Book Review

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama

I don’t typically read autobiographies. However, I love hearing and watching her speak. This book was in my reading list a few months ago when we were working on our book club reading list. I knew then that I would be buying this book.

While the book was a touch longer than most books I read, I was excited to get started. I downloaded the audible version so I can listen while cleaning, driving and working out. It’s a bonus that Michelle Obama read her own book.

The book stated off with her at a young age. It’s an age where I’m surprised she remembered with such detail. She told a lot about her life as she grew up. She discussed her high school years, her college years and her post college years. She shared her feelings in great detail.

As the book moved from “Becoming Me” to “Becoming Us”, she laid the ground work for her meeting Barrack Obama. Again she spoke in great detail about how she felt about him and their relationship. She described how they moved from him being in the senate, to running for congress to running for President. I don’t really know what it was specifically bout Chapter 17, but that chapter warmed my heart and almost bought me to tears.

She followed “Becoming Us” up with “Becoming More”. This section focused on the remaining time she spent as First Lady and moving out of the White House. I loved the way she told the story of her life. It made me laugh, cry and cringe. I couldn’t get upset, because she handled it with stride. It was very encouraging to see where she came from and where she ended up. I love how she is confident enough to share her feelings of love and hatred.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I really enjoyed listening to he audible version. It allowed you to hear from Michelle Obama herself. Overall, a great read!

Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Wrapping Up 2018

Well here we are, in the final weeks of 2018.  I hope you all have had an excellent year.  I’m looking forward to see how you all end the year with a bang.  It seems as if 2018 has flew by.  I originally thought the year was moving very slow until I looked up and saw that it was already October, then N2vember and now December.  Would you agree?

I took a moment to look at my vision board for this year and was pretty satisfied at what I accomplished this year, even with my setbacks.  Before I looked at my board, I sat back and thought about what I’ve done this year, and initially, I didn’t think I had completed much.  When I did look at my board, I saw just how much on my board I did accomplish.  Normally I hang my vision board up so I can see it daily, but this year, I never did hang it up.  Still, I made sure I had a visual on my phone and other devices.

For many of you, this is your extra busy season.  Business increases across the board just about.  For some, it’s your chance to relax.  If you’re not an entrepreneur then you’re probably busy on the other end, shopping, preparing for family and friends.  Whatever you’re doing the rest of the year, end it with bang.  Enjoy it to the fullest.

How will you be wrapping up the year and starting the new year for you and your business?  Are you running specials or just boosting a special product or service?  Have you already created your plans for 2019?  For me, I’ve written my plans, looked over them, and made changes already.  I even have my 2019 hashtags.  They are #AlwaysFindAWay and #FollowYourBliss.  I’m not sure where I heard that at, but it hit a cord with me.  From the time I heard it, it stuck with me.  I made sure I immediately stored it in my notes as a reminder.

Some of the general broad things I plan to do:

  • Increase my photography business
  • Finish medical transcription class
  • Travel More
  • Do more creative projects
  • Read More
  • Network More
  • Build my team
  • More in person Friend and/or Business Dates
  • Cater to myself more
  • #AlwaysFindAWay
  • #FollowYourBliss

Fall TV

Fall is here. Most of the fall TV shows have already premiered. There are some that premiere late. Today I’ll share with you which shows I’m watching and which ones I’ve dropped. I’ll also share the ones I’ve tried.

WATCHING:

  • Criminal Minds – They are doing a good job even without some of the main characters we grew to love. I’m loving the newer cast too.
  • NCIS – I’m missing Abby and Reeves, but it’s still a good show.
  • NCIS LA – Still loving this show as well.
  • Football – what is there to say.
  • New Amsterdam – I’m loving this new show. I’m sure they’ll bring some romance in it, hopefully it won’t have all sex and drama.

SOON TO START:

  • Flash – I enjoyed the premiere I just watched. However, I hope Flash doesn’t become so needy. We will see.
  • Supergirl – I’m on the fence about this season. I don’t care her, I just like the rest of the cast.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – I like the cast connections and their disorganization at times.
  • Arrow – I prob will only watch it because of the crossovers.

DROPPED:

  • NCIS New Orleans – Just no. I barely finished the season last year. Just not working for me.
  • MacGyver – I don’t really know why, but I was just bored trying to watch it this season.

TRIED:

  • 911 – While this was good, it’s way too emotional. These 911 situations bring tears to my eyes. I just can’t.
  • FBI – I couldn’t event get past the premiere.
  • Hawaii Five-O – I’m actually playing catchup and it’s kind of annoying. I get that McGarrett is the main character, but why does he have to be so selfish???

Waiting To Exhale

I’ve been wanting, or rather waiting to exhale for a minute.  I didn’t know the best way to do it.  Don’t worry, I don’t plan to be vicious.  I also won’t be calling out names, that’s never nice.  If you feel guilty, that’s probably means you are guilty.  I’m just saying.

So, some of you know I had total knee replacement surgery on September 4th.  Most of the people around me knew about that about a month before.  Trust me, I was counting down the days.  I was in so much pain, I was so ready for it.  So, what I don’t understand is people who act all surprised.  I don’t want a pity party, you don’t have to call, text or visit.  All that don’t bother me, it just shows me who’s real in my friends are and who’s not.

If you don’t text, call or visit, don’t act all concerned when you see me or see something I post because all of sudden you realize you haven’t seen me in a while. One thing I can’t stand is fake concern or caring.  No, I don’t expect or need my phone blowing up as I’m recovering (even tho it already is), however if you truly cared, I would have heard from you at some point.  I don’t need nor want fake friends or acquaintances in my circle.  I need true friends and business networking partners.  Even though I’m recovering I’m still reaching to those that are shut in.  Maybe I can’t drive just yet, but they know I care because I reach out to them, I ask questions to find out how they really are doing, because I really do.

My advice to everyone, if you have a friend, co-worker, or team member that will be down for a bit, don’t wait for them to contact you.  Show some genuine care and concern.  Reach out to them. Some of them may not have the care I have.  They  may actually need something or some help.   I know we all lead busy lives, but taking a few minutes so show you care (and not hindsight caring either).

I’ve just felt the need to share that. The need to exhale has been sitting with me for a few days.  Needed to have that exhale.

Expressing My Creativity

There’s one thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years.  Whats that?  That if I don’t allow myself to let creativity flow then I get very grumpy.  I won’t say depressed, but I do notice a change in myself.  For me, I have many outlets for my creative juices.

Here are a few ways  I express my creativity:

  • Photography – This always make the list.  There are so many ways to be creative with photography.  It’s fun to learn new techniques and work with different people.  Being an introvert it helps me to connect with people when I take their photos.  (Now who’s ready for a photo shoot?  Let’s be creative!)
  • Writing – I’ve been writing since 1996.  My writing partner/husband got me started with poetry.  Now I do poetry, very short stories (much to the dismay of my book club!), and blogs (such as this one).  All of these allow me to say the things I may not always say in person.  It also allows me to have fun while being very creative.
  • Crafts – This is very broad, as this list by it self can get really long!!! I love many forms of crafting.  I’ve tried some that I absolutely love.  Others, not so much, but would try it again.  Then there are others I won’t ever do again!
  • Baking – It’s been a while, but I do enjoy baking a sweet dish.  90% of the time I try to make them from scratch.

How do you express your creativity?

Communication Skills

Definition of COMMUNICATION:

“The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

We communicate everyday and in many forms. Some of those forms include:

  • Verbal (You listen to a person to understand their meaning)
  • Non-Verbal (Observe a person and determine their meaning)
  • Written (Read their meaning)

When we communicate we want to make sure our message is heard and coming across the right way.  When they don’t things can go very wrong.  To help us along the way I have some communication tips to help with improving our communication skills.

According to the 7 Cs, communication needs to be:

  1. Clear -When writing or speaking to someone, be clear about your goal or message. What is your purpose in communicating with this person? If you’re not sure, then your audience won’t be either.
    To be clear, try to minimize the number of ideas in each sentence. Make sure that it’s easy for your reader to understand your meaning. People shouldn’t have to “read between the lines” and make assumptions on their own to understand what you’re trying to say.
  • Concise -When you’re concise in your communication, you stick to the point and keep it brief. Your audience doesn’t want to read six sentences when you could communicate your message in three. Ask yourself:
    • Are there any unnecessary sentences?
    • Have you repeated the point several times, in different ways?

    Are there any adjectives or “filler words” that you can delete? You can often eliminate words like “for instance,” “you see,” “definitely,” “kind of,” “literally,” “basically,” or “I mean.”

  • Concrete – When your message is concrete, your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them. There are details (but not too many!) and vivid facts, and there’s laser-like focus. Your message is solid.
  • Correct -When your communication is correct, your audience will be able to understand it. And correct communication is also error-free communication. Make sure your message is correct by asking yourself the following questions:
    • Do the technical terms you use fit your audience’s level of education or knowledge?
    • Have you checked your writing for grammatical errors? (Remember, spell checkers won’t catch everything).
    • Are all names and titles spelled correctly?
  • Coherent – When your communication is coherent, it’s logical. All points are connected and relevant to the main topic, and the tone and flow of the text is consistent.
  • Complete -In a complete message, the audience has everything they need to be informed and, if applicable, take action.
    • Does your message include a “call to action,” so that your audience clearly knows what you want them to do?
    • Have you included all relevant information – contact names, dates, times, locations, and so on?
  • Courteous – Courteous communication is friendly, open and honest. There are no hidden insults or passive-aggressive tones. You keep your reader’s viewpoint in mind, and you’re empathetic to their needs.

Do you have any additional tips on proper communication?

Leadership

Leadership is very important in business, even more so when you’re looking to move up in the ranks or run your own business. There are many qualities that make up a great leader. Just because you’re a supervisor, manager, boss or any other title, doesn’t mean you’re a leader. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to have any of those positions to be a great leader!

Managers who show great leadership qualities can inspire their teams to accomplish amazing things. Instead, what we typically find in the work place is mangers and team leaders people tend to not trust because things like unethical behavior, not teaching and training, and their lack of loyalty.

Some basic qualities that embodies leadership are:

  • Awarness
  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Optimisim
  • Honesty
  • Inspiration

If you have those qualities then you are on your way to being a great leader.  Forbes listed eight additional qualities that essential as well:

  • Sincere enthusiasm — This is something that can’t be faked.  You want your team to follow you, be sincere about the enthusiasm you show.
  • Integrity — A true leader shows integrity in ALL things at ALL times.  There should never be a question of your integrity with your team.  You do what’s right all the time, regardless of what’s going on and who is around.  Once that trust is broken, it’ll be hard to recover from that.
  • Great communication skills — I love the way Forbes put it “Poor communication can lead to poor outcomes.”  You as a leader need to be able to motivate, instruct and discipline those you are in charge of.  You can’t do that if you can’t communicate in a proper way.
  • Loyalty — Without this, you have nothing as a leader.  You want your team to be loyal, then you need to be loyal to your team.  To be a great leader this must be understood and shown.
  • Decisiveness — You make decisions not just because you’re empowered to because of your position, instead be willing to take on the risk of decision making.  Always be ready and able to make a decision.  Without that, you will fail.
  • Managerial competence — Just because you are good at your job, a good worker, understanding the company goals and processes, doesn’t mean you can inspire, motivate, mentor, and direct as a leader need to be.
  • Empowerment — A great leader has the willingness to empower their team because you trust they are up for any challenge.  Once your team know and understand that they are empowered they will be willing to make decisions that will benefit the good of the company.
  • Charisma — People are more likely to follow the lead of those that they actually like.  To be charismatic is important in being a good leader.  Without that, honestly, you’ll only be sub par.

These are some basic qualities on being a great leader.  Over the next few months I’ll be sharing some more information and tips on leadership.

I’ve been doing some serious mediating the last few days on my next moves, how to handle them and such. I came to a clear understanding that some things within myself need changing. We know change can be hard, but I’m ready.

One of those changes is the fact that I’m done trying to make time to collaborate with people or teams that say they want to, but put in absolutely no effort or participation without a million and two reminders. Even then you put in all of 1% of effort. Those days are over.

I’m looking for a team that’s ready and able to shake and move. Who’s ready to and able to leave their print on the world. I the board, the street team, and the creators to be ready to grind and hustle on these projects just as hard as I do. Simply put, if you’re not ready, step to the side.

One of the other things I’m doing is ensuring I take my me time. That means keeping all business on a schedule and enjoying life. While I love my family and friends, again, be ready to move when I move. The days of me waiting to do things is over, especially if I planned all of it! I love to go places and try new things. This has always been a passion.

Business Review (JetBlue)

This week I flew JetBlue out of Atlanta to Salt Lake City with a layover in Orlando.

The crew was awesome. Great special assistance service. Easy online check in process. Everyone was very helpful. Not just with me, but I watched the interaction with others too. I appreciated the customer service all the way round. The pilots were great too.

While the flight itself was good, I guess my expectations were a bit too high. When I pay for extra leg room, I kinda expected the seats to be more comfortable too. Otherwise it still made for a cramped trip. This was also the first time I’ve been on a flight that charged for blankets. Maybe it’s across the board now, but to be nickel and dimed isn’t a good thing. That’s in any business. The only other concern I had was the fact that I didn’t hear the information on the date change. If I hadn’t looked at the app or email, I don’t think I would have known. The airport had a sign, but it didn’t have my flight.

Other than that, I enjoyed the flights. Will I fly them again? I won’t say no, simply because they are definitely not the worst. I’ll try to avoid long flights with them for sure.

Comfort: ⭐⭐
Cleanliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer Service: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐