Dare to be Great!

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” ~Aristotle

Being great at something costs greatly. It costs your time. It costs your effort and your concentration. It costs will power and the humility to fail over and over again until you succeed. It costs your ability to truly care what others’ opinions are about what you are accomplishing.

If you give others’ opinions rule your world, you will never gain anything of your own.

Dream big. Dare big. Own your successes!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

The Social Media Trap

My beef with social media is simple: I follow people I know, people I like, people I look up to, and people I aspire to inspire across social media platforms. I then become frustrated to see the same posts across all social sites.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is perfect for one market is not perfect across the board.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is modified in hopes that it will be perfect across the board still is not.

I will un-follow someone very quickly if everything they post is a mirror of all I’ve seen from them on every other social media platform, and every time I un-follow someone for this reason it actually pains me. I want so badly for them to post unique, site-specific content that gives me a full picture of the person, product, company.

If I’m following a juice company, I’d love to laugh as someone chugs the juice down as quickly as possible on Snapchat. Meanwhile, on Pinterest I’m reading great smoothie recipes with one of their juices as the base. Instagram would present their juice in an ice-cold glass sitting beachside, and Facebook presents an informative yet still visually pleasing picture of the product in full display with the health benefits of this particular kind of juice and this particular brand. Twitter would share news and retweets of folks enjoying this juice all over the world, and YouTube might show a range of professional and amateur videos of people living and loving this brand of juice. This would be a company I would follow across all platforms, and as new platforms presented themselves, I would seek this company out every single time.

This same rationale applies to people, too. Every Snap is not meant for Facebook. Every blog post is not meant for LinkedIn. Every Insta pic is not meant for Twitter.

If you are interesting, followers will seek you out. We don’t have to try so hard for people to like us, they like us because we’re us. Maximize each social media platform for what it is, and enjoy the long term benefits of retention and presenting a broader picture of your life, your brand, and your world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Weekly Wrap-Up: April 30, 2016

I am super digging this new weekly wrap-up thing! It’s so fun to got through my week and see something cool and wonder if it’d be worthy to share here. Hmmmm….now the pressure is really on for awesome content!

I would also like to encourage each of YOU to begin your own weekly wrap-up, of sorts, as a way to put that fun exclamation point at the end of your week!

LET’S BEGIN WITH A QUOTE

A signature line from an email I received this week:

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails.” (Unknown)

AHHHH, THE SWEET MUSKY SMELL OF THE PHYSICAL BOOK

If you haven’t already, I have created a page here on my website devoted to what I’ve read, what I’m currently reading, and what I want to read next. This week, I had a surprise from my local library to the effect of 18 of my “next” books that I’ve had on library request all came in at the same time!!! My first selection from this stack was Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve already been struck by this book, as I have shared some great tidbits of information, already, and will certainly continue to do so as I continue reading. Not yet finished, but definitely recommending this one!

ARE YOU GETTING SKIMMED?

I’m so intrigued by the Daily Skimm, that I just have to share it with you. I’m not a big newspaper reader, I don’t watch the daily news, however I do get a handy dandy little email each morning from the Daily Skimm telling me the highlights of what’s going on in the world. It’s informative, tongue-in-cheek, and super well-written. I rarely skip this email, so good!

I’m sending you good vibes for your weekend. May it be perfectly productive, yet rejuvenating! Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

You Make the Difference

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You know…”Be the change you want to see in the world”…and all that stuff!

You really were created for a purpose, and each of our purpose in life is to positively influence our world! This doesn’t require you to push outside of your comfort zone, it doesn’t require you to be huge and influential. It requires you to influence YOUR world, your circle, your family and community for the better.

You were created for that purpose! Now, I challenge us ALL to go out and love like it!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Marilyn

Show, Don’t Tell

Backing our mouths up with action.

Backing our mouths up with action.

Talking about making changes is easy; actually making the changes seems much more difficult.

In my marriage, in my friendships, as a mother, as a daughter, and in evaluating myself, I see the frustration that promises of change without action to back up the plan backfires…BIG TIME.

We are all too familiar with the Mahatma Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I don’t think Gandhi was talking about sitting on our thumbs complaining about the problems and not taking steps toward the solution.

Instead of seeing problems, see solutions. See the solutions, then continue down that path until you’ve acted on the solutions. Don’t just tell me, show me!

Our world is moving at record pace, while many of us (myself included) watch all that is happening through a screen on a television, computer, or phone. We talk about it with our friends. We complain about it to our co-workers. We sit back, running our mouths and our fingers across the keyboard, but what do we DO?

So, whether your biggest fuss is with your waistline or the state of the economy, I’d like to challenge you to step beyond the talking phase and into the land of the doing.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

How Much Income Would it Take for YOU to have “Arrived?”

Have you “arrived,” financially speaking? What would your life look like if you had? What are the similarities and differences to your current reality?

In his bestselling book The 4-Hour Work WeekTim Ferriss has his readers go through an exercise he calls “Dreamlining.” The purpose of this dreamline is to think of things you could foresee having, doing, or being, over the next 6 to 12 months that would give you the security of being free to live your life the way you want to live it. I’m a HUGE fan of Ferriss’ work, both in this book and across media outlets, and I appreciate the basic premise of his dreamlining exercise.

Ferriss’ dreamline is an eye-opening experience, the basic point being that you oftentimes don’t really have to be earning much more money than you’re currently making to get the sense of more freedom and higher-quality living. As many 4HWW dreamlines as I have completed for various spans of time, I wanted to take it a step further. I would like to expand on Ferriss’ dreamline for my own purposes, and share with you.

We dream of making $100,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, or more dollars. As children, we all wanted to be bazillionaires, but as adults doing the daily grind of balancing work and family, those numbers have become a little more realistic…but how realistic are they, really? I could say I would like to earn $500,000 a year, but that’s just a pie-in-the-sky number if there’s nothing to back it up. Until you have actually done some of the math, you don’t really know what your truest goal annual income would be. This is where my update on Ferriss’ dreamline comes in.

I’m calling my update the True Earnings Goal Assessment (“TEGA”) and here’s how it works:

HAVING: List three (3) things you would like to have within the next 12 months. Would you like to have a new car? Would you like to have a solid college fund set up for your child(ren)? Would you like to have a facelift? Would you like to have an RV and the freedom and budget to travel? Would you like to have an office space outside of your home so you feel like you can work and focus without interruptions?

Once you have your list of your top three “haves,” put a price tag on them. If you want that new Subaru Outback that’s calling your name from the showroom floor, factor how much your monthly payments will be plus insurance. If you want $12,000 worth of plastic surgery, factor in $1,000 a month for that. If your new office is going to cost you $1,700 a month to rent and operate, factor that in, too. Whatever it is you want to have in the next 12 months, estimate the monthly expense would be, if it’s of top three priority to you then it makes the list!

BEING: Similarly, list three (3) ways you would like to be within the next 12 months. Would you like to be a great pastry chef? Would that entail going to culinary school, and if so, how much would that cost you? Would you like to be a skilled photographer? How much would classes at your area camera shops cost you and add to your dream? Would you like to be a triathlete? Do you already have the gear you would need or would you need to purchase it? Would swim lessons or tri classes help you better prepare for your goal of triathlon success? Now, estimate your monthly expenses for being each of your top three priority items and add those to your list!

DOING: Again, list three (3) things you would like to do within the next 12 months. Why not choose now to begin (doing) an annual family tradition like trips to Disney World or visiting all 50 states? Would you feel so much better to be actively repaying (doing) an old debt that’s been looming for too long? Take this opportunity to make that happen and get that monkey off of your back! How would it sound to even keep it closer to home and plan (doing) a weekend get-away for just you and the love of your life to go off to a cabin in the woods and just enjoy the peace and quiet of some alone time? What would your monthly budget look like to be doing each of your top three priority items in this category?

Now, on to the math (AKA: the fun part).

  • Calculate your current monthly living expenses and multiply that amount by 1.3 to allow for a little wiggle room in case of emergencies or whatnot.
  • Add up your monthly HAVING dream total.
  • Add up your monthly BEING dream total.
  • Add up your monthly DOING dream total.
  • Calculate the total monthly expenses of these four items (current expenses x 1.3, having, being, and doing).
  • Multiply that monthly total by 12 to arrive at your annual earnings goal amount.

THAT, my friends, is your truest earnings goal amount. THAT is the income amount to strive towards, not some random number picked out of thin air. There’s a difference in setting the bar high and setting it too high to realistically reach. Your goals have to be attainable or you’ll quit just shy of success. For example, prior to doing this modified version of Ferriss’ dreamline, my random goal earning amount was $150k. Boy, was I surprised that even with all of the BIG ticket items I put on my TEGA, my true annual goal earning amount was just $82,200. That number is almost half what I previously thought I would have to have to live large and in charge in my own little world! This was a huge relief and pleasant surprise!!!

Depending on your current lifestyle, your numbers are likely significantly different than mine. But, I hope you find–as I did–that having a hard number to put on your dreams as you go through your life and business choices will make your work more productive, your choices more fact-based, and your dreams much more attainable. You don’t have to be a bazillionaire to feel like you have “arrived” at financial freedom. You have a number, it’s just up to you to find that number, then strive for it.

You’ve got this!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

#HashtagLove

wpid-IMG_20140227_144122.jpgThis morning, I awoke with a migraine, so I did what everyone with migraines wants to do…I went back to bed! When I finally got up and moving, I did one productive thing (yes, ONE), and all I could think through my sore brained fog was, “I think that’s all I have in me.” If the school buses weren’t already making their rounds now, and if my children weren’t one at a time about to start banging through the door, I’d likely go back to bed…again. I will, instead, make the most of a day that would have been productive and enjoy the forced opportunity to chill. But, I digress…

I posted this picture <<—————— on Instagram as I was having these thoughts of lost productivity, along with the hashtag #atleastihavecoffee. Then, as I often do, once my pic had uploaded, I hit that blue little hashtag link and opened up a world of other Instagrammers who have also used that hashtag.

As simple a thing as it is, when I use hashtags I enjoy seeing who else has used that same one. This is especially fun when it’s a really unique hashtag (or at least a hashtag that I think it really unique…of which I cannot think of a single example right now because, duh, my head hurts too much to think…in fact, looking at this screen right now doesn’t feel too great), then seeing who else thought the same. Hashtags are like another realm of social media that completely connects one to another, across the state or across the globe, who you do not know, but you have this shared thought. It’s pretty amazing, really, just how connected I am to each person in this world, from so many different angles. #smallworld

Make it a great (headache-free) day,

Mari!yn

On the 31st Day of New Years & Video Extras

On the 31st and final day of my silly little “31 Days of New Year’s” video vlog, more than anything I am extremely grateful. I’m grateful for my family who lives this awesome life closest to me, to my friends who cheer me on and cheer me up when I need it most, and to all of the people I only know through online blogs and video channels and tweets (oh my!) for showing me that my kooky little world is bigger than I thought it was. Thank YOU!

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

AWESOME T-SHIRT BY: Natalie Wright (http://www.etsy.com/listing/173409686/toddler-adult-womens-t-shirt-original?ref=shop_home_active_3)

FANCY NECKLACE BY: My sweet 6 year old, Charlotte 🙂