The Power of AND

Power of ANDThe Power of AND is often lost in our black or white, left or right,  pass or fail world, what happened to AND?  Why is it either/or?

Did you know you can have a business AND happy customers (not to mention employees)?   How about eating (some) junk food AND eating healthy?  Yes, you can have a beautiful garden AND have someone else tend to it.  Did you know you can have a thriving business AND a healthy marriage? Did you know you can believe in the power of God AND the eloquence of science? Did you know you can care for the poor AND be a capitalist? Did you know you can state your opinion AND have a conversation with a dissenter without hating (them vs you, you vs. them)?

AND takes courage.  AND takes presence of mind. AND takes work.  AND takes intention. AND requires a higher level of brain power. AND requires more of us. But, anything worthwhile is worth working on.


Is your business your lover?

Is Your Business your lover?Ahh, February, the manufactured month of celebrating love.¬† ūüôā Remember the first few months of being in love? ¬†All you could do is think of HIM. Talk about HIM. ¬†Dream about HIM. Give HIM your best. Be your best for HIM. ¬†Think about out-of-the-box creative plans¬†for HIM. ¬†Spend a lot of time with HIM even to the point of forgetting you had a life outside of HIM. And boy, did HE respond. ¬† It was thrilling, exhilarating, even seductive. ¬†You’re smiling, aren’t you?

Now, let’s replace HIM with YB, aka Your Business.¬†All you can do is think of YB. ¬†¬†Talk about YB.¬† Dream about YB. Give YB¬†your best effort, attitude, and hours. ¬†Be your best for YB. ¬†Think about out-of-the-box¬†creative plans¬†for YB. ¬†Spend a lot of time with YB¬†even to the point of forgetting you had a life outside of YB. ¬†And boy, did YB¬†respond. ¬† It was thrilling, exhilarating, even seductive.¬†Are you smiling? Or squirming? ¬†Listen to what your body is telling you.

If you’re like me, you love to go to work, you love to work in your work and you love to work on your work. ¬† It’s the place where the amount of effort you put in is often rewarded by a factor of X. ¬† For me, work is my happy place. I¬†invest in my¬†employees, my¬†customers,¬†my¬†systems, and¬†my¬†product/services. ¬†And by invest, I don’t mean just money. ¬†I mean I¬†invest all my¬†resources, including my¬†most valuable of resources, my time and energy. ¬†But the real seduction? ¬†I can create the environment and a culture. Talk about an ego boost! I’ve¬†been described as a¬†workaholic. The term has even been hurled at¬†me, repeatedly. ¬†¬†It’s something I¬†wear as a badge. ¬†A big badge. And I’m proud of it.

But, that’s the problem. ¬† When pride enters the picture, love leaves. ¬†The devotion I have to my¬†business may be a source of provision, a creative outlet, and in my case, a safe and happy place (read: an escape from the hurt at home). But, denying those that love me, and sacrificing my¬†most important relationships can¬†have devastating consequences. ¬†Give to your business. ¬†But, save the best for those that love you and those you love.

I look forward to reading your helpful comments and observations, below.

Your Happy Warrior (a person undiscouraged even in the face of difficulties; a plucky crusader),

Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi

Everywhere I turn, I hear anti-business sentiment. Should I start a business in this environment?

start a businessBusiness 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