Last week, Olivia and I attended a workshop with Layne Kennedy through North House Folk School. On the last day of class, we shared 11 photos that we took during the trip. Below are my 11 photos.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
As I start thinking more about what to do when Olivia goes to college in Fall 2022, I keep revisiting the idea of being an entrepreneur. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to being an entrepreneur. However, having founded and ran a non-profit in the late 1990s-early 2000s, it is something I enjoyed doing and it was a good fit.
The book Never Too Old to Get Rich - The Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life by Kerry Hannon had a lot of great information and ideas.
There were also activities to do to help determine and/or prepare you for that career path. Some of the key points are below.
- 10 tips for mid-career entrepreneurs:
- Be clear about your goals
- Start early to prepare
- Learn business basics
- Build your network
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Offer and seek help
- Create a social media strategy
- Define and promote your brand
- Listen to your customers
- Learn to be motivated
- 3-part fitness program: become financially fit, physically fit, and spiritually fit.
- Prepare for a change and network with people doing those jobs.
- Connect with a mentor either in person or online.
- Volunteer - network in any associations or organizations devoted to your passion or hobby. Get invovled. Attend meetings.
- Reach out to your alumni network.
- Look at many different busienss models for ideas.
- Do one thing daily to work toward your goal.
- Intergenerational pairings are energizing and represent a great blueprint for future success.
- Take the time to plan and create a strong financial base to start.
- Start slow - it takes about a year to lay the groundwork to start a nonprofit. Invite a well-known speaker for an event.
- Begin a journal in a notebook or computer file for your "Be My Own Boss" program. Write your professional and personal goals for your potential business
- Create a list of the type sof businesses that might be possible for your to launch in the orbit of your passion or hobby.
- Make a list of people who have started businesses from their passions or hobbies and ask them what their challenges were. Ask for advice.
- Write down your goals for working with a mentor.
- Set up a routine exercise program.
- Do a budget. See where you can trim costs and pay down debt. Keep saving for retirement.
- Take a class in mindfulness or meditation.
- Separate business and personal accounts to simplify bookkeeping.
- Start small as a side gig. A soft launch gives you time to work through the unexpected challenges.
- Look for advice through a local chamber of commerce, the SBA's Women Business Centers, and women's business owner associations.
- Take courses on entrepreneurship at a local community college.
- Focus on what it is you want to sell or a service you want to provide. Discover the essence of what you want your business to represent. Keep it simple initially.
- Write down what activities you are passionate about - especially those from childhood. Is there a business concept hidden there or a path for self-employment?
- Can you monetize your passion? What do your potential competitors charge for their goods and services? Do you need a storefront or office, or would an e-business that is home based be sufficient?
- How many years until you really plan to retire? Does the business concept have time to grow and prosper?
- Check to see what regulations your town has for home-based business.
- Look for ways to self-promote on various social media platforms.
- Write about how you might make a difference with a small nonprofit start-up. What causes do you wear on your sleeve?
- Volunteer your time at similar organizations that you would like as a model for your venture.
- Create a vision board to inspire you.
- Write your nonprofit-oriented resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Look into educational opportunities to ramp up your knowledge of the nonprofit worl.
- Consider if crowdfunding is a viable path for your to raise cash.
Websites to Explore
- "How I Became an Entrepreneur at 66" - TED Talk
- Idealist.org - provides direction, lays out initial steps for launching a new nonprofit, and has resources.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Earlier this year, I did the 75Hard Challenge. One of the books that many of the people who do the challenge have read and recommend is Atomic Habits - An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
Many of the concepts about habit tracking and focusing on several key smaller habits is something that 75Hard focuses on. So, this book was a reinforcement about what I've been doing already this year. However, what was new was the concept of habit stacking which I've never heard before. It sounds like it would be something beneficial to try.
Below are notes from the book that I found interesting:
- Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long run.
- Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient.
- An atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system. Atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.
- Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making process.
- The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
- Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
- Do a habits scorecard to rate your habits. Use a plus sign for positive habits, a minus sign for negative habits, and an equal sign for neutral habits. See atomichabits.com/scorecard
- To set habits, use this formula: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
- Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit. The habit stacking formula is: After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
- Redesign your environment and make the cues for your preferred habits more obvious. For example, if you want to practice guitar more frequently, place your guitar stand in the middle of the living room. If you want to send more thank you notes, keep a stack of stationery on your desk.
- Do you want to think more creatively? Move to a bigger room or take a break from the space where you do your daily work, which is also linked to your current thought patterns.
- Cut bad habits off at the source by reducing exposure to the cue that causes it. If you can't get any work done, leave your phone in another room for a few hours. If you're continually feeling like you're not enough, stop following social media accounts that trigger jealousy and envy.
- Make a habit attractive. Do this by following this formula:
1. After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [HABIT I NEED].
2 After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT].
If you want to check Facebook, but you need to exercise more:
1. After I pull out my phone, I will do ten burpees (need).
2. After I do ten burpees, I will check Facebook (want).
- 40-50% of our actions on any given day are done out of habit.
- When you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 minutes to do. Nearly any habit can be scaled dow into a two-minute version:
- "Read before bed each night" becomes "Read one page."
- "Fold the laundry" becomes "Fold one pair of socks."
- Once you do the "gateway habit" that leads you down a more productive path. The point is to show up and start doing the habit.
- Phases of habit shaping for becoming vegan: start eating vegetables at each meal; stop eating animals with four legs (cow, pig, lamb, etc.). Stop eating animals with two legs (chicken, turkey, etc.). Stop eating animals with no legs (fish, clams, scallops, etc.). Stop eating all animal products (eggs, milk, cheese).
- Onetime actions that lock in good habits:
- Nutrition: buy a water filter to clean your drinking water. Use smaller plates to reduce caloric intake.
- Sleep: buy a good mattress. Get blackout curtains. Remove your television from your bedroom.
- Productivity: unsubscribe from emails. Turn off notifications and mute group chats. Set your phone to silent. Delete social media apps on your phone.
- Happiness: get a dog.
- General health: get vaccinated. Buy good shoes to avoid back pain.
- Finance: enroll in an automatic savings plan. Set up automatic bill pay.
- Do habit tracking. Whenever possible, measurement should be automated (e.g., credit card statements, Fitbit, calendar). Manual tracking should be limited to your most important habit. It is better to consistently track one habit than to sporadically track ten. Record each measurement immediately after the habit occurs.
- Never miss a habit twice. The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Last month I was reading quite a few books about seeking a new job and career path once Olivia goes to college and I no longer am needed as a homeschool mom. I read another book Career Comeback - Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want by Lisa Johnson Mandell.
Much of what was in this book I have read in other books. However, there were a few new ideas in this one that are worth noting:
- Create a career mission statement. Examine the following:
- Make a list of all the things you love to do, from baking brownies to horseback riding to knitting to reading.
- Make a list of all the things you'd love to do if money or time were no object, from travel to skydiving to starting a shelter for homeless animals to mastering a musical instrument.
- Make a list of things that really make you angry - the things you'd like to change in the world or fix, from bigotry to sexism to abuse to illiteracy to pollution to poverty.
- Take those lists and connect the dots.
- Raise your "hip" quotient by becoming familiar with current culture. There were a lot of ideas - many of which I already do. Some I don't see a purpose in doing. Others, like the ones below, are ones I could do:
- Scan at least one current culture or news blog daily (e.g., huffingtonpost.com wowowow.com nytimes.com gawker.com)
- Subscribe to at least one online newsletter. Find a top website for your own particular field or profession to keep current with your industry.
- Test drive a hybrid.
- Do at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity five times a week or 50 minutes 3 times a week.
- Count your blessings and focus on all the things you have rather than the things you don't have.
- In creative fields or special events planning, you want to dress for work with a little more style and sophistication. Think talk show hosts like Oprah, Tyra Banks, Kelly Ripa, etc. Express yourself with color and style.
- Take Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) supplements.
- Get Aging Eraser which is an antioxidant cream.
- Have a good elevator pitch which includes an introduction (your name), your profession, what needs you meet, and what makes you different from everyone else.
- Create a business card. Use VistaPrint.com.
- Get professional photos taken.
- Explore Change.org which is a nonprofit social networking site that asks what you want to change in the world, connects you with like-minded folks, and provides opportunities for work or volunteerism.
- "Tell me about yourself" - focus on the strengths and skills you've developed that relate to that particular job. Keep the answer short and professional.
- "I see some gaps here in your job history. Tell me about them." Be honest and talk about the work skills you developed during those gaps. For example, if you were running a household, you managed complex schedules and financial issues. You developed flexibility, resourcefulness, and the ability to keep your cool while handling emergencies of all types.
- Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. (Confucius)
During the past year, I've read a few books by John Maxwell. I like his message and writing style. The most recent book I read is Change Your World - How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Difference.
Below are some points from the books that I found particularly interesting or meaningful:
- Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. (Augustine of Hippo)
- It's estimated that 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.
- People change when they hurt enough that they have.
- People change when they see enough that they are inspired to.
- People change when they learn enough that they want to.
- People change when they receive enough that they are able to.
- Dare to Dream, but please also Do. For Dreamers are many, but Doers are few. (Brad Montague)
- Regardless of what people aim to achieve...those who set themselves apart from the rest maintain a sense of urgency in order to be the best they can be. (Rob Llewellyn)
- The most successful entrepreneurs not only have courage and imagination, they also have a sense of urgency....Their feeling of urgency moves them to take action. Right now!
- It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter what you have or haven't done yet. It's never too late to do something to change your world.
- Third-grade literacy is the number-one determinant of whether kids graduate from high school.
- The most significant and powerful way to bring generational change to this community would be through good education, especially of younger kids with reading.
- The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do. (Steve Jobs)
- Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. (Harriet Tubman)
- Many things in life just happen, but positive change isn't one of them. Changing anything in our world requires someone to be the catalyst.
- People with good intentions want to add value to others, but find reasons not to do it. People with good actions want to add value to others and find ways to do it. People with good intentions can be passive, inconsistent, and disappointing. People with good actions are deliberate, consistent, and willful. Good actions represent the dividing line between words and results.
- "May I stress the need for courageous, intelligent, and dedicated leadership....Leaders of sound integrity. Leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with justice. Leaders not in love with money, but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause." (Martin Luthern King, Jr.)
- "We can't change everything, but we can change something." (Bill Austin, billionaire philanthropist) The questions to ask are: What can I change? What can I do exceptionally well? What's my A-game? What do I do that consistently makes a positive impact? That's what you should be focusing on.
- Your best contribution will be based on your gifts, past successes, passions, and opportunities.
- I can do what you cannot, and you can do what I cannot; together we can do great things. (Mother Teresa)
- No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you're playing a solo game, you'll always lose out to a team. (Reid Hoffman)
- I want to make a difference with people who want to make a difference. If we wanted to make a difference, we had to be fighting for the same cause. That taught me to become more selective about who I teamed up with.
- Let both sides explore what problems united us instead of belaboring the problems which divide us. (John F. Kennedy)
- All players have a place where they add the most value.
- Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. (Nido Qubein)
- There was a shift from survival thinking to significant thinking during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Teachers offered their classes online.
- Neighbors shared necessities like food, water, and toilet paper.
- Neighbors put up Christmas lights to boost spirits.
- Your values become your destiny. (Mahatma Gandhi)
- As individuals embrace good values, they realize they have the potential to change their own lives. They begin to realize they have the opportunity to add value to others.
- Transformation begins in an individual, grows in community, and impacts a society.
- Values not only help people to live better, they also help people to stay true to themselves.
- A meaningful life is not a matter of speed or efficiency. It's much more a matter of what you do and why you do it, than how fast you get it done.
- For partnerships to thrive, trust must be the foundation. Movements move at the speed of trust because they are dependent upon the collaboration process.
- To work together you need three things: Generosity (giving up resources for the whole), Humility (giving up your own importance, position, and power), and Integrity (truthfulness so that others can depend on your character).
- Good values always add value to us. And they make us more valuable to others. You can work with someone whose skills are weak if their values are good. You can train someone who is inexperienced as long as they value growth. You can trust someone who makes mistakes if the person is honest. But when good values are absent in someone, working with them becomes very difficult.
- We measure what we treasure.
- Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.
- No matter how you're working to make a difference, measuring results is one of the greatest skills you can develop in becoming a person that can change your world.
- The 5 Ds:
- Discover - find out what's really going on and who is doing something about it.
- Design - develop a strategy that begins with the end in mind nad builds on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
- Deploy - implement your plan. Start small, fail soon, and adjust often.
- Document - measure to make sure that your intended outcomes are being accomplished.
- Dream - start the cycle over, expanding what works and abandoning what doesn't.
- You can make a great plan on paper, but it may not work out the way you imagined. How do you guard against that? By building in checkpoints along the way to ensure you're headed in the right direction. And if you discover your plan isn't working out the way you hoped, be prepared to pivot.
- The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. (Walt Disney)
- Big life change comes through a series of small life changes.
- Find hope in every situation. Bring hope to the people who need it: those who have lost hope, become discouraged, and don't see a positive way forward.
- Stop asking "Can we?" and start asking "How can we?"
- When we hope we have high expectations for the future and a clear-eyed view of the obstacles that we need to overcome in order to get there.
- A person with high hope has goals, the motivation to pursue them, and the determination to overcome obstacles and find pathways to achieve them.
- Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone. IF you want people to remember what you communicate in a transformation conversation, include a story.
- Four-step transformation process to change the world: I want to make a difference, with people who make a difference, living values that make a difference, taking action that makes a difference.
Website to Check Out:
Monday, July 5, 2021
There's a swap on Swap-bot that intrigued me in which 20 words were given and the challenge was to find quotes, lyrics, sayings, or titles that included those words. I chose to focus on quotes. I've included photos that I've taken or that were taken of me throughout the years that tie into the quotes.
“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.”―Author Unknown
― Brigham Young
Sunday, July 4, 2021
For this swap on Swap-bot, I'm sharing my favorite photos from June 2021. A short description is before each photo.
The poppies were blooming. I added two new poppies to the garden by the back door. They were so bright and cheerful.