Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Having Fun on the Path to Launch!

Wow! Time is growing short. So much fun to be had, also known as, so many "to dos" on my list. I am visualizing my spirit in the midst of a whole ball of excitement and fun! After all, why not? Going to visit the city hall to sign up for a license? FUN! Working on the "how to submit an article" page for the site? FUN!

Sometimes, when our list of things to do begin to pile up, we start to feel it getting heavy on our minds. We tell ourselves, "I HAVE to get this done!" "This NEEDS to be done as soon as possible!" We become our own parent, boss or teacher who is putting pressure on the result, instead of remembering that we were the ones who actually wanted what we are doing! We forget we put ourselves on this path. How does this happen? How do we keep our focus on the fun of the journey, and not the results?

Every week, I pull out my giant white board that is divided into categories and write down the items that I want to accomplish in each category for the week. The key word here is "want." If I am tired or stressed, when I look at those same items I was excited about Monday morning, I start to tell myself they are "have tos" and "must dos" and my excitement wanes. My fix for this is to focus on self care and remember how much fun I am having. The excitement of starting a business can be overwhelming. Yes, there is a small amount of fear in there, but the excitement supersedes that in the beginning and you just keep moving forward with jumps and success dances and high fives. Everything is new and fun and you are so thrilled to be in the middle of it. This sometimes takes a toll on your energy as you stay up late to finish projects, or wake up early to start new ones. Forgetting to sleep, eat and take breaks is becoming commonplace. Here is a list to keep the fun in creating our business.

Step one: Focus on Self Care:
Pick a rising time and a bed time range. Stick to it and get some sleep.
Buy your favorite healthy foods. Then schedule in prep time on your calendar to actually prepare them.
Meditate, breathe, and take time for silence and being present. Let your gratitude shine.
Exercise daily. This is crucial for mental health and good ideas!
Plan fun time outside of your business. Schedule in a break every few days to focus on other things you enjoy in life and remember your business is not you, just a part of you.

Step two: Remember, It's fun!
Keep a journal with you (or start a blog) and write down all your best moments, to reread from time to time.
Make sure you talk to your support system when you have forgotten the fun!
Make a finish line for goals each week and plan celebrations with friends or family when you pass the finish line.
Put up all your accomplishments (such as your business cards, banners, incorporation seal) on the walls of the house, like when you were a child, to acknowledge your success.
Laugh a lot!

So off I go, into the world of fun, marking tasks off the list, crossing finish lines, and having a blast doing it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Little More of Me, A Little More of You!

It has been an interesting week in my trail-blazing. We got our business license, which was a piece of cake, and I continued to blaze...

The partnership for the clothing line fell through, because they were not truly excited about my vision, which disappointed me, and began a cord of doubting questions to other parts of my work. My mind chatter was saying, if that didn't work, what else was I doing that might fail as well? For about a day, off and on, I wondered if my ideas, my creations were what the world wanted to see. This led to wanting to redesign the website, as I heard the voices of ego tell me, it was just too feminine and not hip and cool, like some of the other websites out there.

People will say things to you about being "too (fill in the blank)" throughout your life. Lines I have heard in my life are, I am too naive, too open, too over-excited, too simplistic, too trusting, too emotional, too controlling, too worried, too sensitive, too weird, too out of touch, too idealistic, too girly, too analyzing, too honest, and too wordy (are you thinking that now?). Of course there is a list of more negative ones, but why go there? What I have come to realize over the past couple of days is that, yes, I am all of those things to some extent, and isn't that what makes this world so fabulous? Everyone has their own lists, creating new ways to see the world, making it a whole lot more fun and interesting. Joyously, there are also enough people on this planet whose list is going to match up with your list, which reminds you that you are not alone.

Who decided there is only one right way to do things?

What I know is true is there are enough successful people out there who said I am just going to be myself, and it worked! My website and children's book are based on my preferences and my experiences. If I can't let that energy flow, it won't be creatively fun, and that won't fit the vision for my life. Yes, my website is girly, and yet, whenever I look at it, I just love it! It is me all over the place. Swirly and girly with fancy font and blues and purples with flowers and happy thoughts. It always brings a smile to my face. Yet, I have had some well-meaning, differing opinions from friends.

There have been some who have told me that I should leave the "beautifully" out of our tag line, but how could it be my website, without that? I live for beauty. Not the kind you see in a magazine, but colors, and nature and friend's smiles, and the kind of beauty when someone looks you in the eyes and you can see their joy. Some have said they don't like the word "community" to represent online groups. But to me, this could be an amazing community. It is a perfect gathering space for women going through the powerful change in our lives, to come and hang out and connect, exchange ideas and support each other. Some have said they don't think I should mention age ranges. I really thought about this and it might change, actually. I do see how common it is for women 30 to 50 to ask themselves dynamic questions and watch their power emerge. Some have said "blissfully" is over-used. I say it hasn't been used enough. Some have said "authentic" is cliche', and other's have said it should only be used for describing food. The word authentic rang so beautifully to me, that it is the one word mission statement for my life .

I have welcomed the ideas and help that has been generously shared with me, as I really value new perspectives that keep the juices flowing. Many ideas have helped me shift my thoughts and I have grown because of them, while others I have had to let go. I keep coming back to the same conclusion. I want to see these projects as creations born from my ideas and passions, while sculpted along by the passions of others who want to see them become successful. And the bottom line is they may be successful and they may fail, but I am the only one who will fail if I don't allow my ideas to stay true to what I want to see. Those failing beliefs are: 1. There is only one way to make it right and 2. I don't have enough knowing to do it right. That was when I realized the amazing gift of the partnership dissolving. I learned that it is worth the failure to try it once with your own creative inspiration.

This is our world. We can be the creators of what we see before us. Right or wrong, good or bad, I have decided to put a little more of me into the design of my world. I encourage you to try it out, if you haven't already, and put a little more of you out there, too.

Monday, May 5, 2008

We are incorporated!

We are now Authentic Times, Inc! We were so confused about how to get started when we decided to incorporate, but we found it was actually pretty easy to do. There was a whole lot to learn, however. We decided to not hire a lawyer because we really wanted to learn and understand how to become incorporated ourselves. First hand knowledge, we believe, is the best kind. We did get a consultation from our accountant to decide which type of incorporation we should do, C corp, S corp or LLC? He was extremely helpful at explaining the difference and tax benefits of each. We also bought Incorporating Your Business for Dummies, which is an easy to understand, well organized book that will show you how to file and run a corporation. I highly recommend it!
We were able to file online, and my husband and I pushed the button FILE. We then turned to each other and gave a big high five! Our next step is to get our business license through the state and the city.