How a simple new mantra is changing my life

Vale Design - How a simple new mantra is changing my life

My last living grandparent, my maternal grandmother, passed away a year ago this month. I was blessed to spend some of her final moments with her, holding her hand, watching her receive last rites and being able to tell her I loved her. We even shared some sass and laughs at the end. Her passing left me a little bit scattered and shattered, but I feel like the fog of grief is slowly lifting.

I have been reflecting on my grandparents’ life. Both of them lived into their 90’s. For their entire marriage, they lived in a small 1940’s house the size of a postage stamp, yet it had this magic ability to swell to include room for 20-30 family members every Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthday. My grandparents left each of their children a monetary inheritance. My grandfather was retired the ENTIRE time I knew him. They traveled often. They believed that church, community service and giving back to others was non-negotiable. They were surrounded by friends. They lacked nothing and were honored and respected by everyone.

They lived small, saved their money, did not buy every “must have” or "pretty" item and cooked mostly at home (some of the best food I have ever eaten!). They spent time together just watching baseball on tv, listening to one of their grandkids chat about their lives and sitting on their sun porch listening to the birds sing.

But they lived big! Casinos when they wanted to. Traveling to all 50 states and internationally when they felt like it. They laughed, drank wine and told great stories. My grandfather liked televisions. He had 3. He liked cars and would trade his in every once and awhile for a new model. My grandmother liked clothes and lipstick.

I am not someone who believes in owning a lot of things, but we all fall into the brainless consumer trap. This North Face jacket is on sale at the consignment shop. It won’t hurt to buy it. I am tired and I don’t want to cook for my picky eater tonight, let’s go out to eat (so guilty of this!). I must have these 3 fonts in order to find the perfect one for this client. I have to sign up for this business e-course to learn yet another way for someone to tell me to trust my gut, get back to work and that there is no magic formula to success.

Reflecting back on my grandparents' lives gave me an epiphany.

A simple new mantra was born.

LIVE SMALL TO LIVE BIG.

From now on, both personally and professionally, I am going to challenge myself to live small so that I can live big!

  • I want to move into a different neighborhood because they have better amenities, but I don’t need to. My house is gorgeous and sufficient.
  • I want all of the face lotions and potions to give me perfect skin, but I don’t need to. My faults keep me vulnerable and real.
  • I want to go on every trip that the Joneses take, but I don’t need to. I am a homebody and I love to work and I love my clients.
  • I want to purchase every stock photography image for my client, but I don’t need to. There are plenty of free stock photography sites with amazing, impactful shots.
  • I can still have meetings at Starbucks, but I do not need a drink every time.
  • I want to take every e-course under the sun to learn something new, but I don’t need to. I am a badass intelligent business owner who knows her s@#$.
  • Target...we might have to break up or at least have a trial separation for a bit.

I looked up to and respected my grandparents. I studied the way their lived and loved. They lived small and as a result of some sacrifice they lived so damn big!

I am grateful for what I have and I am grateful for the choice to sacrifice to have a full life, surrounded by family, donating and giving back to my community and most importantly...making my grandparents proud of the women that I am and continue to strive to become.

My personal and professional decisions will now be guided by some sacrifice and a constant mantra asking "will this help me live small to live big?" Do I need to purchase this thing or commit to this work event? How will this sacrifice pay off? Is this purchase a "hell yeah" purchase? Can I walk out of Target with less than $100 worth of stuff?

What choices can you make right now both personally and professionally to live smaller so you can live bigger?


 

The simplest thing to do when you are stressed out in business

The simplest thing to do when you are stressed out in business

We all know that when you run a small business, 1 - 5 people, you wear many hats. You may be the accountant, brand manager, IT person, marketing manager, etc. And that is on top of running your businesses.

I recently had a client confess to me that she was stressed out about a website phase we were in. She was overwhelmed and had moved into decision and opinion paralysis. Her mind had completely shut down and she could not tap into her creativity. We talked through it and I told her something that I feel strongly about as a business owner and why I feel like my business has been successful throughout the years.

I told her this:

“When you are stressed out, hire it out.”

One of my favorite business voices, Marie Forleo, has been know to say “everything is figureoutable.” I love this and I love to solve a problem (also one of my strength finder strengths), BUT, I also know when I am in over my head, and when I move into decision and opinion paralysis. I hate that feeling. Everything feels bleak and like everything I do does not work and it makes me feel like awful.

Business, technology, heck, information in general is moving so quickly these days. It is pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to wear all the hats, at once and wear them well. Time is precious and you should be focusing on your clients and what you do best.

Do not be afraid to collaborate with someone who is an expert in the exact area that is causing your paralysis. My client was frustrated with the important services description copy for her information page that would quickly sum up her business for her ideal customers. She was feeling stressed about coming up with the perfect copy for her clients.

I recommended that she hire out that specific page copy out to a professional writer. She was already working with a writer who was familiar with her brand and her field  I suggested she run it past this writer to see if she would be interested in a quick job. The writer was happy to help. Done! Crossed off her list! My client was able to move out of paralysis and get back to feeling empowered and moving forward.

Hire it out. Shake it off your shoulders and cross it off your to do list. You will feel like you made a truly boss decision for your company and a wellness decision for yourself.

If you are overwhelmed with trying to create a website, hire it out. If you need a professional headshot, hire it out. If you are too busy to keep up with social media, hire it out.

Note: you do not need a huge budget to hire out. Find a college student fresh out of school. They are desperate and hungry for work. Barter with someone. Offer your expertise in a specific service for a trade for their expertise and service. Win win for both of your businesses and you might make an important business connection for future use.

Hire it out. It will be done correctly by an expert. You will feel less stress, less anxiety and will be able to get back to focusing on your own area of expertise and business serving your clients to the best of your focused abilities. Hiring it out will help you move out of decision and opinion paralysis and get you back to work!

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Are you staring at your website, logo or brand and feel like you have decision and opinion paralysis? You know you need a website re-design, but you are feeling overwhelmed, confused, scared of the tech part, and don’t know where to start. Hire it out!

We are currently booking clients for second quarter 2018. We are booked for April. We have 1 opening available for May and 2 openings for June.

Let's work together! Contact us right away to reserve your spot. We book up quickly!