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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Does Your Family Need to Buy Time with You?

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I don’t often read these things on my FB wall, as there are so, so many, and they all have a similar tone, but I’ve seen this one in a couple ways now, and thought I would share.

Let’s call it a break from my RPO stories.

This hit a little close to home, though I can’t say that my boys asked to buy time with me. The other day, my younger son was counting the money in his piggy bank. He had a few $20 bills and a couple $10, and a lot of change. I was helping him put money back in, and he pulled a $20 and a $10 from the pile and set it aside. We put the rest in, and I said, ‘You forgot some.’ He handed it to me and said, ‘I want to give this to you, for the store. You need it.’

After I got over my shock, and resisted allowing the tears to come to the surface, I realized that he must have heard us talking about what we could spend at the grocery store, or something like that. Not that we NEED the extra $30 he was giving me, but in his child’s mind, Mommy and Daddy don’t have enough money, I have some, I’ll share it with them to help the family.

Can you imagine that? I don’t recall ever having these thoughts when I was younger, but then again, I don’t know that my parents ever really said ‘We can’t afford it’, they just made things happen, or convinced us we wanted something cheaper. I despise having to tell my children that phrase.

Read this story, and see if it hits you. If it does, you may want to catch up on my RPO stories, and see if you should start looking for a different way. There is nothing wrong with working hard, but who are you truly working for?

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Full Speed Ahead, Next Stop: Creativeville #RPO #PlanB

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How was your weekend? Did you enjoy it? Did you perhaps go somewhere, and really not want to return to work this morning? Welcome to the world of billions.

I’m trying to end that cycle for myself, and anyone else that wants to jump on the train.

I saw this blurb today:

USAtoday.com writes: By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85% of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

I’ve been through my bout, never want to go back. Still climbing out of it, as a matter of fact. Why is it that the majority of people must have a negative experience affect their life before they will create a ‘cushion’ for themselves? Before they realize it is even necessary? Are you one of those people? Are you going through life every day, thinking to yourself, I have a good job, comfortable life, generally have no problems with money (people that live paycheck to paycheck view themselves as comfortable because their paycheck is big enough to cover what they currently want). What happens when you get hurt, can’t work, or even worse, what would happen if you died? If your spouse died? If there was no life insurance? And I’m not talking AFLAC stuff here.  Morbid? Yep. Reality? Oh, yes.

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Then There Was That Time I Helped a Relative #RPO

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People have wondered why I’m so open about my failures. It isn’t because I’m ‘ok’ with FAILING itself. It is because I accept that failure happens, and I learn from it, but I also want to help others learn from it without them actually *having* to fail. Make sense? I’d rather point out my own flaws and mistakes (and really, it took years to reach that point), and have it help someone else out, so they don’t have to experience the disappointment and agony of that same failure.

I believe it also helps those that HAVE failed, so they see that they are not alone! I’m considered successful in my business, though in my mind, I should be oh-so-much-more by now. What I have to realize is that people see what I’m doing, and they are like, wow, that’s awesome! I have to understand that for some, it does not come this ‘easy’ (was so not easy, but I apparently make it look as if it is), and they think that they could never do what I do.

Yes, you can.

My sister and I have failed so many times at our business, oh my word so many times, but what sets us apart is that we have NEVER given up. Have we thought about it? Oh yes. But we didn’t do it. We kept pushing. We are still learning, still growing. I would rather document and be open about our failures, so that others can see that we are NOT getting by easy. We have had the same trials that they have had, but we accept them and move on.

So back to the point in my story that I left off with…

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Things People Say Wrong, Repeatedly

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My friend Tricia shared this link on Facebook this morning, and I found myself vehemently nodding along with every single point:

17 Phrases you’re probably saying wrong

I will admit to not having realized #5 until I read it there, though, but seeing it pointed out in the correct manner makes me pay attention to it, now, as well.

I wanted to add some things to this list, though it is more about pronunciation of common words than actual grammar.

Thanks to Sasha for this one: supposedly. What is the most common mispronunciation of this word? Supposably. That is not to say that ‘supposably’ is not a word. It is a legitimate word. However, it is not interchangeable with ‘supposedly’.

How would you read ‘etc’ aloud? The long form of the word is ‘etcetera’. Sound out each syllable. It is not ‘ex-etera’. It is not ‘excetra’. It is ‘et-ce-ter-a’.

One that my co-worker just drove me mad with this morning (leading to this post) is ‘asterisk’. Please read that aloud, according to the actual letters. (If you do not know what that word means, it is the word for this symbol: *)

I’m not sure if she was deliberately trying to shatter my eardrums, or create a new tic for me, but she kept saying ‘asterik’. Over and over and over, on the phone, to another person, she repeated it. “Use an asterik. Try an asterik.”

OH MY GOD, THEY GET IT, STOP REPEATING THE OFFENSIVE PRONUNCIATION.

What it tells me, though, is that she has never seen the word written out. It’s like when people know that the ‘&’ symbol means ‘and’, but do not know that the proper name for it is ‘ampersand’. I’m sure there is some history there.

This same co-worker writes emails as such: customer.nameATcompany.com. Yes, instead of @, she writes ‘at’. Maybe there is no hope for this person.

BUT THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR YOU! Read that list I linked to, and do realize that when you properly pronounce words, you sound smarter. Yes, these are little things that you may say do not matter, but I guarantee that if you are talking to ME and say something incorrectly or just plain wrong, I’ll judge you a little in my head. Make it a point to sound smarter in life. You may get a little further.

~V

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Fail, Fail Again!

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Last week, I introduced the concept of RPO. Then I told you all about my first glorious failure at trying to live outside the college/9-5/retire at 65 box. Most people would drop their crazy ideas and say screw it, back to convention I go. And not the good kind of convention, like being with 25,000 people that love what they do, and hardcore training for 3 days in a coliseum. Nope, not that kind.

What was my next folly, you ask? Well, after moving back home, living there for a while, then moving out (long story) into our own apartment, and getting a waitressing job (not a bad gig, if you are at a pricey restaurant…otherwise, sooooo not worth it), I came across some air filter thing. I legitimately do not even recall the name of it. I think I spent $600 on that thing (it did work well, I’ll give it that), but it was an MLM thing (MLM=multi-level marketing, though I like to refer to it as ‘Make Little Money’) that relied on convincing people to spend $600 on an air filter system, of which you earned some of that as profit.

Ask me if I sold any.

While we used the air filter for a while, the company went under after a few months. I discovered this when I tried to find out where to purchase replacement filter screens, and it just no longer existed on the internet, nor via the phone number my papers had. Poof. Gone. This happens to about 200 companies per year that try the MLM route as their sole means of sales. Cheap labor, sure, but how legal is it?

So, after elevating my fiance’s irritation to a CODE:YELLOW, and dropping $600 on something that we used for about 4 months, did I give up hope? Did I concede? I mean, heaven knows that after trying 2 ‘businesses’ and failing, it must not work that way, right? RIGHT?

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My First Attempt to Soothe Being RPO

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Yesterday, I introduced you to RPO. Did you recognize it in yourself? If so, good. Perhaps I awoke something in you that you weren’t sure how to label.

My uphill battle started when I was a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, at the age of 20. I was still the dreaded ‘Undecided’, and had absolutely no desire to go in any particular direction. I was so burnt out from school, from the years of honors classes and ‘special treatment’ because I was smart, that I just did not care to keep going. I had refused to take out loans for school, which at least was smart foresight on my part, judging by the skyrocketing debt of students now. We are still paying off a $10k loan for my husband, from 11 years ago, and he didn’t even finish school. Sad.

When they wanted me to ‘declare myself’, I said no. I said I was done. I still had no direction to head in, and I absolutely would not put myself and my parents into further debt by taking on loans for an aimless path. About the same time, my grandma had fallen ill with breast cancer, and was moving in with my parents. I decided it would be best to move back home and be close to her, and help them with care. My husband (fiance at the time) also dropped out of school (in his third year…looking back, knowing him now, why in the WORLD did he ever decide to do computer science as his major??? Likely because computers were an emerging thing still back then, lots of promise), and we moved in with my parents.

Before all that happened, though, and I was fresh off the realization that I didn’t want to get a degree, and spend my life pursuing one path, I started searching. It was the birth of my RPO energy. I was RPO that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but that I thought I’d have to spend it doing something tedious and not worth my time.

I kept my eye out. College is a good place to ‘stumble’ upon people that are offering young, hopeful people a ‘new’ way. Let’s just be real and say what it is: preying on them.

I actually cannot tell you what I searched for, and how I did it, nor can I tell you who gave me what I ended up starting (for the sake of not being sued, we’ll just call it H___alife). I have absolutely no recollection of agreeing to become a distributor, nor do I really recall how much it cost me (likely $150 or so, at the time, which was like all my waitressing tips for the week). All I remember about it, is that I got a box, with a few bottles of vitamins, a protein shake, a shaker cup, and some ‘business material’.

For the record: I despise swallowing vitamins. So, that was my first problem.

My second problem, besides the contents of that box, is that I had no person that came with the box. No one to show me how to succeed. No one to build my confidence and explain what the products did, why they were good, and what the company was about. Sure, I could go on the website (at the time…definitely not what we would now consider standard for a company website) to ‘learn more’, or buy product materials, but that is not how I operate. Give me a person that has done it, and done it well, and I want them to lay it out for me, step by step, on how to succeed.

I didn’t have that. Was it any surprise that I failed, and failed miserably? I think I tried for about 5 seconds with my first ‘at-home business’. I can’t even say that I sold a single item, or talked to a single friend about it. I wasn’t excited, which would be exactly why I failed. I’m someone that just can’t fake belief in something. If I believe in it, oh, you know it. But if I don’t…well…my failure chance balloons.

There I was, with a box full of stuff, swallowing pills that I hated and didn’t change how I felt one iota, and an irritated fiance, because I’m pretty sure that I just ‘did it’, whether he said yes or not. Moving back to Mom and Dad’s came shortly after, and I pretty much just let my ‘business’ drift away.

Most people would have let that stop them. They would have said, well, guess there really isn’t a ‘different’ way, I’ll just have to go work.

I’m not most people. Tomorrow will show what was next for me. The Turkey Train had left the station, and had only just begun my path of misadventure.

~V

Are you RPO?

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You are probably wondering, ‘What is RPO?’ No, I didn’t spell RIP incorrectly.

RPO means ‘Really Pissed Off’. (Yep, I made that up. Go with it.)

RPO is an internal thing. It isn’t something you share on your face, or in your actions, or your words (that’s just pissed off). It isn’t visible as being the accepted form of ‘pissed off’, where you likely verbally abuse someone that made you angry, or slam doors and declare your irritation loudly. It is a pulsing, vibrating, emanating emotion that drives you. It keeps you going, day after day, when no one seems to be on your side. When no one understands how badly you want something. When it drives you insane that no one (or at least, next to no one) wants something for themselves just as badly. You just don’t get why they feel that way, because you feel so strongly about it.

If you feel any of this, you are RPO.

RPO pushes you to do things you may not otherwise do. It encourages you to take chances. It helps you make that leap of faith. It tells you, Why not try? instead of, You might fail! It is a boiling point that might make you uncomfortable in the pit of your stomach, constantly, until you find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. When you do find that light, though…be prepared to have that RPO feeling until you actually feel the warmth of light and freedom on your face. Could take time, but it will be worth it.

When you get RPO, you start looking. You start searching. For anything and everything that can help you get out of where you are at currently.  You may not make a move for a while, or you may continue what you are doing while pursuing your exit strategy (which I’ve discussed before).  You may be open with others about your desires, or you may keep it to yourself, for fear of them pooh-poohing your dreams.

I’ve been RPO since 2001. Been there, done that. Still doing it, daily. I started 12 years ago, at the tender age of 20. I already knew that working sucked. I already knew that even though I had a high IQ, and did well in school, didn’t mean crap when it came to the fact that I didn’t know what I wanted to do (who the hell does at age 20??), despised having a boss, and was repelled by people paying me next to nothing while I dedicated my precious time to them. We can never get back time, do not forget that.

Did that mean that I refused to do these things? No. I still had bills to pay. But it did mean that I started looking for alternatives early on. ‘Tried’ being the operative word.

Tune in tomorrow, when I will begin to recount where I got my start in the ‘non-traditional income’ game (and it truly is a game), and where I failed, if I succeeded, and why I chose the things that I did.

~V