Blog · Frugalship · Life Learner · Self-Management · The Imbedded Mogul

The Confront Zone

“If we’re growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
John Maxwell 

Recently, I was challenged to subscribe to magazines of which I typically wouldn’t subscribe … that reading about topics, cultures and interests different what is naturally familiar to me would stretch my mind and make me more valuable to my clients, personal growth, family and friends.  And, what makes great advice better??  Frugal options!!!  So, I went to one of my favorite places:


  • is not only a GREAT resource for gifts … but, a frugal pick for expanding your comfort zone and redefining your daily growth.  (So, I logged into my account and began searching for magazines that would interest me, but that were different than I would typically select from the grocery store newsstand.)
  • To see some of my SUMMER READING picks, visit my board on Pinterest.

“A ship in a harbor is safe — but, that is not what a ship is built for.”

So, this summer … not only am I blocking off calendar time to read my way into unfamiliar territory, but I also intend to do the same thing with books.


  • My local library has a great selection of books on CD (although, I had to find a CD player).
  • My public library also has a virtual library where I can check out magazines and audio books!!

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”
Max DePree 

Search … go for it!  Abandon the familiar and confront the unknown — you’ll never know what’s been waiting for you on the other side of your comfort zone!!


SHARE WITH ME!!!  What do you do to confront the unknown in your world?

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Blog · Self-Management

Have Passion?

Success is a reflection of passion. Once and a while, it is nice to be inspired.  Here are a few quotes that may inspire you to follow your dreams, engage your passion and accomplish them today:

“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”

Jeff Bezos

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Albert Einstein

“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”

Oprah Winfrey

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

Napoleon Hill

Thank you, Forbes and Tanya Prive for putting this list together!

Blog · Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Self-Management · Uncategorized

Take a Learning Leap

This morning I came across this quote…

“I am defeated, and know it, if I meet any human being from whom I find myself unable to learn anything.”

…although I didn’t remember this exact quote, this is something I tell my kids ALL the time.  It goes right alongside the “b-word”… BORED!  (Bored is a “bad word” in my house.)  If one of my children say, “I’m bored,” I ask them, “Well, who’s responsible for that?”

In almost any situation in life, whether personally or professionally, we are our own teachers and deciders of what we determine to be important and what we decide is important to learn from.

There is a story about a woman who once advised a new employee and she said, “Fifty percent of the people in this organization will teach you what to do and the other fifty percent what not to do.  It’s your challenge to figure out which percent goes with which person.”

On this Leap Day, what is something that you can learn?  Learn to do or learn not to do -that is the question!


Quote via God’s Little Devotional Book, Honor Books, © 1996

Image courtesy of Andrew Werdan

Blog · Life Learner · Self-Management · Uncategorized

My thought about thinking thoughts

This morning I was thinking…

I was thinking about the pros & cons of being a creative thinker and this is what I came to realize (although, I believe I have always thought it, just haven’t been able to put it into words):

“The downside to thinking outside the box is reinventing it.”

I know that a box and a wheel are not the same thing – they have different functions entirely.  But, the the two expressions, “thinking outside of the box” and “reinventing the wheel” in an ironic way, are uniquely related.

Here is what I thought…

PRO:  When you think about it, everything that has been man-made throughout history, had to be invented initially with a concept that evolved from a creative thought.  Now, I haven’t thought “out of the box” enough to create a light bulb or a car for the first time ever in history; but in my own right, creative thinking that creates an outstanding wordplay for a client or a highly re-tweeted image is still a product that only I can create. If I wouldn’t have allowed myself the freedom of thought in the first place, I would not have come up with a redeemable insight, the step in a brainstorming process that allows someone else to create something bigger that either of us could have done individually or a different perspective for communicating.  New ideas and concepts are true gifts!

CON:   I suppose time and effort are lost when the thought system of creativity leads to an unusable (or already used) product, concept or tool.  I suppose if I think of something that has been thought of before and is an established idea, system or product, I’m on the right track, right?  Maybe reinventing the wheel isn’t such a bad thing, maybe the only thing that makes reinventing the wheel a downside to the creative process is stopping the process of creativity altogether.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a creative or someone who simply enjoys reading random blogs, I challenge you to never stop thinking creative thoughts… you never know where they may take you!


Blog · Communication · Entrepreneur · Self-Management · Social Media

Persuade Yourself Positive

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” C. Malesherbes

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances.”  Martha Washington

Blog · Communication · Entrepreneur · Life Learner · Marketing · Self-Management · Social Media · Time Management · Uncategorized

But, it’s just Hamburger Helper

A mentor I had several years ago, talked to me about how she would make Hamburger Helper early in the afternoon and reheat it at suppertime.  I think about cold Hamburger Helper every time I see it on a store shelf or in a sale flyer.

I have wondered for years why she would do that?!  Why would you make dinner hours before you were ready to eat?  Cold Hamburger Helper just doesn’t sound very enticing.

Well, recently, I was going to make something for dinner that needed to slowly cook for several hours.  I decided to prepare the ingredients right after my kids got home from school… and ever since, I realized why my friend may have done what she did…

…making dinner earlier in the day, allowed me to interact with my children when they get home from school.  While they get their snacks and I prepare dinner, we can share about our days, not distracted by computer work or house work.

Isn’t it interested, that as an artist and writer, I love living outside of the box.  But, routine that is obvious is comfortable and often isn’t questioned.

So, why am I writing this and what does fixing dinner have to do with business or social media content?  It is just another reminder to look at the obvious… not as obvious.  Nothing should be obvious.

Recently, I saw this image posted:

Lori Waran - Style Weekly

Conceptual design and communication is still a reflection of our own perspective.  Not until we are able to see something from someone else’s viewpoint are we able to truly communicate effectively… Maybe the most obvious time isn’t the best time management or maybe it isn’t the most productive or most effective.  Maybe what we perceive as being the most brilliant concept isn’t reaching the right audience or being implemented in its most effective way.

Have a goal and a process…. maybe even use the recipe.  But, be inspired and use imagination… then do all those same things using a different perspective.  It may look like it’s just cold Hamburger Helper, but it may just turn out to be the most brilliant thing you’ve decided to do!



P.S. Here’s a list of tips for thinking outside of the box from INC:

1.  Identify the issue.

2.  Determine whether a regular or typical solution to the problem exists.

3.  If one does, you’re done. If no, map out everything that went into creating the issue. In this aspect, be expansive. Include everything possible.

4.  Once you start mapping out the issue more completely, start looking for ways to  address the situation in one of the more outlying areas that was not considered  previously.

5.  Never dismiss a possible solution on the basis, “It simply cannot be done.” Consider everything. Go through every possibility until you know for a fact it can or cannot be done.

Tips via INC | authored by Matthew Swyers, Founder of The Trademark Company
IMAGE via Lori Waran
Life Learner · Self-Management

Dream Big | Labor Bigger

Happy Labor Day!!

In a Forbes article, Deena Varshavskaya shares 4 Practical Ways To Find Your Life’s Passion And A Career You Love and I thought today would be the perfect day to share two indicators of what your dreams may be telling you about having happy labor days!!

Follow Your Curiosity

“It’s important to follow your curiosity and uncover your less obvious interests. The reason it’s important is that those interests tap into your unique motivations that separate you from others. Pursuing them sets you on the path of unlocking who you are and your creativity.  A good way to tune into these interests is to ask yourself what you would do if you had a billion dollars. Realize what you are excited about and take the plunge, that will became an important stepping stone in your path.”

Don’t Set An Artificial Ceiling For Yourself

“Your professional ceiling is set by you.  I’ve seen many examples of how people define their own ceilings and avoid responsibility and growth. If you do so by choice… On the other hand, if you want more growth, then don’t hide behind the belief that someone else needs to empower you to do what you want to do.”

Dream big… labor bigger!

If you have a couple of minutes today, you are really going to want to sit down and read Deena’s full Forbes Women Files article.  (I especially like how she describes hiring someone and not giving them a title.  It wasn’t long after they were employees, Deena noticed that the employee had a self-given title as a “Junior Designer”… that tells you much about her ambitions and self-perception of capabilities.)


Quotes by Deena Varshavskaya.  She is the founder and CEO of Wanelo, a “digital mall” used by millions of people to discover and lives in San Francisco.  She can be followed on Wanelo, Twitter and Instagram at @siberianfruit.

Image courtesy of Jedidja. Thanks, Jedidja!

Blog · Entrepreneur · Self-Management · Social Media

The Balance of Progress

I recently came across this thought:  “Are you the all-or-nothing type? Choose progress, not perfection. Don’t get bogged down with little details, but repeat to yourself that ‘almost perfect’ is good enough for progress!”

Well, I am a cross my t’s and dot my i’s kinda girl!  “Almost” isn’t a word I like too much… I naturally want to not start something or completely finish it.  Anything in between has a chance at being a recipe for disaster!  But, when I think about communication, especially with clients or customers, I think there is a balance to progress – called “flexibility”.

Entrepreneur and visionary for the online opinions site The Big Smoke, Alexandra Tselios was quoted saying this about flexibility:

“I am a huge believer in flexibility and allowing your work to permeate into your everyday life, so that all facets can complement one another better. People simply do not thrive in rigid and inflexible conditions.

Flexibility in the workplace has to be a give and take scenario between both parties, with clear communication, but most importantly, clear boundaries and expectations.

Flexibility may be around personal circumstances, outside activities or even education; but regardless, if there is no clarity surrounding how it will impact the business or the employee, then resentment can start to breed. In this case, flexibility, when not handled well by management risks becoming a double-edged sword.”

So, maybe the next time you are in process of creating new strategies, concepts or ideas, try crossing your i’s or dotting your t’s, figuratively speaking.  Watch what progress can come from the process of choosing progress vs perfection.  Flexibility vs comfortably.  Clearly communicate with your clients and/or customers within your boundaries and expectations. However, be sure to make the process “good enough” for you and a positive impact on the followers and potential followers with whom you are working to communicate.

Maybe you’ll find yourself a little more comfortable being the “or” of the all-or-nothing type!

Quote via Business Insider.


Focus Pocus

Whether at work or play, do you give yourself “emotional permission” to accomplish the things you really want to accomplish?  Do you give yourself permission to do the things you want to do?  (Those may be two different things.) Sometimes we spend so much time promoting and enabling our friends or clients, we neglect finding worth in the amount of things we accomplish.

So, how do we multiply our time to be productive in all areas of our life?


We tend to focus one of two ways:

  1. We focus great when we are working, but on personal goals, tasks and interests, we tend to ignore or down-play the commitment needed to accomplish those things on a day-by-day basis; or,
  2. We spend time doing the things we love enjoy naturally accomplishing, only to leave tasks that take work, or work itself, until tomorrow.

How do we control our focus and bring balance to work and play?  It isn’t magic, it is simple:  we spend time on the things today that will result in more time tomorrow.*

“There is no such thing as time management, only self-management.”

Rory Vaden

This morning, I came across an email from Social Marketing Examiner.  This is a great tool!  If you aren’t already getting emails, you can get Social Media Content from them too!  In this particular newsletter, there was an article from Rory Vaden and I had to share the insights from his new book, Procrastinate On Purpose.  He says:

“In the world we live in today, time management isn’t just logical, it’s emotional.  Our feelings of guilt, fear, worry and anxiety, as well as our desire for success and our need to feel valued dictate how we spend our time.

The three factors work like this:

  • Importance is how much this matters.
  • Urgency is how soon this matters.
  • Significance is how long this is going to matter.

Multipliers don’t ask themselves, “What’s the most important thing I can do today?” If they do that, they start falling victim to urgency. Instead, they ask, “What can I do today that will create more results or opportunity tomorrow?”

While there is nothing you can do to create more time in one day, there are certain things you can do today to increase time tomorrow.

Without the significance calculation, Rory explains, we inappropriately overweight the urgency calculation. Therefore, we end up always doing things that are urgent. Multipliers have realized that success is no longer related to the volume of tasks we achieve, but rather their significance.”

[ Three types of procrastination ]

* Paraphrased quote from Rory Vaden.