Confessions of a Female Entrepreneur

confessionsRemember when you were in high school and you first started falling in love? Your stomach would flutter, your heart would race and you may or may not stumble on your words. All at the sight of this magnificent steed.

When I first fell in love, I literally couldn’t focus on anything. I just wanted to talk on the phone all night, send love emails (yes, I am dating myself), spend time together, hold hands, make out, and dream of our future life together.

I’m once again falling in love.

But not with another person…. with starting a business. Starting a business is a lot like falling in love.  It consumes your free time and brain activity. It’s all you can think about, talk about, and dream about. I’m seriously planning my business and I’s future together.

Yet, this has all led me to certain realizations in my professional life. And frankly, I have some confessions to make.

Confession 1:  Being a female in business is freaking hard.

Business has historically been very much an “old boy’s club.” It’s changing. Thank God. But that doesn’t mean it’s fully changed. Look at the number of female CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies– less than 5%!  This means women have to work harder, grind more, and hustle harder than men.

Confession 2: My personal life isn’t as important as my business.

Do I feel bad? Sure. My family, friends, fiance and dog mean the world to me. Thankfully, I have have a great support system and they understand that for a period of time in my life, this is my focus.

Confession 3: I have no balance in life.

I have strong feeling about balance in life. I think it’s a crap ploy to get people to buy into this unattainable level of perfection. When you have a goal, your vision is focused on getting this accomplished. When I decide on a goal, I get laser focused vision. I don’t see anything else in my life. If you are training for a competition, there is going to be a period of time that you are out of balance in life. Get over it.

Confession 4: I have trust issues.

Like seriously big trust issues. I insist on creating my own website, my own marketing materials, my own business strategy, blah blah blah. Basically, I do it all. But these are all symptoms of a deeper root. I don’t like to trust people. I put up a wall and guard it with my life. Why? Because people can suck. I try to surround myself with like minded, positive, motivational, and crazy successful people. Try to go find 5 of these A-team friends. It’s hard! There are more haters in the world than lovers. Many people cannot truly appreciate your successes, celebrate your happiness, and bring good things into your life. They get envious of your successes, rain your parade and share their negative mindsets. Knowing that there are more zombies than people in the world (like my Walking Dead reference?), leads me to being very very selective about the information I share, the friends I make, and the time I spend with people. Why would you share your deepest thoughts and dreams with just anyone? This is a trust level that not everyone deserves access to.

Confession 5: My blog sucks.

This one I’m sorry for. 😦 I love you all enjoy writing and sharing my random thoughts; but as I mentioned earlier I don’t believe in balance and sadly, my blogging has been affected by this. So yes, my blog is probably borderline sucky lately and now you all know why.

These are my confessions.

Xoxo,

Whitney

6 Tips to Successful Budgeting

It is friggin’ hard to stick to a budget. Seriously, I have days where I compare my beginning of the month budget with my actuals and shake my head. Guess what? It’s okay!! You aren’t perfect and I’m most certainly not perfect. However, most months I do extremely well. From my literally 4+ years of living on a budget I have learned some tips.

1) Create a new budget before the month begins.

Every month create a new budget. Why? Because every month is different. Next month I have to renew my car registration at $60. A budget is just a plan that you put in place telling your money where you want it to go. Is it perfect? No, but it’s better to aim at something then nothing at all.

2) Never go to the grocery store hungry.

You can and will buy way too many items that are not necessary by any means.

3) Be realistic.

If you buy a latte every day, don’t set yourself up for failure by saying I will not buy a latte and bring my coffee from home. C’mon! Be realistic. Ease your way into these things. Try setting a goal of bringing coffee from home 2 a week. We you start realizing how easy this is you can start buying coffee once a week. Wing yourself off of your habits.

4) Go on a cash diet.

If you have tried sticking to a budget time after time and still can’t seem to control your habits. Try going on a cash diet. Create envelopes that have each category of your budget. Have one for Housing, Utilities, Phone, Gym, Entertainment, etc. Put ONLY the cash amount you agreed upon into the envelope and use only that amount. No stealing from the other envelopes!

5) Write your budget down.

This is a must. By simply writing a budget you are light years ahead of the average person. You cannot possibly remember the amounts you agreed on before the month begins. (If you can, please contact me- I could use those super power skills for tests!) There is a magical thing that happens when you write things down. You create an expectation for yourself, an agreement so to speak, that you are taking a extra step to controlling your destiny. Keep in mind that you must actually review your budget.

6) Put a copy of your budget on top of your debit card.

When I was trying to get out of debt and live on a tight budget I found that if I put my budget in my wallet, on top of my debit card, I was forced to remember the goal I was striving for. Seriously, try to by a cup of coffee guilt free when you have  your budget staring you in the eye. It makes you 150% more conscientious of your purchases.

Hopefully these 6 tips will help you achieve your New Year’s resolution of managing your money more effectively, getting out of debt, or just bumping up your savings more.

Comment below and share your tips to successful budgeting.

Xoxo,

Whitney

Happy Thanksgiving (Eve)

Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite days. Getting together with the family, I find myself reflecting on how lucky and grateful I am to have my family all alive and well. Besides being grateful for the relationships I have in my life,  I also remind myself of my achievements throughout the year. It’s amazing how much you achieve when you put your mind into something and make a decision to do it. And while achieving your goals is one of the coolest things you can ever do for yourself, it’s also vital that you stop, take some time, and be proud of what you have done.

I thought I would share with you some of the things I’m thankful for right now.

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1. Tony

God blessed me 10-fold by giving me a man who truly supports my crazy ideas, fit lifestyle, incessant desire to travel, and ridiculous love for animals.

2. My family

I am beyond blessed to have 5 seriously cool siblings, and a truly amazing mom. They make every family get together so entertaining, and I am so grateful we put a special emphasis on spending time together.

3. Patrick

My puppy, dance partner, and snugga buddy. After losing Ms. Minners in July, I am especially thankful for Patrick’s good health.

4. The opportunity to start my own business

I am blessed to turn one of my passions into a business and pursue it with all my heart.

5. Everyone that reads my blog!

You guys rock and make me smile with all the emails, comments and interactions I have with you. Thank you.

This Thanksgiving, take 15 minutes and reflect on your surroundings, your relationships, your life changes, your puppies ( I had to throw that one in there :)), and just be content. For one day don’t strive to do anything but enjoy the people around you.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Xoxo,

Whitney

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

Being successful requires you to step out of your comfort zone and get comfortable with discomfort. I have met many people that want to start a business, get a new job, be comfortable in social situations, or even be more adventurous, but they don’t actually do any of these things. Why?

Fear. Read the rest of this entry

My Goals…even the embarrassing ones

table rock

One of my previous goals of getting my Table Rock time up and down to 35 minutes.

I’m an avid goal setter. It’s actually fairly ridiculous the magnitude of goal setting I partake in. There’s something so liberating about crossing off a once dreamed upon idea. A reward that only the dedicated experience.  Looking back on lists of crossed off goals really helps put things into perspective. You were busier bettering your life than you thought you were.

I’m also a big believer in accountability and publicly talking about your goals. There’s something about not wanting to be the boaster that flounders in laziness, the wantrepreneur that never creates their empire, or the person eating potato chips off their tummy as they watch The Biggest Loser.

This is why I decided to publicly share my goals (even the embarrassing ones).  I also pride myself on setting goals so large, that I slightly blush when I talk about them. But, there isn’t an ounce of doubt in my mind that I won’t achieve them all.

Outlandish Goals Deadline
1. Speak at a TED Event apply for by 12/31/2016
2. Be on the Olympia stage competing attempt to by 12/31/18
3. Build my business that teaches young adults success skills to the level that it makes me more than I make today. 12/31/2014
4. Be in a magazine. (one for fitness, one for business) 12/31/2015
5. Write a book 7/15/2014
6. Read 12 non-fiction books per year. 10/1/2014

Clarity, not Convolution

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“If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself. “

-Albert Einstein

What Happens

I find this happening in speeches, presentation (ESPECIALLY school presentations), everyday talk, news articles, pretty much anytime something is being communicated. They convolute the process. What is convolution? Convolution (con-vuh-loo-shon):  something that is very complicated and difficult to understand

What happens when filler words and elaborated details are expressed?Complete and udder boredom and some serious convolution. People get confused. Explaining a simple or complicated concept to people does not require a lot of wordiness.

I recently worked on a work project where an email with going to be sent out of over 600 people. Key points with an email:

  • People don’t read everything in an email
  • People hate getting emails
  • People skim and scan for important points

So, knowing this, would you write a description for everything? Noooope, yet in this case yes, they did.

Rules of Thumb

Rule of thumb #1: K.I.S.S

My favorite acronym is KISS.

Keep

It

Simple

Stupid

If you have something to say, say it simply. Don’t try and elaborate or reiterate your point with so many filler words. It’s confusing, it’s hard to follow, and most importantly it retracts from your message.

Rule of thumb #2: Clarity is the key

People are intelligent and can understand a simple message. They cannot understand a simple message diluted by wordiness.

Clarity is the key.  We live in a world that is information overloaded. Naturally, when everyone has access to the same information, it’s not about how much detail can you provide, it’s about how can I present this message with simplicity and clarity?

Thanks for reading! I appreciate you all so very much. 🙂

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Meet Patrick….and Me (via Video)

My first ever video introduction. Hope you enjoy it. Patrick is seriously learning some cool tricks too. May post another video showing  you his tricks.