What’s your endgame?

White picket fence

After last week’s Facebook Live we got together with some friends who had watched and Clint asked me “What’s your endgame?”   Well there’s a good question isn’t it.  Without thinking about it, I threw some bs story back at him, and then I took some time and thought about it.  What is my endgame?  Why do I share things that we learn each week with y’all?

Here’s my answer:  When I was younger  I saw myself on a path, married, kids, career, white picket fence, it all tied together, and it was an awesome life, I don’t want anyone who was a part of that to think that I didn’t enjoy it or to feel like I regretted it.  Not at all.  But I realized somewhere along the way that while it was the American Dream played out in living color, it wasn’t MY dream.

I wanted adventure, travel, and life-long learning, and more than just two weeks a year to do it, so I took a giant leap and left.  My community, my career, my white picket fence, to see what else was out there.  It turns out, everything I’ve ever wanted is beyond that dream.  I want everyone to see that stepping outside your box or comfort zone is not a bad thing. I grow every day because I am presented with new challenges, new topics, I’m in that – if I can do it, you can do it too stage.  The life we live on the road isn’t for everyone, but it is right for me.  If you’re feeling like the life you are living is stagnant, is not fulfilling, I’m here as living proof that you can change it.  So my endgame…if you need help making that change, taking an actionable step, I can help you identify what that step is.  I coach people on a wide variety of topics.  From copywriting and social media to Airbnb hosts to starting your first blog or business.  I fix bookkeeping, create color palettes, write marketing copy. If I have expertise on the topic, I’ll share with you what I know and what the next step could be for you.  I stopped trading time for money a number of years ago, instead I trade value for money and the opportunity to see you grow.

 

Main Street vs. Wall Street.

One of the tenets of our life on the road is that we like to support Main Street before Wall Street.  It is how we choose restaurants and how we choose vendors for our business too.  If we’re looking to go out, we’ll stop by Suzie’s café before we’ll stop at an Applebee’s.  Nothing against Applebee’s, but we’d rather help mom pay for dance lessons, than shareholders collect their dividends.

We approach the vendors that we use in our businesses the same way.  If I can buy from someone who is self-employed like me, I will.  So let me tell you about my favorite vendors:

Steve Gardiner does all my printing, he’s based in Orange, California at Premier Digital Printing.  I love Steve because he always delivers, because he has to ship to me, he always looks for the most budget friendly way to do that.  He’s told me he doesn’t like to spend my money any more than I do.

Michael D’Avy is my logo designer, he is super creative and can see things I never even think about.  His company is Armchair Crisis Design and he’s based in Phoenix.  A couple of weeks ago I shared what you should expect to get from your designer, Michael is the one who delivers all of that and more.

Larry Martinez Jr. is my t-shirt guy.  There’s a lot of places to get t-shirts made these days, everyone can undercut a price, but why would you do that if you have someone who always delivers, he doesn’t squawk when you say you need 6 of something any more than if you need 36, he just makes it happen.  Larry owns Sickline T’s in the Salt Lake City area.  And besides, he is a ton of fun to have around.

Scott at Big Horn Graphics in Colorado is my banner guy.  Each year we print 8’ x 20’ banners for awards, always at the last minute, and he always delivers.  Good guy to have on your side.

Paul has Champion Trophy, he engraves all the little plaques for the trophies we give out. Paul is based in Prescott, Arizona now, I found him when he was still in Tucson.

Half these guys work out of their homes, the other half have real shops.  All are real people, to all of them, I am a real people too.  That’s the part I like.  They understand my lifestyle, no one is randomly shipping to my address because that’s what’s on the paperwork, they listen and understand when I say, here’s where I am, but only until Monday.  That’s awesome and because of that, they have earned my loyalty and trust.

 

Planners/List Making.

plannersDo you use a planner?  I do, in fact, I use five of them at any given moment.  One is considered the main, it holds the task list, the every growing to-do list.  Another covers the magazine, one for WE Rock, one for Healing Hippy and Trail Naturals, one is personal – it has upcoming projects, courses to take, more long-term stuff.  Essentially, one for each business so I can keep them rolling.  I have online task lists too, but I’m more paper oriented than app oriented.  Here’s some rules I apply to my planners:

  1. Check your dates always – don’t miss a deadline because you wrote it down wrong. Don’t miss a meeting, be respectful of other people’s time and get it right.
  2. Prioritize – not when you write it on the list, but once you get it all on there.  This can be done with color coding or highlighters, different symbols, whatever works for you.
  3. It’s ok if it doesn’t all get done, but if you move things forward to the next week, about the third time you should ask yourself if it really matters to you.  If yes, get started, if not, drop it off the list, or add it back to your other master lists for when it is a better time for you.
  4. The goal is not to full up all the space, white space on your days is good for you, it gives you time to dream
  5. Function over form, no need to get fancy with bullet journal techniques, unless your goal is to make art out of your day, just get organized.

Are you overwhelmed or unhappy?

Maybe it’s that to-do list that has you feeling that way, do you have a plan for when that happens?  Here’s my best tips:  Ask yourself, are you tired, hungry or hurt?  If so, fix that first.

If you’re still feeling tearful or angry, consider these options:  Talk to someone, either family, friend or professional, seek out some help.  Write it down, do you journal, make art, sing, find a creative outlet to express whatever you’re feeling.  Turn to your higher power, your God, your church, your place of peace, if somewhere calms you, go there.  Write a Gratitude journal.  List three things right now that you are grateful for.  If you are mad at your spouse, write three things that you love about him; if you are upset at your kids, write three things they do that make you smile.  Focus your grateful energy on the object you are most upset with.

Tolls.

If you live in most of the western states, tolls are not something you think a lot about.  Idaho doesn’t have toll roads anywhere, Salt Lake only kinda has some, even California has just a few.  Denver, Dallas, and all of the east coast are where you will find tolls.  Here’s some tips.  Don’t be afraid of a toll road because you haven’t been on one before.  Most toll roads have a plaza that will spit a ticket out at you as you enter the road, grab that and hang on to it.  When you exit, you’re going to need it again.

Toll roads often take credit cards, so if you’re concerned about having enough cash, you’ll probably be ok.  Some in the greater DC area still require you to throw money at them, so having a handful of change is not a bad idea.  If you live in an area with toll roads, it’s a good idea to get a transponder, this is a device tied to your credit card that will automatically read as you go through a toll plaza, you typically will pre-pay, then replenish the account.  EZ Pass on the east will save you a bunch of money over paying cash at the toll booth.  Be prepared to pay a significant toll.  Pennsylvania from exit 75 to exit 226 is $119.90 for 151 miles for the TajMahauler.  Also know that if you accidently get on a toll road that has no plazas and you don’t have a transponder, they’ll send the bill to your home.  We’ve had that happen in Texas and Colorado. Is it worth it?  Most of the time.

Exercising your idea muscle.

I love new ideas, they excite me.  I’ve never met an idea I didn’t love.  Some aren’t viable, but I still love to think about them.  I keep an idea file, some get elevated to a business plan, others to a to-do list, some just languish on the lists to be read every few months but most often the resources aren’t there to pursue them.  I got asked last week where my ideas come from.  Hmmm…where do they come from?  Do they just pop in?  No, I have worked at exercising my idea muscle, I look for places that intersect.  Crossroads where you can take one idea and breed it with another.  It’s a funny conversation most days, but sometimes, it starts to click.  The best part about exercising your idea muscle is that it works whenever you have a problem.  By constantly flexing it, your brain gets used to providing solutions and quickly too.  Need some help getting started, I recommend Become an Idea Machine by Claudia Altucher (wife of James Altucher) – each chapter has a practice, some are ridiculous, do it anyway, you aren’t looking for ideas to pursue, just strengthening that muscle.

 

The value of an $18 parking space.

I am thrify, but in my own way, I’ll spend $6 on a great cup of coffee, but save 12 cents on a can of tomatoes.  The things I’m thrifty on don’t really make a lot of sense.  I love brand names in clothing because I know their wear value, but I won’t pay full price.  I’m the girl buying coats in summer and swimming suits in the fall.  My thriftiness has made room for a lot of cool adventures.  But sometimes, you just have to recognize the difference between time and money.  We traveled across country this week in a hurry.  Colorado Springs to eastern Pennsylvania, 1830 miles, in a semi-truck.  Parking your semi is easy in the west, not so much in the east. The population is denser and the parking areas are smaller and not as plentiful.  We started looking for the right spot about 7:30 on Tuesday night, the first rest area was ok, but the next was 53 miles away and looked better.  And it would have been too, if it hadn’t been closed.  So we drove on to the next exit.  The first truck stop was completely full, so we crossed the highway to check the next.  Trucks circling the parking lot like an intricate ballet looking for the last few spots.  We tried one, and didn’t fit exactly, a few maneuvers to get out of the way had us circling again, and that’s when we saw the “reserved” section at the TA.  Eighteen spots with no one in them, we pulled up and made the call to reserve one, best $18 I’ve spent in a long time, easy to get in, no one swooping in to take it away. Not five minutes after we were parked, the lot started filling up, one to the left, one to the right and the rest right behind them.

It’s been an interesting week, as most are.  I started a copywriting class, finished a business ignition challenge and am working on a launch.  Can’t wait to talk to you next week from Texas.

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