Friday, August 31, 2007

You: The Active Ingredient

A few friends have recently announced their intentions to embark on ventures in direct sales. I wish them the absolute highest achievement available to them. But I think the only ones getting rich are at the top of these companies. This is not because I lack faith in my friends' potential for success, and it's not because I think the companies are run by shysters. On the contrary, I have great respect for these friends. Individually they each have achieved or overcome huge feats in their lives. And as for the folks at the top--they are intelligent businesspeople with vision.

Direct sales works like so: you get recruited by a 'consultant', shell out some dough to buy inventory and become a consultant yourself. And then you hustle, hustle, hustle to get your wares peddled and bring more souls into the flock, thus advancing yourself along the food chain (some call it a pyramid). The check writing part is easy for most people. The hustle is where they usually lose it. They just don't have it in them. 'It's not me,' they say. Whatever it is, it's human nature, and direct sales companies are making a ton of money off of it.

So what about the success stories? Women who are rolling in luxury cars, taking their families on posh vacations and spending quality time with their kids, etc. They're out there. You might guess it's because they just have the personality for it and you would be partly right. But if that's really true, why weren't they already wildly successful in their lives? Maybe it's the products. What was it about the Tupperware/scrapbooking supplies/cooking gadgets that was so great? The products are terrific, but everyone gets the same stuff. The difference has little to do with the companies, products or personality types.

Success in any venture comes from only one place: inside yourself. Want to lose weight? Get rich? Earn a college degree? Sure you do. Do you know why you haven't reached those goals yet? Because you don't want them badly enough. When you really decide that you are going to do/have/be something, there is nothing that can stop you. Great time to consider selling candles.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happily Ever After

I love happy beginnings, don't you? I had the pleasure of going to two beautiful and wildly divergent weddings this month.
The first was meticulously planned and perfectly executed. Seaside against a flawless blue sky we witnessed them take their vows. It seemed even the gulls were well behaved. Inside we sat at lushly appointed tables and drank to the happy couple with one of our three choices of stemware. Even the toasts were poignant, dignified and concise. I left with a heart full of hope and happiness. We got our thank you note in the mail three days later.

The second wedding started on Thursday and I suspect now, on Sunday, there may still be glowing embers. Most of the festivities happened in their verdant, inviting backyard, the product of over a year of their own sweat and elbow grease. They hosted a swanky cocktail party on Thursday, then an adventure day on Friday where the groom emptied out the inventory of his company, Sturgis Boat Works, into Cape Cod Bay for the entire guest list to enjoy. This was followed by a barbecue (I think there had also been talk of a pig roast at one point). When it was time for the wedding on Saturday, guests parked among beachgoers to stand with the bride and groom on a bluff overlooking Nantucket Sound. With minimal pomp and circumstance they arrived, told their story and made their promise. Then off they zoomed in a little convertible, whooping and hollering the whole way. Back to the cozy backyard where friends, family and neighbors partied hard to a rowdy, talented band, ate jerk chicken from a giant grill and washed it down with a local brew. I left with a heart full of hope and happiness.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I Can Have It All, Just Not Today

Most days I succeed to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, never let him forget he's a man. But not today. Not even close.

Today was a crappy day, full of frustration and

My children were

Scratch everything above. As I try to lay out for you all the miserable day I had and why my kids were rotten, etc. I keep getting hung up on not-crappy things that also happened. True, my kids each had their moments: #1 swung hard in the direction of adolescent petulance, #2 was spastic and fresh, #3 had a meltdown at our friends' BBQ and #4 was a puke and poop grenade all day long. Schedules got all f-ed up, we're out of coffee, I missed two fun opportunities, I haven't spoken 3 sentences with my husband in ages, and I'm really sad that summer is winding down. And I was a total bitch today.

However, I did some good work at my job today, the house is reasonably clean, the children are in bed, it's still summer, and it looks like I'll be able to spend a little awake time with my main squeeze before we both pass out tonight.

That's a pretty good day, I think.

I'm still a bitch, though. I'd better get some sleep. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wag Your Mama

Wagamama is a cool noodle joint which up until this past April could only be found across the pond and beyond. This spring (and most recently last week) Ellen's Auntie Meredith was part of a whizbang team to open the first two Wagamama restaurants in the U.S.
Ellen is seen here happy to endorse this tasty temple of tempura.

'Little Mermaid' awash in talent

Excerpted from Cape Cod Times
August 09, 2007
WEST HARWICH — ...The team of nine ensemble actors deserves kudos for how much they add to the show. They were crucial to creating the special effects that make the production so beautiful. They parade around the theater with enchanting tropical fish, shimmy with trailing jellyfish tentacles, and hiss in a menacing way as the Sea Witch's eel minions. They also flutter long lengths of blue silk, creating a beautiful illusion of waves that rise and fall to allow the mermaids to peek above the water and then whip them to create the storm that almost kills Prince Stefan...

Scared to Life

I don't exercise for my own good. Don't get me wrong, I have never looked back on a day and regretted working out. But as I sit with a hot cup of coffee, wrapped in my fuzzy robe with a kid (or 4) snuggled up on me, the thought of dragging my butt to the gym or on a run, etc. generally holds little appeal. It's a cozy scene, I know. And it just gets cozier (read: fatter) the more workouts I skip. But this is unacceptable to me, so I know I need a solution. The question is: If I won't exercise for my own good, why will I? What motivates me, for real?
Well...anyone in marketing knows that if you want to get someone's attention, you show them what they stand to gain. But if you want them to DO something, show them what they stand to lose. Fear is a much greater motivator than hope. How sad. But 'tis what 'tis, and if I want action and results why make it harder than it has to be?

So...fears that I can capitalize on...hmmm...




I know--I'll pick up some extra classes at the gym! I actually talked to Willy's and I will be back in the Spinning saddle starting next week. And last week I started training to teach Pilates reformer classes. So I've got all the fears covered. Humiliation: You can't blow off a class you teach, plus if you look like a cow who's going to take you seriously? Poverty: Well, the annual income of a fitness instructor isn't going to pay the mortgage, but it will cover Power Bars and pedicures. Death: Really, it's aging I'm talking about, but I understand the ultimate fear. 40 is 18 months away for me. I want to hit it HOT.
People who use 'will power' are working way harder than they have to.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Coming Soon to a Theater Near Us

As many of you know, our two oldest are very active at Harwich Junior Theater. Margaret is in The Little Mermaid which opens Tuesday night. Check out the preview press here.

If You Go
“The Little Mermaid,” adapted by Linda Daugherty

from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale,
presented by Harwich Junior Theatre; 7:30 p.m.
Mondays through Thursdays and 4 p.m. Fridays
and Sundays, Aug. 7-23; at the theater, 105
Division St., West Harwich; $12-$18; 508-432-2002

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Three Weeks

It's hard not to just lean over and bite her...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ellen Meets Nana

Yesterday Ellen got to meet her great grandmother, Nana. Nana thought it was pretty cool. Ellen was pretty happy, too. :)

First Bath

First Bath

Big Girl!

Big Girl!

Naptime with Caroline

Naptime with Caroline

I'm a Big Sister!

I'm a Big Sister!