I may be smelly, dirty, out of shape and disorganized

. . . . or maybe I just have thoughtful friends and family. 

Let me explain. 

I just had a birthday - I hate them. I don't mean that as an insult to my creator or my parents. I am truly grateful to be alive and most days I remember to cherish this life. 

I just feel SO unaccomplished each time another one rolls by. And I HATE to be the center of attention (really). I'm an introvert who learned how to adapt - so I ACT like an extrovert. Exhausting sometimes. 

But I learned the lesson many years ago that being shy was selfish - all I thought about was what other people were thinking of me, instead of focusing on making others feel welcome and at ease around me.  Once you shift to that perspective, it's easy to talk to anyone.

Anywho - for my birthday I received - in random order - workout DVDs, an organizational binder, soap and smell good lotion.  Hmmmmm. Is it just me, or are they trying to tell me something? 

Now, several years ago, that's what I would've been thinking.  I learned this lesson shortly after the "shy" lesson - they're closely related.  My focus had been on ME. What do these gifts say about ME?  When the RIGHT way to look at it is what do they say about the GIVERS? 

It says they are kind, thoughtful humans, who care enough about me to ignore the fact that I hate birthdays and celebrate me in spite of me.  And I LOVE them for it! 


Paperback Swap

Do you have a stack of books like this sitting around? Let me tell you about a solution I love. Paperback Swap.

You join for free at their website and enter the ISBN codes (found on the back of the book) of the books you are done with. If other members want them, they request them from you (your account is linked to your email) and you mail them off. Each book you send out earns you 1 credit, and you can request any book you want that is currently available. FOR FREE! :)

Now, you do have to pay shipping on all the books you mail out - but that's always been less than $3.00 for me. Pretty good deal, even for used books - especially because you can search for exactly what you want.

AND if they don't have what you want right now, just put it on your wish list and as soon as it's posted into the system they will notify you, so you can have it sent to you right away. Pretty cool.

Here's the link if you are interested. http://www.paperbackswap.com/home.php



I don't want to BE a brand!

photo credit blog.cirtex.com

I don't want to BE a brand. 

Ok. So I've been doing some research - maybe too much research. About blogging & social media. Which led me naturally to 'Personal Branding.' Did you know RED is a powerful color, while GREEN makes us think of money and all things earthy? Oh yeah, and to develop a personal brand, you need to make a list of all your interests, narrow that down to the ones you are PASSIONATE about and then research which ones are marketable, don't have a lot of competition (i.e. other bloggers/ experts/ salesmen developing products and/or services about) but DO have a large enough target market - oh and that you could write content for - a LOT of content - 3-5 posts per week for the foreseeable future. 

Whew - it's a lot to consider. 

I had to ask myself, do I have a passion? Turns out I have many. The God of the Bible. The Bible. My family.  I love reading and travel and camping and the outdoors in general. 

I'm also a wannabe hippy-homesteader. I try to garden, own some chickens, belong to a local food co-op and visit farmer's markets quite often.  However, I'm also the proud daughter of a cattle rancher and the (also proud) sister of a feedlot manager!  Yikes. 

Talk about your walking conundrums. 

So. . . . here I am. I'm not a brand - I'm just me and just figuring it all out as I go. 

I'm starting my own company and I will  brand the heck out of that. In fact, you may even notice some 'nods' to the professional site and brand from here. 

But that's because I am a WHOLE person. Every part of my life touches every other part of my life. And that's the way it should be. 

I can brand something without BECOMING  a brand. 

And maybe that's the real lesson. 

How about you? Have you struggled with your private and public identity? Have you been successful at branding either yourself or your company/product? I'd love to hear all about it. 


    My Heritage

    Big Brother snuggling the Littles

    Sometimes it just all comes together. My 3 beautiful children in various states of "ease" on the couch.

    Here is my life's work. Here is my love. The reason for my living. God has entrusted me with so much. I am entirely blessed.

    How could I possibly consider stepping down from this beautiful responsibility to earn a paycheck? Would selling widgets, or teaching others how to sell them, make me more important or worthwhile than they do?

    Please. Ridiculous.

    When I left my full time job as a sales professional to stay at home with my (now) 3 year old son, I explained to my customers that God had given me a promotion.



    Results & Roses

    The man who wants a garden fair
      or small, or very big
    With flowers growing here and there
    Must bend his back and dig

    The things are mighty few on earth
      that wishes can attain
    Whatever we want of any worth
    We've got to work to gain
                           excerpt from Edgar Guest's poem "Results & Roses"

    I love the different seasons of the year. I still get goose bumps during back-to-school time, even though I am no longer even remotely connected to the public school system. 
    And I love to PLAN and SET GOALS around the beginning of the new year. Dreamin' and schemin', I call it. 
    However, I often get to planning so much that I forget to do the actual WORK that would produce the RESULTS I am planning to achieve. 
    This poem is a good reminder.  It acts as a good reign on those runaway dreams and eagerly optimistic plans. :) 
    After all, what good are plans that bear no fruit?