Processing Random Thoughts

I've found this week to be draining for some odd reason. I alluded to this yesterday on Instagram.

I'm not sure if its the lingering hangover from Daylight Savings time or a flurry of ideas that are sitting in my brain. Regardless, that aching feeling of wanting to get the ideas out is enervating. I shared the photo of paint splatter as a way to try and capture what I {think} my brain looks like on the inside right now. I was glad to hear from other on instagram who could relate.

And so, to find a solution, I figured I would share some of these random thoughts. The thoughts that are swirling around in my head. Expect some blog posts to come from these:

Positivity. This is the basis to the world functioning better. There can't be enough of it in the world and I'll admit, some days, the realist in me sets in more than the optimist. I'm not sure if research supports this (send me any papers you find if it does!!) but am I wrong in saying that millennial's seem more positive than baby boomers (cue the tomato throwing now, I'll duck). It is so refreshing (regardless of age) when you sit down at a table and have a meeting or conversation and sharing of ideas when it is all positive. Positivity, or the lack there of sometimes, is why I sometimes question if more millennials are not pursuing careers in the sector I work in, Agriculture. So many thoughts on these two ideas - millennials being more positive and positivity within the sector I work in and how millennials view it.

Millennials. In keeping on this same topic, I am one. A millennial. I talk about them a lot here on the ol' blog. And they seem to be a conversation starter. Scratch that, its all people have been talking about for the last 5 years or so, since it became apparent that we as a generation weren't going away. When people recognized that we're going to leave a profound impact on this world and not to mention, we have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation now. Well, at least in the US according to this article. Millennials seems to be at the forefront of many of the conversations within my social circles and network recently for some reason. Especially when it comes to career conversations. Things like the role of millenials on Boards; what millennials value that differs from baby boomers; and is the workplace ready to evolve to these values. Either way, I have lots to say from my experience (both professionally and personally) so look forward to blog posts upcoming!

Motherhood. Is it OK to feel that you want to go back to work earlier than expected once you realize your baby can now breathe, eat and sleep on his own and perhaps doesn't need you like he use too? Blake's crawling away from me tells me that he is going to be just fine come May (his first birthday). Also child care, why doesn't anyone talk about the beast that is finding child care? :S

Personal Brand. Ok, one more millennial thought. It seems that every millennial has or wants too establish their own personal brand along with maintaining their role/jobs within a company in their 9 to 5 job. This can be done, but with a bit of sacrifice on the millennials part and the company depending on expectations. Where previous workers/generation were so loyal to their company's brand, are workplaces ready for this millennial "selfishness" as I've heard it called? And even more, are workplaces OK with millennial's side hustles perhaps taking the spotlight away from the work millennial's do in their 9-5's?!

Creativity overload. As a creative entrepreneur, how do my fellow CE's quiet your thoughts? How do you stop, or should I say, harness, the creative ideas waterfall that can come on the most random days? Do you write everything down on paper and pen? Put it in your iPhone notebook? How do you orgnaiz the thoughts? How do you tell your brain right at bedtime to stop thinking and put the ideas to rest? Literally. I would love to hear your tips!

Productivity. I am almost done this book and it is hands down, one of the best books I've read in a while. An easy, simple yet thought-provoking read, it has calmed my mind as a women but also fueled my motivation to want to do better, but in a more efficient way. Grab your copy, you won't be disappointed!

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Chill, 2017

August happenings - 1. I never take for granted the feeling I get experiencing the views from our dock on the Trent / 2. Setting up the sweet corn stand on the farm brought out that entrepreneurial spirit in me similar to the lemonade stand / 3. Opening our doors to the public and our agricultural community to celebrate our new robotic dairy barn was such an awesome experience / 4. The #Canada150 (free!) National Park initiative prompted us to visit Point Peelee National Park, Canada's most southernmost point while we were visiting southwestern Ontario.

When September rolls around, I feel like the new year is sneaking around the corner, ready to make its appearance sooner than we'd like. This year is no different. Where is 2017 going.. I feel like it just started?!

As I've blogged about before, September also feels like a second chance to (finally) get around to accomplishing your new years goals because it feels like another fresh start to the year. And because there is a looming deadline fast approaching. September is like New Years 2.0.

Summer is typically a quieter time for me professionally. Fall is when things amp up since harvest time is a staple in the agricultural calendar, the industry I work in. But this year, it appears that due to side business hustles, lots of life happenings... and oh, a little thing called motherhood, this summer has ushered in a new sense of busyness that I've never experienced before.

Thanks to this busyness, I've learned to be OK with slacking on my #blog452 commitment in the month of August. But, to make up for this, I'm doing something I've never done before on the blog... I'm going to blog everyday this week!

Look forward to reading about my whereabouts lately, some goings on and the latest on my #passionatevoice adventures.

Check back on the blog this week, lots of good stuff coming at ya! 

It All Begins With a Lemonade Stand

With a newborn, you can find me most days outdoors, gallivanting  around with the baby in the stroller, enjoying the summer sun. I always love seeing what adventures I'll get up too or things I'll encounter.

Last week, I was out for a walk in our neighbourhood when I came upon a young girl selling lemonade.

I looked like I was going to be her next customer as I was walking closer to her. It was then I realized I didn't have $$$ on me so I quickly turned around to run back home and grab change. I can only imagine the look of sheer disappointment on this girls face thinking she was losing a customer as I ran away from her. I was happy to return a few minutes later to buy a cup of her homemade lemonade.

There was nothing better than watching the pride on this young girls' face when I returned and asked her 'How much?' With the biggest smile on her face, she confidently said, "$1 please." She had all the right things going for her - a well-written, visible sign with the $1 per cup cost; she had the cute little table and chair; she had manners and spoke well; and she genuinely looked like she loved what she was doing.

And to top it off, she was so pleasant when I approached her with the baby - she even asked questions about me and the baby, the customer. Who taught this girl proper marketing etiquette at such a young age?!

It was one of those moments, as a random stranger, that you take so much pride in doing what you did to help encourage this person.

It also brought back so many memories for me as a kid... because I did the exact same thing! I held many a rummage sale and (tried) to sell lemonade to no avail.

The difference for me was that growing up in the country, trying to sell things on a random weekday in the summer, half way down a long driveway was not that financially viable or successful. There aren't that many customers who probably think stopping in a car and walking up to a young child in the country looks OK to those driving by. I get it now, but it was hard to swallow at the time.

Clearly my entrepreneurial spirit was evident already at a young age.

The acts of this little random stranger last week was an amazing reminder of what we're all capable of and how it all begins at a young age:

  • The ideas we have that spark within us;
  • How unafraid we are of big, hairy, audacious goals (and we don't even know what 'goals' are yet);
  • How we take a pretty basic product and only because of how we sell it, the product becomes a hit;
  • The complete, random strangers we are OK with meeting in order to make a sale (and a buck);
  • When we realize we can make money doing something we love or at least enjoy doing;
  • And ultimately, we have the guts to do something we have never did before (and don't know the outcome of as to whether we'll be successful or not) and we still go ahead with the idea and sell the lemonade!

It takes some serious guts as a young kid to have the motivation, confidence and persistence to want to do something like sell lemonade, while other kids are out playing with their friends.

At what age or stage in our lives do you think we lose that self-confidence and belief in our abilities that so many of us clearly have as young kids? When do we lose that entrepreneurial mindset of fending for ourselves and running with our own ideas, only to worry what others think of us and our skillset to land a job that may not be for us?

As a quote I found perfectly says, "When life gives you lemons, you build a lemonade stand and profit."

[Tweet ""When life gives you lemons, you build a lemonade stand and profit.""]

As the young girl packed up after selling me her last cup of lemonade, I encouraged her to make sure she sets up shop more this summer because I'd be sure to be back. She said she would.

I better start saving my loonies now because she has a repeat customer that will guarantee her sales for her young start-up venture (or college education) ;)

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Start Putting Your Sh*t Out to the World

Through the personal work I do with my platform The Passionate Voice, I've always worked to help others, both personal and businesses, to harness their voice through social media work and in-person communications training. Helping them to learn how they can speak up, be heard and make impact in whatever industry they are in.

A perfect example of this is Ag Women's Network. There are so many fellow women in agriculture/food and fellow bloggers and social media users who are putting themselves out there about the topics and issues that matter most to them. Its also an incredible personal development forum to learn from each other. I recently challenged these same women to blog (or start blogging!) with me in the personal #Blog452 challenge I've set for myself this year. One month in to 2017 and I'm happy to say, I've blogged every week!

I realize putting yourself out there to the online world takes confidence and guts.. and some would shy away from this. I also realize that there are a lot of 'fence sitters' who are watching others around them do what they wished they themselves would or could do. This isn't a bad place to be in though so all the 'fence sitters' reading this, take this as your "call to action" post :)

Have you thought of starting a blog but held off, time after time, because you were worried what others would think or weren't sure how to get easily started?

Have you been in a meeting and wanted to say something but feared what others would think and so you refrained from sharing your thoughts?

Have you wanted to give a talk at the front of a room but feared what the crowd may think of you and/or how you would be able to present in front of an audience?

Putting yourself out there to the rest of the world is not easy. Once you begin speaking your mind and showcasing your passion or what your good at on a platform, it is an outlet to be quickly judged by others. Not everyone can do it nor are you ever really 'ready' for what follows once you finally do put yourself out there for the rest of the world to judge.

Putting yourself out there doesn't necessarily mean big, elaborate gestures. It can be the smallest, most simple step. It can be finally putting up your hand at a meeting and saying something. It could be sending that email to the person you've always wanted to contact with. Joining a committee, board or team after thinking about it joining. It could mean FINALLY starting that blog/website to showcase your talents and what your good at in hopes that one day you'll be recognized for those talents or to positively make a difference.

[Tweet ""Putting yourself out there doesn't necessarily mean big, elaborate gestures." #PassionateVoice"]

Putting yourself out there is never easy. But it is SO worth it once you do. Trust me, this is something I've struggled with in doing my work at The Passionate Voice. These posts don't just write themselves... and many of my posts have sat in draft form until this year when I committed to 2017's #Blog452Challenge.

But I promise, just go ahead and test the waters and you'll see what I mean.

Really, what's the worse thing that could happen..... besides crappy tweets from people or hearing crickets because you don't think anyone is reading? In all seriousness, what really is the worse thing that could happen? 

If anything, as I've personally learned, you'll be mad at yourself that you didn't put your sh*t out there SOONER.

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

+There is now scientific evidence that multitasking is bad for our brain because of the addictive injection of 'dopamine' (the 'reward hormone') that circulates in our brain when we complete each small task. Maybe we need to re-evaluate the process to how we get stuff down in a day so we can slow. the. heck. down!

+Wondering why after hours of sleep each night, you still feel tired all of the time? It may be that your high-intensity feelings are draining your batteries

+Glad to see that there are many reasons as a Type-A'er that will help support my side business endeavor. Who would have thought?!

+I'm continually proud to be part of a generation that is so giving and wants to make positive change. 89% of respondents surveyed in this read said they wanted to work on personal interests and things that impact society.

+Stats support that millennials are in fact, entrepreneurs at heart. 1 in 3 millennials already have a side gig up and running!

+International Women's Day was celebrated on March 8th. This piece discussing why women should 'ignore fear and saddle up anyways' by a woman I look up too, Betty-Ann Heggie, was such an amazing piece she shared to celebrate #IWD2016. It touches on so many truths relating to how girls are brought up compared to boys.

+'Palate cleansers' for the work world and not just in between meals? Yes, this is a real thing and a cool concept!

+Seth Godin discusses that the 'thrill is gone' which made me wonder- maybe we really are addicted to the 'thrill' of things? This is most likely why we love things like social media because its give us instant gratification.