Happy 2nd week of January! I sincerely hope that all of your goals and plans are still moving forward at this point for 2023! I keep thinking and focusing on my one word, Elevate, in everything I have been working on this week…and it has definitely kept me on track! The fun part is, I did that activity with my students and staff this past week, and they really did a great job with that! After spending time with you last week talking about all of my own money thoughts, this week I want to start framing my goals and plans and start digging into the work!
I spent time with a long time childhood friend last week on zoom, recording this week’s podcast. We had such a great conversation! Terry Schumaker and I met in kindergarten…can you believe that…and we have been great friends ever since. Terry worked for years in business and specifically worked for the community college in our home town. We both grew up in very similar conditions and we both have worked hard over the years to set ourselves up to live comfortable lives! Terry, however, has a coaching business where he also works with people to determine the most valuable ways to invest or save money. His business, Value Investing Valets help others overcome their investing obstacles so that everyone understands and enjoys stock investing. He is very knowledgeable about his area of expertise and what I loved about our conversation is that he really did focus on ways anyone can get started, with no judgement of where you are currently, with just small steps. You can listen to the podcast Tuesday to get all of the information!
This week in the blog, I want to talk about investing in ourselves. I posted on social media this week this statement…”there is no better investment that investing in yourself.” This really has stayed with me through the weekend, as I think about when one is preparing for life changes and how to prepare for success. Or, when someone knows they need a change, but have fear that taking the time or money investment for themselves will leave them or worse, their entire family, suffering because they selfishly used the money on themselves and not the family. Now, I have come a long way in life, and I know, if you don’t take care of you first (just like the airplane scenario about if the plane goes down, put your oxygen mask on first before helping your others), you will not be at your best to take care of others in your life. And, I know that if you are making major life changes, you need the competence, the knowledge and skills, to be able to successfully make the change. I understand that this took me a long time to realize…or maybe just accept…but luckily I am finally here in life! Not everyone is so that is why I want to share how I got there, providing you a few tips to help you as well.
One of the things I try to keep in mind when I know I am investing in me is that the better I am, the better I can provide for my family. When my daughter was starting 6th grade, which is middle school here, I decided to go work on my masters. I knew that would be a bit of a challenge, as we had just built a home in a new area, which meant changing districts for her. She attended the school where I taught during elementary, a perk that I loved about my profession, so she was going to have an adjustment anyway. I felt that she was ready for this change and maybe it would give her some extra responsibilities to help her grow and learn as well. It actually worked out well, with only a few minor hiccups, and I have no regret that this was the perfect time for me to take the time investment to pursue that degree. In addition, by the time I graduated and secured that degree, I also got the promotion, making a bit more money, and could actually give her a lifestyle similar to her friends for the first time in our lives. So, my advice, sometimes we wonder if the timing is right…is it ever right? If we wait until the perfect time to try something, it will never happen because perfect doesn’t exist. What I did was sit down, I wrote out the pros and cons of starting that work at that time in our lives, compared them, had discussions with my daughter and ex-husband, and we made the decision together…keeping our families best interest as the priority.
I made another investment in myself years later when I decided to sell my home and move back to my home state to be closer to family. I used the money from the house to fund the move and ensure that I had bills covered for the time away. I continued to work, but the pay scale was a bit different and I needed that cushion of funds to help ensure I could still live my life comfortably. What did this investment do for me? I learned that I could be brave enough to start over somewhere new. Although I moved back to Iowa, I was still a couple of hours from home and I knew nobody when I arrived…as a single woman. My daughter moved also, but was in my hometown most of the time and I did not see her as we normally would. This one was an investment I had to dig deep to find the benefit in…as I did leave and come back to Houston just a couple of years later. Going back was not really something I should have done, but I did learn a lot from that experience. Sometimes we will make investments, make decisions, thinking they are the right decision at the time…and then it turns out differently. Here is what I did…I made sure that I took time when I got settled back here and reflected on the whole two years, every encounter I made, every connection I made, every experience I had…and I learned from them. I highly recommend that to you. If you take the chance to make an investment for yourself, and it just doesn’t work, find a way to give yourself time to reflect and learn from what did work and what didn’t. These experiences are just as powerful as those that bring us good fortune from the investment!
So, this year, I am making big pivots, which require big changes…and big investments. Currently, I have secured the coaching certification, had a book published, worked with a business coach, and now I have begun my skin care business, working as an independent beauty consultant. As I begin to think about the amount of money going out of my accounts for these endeavors, I stop, breathe, and remind myself that we all know you have to spend a little money to make money…in a responsible way. And I remind myself that I am still holding myself accountable and being responsible. And, learning all of the things in marketing and branding so that I can build the trust, like, and know from my future clients and generate the money I know I can. I am receiving great feedback, experiencing so many great things that are helping me grow my business, and focusing on my purpose and passion when it comes to this pivot…as if you don’t know why you are doing it and how you can help others, you will never be seen as trusted, liked and beneficial to your clients. If you are currently in a place similar to mine, or considering it, here is my advice: focus on your why, stay focused on your why, do the work, make the connections, and don’t give up when it is hard. Just this weekend, two people in my world gave me feedback that I stopped and wrote down in my planner so that I can look back at that when times are hard. I write down the wins, no matter how small, I note the impact I am making…and I am determined to not give up on myself, my investment, and my future!
January continues to be an exciting month for A Girl and Her Dog Coaching and Consulting and for the listeners to my podcast, Strong: Inside and Out. Not only am I learning more, organizing my business life better, but I know the information I am sharing with others is having an impact, one woman at a time! I hope you find at least one piece of advice that helps you in my post this week! Stay tuned for more! Until then! Cheri ❤️