Notice the title didn’t ask, “Where is Your Happy Place?”
There is a subtle distinction. But, this subtly packs a wallop. I want you to think about the elements that would be in, part and present at your happy place.
Would laughter, respect, solving a customer problem, horseback riding, your children, to be understood, selling your products, running, picnics, worship, painting, balancing the checkbook, etc…be on your list?
A simple exercise to identify elements that make you happy is to take seven minutes and write down everything that makes you happy.
DO NOT overthink this. This is not about practicality or even responsibility.
Once you have that list, read it over 7 different times over the next 3 days. After allowing your happy elements to percolate in your brain, take your list and identify the top 7. Then rank them in order of importance. Now, add a “p” to the elements you have present and an “a” to the ones that are absent.
Where do your happy elements fit in your life now?
Where do you find them?
How can you add the ones that are absent?
Business has gotten a bad rap, lately. Whether it’s from the masses that don’t understand how (small) business is the engine of this country or some are suspicious (or jealous) about the perks that large multi-national companies provide their employees (Click here for some of the most I-wish-I-had-those creative perks) or a serious lack of understanding from the media by generalizing business as greedy or bloated. But even though some may be, generalizing is globalizing. Some even say starting a business is only for the young (Gen X and technology start-ups are often synonymous). I challenge those naysayers, cynics and pessimists. 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 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.
Your Happy Warrior (a person undiscouraged even in the face of difficulties; plucky crusader),
Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi
If you’re like me, you wish you had a simple formula in responding to others especially during tense times. Use of these 4 words will create success that can change your life. This is critical for everyone, when tested. There was no better test for me than parenting my children. I remember a particularly stressful season with my 2 then young children when I spotted a bumper sticker that read, “Is it Wise, Kind, and Truthful?” Bingo! I had something I could remember and latch on to. But, over time, I realized I said things that just weren’t necessary to verbalize.
This happened on the flip side, too. I heard things that weren’t necessary and detracted from the intent of the conversation. So I added “…and Necessary?” My goal, now, is to have my response meet all 4 criteria. When I follow this, a lot of hurt and pain is avoided; mine and the person I’m communicating with. If what I want to say doesn’t meet all 4, I don’t open my mouth. It really is that simple.
BONUS: If someone says something particularly harsh or puzzling, just ask them, “Was that wise, kind, necessary and truthful?”