Archive | July 2012

Learning from “Crash and Burn”

Just what is an “epic failure” and what can be learned?

Well, for me it’s a variety of things. There was the time in my career that every job I had (it seemed) went bankrupt or merged with another company shortly after I started. Kind of makes a girl feel like a jinx! This kind of job result could make a person want to give up and crawl into a cave somewhere and say “Go away world!

Or, there were the times I tried two different multi-level marketing companies. Failed horribly, the second attempt led us in to bankruptcy. This also led me to feeling like a complete and utter failure. You know, the “oh woe, is me” syndrome. That old crash and burn thing.

So, what happened? It’s still a learning, growing process. Yes, I did find a long-term job that I loved, I was there for 7 years. Then they went and merged with another company and didn’t need me any longer. Well, at least it lasted longer than the previous jobs – anywhere from 1 – 3 years.

Then there was the interesting job I had (that really required an additional part-time person to handle properly). This job was not meant for me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I streamlined part of the process, I designed flyers when needed (I really loved that part) There was a variety of things I was handling. But I wasn’t listening to my inner voice. It found a way to make me listen. At that job was when I had a lifetime record of seizures.

Yes, I felt like a failure. Why? I had no control over the events. I had no control over the companies failing, or merging with another company because the business owners were getting older and didn’t feel there was anyone “worthy” of taking over.

But, I did/should have had some control of the outcome of the MLM companies. The lesson learned from that: I do not have the ability to sell. I couldn’t even get my own family to buy anything. How bad is that?

The lesson learned from the other? I started my own company. I will not lie to you – it wasn’t an over night success. But, it is growing and I am in control (well except for the marketing thing). But something wonderful happened that really boosted my spirits. Just the other day I checked my Google ranking. Looking for online secretary got me 50+ million hits with my company – Virtually Helps – on the first page! Not too shabby!

So my lesson learned, after all this time, is: don’t give up, the right thing is out there waiting to be found.

**NOTE: both pictures used were found on Google Images.

Daddy’s Little Girl – But Older

Hi Dad!

You know, writing “tributes” isn’t always as easy as one might think – especially when the person can read what you’ve written and critique what you’ve said. But here goes.

Dad has always come up with interesting comments:

  • You’re my favorite daughter. Dad I’m the only one. Exactly, that’s why you’re favorite.
  • It’s not your birthday until 7:52pm. But Ray, we should have a party for her and invite her friends… Mom won that for my 13th birthday.
  • I’m not old, I have old kids.

There are more, but you get the idea.

There was the time we were getting ready to go on a family camping trip, the car had an internal trunk release and you had to have it running for it to work. The car was a stick shift by the way with a heavy-duty clutch. Dad asked me to pop the trunk – while he was standing behind the car. Well, my foot slid off the clutch pedal and the car jumped backward. I stared crying , I thought for sure I’d run him over!

A few years later, when it was time to get my driver’s license (learner’s permit was first), I learned to drive at school – but Dad made sure I knew how to drive a stick. Yes the very car I thought I killed him with. (for the record – it turned out that I loved that car) Dad would only agree that I was ready to drive the car when I could shift gears (three on the tree) and not spill the water from the glass he’d put on the dash board. No, no pressure at all. It took a bit (Dad had some quick reflexes) but I passed to Dad’s satisfaction.

When I was in grade school, we had taken a family trip to Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI). I should say here I learned photography from Dad and Grandpa. I had my 110 camera and sat on the riverbank waiting for the paddlewheel boat to come. As I had been taught, I made myself the tripod, held my breath as I slowly clicked the shutter. When we got home I couldn’t wait to develop the pictures (we had our own darkroom). The boat was perfect, you could clearly see the boat in the water – in fact turn it upside down and you had to look very hard to tell the difference.

Well, Dad taught an extra-curricular class in photography. For the first class, he gave a simple instruction – go take pictures. He developed all the film. They were all bad. So, what did my Dad do to kids that were 4 – 5 years older than me? After he critiqued their work he showed them my paddlewheel boat picture and proceeded to tell them that if my daughter – who’s younger than you take this, why can’t you?

When I was in high school, I took an art class – painting, charcoal, pastels. Dad would call my work pictures. I would tell him (all the time) NO Dad, they’re paintings or drawings, not pictures. Pictures are what you do with a camera. You know, when you’re a teenager you know everything.

One day I brought a drawing home that I was really happy with, Dad snagged it and (basically) said it was his, and took it to work, never telling me what he thought of the drawing. I found out a few years later – from staff – that Dad really was proud of that drawing, he made sure that everyone knew that “my daughter” did that! I also found out that I painting I had done in school (too big to ride on the bus with me – Dad picked it up) was paraded around where he worked with him telling everyone “look at what my daughter did!”

Dad had interesting reactions to boyfriends (he really only liked the first one, my husband has grown on him). When he didn’t like them, he would fall asleep in his chair. I guess it was his way of saying the guy wasn’t interesting enough.

Dad has always wanted my brother and me to be good at everything we did. Although he still can’t understand why math and I are not friends. (His, comments have been that since math was so easy for him it should be for me.)

Yes, Daddy was my first boyfriend. Yes, Dad was a great driver – made the run to the local hospital in record time, my brother and I kept finding ways to test that (mostly Bob). Dad made sure he and Mom were in Colorado for my wedding – they drove. Even though there were times in my life that I didn’t think Dad loved me, he did – still does and always had/has my back.

I love you Dad!

YELD

(don’t worry – he knows what this means)

To Maryann

This morning I lost my Step-Mom, Maryann.

She was battling cancer. It was a situation of the chemo was winning over the cancer, but it was killing her.

We had all hoped she would beat it, she would win. I was looking forward to the day when she and my Dad could go back to how things were for them a couple of years ago. (Before her Mom moved in requiring care) So they could have fun, the fun they deserved.

Maryann put up with the occasional blonde joke.

Occasionally put up with us talking about something and if she couldn’t hear it, we’d tell her the truth, we weren’t talking about her. It was just the way we said it.

Maryann loved yellow and Tweety Bird. She decided that Dad was Sylvester. She even had Tweety lettered on her car at one time.

She loved the wind up Chicken Dance chickens Kim and I got her for a couple of special occasions. She would wind them up and let them go – for a long time. Long enough that even when Dad would get tired of them, he didn’t seem to mind (many times anyway) that Maryann would keep them going.

Maryann loved being on/near the water. She was the first lady Commodore of their boat club: Mariner’s Yacht Club (I don’t remember seeing any yachts). She liked relaxing on the moored houseboat they had. She enjoyed their trips down to Islamorada (upper Keys – Key West, FL).

She loved my brother’s two dogs and my dog Kodi. One time they watched Kodi for us when Kim and I took a short trip. They were at the houseboat and Maryann thought that Kodi should walk along her side on the walkway to get back to shore. It wasn’t wide enough, Kodi fell in. Maryann jumped in to get Kodi – who was swimming in the wrong direction – caught her and flipped her up on shore for Dad to get her. Dad didn’t know Maryann was that strong!

Maryann doted on my brother’s dogs – Bailey and Twinkie. They (both Pit Bulls) loved to cuddle with her on the couch.

Maryann loved to remind me of the first time I met her. I was being protective of my Dad. I met her just before they were to leave for a trip to Antigua. I was blunt and asked her did she really love my Dad, or was she just playing him to go on the trip. Oh, and YES she loved my Dad!

I’m glad she decided to like me. I will miss you Maryann.