Time to give credit where credit is due. Dr. Perry Diamond, the vet at Clairemont Village Pet Clinic is AWESOME! I mentioned in a Facebook post the other night that Aria had a bad reaction to her booster shots and I had to rush her back to the Vet so she could get two more shots to cmal the situation down. She stayed at the clinic for a few hours for observation to make sure she had no further reaction to the boosters. All said and done, Wednesday was a rough day for my furball, but she’s quite the trooper.
What I love about this clinic is the caring staff and “old-fashioned” customer service. I received a call today from Dr. Diamond simply asking how Aria was doing. He assured me that her record noted her reaction and that the next time we’ll pre-medicate her for her boosters. While his follow-up is routine for his practice, he is sincere and genuinely concerned for his patients. And I really appreciate that he takes the time to check-in on the health of my pet after she’s had a tough day.
REMEMBER WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE – Never sell yourself short. Whatever the circumstances, however low you may feel, recall your hopes and plans. Use them as your benchmark: reassess your position and aim high again. – Patrick Lindsay, Now Is The Time
The neighbors on Alderson Street were families with boys. The only other girl was Ellen Robinson, two doors down. But Ellen really liked to play with Barbie. She had the mansion, the pool, the Jeep, and several of Barbie’s companions. I had Barbie and Skipper and a few changes of clothes. I was too much of a tomboy to get all fussy about what Barbie should wear.
With a street full of boys, I often played sports in the street. And yet there were many days I wasn’t allowed to hang with the guys. On those occasions, I took to playing office at my desk. I loved office forms and carbon paper. I madly filled out forms, filed papers in some sensible fashion and enjoyed the sensation that I was “getting something done.” My second favorite game was playing boutique. I would hang my clothes up all over my room and then have to bounce between the roles of customer, shop girl and cashier (complete with a toy cash register but a real cash drawer in the desk drawer). With my love of office forms, came also my love of receipts and price tag stickers and things I could use to make my imaginary adult life a little more real.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I began a lucrative little adventure called Hosting Helpers. It began when I worked a few parties for a senior named Lisa who had her own little biz, Party Partners. (I so wanted to use that name for my business!) She showed me the ropes for hosting events, and how to let the real hosts of the party enjoy themselves. The job entailed preparing the food tables, keeping the house free of empty glasses and thrown away napkins, making sure the chip bowl was full and doing all the dishes at the end of the night. Lisa was graduating and wanted to turn over her business to someone else. My dear friend, Rae Meadows essentially became my partner as we helped host parties all over San Diego. We would wear black pants, tuxedo shirts, complete with red bow tie and cummerbund. We worked weddings, BBQs, office parties, progressive dinners, and any number of holiday parties.
We were a hit. And with every party we hosted, we usually gained another client, simply by displaying my business card. I sent out reminders about the holiday season at the beginning of November, which helped us book up every weekend leading to Christmas. The minimum wage was $3.35 per hour, at the time. We pulled $6.00 per hour plus tips; I loved having the money to buy nice Christmas gifts for my family. Hosting Helpers got me a mention in the school newspaper and helped me develop a love for event planning, which has been at the core of most jobs in my long marketing career.
There was an entrepreneurial spirit in me, even as a young teenager. I secretly believed I could run a multi-national business, just by employing staff to host a party. I had no desire to cater, just a desire to employ well-trained party planners and hosts. I envisioned myself with an executive office at the top of some high rise in an unidentified city (Come to think of it, I don’t remember feeling that it was San Diego – I can still picture the skyline from my vision). Hosting Helpers International never came to be, but what a big, fun dream it was.
Here I am now, well into adulthood, back in my hometown, San Diego and dreaming once again of what my business will look like. With great enthusiasm and anticipation, I launched the Beaming Bohemian website on May 1, 2011. Since that time, I’ve picked up a few clients, continue to chase leads, but more significantly, continue to shape how I want my business to grow. I am heavily in R&D and working to narrow my focus. One aspect I have enjoyed the most is reconnecting with old friends and exploring a variety of options.
Admittedly, launching a new business is a struggle. It is frightening, quite frankly, and it is ridiculously hard work. Beaming Bohemian is quickly becoming the toughest challenge I have ever faced in my life. It turns out that re-establishment is WAY harder than settling into someplace foreign… even if that place is a Hanoi, Vietnam or a Shizuoka, Japan. While abroad, I learned that I am completely comfortable with being in foreign places, adjusting to new ways of life, hearing foreign tongues, adopting strange cultural rituals, and simply soaking up life as it comes.
Feeling like a foreigner in the U.S., in California, in San Diego – which should feel like home, is a hilarious new game I am trying to master. Fact of the matter is, I have never been more uncomfortable in my life. But I know, I really know that out of great discomfort comes great life lessons. At heart, I am still full of adventure, still willing to take huge risks and still full of patience to understand what life is going to throw my way. All the while, I have never forget that little girl inside me, the one with immeasurable creativity and imagination, such high aspirations and totally blind confidence. My desk no longer contains a cash drawer and all those fancy office forms, but it is still the hub for crafting my dreams, working my plan and creating a very lovely life.
It is with terrific pleasure that I announce my new business venture, Beaming Bohemian. I have tinkered and toiled over the website design, the business plan and the lead list and am already booking clients. As any business owner knows, it is hard work, but very much a labor of love. Now that I am re-establishing my life in the US and in San Diego, I couldn’t think of anything else I would rather do. It is a very exciting time in my life and your support is greatly appreciated. Can I get a woo hoo? Woo hoo!
Please take a moment to visit my website:
And if you or someone you know could benefit from naming, content or social media services, then please send them my way. I promise to provide absolutely and unconventionally brilliant communication.
Since my return to San Diego, I’ve spent some time getting readjusted, some time relaxing and getting reacquainted with family and friends. I’ve also been looking to discover what it is I will do professionally. While there is still part of me which wants to buy a one way ticket to Argentina, I’ve decided to stay in San Diego and set up my own business.
Getting settled in San Diego has been its own adventure. This is my hometown, but I have not lived here for about 20 years. All of my memories are from my childhood, so I don’t know the best restaurants, the hidden gems, the adult life in this gorgeous town. So I’m approaching San Diego like it’s a new city I’ve moved to. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open and desire to find all of my favorite places.
Starting a business is a whole different kind of adventure. It’s not the same as the little business, Hosting Helpers, I ran in high school!!! And so this is where most of my focus has gone lately. I’ve also discovered the world of WordPress and am setting up my news business website on this platform. It’s a task, to say the least! In the meantime, I’m meeting with friends who are entrepreneurs and others who have offered me great advice. I’m working on leads and tailoring my efforts to determine the scope of my services. I’ll make more of an announcement when the time is right! (The photo here is the working version of the logo and name.)
I’m looking to move OTBS over to a WordPress theme as well. However I am finding the theme I’m using a bit to stale for my personal blog. There is a lot of content here to consider! : ) And so I’m debating the switch and may just keep things going from the iWeb and MobileMe platform here.
Anyway…I just wanted to check in and let you know that there is a lot going on with me personally and professionally and that my attention will soon return to On The Bright Side. Until then,
The weather has been so gorgeous this month, I have taken to doing some research from the front yard. With my iPad, iPhone and red notebook, I think this makes for a great office! …
At various stages in our lives, I do believe we all imagine going into business for ourselves. We either don’t like our job or we don’t get enough “me” time, the commute is too much or the finances limiting. Perhaps the vision is to open up a little shop or to start a service, open a restaurant – simply do something you really love and get paid for it.
Two years before I left Japan, I outlined a business that I wanted to start. I wrote down names for it, designed the studio and even determined that I would take the months of May and September off to travel. I can’t tell you what that idea is, in case I do decide to open it, but the dream that I would own and operate such a business was exhilarating.
Before I left Vietnam, I knew I wanted to come home and spend time in San Diego to “re-group.” I knew I needed time to collect myself, regain my energy and positivity and get prepared to charge forward in the New Year. And the idea to start my own business started swirling in my head again.
What I am good at (or at least I think I am) is marketing and creative writing. I also have spent any number of Sundays in Vietnam researching and learning about social media. And you all know how much I love keeping up On The Bright Side. Through thick and thin, this website and my blog and newsletters have been a mainstay in my life for nearly six years.
I’m developing my concept for a marketing consulting firm and want to focus on not only the things which I love, but the things which I know I will do well. I want to help clients who need social media management, website blog/content, and company newsletters. I am also well equipped to train employees to develop their skills in social media. It’s a powerful platform and most companies do not engage their customers well enough.
I feel really good about my decision to branch out on my own, have been given tons of support by other entrepreneurs and am continually inspired by my friends who already have their own business. I grew up with some amazingly talented people who now own retail stores, marketing/pr firms, restaurants, hand-crafted stationery supplies, brokerage firms and even published authors…the impressive list goes on!
Enthusiasm is high and I will keep you posted on the progress. Woo hoo!
Today was a bit busy as I had a memorable meeting in the morning before running some errands to prepare for a business trip to Bangkok. I had to get some Thai Baht and so headed to my “favorite” bank, HSBC.
Because my company pays me in Dong and not US Dollars, I have a few restrictions on how I manage my money. In order to withdraw foreign currency, I have to provide my ticket, passport and any relevant visas. I always have this prepared.
On this particular occasion, I wished to pull about 35,000THB which is about $1000USD. I need this for a new digital camera and my yearly check-up at Bumrungrad Hospital. This is really not an earth-shattering amount of cash either, in Dollars or Baht.
But as I submitted my papers, the clerk said, “Oh, this is from your US Dollar account?” I had to say, “No, I have a Dong account.” “Oh,” was her response. And then she picked up the phone to call a manager. You see, if my company still paid me in dollars, I would not have to present any of these papers and I could take whatever amount of Baht I wanted. But because my company pays me in Dong, I have to jump through hoops to manage my money. After a year of being paid this way, I have really grown tired of this nonsense. Whether it is pulling money from my account here or trying to transfer my funds overseas, it is never a smooth process.
After the clerk hung up the phone, she said to me, “Um, I’m sorry to say, but we do not have enough Baht to give you.” You can imagine my face. So I collected myself and said, “Let me make sure of something. This is a bank, correct? And you are telling me that you do not have the equivalent of $1000USD in Thai Baht? That’s absolutely ridiculous. I do not believe you. I suppose that if I had a USD account, this would not be a problem.”
She replied, “You are right. But actually, Thai Baht is not that popular of a currency so we cannot give you what you ask for.”
“What? Thailand is practically your neighbor and people travel back and forth there for business and leisure very frequently. This is absolutely ridiculous. How am I supposed to get money for my trip, when I cannot exchange Dong outside of Vietnam?” I couldn’t wait for her response to this.
“You can go to the gold shops ma’am. They can change the money for you.” She looked at me as thought she was proud of her answer. Yes, very helpful.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. An employee of HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world is telling me that it is better for me to go to a gold shop to exchange money because it is better than the bank? HSBC seriously does not have enough Baht in reserves to give $1000USD worth? Again, this is ridiculous.”
“We are sorry ma’am. I hope you can get your money. Thank you for banking with HSBC.” I rolled my eyes at her and left the branch. Seriously!!!
Ever wondered what my office looks like? Here ya go. I moved into this office back in April when our sales office for the boat moved and we rented the space to a third party. I am in the back of the building, all too near the restrooms, the service elevator and back stairs. I have no window.
This office makes me happy that my job includes a decent level of travel.
Do you like your office space? Is there someone’s office you covet?