Thursday, April 24, 2014

Comfort is King…or is it?

When talking footwear…comfort is king followed closely by aesthetics and design. However…one place where comfort isn't king…is in life…it really isn't.

Finding a comfortable place seems like ecstasy, at times…but in the land of the lost…which is the land that we roam…each and every one of us…at least at one time or another…comfort is anything but king.      

In my last post, I said I was finally feeling comfortable in my new life…but as I reread my last post…I realized how silly I sounded. I know that being uncomfortable is a must if one wants to progress. Without discomfort we become complacent.

Let's think about this word…un-comfort-able…it means not able to be comforted. It is in those times, when no one is able to comfort you, including yourself…that you either stay the same or change. You ignore it or you don't. un comfort makes you go to places you haven't been…outside of ones comfort zone. If we never go outside of this comfort zone, one will never know how far one can go…we have set limits on ourselves…without realizing it. If one cannot learn this…one stays the same…in the same place, even though things around them are changing. We are stuck…inside of the limits…not outside pushing them.  We put another brick in the wall…instead of tearing it down.

A friend said to me, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose" (quote by Jean Babtiste Alphonse Karr) Translated…the more it changes, the more it's the same thing. At first I thought…that is enough to drive you crazy…and I was right. After you digest the statement…you realize that is SO true. Circumstances can change…but if one does not…the more you stay the same. Einstein is the one that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

In order for that statement to alter…one must see through a different lens and approach being uncomfortable. It is with uncomfortable feelings that we see who we really are. Are we who we say we are or are we who we think we are? Are we who we want to be?

One may say…I am not a lier…but have just told a white lie…therefore…one is a lier. One must look at things in a different light, otherwise…things will remain unchanged, yet appear to have changed.

If we want to change…we must strive to be the person we want to BE...through more than our words, but of our actions.

If we believe we want to change…we must do. Just do it…right? That is how the saying goes. We must believe to receive. Seeing is believing, but tasting is proof. The proof is in the pudding…and if that is the case…pudding doesn't just magically appear. It takes work…separate ingredients blended together to make a new creation. Ask yourself…are you willing to walk in the wild wilderness on the edge of what people know as reality or are you comfortable in the box society planned and paved out for you?

As it occurred today…I was trying to blog a lesson I was learning myself…until something interrupted me…I was not able to continue…the computer was buffering or whatever…so I thought how apropos…I need to take a dose of my own medicine and take action on my to do list and it might as well be now. There is no time better than the present. So I did.

I cleaned. I ran errands. I attended a local business fair. I made a contact and sent a resume. I contacted a business leader for an interview for one of my blogs. I spoke to a patenting company.  I made future progress…despite the interruption that was occurring as I did not intend. Maybe someone was looking out for me…maybe I was looking out for me…either way…I started with a list of ingredients that I needed or rather wanted "to do" and got them done.

So…where is your proof? Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone? Are you ready to do something that you are afraid of or that you keep putting off?

A king needs a queen…It looks like comfort is not the ONE for "him", at least if he is interested in growing up. Say cheese!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Pick one thing and do it well. Hmmmm. That sounds like a good idea.  When we are learning to walk, either for the first time or again…there are many things that we need to coordinate.

Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are going to get.

What I got was an opportunity to interview for the startup bus. The opportunity of a lifetime. Something I whole heartedly wanted to do.

After my last minute interview, that commenced at 7:30pm last night, I was given a challenge to show off my hustle and get on the bus. I already had to change my schedule, which is not uncommon of a thing, people do it all the time to accommodate things they want to do or need to prioritize.

I am a divorced parent who is rebuilding her life. Last night, I was to start my weekend with the kids. I rearranged to have their father keep them until the 24 hour challenge was over. By that time, it was 8pm.

I came up with a fabulous idea on how to hustle and sell a back seat view into the startup bus if I could get 10,000 likes on my Facebook page. My plan was to have a website that marketed myself and this ticket. One option was a free like with access to my blog articles. The next 3 were going to be different levels for purchase of 1.99, 19.99 and 29.99 in conjunction with donating profits to Autism Awareness.

Google is sponsoring a conference in San Francisco for Autism Awareness at the same time the startup bus will be traveling with buses full of entrepreneurs looking to build their skills and teams. I thought that would be a perfect story and matchup, especially since I deal with the Autism spectrum in my family life.

I believed in the mantra of done is better than perfect and pick low hanging fruit to accomplish first. I did that last night. I built a Facebook page and a new blog. I purchased advertising to boost my exposure to my network.

I chose to leave out LinkedIn contacts until I was finished because I wanted this presentation to be as close to perfect as it could be.

I stayed up til 3am working last night. I did spend some time resting my mind, since I worked all day. I slept for 3 hours. I had to wake up this morning and attend a meeting for work, scheduled on my day off, which I took a role in helping to facilitate with the problems that are facing my team. I am not the manager, I am a member of the team, but I stepped up to help out.

After the meeting, I was able to catch the tail end of my childrens basketball games and girl scout outings. By this point, it was noon. I realized that my low hanging fruit was not producing the quantity of likes and shares that I wanted, so of course that was not a good feeling when I realized I really only had 4 hours to complete my project before I had to pick up my children and attend a family dinner by 5pm, even though the cut off was 7:30pm this evening.

After dinner, I dropped off one child at a sleep over and picked one child up for a sleep over at my home. By this point, I am currently exhausted and never really accomplished much.  Needless to say I was irritable and not the life of the party, that was actually being thrown for me.

Picking one thing for this project would have been a better idea, but I chose the low hanging fruit first. In regards to my life, I can't really put obligations on hold and not sleep just to get a spot on this bus. I tried, but it did not prove effective.

If this is what it was going to be on the bus or in life after I continue building my business in full, than I feel as if I would be giving up a life I was finally feeling comfortable in since my divorce.

Working, raising children, working out, building a business and trying to have some semblance of a social life is nearly impossible to do with the hours in the day and by oneself.

The title of this post was validation. What I learned was one, it is really difficult to do ALL of these things I mentioned above when I have obligations and a family life outside of work and business. Since I didn't get the responses I expected, I realized it validated my business idea in yet another way.

My app is a retail app that connects many enterprise retailers with customer profiles where the customer is the lead and gives up info to the retailers voluntarily in order to get what they want and save time. I established that for me, in my network, it was difficult to get people to click a like or a share button for free to help out a friend. All advertisers experience this as well, but the recipients are customers and not real friends.

Today, the click through rates are still at a low rate when you look at how many reaches are sent out, but if a customer profile was leading retailers to things that they wanted and need and were able to find out where and how to get it in ONE place vs. individual retail applications and emails that clutter up your inbox, EVERYONE would be so much happier and get not just a higher click through rate, but conversation and customers will be sure to find what they need and be highly satisfied.

The customers I work with now…I walk many people looking to spend money in a brick and mortar store, because we simply don't have what they want or need, therefore the money is spent elsewhere and the customer is still unhappy because they have to spend time looking to fill the need they have.

As much as this 24 hour hustle feels like an epic failure (I got 55 likes, out of the 10,000 I expected to get if I got cooperation with the Share and Likes and only 9 of those people were my friends…that was eye opening), this has put things into a better perspective for me. I know what is important to keep in my life and not to squander it away because I am looking to change the world by building a business and my business idea was validated in yet another way.

As exhausted as I am, I am thankful for the opportunity to discover more about myself and my business. It seems that this interview process did teach me more than what it originally appeared to do. Left. Right. Left. One foot in front of the other. Somewhere out there is a country that is trying to dream and build and grow. We all need to try and see the forest from the trees and recognize that behind walls exists the power we never realized we had, only if we can take time and realize the best way to move forward is to know what is important to us and learn from our mistakes. Work Life balance is pretty impossible all the time….but for me, those few minutes that I got to see of the basketball game and the girl scout outing, work on this project, meet with my team and go to a gathering given for me gave me a perfect balance in many ways…if I just didn't get only 3 hours of sleep, I wouldn't be so tired.

As for the startup bus and my business idea, we shall see what lies ahead. Ciao for now. ~L

Friday, February 21, 2014

Start up the BUS

Do You Know The Way To Kansas City…or is it…
The way to the VALLEY is through Kansas City?

Van Morrison says, "Pack your bags. We are leaving this morning. We are going to Kansas City."

YouTube Video Channel by: Voss Meister

The Midwest Startup Bus is leaving out of Kansas City and 

YOU are getting a backseat VIP pass by helping me get on that bus.

Laurie Borland

The official page is

Visit. Click. Vote. Send.

YOUR backseat VIP pass AWAITS