Archives for November 2007

Friday Fun with the Animator

So, only one taker on the Hillary thing, huh? That’s okay – I will continue on in my quest for understanding the appeal.

So. how about some fun instead. This was sent to me by my friend, Greer Allgood. When you click the stick figure it will take you to a new page. Go ahead – it’s worth it. Then if the answer to the Hillary question comes to you, come on back and let me know 🙂

Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART

Lani Evaluates Self Evaluations

mmmmmm cheeeeetosI was told recently that we’re coming up on the time of year where we begin writing resolutions and evaluating our progress for the year about to pass. We scribble goals on napkins (uh 1. go to gym 2. don’t eat cheetos on way to gym 3. work out while at gym, don’t just watch plasma tv in fancy dressing room 4. don’t eat cheetos in parked car at gym after workout), we realize our shortcomings (1. could have spent more time on marketing 2. could have written more thank you notes 3. could have eaten less cheetos) and by looking backward, we look forward.

I understand the mentality of a calendar year ending, but I firmly believe that if 01/01/0x is the only time you seriously evaluate yourself, your business, your relationships, or your health, you’re in trouble. I was once told that my success would be due to my never being satisfied. That doesn’t mean I’m never happy (I’m actually an extremely upbeat person) but that I know there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Therefore, these are the self evaluations I run constantly:

1. After every real estate transaction, I take notes on how others (lenders, other brokers) did and learn from their mistakes while writing down how well we did and what we can do differently next time. Business becomes stale without constant case-specific evaluation. Too many people believe that they’re perfect.

2. Monthly, I make sure I’ve called or written the people most important to me. I never get to December 31 and say “I should have could have.” When my brother died this fall, I didn’t have the regret of “we should have talked more” because I am always cognizant of those around me and if I neglect them, I’m fully aware of it and aim to do better immediately.

3. Quarterly, business goals are written down so they are tangible. They are based on the wins and losses of the previous quarter. These goals transcend the “I will make X dollars” but encompass “I will try X new social networking tools,” “I will call X previous clients and check on them,” etc. Having specific, tangible commitments to yourself makes evaluation easy- did I succeed or fail at my various goals? How can I do better and build on those goals this coming quarter?

4. How is my health? I’m the worst at this, so I’ll take my own advice here. Get your annual check ups and never ignore a festering pain or oddity. With modern medicine, a variety of problems may be caught early with screening and diagnostics. Try some new health foods, even if you’re like me and think of them as “hippie foods”- healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to burn patchouli incense or vote for (insert whoever I’m not voting for here). Push yourself in your exercise regimen just a tad harder.

How do you set your goals? Are you a decemberthirtyfirster or are you constantly evaluating yourself?

Going Big, Generosity, and Living Fearlessly

Just when you think a problem is too big.

Just when you assume generosity doesn’t pay off.

Just when you stop acting because of fear.

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Going into the Coffee Shop for Hillary Clinton

Coffee CupWhen I first started blogging, I understood the difficulties in “in the box” communication. With online talks and discussions you have a few characteristics that make some conversation difficult different.

There is no body language, no tone of voice, no real time response. A person can read one post and not get the whole story or know me as a person and get the wrong idea. The ability to be anonymous emboldens some folks to say things they wouldn’t normally say.

So, in the beginning, I decided that there were two kinds of topics – blog topics and coffee shop topics. Some topics were fairly safe to talk about on the web while still being interesting. Others could be too easily misconstrued and would therefore be held for times when I could get together with a real person, face to face.

However, I have since realized that there is a wealth of opinionated and knowledgeable ideas out there with folks I know and trust. So, it is time to go into the coffee shop.

I will be honest, I am treading these waters very carefully. This is meant for great discussion. I may have a little or a lot to say. We will have to see.

The fact that I am a conservative should not be a surprise to anyone – but if you didn’t know, I am outing myself now. I haven’t picked my nominee yet because I like a few of them for different reasons. Immigration policy, Iraqi plans, tax reform, sanctity of life…those kinds of reasons.

So, now on to my question…

I am honestly looking for a Hillary fan to discuss why she is a good choice. I haven’t heard one person tell me anything other than it’s time for a change, she’s a woman, or she’s been there before.

  • Change for the sake of change is not a good idea. It is desperate and not the way to run a country.
  • Yea Girl Power – but electing a woman just because she is a woman is bad for the same reason as change. Get a woman in there that blows it and it will be because she is a woman. May not be true, but that’s how it will play out.
  • I agree with Obama on one point – talking with your husband about his job does not necessarily make you qualified to do his job

I am looking for issues, track record – something I can wrap my mind around. As of right now, the her current success in her bid for the nomination seems ridiculously shallow.

What are you reading?

I’d love to know.  Seems with this new tag going on and Christmas coming up, everybody is looking for the latest greatest or the oldie-but-goodie.

So let me know – what are your reading?  If you are feeling generous, tell me why as well.

If you are feeling really froggy – consider yourself tagged!

Meet Tina Torres

You have heard me mention her a few times, now get to know her a little bit better.

I met Tina through the Women’s Business Alliance of Richmond Hill. She and I have a lot in common – we are both wives, mommas, and self employed. She is my Pampered Chef Consultant and my friend.

Tina is a busy woman. Aside from all things Pampered Chef, she is very active in the school system here in Richmond Hill.

She started out as the room mom for her two younger boys. Not familiar with a “room mom”? These are the wonderful people that help your kids’ teacher coordinate activities with the other parents. Holiday parties, treat bags, field trips…you name it.

So, the room mom is the liaison for the teachers and the parents. Tina was really good at this. So now, she coordinates the room moms. Good thing too. She has tons of experience and helps out new room moms get acclimated to their new position.

Why a room mom? Tina loves being involved with the school and she has also had the opportunity to make a difference and create some great memories. One of her favorites occurred while she was assisting with the Accelerated Reading Program.

Just recently one student in a particular class had a lot of trouble reading and through volunteering with his class I was able to help him to increase his reading ability, which greatly improved his AR test scores. I remember him giving me the biggest hug after he was done and how proud he was after his accomplishment.

Tina is also very active at Savannah Christian Church, The Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, eWomen Network, and the WBA.

She’s a woman to know in Richmond Hill.

The Chaos gets kicked in the Factum

Tim Johnson called Beautiful Chaos his “favorite find of 2007.” Yes that Tim Johnson – yes this Beautiful Chaos.

It must be Lani.

As appreciative as I am, I am more humbled and convicted. I made a promise. I think I am dangerously close to breaking it. Tim, among others, have been incredibly supportive. I have been complacent.

I could sit here and tell you how busy I have been – but we are all busy.  I could tell you how wrapped up I have been in my Chaos – but we are all wrapped up.  I could ask your forgiviness – but knowing most of you like I do, you already have.  Thanks.

Or, I could live up to the lofty compliment bestowed upon us (Tim, the check is in the mail 😉 ).

Hmmm…stretch yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do and have a great time doing it…seems like I have heard that some place before.

Turn Around Tuesday

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”-Sir Winston Churchill, (1874-1965)

I hope everybody has had all the good food one can handle. Here’s also hoping the leftovers are just as good in your house as they are in mine. My mom still cooks the majority of our holiday meals. Those leftovers are wonderful.

We always have leftovers because Mom cooks for two armies – the one we know is coming and the one that might. Lucky for her, she has two refrigerators and a deep freezer. But we don’t usually have that many leftovers, being from the South and all.

I say from the South because I don’t know how they do it in the rest of the country. But down here, everybody goes home with a plate – either for yourself or somebody you know that couldn’t make it. Many times it’s both.

The end of Thanksgiving traditionally marks the beginning of Christmas. A season of gratitude followed by a season of generosity – what a wonderful tandem. I hadn’t thought of it until recently, but what better symbol of this time of year than the giving of leftovers.

The Christmas season can be chocked full of anxiety – business, personal, physical, financial, emotional – everything seems to be happening faster with a great urgency and significance.

Today I want to encourage you to remember that generosity provides the best stress reliever if we remember its true characteristics. It expects nothing, it can cost nothing, it can be just a little something, it can be a huge thing, and it is always born in your heart.

Talking about Toastmasters

While I was in the Navy, I had the unique opportunity to serve a tour as an electronics technician instructor. It was a wonderful assignment that involved a lot of standing up in front of people all the time. Did you know that is one of the biggest fears most people have?

Then I heard about Toastmasters – an international nonprofit that meets in groups to form a place where people can learn, support, and grow in the area of public speaking.

We are looking at starting one in Richmond Hill. Any takers?

Toastmaster Thoughts

I discovered Toastmasters while stationed on the Navy base in Great Lakes, Illinois.  I loved the organization.  It helped with the number one fear people have – talking in front of a group of people.  It was also helpful in learning different aspects of speaking, interacting, and quick thinking.

Once we moved back home, I considered rejoining the group.  However, the closest one wasn’t close enough for me.

There is a small group looking into changing that. We are considering starting a group here in town.

Any ideas?

Happy Thanksgiving

I would be curious to know how many Thanksgiving posts are published today. More importantly – I would love to know how many have been posted on other days of the year.

This bloggy journey has been a wonderful one. I have met some incredible people, I have made great friends, and I have learned a lot about myself. How very Thankful I am for all these things.

It is now time to finish up my to do list so that the rest of the day can be spent with family. However, I hope we will all decide that the flood of Thanksgiving post should not be limited to one day of the year. I for one have been too guilty for too long in overlooking the importance of a “just because” Thank you.