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7 Questions to Determine if His Apology is Real

 

Is His Apology Real? 

Apology RealYour husband just apologized, but you’re unsettled by your mental gymnastics that doubt his sincerity.  Perhaps these sound familiar, “He sounds sorry.  Can I trust his apology? But, I’ve heard this before. I wish he had just said, (fill in the blanks). What if he does it, again?” and on and on your monkey mind travels.  The answer may seem complex and difficult due to personal expectations, and personal and relationship history.  To avoid more mind-twisting ruminations and to finally get some peace, ask yourself these 7 reflective questions:

  1. Is he empathetic to your emotional pain? Will he listen to your pain until you get closure?  If so, it’s worth considering accepting the apology and moving on, together. But, if he just wants to move on, stop talking about it, or tells you to, “…get over it. I said I was sorry.” Then, yes, you may need to get over it and fast.  “It” being the relationship and him.
  2. Is he remorseful? I’m not talking about he’s sorry he got “caught.”  I’m talking about real regret for making a decision that wounded another human being.
  3. Is he accepting full responsibility for his actions? Or is there blame involved such as, “If you hadn’t/had, I wouldn’t have (fill in the blank)?” If blame is part of the apology, his apology isn’t sincere.
  4. Will he do what it takes to repair it? I’m not talking giving you flowers or calling/texting you incessantly to ask how you’re doing. I’m talking about voluntarily giving you the information you need to feel safe with him, again.
  5. Was restitution given freely? If physical compensation or restoration is needed to make it right, was it freely offered and completed on a timely basis without your involvement?
  6. Is there true repentance? Now, before you turn from this thinking it’s a religious term, give me a moment. Repent literally means to turn from.  So in this case, it means the “event” never happens, again.  It’s actually a great way to live: do something wrong/hurtful, acknowledge it, apologize and never do it, again.
  7. The over-riding factor you must consider regardless of the sincerity of the apology is this: was the transgression a 1-time event or was this a repeat offense? if the latter, then you’re dealing with a character issue and you need to seriously consider moving on. This also applies if the offenses are different.  Poor choices in multiple areas signify a serious character flaw.  This is not an opportunity to “love him through it.”  It’s time for you to have enough self-respect to be only with people that cherish, honor and support you.  This includes family, friends, and co-workers.  But, more importantly, you need to be with someone who has enough self-respect that he wouldn’t put himself in situations that could hurt himself or wound others.

If your husband meets all the above criteria for a sincere apology, then it is time to put it to rest and rebuild together.  And refrain from revisiting it.  It’s tiresome to keep hearing about something that happened years ago.  This is especially true if it never happened again.  We ALL make mistakes.  His mistake isn’t worse than your transgressions.  They are all the same when it comes to a hurting heart.

Apology RealA look in the mirror:

Have you hurt someone?  Reflect on the questions.  Be brutally honest.  If you need to sincerely and honor someone’s pain due to a bad decision/action on your part,  ask for forgiveness. Then be completely accountable.  Please read my other related blog post, “How to Help Those You Hurt

Disclaimer: the above is a compilation of blog posts, transcripts, columns, etc… often titled the “The 4 R’s of an Apology.”  Because I’ve been on both the ends of apologies and wrong-doing, please read my other related blog posts, “How to Help Those You Hurt” and “7 Ways to Mess Up an Apology.”

Recognizing toxic relationships and 4 things to do to disentangle yourself from them

 

Recognizing toxic relationships

Are you in a relationship, work or personal, where you feel frustrated, stuck, mixed-up, or in the middle of drama most of the time? If so, barring extenuating circumstances, you are in a relationship with a toxic person. Toxic people suck the very life out of you. At the very least, you’re bone weary exhausted after almost every encounter with them. Even if you’re not Christian, the Bible has very pithy scriptures. For example, Psalm 31:10 tells what it’s like living with a toxic person, “My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of (fill in the person’s name), and my bones grow weak.” Spot on, isn’t it?   Do you need more support to determine if the relationship is toxic?  How do you feel prior to meeting with them? Do you feel dread or angst?  How much do you ruminate about it or talk about it what they said and/or their reactions with someone else?  Psst…that’s a victim mentality and a complete waste of your time.   Affirmative answers to those questions mean you have a toxic relationship and you need to protect your heart and soul.  Life is just too short to be with people who don’t love you back in healthy ways that support you to be your best.

Now what?  There are 4 things you need to do if you find yourself in a toxic relationship and want out (you have to want the “out” more than staying “in”) or at the very least limit exposure to them:

  1.  Recognizing the relationship as toxic and labeling it accurately.  Once you’ve accurately labeled it you can move on.  It’s the ruminating questions you incessantly ask yourself that keep you paralyzed.  For example, “Did she really say that?” “Can you believe he feels that way about xyz.” “Maybe if I just said xyz he would have understood …” and hundreds of other time-wasting, emotion-twisting questions.
  2.  Keep your feelings in check and always communicate with them rationally.  In fact, being rational is a trigger for toxic people.  They will try harder to push your buttons.  That’s when you know you have to walk away.  You can’t be rational with an irrational person.
  3.  Look for and offer common ground.  In its’ absence, move on.
  4.  Extricate yourself from that relationship.  Just block the person from your phone.  Turn your chair around in the office.  Don’t accept invitations from them and/or where they will be present.  Never engage in anything personal with a toxic person.  Eventually, they will tire of you and seek another body to suck the life out of.

Hug and a Shove,      

Annette

Do you have comments, tips, or ideas for extricating, unwinding from toxic relationships?  Please leave your kind and helpful comments, below.                                                                                                                

Shi(f)t Happens: Change Your Path

Shi(f)t Happens to us all.  You get to choose how you react to it.  When faced with it:

  • Sometimes you need to change course, reverse course, change direction.
  • Pull up the stakes, break camp.
  • Do a turn-about,double-back, do a 180.
  • Repeal, Have a change of heart.

It’s Ok if you do or you must.  Just promise yourself to make it an adventure.

Shi(f)t Happens

Wishful Thinking has a lot of Power. Don’t allow it.

I’m a very optimistic person.  I cultivate my optimism because it has carried me very far through difficult times.  It is the reason I persevere during challenging times.  It has given me hope where there was none. It gives me energy and motivation.  But, like all things in life, there is a shadow that often masquerades as optimism.  What is it?  Let me introduce you to wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking is Polly-Anna positive which means you are ignoring your reality.  You have to think about the negative effects and/or consequences of said behavior or situation to discern what is good and true and right for you.  This usually means accepting that “it” is going in the wrong direction, “it” isn’t going to change, and more importantly, you can’t fix “it.”  But, what typically happens is we ceaselessly try to fix “it” all in the hopes of a-180-degree turnaround. We do this proactively, with good intentions, by establishing consequences, attending counseling or a myriad of other “trying” options. Most commonly we get stuck in the powerful lure of wishful thinking such as, “I know when (fill in the blank) happens “it” will be ok!”  Or another example, “But, if I just (fill in the blank), I know ‘it’ will turn around.”

Wishful ThinkingYou’re probably asking, “So how do I know if I’m in the snare of wishful thinking?”  Ask yourself this one question, “How do you feel the majority of the time about/when “(fill in the blank)?”  If the majority of the time you feel overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, worn out, anxious, etc. your gut, your intuition, your reality, your God, is telling you it is time to recognize “it” doesn’t serve you and it’s time to move on.

Caveat:  if “it” is an integral part of your life (job/a primary relationship/…) move on only and only if you sincerely and respectfully gave notice (the old college try) to the situation/behavior and “it” didn’t respond. Don’t wait till you’re beyond wit’s end, angry, or exasperated.  It’s not their fault you didn’t communicate your needs and/or concerns. And, no, they are not supposed to read your mind.  Not your boss, your spouse, your children, your employee, your neighbor, your pastor, your mother, etc…

Hope is not a strategy.  Hope does not reduce your debt.  Hope does not stop someone from treating you poorly.  Hope doesn’t bring in the sales, give you a good grade or shed the pounds. Hope does not improve your job.  Hope cannot change a person’s heart. You can’t wish away your problems.   Your life gets (much) better with change and execution.

Wishful thinking has a lot of power and it can derail even the best intentions.  Stop surviving, take back that power and start thriving.

Consequences for Hurtful Behavior

consequencesWhat a loaded subject.  But, it really is simple.  Bad or wrong behavior needs effective consequences. What is bad or wrong behavior?  Simply defined it is when a person’s actions, words or behavior hurt themselves and/or others.  Obvious examples are, but not limited to, lying, cheating, stealing, bullying, abuse (all kinds), breaking laws/the rules, and disrespectful conduct. If Bobby is caught cheating on his 3rd-grade spelling test he is mostly hurting himself. If Susan, a wife and mom, is in an adulterous affair, she’s hurting herself, her husband, their children (even if they don’t know about it), her affair partner’s wife and children. The ripple effects could last generations.  If Tom hangs up on a customer he hurt not only the customer, but the company culture, the employees and himself.  So, what are appropriate consequences?  I have a simple definition: whatever gets the perpetrator’s attention so they won’t do it, again. This is different for each person and each situation.

The hard part about consequences?  There are three parts, actually.

      1. Confronting the offender.  Many people, I would venture to say that most, are afraid of conflict. But, you need to find a way to get over that discomfort and vexation.  Not confronting someone over slight or egregious misconduct will cause you tremendous frustration and aggravation which eventually leads to unresolved anger.  As much as we’d like it, people can’t read our minds and often don’t even know they upset you. Some may even think they got away with something.  Even if they could read your mind, they would probably bungle “fixing” it because they don’t know what you need.  So, accept it that you need to talk to the perpetrator.  If the idea of confronting them sends you to an apoplectic state, then you need to find a thoughtful intermediary (pastor, rabbi, priest, wise friend, boss, therapist, co-worker, etc) to help you bring this issue to the forefront.  If a conversation, even with help, is still overwhelming, consider writing a letter.  Or draw a picture. Or write a screenplay.  Anything that will get your point across in a respectful way so they can hear you.  If they don’t respond or get defensive you have a bigger problem than the recent behavior issue.  And yes, that needs to be addressed, too. 

 

      1. The punishment needs to fit the crime.  An appropriate consequence for Bobby cheating on his test is to have him print or write in cursive his misspelled words 100 times each.  An inappropriate consequence is not allowing him to go over to his best buddies’ house for his birthday party.  There’s no relation between the offense and the punishment. That’s what we call in my house, “taking away Christmas.”  Also known as a knee-jerk, punitive reaction.  Not smart, thoughtful or effective.   SIDEBAR: Taking away a friend’s birthday party invitation is appropriate if the offense included hurting another through words or physicality.  If your employee hangs up on a customer, then the employee is either fired or no longer talks to customers for an established period of time.  Yes, it is probably burdensome to the other employees, and to you, but that caustic conduct cannot be tolerated. You’re defining the culture and the expectations you have of your employees. In the long run, your company and your customers will appreciate it.

 

    1. Sticking to your guns after meting out a consequence.  If you say, “No sleepovers till next month.” Then no sleepovers till next month.  If you say, “You will not answer the phone for 30 days.”  Then make it 30 days.  No exceptions.  That’s why it is very important to be thoughtful about the punishment.  Make sure you can carry it out. It is OK to say to the offender, “I need to think about this.  Give me X hours and I’ll get back to you.”  Then get back to them with the appropriate consequence.

Hopefully, the situation with an adult is an “event” rather than a character defect (more than once). If the latter, you need to seriously consider severing ties with that person.  Children are not little adults.  Please take age development phases into account.  For example, most children go through a phase where they lie/embellish.  You must call them on it, each time, so they learn lying isn’t acceptable behavior.  But, just because they lie more than once doesn’t mean they’ll end up in state prison.  Relax.  

Live, Love and Serve,

Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi

 

 

 

 

Junk Drawer Journal

journalAs CEO of my business and my home I always had dozens of Post-it® notes stuck to the message board, my car dashboard, my computer screen, my bathroom mirror, etc… to remind me what my priorities were at any given moment and to record my random thoughts.  In fact, managing my Post-It notes was becoming a part-time job!  What a time-waster!  Until I discovered a simple trick that I incorporated into my daily ritual of journaling.  You are spending time, alone, in the quiet of the a.m. (and once more at night) with your thoughts on gratitude and big questions, aren’t you?   You’re not?  Hmmm, more on that later.

Here’s the answer to my Post-It Note overwhelm: I journal it!  It’s quite easy.  I have a self-created 2 pages p/day journal. The left side includes how I start my morning (Analog Only: no email, no screen-time, just sacred quiet time with my coffee and a book older than the Gutenberg press).  I also journal, pray and meditate.  Then I scribe Prayers for Self and Others, What I’m Grateful For, My Big Question of the Day (ask the what, not the why; e.g. What would happen if I…?” vs. Why am I not…?”), and a shortlist of the Top 3 Things That Will Make Today Great.  Is that not a great way to start the day or what? journalBut, on the right-hand side, I’ve titled the top of the page “JUNK DRAWER”. The sub-title is: Thoughts, To-Do’s, Scribbles, …   Why “JUNK DRAWER”?  Decades ago, to tame the paper tiger, I gave myself permission to have 1 junk drawer that I would put whatever-needs-attention in.   It could be dentist appointment reminders, coupons, quotes or thoughts on Post-It notes, gift ideas, etc. But, I would only get to it once a week or month. Or longer.  So, it became stuffed. The idea was good but the execution didn’t work for me because it was out of sight, out of mind.

The “Junk Drawer” Journal works because I write everything that comes to mind.  I don’t care how it looks or sounds. Its purpose is to just to get my to-do’s, my priorities, my worries, off my mind.  I’ve added my (short) grocery list, recollections about a gnarly conversation I had with Rick (my husband), list of calls to make, a cute memory of my children, household tasks that needed completing, conversations that need to happen at work, etc.  Sometimes I create 3 columns (1 for each business: CastCoverz! and Till Business Do Us Part and 1 for personal) and put what I need to do under each main category.  Sometimes I scribble a flow-chart or a picture of what I want my bathroom remodel to look like.  Most of the time it’s a combination.                                                                                                                                                                   smart-phone

But, here’s my secret to really make it work: I whip out my smartphone and take a picture of my 2-page journal spread.  That way, I can refer to the picture throughout the day!  FYI…this is for my eyes only and I don’t allow myself to judge me.   Caveat:  I still use an exhaustive daily planner.  Hey, no judging.  I have 2 businesses! 🙂 But, this works because my journaling is a random, free thought process.  Too many times, my “Junk Drawer” thoughts just don’t belong in my daily planner but they still took up space in my head.  Getting them out of my head and on paper in a structured, yet creative, format allowed my brain to focus on my important tasks.  

Journaling in your handwriting vs. typing sparks creativity.  Actually creating a journal in your hand is the very essence of creativity.  I would love to know how you keep track of your random thoughts, below.  Remember to always keep your comments family friendly, helpful and kind. We all need more of that.

BONUS:  Did you zoom in on how I end the day?  I write down nice things done throughout the day by me and others.  That always brings a smile to my face. Then I write down my failures and regrets (notice I intentionally don’t give them a lot of room).  Then I examine them, learn (from them) and turn (from them).  Then I give them over to God.  If I see a pattern developing of the same failure or regret, then I do some deeper soul-searching.   At then end of each night, I give myself the gift of an “Amish Hour” (and extended version of my 20+ minutes of Analog-Only A.M.)  No screen time in any form.  Just a good book.  But, I confess, I usually have classical music playing.  I sleep deeper, have more creative/less frightening dreams, and wake up refreshed, ready and excited to take on a new day!

Live, Love and Serve,

Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi

 

 

 

How Healthy is Your Business?

healthy businessHopefully, you check in with your doctor and dentist, annually.  You might even schedule an every 6 month cleaning at the dentist, and some annual required exams, after a certain age, or if you’re in a high-risk category.  But, have you considered doing the same for your business?  Your business has a pulse and you need to keep it strong to withstand market volatility and crises (they happen to every business, so it’s best to be prepared).   Following are some key performance indicators (KPI’s) or metrics that every business owner needs to know:

  • Financial Metrics

Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, P&L are the basics.  Make sure debt as % of revenue and net income are the basics, too.  Whittle that number down every quarter.   Be sure to include industry specific metrics, too.  As a manufacturer, I need to know inventory turns and labor rates. Another financial metric I watch is the funding level of an emergency account to the equivalent of 6 months expenses.  My favorite game changing book is Profit First, by Michael Michalowicz. Mike challenged all my assumptions about sales (expenses) = profit. Bottom-line?  Profit shouldn’t be considered last.  My company is leaner and more profitable since I read the book (about 18 months ago).

  •  Professional Development

Education, Leadership Training, Coaching, Motivation and Success, Industry Certifications.  No one operates in a vacuum.  As your company’s leader, you need to get out of the office and be among your peers.  In addition, you need to stay abreast of the latest thought leaders.  Have at least 2 business books going at all times. Commit to reading 2 dozen business books a year. Don’t know where to start?  Read E-Myth, by Richard Gerber.  A seminal business classic.  He distills why we all need to process our business functions.  Well-told story, too.  Take an on-line course or two to improve your skills and hire a coach; a good great one.  Your hand should be shaking when you are hitting that “enter” button to pay for their fees.

  • Employee Metrics

Appreciation, Retention and Development Programs;  Sales p/employee, employee hours (sick-time, overtime, accrued vacation time); company benefits, timed response and satisfaction rates for employees directly involved with customers.  Employee manual updates need to be logged, as well.

  • Customer Metrics

Without your customers you wouldn’t have a business.  So you better know this one up, down and sideways.    I know my customer demographics and my end-user stats (they are not always the same).  I measure the # of orders, the AOV (Average Order Value), LTV (Life-Time Customer Value [tip: breakout the profit, too!]), CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), CPC (Cost p/conversion), conversion % (for e-commerce stores; otherwise closure rate), CRM (customer relationship management) stats, return %, pipeline stats (# of visitors to store, sources of customers, etc…), social media stats (# of followers, posts, re-tweets, etc…) every week.

  • Process Metrics

Process is more than IT or engineering.  Process metrics monitor, evaluate and improve processes company wide. From the simple, how employees answer the phone, to how refunds are processed, to the more sophisticated EDI for inventory controls, process is part of every company.  You think this doesn’t apply to your company?  Again, I encourage you to read E-Myth.  Mr. Gerber takes us on an entrepreneurial journey with Sarah, a fictional small town pie-maker.

  • Sales & Marketing Metrics

Though closely linked to Customer Metrics, classic numbers to follow are ROAS (return on ad spend) for each channel/medium, # of blog entries (and stats on those [tip: watch what’s effective and replicate it]), sales p/employee and p/account executive.  Do you have a metric to track follow up of calls, brochures, inquiries? Dollars are left on the table if you have no formal process system.

  • Strategic Metrics

I left the most important for last.  You need to spend time working on your business not just in it.  If you take 1 day p/month, off-site, to just think, dream and strategize about your business you will be farther ahead 1 year from today.

Things to think about are: where do I want the business to be in 1 year?  What does it look like? How can I get there?  Who or what will I need to get there?  Who are our customers? What do they look like? What do they need?  What can I give them?  What isn’t being met in the marketplace today? What strategic partnerships should I pursue?  What do they look like? How do I get there?  How are we perceived in the community? What can I do for my employees? What’s my exit strategy? Should I sell? To whom? My employees? A competitor or strategic partner? How do I prepare for that now?  Will I leave it as a legacy for my family?  Should I liquidate?

At bare minimum, you should review the above metrics at least once p/month.  Only then can you address problematic trends, or dedicate more resources to solutions that are working.  Once you have them identified consider consolidating them to a dashboard on your computer screen.  Domo and GuidingMetrics are two I like. All the info and basic stats in one place changes the way you manage your business and your team.

What did I miss?  Post your helpful comments below.

 

Is it abuse? A definition, 5 types, and 2 two questions.

abuse

Abuse is often over-used or used incorrectly. And yet, when it is needed to be said, the word isn’t uttered due to shame. It’s time to set the record straight. The word “abuse” is defined by Merriam-Webster as

  • a corrupt practice or custom

  • improper or excessive use or treatment

  • a deceitful act , deception

  • language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily

  • physical maltreatment

Abuse comes in many forms.  Following are 5 major types:

  • Physical (when physical touch hurts.  Period. Yes, hair pulling, pushing and grabbing is abuse.  It’s that simple.  Throws a punch to the wall next to you also counts.  That is intimidating and not safe.)

  • Emotional (bullying, threatening and intimidating behaviors; you don’t feel safe; you feel crushed, minimized, by  the person that’s supposed to love you, limits your/denies you time spent with friends/family.  Unpredictable responses.  Embarrasses you in public. Framing things as you being over sensitive. Blaming you for their bad behavior.)

  • Financial (withholds information about and/or access to money; stealing/embezzling from accounts for their expenses and not telling you about it)

  • Verbal (when words said by others hurt and/or leaves you feeling confused.  Yelling/screaming/calling you names.)

  • Sexual (forces you to do something you don’t want to do)

    Regardless of the type, they are all difficult to experience.    The first step is to define it for what it is.   For example, you must first accept you are being verbally abused when someone swears at you and calls you names.  You have to say to yourself, “I am being verbally abused” and accept your reality, before you can confront the perpetrator.  But, what if you aren’t sure?  What if you were asleep in the back of the car and he started throwing popcorn at you and laughing.  Is that emotional abuse (embarrassing you in public)? No.  Juvenile? Yes.

    I will add to be framed “abuse” it needs to be a trend or chronic situation, in all abuse categories, with the exception of the physical.  One-and-done is all it takes and the police are called.   Please have some common sense about this.  Don’t count opening the kitchen cabinet door in your face, accidentally, four years ago as abuse.  Especially if nothing remotely similar has happened. That was an accident; and a funny memory you two can share.

Still wondering if is abuse or not?  The best way is to get educated about the topic.  If the dictionary definition didn’t help, here are some excellent resources to get you started (emphasis on emotional and verbal abuse because it isn’t as obvious or defining as physical abuse):

  • The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (Christian perspective on the verbally/emotionally abusive marriage) Book and website.  She exposes the subtleties and subliminal attitudes and behaviors of the abuser that so often confuse and conflict the victim.
  • Love is Respect.org website dedicated to helping young people prevent and end abuse, but everyone can benefit.    Fabulous breakdown of the different types of abuse.  Helpful quizzes and resources.   On-line, 24-hour chat.  You have to take a quiz to activate it.
  • 7 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship YouTube video created by Adam LaDolce, of SexyConfidence.  Excellent and entertaining.

Finally, I leave you with what may be the two most important questions to ask yourself to determine if what you’re experiencing is abuse:

  •  Does the person behave appropriately to the circumstances?
  •  How do you feel after an encounter with them?

Please remember to leave your kind words or comments below.

Blessings and Joy,

Doubters and Pouters, Boosters and Backers

boosters and backers“Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are.”  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.  German author and statesman (1800’s)

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn, Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker (late 1900’s)

“You are who you associate with. Look around at your 5 closest friends and that’s who you are.  If you don’t want to be that person, you know what you’ve gotta do.”  Will Smith, actor (contemporary)

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  Unknown

“He who walks with wise friends will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer.” Proverbs 13:20

Timeless advice from all walks of life.  Quick, name the 5 people that you spend the most time with.  How would you categorize them?   As a

  • Doubter and Pouter?

Or as a

  • Booster and Backer?

You need to associate with people that motivate and inspire you, who lift you up.  You need to surround yourself with people that challenge you to be a better you.  Surround yourself with dreamers and doers, movers and shakers, boosters and backers.  But, mostly surround yourself with people who believe in you, especially when you don’t.

Just as important; who are you to the 5 closest people?  Are you a Doubter and Pouter or a Booster and a Backer?

Hug and Shove,

Annette

 

 

Should I start a business in this environment?

start a businessIs there ever a good time to start a business? It, in general, is getting a bad rap these days.  Whether it’s from the masses that don’t understand how (small) business is the engine of this country or it’s from those suspicious (or jealous) about the perks that behemoth companies provide their employees.  Click here for some of the most I-wish-I-had-those creative perks.  Many say starting a business is only for the young (Gen X and technology start-ups are often synonymous). Business is being generalized as greedy and bloated.  In some cases, “they” are right.  But, that’s globalizing.  Business in its purest form creates jobs, provides a needed product or service, pays taxes and makes their local communities better.

If you feel called to start a business, the timing is right in any environment.  Look at these examples:

  • Gerry and Rosie Wilson, in their late 60’s, started a small boutique winery, Wilson Creek Winery, in Temecula, CA, with 20 acres.  Now a multi-generation family business, Wilson Creek Winery has 900 acres, bottles 30,000 cases annually, hosts 1,000 people every weekend and has 75+ employees.  Beyond their winery, tasting room and bottling facility, they have a restaurant, a hotel, and picnic grounds. They are also known as the largest destination wedding event site in Temecula, CA.  They have been recognized and awarded internationally for their famous Almond Sparkling Wine served worldwide and on US naval aircraft carriers.
  • Publix Supermarkets, Columbia Sportswear, Little Debbie Cakes and other recognizable names were started during the Great Depression.  In fact, it may be counter-intuitive, but the % of entrepreneurship eclipses the unemployment rate when our economy tanks.
  • Joy Mangano started her household product mega-business as a struggling, single mother of 3, by inventing a mop. She persevered against naysayers, detractors and product failures.
  • And then there’s me, Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi, founder of CastCoverz!, and author of the soon to be published book, Till Business Do Us Part, How to Thrive in Your Business & Survive Your UnSupportive Husband, and author of this blog, survived and even thrived among unbelievable odds.  Not only was I in a battle with my emotionally unsupportive husband on a near daily basis, but my first (and only) business partner went MIA after just 3 months then requested a big check or a law-suit (buyer beware: don’t go into business with friends without a Partnership Agreement; especially friends that have similar skill sets).  Then, my first run of manufactured goods was flawed and couldn’t be altered or sold (another expense).  Finally, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on my 50th birthday.  All those events took place during my first year of business!

Don’t let anyone denigrate business or your calling to start one.  Going into business is courageous, humbling and noble.  You can either have a business or you can have excuses.  But, you can’t have both.

Hug and A Shove,

Annette