Sunday, August 29, 2010

“Family” Business

Telling my family about my intentions to start a business has been a slow progression.

I first told my mother and sister a few years ago after I initially thought up the name Live Love Life Now™. Last year I told my father during a get together in Santa Fe and I recently told my brothers about the company while we were catching up in Vegas.

Each time was a little nerve-wracking because their opinions mean so much to me. It’s not as if I thought they would hate the idea, I just didn’t know what they would think or say about something so personal to me.

Fortunately, they have each offered up their full support and encouragement without reservation. And one of my brothers, who had done sales work in the past, immediately came up with some good marketing and promotion ideas and told me to call him at any time to brainstorm.

His offer of help meant more to me than he can ever know and I immediately took him up on it once I got back home. I sent him a picture of my first product and also some bullet points (his suggestion) on what I want people to know about the company.

Since then, we have exchanged a few more emails back and forth – more communication in two days than I’d had with him ever – and it feels wonderful!

So perhaps change isn’t so bad after all. Ever since I committed to taking that risk and going after my dreams, one door after another has opened. And behind one of those doors has been the opportunity to get closer to my family.

I’m now in talks with my sister about collaborating on designing some products and my father is getting me in touch with some professionals who can give me more legal direction.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it is clear that it’s going to take my entire family to help me build this company. And knowing that each of them is behind me and my dreams a 100% is the biggest blessing I could ask for.

The fact that they want this for me as much as I want it for myself is everything.

I will not let them down.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Can I Do Today?

While doing my yoga routine this morning, my mind started wandering and I thought about all I had accomplished on my trip and yesterday after work. I felt energized and motivated and asked myself “what can I do today?”

Wow, talk about a mental shift!

Normally my thoughts are more along the line of “what do I need to do today?” But in asking myself what can I do today, I took a huge step forward into being proactive and wanting to push Live Love Life Now™ into reality.

Another sign that it’s a big deal? I actually stopped getting ready for work to write this message…and you know I’m not a morning person!

This newfound energy and motivation feels amazing and I plan to take advantage of it for as long as it sticks around!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Need A Vacation From My Vacation

The past five days in Vegas were awesome…and exhausting!

They also were productive and educational, which I think makes a pretty well rounded vacation.

My most notable accomplishments? See below:

1. I finalized and emailed my response.

2. I gave one of my products to my dad, which led to a lot of encouraging feedback and an invaluable discussion.

3. I learned how to play craps…which I subsequently became addicted to.

4. I won $142 playing slots!

5. I told my brothers about my business idea and received a lot of support and encouragement, which felt awesome!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Escape from Reality

After four hours of sleep, I got on a plane yesterday at the crack of dawn and flew across the country to Las Vegas for a family reunion.

I have been looking forward to this trip all summer and I am so happy that it’s finally here and I get four glorious days off from work.

I’m hoping this trip will help to clear my head, refresh my spirits and prevent me from telling my boss to go to h-e-double hockey sticks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That Wasn’t So Bad

Yesterday, I found the email response in my inbox.

I was equally excited and scared to death. So I gave myself fifteen minutes to procrastinate by deleting all of my spam emails.

Then I took a deep breath, told myself to grow a pair, and opened the email.

It was short and sweet:

“Jennifer – tell me about Live Love Life Now!! It sounds exciting!”

I’m not sure exactly what I had been expecting, but I took this message as a positive and encouraging sign. They had responded quickly to my inquiry and wanted to know more.

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to say! It’s tricky to put into words something that is so personal to me. I haven’t had a lot of experience verbalizing my goals and intentions for the company and apparently I need some practice.

Looks like I’ll be getting that practice now!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Anybody Out There?

So I tried to remain cool all day while at work, but in the back of my mind I kept wondering if I had received a response to my email yet. Somehow I managed to restrain myself from checking my email account all day.

That’s not really a comment on how good of a worker I am though, but rather that I was actually scared of finding an email…good or bad.

If they were interested, then I had to figure out my next step. If they were disinterested, then it would be kind of a blow to my confidence.

So I distracted myself with work and told myself I didn’t have time to check my email. And after work I headed downtown to a baseball game and told myself that I would just sleep on it and check in the morning.

Halfway through the game, I changed my mind and my ways. See, one of my worst habits has always been avoiding following up on things that I’m not sure the outcome of. But I can’t afford to do that anymore.

If I’m running a business, I need to stay on top of my communication. I mean how would it look if I wait a week to read and respond to my emails?

So I held my breath and checked my email…and actually breathed a sigh of relief when there was no email response at all.

Weird reaction?

I know it sounds strange, but for me it means I can still dream about what their response will be.

I guess sometimes the unknown can be comforting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Leap of Faith

I’m freaking out.

I just hit send on the first email putting Live Love Live Now™ “out there”.

GAAH!!! Now what??

I’m in unknown territory and it’s honestly freaking me out.

How long before I’ll hear back? What will they say? Will they be interested? Will they think my idea is dumb?

Since I’m offering up my first product as a way to fundraise, I think they’ll be interested. And in my gut I know that what I have to offer is well designed and well intentioned…

But what if they can’t tell all this from one little email?? ACK!!!

Okay, off to take a chill pill and relax. And to relish in the fact that I actually took the first jump off the cliff – this is momentous!

I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight; I’m so excited and nervous all at the same time!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On a Mission

Another grueling and long day at the office left me with a burning desire to get my company going…and profitable enough to call it quits on the 9-5.

It also left me with a pounding headache and a need for a quick power nap.

Now that naptime is over, I'm ready to accomplish something positive before I head to bed and start the grind all over again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Living Life at Top Speed

My sister sent me this video the day after we went windsurfing for the first time and I was transformed. I can’t watch it without getting chills and to me it embodies the full meaning behind Live Love Life Now™ because it is obvious that the surfers are simply living their passion.

I find that pretty inspiring.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Art Imitating Life

Julie Powell and Julia Child were of different generations and life experiences. But they were similar in a few significant ways:

Both were underemployed.

Both were married to wonderfully supportive and encouraging men.

Both felt lost until they took a risk and found their passion for food.

Both came out the other side full of joy and success.

I’ve been motivated by their journeys since watching the film Julie & Julia last winter. In fact, I found the movie so inspiring that it became the impetus behind starting this blog and finally putting into motion Live Love Life Now™.

And I’ve wanted to write a post about it ever since. But I hadn’t, until I came across the movie last night while channel surfing and took it as a sign to get re-inspired.

And I did. I was so inspired I dreamed about resigning from my day job all today. But of course I didn’t, I’m not that crazy...though sometimes I wish I were.

But I need to make that happen soon. And the only way that’s going to happen is to jump off the cliff and go after my passion.

So consider me jumping!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sleep Sweet

The email is done and I can now retreat to my bed with the satisfaction that I accomplished the goal I set for myself today.

I think I shall sleep like a baby tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goal of the Day

The goal for today is to write one email; one quick, short email to inquire about my trademark.

Should be easy enough right?

Well it should be but it’s almost midnight and I’ve been dragging my feet all day.

Siggh…procrastination and fear are banging on my door again.

But you know what? You guys can go bug somebody else because I’m not letting you in tonight - I have an email to write!

The Moral? Sometimes you have to dig deep and keep pushing yourself even when you just want to go to bed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Live NOW, Live TODAY

I remember my first yoga class clearly. I was nervous and shy and unsure of what to expect and if I’d be able to keep up.

But then I walked into the gym and was greeted by Rosalyn, a very friendly and outgoing woman, who started class by having us lay down on our yoga mats, close our eyes and then move through a slow warm up.

It was exactly what I wanted the class to be and from then I was hooked. I also credit this experience with the reason why I continue to do yoga (and her warm up) most mornings before work.

Not only did Rosalyn infuse her classes with humor, once referring to my sister and I as her ‘power twins’, but she also made sure that the beginners didn’t get lost in the poses and always pointed out the tricks to getting the most out of each position.

Eventually I moved on to a more advanced teacher, but life’s circuitous cycle brought her back into my life a few months ago when that teacher moved on.

And that is when I found out that Rosalyn had been battling breast cancer and a brain tumor. I was floored because she looked so healthy and strong, coming straight to yoga after teaching an intensive hour-long spinning class.

If she hadn’t mentioned it, I never would have known she was sick because she remained the same outgoing, friendly and funny person even though she was fighting for her life. I was in awe of her positive outlook and my petty concerns and complaints melted away when I was around her.

So I was sad when she took a leave of absence from teaching and our class was relegated to an apathetic substitute teacher who teaches the same scripted class week after week. I couldn’t wait for Rosalyn to come back and teach us.

But today, I heard the tragic news that she passed away a few weeks ago. My heart literally stopped as I read the email and I couldn’t make any sense of the news.

I had seen her less than two months prior and she seemed like she was doing really well. Of course appearances can be deceiving and she probably had hid how tough her battle actually was.

Still, the news of this vivacious, outgoing and funny woman’s passing has not sunk in. She was an inspiration to me to keep persevering, even in the toughest of times, and to put on a happy and friendly face.

Sometimes I can’t manage even that small task at work because I’m bemoaning that my life isn’t what I’d expected it to be. Well from now on I will be even more grateful for the life and health that I have and will continue to take advantage of both by pursuing a life well lived NOW.

Rosalyn was only 40 but I know she lived a lot of life in those years. My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends that she left behind.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Library Cards and Homemade Sushi

In my heyday, I would read a handful of books every month and couldn’t get into a moving vehicle without cracking open my latest novel.

But somewhere along the way, the real world got in the way of my reading habit and I was lucky to read a handful of books a year.

The book club has changed all that now and, by virtue, I am guaranteed to read at least 10-12 books a year. But now I want to read more than that, like I used to. So on Saturday, I went and got my first library card in almost ten years.

The event took all of five minutes and soon I was rifling through the stacks. But since I wasn’t prepared with my trusty reading wish list, I only left with two books. But it’s probably a good thing to start off slowly after such a long dry spell.

And if that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, I also made sushi for the first time.

Now I’ve only been eating sushi for a few years at this point, but last night family and friends gathered to hand make our own.

While they didn’t turn out as visually appealing as the pre-made ones, the rolls were really tasty! It was a fun and somewhat uncomplicated process too – who knew?!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Slack Ass

Two weeks of hell at work followed by one week of catch-up has left me with little energy to do much posting - and for that I have felt bad.

But after a few days off from work, I am gearing up to get back into the swing of things…starting with a weekend of a few firsts.