My Biggest Fear in Business (Before I started one)

Many days, I would sit at my desk wondering if this was all there was? Daily, it was the familiar: the mundane, the answering phones, sending faxes, responding the voicemails, and answering questions. It wasn’t a passion, it didn’t make me feel closer to feeling significant, it just felt empty. Punching a clock on someone else’s time, at their beck and call, no matter how nice my bosses were, didn’t feel like freedom to me. It really felt like a ball and chain, something I had to do. The demands were pulling from all sides day in and day out. It wasn’t that I had poor jobs, poor coworkers or companies. In fact, I think it had the most exceptional in all those categories. But it wasn’t my passion, it didn’t drive me or make me a better more learned person. I learned the skills and I learned the politics of being in an organization but I wanted more.

What was probably my biggest fear, is not feeling significant. I think of different jobs I had and I was never power hungry, but I wanted to feel like I was needed, and necessary. I found that my jobs and career didn’t fully do that for me. They did give me this feeling of definition, however. It’s similar to being on a high school varsity team, you get to say you’re a Wildcat on the basketball team or the track team, even if you don’t love it. Identifying with something makes us feel accepted somehow. But yet, I still wrestled with significance.

When I began to think of creating my own business with my colleagues, I was torn. It would make me feel significant but not give me the definition that comes with the old jobs, the comradery, the familiar tasks. I think that this is probably the hardest and deepest struggle we go through when making a big change in our lives for the better, whether it is a gradual change or instantaneous.

You ARE a Seller (You Just Don’t know it Yet)

I was cleaning up the cloud of spaghetti sauce off of my black fitted apron as I threw away another dirty dish into the buckets at the end of the booth.

“I need table 7!” I yelled into the wild kitchen, aromas filling my nostrils.  I continued bustling along in my black blouse, slacks, and Mary Jane’s, pony tail in tow. Every seventeen year old knows that powerful feeling, the one where you just got promoted from “hostess” to “waitress”. It’s all in the apron.

As I moved along with my tables I noticed one of my fellow waitress workers, a veteran but very young, maybe in her late 20’s seemed  to be talking to certain people all the time. These people came in regularly at a certain time at night and ordered the most lavish meals an Italian eatery could offer. She combed her hair to bob in the back, dirty blonde tendrils loosely held back. Her mascara was freshly done and her earrings dangled down her neck. She looked confident, attractive. What I remember most about her is that she could SELL!

The wine would be flowing, the Sea Bass eaten, the pasta al dente, but most of all how that veteran waitress had a way with connecting with the people, making them feel like they weren’t in Upstate New York, but Venice, Italy. And I took notes, I learned from this waitress. At first I thought it was just a gift she possessed and, in some ways, that’s correct. But it can also be learned.

Taking an interest in people, listening, acting and dressing in an attractive manner, really draws people in. Now, some people are naturals at this, they naturally sell. It took me a while, and creating Digital Women CJS to really find out that selling is an attitude and it’s all about what you can do for someone else. It’s conveying a feeling that I care about you and here’s why my service is the best– because it’s the best for YOU- my client. Once I honed in on this lesson in personal development, the angels came out and sang the hallelujah chorus. It was so awesome to know that I was absolutely able to engage clients, to relate to them and to present in an attractive manner. As long as you believe in your product or service, you can sell just about anything.

Rachel’s Reality

“I just want to let you know that every time I think about you, I want to bash your brains out, and I hate you for all of these terrible thoughts I have and I hate the person you have made me into and how completely broken I am inside.”

I read the text message from my sister in astonishment.

“Should I send it to her?” Rachel asked.

I was disturbed beyond all reason, one because Rachel was thinking this would actually be a

good idea and two, that my baby sister was deeply, truly hurting.

“Who is that?” I asked.

“That’s to mom.”

“Don’t do it, are you having a hard time?” I responded.

“Yes and I want her to know what she’s done to me.”

“That won’t help you, Rachel. She is too messed up– are you going to counseling?”

“No– but I should be.”

Cheating and Church Part II

It is true… So many thoughts ran through my teenage head as I tried to steady my balance and work my behind to the pew bench. I couldn’t believe it, I thought my family was unbreakable, strong and fortified. But that day, the way I thought about a lot of things changed. My respect for my father grew and my resentment for my mother only festered more. If she didn’t like Dad anymore, why didn’t she just go and get a quiet divorce? Why drag us through the rubble and the drama? Everyone knew about her, about her tarty ways. She used to hide behind a semi-respectable facade, safe to say that was long gone. She probably wouldn’t be asked to coach little league anymore for my little sister, gone are the days of teaching Sunday School. Yup, a lot of things were changing and I changed right along with it.

When I grow Up

Many people assume that they know what they want to do ‘when they grow up’.

A poet,  teacher, doctor, maybe a lawyer? A steady office job with a 9 to 5 time clock.

I thought the same thing. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do until I started doing it.

I found out this profound lesson – I knew nothing.

Here’s the bottom line… filing papers is boring, crafting letters, running reports… it’s all very mundane.

I realized that I was operating half the time on auto pilot. I wasn’t really thinking as I worked.

The birth of this website and this craft came out of that same boredom, the desire to chase our dreams, knowing that what we were doing at our ‘day jobs’ just wasn’t cutting it. We later started our thumbtack site as well doing side writing jobs to gain momentum. As I started doing these ‘side jobs’, I realized how much I truly loved it. It’s helping people, it’s convincing people that you can and should be trusted with their work and their businesses.

As I talked to my new clients on the phone, something really special occurred, with each of those new-found relationships. Purpose.

Cheating and Church: Part I

I walked through the pews as the crowd began to mingle and head out slowly to through the double doors. I wasn’t really sure what the lunch plans would be but it was Sunday so I was excited at the idea of going out to eat. As I walked through the aisle to find my dad my tea length purple skirt swished and swayed about my legs. I drew closer and heard him say in a hushed tone to a friend, “Yes, apparently there’s another man.” My heart dropped to my stomach, my ankles locked, and my eyes froze.  My mom was cheating on my dad? Seriously? I really couldn’t believe it. I moved as quickly as I could to Sally and ask if this was really true. She turned to me with such a sullen expression. “Yes, Christina, it’s true.” My heart sunk, thud! I sat down on the pew. My head began to spin like a fair merry-go-round… How could this be happening to us?

Uncomfortable

It’s been a while since I have posted… seems like it was just yesterday I was babbling on. It’s amazing what a whirlwind December to February can be. It’s filled with all the highs of the Christmas and Holiday merriment that comes to a crashing low in the bitter cold of January. It’s these months that make us long for the refreshing rains of spring or the warmth of the July sun. These are the uncomfortable times, the waiting periods, the moments that we rush to get through.

Recently my husband and I moved to a new town, an area nestled within the Adirondacks that is quite beautiful. I can see the mountains out of my window panes. But moving can be a lot like the transitioning of the seasons. We can forgo things we enjoy because we live in a cramped space, or decide to post pone dreams because we are too busy, too preoccupied. But, just as the seasons, those transition times are a long part of the year and in our lives, they are a big part of who we are.

The moments in a waiting room, waiting for a college acceptance, a graduation, a wedding, a date… it’s a major part of life, it’s the winters waiting for the spring. I have learned that though it may be uncomfortable, maybe even painful, that to not enjoy these times, to the best of my ability, is wasting a life. A wise man once told me that the uncomfortable times are part of a larger quilt of your life, they are just one piece out of many that make up a beautiful design. This is the line that comes to my mind when I think about the uncomfortable “Januarys” of life.