Are you ready for THE call?

dadandcarrieYou know the one I’m talking about, right?

  • The call that makes your pulse race, your heart sink, your blood pressure spike and the clock stop?
  • The call that makes you abandon your grocery cart in the aisle and disregard every traffic rule and speed limit?
  • The call that makes everything you griped about today or this MONTH irrelevant and ridiculous?

Yesterday, I got that call. Actually — it was a text.

“Dad in an ambulance headed to ER, call Hal.”

First you freeze. Then you pray. Then you move into action. You’re looking a little nervous, so let me just tell you — he’s okay now. We are still having tests done this week and everything seems fine. (But if you pray, hey – I won’t be mad if you add Robert Owensby to your list ;) But back to ‘the Call’ … While I was driving, I was evaluating my day’s appointments.

  • Cancel hair stylist (I’m declaring ombre hair is in for a few more days)
  • Have grocery clerk put my cart in the cooler and get spouse or teenager to rescue those later
  • Kids have to be picked up at 2:30 and 3 pm…think about that later
  • Work? Well, I work for me…so I’ve now given myself the day off.

And even in my panic as I drove, I had a HUGE wave of relief wash over me. I had a HUGE wave of gratitude that I COULD just drop everything and go. No explaining, No excuses, Nobody’s business but mine. In a flash of memories…I recalled hard business days, hard financial days, hard client days and blood, sweat and tears learning new things, failing and falling over and over again.

And when I got ‘the call’ – it was ALL worth it.

  • I’m not the most successful business person you know.
  • I’m not the best-dressed, most beautiful or most well-known.
  • I’m not rolling in assets or cash and I do not own one designer ANYTHING (shoes, bag, luggage, car – nada)

But I have created freedom to handle ‘the call.’ — And honestly — that is my biggest desire for you. I mean it. As I’ve spent my last few months on a mini-sabbatical of sorts (that is a topic for another day), I’ve been reevaluating my mission or purpose or even what I want for YOU.

  • I don’t care about millions. Really.
  • I don’t care about status.
  • I don’t care if I’m in the ‘cool kids’ club for marketers, social media, business or authors.
  • I don’t care what I drive, wear or drink.

I care about how you handle ‘the call!’

Man holding a telephone receiver Your call may not be about a parent. Your call might be:

  • About a child
  • About your health
  • About your job
  • About a world disaster that needs your expertise
  • About kids that need a home
  • About a massive repair your home needs
  • About your partner’s job loss
  • About ____________________

My goal is that you are equipped to handle this, with finances, with flexibility and the freedom to choose. Yesterday I didn’t have to worry if I ‘had a day to take’. I didn’t have to stress about lesson plans or making sure someone could cover for me. I didn’t have to wonder how I would cover my bills after being docked a day’s wage. I just didn’t. That isn’t bragging. That just is. It is 16 years of daily choices. 16 years of messing up and getting a few things right. I love to be positive. Focus on the GOOD.

But today…I want to challenge you to set your goals differently.

Visualize ‘the call’ — what do you have to change in your daily activity, your consistency, your skill set and/or your revenue to free yourself up a bit? Can you relate to any of this? Would you share below how this might shift your thinking or planning? Or maybe you’ve had ‘the call’ and navigated it well — share with me HOW that motivates you and some tips below. I’d really love to hear from YOU!

Why I’m Skipping Valentine’s Day


I’ve always disliked this holiday, February 14th…the so-called Day of Love.

When we’re kids…the elementary teachers are really careful that the amount of cards = kids so that everyone is ‘loved the same’ and no one is left out.

The rules change as we hit junior high/high school and we have a need to FIND a Valentine! That way EVERYONE will know that we are loved, valued and validated.

“Happy Validation Day is likely a more appropriate holiday name!”

Unfortunately, as a result, there are fake relationships, hurt feelings or kids that go home feeling very left out or ‘un-special’ (ask me how I know ;)

Perhaps in young adulthood, as we’re dating more seriously…we worry — “have we been dating long enough for a big Valentine?” — “Is this too grand or not grand enough?” or even the “I’m not asking him/her out until after Valentine’s because I don’t want to be obligated for the holiday.”

ACK and UGH and ENOUGH already!

You know what I see the other 364 days of the year?

  • Opportunities to shower other human beings with love.
  • Opportunities for compassion.
  • Opportunities to smile, connect and encourage.
  • Opportunities to be KIND…yep, that has a ring to it — ‘ValenKIND Day!’

What if DAILY (or even just this ONE day a year…we looked for ways to be ValenKIND:

  • Without strings
  • Without expense
  • Without conditional approval
  • Without elaborate manufactured Pinterest-worthy over-the-top-ness designed just to compete with coworkers, neighbors, church members or who else might be watching to see ‘how much’ we are loved. (You DO know that folks send THEMselves flowers and candy to keep up appearances, right? True Story.)

What are we trying to prove?  That our spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend loves us ‘more’ than everyone else because of how they surprised us or what they spent?

I don’t know about you…but I’m soooo over that. I’m wayyyyyy more impressed by simple acts of human loving and kindness.

Way. More. Impressed.

This year, save your chocolates and flowers and Pinterest-inspired proposals…maybe you and your someone special (or just a really special someone) could…

  • Find a single mom waiting tables and tip her big.
  • Find a special needs child and be kind to them or their family. (without asking questions)
  • Find a widow or widower and anonymously send them a sweet card or candy.
  • Find someone struggling financially or physically and serve them, really serve them. (without judgment)
  • Find a small business owner and buy from them without price-haggling.
  • Find a military family and take them a dessert or meal to thank them for their sacrifice
  • Find a pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi or leader who serves for a living and spoil them a little.
  • Find someone in recovery or struggling with addiction and encourage/support them. (without grandiose stories of success, just kindness for their struggle)
  • Find someone with tall grass and mow it.
  • Find someone with no gas and pump it.
  • Find someone with groceries in bad weather and load them.
  • Find someone without a smile and give them one of yours.
  • Find someone lonely, get over your Valen-stress and encourage them instead.

Kindness is the most valuable currency we have. And it should be our most UNlimited resource.  Agreed??

I want to challenge you…encourage you…ask of you and even implore you… don’t worry this week about finding a Valentine. Don’t stress with being spoiled by your ‘someone.’ Don’t over-think the cards and the candy and the commerce of it all.

Choose to celebrate ValenKind Day instead.

Cheesy? Maybe.

  • But in a world where we’re quick to post our harsh opinion on blogs, Facebook pages, newsfeeds…
  • In a world where we’re super fast to judge the addict, homeless, jobless, broke or hurting…
  • In a world where we’re quick to crucify every business we don’t agree with politically, every politician we don’t agree with theologically and every person that makes a mistake in the public eye…
  • In a world where we’re all so quick to be UNkind (some say opinionated or values-based…but face it, mostly it’s unkind) — I think maybe the prescription for this week is less chocolate, less roses, less ribbons and more ValenKINDs.

Meh. Dunno…it’s just a crazy idea. But I’d love if you’d share this post, pin this image and tell me one ValenKIND idea you have below!


No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say, and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.

A Pear-able about Getting Things Done


No, I am not turning into a foodie blog or a cooking blog…trust me ~ this will be about business, goal-setting and life ;)

I’ve recently joined a produce co-op that I love (Bountiful Baskets, if you are curious enough to Google it) and we get the opportunity every few weeks to ‘add on’ something that is in season at a great savings. So, on one particularly ambitious order day recently, I tacked on a case of 36 lbs of pears to my order.

My mom raised me to know how to can, preserve and ‘put up’ produce from our garden and the farm stands, so these pears were begging to be made into pear butter and preserves! Yum!

Last weekend, right off the bat, I made pear butter and it was delicious! But then the week progressed in a blur and my pears were ripening at warp speed. I just couldn’t manage to ‘fit in’ the time to put the rest of them up.

I decided that today (Friday), I would take some time while the kids were in school to jar the old-fashioned preserves, so while I was lying in bed last night, unwinding after a few exhausting days…I pulled up the recipe I had bookmarked.

Uh-oh. The old-fashioned recipe I’d been dying to try required that the pears soak overnight. Not only did they need to soak, they had to be peeled, cored and sliced. DAD-GUMMIT!!!

Let me be clear. It was 9:20pm when this hit me. So, I had some choices.

  • I could choose a different recipe that didn’t require the prep.
  • I could choose to wait until today to prep them and delay my preserves until Saturday.
  • I could get up and get it done.

You know what I did. I got up.

Barefoot and in pajamas, I padded into the kitchen after a grueling few days, already unwound, tired and at this point, maybe even cranky.

There were 24 lbs of pears staring at me from the produce box. Daunting to say the least!

So, I started ‘chunking down the goal’.

  1. I chose a large bowl and decided that would be what I soaked them in. I was NOT going to wimp out and choose a tiny bowl to weasel out of the job.
  2. I put about 12 lbs of pears (half of my box) in the sink…it looked like a mountain, but after paring them, I figured they were about right to fill my bowl.
  3. I looked at the clock and decided to peel and chop until 10pm, the bowl was full or until the sink is empty – whichever came first!

Guess what? I instantly had relief! I had 3 goals…either one was okay and would still be a job done.

Then, it became a little bit of a game…”I only have to work at this until 10. Just hang in there until 10, Carrie – You’ve got this!”

Or — “Hmmmm I wonder if I could peel these even faster than that and finish BEFORE 10? You’ve got this, Carrie!”

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun. Looking back, I should not have waited until I was low energy to have started, but it was what it was ;)

How did it end?

At 10pm, I was relieved and excited!! I could stop! But, guess what?? There were only 3 pears left in the sink and my momentum was such that I could NOT put them back in the box!! I peeled them too!! My bowl was full, my sink was empty, I was SO proud! I went to bed THRILLED that I had set that goal, finished the task and could wake up to pears ready to preserve! Wahoooooo!

Carrie, please hurry and tell us what you’re trying to tell us…

  1. Setting 3 goals let me win either way! (Bowl full, 10pm or sink empty – either of those meant the job was done!)
  2. Making myself get up and ‘just do it’ – was actually less energy than dreading it, beating myself up about it and delaying it until another day.
  3. Because I was fully immersed in pear juice and MESSY…I could NOT talk on the phone, Facebook, tweet, check emails or any other time-wasters. I was FOCUSED on that ONE task to completion.

Please connect the dots for us…we know it’s coming…

  1. Set ‘bumper goals’ – so that if you finish Benchmark A, B or C – you STILL have a win and can stop or celebrate! This gave me a ‘game’ mentality and I was actually curious to see which goal I would hit first! Maybe I’m a geek, but it made my task more fun!
  2. Just Do It – Nike was onto something for sure! The energy of tackling the task is easier than dreading and delaying it.
  3. Fully immerse yourself! Turn off incoming distractions. Close your door. Shut down applications. Focus. You deserve it.

Today, I’m happy to report that the preserves are jarred and cooling. I rested like a champ last night, with a really great feeling of accomplishment. And I’ve been applying this to my business tasks today too…

  • What are some of your best tips for whittling away at your tasks?
  • What do you think about bumper goals and mind games? How will you apply this?
  • What is one A-ha you got from this PEAR-able?

Please…comment below and share with your social networks!