  I did it all – design, cutout, sew the clothes, sell and deliver to the local stores.  I don’t remember the year but I was working at the Ocean Club in Atlantic City and had the support of the AMAZING Sid Ascher, a marketing genius.  Was I ready to be my own boss?  No.  Did I even know what it meant? No.  I just liked the freedom of making my own hours but at the time, I was not very good at time or money management.  To say the least, I went back to working for someone else.

My next leap into being my own boss was when I was a single mom…. I took my grant management skills in the non-profit world and opened “H.O.P.E. Consultants”.  For Belinda’s four years in High School, I was my own boss.  As things changed in the grant management world, I joined the 9 to 5 workforce to help a grassroots non-profit.  Then after 6 years of long commutes (4 hours round trip, 4 days a week),  I left the job I LOVED (and hated – LOL) to be my own boss as a Direct Sales Consultant. Why? The freedom to make my own hours with no long commute far outweighed the fear of owning my own business.

Has it been easy? No.  Did (or do) I let fear get in the way? Yes.  I hopped back to part time work when I lost faith in myself.  I hopped back into part time work when fear took control.  In January, I stepped away again to rely on God to help me grow my business.

Are you considering being your own boss?  Whether it is a direct sales business or a storefront or a service business, here are some things you can expect when you work for yourself…

#1 – It’s Just You:

Obstacle: As a sole owner all responsibilities fall on you. Or maybe it’s not just you and you have teamed with someone or have an employee or maybe even an intern to manage, which could all be new territory.  Managing your own schedule can be difficult if you’re used to structure. Are these insurmountable? No but you need to be ready for them.  Time management can be a little tougher as you learn how to maximize your productivity.

Advantage: It’s just you! No more office politics, micromanaging, or working for someone who doesn’t appreciate you– the list goes on and on.

#2 Blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life:

Obstacle:  The upside of an office job is in most cases the ability to, both physically and mentally, leave your work at the office.  This can be tricky when you’re working from home, and could be a struggle for family members.  Renting a separate office space isn’t always practical or necessary.  I have set up a separate area for my “office” which has helped me to stay more organized. It also prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives – for the most part.  Of course, we do have bags and organizing products throughout the house.

Advantage: No commuting! Hubby and I joke about my “long” commute now when I head down to my office.  Blending your work life and your home life isn’t bad when you build your business around something you’re passionate about.

#3 You Will Work Longer and Harder Than Ever Before:

Obstacle: You may work from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep BUT you will not regret it because you are building something you love.  This will be true in the beginning because you will do whatever it takes to get your business off the ground.  Things will change as your business grows.

Advantage: You will work longer and harder, but for your own gain. Nothing is more satisfying!  While you will make some time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.

I am always grateful I am my own boss when there is a crisis, a family emergency, a holiday gathering or an unexpected guest because I can make my own hours.  I have learned over the last 6 years how to overcome the obstacles (most days) and embrace the advantages.

There are sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

Want to know more about owning your own Thirty One business?  Click HERE to see all the details. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!