How'd I Land Here on Tech Avenue?

I work with my clients online, by phone, and through speaking at events. I started out pretty generically as a career coach for mid-life transitions, and then began helping those people set up their businesses. Since I had been managing my own business for years, this was a pretty natural transition for me.

Many of my clients start out pretty stuck. They have trouble navigating the technology and systems they need for their business. They don't understand how social media works, what the most important elements of their websites are, or how quickly email marketing has shifted.

I set up a whole stream of business focussed on digital and social media. Since then, my job has been to filter through the technical parts of tech tools to break it down for my clients and help them get ahead using digital and social media, email, and landing pages using click funnels.

Tech is hard for people, and I get that. The language is highly specialized. The tools are necessarily complex. Because I remain very curious, I can work through a lot of this or I can pick up the phone and speak with people who help me with it.

As a youngster, I remember my brother talking about learning computer science. It went in one ear and out the other for the most part, except for the idea that you could create a program that would do what you wanted. Zeroes and ones didn't make sense to me at that point, but the idea that you could build something that would make an idea come to life, made meant to me.

Flash forward about thirty years.

My ex-husband really HATED technology. He was a pencil and spreadsheet accountant who resisted digital files. He didn’t like LinkedIn, didn’t use Facebook. He didn't have a cell phone. He wouldn't even register for an account on even though he was creating these huge family trees and could have made his hobby even more fun.

You know we just had to get divorced, right?

My KIDS love tech, and grew up with it. Both of them fully accepted the idea that as technology advanced, it brought them things they liked. Phones, tablets, game systems, all kinds of keyboards, cables, and ideas; none of it has ever been off limits for them.

After that particularly nasty divorce, I moved across the country for a fresh start. In order to keep in touch with people 3000 miles away, I adopted an online lifestyle. I also got asked to write a series of courses about writing for the web, which led to social media, and more. All online. All the time.

Some of this stuff was really, very hard for me. It changes all the time. I sometimes think my menopausal brain is deliberately trying to mess me up. But I persist.

If you want to talk about incorporating digital and social media in your business, contact me directly. I answer my own phone (it gives me a nice break from being at my computer so much).

Something to Spice Up Your Workday

I work from home, so if I want to talk with people I have to make a conscious decision to connect online or get out of the house. I meet interesting people online and out of the house, but I am in the midst of writing about conversation for a project, so I figured getting out was a good idea.

As usual, the characters in my city abound and today they didn't disappoint. 

Like the clerk at the post office who didn’t know how to scan my discount card for sending parcels, so said she wasn’t going to worry about it. I don't know if it was the expression on my face when I said it or not, but she changed her tune when I sweetly told her I’d wait while she could work it out, because that’s how I get a discount plus $100 worth of insurance.

Then there was the clerk at the grocery store who could only tell her customers that she had been working really hard on keeping the tills online, as if we’re her supervisors…though I suspect it could have something to do with her supervisor not noticing how hard she was working.

Sign up here to get access to this handy presentation. 

Since this was fairly late in the afternoon, most of the shoppers were stopping to pick up things on their way home from work. The overwhelming majority looked tired, harried, or preoccupied.

I was reminded about some writing I did to help people get more out of their job – really it’s a story about some of the things that I have done to make work more lovable, you know? You can download the story for free if you sign up here. Don’t worry about being bombarded – my email habits are rather irregular because I just send emails when I have helpful, good stuff to share. I cannot stand to force myself to send a weekly email just for the sake of sending one.

I'd love to hear what you think, or to know if you'd like some help on your career journey. It's not scary, and there are some simple, straightforward things you can do to get it all together and spice up your workdays. 

Get Out of Overwhelm Easily and Permanently!

Lately I've been attaching some goodies with each newsletter to entice people to step in and create the circumstances in your life to help you live bigger, more boldly, or simply to get what you want. They've received things about goal setting and achievement, motivation, and mindset, but I realize I have not also been sharing these things on the blog. (Not sure why...brain fart most likely). Today, I'm writing to you about the Big O

Not that O, for those of you who went there. This O...Overwhelm

In the past two weeks I've been coaching people who work in industries where the currency exchange, price of oil, and changes to employment legislation are having a BIG impact, and in most every case that impact hits their bank account hard.There's been lots of buzz about people being laid off laid off or having their hours or salaries cut back, and because they're my clients, most of them also have a business that is in start-up or growth mode too! Are you seeing this in the work you do? Is it impacting you or your family?

If so, this article is especially for you, and you can use the Forward link below to share it with your friends or family who might benefit. 

Get Free From Overwhelm
First of all, grab a notebook or print this post off and write all over the back. 
Next, set a timer for 10 minutes, and write a list of all the things that are on your mind right now and that you have to get done (the to do list in your head). Include everything, but stop when the timer goes off. Your list can include anything you should be doing, including tasks like laundry, gardening, packing lunches, and cleaning the loo. You can include meeting your goals at work (list them out!) going to meetings, making calls, taking a class, sending that donation, cleaning out that drawer, filing your taxes.  

Take a deep breath and look at your work. Don't get too attached to it, because we're going to lighten the load right quick!

Next, I want you to make a big, bold line and cross out all the things on that list that are not within your control. I know this might bug you to have to cross them off, but if you spend energy on things you can't control, you are contributing to overwhelming yourself. Cross them out! Go!

How was that? Are you doing okay?

One of the problems in the "cross it out" exercise is that you may be tempted to leave things on there that you think you should do. This includes things like, "I should be closer to my Facebook friends." Listen, you cannot control how your friends feel about you. if your Facebook friends (or your siblings, or friends from school, or your Aunt Hazel) are not the people who are in your life and make your life better for being there, then there is no need to get closer to them, right? If they are negative, cranky, energy sucking people, you don't need to be closer to them. Cross the items related to "those people" off your list. Feel good about it. Feel your load lighten as you do this. 

Now, if there is a friend or family member you want to get closer to, this is where you take control. You control how often you meet with them, where you go, and where you want to commit some energy. Want a better relationship with your sister? Instead of looking at the issue as being in her control, ask her out to lunch, or send her a note in the mail. Those are things you control. 

Next, I want you to look at things on your list that give you nothing. These are the things that make you shrug your shoulders and think, "Meh, I've got nothing for this one." These things are also taking your energy and contributing to your overwhelm. Cross them off the list. **One caveat here: if the things that you feel nothing for include things outside your control that you must do (like filing your taxes, or painting the siding on your house, or taking the snack to soccer practice, see below).  

So now you've written the list, crossed off the things you can't control, and crossed off the things that don't add value.

The **caveat part
If there are things on your list that are sucking the life out of you (doing my bookkeeping comes to mind), then you have to find something about the task you can make yourself like, or appreciate, and work that in. So, when it comes to catching up on my bookkeeping, this means I celebrate getting all the bits to my assistant for organizing and filing (stuff that she loves to do). It also means getting excited that there is money in the bank account to pay my taxes with. Do you see what I mean? Although these are tasks I don't particularly like, I can get them done by working on my mindset about them. This is a very effective way to reduce the negativity that accompanies them for me.

So here we are, and you're reducing your overwhelm already! Awesome! You should have a beautiful list with lots of lines through it. The items that are leftover are there for you to schedule, prioritize, and step into!  

Live Inspired - Getting It All Together!

So there's this thing I started, which is recording videos so that you can access me in more than one way - pick up the phone and call; email; join my awesome yet sometimes cheeky newsletter; join me for outstanding, results oriented coaching, or take a course (you'll see course links in the right margins of the blog if you are looking directly on Blogger, but if you're on mobile or any other platform, they could be anywhere -- visit the website to see them on the Learning Portal and make it easy on yourself).

These videos will start short - under 5 minutes - as I get a handle on the tech pieces, but also short, because this morning I was standing outside in the garden and it was about 5 degrees Celsius! Brr! End of May we expect a little more, but I digress...

I hope you will stay tuned. I am going to record videos of helpful topics that help you to LIVE and WORK INSPIRED. Like this one, which gives you a great tip on managing that working from home thing. If you find that these videos would be helpful to your friends and followers, please share them.

I am building a topic list, so if there are topics you'd like to see that will help you create the life you want or to build a better business, or to do better at work, let me know in the comments.I'm here to help, and your participation means I can give you what you need when you need or want it.

Have an awesome everything!

P.S. You can do this! Getting sorted out on what you want and why you do it will help you to achieve more success at a higher rate of speed than if you keep flinging everything you’ve got at the wall just to see what sticks.


I have created several courses to help people work best online, as well as a 90-day Business Acceleration Plan which is part of a coaching program. If you’re ready to accelerate your results, and create a bigger, bolder business, have a look at the Learning Portal and sign up today, or reach out by email and together we can work out the best starting place for you right now. 
#LiveInspired  #InspiredBusiness 

Diabetes 18 Years In

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in my 30s. I figured that if I kept my numbers in check I'd be fine. Somewhere along the road I forgot about the fact it is a progressive disease, one that in the last year has been a real thorn as I lost my grip on numbers, started gaining weight again, and started seeing my blood levels rise. 

After months of procrastinating, I went to have a chat with my doc. This family doc is new to me, so our conversation was a little bumpy. 

"If you were 80," he said in a very direct tone, "I could accept these numbers. But not at 49."

I have had a couple of epiphanies speaking with nutritionists, a nurse, a few diabetic pals, as well as a couple of doctors since my numbers started to climb. I had always looked at my diabetes as managed as long as my numbers stayed below the threshold but when you are maxed on meds, up walking with the birds 4 days a week, eating mostly right, and the numbers climb, things are no longer manageable, and certainly not easy. 

Back to basics it is, and the diabetic nurse on Wednesday. In the interim, every trick in the book is being called on. 

Morning Shadows

She's on my mind today, but then she often is. Some people pray to God, but in the two years since she died, I have had a lot of conversations with Nana, instead. As I sit writing this, sipping my coffee and looking out the window at the morning shadows and realize this is often how Nana wrote her letters; watching the morning shadows shift as the sun got brighter, and the weight of the night lifted.
Two years have gone by so quickly in some respects, even though it seems like just yesterday that we were preparing for her funeral, and flying her great grandson here to bid farewell, and reflecting on who she was and what she meant to all of us. 

I have all these letters that people wrote to Nana from the time she first arrived in Canada as a British war bride. They are full of the stories of lives richly lived - someone had a baby, someone else planted a garden, they wrote about the weather, illness, broken hearts, new skirts, and children at all ages. The stories remind me of Facebook updates in many ways, and thankfully they are there  minus the scrutiny and comments of others. These letters were written as private thoughts shared by Nana's sisters, cousins, her mom, and at times her own children or my grandfather. They are rich in detail, beautiful at creating images on mind, and they are just As part of the treasures she left us. 

As I pour over those letters I can feel the love going into the thin airmail pages. I can smell the years they have spent wrapped up and carefully tucked away. I can rub my fingers along the finely curled words and thoughts, and feel their indentations in the pages. I can sense Nana beside me, remembering the day a particular letter arrived and feeling the pangs of missing family so far away while also sharing their joy, or pain. 

Nana was a terrifically resilient woman, and she is an example I hold very close to my heart of hearts. She is someone I aim to be like, right up to those last years spent in a nursing home (although I will gladly skip that part) where she gave the staff a run for their money, even though her wit, her strength, and her determination were slipping away. I miss her stories, even the ones I heard a hundred times, I miss drinking tea at her table with her (although I do have that table), I miss the noisy family gatherings with her there, and most of all, I miss her love. 

Thinking of you today Nana, with love, always.

The Night the Thank You Card Died

Last night I was part of an interesting online discussion that started and later deteriorated and eventually got deleted. I wish debates in forums like that could be left untouched, because while I was reading it, the discussion was frank and open and unlike many forum style threads of conversation, it  was interesting. No one was getting verbally abused or having a hissy fit. It was just a good discussion. Then when I checked in to see if there were new comments on the thread a few minutes ago, the whole thing had evaporated into the ether.

The issue posed at the beginning was about thank you cards. It started as a “rant” with someone saying she wasn’t attending anymore bridal or baby showers because people don’t send out thank you cards anymore, and she was fed up with the attitude. I was intrigued because I love to send and receive things in the mail, so I read on.

People weighed in, and there was a range of opinions from some who send cards and others who thought a verbal thanks was enough, or an email. And then there was at least one person who never opens their thank you card when they receive one in the mail – they just throw it in the garbage because they know what it says thanks without having to open it. That “throw away”attitude prompted me to weigh in.

I said that I like getting mail that I don’t have to pay (like a bill), and so I appreciated a thank you card. More than being a piece of simple mail, to me a thank you card means that someone appreciated something I gave them or helped them with, and that they took the time to express their gratitude.
I like gratitude. Expressing it or receiving it, when it’s genuinely shared, feels good. There is plenty of negativity, lots of bad news, and an abundance of grumpy people in the world – why not share some gratitude and spread a little light? Besides, grateful people live longer than grumpy people and one day I want to be really, really old and dancing up a storm someplace.

I also said that when I send a card to someone, I often tuck a little gift into it, like a lottery ticket, or a cheque, or more recently, a mini-facial treatment. The person who doesn’t open their cards normally said, quite cheerfully, that they might be missing out and perhaps should check the cards they get in the future (or maybe it was just cards from me. I can’t recall exactly!).

One commenter said that the postage for thank you cards after her wedding was going to cost over $300. That got me thinking that she had perhaps entertained a lot of people at her wedding, or she was sending a lot of international cards. Either way, it should be part of your wedding budget that you plan for this (although I kept my thoughts to myself about this in the original thread). That’s about the same kind of money I used to spend sending Christmas cards in my card writing heyday, and a budget is necessary. My daughter attended four weddings in just under a year and half the couples sent thank you cards and half didn’t. Being my daughter, she sent hers quite quickly following her own wedding. (Thanks for that Mrs.L.)

I come from a long line of letter writers and card senders, I admit. Maybe that’s why the idea that so many people won’t express gratitude in a simple card makes me think so hard. When I was away doing army stuff or lived far from home (before social media), my mum and sister would send these long letters that took them a whole week to work on. They paid extra postage to send these fat little envelopes to me. Our nana sent me letters where she wrote all around the edges of the page to squeeze in as much as she could. They would all tuck in a poem or a sticker or a quote to add a bit of fun. They took time, and shared love, to share themselves with me. The essence of these letters are the types of posts people make on social media now – they’d share news about a good book, a funny movie, a new hand cream, a good recipe, a picture of the kids or the dog or both. They kept me connected to their lives by sharing, and it meant a lot to me. I feel the same way about people who share gratitude by saying a simple thank you. It means a lot, and I think it’s underutilized in our lives.
A thank you card (as opposed to saying thank you in person or an equally evil idea, which is sending a thank you by text message) isn’t just a connection. It’s reaching across space and time for a brief moment as the writer simply says, “thanks for thinking of me today” or “thanks for the gift – it means a lot” or they might get really into it and squish all kinds of feelings onto a 3 x 4 inch card.
I see writing a thank you note as holding so much potential to connect people; an expression of the writer, and how the writer feels about the person they prepare it for.  

I want to ask your thoughts on this, even though there are only a few of you who read this blog or comment. I want to invite you to share your thoughts (keep them polite, please). I think this discussion is really important, because it leads to that bigger notion of gratitude and connectedness. What do you think? Is the thank you card dead? What about sympathy, thinking of you, missing you, birthday cards, Christmas cards?