Stop Complaining! Do Something Positive!

“I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”

I was led to write this post because I’m so tired of hearing people complain so much lately. Over the last two years, the weeping and whining of American citizens have grown to unbearable heights. This has become very unacceptable for me! It seems no matter where you are the grocery store, mall, even the florist. Who can be mad while purchasing flowers? Why not channel all this bottled up discontent into making things better?

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I love the scene in Batman: The Dark Knight when the Joker (Heath Ledger) said: “Why so serious?” I find myself wanting to ask people that question. Not because I live my life with my head buried in the ground but because there is no sense in complaining if you’re not going to do anything about it.  We may not have the ability to fix all of the issues in our country or the world and even our lives, but we can make steps to make things a little better. Instead, all I hear is worthless murmuring with no alternatives mentioned.

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Yin and Yang

The ancient Chinese Yin- Yang symbol represents the existence of opposing forces that interdependent. They work in perfect harmony; one cannot exist without the other. So, why dwell in the negative? In my opinion, doing something positive would be much more productive.  Bathing ourselves in the negativity in our home, workplace and the country does nothing to make life better. Balance out the negative by attempting to make changes and that which we cannot change substitute with an affirmative action. Of course, it will not bring an ed to that which we detest, but the good vibes that we release into the universe are pleasing to our spirit.

Spread positivity.

It would be great to hear a conversation that ended with a positive outlook. After lamenting about our current president, taxes, rights, and other issues end with what you can and will do to make a difference. Encourage others to make a difference as well. Put your selfishness aside for a moment to realize that we are all on the same sinking ship. We all have two choices, do what we can to help ourselves and others survive or give up and go down with the ship. I don’t know about you, but I have enough fight and positivity in me for the both of us. I challenge you to engage a stranger with a smile and talk about the beautiful the day.

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An Eventful New Year

Hello, fellow bloggers! Hope the new year is treating you exceptionally well. For me, it is quite eventful. As some of you may have noticed, I’m in the process of re-branding my virtual assistant business. This process has been time-consuming but fun I must say. Most entrepreneurs would see it as stressful and a little painstaking. I look at it as an opportunity to build upon the foundation I have started and further my growth.

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My decision to make modifications was influenced by client comments. When you work in close collaboration with people, they can give you insight into your business. If you’re open to it! In my case, their subtle suggestions made sense, so now I’m running with it. So as this month moves along, you will see my new business name The Militant Virtual Assistant. I’m excited about the change.

A Total Do Over!!!

Love is funny!!! As a young girl, I wanted to own a business, be married to my best friend minus the children. During my time in the military, I was going to be a lifer and married to a lifer as well. Children never fit into life’s equation for me. One of the reasons for the end of my first marriage was because he wanted a child. That was the minor issue, but the rest is a story to be told later. In the past, when I dated which was not often I stayed away from men with young children. Well, when Jim and I met I decided to try something different. In the beginning, it was okay, but things changed. His son started to have behavioral issues that were leading him down the wrong road. So, to make a long story short, we decided to end our engagement and continue as friends. Single again!!! I thought I would be sad and depressed but what’s weird is I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. I can’t figure out why!!! What is also funny is that everywhere I go online I encounter singles ads and blog websites for 40 and overs. I almost feel like I’m being spied on. LOL!!! I visited a blog, and the blogger wrote as if single at forty is the end of the world. I got a good laugh that day. Life is what you make it! Saturday, I will be forty years young, and I feel as if I’m in my prime. Life has granted me a do over!

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This year so far has kept me smiling and laughing. Definitely, good writing material as well. I hope life has been full of laughs and smiles for you as well.

 

Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle 40 and Over

In 2 months and 15 days, I will be 40 years young. Even though I feel like I am in my twenties and in the prime of my life, ready, willing and able to take on the world, my health is at the forefront. Not just for cosmetic reasons but for longevity and quality of life. Many of us in the 40 and over club share this concern. So as an ex- personal fitness trainer of 8 years, allow me to shed some light on the subject for all of us.

The Battle of “Fort Bulge.”

Okay, so most of my life I always had a flat tummy. Once I began weight training and studying for my ACE fitness trainer certification, I earned rock hard abs that many women would kill to have. It takes hard work and dedication to get them toned and defined. Your diet must be ‘clean’ as we say in the fitness world and you must put in the time and effort. I will go in depth about that shortly.img_00075

Currently, I am at war with my body and have been fighting against its pursuit to build “Fort Bulge” right around my waistline. This new unwanted construction has been in effect for a year now but mostly due to my sedentary lifestyle. I do not know if any of you remember from prior posts, but I spent a year on the road with Jimmy( my love), who drives an 18 wheeler. I embarked on the adventure looking good and feeling great; it ended with me 20 pounds heavier and feeling achy and fatigued. Now that I have been home for three months it is time to answer the war cry. Whoever would like to join me in battle, I humbly invite you. We can take up arms together!!!

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Where do I start?

If I had a dime for every time a new client asked me that question; I would not be rich, but I would have a nice nest egg for retirement. Detox!!! If you are putting junk in your body, it’s imperative to flush it out. Most people are not aware that we should clean our bodies periodically, it does not matter if you are a carnivore, herbivore, or vegan. Think of your body like your car; you tune it up regularly to keep your engine in good condition. Well, we must do the same for our body. There are many ways to flush your body, colonics, herbs and fasting. What’s most important is you choose what is best for you and consult your physician. Personally, I prefer natural herbs due to my fear of synthetic medicine.

You have had a tune up now it’s time to put the good stuff. Vegetables, protein, carbs, water, water and more water. When you are changing your eating habits, there is a method to the madness. Fifty percent of your meals should be vegetables, 20% protein, 10% carbohydrates and the remaining 20% water. The secret that completes the formula is meal configuration. What to eat and when! Always and I do mean always plan for your heaviest meal around your most active time of the day. Consume your carbs at that time as well; they contain sugar and convert to fat. The body will use the sugar in carbohydrates for energy.

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For those who love a thick juicy steak or burger, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s time to cut back or stay away from fried foods. Remember we are at war not only against ‘Fort Bulge’ but also high cholesterol is lobbying for a seat. My plans are to go back to a vegetarian lifestyle. After over ten years of vegetarianism two years ago I started with chicken and graduated to occasionally eating red meat. Needless to say at first, I was very ill, but I was a glutton for punishment. Jimmy loves his pork chops and ribs; he will not be giving them up! Over time I developed acne, fatigue, headaches and gradual weight gain. Well, my friends, I am tired of being sick and tired. Pun intended!!!

What is this thing called exercise?

LOL!!! Let’s not make getting in shape more than what it has to be. No, you don’t have to give your right arm, leg, blood and your first born child to the exercise gods. That statement used to be an excellent icebreaker with new clients. I required newbies to do 45 minutes of cardiovascular training four days a week. Week two we incorporated exercises using their body weight. The third week, I put on my drill sergeant hat, handed them some weights and start teaching form. Suddenly in week four, drill Sargent Lydia is wielding a double barrel shotgun and barking orders. No Pain No Gain was the flag I erected in their minds, and they marched to my beat, happy about the what they hoped to accomplish. Not to pat myself on the back or anything but all my clients received results. Well, maybe a slight pat.military-662872_640

Choose an exercise regimen that will be comfortable for you. A trainer and the gym is not for everyone. At this point, my workout consists of Zumba and Yoga classes with an occasional workout with light weights at an all women’s gym. Just get active. Physical activity will guarantee great results but also increase your energy.

It is Now or Never.

I’m afraid if I don’t start now while it is bugging the hell out of me, I will get complacent. Putting off until tomorrow what I should start today. So as I embark on my journey, I invite others to join me. I am here for advice or encouragement, just comment on this post or email me personally at lydiaoyetunji77@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

“Keep It Simple!” A short book that just might change your life! —

WOW! In the spirit of this book, that could be the whole review! But, I feel compelled to add some thoughts––without losing my focus! My dear friend and mentor Joe Calloway punches clean with “Keep It Simple.” This very short, very powerful book teaches you how to engage and improve your focus. This is not […]

via “Keep It Simple!” A short book that just might change your life! —

Open Your Eyes: It’s An American Issue.

Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal

The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice:  Your victims feel

they are in control but are actually your puppets.  Give people options that come out in your

favor whichever one they choose.  Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils,

both of which serve your purpose.  Put them on the horns of a dilemma:  They are gored wherever they turn.

 

I wrestled with myself about whether I should write about the present events in America. Naturally, I decided to share my feelings, but I struggled again with what I should say and how I should say it. As a seeker and a speaker of the truth, I am unable to say what people want to hear. As I writer I am always prepared for any backlash due to the voicing of my views, but I refuse to follow the masses. We are not dealing with a race issue, it’s an American issue.

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A week ago the actor Jesse Williams, accepted the humanitarian award at the BET Awards and used that time to go on a five-minute rant about racial injustice and how the black community will mobilize and restructure their function and ours (paraphrased). This was the wrong speech to be given as a recipient of a humanitarian award and a bi- racial American. Mr. Williams, a teacher, should be aware of the power of words and how they mislead when not adequately clarified. He used his fame and the given platform to throw fuel on a small fire. If he honestly felt that police are failing to de- escalate situations, then he should have used that time to attempt to do so himself. Thus showing himself to be a true humanitarian. Mr. Williams is a shadow caster!

Black Lives Matter, #BlackLivesMatter… NO! All Lives Matter.

The trending and popular slogan “Black Lives Matter” is widely used by protesters, celebrities, media and our POTUS. My slogan is “All Lives Matter”. Genesis 1:27 compels me as a Christian to love all people and not harbor hate in my heart, no matter how another person may feel about me. Racism does still exist; I have never experienced it until I went out on the road with my husband. My response was not with anger, negativity and judgment of all Caucasians. Instead, I killed her ignorance with kindness! A smile, loving tone, peace in your heart and extending blessings is enough to convict her spiritually. I would protect a klansman or skinhead from being brutally beaten or murdered by another because that is what a Christian does. Their lives matter!

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Black Lives Matter is a tarnished organization. The founder Charles Wade is facing charges of human trafficking and prostitution. The life and chastity of the seventeen-year-old girl did not matter. This man who used the charities donations for his benefit is also a financial scammer. Mr. Wade alleges that conservatives have unfairly targeted him. Moral values and self- respect will not allow me to associate with this cause.

Killings by Law Enforcement is an American Issue.

The number of African Americans killed at the hands of law enforcement is high. BUT…. Yes there is a but. Let’s look at the number of Caucasians and others died at the hands of police that does not get media time. Just because it is not trending on social media or highly televised does not mean it is not happening. Here are the names of a few Americans who were murdered by police officers.

  • Caroline Small a mother of two was shot and killed by Glynn County, Georgia police officers. The officers joked about how they watched her head explode from the bullet. Ms. Small did not have a weapon and the officers were said to be justified in their actions.
  • Ryan Keith Bolinger was seen dancing in the street by an officer who thought he was either mentally ill or drunk. Mr. Bolinger was allowed to reenter his car and engaged police in a slow speed chase at 35 miles per hour. After the chase, the victim exited his vehicle and allegedly started to approach the officers car with a purpose. The officer shot through her rolled up window striking Mr. Bolinger in the torso; he died later at the hospital. The police faced no charges.
  • Gilbert Flores was being questioned by officers outside of his home after a domestic violence call. Officers claimed the victim had a knife in his possession. They proceeded to order Mr. Flores to put his hands up, and he complied. A witness stated a few seconds after he raised his hands in the air police shot
  • Autumn Steele killed by the officer who escorted her to the home she shared with her husband to retrieve her belongings. An argument between Mrs. Steele and her husband began outside, and the officer was attempting to break up the altercation. The family dog continued to be playful with the officer, but he was startled by the dog and proceeded to shoot. Autumn was struck in the chest and killed.

Caucasian Americans are murdered at the hands of police just as much as African Americans. Caucasians will file lawsuits, write their congressman or engage in quiet protests. It is easier to stir the wrong type of reaction from the black community. Killing cops and white people is not the answer. African Americans must take the time to realize who is the real enemy. Government and the judicial system is the blame for poorly trained officers and for their veiled attempt to divide and conquer. We are all in the same sinking ship together.

As a writer, I regularly encourage my readers to seek the truth; remove the veil. It is important that we read between the lines of what you see on TV and in the media. There are many sides to a story, and they will tell and show American citizens what they want them to know. Why hasn’t our presidential candidates come forward to speak to the issue? Hillary supporters, what is she doing to bring an end to this travesty in society? If she is the favorite among the black community and cares so much for the well- being of African Americans. What is she doing or going to do to stop the killings? Understand when pawns are being used to cause dissension between the races and when you are just a vote needed to gain office.

Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you.  You must seduce others into

wanting to move in your direction.  A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn.  And

the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses.  Soften

up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear.

Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

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The purpose for my writing about this issue is because too many people have died. Misplaced anger and hatred is a tool that in your possession and used against you. Violence begets violence and means more meaningless deaths. No one wins! You can no longer hold a race of people responsible for the actions of their ancestors. Every occurrence is not racially motivated, research the facts and make an educated decision. Strategically fight the good fight but fight the real enemy and not innocent people. We shall overcome if all Americans pull together as one demanding justice.

 

  

 

The Evolution of Me!!!

“Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds.”  Mehmet Murat ildan

Whom… They ask is this woman? A woman with a free spirit soaring high like an eagle. A different kind of girl, the oldest of four known as the sickly child. Her “Scarlet Letter” came in the form of illness.

Once in pigtails wrapped with ribbon, ruffled dresses, frilly socks and patent leather shoes that could be heard miles away. Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what this little girl was made of.

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A dainty girl blossomed into a beautiful woman with unusual interests. The little princess started to evolve.

No longer confined to a bubble by what ailed her. The spirit of healing breathed new life into this woman. Leaving behind a new lease on life and the need to go against the grain. What mattered now was the need to feel alive and embrace her true self.

The sound of combat boots on the black top as she marched and sung in cadence was sweet music to her ears. Intrigued by the kick- back from a M-16 rifle against her shoulder. Feeling sore and bruised was a welcomed reminder of the prior day. The metamorphosis of her thought process was underway.

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Her physical strength allowed her to not be seen as weak in the eyes of her male counterparts. Mentally strong enough to know her limitations but not limited by their beliefs. Owning the ability to draw firm lines in the sand that they did not and would not cross.

Thrill seeking became the norm. Harnessed, tied to a line and dropped into the ocean from a DDG Class Destroyer. Sky diving or feeding a need for speed with the Nascar Experience. Kamikaze or on a mission to fulfill lost childhood adventures?

This woman was doing what most woman wouldn’t. Living out what some only dream about. Settling for what was the status quo for a female was out of the question. Pointing, stares and whispers about how she was not on the beaten path no longer mattered.

Paying tribute to Buzz who assisted in the journey. An old love whom she helped rebuild the engine of his 1970 Ford pickup. Turning her into a grease monkey with manicured nails. Tinkering with a Fat Boy Harley and going on long rides to play Texas Hold’em revealed the inner biker chick.  It’s the subtle things that build confidence and with that she became more powerful in her own right.

The unusual life continues as a truckers’ wife. Living out on the open road six days a week is not for the faint of heart. This woman’s versatility allows her to drop landing gear, tend to air lines and plot routes. There is no structure as a truckers’ wife and danger can be around any corner.

One of many women kicking in the door to clubs exclusively for men. These rare women refuse to be followers and are determined to change the world. Versatility is her crown and everyone must pay their respect.

This type of woman is no longer afraid to stand up in the crowd. Simply fitting in works for some, many are called but very few are chosen. If you are different be who you are and live life on your own terms.

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Celebrating Black History Month.

The month of February is the designated month to celebrate Black History. This is the time where black Americans adorn their dashiki’s, Kente cloth and view movies and documentaries about the struggle for equality. Black History month triggers a stronger sense of pride in African Americans due to the accomplishments of those who fought for change. I am truly grateful for the civil rights leaders and activists who made it possible for me to have equal rights in America. Although I must say that pride, culture and self-respect should not be celebrated one month out of a year.

I’m laughing right now… I feel like a major league athlete with seconds left on the game clock in a championship game. There is an ominous hush over the crowd in anticipation of what will happen next. In this case what I will say next! Many will not agree or like what I pen next but I’m entitled to my feelings and opinion. As a Christian and a writer I will write just that regardless of the backlash.

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Quite a few use Black History month as a time to alienate other races and impose a sense of entitlement. Supposedly they feel African Americans are deserving of certain things due to the struggles of our fore fathers. The African American community has come a long way but at the same time we are hypocritical and ignorant to the fact that we have earned and taken our rightful seat in society. If you want a better position in society, you must earn it! Don’t expect it to be handed to you! My mother always told her children… “No one is going to hand you anything in life. You must go out and get it for yourself.” There are no reparations for slavery, no forty acres and a mule and if you are waiting for the voyage back to Africa let me make you aware of a fact. Africans do not consider “Black Americans” as Africans! We are called “White” in Africa. They have more respect for Caucasian Americans than Black Americans. I’m the ex-wife of a Nigerian prince of the Yoruba tribe and have been told this by many Africans and have been referred to as such constantly. As you may have noticed by now, no special privileges have been offered to you because there is a black president. It is us as a race who continue to oppress ourselves by failing to take advantage of the benefits obtained and allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed with complacency.

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Black history month should not be used as a reason to turn up our noses at other races and cultures. I view Black history as American history; Civil Rights is a time to be recorded in American History. Once we as a country see and treat it as such the division among races will dissipate. I refuse to be a part of this separatist mentality and I know there are some of you who feel the same way. While we honor Black Americans who fought for us to have equal rights, lets honor the White Americans who fought as well. I honor the following Caucasian Americans for their role in the civil rights movement.

  • Viola LiuzzoMother of 5 shot dead at the age of 39 while shuttling fellow activist to the Montgomery Airport after the “Bloody Sunday” march. She worked with Martin Luther King Jr. assisting with coordination and logistics.
  • President Dwight EisenhowerUsed federal troops to assist the “Little Rock Nine” in 1957. With the Civil Rights Act of 1957, Eisenhower’s administration became the first since Reconstruction to pass civil rights legislation.
  • Michael Henry Schwermer & Andrew GoodmanCongress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan in response to their civil rights work, which included promoting voting registration among African Americans, most of whom had been disenfranchised in the state since 1890.
  • President John F. Kennedy and Robert KennedyJune 11, 1963, President Kennedy spoke to the nation in a televised address to ask for support of the civil rights bill. He said, “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities.”
  • First Lady Eleanor RooseveltShe fought hard for legislation against lynching and lent her presence and support to the NAACP’s art exhibit on the problem. She challenged the segregation ordinance when at a convention in Birmingham in 1938. And when the Daughters of the American Revolution barred black opera singer Marian Andersen from performing at Constitution Hall, she withdrew her membership and told the nation why in one of her columns.

The list goes on and on!!! Just as I have done my research, I urge you to educate yourself about Black History in its entirety. This is important information!!!

diversity

 

How can we as a people continue to excel to great heights, if we continue to look in the rear view mirror instead of focusing on the road that will lead to a better future.  America is multi- cultural melting pot, every day I wake up and see the beauty of this country through the diversity of its people. As a proud African American or Black woman which ever term you choose to use to describe my ethnicity. I really don’t care because my ethnicity alone does not determine who I am as a person. I am an American who refuses to hate or punish another person because of the fear and ignorance of another. This has been going on since the beginning of time. It can stop if we choose to take steps as a people to make a change.  May this article be seen as my first step! What will be your first step towards change?

Writing… What Will It Do for You?

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
Robert Hass

My literary muse arises most when I’m passionate about a subject or an event. The ability to provide information, to entertain, or share some great epiphany I may have had. All of which motivates me to get out of bed in the morning, enjoy each day whether good or bad. Life and all of its occurrences gives me something to write about later.

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A day ago I was on “Two Drops of Ink” blog, reading and commenting on articles. I read a post by writer and editor Peter B. Giblett, entitled “Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles”.  In his piece he writes about the benefits of promoting your older articles. I was thoroughly educated by it and I encourage you to read it for yourself.

Persuaded to revisit past work online, in notebooks, stored on thumb drives and disks. As I reviewed these pieces, I found myself on a trip down memory lane. I noticed how my writing changed over the years and during different stages of my life. Being the hoarder that I am of notebooks, journals and various storage devices, I was surprised that I was only able to go back ten years. Although, those ten years seemed like an eternity.

As I embarked on the journey down memory lane, I felt as if I was intruding on the private thoughts and life of a stranger. Observing the knowledge, wisdom, love, sentiment as well as the trials of this seemingly unknown woman. With every written reflection, article or blog post, I noticed her evolution and growth. I do admit, I have a long road ahead to get to who I truly want to be. It’s amazing how writing can foster change, not only in the style of writing, but in life as well. After turning 39 a few weeks ago, I’m anxious to see where my writing will take me this year.

Writing itself is a process and like other skills and routines the longer we do it the better we become. We get better at the art, but we also work out the things that haunt us as well. A tool to inspire thought, writing brings about ideas, emotions to life and educate our peers. Allowing us to come to a resolution as if it was some sort of complex equation.

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My ability to write developed from my love of books. I longed to be as eloquent and creative as the authors I read. There are many reasons to write and ways to develop your writing. To build or advertise a business, reflecting on life, spiritual growth and nurture relationships.

As I looked through all of my past work, it became clear that subconsciously a part of me was writing for life. Life Writing is the recording of selves, memories and experiences, whether one’s own or another’s. Applying to many genres and practices under which can be found autobiography, biography, memoir, diary, letters, testimonies, personal essays and more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. My past worked contained most of these!

Most people don’t write as much as a grocery list. They aimlessly wander down grocers’ aisles hoping to remember what they needed. Jotting a thank you letter is not a life changing experience nor will it win you a Pulitzer Prize. Adding writing to your lifestyle can be helpful in many ways. I challenge you to read the article by Peter Giblett and with an open mind look over your past works to take inventory to see how writing has helped you. If you are not a writer…. Write something today, even if it’s just a simple thought. Most great things began as a simple thought!

 

Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles by Peter Giblett

https://goo.gl/Fizaay

Wikipedia: Life Writing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_writing

Word Cloud Image

http://worditout.com/

 

Transitioning Your Business in The Growing Virtual Industry

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”Bill Clinton

Small and large business are considering all possibilities available to cut company costs while remaining a stable competitor in their industry. Businesses have laid off employees and many have transitioned to remote workers. Abandoning their traditional businesses for a remote work environment? A few companies are still deliberating on making the change.

Change…. A word or action not many of us appreciate. In my opinion, change can be good. Change is constant and cannot be stopped. It can also determine the success of your business.

In the mid to late 1990’s, companies allowed employees to telecommute if they had a sick child or if the employee was considerably ill. At that time working from home or virtually was not popular. Only three percent of Americans worked from home in the 1990’s. Companies considered employees out of the office as a loss in productivity.

Time has definitely changed, small and large companies are adapting to the change for many reasons. Business owners are recognizing the benefits of hiring remote workers. Listed are a few of the benefits they are using to their advantage. Also a few of the benefits I present to prospective clients.

  • Cut company costs.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Maintain morale/ loyalty.
  • Communicate effectively.

Hiring remote employees gives business owners the ability to save money. No need to lease and equip a brick and mortar environment. Tax and healthcare costs are minimal as well as other expenditures that comes with work in a traditional business environment. The money saved can be funneled into other areas of the business to promote growth.

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Productivity increases in a virtual environment. Freelancers, virtual assistants and customer service representatives are less likely to call in sick. Work hours are more flexible, this flexibility benefits parents, those with chronic ailments and the business owner. Weekends, holidays and part- time hours are no longer frowned upon.

Office politics is a thing of the past. Morale in the work place determines the performance of employees. Those who choose to hire remote workers no longer suffer from low productivity. Negative water cooler gossip and emails can be a virus in the workplace dramatically decreasing productivity. When there is a team of virtual workers, the level communication is different. Virtual workers are upbeat and positive, they love their working environment and their jobs. When an employee is happy they are prepared to take on any task that comes their way.

Communication is a key factor for all businesses. Traditionally, all is not well when an employee is working on an important project and is out sick. Often times it’s hard to call an emergency meeting in a brick and mortar environment. As a virtual assistant, I have been party to many last minute meetings. A sudden document revision needed on the fly or an emergency social media update. There are so many ways to stay in constant contact. Over the past few years’ virtual communication has grown significantly, thus making it easier to conduct meetings and pass on important breaking news.

The decision making process for hiring remote workers can be a “no brainer” for some business owners. Understandably, every business has its own work processes. Business owners considering making the transition should carefully weigh the features and the benefits. Start by asking yourself a few key questions.

  • How can I cut company costs?
  • What can I outsource?
  • How can I free up some of my time?
  • How can I increase business growth?

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Once you have outlined the features, benefits and conducted the necessary research the decision making process will be straightforward.  Lack of knowledge is what generally prevents the transition. I have found out this key fact as I market my services to businesses. Seek out virtual assistants who offer free consultations. Top assistants have the ability to assist you in how to cut costs without compromising your brand. They should also save you time by efficiently supporting you administratively giving you the ability to grow your business.

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My primary purpose for writing this informational article/ blog post is to inform entrepreneurs. In hopes that the information I share will assist the business industry which keeps America thriving. I also wanted to highlight the fact that virtual workers can be an asset to your organization. If this helps one business owner, I have done my job!

Quote by Bill Clinton courtesy of http://www.inc.com/dave-kerpen/11-powerful-quotes-to-inspire-your-team-to-embrace-change.html

Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com/

My Experience as a Step Mother.

“You’re not my mother! You can’t tell me what to do! These are the words he uttered as he stomped into his room, slamming the door hard enough to feel the vibration through the house.”

Thirty- eight years old and a step- parent with no children of my own. I can honestly say being a step- parent is not a walk in the park. Dating or marrying a man with a child is a new and life altering experience for me. This relationship is different as well!

Turn and run in the opposite direction as fast as you can! My mind told me in the past when meeting a man with a child or children. Followed by Do Not Answer (DNA) added to the name on the cell phone caller i.d. Excuses like… “I’m extremely busy, I don’t have time to date”. All to avoid the inconvenience and drama associated with getting involved with a man who has a child. Like I said before, this relationship is different!

An unexpected first time meeting.

When I met my fiancé’s son it was not under the best circumstances. No one was available to care for him while the mother was in the hospital.  That left me as the only one available due to the fact that I work from home. His stay would be overnight for a couple of days, I reluctantly agreed to do so. My fiancé had to work nights during that time, so I felt it was my duty to assist my future husband.

It was not as awkward as I thought it would be, He was well mannered and quiet. Entertaining himself with his PlayStation, surfing the internet, and talking to his friends on the cell phone. Although, there was a red flag that presented itself. He used profane language when talking on the phone with his friends. His ringtone contained a rap lyric with profane language as well. Most importantly, the disrespectful manner in which he spoke to his mother when having a conversation with her. These were the issues I felt I had to bring to my fiancé’s attention. I knew there was an underlying issue even with though he remained respectful to me, his father and my mother.

A child with no respect for authority.

The second visit is when the lack of authority was revealed. For as long as Jim and I have been together, he often confided in me about his sons constant acting out. He constantly had trouble with authority figures in school and his mother. Is it due to our relationship? Jim reassured me that it was not due to our relationship. His behavior changed once he moved out of the home they shared as a family. This is understandable, but I continued to find his behavior disturbing. I know that children act out at times, to get attention, puberty or when they are mentally stressed. I still felt there was more to it!

Troubled child or a child with no parental guidance.

The morning Jim was set to pick up his son for the weekend, we agreed on some house rules. First, he was to change the ring tone to something more age appropriate. Second, he was not to use profane language. Last but not least, he must be respectful to adults. Jim stated he would go over the rules with him on the way home. I was extremely happy that we saw eye to eye on the rules put in place. I felt this may help to add structure to his life.

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He entered the house with a snarl and a roll of the eyes. He walked back to what was the spare bedroom and shut the door. Disrespectful behavior! I was taught, when you enter a room you greet those who are present. Jim stated, he had a rough week at school and fought with his mother before leaving home. Regardless of what went on his actions were not acceptable. As a result, we decided to ban access to the game console and internet which seemed to us to be a good idea. We enforced this punishment as a united front and informed our upset child that this would carry out through the weekend.

Children will often test the limits put in place.

The next day, Jim and I went to the grocery store to get dinner. We left my stepson in the care of my sister with strict instructions banning the use of his PlayStation. Well, we returned to find him defying our rules. He ignored my sisters’ reminder that he was on restriction. She said… He acted as if I was not even talking to him.” A total disrespect for authority! This definitely bothered me! When confronted and told to turn off the console he threw down the controller and stormed off!

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Who’s at fault? The child or the parents?

Times have changed drastically. Many moons ago, we were taught to respect our elders. Say yes or no ma’am/ sir. Please and thank you were a must. Always be on your best behavior because what you do is a direct reflection on your parents. The parents of back then had no intentions of being our “BFF”, they were more concerned with being parents. Some of us were blessed enough to have mothers and fathers who continued to be responsible, loving and caring parents even after failed marriages or relationships.

I feel as a parent it is our responsibility to try regardless of the circumstances thrown our way. Whether we are a parent or a stepparent, we owe it to our children to give them our love and attention and to try our very best to steer them in the right direction. It’s not our fault if later in life they choose to go in the opposite direction. It is our fault if we don’t try.

Images courtesy of:

http://pixabay.com/en/desperation-worry-longing-447736/

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