Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Chaos

That’s right gang! We made it to our first bloggy birthday. I can hardly believe it. It also happens to be the birthday of Making Life Work for You. Both blogs started on Typepad, which was great software, but didn’t quite suit my needs. So, after a great conversation with Chris Cree, I shifted to WordPress and here we are.

I am really appreciative for this bloggy thing. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some awesome people. If I even begin to list, I know I will forget.

But I will talk a minute about Lani. She is my phenom bloggy buddy that hangs out with me here on MBC. I don’t know what I would do without her. And that extends far beyond what she does here. She has been balancing, inspiring, motivating and encouraging. Not to mention she is incredibly brilliant. If you haven’t read her stuff over at RE Revealed, Agent Genius, or Bloodhound, you are missing out.

So, happy birthday My Beautiful Chaos…you are learning to walk and I can’t wait to see how year 2 goes.

Lani Tells A Story


Image Credit: Ricky David

In a small midwestern conservative town, there wasn’t a place to get a drink for miles around, so a local entrepreneur saw an opportunity: He started to build a tavern.

Liking a “dry” town, the local church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. The businessman was polite when congregants came to protest, but work continued on the tavern.

But the night before the grand opening, a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their piousness after that — until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the destruction of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.

At the first hearing, the judge held up the paperwork and took in the lawyers and both sides of the lawsuit.

“I don’t know how I’m going to decide this,” the judge said, “but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner that believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn’t.”

The South Is Hurting- [help]

This week, the South (Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi) was absolutely devastated by the deadliest tornado outbreak in over 20 years.  When the sun rose, people found their cars flipped into their neighbors’ yards, their homes completely ripped from the foundation and splattered across the streets, and some people lost their loved ones or their own lives.

Think about that… watching the news about politicians and getting the weather alert at the bottom of the screen.  24 hours later, you have nothing.  NOTHING is a big word.

April and I are begging you to [help] by doing four things:

  1. Donate as much money as your wallet can stand- $2 or $2mill (button below)
  2. Put the [help] button on your own blog and ask your readers to donate
  3. Get the word out by blogging about it, talking about it, emailing about it, twittering about it- get the word out! 
  4. Pray.  Whatever your beliefs, take this moment to pray specifically for those who are hurting because of this terrible event

 Your [help] is needed.  Please take the time to do what is in your power because if the day ever comes when you are dealt a bad hand, the rally cry will be held on your behalf.  My brother died last fall in a car accident at age 24, leaving behind a young wife, 1 year old and 2 month old and the blogiverse stepped in and financially helped her in that time of need.  Now, it’s time that I pass along that good will.  Please [help].

(Please download button for your blog here)

Lani Loves Gynecologists?

Well, maybe I don’t ncessarily love gynecologists, but you’re reading now, so hear me out. Guy Kawasaki noted, “an email pitch from an entrepreneur named Sherry Couch of BizNiche brought a big smile to my face. First of all, how could I skip an email with a subject line like this one: “Everything you should know about me as an entrepreneur you could learn from my OB/GYN”?”

Sherry realizes that children are the perfect startup! Makes you think of Mommy Blogging, doesn’t it?  So what about Sherry as an entrepreneur could you learn from her ob/gyn?

  1. I am very good at conceiving an idea.
  2. I can commit to something mind, body, and soul for at least nine months.
  3. I have the ability to over come adversity, such as eating healthily while puking all day.
  4. I can adapt quickly to changing and expanding situations.
  5. I stay focused and motivated even with a lack of oxygen to my brain.
  6. I am creative: Did you know with satin pajamas and satin sheets you can roll over in bed even with an extra sixty pounds.
  7. I am patient—ever known anyone ten months pregnant?
  8. I am cool under pressure: I gave birth to a ten-pound baby without a C-section or a properly functioning epidural and did not curse out my husband.
  9. I am resilient: I went back to work at my company four weeks after giving birth.
  10. I create meaning in the world! Even with all the trials and tribulations of becoming a parent I have chosen to do it twice so far because each new life gives hope and meaning to our world. Just like each new business

Isn’t this great? Can YOU add a Number 11?

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photo is of April Groves on the sofa with her kiddo (mine are too big to lay on me)

Lani Says “Postcard, Please”

postcard projectTake a second to participate in this project- you’ll be glad you did!  The tinyGIGANTIC blog shows us how to have fun with the five and a half project:

The project is called The Postcard Says. This super simple, easy cheesy project will make you feel great. C’mon- feel great!

According to tinyGigantic:
E-mail us@fiveandahalf.netwith “postcard please” in the subject header

and your mailing address in the message.

In a week or two, you’ll find a postcard from us in your mailbox, with a fun little task to do. When you’re done (and this is all we ask of you), take a photo of your completed activity and e-mail it back to us so we can post it online (anonymously if you wish).

What do we hope you’ll get from this? A cool postcard, a laugh when you see the task we thought up for you, and the act of doing a not-so-ordinary task that gets your mind thinking in a different way.

Let us know in the comments that you’re participating- you know I am!

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photo credit: tsallam

Meet Lani

Inspired by Slideshare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest winner “Meet Henry,”  I’ve decided to give you a glimpse into who I am.

Click here to view “Meet Lani”

I would be most interested in seeing next “Meet April,” “Meet Liz,” “Meet Terry,” “Meet Jay” and “Meet Vicki.”

Life is Like Hot Chocolate

coffee-mugs.jpgI don’t usually read email forwards, but this one from my friend Megan Dyson was short enough to skim.  It caught my attention and I read it two, three, then four times.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, what a blessing!

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.

Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite — telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: “Notice that all the nice looking expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly… and enjoy your hot chocolate.

How will YOU enjoy the hot chocolate?

Lani Wants Your Kids to not be Stupid…

As our oldest approaches his 17th birthday, we have to cross our fingers and hope we’ve taught him about money, business, faith, integrity, etc. well. Our other kiddo is only 10, so we still have time to teach her the fundamentals.

In addition to Lifehacker’s great find on educating your children about business, I would like to share with you some of the theories we’ve taught our children:

1. The quarter rule. All income is split four ways- (1) charity (2) savings (3) needs (4) wants. Our oldest only understands the fourth income hole while our youngest only understands the first and second. No child or parent is perfect!

2. It’s not just hard work that gets you ahead. It’s also networking, learning integrity, being empathetic, generous and sincere. But, mainly networking.

3.It was never yours to begin with. We’ve taught our children to be charitable with time and money because God gave you that time and money. Be smart, but never forget what’s really important.

4. Take risks. In business, if you always follow and never innovate, you’ll always have a boss. Be creative, have hope and never be satisfied (meaning always know that you can do better and better).

5. Don’t be scared to ask. If you don’t ask for help, ask for a mentor, ask for an iPod for Christmas, but most importantly for help, you will never know what you don’t know (to steal a line from Jeff that he surely “borrowed” from someone smarter than both of us combined).

In addition to the 14 games Lifehacker shared with us to teach the kids about business, how do you teach your children about business?

Lani Needs Your Input

I need your help!  A Realtor posted a simple black and white viral marketing video this morning.  I uploaded it to a site I write for.  Now, it has stirred controversy.

Since many of you guys aren’t related to the real estate industry, I would love love love if you would head over to Agent Genius and take a minute to get caught upThen, I would really love love love if you would opine in the comments there.   So far, it’s all Realtors yarping over the affects of the viral marketing video and we could all use your insight!

Lani Got Fired By Mark Cuban

I’m not in the “Power Level” of influence in the industry in Mark Cuban’s eyes- he must not know who I am.  I’m just not sure what to think about being fired from Mark Cuban’s Facebook Friends list… I might just buy into O’Reilley’s Cuban bashing!

On the other hand, I took a page from Cuban and peeked at my FB friends list.  I decided I need to delete some contacts I don’t know (and can’t name their city or profession) and add some new *more useful* contacts for networking.  Consider THIS your invitation to be my friend (I already like you if you’re reading Beautiful Chaos!).  If you’re not on Facebook yet, get going- there is great business success in disarming your audience! 🙂