Ahem. I, er, seem to have slipped on this whole “30 Days Of Happy” idea. It’s not that I haven’t been happy. I have been. Very. I’ve just had a few things going on. One of them was hosting a very complicated event, but the big huge ginormous thing is The Boyfriend (TB) has moved in. Yep, Ms. Permasingle not only is in A Relationship, she’s cohabitating. And that is worth a whole lot of happy day posts!
However, that doesn’t excuse my lack of writing and has served to point out an area I need to work on in all areas of my life. For entrepreneurs consistency and discipline are key. Consistency I’ve got: I consistently didn’t write. The discipline I also have in spades. I will work for hours and days until I finish something. I couldn’t have developed The Local Tourist to the point it is without both. But an entrepreneur also needs to know how to prioritize. And frankly, I suck at prioritizing. I’ve got SO MUCH to do that I often get caught up in the minutiae. Sure, it feels good to put that little check mark on the to do list, but if I’m crossing off more busy-work items than steps towards my next big goal then I’ve gone through a whole lot of rubber for just a wee bit of track.
That’s why I’m renewing my commitment to blog every day about something that makes me happy. It may seem like a feel-good exercise in self-indulgence, but it’s much more important and meaningful than that, for three reasons:
One is practicing the combination of consistency and discipline. Obviously, while I’m disciplined enough to work my tail off, and I’m consistent in certain areas, doing an activity every day (besides brushing my teeth, drinking coffee, etc.) is something I’ve resisted. Over the weekend I was talking with a good friend and originally attributed my lack of posts to my “entrepreneurial” mindset. I immediately realized that was a bunch of hogwash and came to the conclusion it was actually the creative side that doesn’t want to be tied down and more likely, my resistance to authority – even my own. By writing here every day I’m convinced I’ll see such a benefit that I’ll add other items to my daily activity list, items which will get me closer to reaching my personal and professional goals.
The second is that writing every day about something positive starts me off with the proper frame of mind. I don’t know if all entrepreneurs require that kind of outlook, but it’s a necessity for me. My low self-esteem in my 20’s created a fear of success and while I’m way beyond that, I still have to play a few mind games with myself, to “psych myself up”, so to speak. There’s a lot of competition in my field and it’s necessary that I know what I offer is worthy of my audience’s time and is a decided benefit to them. As a one-woman business, sometimes doubts creep in, so starting my day with a happy thought goes a long way towards putting them back under the stairs where they belong.
The third reason, and the most important, is that I made a commitment. I made it to anybody reading this and I made it to myself. So here I am. I’m back and not only am I going to catch up on the last week and a half, but I’m going to make another commitment: after this 30 days is up I’ll begin another. I’m not sure what it will be about yet, but I am sure I’ll come up with something.
So, without further ado, here’s what’s made me happy over the last ten days…
Day 6: World’s Largest Block Party! I spent the evening with a good friend, a new friend, and TB on a warm summer night, and we watched Barenaked Ladies, one of my favorite concert bands, from the VIP section.
Day 7: I hosted AlphaBeer and it was a rousing success! It’s a complicated event that involves coordinating a beer for every letter of the alphabet, but with the help of some great people it went off without a hitch! (More on this on TLT and AlphaBeer.com). The event was followed by a group of us having dinner at Su Casa followed by a nightcap at Quartino’s.
Day 8: A much much needed day “off”. TB and I picked up my son and took him to the Rockin’ Ribfest in Lake In The Hills. Well, I wasn’t supposed to work, but when I saw Chicago BBQ Company I had to get a card…this was followed by Toy Story 3, then we took my son home and saw Knight & Day at Gold Class Cinemas.
Day 9: Gave away the first Ravinia Picnic Packs! I’m running a promotion through the end of July to my newsletter subscribers and giving away two of them each week. This was the first Monday I selected winners, and that feels really really good.
Day 10: Today was a very good day. It started off with a press conference for Chicago Gourmet followed by a meeting with two amazing ladies who are helping me plan my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb for pediatric cancer research.
Day 11: Another great day. Met with Peg Corwin from SCORE, who has been instrumental this year in helping me take TLT to the next level, and the next one, and the next one…Then I had a makeover with my secret twin. It was by Paula from Mary Kay and was the best makeover I’ve ever had.
Day 12: Began major promotion of Bringing Back Venetian Night. This is an event that I’m really excited about. Since Venetian Night was cancelled this year I proposed a mini one to Free Spirit Yachts and they loved the idea! We’ll have two decorated yachts complete with “gondoliers”, an Italian buffet, premium open bar, and live music. Do I know how to throw a party or what?
Day 13: TB’s first gig with his new duo! They were so great a table actually collected money from other guests so they’d play another hour. I can’t tell you the number of times I said “That’s my may-an.”
Day 14: Charity Chat dry run! What’s Charity Chat? A new live podcast I’m cohosting with Glenn Murray. We’ll be talking with a different charity each Sunday at 7pm, so he, Amy DeRosa (who is an all-around amazing woman) and Jim Goodrich (a.k.a. The Boyfriend) and I met to work out all the details and record promos. Then TB and I went to our good friends’ for fajitas, cupcakes, amazing grilled peaches with homemade whipped cream made with rum (I think I need that recipe), and delicious conversation. The icing on that day was the hug from their almost 2-yr-old daughter.
Day 15: Moved (almost) the rest of TB’s stuff into my – I mean – OUR place.
Last week I asked TB if he’d be OK with walking in the mornings. Every day for the last week it’s been the first thing we do. I originally asked him because I need to start training, but it’s had an added benefit: since he’s also an entrepreneur and we both work from home our days get away from each other very quickly, and these walks give us time for just the two of us. No phones, no computers, just us. It’s become as important to me as brushing my teeth and awakens me more than my morning coffee. And it’s served to prove that daily activities are a good thing!
See you tomorrow!