Friday, September 25, 2015

Childhood Dreams

In my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class this week, we were asked to reflect on our dreams and to chart a course for our lives.  This has come at a very interesting time for me because I have been thinking about the circle of life due to the fact that our newly acquired rescue dog just had puppies on Monday.  

As I have aided Nina (our dog) in becoming a mother and watched her natural motherly instincts kick in, I have marveled at the fact that the role of mother was foreordained to us before we even came to earth.  This dog of mine has never taken a parenting class.  She did not attend a labor and delivery class to teach her about what was going to happen.  Biology has simply kicked in and her natural instincts to birth, clean, feed and care for her puppies have enabled her to have 6 healthy puppies.  Complications arose in the birthing process, and she was willing to give up her life in order to bring these puppies into their mortal existence.  Unfortunately, one of the puppies perished in the birth canal, but she persevered and was able to deliver another living puppy right afterwards.  
Watching my dog become a mother has helped me to understand the divinity of my calling as a mother.  I got married at a young age and had children at a young age.  Because of this, I had felt as though I had given up something in order to be a mother.  I felt as though I was giving up on my dream of contributing to society in order to have a family. I always taught music out of our home and I even had a successful little catering company until I realized that the hours that I was working would no longer work around my family life as I was at home when the kids were at school and at work when the kids were at home.  After realizing this, I took a job as an Executive Assistant (while beginning to actively pursue my goal of getting a Business Degree from BYU-Idaho) so that I could add to my family's income without taking away from the time that I had with my children.  Otto and I built our dream home and we settled into, what we thought would be, the beginning of the rest of our lives.  
Circumstances changed and we moved to Houston, TX from Calgary, AB on December 29, 2014 and this changed everything.  During our marriage, I had always worked in some capacity.  I have always put the children first, however I have always felt the need to contribute to society in some sort of meaningful way.  I found this sense of accomplishment when I decided to teach music and I watched children progress in their knowledge and love of music.  I felt I was helping when I would cater events such as weddings, baptisms, corporate dinners, open houses, etc.  I also felt I was helping when I was an Executive Assistant.  I saw how my actions and decisions affected the profitability of the company and I loved it.  
What I didn't understand, however, is that the largest way that I can contribute to society is by the rearing of my children.  If I can raise my children to be well-rounded, happy, successful, contributing members of society with a strong sense of self worth, then I will not only affect today's society, but future generations.  I am a direct descendant of great men and women who have proven that the actions of one person can affect generations of people for good.  I have always striven to be the kind of person that will make a great change that will have a lasting affect.  I did not realize, until moving to Houston and not being able to work, that my greatest joys and lasting legacy will be my children.  I cannot do anything as honorable as raising my children.
With that being said, I have always had a life plan.  This plan has always included some type of goal or dream that I wish to pursue.  As I have grown and learned new things and had different opportunities and experiences, I have accomplished many goals and created new ones.  In my assignment for this week I was to create a star and stepping stones chart.  I had to create a goal for my life and then take a look at the road my life has been on and set stepping stone goals to help achieve my goal.  This assignment has come at a time when two business opportunities have fallen into my lap, as well as my Nina having her puppies.  I have been consciously weighing the two business opportunities and both are incredible opportunities with huge potentials for growth.  I had not been able to decide which avenue to pursue, until the star and stepping stones assignment. 
My star (or ultimate goal) is to leave a tangible lasting legacy for my children.  I hope to accomplish this in two ways.  The first way is by being the best mother that I can be, and the second way is by having a career that will make a difference in the lives of those around me.  With this star goal in mind, and after taking a long, hard look at the road my life has been on, I have finally made a decision on which path I am going to take, career-wise.
One of the big inspirations for this decision has stemmed from Randy Pausch's last lecture called "Really Living your Childhood Dreams".  I believe that Randy Pausch is the perfect example of someone who has lived out his childhood dreams because he thought outside of the box.  If he had a dream and there became an obstacle, he would attack the problem from a different angle.  I have always believed in dreamers.  I think that the world needs them.  I also firmly believe that dreams need deadlines or they can just get away from you.  My mother taught me, "a goal is a dream with a deadline."  I have always remembered this (which is a miracle if you know me) and I firmly believe in goal setting.  I believe that if you aren't actively working towards something, you are simply wasting your time.  
So why this long-winded post, and what does it all have to do with each other?  My point is this:  when I was a child, I had two dreams; my first dream was to become a mother and my second dream was to leave a mark on the world.  I have been very fortunate to now be the mother of 5 amazing children and I believe that being reminded of what my dreams were, as a child at the same time as having to reflect on the path that my life has taken at the same time as watching my dog become a mother, has really clarified my star goal and the career decision that I need to make.  This career will not lead to as much money as my other option but I believe that it will accomplish both of my childhood dreams and give me the opportunity to help as many people as I can through the sharing of both my business and musical talents.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Journey

To my eight followers,

Please do not have a heart attack when you see that I have posted something on this blog again.  I have a true and serious concern for your health and would hate to be the cause of any physical or psychological damage.  1 1/2 years ago, I began a journey to fulfill a lifelong goal of mine.  I decided that I needed to become an example to my children and pursue my post-secondary education. Through the glorious being called the internet, I am able to work towards my Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree with a focus on Entrepreneurship.
This semester I am taking an Introduction to Entrepreneurship class and am required to post my thoughts, insights (if I have any) and feelings on this blog.  I hope that some of you will endure this journey with me as I begin to explore the path that I am on and figure out the road that I want to take in the future.
As my course begins, I have been able to read some articles by some incredible businessmen and successful entrepreneurs.  There are two major points that I have taken away from these readings and videos.  They are as follows:

1 - Invest in yourself

When I was teaching music, I would silently giggle to myself whenever people would tell me that they wanted to learn how to play the piano so that they could play the piano when they were older.  There is no such thing as a finish line when it comes to learning how to play the piano.  Becoming a musician is a constantly changing thing.  There is no finite ending.  You do not get to wake up one day and suddenly say that you are a pianist. You have to constantly work, practice and learn about music in order to keep your ability of musicianship.
I have learned that this is the same as the concept of being an entrepreneur.  You may have the talent and the fortitude to start a business, but you need to constantly be improving upon yourself to become better.  You need to be constantly studying and learning so that you can increase your capacity to be effective in the market and in your life.  Investing in yourself and increasing your knowledge, talents and marketability are necessary in the workforce and crucial to leading a rich and fulfilling life.

2 - Make good friends

Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. - Colin Powell

Throughout my life, I have lived with this saying in mind.  I have understood the importance of surrounding yourself with people who want to make you be better.  Whenever I have wanted to develop a skill or a talent, I have sought the company of those whom I consider masters of that talent.  In watching my videos and doing my readings for the lesson this week, I have learned that this concept of having good friends is crucial to my success as an entrepreneur.  I have understood the importance of networking but didn't understand the role that integral friendships within my inner network would serve should my integrity or ethics be called into question.  I have also learned that a personal relationship with a master of business is not necessary in order to establish a friendship.  I now understand that my love of the books "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by  Robert Kiyosaki have established a friendship based on his philosophy even though we have never met.  The importance of having good friends goes along with the first point that I learned, invest in yourself, and I believe these two philosophies are the beginnings of a solid foundation on which to build a career as an entrepreneur.

As I begin this course, although it is not going to be what I had envisioned it to be, I am excited to learn more about myself.  I hope that this course will guide me along the path that I have chosen and help me to determine whether this path is the correct one for me and my family.