Missed a blog post last week. ... and it's two weeks away to the end of the year. Rats. It's been really bothering me... Not that it really counts, but I'll do a makeup post (or two) before the end of the year in an attempt to make up for it. Sorry about that...
Just came back from a crazy busy weekend of wedding planning, dinner with my future-in-laws, my business partner's (Mina) son's first birthday party, an engagement photoshoot with Jonathan of Jonathan | Lindsey Photography, meeting with our videographer, ... I feel like I'm life has accelerated to the max and I'm barely warmed up. Trying to catch my breath!
One thing I'm struggling with is a) I like blogging, b) I like social media, c) I like sharing, d) I don't mind sharing personal stuff, e) I want to be respectful of my fiance and others... and so.... some of the things I want to write about/share with you (i.e. everyone) - I'm struggling with how and when and how much I can. I'm thinking we'll figure it out as we go...
Anyone got advice for me?
Walk into a party, one of those "networking" events, ... anything. Anything with a bunch of people carrying around nice wallets, fancy business card holders, ohh ohhh maybe even some lanyards with your name on it.
@ArryinSeattle ----> Sometimes you get to put your Twitter handle on it if the event is one of those cool Social Media ones.
[Insert whatever company hat I'm wearing that day] ---> aka Logic20/20, All Things Wishful, Arry Table, ... Yea, I got a bunch.
Powerful. Woman. Tall power heels - stilettos with pointy toes. Long lean pants or pencil skirt, structured jacket, maybe even belted. Big bag - has some studs decorating it. Big cocktail jewelry. My blingy accessory like the infamous Chanel watch. Big D&G leopard print glasses. Hair pulled back in a no-nonsense bun. Powerful handshake. Don't recognize me, do you?
Comfortable. Chick. Get home, immediately remove all clothing, shoes, accessories. Hair into ponytail. Stretch yoga pants with a loose off-the-shoulder plum colored top. Take puppy for a walk. Cook dinner for my family. Go through mail. Clean. Fold laundry. Silence is golden. Cuddly. Recharge.
Hang out in front of my 3 laptops and iPad for the night.
Yea, that's me too.
Social. Butterfly. Love hosting parties and get together. Love having people over. Love going out to new bars and restaurants. Short skirts, party dresses, nylons and garters, playful heels and boots, lots of eye makeup. Lots. Of. Eye. Makeup. Always. Flirtatious with everyone. Everyone. Squeals. Giggles. Hugs. Silly. Extravagant. Carefree. Decadent food and drink. Walk into any place, walk down any street, running into people I know and love. It's also a part of me.
Ya gotta know - that all of these persona's are me. They're all me. If I didn't get to express myself with these different pieces of me, I think I'd feel stifled, ... dead inside. I think that's part of growing up and growing into my own - recognizing, embracing, loving all of these pieces that are me. I'm spending a lot of time being introspective lately - as I'm about to be married!!! And I'm especially lucky - my fiance doesn't demand or need to be one or two of the parts of me most of the time. He accepts and embraces all of me - allowing me to flow from me to me to me to me - and loving him more and more and ... more.
Seriously. I had always dated these guys that seemed to only respond to one or two parts of me. One guy even said to me, "I really don't like the business/work side of you" ... how crazy is that? It sucked having to be "sensitive" and hide the go-getter business loving dreamer and doer in me. Those relationships always got to be so tiresome, so fast. Suffocating. Who can be the happy go lucky hello kitty chick all the time?
I know, quite the random post, but I thought you would get some random chuckle out of it at least.
Guy (in his mid 20s) asked, "when should I start dating? I haven't dated anyone seriously yet."
I replied, "Are you ready to settle down?"
Guy replied, "no."
I replied, "Until you're ready to settle down and marry (you have a stable job, you can be dependable, respectable, ...) - don't date. Hang out."
Guy asks, "What do you mean settle down and marry? Of course I'm not."
I say, "Well... in most cases, you date a girl, you like her, you guys start a relationship, ... 6 months... 9 months... 1 year... very soon if not earlier than that, your lady is gonna wonder, pressure you, want the big 'M' word. Especially if you're dating in your post college years in your late 20s, 30s, 40s... The older you get, the shorter the window of dating."
Guy says, "Oh. Hmm. I think some girls don't mind not having that..."
I say, "Really? If she's being true to herself, that's a major rarity. Major edge case."
Guy agrees, "Yeah... - then what do you mean by hanging out?"
I reply, "Hanging out - like go to the movies, hang out with friends, happy hour, dance class, pottery class, hikes, ... but be very clear with each other - that what you have with her is not a relationship that's headed anywhere. Avoid getting too physical - respect her. Keep it clean. At least until you are ready to --date-- her properly."
Guy says, "okay... I can't afford to take a lady out right now anyways."
Net net of the story is, don't waste your time in either direction. Be upfront, truthful and honest with people. And... women, as awful as this may sound, we have a shelf life. Shelf life with regards to when we can have children, our youth, our beauty. It's not forever - so let's not take it for granted if you're a woman reading this. If you're a man, don't take your lady-friend for granted - treat her right or let her go. Opportunities are passing by. Time's a wasting.
So much to be thankful for - right now, having just gotten back from running errands all day preparing for my wedding, I'm so thankful to be with such an awesome, kind, generous, sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, sincere, funny, wise man. As you know since I've mentioned it here and there in my previous blog posts - we're engaged to be married! As of today, we have the venue, a date, invitations, my dress, all kinds of stuff have been coming together for our wedding. Really excited. I feel like the luckiest person ever. It's crazy to see how much has changed this past year. Crazy. Wonderful.
I'm so thankful for my mother. My mother came to town to stay with me for a week to help us with wedding preparations, spend quality time with myself, my brother, my fiance (!), my fiance's parents - and as independent as I'd like to think I am, it is just so wonderful to have my mother here with us. The first day after she arrived in Seattle, it was nonstop talking - it was like she was making up for lost time from living so apart from me and my brother. Oh, and Mochi is delighted to have her "grandma" around. They've been going running every morning together (my mother is a runner!).
I'm thankful for my brother. He's been living in Seattle these past two years - moved here to be my family here in Seattle, help me, ... humble me. We definitely clash and butt heads, probably often, but we've also been making up for time I've lived away from "home" for so long. He's thoughtful - and he's grown a lot these past couple of years. I wonder what woman he'll choose someday to marry...
I'm thankful for all of my friends in my life, my colleagues, my business partners, my support network, my social network, you, all the wonderful people that I care for and those that care for me back. I love the friends I can call after a few months and catch up - like no time as gone by at all. I love the friends that hover close by checking in on me, thinking about me... I'm so lucky. I love the friends that have had beautiful little mini's - children that call me "Auntie". I love them all.
And most importantly, I'm thankful to God who has blessed my life with such wonderful people - I'm thankful that He's provided, guided, cared, and continues to watch over me and those in my life. I honestly do believe I owe everything to Him.
Wobbling is the art of juggling. Wobbling is the art of not letting any balls drop. Wobbling is the art of life. Oh yea, there's no such thing as work-life balance - it's one big ass bucket of LIFE. <BTW - Picture bouncy rubber balls in your head>
So before I begin, I must give some credit for this concept to a man I worked for several years ago, John Humphrey. I cannot confirm how or where, but I do know that I made that mental note back then and so I want to give credit. Many people often ask me, how do you do it? How do you do so many things? Well.... partly because I'm slightly insane (joking), and mostly because I wobble. I wobble my current day job as a Manager at a local boutique consulting firm, my current consulting gig at Clarisonic as their Digital Marketing Consultant, my first startup of 2011 AllThingsWishful.com, and my most recent startup of 2011 Arry Table. I also wobble personal commitments to my dog, Mochi, my fiance, my mother and brother, my mentees and seeing my friends. I think living alone also piles on a bunch of commitments and chores, paying bills, cleaning, laundry, cooking, groceries, ... Obviously, my health endeavors such as running or yoga have fallen by the wayside now. I plan to pick that back up.... soon - I'm walking my pup in the morning in the meantime. Right now, I'm in the midst of planning a wedding which will be happening... very shortly! (Yes, update on that coming!)
Yep. My current life is a bit.... nuts.
Explain the "Wobble"? The idea behind the "Wobble" is that there is no such thing as true balance. Corporations and companies sling "work-life balance" around thinking that it means 40-45 hour work weeks then going home to do chores, hang out with family, and sleeping 8 hours a night. It's not 1970 anymore dudes. Okay - understand, that if an employee is working at one job for 60-100+ hours/week - that's messed up. If that's the case - you gotta pay that employee more, that employee is ridiculously ineffective, or you got some major resourcing issues. I'm talking outside of that. I'm talking about those that like a more fluid style of life and work. Examples of people with this fluid style of life and work are the many entrepreneurs and startup small business owners, many consultants and contractors, maybe even that over-achieving high school kid who's itching to go to Harvard.
Back in 1995, Reader's Digest did a study with a 120 "lost" wallets in 12 communities across the nation and kept track of how many were returned with the $50 cash contents intact. Our awesome city of Seattle ranked #1 back then - with 9 in 10 wallets being returned completely intact. When Reader's Digest interviewed the folks that returned the wallet, here's what they found: some people cited religion or ethics, while others were moved by the baby picture placed in each billfold.
And on a Saturday, November 5, 2011, I lost my wallet while picking up refreshments for my Arry Table Open House Thank You event to thank everyone that had helped me reach my first 100+ "Likes" on my Facebook page. I had picked up some goodies. It was a sunny day in Seattle, and I was content as I strolled my groceries to my car in the parking lot of the QFC in the University Village. I loaded up the groceries into my car. I rolled the cart back to the row of carts by the store. I hopped into my car, turned on my favorite radio station of the season (C89.5), and drove home. Got out of the car in the garage, unloaded groceries over to the elevator, grabbed my home keys... and then realized... OH NO! Where's my wallet!? I then ran back to the car, and searched frantically. I took all the groceries out of the bags. ... Then... it hit me. I HAD LEFT MY WALLET IN THE SHOPPING CART! I have no idea how someone sane does something so absent minded.... but I did. I called the QFC - the lady on the other end of the line ran to the parking lot and searched the carts and parking spaces. NO WALLET! I call my fiance - I'M SO STRESSED AND WORRIED. He works on calming me reminding me of that 1995 Reader's Digest survey about how honest Seattle's citizens are. I get in the car and drive back to the QFC in traffic in hopes of looking for it myself. Twenty minutes into my ride back to the QFC, I get a call. Someone returned my wallet to the customer service desk. Ten minutes later, I am SOOO THANKFUL and am reunited with my wallet. Everything was still there, not a single penny missing.
Yes. I love my Seattle. Yes, still today 16 years later, in Seattle, we believe in honesty as the best policy.
... Second time writing this post. Mental note... save often. Hit the save the button!
Ah... well what did I write before. Yes, I've decided I'm to write more often and with smaller blurbs, to share with you updates about this start-up business. It's literally only been a few weeks since I've hung out my shingle for my Arry Table business - and I've already learned a few things:
1. Facebook. Yea. Facebook. It seems that it's one of the ways people get a first impression - met with a pretty successful guy who upon first learning about Arry Table, went straight to Facebook. He used it like Google - did a search on Arry Table and went straight to my Facebook page. Second thing he did was say, "You only have 46 "Likes". That was 4 days ago. (keke, now thanks to my family and friends, we are up to 128 "Likes". I'm still recruiting more - please "Like" www.facebook.com/ArryTable.) I was amazed - Facebook is the new Google?
2. When I was dreaming about a couple of my favorite things, i.e. startups and Arry Table, I thought I knew exactly who would be buying the tables, interested in them... turns out, I don't. I'm learning that the target audience I thought would be the consumers of the product, may not be right. So the original plan is changing.
3. On top of that, I thought the Arry Table as it has worked out for me, would be the exact product that people want. And I think it's morphing - changing. Motto of this story? If you want to start a business - open your doors and put that shingle out as quickly as possible. Customers will tell you whether or not you're on track. Keep your eyes and ears open - and be ready to shift gears fast. Thanks to all the inquiries and requests - I'll be releasing extendible BENCHES to go with the tables soon. I'll also be releasing a couple of other accessories - one of which will hopefully ROCK your world. :) Other table models too!
That's the thing my Pathwise counselor told me - I've got a beautiful golden egg here. I've got to take care of it, nurture it, listen to it... and take extra care not to smother it or hold it too tightly. Trust and hire people that are better than me to work with me, advise me, and guide me. Listen to my customers and supporters. I'm doing my best-est.
More messages, suggestions, thoughts welcome.
This evening, one of my mentees from the University of Washington called me so excited with delight about having gotten a second round job interview with a local consulting company that she's been dying to get a job with. (Side note: this mentee of mine is AWESOME - when I first met her, I saw a bright shiny sparkling person with a great future ahead of her. I wanted to do everything I could and tell her everything I knew to help her get there.) i reviewed her resume, her cover letter, there were emails flying back and forth the past couple of weeks, she got the first round interview for today, she prepped and prepped, we texted back and forth.... and she moves onto the second round! LEVEL UP! (I was hardly surprised - seriously, this young woman is going to kick butt no matter where she lands).
Then it hit me... I am so on her team! I was reminded about this thing I came up with, "Team Arry". I've always had a circle of good people around me, to turn to, watching out for me. It wasn't until maybe a couple years into my very first corporate job at Microsoft that I realized that I needed a "Team Arry". A brain trust of people that were more experienced, smarter, wiser, more successful than I could ever imagine to be. At that point, I wasn't getting it from the manager I reported into at work - I needed to make sure I was getting it somewhere. I had to be proactive about it. And so, I did - I've grown the brain trust of people I turn to for feedback, suggestions, thoughts. Not just professional mentors - mentors on the various life stages, on being a strong woman, on maintaining my woman-ness even while working in technology, the world of startups, taking care of my financial commitments and goals, etc... My mother has taken a grand seat at the table of "Team Arry" too - more and more so as I grow up. It pains me sometimes, but my mother always has a way of calling it, telling me what I don't want to hear even though it's the right thing to do.
Image Credit: jscreationzs
Being safely vulnerable. "Team Arry" isn't only about mentoring and being mentored. Having a close relationship with your braintrust - and growing that relationship over time is sort of like growing a community of people that know you, can speak about you and your character, and can vouch for you. "Team Arry" supports me no matter what - I expose my innards, my fears, my troubles to them - and they are the ones that strategically advise me, back me up, and support me.
I love mentoring. If you aren't already, take the opportunity to join another person's "Team" - and serve them. It feels amazing to be thinking about another person's well being, helping them optimize their opportunities, helping be a part of shaping their future and being a part of making their dreams come true.
I. Am. So. Behind. ... I can't believe I haven't had a chance to sit down and write a post this week yet - well, I could have last night finally around 330AM, but I decided to go to sleep instead.... Excuses. Anyways - topics at top of mind: Managers versus Leaders, Job versus a Career, Humility, Startup Challenges, and Relationships. Yes, relationships are back in the bucket of topics on my mind - it's been a little while, huh? Yes, I probably have some updates there for you in that department, too. Too many things I could write about I don't know where to start.
I've been trying to get to know G-d again this year and a half (as I wrote in the original blog I started writing in, the All Things Wishful blog), after having lost touch for almost a decade - and the process has been quite interesting, heart wrenching at times, joyful, moving and humbling. This year, with the diligent and kind help of my man, we've been regularly attending church. I've started to realize, that going to church is kinda like a way for a person to regularly date G-d, get to know Him, spend time with Him and the church community. So interesting. So humbling. ... So amazing.
The pastor the other week posed the following that I had never thought of before. It was like mathematical wizardry or a proof that suddenly turned the light bulb back on for me.
A. True. There was a man named Jesus. Historical fact.
B. Prove that Jesus is the son of G-d. He was the perfect man and without sin.
Okay. A is True. Now, to prove that B is true? The question comes down to 1) was Jesus a good guy or 2) was Jesus a bad guy? He can't be both. If Jesus was just a man and not G-d as many religions think, then how can they consider Him to be a good person and a great prophet? How could that be? Jesus called Himself the son of G-d, the Messiah - if He was a just a man, wouldn't that just prove that He's crazy? How does a supposed good prophet going around town calling Himself G-d make Him a great prophet, or the enlightened one? It doesn't - that just makes Him plain crazy. But if B is true, and Jesus is indeed the son of G-d... well then, it'd mean that He's not only a historical figure, but He's really the Messiah. If all the other people who vouch for Him agree that He was a very good man, enlightened, a prophet... then obviously He wasn't crazy. I come to the conclusion: A + B = Jesus was an awesome man and is truly the son of G-d.
This is what's on my mind lately.
Yay! Hip hip hooray! Arry Table launched a little over a week ago and the responses have been awesome. Over 2,000 visits within the first 24 hours of launch, over 155+ Facebook shares, ... and wow, so many messages inquiring about the table. [Yes, you can email me for information - arry (at) arrytable (dot) com].
It's pretty amazing - I had NO place to eat like a normal adult human being for THREE years because I didn't want to settle. I used to stand at my kitchen counter-top, sit on the floor by my coffee table... I cannot believe I went that long without a table. I was like a broken record - obsessed about finding that perfect table looking everywhere, asking people about where I could buy this, drawing and describing... and even making daily trips to the corner art supply store to create mini Arry Table models made of wood, plastic, sticks and crazy glue to show whomever I could. Thankfully, I have good people in my life - and was advised to go build it. It took a long time to find that right person to work with me. Finally, I met Jeff F. my co-inventor, who helped me build that first perfect table. He understood my non-technical non-mechanical non-carpenter talk and helped by translating it into the beautiful Arry Table that is today.
Check it out - let me know what you think! They are for sale... NOW! :D
Check it out at: www.arrytable.com
Throw me a "Like": www.facebook.com/arrytable