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Lifestyle

Transitions

May 3, 2019

This Spring has come in like a lion to be sure. There feels like so much upheaval has happened, and all of it has been so positive that it almost feels surreal in my life.

First, I was let go from my job which I am so grateful for. They did the push that I was not willing to do for my own self-care, so I am especially thankful that time is now over in my life. I’ve transitioned into new phases of my professional life that I’m not ready to share quite yet, but all good things are happening and I feel revitalized in such a way that I haven’t since I’d re-entered the corporate world.

I won’t lie and pretend that the financial security we’d become used to isn’t scary, but Steve and I have finally reached the level of adulthood where we can bob and weave and make due as best as we can…and still have money to splurge on plants (I cannot help this!)

The other transition is finding out that the person who is my oldest/longest-standing friendship (however you say it) is now living their life as queer and transitioning into the opposite gender. At first, it was shocking, as I never envisioned that they would be trans, but I am full of happiness for them. For so many years I was very worried about getting a phone call with devastating news about….things I don’t want to consider ever coming true, so it feels like a weight off my own shoulders to see them genuinely happy and comfortable in their own skin.

Sometimes I reflect on the changes that happen in my life over the span of a year, month, whatever, and so many of them are completely unpredictable. In a past world of mine, that would’ve made me fraught with existential dread and anxiety, but now I feel thankful and excited. Possibilities are endless and there are always new opportunities, and I welcome them into my life

Lifestyle

Today I am thankful

March 18, 2019

I’ve been fairly miserable at my job the past few months, which is a hard position to be in, especially when you’re an advocate for entrepreneurs. I fully admit it was the so-called “golden handcuffs” that kept me there; the lure of the steady paycheck and easy benefits. I always kept my other businesses going, of course, as we all know it’s foolish to rely on one stream of income, but it was a good trade-off of my time.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling a pull that I’ve been scared to face. My businesses make about half of what my job did, but I truly felt I was never giving adequate time to them. I felt like something needed to change, but to jump into the entrepreneur world right now felt foolish. I should maximize what I’ve got and save as much as I can before pulling the ripcord. But I still became tired, worn down, agitated. I knew this fork was coming up the road and I’d have to choose, but I just. couldn’t.

I even went old school and consulted the tarot cards

They said what I needed to hear but still couldn’t leap.

I’ve been doing mantras a lot lately, thanks to a rekindling love affair with self-help and business audio books (I kept running out of podcasts on the way to work). Most recently, my mantra every day has been:

I am a money magnet / money flows to me / Steve and I have a wonderful life / We are self-employed and living on our own terms

Today was different. Today is the day I was let go from my job due to restructuring. I saw the beginnings of it on the wall: when a business is low on funds, marketing is usually an expendable department. They looked at me as they were telling me the news in a way that I think was steeling themselves for when I began to cry.

But I didn’t cry. I said that was fine, that I knew I wasn’t the right fit for this, and when was my last day.

Today the Universe/God/Fate has brought me the opportunity to live the mantra. I have set my intentions for this, and now here is my chance. And I am so happy today.

Lifestyle

Creating a Better, More Organized March So I Can GTFO

March 1, 2019

My life feels like it’s edging towards disarray, and I might need to make some decisions about what it is I truly want in my life. More and more I realize that I am becoming a squarer peg in a hole that is increasingly rounded. I feel overwhelmed, exasperated, and feel like I’m perceived as lazy when I just want to do work I’m proud of. But I’m increasingly shown that quality is not as valued as quantity, or that’s what they think until shit work comes in that doesn’t convert.

But I’m just in a mood, and that doesn’t make for interesting reading. So instead of feeling trapped and having a pity party, I’ve decided to work on an escape plan. It feels a bit hypocritical: I often tout that I chose to go back to the corporate world, which I did, but now it feels like I’ve gone and gotten stuck in it. It’s time to get unstuck.

A younger Megan would’ve hate-quit and let the chips fall where they may, but I’ve got more people that I’m responsible for and plan to keep myself out of the credit debt cycle. I’ve got my speaking gig at the end of the month that I’m looking forward to, as a sort of “got her entrepreneurial groove back” event. I’ve been putting off working on my side business stuff for awhile now, just due to sleep deprivation, but if I want back out of this cycle of corporate life, I’ve got to work for it, damn it.

So here we are, here’s my plan for this month. Very little of this will make sense to you now, but probably will later:

Better Biz School launched

  • Platform
  • Additional plugins
  • logo

Stop Sucking at Marketing Workbook Created

Stop Sucking at Marketing Slide Deck Completed

… webinar recorded

… teaching platform installed

… landing page created for Alt

Stop Sucking at Marketing Videos Filmed, Edited, Uploaded

Gram Crackers redone

  • Video shot
  • Content redone

Day 1 treatment pitch

Finish 6 MB newsletters

Finish 6 BH newsletters

Finish BH Feb videos and publish

Record March BH vids

200 watches shot and listed

200 jewelry listed

1 jewelry lot shot

10 jewelry supplies shot & listed (cleaning out my stash)

5 books shot and listed

5 miscellaneous items shot and listed (adios, death pile of vintage things)

Does this seem like a lot? It feels like a lot of front-loading work, ut will allow me to get some funnels going again like I used to have. And I know the sooner I launch these, the closer I am to opening that escape hatch. Like “Your Money or Your Life” says: work isn’t what defines you, it’s just what you do in exchange for wages and that’s my mantra on shitty work days. I am not the corporate person that I keep trying to make myself out to be. Instead, I am me. But if I want to be me and earn a living that is more than enough, I’ve got to get my shit together and stop relying on the promise that life is easier when my time is subsidized for someone else’s gain.

Lifestyle

Overspending, Goals, and The Dream of Retirement

February 14, 2019

I hate to start with a cliche “I’m going on a no-spend diet, you guys!” but…I’m going on a no-spend diet, you guys.

We just returned from Cancun for our 9 year anniversary (more on that later) and my anxiety at looking at my American Express bill was very high.

In addition, I’ve really been thinking about my life goals and what I want to be when I grow up (note: I’m 35). I try so very hard to embrace the conveniences of corporate life: subsidized health care, 401k matches, steady pay, shutting off at 5 pm, and yet I still have the itch to hate-quit every day. Not that I even hate my job, far from it, but it’s not what I really want for a longterm strategy. I am, for better or for worse, a creative and someone who cringes at the “ass in the seat from 8 am – 5 pm no matter if you have work to do or not.” Consequently, I’m usually in trouble for being away from my desk, and yet somehow my work is done on time…but perceptions are perceptions I guess.

With the addition of this most recent trip way from all of this, I’ve now realized that I need to embrace who I am and lean into my previous goals for early retirement/self-employment again. The problem is, of course, that I have way more skin in the game this time. Being the breadwinner and homeowner means new responsibilities, having to practice better patience, and bide my time. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start a trickle effect into our ultimate goal: Retire completely in 10 years and buy a house in Mexico to spend the winters at, AirBnB-ing it while we’re away (and maybe our current house, too, though I can’t imagine there’s a serious demand for suburbian living in the dead of winter in Upstate NY).

The problem, however, is the lifestyle creep I’ve afforded myself thanks to credit card churning and the perks it offers. We’ve planned and taken very lavish vacations thanks to credit card points, and with my increased salary means a feeling of finally being able to afford ourselves little luxuries. Consequently, my spending has been adding up. Luckily, it’s not to the point where I’ve committed the ultimate sin, paying credit card interest, but has left me with very little to work with in terms of saving and investing. And it’s not even like I’m heading to Givenchy or something, the majority of my purchases come from thrift stores. But the amount of trips adds up, and $30 – $100 several weeks in a row adds up.

Now that we’re home, it’s time for me to clean house, so to speak and go on a spending diet. Ideally, I want to make it till the end of April, but if I can go until Alt. (last week of March) without spending, I’ll be happy. Hell, my original goal was the end of February!

My Rules:

  • Spending on normal bills and groceries is a-okay. Let’s keep it real, my utility companies give 0 fucks about my spending habits, they just want their money.
  • Monthly expenses are okay: Namely, my kickboxing membership and my gym membership
  • Medical expenses are okay: Dr appts are already scheduled
  • Absolutely necessary business expenses are okay: Gotta pay to ship stuff

Cutting Out:

  • Thrift store runs + online thrift shops
  • Amazon (I love you, Amazon)
  • Starbucks
  • Restaurants

End Goals:

  • Knock out at least $7k of debt
  • Have $1k in a separate savings account
  • Invest in 50 more shares of my high-dividend stocks

All in all that’s like $10k of work hence the “end of April” part. More as we go…stay tuned.

Lifestyle

a dry January

January 11, 2019

11 days, and weekends are the worst. Am I able to make it this entire month? One day at a time I guess.

 

I wouldn’t consider myself a heavy drinker, as Smirnoff Raspberry Rose seltzers are my drink of choice and the alcohol content in those is “ish” at best, but I’ve slowly grown to having one every night. While I guess this is no different from someone else having a nightly glass of wine, it began to bother me as it felt like I had lost control of the situation and it was becoming more a requirement than a wind-down. Also there’s little doubt it’s been impeding my weight loss efforts.

 

So I took the popular challenge going around on social media to have a dry January. I think it’s been going as well as can be expected as I’ve gone nearly half a month without a drink and haven’t felt any effects, but I think about it constantly, especially since I have a case of seltzers sitting there in the fridge.   

 

It’s like any food addiction, I guess.

Lifestyle

Streamlining My Business Life

January 8, 2019

The promise of more responsibilities at the day job means I need to take stock of my, er, extracurricular side businesses, and assess what fat can be cut off to save myself a little sanity.

Back in July, I decided to really plan out what 2019 would look like for the home decor blog, as it’s my most precious project and most likely to be the sustainable asset. I worked out an editorial calendar with my blog team to keep expectations clear, and also to feel less like I’m throwing shit on a wall and seeing what blog posts stick. One of the things I’ve had trouble with is coming up with blog ideas on the fly, or I’ll come up with them at the most inopportune times (driving) and quickly forget to write them down. Or they’ll get written into one of my 300 notebooks, never to be seen again.

So now all of 2019 is planned out. Well, the themes for 2019 are planned out, my blog and video topics are only done for Q1, but it’s bloody good progress for me. It might make me groan a little bit to feel like I’ve assigned myself homework, but it removes the brain shut down and gives me a direction.

I’ve also done the same with the business blog, which I’ve revived thanks to my upcoming speaking gig. Which leaves this blog…I don’t really intend to give this blog any sort of “purpose” exactly, as it’s more of a stream of consciousness project for me and I feel like I need one thing that feels uncontrolled.

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