Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Extraordinary Project By Suzanne Clores

On a whim, I was searching Kickstarter today and came across this project, and it really caught my attention. So, I just wanted to share it with you, in case you're interested.

In a nut shell, this project is a web-based story collection of our most unusual human experiences - from strange coincidences, to "knowing" what is about to happen before it does, to hearing messages from the deceased - all of it. Suzanne's goal is to collect 100,000 true stories and perhaps change the conversation around the ways in which we communicate with ourselves and each other.

I pledged $10, and the reward is: a dollar bill thank you, and a personal thank you phone call to chat about your thoughts on the extraordinary. Pretty cool. This project is open for 22 more days and I really hope it gets the funding it deserves. Thank you for your consideration and I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing, fun filled Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 Annual Review: Lessons Learned

In this post: a few thoughts on the lessons I've learned this year.

On struggling.

I knew going into independent work was going to be a ginormous transition. I'm responsible for everything, and to be perfectly honest, it ended up being a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I have a new found respect for business owners who are successful. I know I'm my own worst critic and that I hold myself up to much higher standards than anyone else would. This is a double edged sword. On one hand, I like setting the bar high and climbing to success. It feels really good. I like looking inside, seeing my failures, and learning valuable lessons from them. On the other hand, the struggle with perfectionism is paralyzing me from putting things out there, because it's not up to my standards. So, I've come to the conclusion that the pursuit of perfectionism is futile. Nothing will ever be perfect, but that shouldn't stop me from putting it out there. When my pesky perfectionist pops up, I know how to reassign her to her "perfect" task, so that I can get her out of my head and get some actual work done.

Lesson: It's time to get back to work in 2014 and put it out there, without fear!

On healing.

There's a lot of life that is outside of our personal control. I learned this lesson again this year when I was hit by a car. However, I used the time to heal both my body and soul in order to make me stronger and more whole as a person. I learned how to harness the flow in everyday activities, I put myself on a proper writing diet, and I'm starting weight bearing exercises at physical therapy. I have also come to the conclusion that this accident was a blessing in disguise, in order to make me more resilient in 2014. I will be like a phoenix rising from the ashes of this year.

Lesson: I want to embrace the messy middle and live life to the fullest every single day in 2014.

On money.

It's a necessity, but it's not everything. I'm trying to re-arrange my life so that I have enough to pay the bills, and some left over so that the cash can flow;  instead of looking at numbers and seeing them go up or down in my accounts. I also like having the freedom of setting my own schedule, so that I can continue to grow as a person, in order to grow my business. I have faith that my hard work will pay off, and I realize that getting to this point will require some sacrifices, monetarily or otherwise, but I am willing to make it happen.

Lesson: You can't have a business without money, but it's important not to get consumed by the numbers, as it stunts personal growth.

On giving back and paying it forward.

I feel it's important to do both and not necessarily with money. These past three months I have missed volunteering at Open Books literacy programs, helping people find the perfect book in the Open Books' Book Store, as well as, donating my time during the holidays to the local soup kitchens and animal shelters. I did give money to Red Cross this year, so that they could help the people who lost their homes in downstate Illinois because of the tornado, but I would of rather of donated my time and reached out to those who needed the help more.

Lesson: I can't wait to make a difference in other people's lives in 2014.

All in all, I've learned a lot of valuable lessons about myself, how I work, my business, and helping others in order to create a better future for all. What are some of the lessons you've learned this year?

Friday, December 13, 2013

2013: A Year In Review

I wanted to take a moment from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, to reflect on this past year. I'm going to split this review up into four different sections. The GREEN section will be what was in my control that went well this year. The RED section will be what was in my control that didn't go well this year. The GRAY section will be for the things that were totally out of my control, and then finally, the BLUE section will be looking forward to 2014 and setting new goals to focus on throughout this next year.

So let's get started...


  • I started this blog.
  • I finished my children's book.
  • I read Dan Poynter's book on self-publishing that gave me a bunch of great ideas on what to do and what not to do with my book. 
  • I researched how to set up a sole proprietership in Illinois.
  • I became a freelance nanny and personal assistant to some really awesome families.
  • I also picked up a part time job to make ends meet better.
  • I started my own personal writing diet, which has made me happier.
  • I officially stepped onto the artistic path in order to cultivate my creativity, and some very interesting people have started to pop up in my life, in really new and exciting ways.
  • I have grown authentically as a person.


  • I wasn't able to finish the whole process of getting my children's book out there, finalizing my business, and marketing my book in unique ways.
  • I didn't finish my demo reel for voice overs.
  • I wasn't able to pay off all my credit debt.
  • I felt confused, anxious, and sad throughout different times this year.
  • Things took a lot longer than I expected. At times it was hard for me to stay focused on the big picture and not get lost in the day to day.


  • The death of my boyfriend's Uncle, whom I've gotten to know and like, over the many years we've dated.
  • Getting hit by a car and all the drama and healing that has come with it.


  • Make my business official.
  • Put my book out there in unique ways.
  • Become the strongest person I can be both physically and mentally.
  • Explore more of my messy middle to see if there's a deeper level of vulnerability and giving I can express.
  • Start a new writing project, and not be afraid to ask for help from other like minded individuals in order to move it forward better.
  • Giving back to the community by volunteering my time.