Buying Time Blog We are a Women-owned business located in the South Bay community. We have strong lifelong ties to the area individually, through our spouses and through our children. We are excited about serving our community in a way that will give local residents more time to spend as they choose. Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT en-us Time For An Email Inbox Cleanse Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT How many emails are sitting in your inbox right now?

How do you feel when you sit down to work on your emails?

Picture this: if you had 3000 pieces of paper in a physical inbox sitting on your desk, what would that feel like?

Your email inbox is meant to be the same concept, those items in your inbox should only be to do’s. It’s time for an email inbox cleanse. Here’s some easy techniques you can use to clear out those emails so you can start to use your inbox the way it was meant to.

The below is for all emails older than 21 days.

1. Do a mass delete of emails from senders that are usually quick views, for me those are department stores, concert or show ticket notifications, restaurant notices etc.

2. For emails that you want to keep, sort emails by who they are from then create a folder with the senders name as the title then move all of those emails into that folder.

3. Delete everything else or if that makes you uncomfortable create a folder that is named with the date (21 days out) & older.


4. Over the course of the next 7 days go through the 3 oldest days each day of those 21 days remaining in your inbox and determine what can be deleted, moved to folders and handle quick responses then work on to do’s from any of those emails.

By doing this cleanse of your inbox and treating your current emails in the same way you’ll be able to cleanse your email inbox and create a more harmonious relationship with your email.

Why Do We Make Lists? Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I was recently doing a strategy session with a client via Skype and usually don’t even use the video functionality because we are sharing screens so it could be distracting sometimes with the video. On this particular call we were using video and talking about delegation so he picked up his laptop to show me his desk - it was literally covered with sticky notes of all different colors and sizes! I was grateful that after many years of organizing you have to learn to not have an outward reaction as most people will almost immediately shut down if you do. He went on to explain that these were his to-do lists, his notes that he needed to enter into his customer management system, reminders, login and password information etc.

We started by having him organize the notes into piles for what they were, we then had his assistant start by creating a spreadsheet with his login and password information,  then tossing those notes. We next had her take the notes and enter them into his customer management system, toss those notes. Last, we had her take all his reminders and put them into his calendar and toss those notes. Now we came to his to-do lists, which interestingly enough several items were now irrelevant because the dates things needed to be completed by had come and gone – along with the revenue they represented.

We need to make lists to feel like we’re accomplishing the necessary tasks in our business and our personal lives. Lists are a great way to feel good about what you get done every day if you actually do something with them after you create them, unfortunately many make a list then put it somewhere on their desk and forget about it. Create lists and keep them in one place, one notebook or planner. I like using a spiral bound notebook that allows me to cross things off as I complete them, but have them easily accessible in one place. Now the proper use for sticky notes is a whole other story.

Technology Evolution Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I remember when I was a little girl how cool it was when we went from the avocado green rotary dial telephone to the beige push button phone. But then we went to the phone where the digits were in the handset then finally to the cordless phone and now most of us don’t even have a house phone anymore and only use our cell phones.

The evolution of various technology throughout our lives either makes us want to hold on for dear life to what we know or embrace being in a constant state of upgrading. Even with our cell phones going from the “brick” to flip phones to Blackberry’s to iPhone’s or Androids. I remember how traumatic it was giving up my Blackberry for my first Android; I still have friends who have flip phones and refuse to move on to a smartphone.

This same evolution occurred with our computers from these massive desktops to smaller versions with flat screen monitors to laptops to tablets and has many people - myself included - wanting to hold on to what we know. What makes some of us ok only having a laptop or tablet? I still work primarily from a desktop computer and use my laptop for traveling and remote access into my desktop or to sit on the couch and write.

Technology Evolution

Where would we be without the evolution of technology? Could you really see yourself using that rotary dial phone today or trying to get any work done away from the office without a laptop? While I’m often stuck in my way of doing things I feel like the evolution of technology could teach us a few things about other areas of our lives. Go with it, be open to trying new methods and embrace change with the knowledge that it’s providing growth.

CRM, CMS... What’s The Difference? Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Many business owners are unsure of the difference between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and a Contact Management System (CMS). Essentially, CMS is a necessary component of CRM. Managing the contact's information like phone, email, etc. is the starting point for managing the overall relationship with systems like Outlook, Gmail, iCall or ACT. Having the ability to manage all aspects of the relationship with contacts in cloud based systems like Infusionsoft, Salesforce or NetSuite especially over multiple departments can become crucial to keeping them as a customer or maximizing profits based on the customer’s behaviors.


When anyone who touches the customer in all areas like, sales, operations, or accounting can see what the interaction or purchase history of that customer is, it allows for the elimination of redundancy and improved communications through awareness of challenges. There are many instances where the person in operations hears something from their contact that the sales department can use to generate additional revenue from that customer. Conversely there’s the opportunity for someone in accounting to hear that the customer may not be happy with the service they are receiving and are about to leave, and someone in operations can possibly follow up and improve their level of satisfaction.

A robust CRM will allow you to target your marketing to customers based on their behaviors and interactions with your business. It will give you the opportunity to focus the information you send to be what the customer really wants to hear from you. Most importantly it will show you the return on your investment (ROI) for that customer specifically, what did it cost you to get and keep that customer? Do you know?

Managing your potential customer opportunities can become cumbersome when you don’t have a system that can track when and where you met them, what you said to them, what you quoted them. A CRM is important to every growing business, find one that works for you and streamline your ability to generate brand loyalty and revenue.

It's All In The Follow Up Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Does any of this sound like you?

  • Do you have stacks of business cards from networking events that you’ve been meaning to follow up with?
  • Does it take you longer than a couple of days to follow up?
  • Have you ever forgotten to follow up?
  • Are you afraid of coming across as pushy?

Whenever I’m working with clients this is probably one of the biggest areas where they are looking to establish a system behind managing their email. Too often they come back to their office from networking events, speaking engagements, conferences or trade shows with stacks of cards or sign in sheets and then get caught up in the day to day of their business. Those potential clients that they have sitting in the palm of their hands will likely not become clients anytime in the near future.

In establishing any system, the first thing to do is get organized. Whether you decide to use an automated follow up system like Infusionsoft or setting up a manual system that you or your assistant can manage it’s going to be important that you document an organized process.

Example of a manual follow up system:

1. Cards/Sign-up sheets are put in an envelope and sent/given to assistant

2. An established template for a follow up email can be populated with the person’s name and where they met.

3. Determine how many days you will wait before you follow up again and how you will follow up again.

Example of automated follow up system using Infusionsoft:

1. Create a campaign with an internal form to fill out with the person’s name, email address and where they met.

2. Have that form tag them with the event and to populate a follow up email with merge fields of their name and where they met.

3. Determine how many days you will wait before you follow up again and how you will follow up and set that up and set up the balance of the follow up to happen automatically.

Gartner Research says that 67% of prospective clients that say no to you today will be ready to buy in the next year. Now count how many leads you have sitting on your desk and when that clock could have started on them.

Marketing Automation Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT What is marketing automation?

It is technology that allows businesses to automate and streamline marketing functions so they can use their resources in a more efficient manner and increase their revenue in the process.

Marketing automation software like Infusionsoft can support marketing processes including segmentation, relationship marketing, up-selling, lead generation, nurturing and scoring.

This automation software allows business owners to capture leads, create campaigns that can follow up with those leads via email, phone or text. Then provide the shopping cart to process their orders and up-sell them to the next product.

It also keeps their client database organized through segmentation or tagging to market to them based on their interactive behavior.

What do they read?

What do they click on?

What do they buy?

The ability for small businesses who may not have the manpower to follow up immediately is a critical solution that Infusionsoft provides. If most sales are lost in the follow up, why wouldn’t every business want to have a system that allows them to communicate with their clients or potential clients based on their actions?

Infusionsoft for Small Business

Creating marketing campaigns that can be triggered by the contacts' actions then continue marketing to them for days, weeks and months to come can generate additional revenues without having to add more work. Yes, initially creating those campaigns will take time but once they are done they will continue to work with very little effort. By occasionally reviewing the campaigns and making sure that the marketing message is still relevant and upgrading that content small businesses can keep their marketing funnel flowing.

There are so many more components to marketing automation then email marketing campaigns, like landing pages, lead management and scoring, marketing analytics and social media marketing. If businesses utilize automation for their marketing tasks and focus on their strategy and message the success they can achieve is limitless.

Delegating To Technology Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Delegating and technology are two things that most of us business owners are afraid of. It’s tough to let go of doing things the way we’ve always done them. Getting support either through hiring an assistant or using technology to be more productive with your time can be so liberating. The trick is to find the right solution that is the most efficient and fits in your budget.

Here are two key areas I recommend to get you started:

Accounting. Whether you want to go old school and use a spreadsheet to manage your accounting needs or use systems that manage it for you there are several options. Microsoft Excel, Smartsheet: If you decide you want to use a good old fashioned spreadsheet find a template that will still give you the information you need to manage your business quickly. Quicken, Quickbooks, Freshbooks:For most business owners Quickbooks (online or desktop) or Freshbooks would be ideal. Many of these can now link directly to your bank and/or credit cards online and automatically download your transactions.

Scheduling/Calendar Management. Having an online calendar that can be shared is crucial when working with multiple people. In addition to allowing for more efficiencies in determining best times to meet it can also provide a way for your staff and even your family to know your availability if they need to schedule time with you. There are also scheduling systems that allow for your customers to book appointment times directly where you have pre-determined your availability. Google Calendar, Schedulicity, andTime Trade are just a few.

Get out from around your fear and feel the joy of having things get done without you having to do every little step. Technology really is your friend! Sure there are going to be many times that it will make you want to scream. Most people think that once you delegate a task you can forget about it until something goes awry, that’s where they’re wrong. Manage what you delegate to technology by having checks and balances that what you needed the technology for is still happening and necessary.  If your needs have changed it might require you to change the technology you’re using. Never delegate to either human or machine and assume you’ll never have to worry about that task again. You’re still the business owner and you still need to make sure the current overall needs of your business are being met.

When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time? Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I saw this question posted on Facebook recently and it really made me think “so when was it”?

When was the last time I did something without fear of making a mistake or feeling like it would be a waste of time if I failed? I really started to contemplate this and tried to make a list of what I felt were some “first time” experiences for me. I also started to ask some friends and family the same question.

I discovered that there is an absolute need for everyone to be reminded of this often. Without trying and exploring new things we don’t learn or grow, which is essential for every entrepreneur. I want to grow in my business and I want to grow as a person, as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a sister, as a friend. We should all have the passion and desire to grow in all aspects of our lives. So I’m challenging myself and I challenge all of you to try something new every 30 days in 2014.

Matt Cutts with Google did a great Ted Talk (Click Here) that I encourage everyone to watch and I plan to use as my guide in 2014 to keep me on a path to grow myself and my business to new heights. I started to make my list of 12 new things to try in the next year and I mixed it up so there are some business related and some personal. I am pretty excited about this challenge and am looking forward to more than just a new year’s resolution, I can’t wait to add so much more to my life.

My list of new things to try in 2014:

1. Meditate/be silent for at least 15 minutes daily

2. Write an article/blog daily

3. Create info product(s)

4. Ride a real bike (I haven’t ridden a bike in over 20 years)

5. Journal

6. Take 1 day off from technology per week


To be continued.....

RETREAT, REVISIT, REALIGN Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT When I think of the word “retreat,” I have a few things that come to mind. I imagine this little turtle that pokes his head out of his shell then decides the world is too scary and heads back inside his protective shell. Or the opposite image of being at a place where everyone meditates all day and they take away my phone and computer when I get there. Neither of these images sound very appealing to me; the idea of giving up my phone and computer for any lengthy period of time frightens me! It wasn’t until the last couple of years as a business owner that I have really come to understand what a retreat is and why it is so essential to every entrepreneur and the growth of their business.

Day to day we deal with the stuff that we have to and many times we forget to eat and maybe sometimes even breathe. Last I checked we kind of need to do both, so here’s a little something I learned over the last two years.

Stepping away from my business and in some cases my life to revisit my goals and my accomplishments gives me the opportunity to realign my world. I feel like I’m on the go so much and have so many people relying on me that I just hit the next ball that’s lobbed at me. I have these great ideas that I want to implement but the ideas rarely get revisited because I’m just too busy doing.

When I attend my quarterly retreats now, I go in focused on what I want for myself and my business. I come back with a clear action plan of what I need to do next and who I need support from and real deadlines to see it all come to fruition.

Take the opportunity to put yourself in a different environment, surround yourself with others that make you want to strive for more and be open to all the perspectives you will see as there will be many.

Managing Your Commitments Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Have you ever been in that situation when you made a commitment, a promise that you weren’t able to fulfill? How does it feel when you can’t do what you said you would?

Most of us don’t ever want to let anyone down, we never want to see that look on someone’s face or hear that sound in their voice when they’ve been disappointed. Yet we continue to overextend ourselves.


We don’t know that we’re over committed.

We can’t say no.

We think we’re Wonder Woman.

We want everyone to like us.

I’m sure there are plenty more reasons we can come up with and you should definitely try to determine why you specifically might run into challenges with keeping your commitments so you can address that root cause.

I did an exercise a couple years back that I continue to do on a semi-annual basis to keep myself focused on what I really want to be committed to.

Take a few minutes and write down all the people, organizations and projects you are committed to. Then next to each of them write down the amount of time each of these commitments take up, this can be done by week or by month. Total up all the hours to see if the time spent is realistic, in other words if your commitments total up 140 hours in a week there’s no way you can do that unless you’re sleeping less than 3 hours a night.

Now number them with #1 being the commitment you enjoy the most, feel most compelled to keep or must keep because of your position either in your family or your business. Every commitment should have a number.

Start with the highest number and begin to create your plan to remove those commitments one at a time. Send the email, make the phone call but do it as soon as possible because there isn’t any turning back. Get control of time and how you spend it as it is the one thing you will never get back.

THE 15 MINUTE DIET Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I recently had the pleasure of working with a client who wanted some help with getting her home organized, let’s call her “Mary.” Mary had tried everything to get organized - she hired professional organizers, read books, had friends come help her purge, but all the stuff would just eventually end up back to the way it was. She was very frustrated.

Mary read a book that I had co-authored called “Get Organized Today.” She reached out to me via my website and said she related to the way I gave step by step instructions and that her garage seemed to be the only place that didn’t get to out of control after she had implemented what she read in the book. She asked if I had written anything else for other parts of the home; I did not. I was however in the process of testing a new system that I needed to have a case study for and Mary agreed.

You should know at this point that Mary does not live in my general area, in fact she doesn’t even live in the same state as me. So here’s what we did over the course of the next 9 weeks:

Prep work for Mary prior to week 1: Create a very simple diagram of her home indicating the purpose of each room with the square footage of each room and take a video on her smart phone coming in the front door and walking through the entire house and coming back to go out through the front door. The video needed to allow me to see floor to ceiling in each room also (it was about 7 minutes long). She also made sure she had some specific items for this process – Laundry Basket and a Journal with a Pen.

Week 1: We spoke via Skype and screen shared the electronic version I created of her diagram and split each room into 4 zones or areas and numbered each zone 1 through 24.   We then looked at zones 1 and 2 together and mapped out her plan to work in each zone 15 minutes at a time, 4 times a day. If 4 times was not necessary she moved into the next zone. If she found something that didn’t belong in that zone she put it in the Laundry Basket and the Laundry Basket moved to the next zone with her.  If there were items in the Laundry Basket that belonged in the zone she was now in that’s when she put them away. I explained to her that this is something that happens so often where we find something in one part of the house then go to put it away where it belongs and then get distracted by something in this new area we’re in.

Weeks 2 to 9: Mary worked through each of the zones in the 15 minute increments. It’s important to understand that she NEVER went over that 15 minutes.  She set the timer on her phone and made sure to stop when it went off. Each week we touched base on Skype so she could show me what she had accomplished and where she was struggling. The calls ranged from 10 minutes long to maximum 25 minutes .  We worked through her struggles and found other options.

By working for a cumulative total of 1 hour per day Mary completely organized her home and has been able to work the maintenance schedule of 15 minutes per day in one zone per day. I believe everyone can be on the 15 minute diet and see results the same way Mary did.

GROWING PAINS Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT If you’re an 80’s child like me you might remember this show about a family that had three kids and were constantly going through something with each of them. It was a sit-com and meant to be funny. It’s not so funny when it relates to business, especially your own business.

The positive part being that it means you have growth, the not so great part that it’s painful is very much a double edged sword. Even when you are set up to handle growth and planned for it, something will always come up creating the pain. I’m starting to believe that you can’t have growth without the pain, EVER.

We are going through so many growth challenges right now that we are having to rethink our systems because we thought what we had in place could handle more capacity but isn’t going to be able to. While some may view this as a good thing, this is the first time ever that we have officially said we can’t take on anymore clients until we get additional systems in place. I love what it is teaching all of us, but most importantly it is giving us the opportunity to grow at an even greater pace than we had planned for over the course of the next 12 months. Having to find new systems now gives us the chance to plan for additional team members and therefore bring on more and more clients.

What I realize is that we are experiencing challenges even with systems in place, so it makes me wonder about the massive amounts of pain some businesses go through because they don’t have any in place? I know I have been on this soapbox for a while but I’ll say it again......Establish systems and documented processes in your business now, when you’re small enough to continue the pattern with modifications, revisions and additions as you grow. It is crucial to what happens when you come to that fork in the road that either goes up the mountain or just circles it.

I AM AWESOME! Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Recently I had the opportunity to attend the eWomen Network Conference in Dallas, Texas. There were some incredible speakers with great content and there were some not so great speakers who still had valuable messages if you could get past their delivery.

There was however, one speaker that stood out and left me with a very powerful message I hope to carry with me for a long time.

Sekou Andrews was billed as a “surprise” speaker. Now I don’t usually like surprises, but I am so grateful I didn’t miss this one. Sekou is a poet, a wordsmith, an entertainer. It was inspiring to watch how he so eloquently took the English language and left 600+ women holding an imaginary mirror in our hands saying “I AM AWESOME!” for the remainder of the conference.

There were many things he said that I loved and made me feel like I could do anything because I’m me and I AM AWESOME! To see how he captivated these women with his showmanship, humor and charm and even at one point coming into the audience and giving one woman the ‘double cheek pinch’ was a clinic on speaking with passion no matter who your audience is.

I always get so much when I attend conferences especially those centered around women, that give us the opportunity to embrace who we are; flaws and strengths celebrated equally. I enjoy the networking and catching up with others from around the globe that come together to learn, work together and enjoy simply being a woman of business. 

Sandra Yancey, the founder of eWomen Network spoke to us about listening; she gave a talk around using the word LISTEN as an acronym (Look inside, Inspiration, Self Care, Trust, Express yourself, NOW! - as in do it NOW!) . She left us with something that I’m sure many of us had already heard prior to her talk – myself included - but it just didn’t stick before now.

Mix up the letters in LISTEN and they spell SILENT.

If I can leave you with one thing that is to GO, whenever and to whatever event or conference you can and be in a state of constant learning as often as possible. There are so many smart, inspirational, motivating, creative individuals out there that we can’t possibly hear them all in a lifetime, but my plan is to hear as many of them as I can in my lifetime.

What's the next event your on the fence about attending? Just GO.



Check out Sekou's website to hear some of his featured talks

Managing My Email or My Emotions Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT There are so many areas of our life we try to manage that we get sucked into this vortex of feeling like we never seem to get ahead. I gave you some tips earlier this year on email management and sorting, but thought it might be a good idea to try and approach some of it from an emotional perspective.

I was working with a client recently who loved to almost on a daily basis let me know how many emails she had in her inbox when she got in every morning. I didn’t think much of it until one of our team asked
her if she was in a competition with someone to see who had the most emails every day. Her response was very surprising; “No, but doesn’t more emails mean you’re more important”?

The idea that more and more people are unsubscribing to lists they have been on for years or putting general auto responders for their inbox to provide answers to the more frequently asked questions
completely defies how this client responded.

At this point I was intrigued and started to ask more questions and found out that she also doesn’t unsubscribe from lists because she feels like someone punched her in the gut when they unsubscribe
from her list, so she couldn’t do that to someone else. Further, she went on to tell me that she responds to emails from some people before others because they're “nicer” to her!

I’m an analysis kind of person so I asked a few more people and even did some gut checks in going through my own emails. I was actually very surprised how much my emotions did play into the last two areas she mentioned (I never want to be THAT important!, so the first one didn’t resonate for me). There was one thing that she didn’t mention that I found myself doing and it was this feeling of missing out on something if I unsubscribed from an email that potentially could have useful information for me in it one day. It made me think of when I’m working with people to get organized they say “I want to keep this
because I may need it someday”. Well, if I need it someday I’ll just have to google it. In the meantime I punched a lot of guts that day.

Perspective Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT noun. A mental view or outlook: It’s useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present ~Fabian Linden

What do you see when you look this picture? A structure that stands 1,063 feet tall looks like it is 2 inches tall from this perspective. How often is it that things don’t appear as they actually are? The more we examine how much our past provides perspective on our present, the more we can learn about our future.

Adopting a service perspective in your business where your customers’ business processes (the Eifel tower) have a direct relationship with your service offerings (hand) could change your idea of relationship marketing. In plain English, how many of those service offerings came about because of a need for a client you already had?

In attending a recent event with other entrepreneurs I had a great discussion with two other business owners, both of whom recently (within the last 18 months) came out of corporate to pursue their own dreams. We ended up talking for over an hour on the ups and downs of owning your own business. Much of the discussion was on our philosophies on running our businesses mostly being derived from working for other people who we didn’t want to emulate.

I could never find the intersection of those philosophies and the customers actual needs for one of the business owners and not surprisingly she seemed to be the one that had more downs than ups.

A service perspective in your business can change how you market and plan for growth, by establishing service offerings based on your customers business processes (needs) you can build your business with as little effort as having an ear.

Reaching the Summit Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT There’s something so powerful about being in a room full of inspired and motivated women. I recently had the privilege of being a part of Today’s Innovative Woman’s Success Summit and Expo in Dallas, TX (Los Angeles is in September 2013). There were also a couple of very smart men that attended and were very engaged throughout the event. The speakers were all captivating, inspirational and practical in their messages. The room was electric with networking, masterminding, and engagement in hearing each others journeys to this point.

I have been to every Success Summit for the last 5 years and this one was up there with all the rest as a continued life changing experience for me. You see, 5 years ago when I attended my first one I met the woman who would go on to be my business coach for the last 5 years Joy Chudacoff. I also learned about this amazing book by Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich. And every year after I have made connections and learned things that I will carry with me for a very long time, like when Debbie Delgado asked us last year if we were truly living congruently in our lives.

The first night I arrived in Dallas for this event 10 tornadoes touched ground and I had one of the worst flying experiences of my life landing there. Through it all the woman whos brainchild is this summit, Cathy Alessandra spent the night in the Austin airport just trying to get to Dallas. What incredible speakers, attendees and exhibitors she brought together for all to benefit from each other.

I had been going through something extremely painful emotionally with my extended family, so that combined with the flight and messages from the event once again reminded me of something Cathy says often about why it’s so important to get out from behind the computer.

I’m the first one on the “I’m too busy” bandwagon, but the energy and rejuvenation that these conferences and especially the women inspired ones gives us is priceless. Take the time, spend the money and climb that mountain – it is incredibly worth it when you see the view.

In The Mood for Good Customer Service? Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I have one major peeve when eating out; my water glass, keep it full and get it right.

I’m usually a soda water drinker and it really bothers me when the lime in my glass is completely ignored and regular water gets poured, if and when they get there to fill it up at all. I think my husband usually orders the same thing just so he can give me his when I get irritated by this. This brings me to the point that my irritation level is largely based on my mood going into the encounter, but can be exacerbated by things like my loud slurping on the straw in an empty glass being completely ignored!

Don’t get me wrong there are some talented customer service providers out there in every industry who can even bring me down off the ledge. Being in a service based business I also know that many of the individuals in these jobs aren’t there because it was their career ambition.

I want to believe that my staff and I always provide great customer service, but I know that as the service provider we also enter these encounters based on our mood. Armed with this knowledge, I logically understand that you can’t make everybody happy all of the time even if your mood cooperated with you.

For all of us who provide a service to many of us, really consider if you’re in the mood for good customer service. Whether it’s in the actual act or when an evaluation of your services is giving you valuable information that will decrease the effect mood has on the customer service you provide, PLEASE LISTEN.

We All Need Some Downtime Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT I just love that word “Downtime”.

Recently I was able to take advantage of a few days off and head to Palm Springs with my husband. Unfortunately, he had to work most of the time we were there.

I found myself with a lot of time to myself, literally by myself. My office had me down as taking the days off so I wasn’t getting many calls or emails. I did get on the computer and work on a few projects I was able to finish during the trip, well before their deadlines I might add. I read almost half of this month’s book club selection and listened to podcasts that were piling up on my phone. My favorite part was that I never had a time constraint, regardless of what I was doing. I even spent over an hour every day at the hotel gym. My husband has been speaking at these conferences for most of the 13 years I have known him, this was the first time I was actually able to go and hear him undisturbed for an entire 90 minutes!

Realizing that there are many people who take total downtime, where they completely disconnect from the work world – I sadly know I am far from being one of them. It had been so long since I actively participated in long periods of unscheduled time, working the little bits I did at my own pace still felt like downtime to me.

The focus and energy I had when I got back made me feel like I could accomplish absolutely anything. I have been even more organized and determined to finish everything on my plate as soon as it’s put there. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment when you can answer every call and email the same day you receive it.

The most valuable lesson I learned was re-evaluating how I spend my time and with who. Some of you may not believe this but I do say no to many things that will require time I don’t have, so I’m very comfortable with the time commitments I have made to the organizations I’m involved with. I have also prioritized these so that my customers are always taken care of and that they don’t interfere with my weekends or personal time.

Downtime will be something I participate in often. I will find a way to fit this into my life because I know that I am more efficient, calm and creative. I realize that by giving myself a little bit of downtime every once in a while could put me in a position for a lot more of it later.

A View from the Backseat Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Have you ever sat in the backseat of your own car?

It’s a little strange to sit in any seat other than the drivers, but the backseat somehow amplified that strangeness for me on a recent road trip. I will say that it got me to think about the other areas of my life and question why I am compelled to always be in the driver’s seat.

Although I have no trouble delegating, I have tremendous difficulty letting go once I delegate. I’m a process driven person and if you ask my staff they will probably tell you that you can physically see me twitching if someone deviates from a process. With that said, efficiency is equally as important so if by deviating we come to the same outcome and save time, then we need to rewrite the process. I’m learning that it doesn’t need to be me that writes, tests, rewrites, tests again etc.

When I became a supervisor for the first time, it was for the customer service department of a courier company, I remember thinking how great it was that I can still do my same job and I get paid more money. What I quickly figured out was that what bothered me before about those that worked alongside me was now my responsibility to fix. I never wanted to look bad to my boss so I always checked and double checked everything, and so a control freak was born.

I’m certain most business owners have often thought they can’t take time off because everything will fall apart. I know because I’m one of them and you know what? I did take that time off and it didn’t fall apart. It is a matter of trust, either you do or you don’t, and if you don’t learn to you will always NEED to be in the driver’s seat.

Making the commitment to be conscious of those moments when we need to take perspective by taking the backseat is so important to every individual, business owner or not. I am amazed how many times in the last few weeks I have had to stop myself from asking the “did you do….” questions after handing a task off, but am grateful that now I am stopping myself, most of the time.

Wow! Excitement! Aug 26, 2014 00:01 GMT Ex-cite-ment: A feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness.


Do you ever get really excited about something and feel like you’re on top of the world?

I remember at my daughter’s 3rd birthday she would open every gift with this look on her face of pure excitement, eyes and mouth wide open. That infectious excitement lasted depending on what was in the box, if it was clothes it was tossed to mom (ironically, 16 years later you can’t stop her from clothes shopping). If it was toys, we always had the hardest time getting her to move on to open the other gifts. She would oooh and ahhh over every toy and want to play with it right on the spot, forget everything and everyone around her.

As we get older the genuine feeling of excitement seems to come around less and less. Well, I plan to bring it back into my life more often! I am making a plan to add things into my life, personal and professional that get me excited. This plan will include more spontaneous interaction with all of my family, more of doing what I want, so obviously less of doing what I don’t want.

All you have to do is look around and there is always something exciting happening. I have a friend who recently said something to me that I’m starting to understand. We were talking about all the events/mixers that we attend and how to manage over eating or drinking. She said “my problem is everything is a celebration to me, so when I’m celebrating it’s hard not to eat, drink and be happy.” She’s definitely one of those people that sees the world glass way more than half full and it’s hard not to be excited about things around her.

So I hope that each of you finds something to be excited about each and every day! Be careful to make it genuine, unless you’re waiting for a lottery check try not to scare the mailperson with too much excitement.

And to all you holding those tiny little pins ready to burst some bubbles, sorry but you can walk right by mine.