Wednesday, July 17, 2019

No Goals report for July 2019

This is a short post, I promise!!!!!

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For the past two months, I have been sharing my goals for the month. Now to put up a warning; I am not reporting one this month.
  • Because I want to see if my goals will happen naturally and authentic?
  • Because it is summer, and I am lazy
  • Because it is my birthday month
  • All the above
I have one, I am not publicizing it.

Photo by Elle
It is all the above.  Let me explain….
Since April 2019, I have been on a mission to improve my ultimate goal of being an entrepreneur and writer.  Really, it has been my goal from the very beginning, but I have been sort of lax from the beginning.  If you take a look at my previous post, one of the goals was to take my business seriously, and I while I have been working at it, I sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  I feel like I was not going anywhere fast, and not making any money.
Starting today is the start of a new day and a new fiscal year for me (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020), and while it may not mean much to some people, it means a lot to me.  June is usually the time where I look back at the last 12 months and clean some things up in my business.  I may add some things, take away some things, and redo some things that may not be working while keeping the things that are working the way they are.  The past 12 months, I have been doing it each month.  Well, not every month.  There are some months that I skipped because it was really not needed for that month.
            Tip:  take time out to look at your situation and change it if it is not working.
This is not just a tip for business but a life as well.  No one is expected to stay the same for the rest of their life.  For one, it is boring, and another, it looks weird if, for example, a six-year-old who still learning the same set of skills they did as a four-year-old. There are some exceptions, such as the child may be autistic or they may not have learned it as a four-year-old, but under normal circumstances, it looks weird.  Same as an adult or any type of situation.  You learn and grow from it as well as new things.
One of the things I have learned from a long time ago is that Blogger is not the best platform for me.  If you have been following me for a while, you know this has been a struggle for me.  Another struggle for me has been to keep a consistent schedule.  
One of the things I talk about a lot is being careful.  I do not fully come out and say it, but I dropped little hints on how to be careful.  Being careful includes;
  • Watching your back
  • Watching your time
  • Watching your writing (or whatever business you are into-passion)
  • Watching the money
It is watching the money that I want to briefly touch on for the rest of this post (which is growing longer by the second, LOL).  It is a touchy subject for many and most people do not like to talk about money situations.
The first part of watching your money is careful about who you talk to.
When we first start a business, we (and I include me in this as well) want to tell everyone.  If we could tell our first-grade teacher we would do it, but not everyone needs to know that you are going into business for yourself, especially when you first get started.  Your boss does not need to know about any situation that you are facing unless it affects your job, and your business should not be one of them.  Your co-workers most definitely do not need to know this. 
Here is why: 
Most people are jealous.  Sure tell your family, unless they run the business you are working at.  What will happen if you have this new business idea at your job, but your supervisor poo-poos the idea.  So, instead of sitting on it, you decide to make it a business venture.  Heck, that idea may be working your paintings or photography as a side hustle.  Whatever it is, you decide that this going to be your second income instead of getting a second or third job.  It now tells your employer that you are no longer available for certain hours, the weekend, that holiday shift that no one wants because they want the two weeks in Cancun instead.  Not only that but, now you have done something that they should have done, leave.
When I first thought of going into business for myself, I was working at Archiver’s, which was a scrapbook store. I kept getting requests from customers who wanted someone to have one of the associates make something for them, but that was not a service that the store offered.  It was a Do It Yourself store, that offered supplies to make a project. This happened especially around the holiday season and even though the store offered to show them how to make a project, the people who asked were not creative, and they told me that the moment their mouth opened.  I wanted to offer it as an extra income for me, separate from the store, without the managers knowing about it.  One employee was already offering those services on her own.  As soon as I got my ideas together, a new employee handbook came out that November 2009, and apparently, the company was made aware of this to the point where they stated that no employee can work for themselves or for a direct selling company.  I was also a Longaberger consultant at the time.  Since I was down to one day a week, and making $8.15 an hour for 4 hours, I had a decision to make.  Talk about your punishment.  I thought, “they might as well fire me”, but I quit instead.  This was my mistake, now that I think about it.
            Tip: do not quit until you can make 10 times more than your current paycheck.

Now, I am sort of struggling to keep up, and even though my parents have been gracious by helping me, still I should have gotten another job until I am able to peacefully quit to run P. Lynne Designs full-time.  I have a friend who owns his own photography studio, but he also has a job that does not take up his weekends, so, he does photography shoots on the weekends, and works during the week at his regular job. Which reminds me to schedule for a new headshot with him soon.
OK, I lost track of time, and this is starting to become my normal post length
Other excuses on why there is no July report…
It is my birthday month.  If I use that excuse for the reason why I am not writing is that my birthday month is here, I would not be working at all.  Every year, I keep saying that I am going to have a giveaway, and my month is gone before I could get started, so to roll everything in one package, I will be working on a giveaway that combines my birthday with my anniversary of 10 years of blogging.  I am not sure what the giveaway is as of yet, but it is coming.  I would say around Christmas, but I am traveling that month, so it will be around November.  It is in the midst of the holiday season. Anyway, look for it.
OK, that about does it, I am no longer announcing that I will have a short blog post.  If you like this post, please comment and share it.  I hope you enjoyed it.  God Bless You.

Monday, July 15, 2019

I Am Looking Back and Remembering My First Blog Post as a Blogger

Photo byPixabay 
My very first post on my P. Lynne Designs blog.  My Ambiance Life is not the first blog I started.  The evolution of my blogs goes like this:  MDN Creates.  This started as a hodge-podge like a blog that covered topics such as “What heck am I doing” to “I got this, but it is time to split the blog because there are too many different topics on here”. That last topic I owe to my friend, who told me that I was covering too many topics on the blog.  The first post was an introduction to me and the blog itself, so I will not reminisce on that topic.  Nothing much to reflect on.  The next post, the one I will be commenting on was dated January 5, 2009, was titled Resolutions, and again, it was before I separated and divided the blog into the three blogs you know of today. 

Reflecting on Resolutions

As I am reading, I am first reflecting on how much I have grown as a writer in the past 10 years (January 1, was my anniversary).  In order to get anywhere, you need a starting point.  The only things I knew at the time in regard to blogging was;
1)      This blog had to be interesting to grab a reader’s attention to the point where the reader cannot wait until the writer puts in a new post. This means that I needed an interesting topic and the content of that topic is not of your typical, boring textbook variety
2)    Consistency is the key to all, even though I have not always reflected that consistency.  I am getting better.
I also had a moment or two, where I reflected:
·        I started the blog (now called P. Lynne Designs) at a time when Oprah was still on the air.  In fact, I referred to something she said on her show.
·        I mentioned that I had goals in 2009.  They were: 
o   To organize
o   To stop beating myself up
o   To love me more
o   To do more of what God asked of me
o   To scrapbook more
o   To take my business more seriously
o   To take time for me, to learn, and to grow.
·        I mentioned each goal and how I would do it.  Now I am finally going to give you an update on those goals in a moment.
·        Joel Olsteen came up in the conversation about never be still.
·        I submitted an article to Associated Content.  I am not sure what the results of that were, I am a terrible person in the art of follow-up.
Some of those moments made me cry.  Why?  I get extremely emotional at times or there is something in my eye?  I love gushy moments like this, and this is one of the reasons why I started blogging and journaling in the first place, to not hold it in.  I have gotten better on where to channel my anger, but that does not mean I do not get angry anymore.  That is like taking an emotion away from someone.  For someone like Abby Lee Miller to tell a dancer to save their tears for their pillow or to tell a boy that men do not cry does not do it for me.  Yes, there is a time and place to cry, but if you must cry, do it right there and get it over with.
So, back to my reflections on resolutions….
I mentioned that the post was long.  Why did I say that when the average post is supposed to be at least between 1,000-2,000 words?  Yes, back in 2009, “Resolutions” would be considered a long post.  No one knew exactly how long a blog post had to be at that time. Experts used to mention that anything blog post beyond 500-800 words is a fairly long post.  Another reason for that statement is back then the experts thought that such a lengthy post would give way to repeat phrases and ideas, and you cannot and should not repeat what you said 5 minutes ago unless you are summarizing.  
Summarizing a post
When I summarize, I call them TAKEAWAY MOMENTS.  During this time, I am telling you again what I said throughout the piece, or I am giving you little nuggets of information that should help you should you be going through what I have been through. I start out by reminding the reader of my topic then I sprinkle in the repeated information that was mentioned in my blog post.  When I repeat, I often remind the reader what is important, and I try not to sprinkle in the fluff.  Finally, I concluding with on a bit of advice to carry through.
What has changed since Resolutions?
This is an update to the goals I mentioned in “Resolutions”. Not only has my writing changed from that post, but the goals as well.  The most noticeable change is the blog name.  It is now P. Lynne Designs and it reflects that on the blog when you first click on the blog post.  It is about the change again soon because I am working on my website, P. Lynne Designs, and new posts will be going in the blog section on the website. It has been a good ride on Blogger, but I have grown, and my writing has grown. At the moment, I have a coming soon on the website, but you are welcome to signup to be on my mailing list to be notified when the website is coming.
Also, the niche has changed.  It is no longer a hodge-podge collection of what I feel like writing.  I own that splitting the blog up into bite-size pieces.  My Blessed Life (now known as My Ambiance Life) is part of the split.  So is At Home with Tricia's Baskets, a combo of former blogs Simply Organized Crafts (which is now ONLY a Facebook page), Traveling to the Mouse’s House, and Tricia’s Baskets.  These two blogs will also leave the Blogger Home for WordPress.  The foundation of the blogs are there, I need to start the final setup and launch.
Updating my goals since that date
Since I wrote that entry, here is what has transpired:
  •         To Organize:  well, I am not totally organized to that point.  I can receive company now, even though I was always able to receive company.  When you are in possession of things, even things that people agree you should have or not have, you want to make them presentable and so not messy.  I was on the side of messy, and even though people had places to sit, hold a conversation and eat my food without feeling ill to the pit of their stomachs, I did not feel comfortable without someone saying something.  That may have been my OCD kicking in at the time.  As my pastor puts it quite eloquently, I am an extrovert introvert.  More on that in another post.  If you do not understand, try not to overthink it for now.
  •          The next three I will tackle together; To not beat myself up, To love me more, To take time for me.  This does not mean I was harming myself.  When I do something that was a mistake, I am harder on myself more than anyone.  I am constantly saying why did you do that.  To love yourself means, do not get upset because you are not married, you do not have children, or you are not a certain status in life.  Just because you see someone who has those things that you desire does not mean you do not have to say things like, “I wish”, “Why did this happen”, “why was I not more intensive”, or “if only”.  That ship has sailed, or it has not come to you.
  •            Scrapbooking More.  Actually, that has slowed down a lot.  Since that time, I have created one scrapbook album for someone in 2018, a lady at church. The reason was around October 6, 2010, a little company called Instagram got started and paved the way for scrapbooking the traditional way obsolete.  Instead of sharing scrapbook pages you have made with the photos you took, you share them on an account.  No one was asking for an album to be made because they can make them on the phone and in an online account. Not only that, there were people who asked me at work why to make albums when all you are doing is wasting paper and making the world a bad place to live.  Please do not get me started for there are worst things a person can do to desecrate this world than making a project out of paper.  I shifted my focus more to making cards and learning how to turn my skills into freelance writing, graphic design, and projects.  This lead to;
  •          Taking my business more seriously.  No explanation there, except I am still learning.  This also leads to-
  • Photo by Pixabay
  •           I am still learning and growing to better myself and to teach others.  I keep mentioning that in a former career move, I was once a preschool teacher.  While I may never find myself teaching anyone (children or adults) full-time again, I enjoy learning more so I can teach.  Last month (June), I was thrown into being a teacher’s assistant for my church’s Vacation Bible School.  I actually had double-duty.  I was the assistant director and a teacher’s aide.  One of the teachers ended up in the hospital before VBS got started, and since no one volunteered to be a helper and substitute for her, I volunteered.  Even though it was for one week, I enjoyed listening to the children (ages 4-11), and it reminded me of why I chose to be a preschool teacher in the first place.  Every once in a while, take in the small moments on why you started something in the first place. For me, it was the love of children, and watching how they process things and ideas. I will have a whole blog post on why I quit my teaching job later

Conclusion and takeaways

If you are a blogger, I suggest that you take a look at your first blog post to see how much you have grown as a writer.  Even if your blog is only a few months old you will discover in that few months’ time how much you have grown as a writer.
If you are not a writer but do not know where to begin, start with journaling.  Once you are in your comfort zone, try to expand your writing.  It does not have to be a blog, but I can tell you right now that sharing in some compacity helps you to grow.  Also, sharing helps you to be mindful on your writing skills.  If it a journaling post you do not have to share every detail of your life. 
If you do start blogging, use a program like Grammarly (a program I use and love).  Grammarly is a free spell checker and grammar checker.  Grammarly also comes in a premium subscription too.
Finally, if you share things like goals, it makes you more accountable than to say them and forget them.  Work on those goals and update your readers.
Until next time, take care of those things that matter to you, which include those persons in your life that matter to you.  You matter to me, so, take care, and God Bless you and your week.

July 15, 2019:  PS- Please share this post