What an interesting concept. I hope you consider sticking around after the competition to share a little more. I`d like to hear how it all comes together and what your major obstacles are.
WOW! Thank you SUN for this wonderful opportunity! Going to
As many of you know, I have two small children (ages 4 and 1) that I care for full time, aside from employing a sitter a couple of afternoons a week. My older son has special needs and requires occupational and speech therapy. Additionally, my boys and I have celiac disease which requires us to adhere to a strict gluten free diet for the rest of our lives. My boys also cannot tolerate dairy or soy, and the younger one can’t handle other foods as well. It is very difficult for us to eat out because of our dietary restrictions, so needless to say we don’t have much fun aside from spending time at home. Additionally, having undiagnosed celiac for thirty-something years has taken a toll on my health, and sometimes it’s hard for me to make it thorough the day.
My business has been doing very well and although I feel truly blessed, I am starting to burn out. I’ve been in business now for over a year and a half. I started the business while pregnant and I exhibited at my first trade show just 10 days from my due date. (My son was born 3 days after the show!) I began a schedule of exhibiting at trade shows and farmer’s markets when my son was only 3 weeks old. From June through December, I only had two weekends that I wasn’t working, and each weekend I was driving back and forth daily anywhere from 1 to 3 ½ hours each way for 2-3 days. Most of the time I had to set up a craft tent plus lug tables, supplies, samples, and product by myself. It was hard physically and very stressful. I was also nursing at the time and had to get a booth-watcher twice a day so that I could run to my car and pump milk for the baby so I could bring it home.
During the week, I was at home packaging my products, preparing for the next show and caring for the kids full time. Around New Years, I decided that I didn’t want to do shows anymore. It was too much to handle, so I decided to start a wholesale program. I thought it would be easier to stay home and ship out boxes, than be away every weekend. My husband and I were also starting to drift apart a little and I needed to be home more because a healthy marriage is the best thing you can do for your family – not to mention he’s my best friend. Selling wholesale involved a whole new learning curve, but within a month I had over 20 stores carrying my products! Now I find that I am busy and overwhelmed again, but at least I am home more.
During the time that I was pregnant and starting the business, I lost my dad unexpectedly to a massive hemorrhagic stroke, on my 35th birthday. It was very difficult for me and I was so disappointed that my dad would never see the baby I was carrying and I would never be able to share my successes with him. He was the only person in my family that I felt connected to and since his passing my family has fallen apart.
So, as you can see we haven’t had the best of luck in our house lately. I’m hoping this will turn around. I feel bad that a lot of our money has gone toward my business. I’m not quite at the stage where it’s coming back yet. I’m sure you all know how that is. My husband works very hard as an ironworker foreman, and at age 45, he can’t keep it up much longer. I’d love to win this trip and make it up to my husband and kids. Disney is known for accommodating special diets, so we could actually have a worry-free vacation!
Also, did I mention that we live in ccccc-cold
Thank you again for this great opportunity! I will be thrilled for whoever wins the big prize! Good luck all!
Actually, as much as I`d LOVE the vacation and always NEED time to enjoy life, the reason I need the vacation is because I`m going to give 3 of the tickets to my sister and my two nieces.
My sister is a single Mom and she has never had a real vacation. Her ex-husband is a deadbeat dad and doesn`t pay his child support. My nieces would absolutely go bonzo to be able to go to Disney World. And my sister really deserves a vacation. She barely makes minimum wage living in Los Angeles trying to keep it all going and supporting her kids.
Part of my commitment to be successful as an entrepreneur is to be able to help out my family when I can. If I was to get this vacation, I`d like to "pay it forward" to make a difference in the lives of someone else.
PS Thought I`d share an article I wrote separately for all the "busy" entrepreneurs who struggle to find time to take a vacation. Maybe this will give you some ways to Take a Break!
Take a Break! 10 Mini-Vacation Ideas to Spark your Creative Juices
When I was in corporate
Why is this important? Because as an entrepreneur our most important and valuable skill is our creativity. And creativity flourishes when we are rested. Have you ever noticed that our best ideas come at times like when we are sleeping or in the shower? Maybe you are like me and they drop in when you are driving? Well, to tap into that cherished creativity more often, we need to have downtime. Let me introduce the idea of the “entrepreneur’s vacation.” You may not have the time or inclination to go to Yosemite or
1. Read a good book. No…not another marketing or leadership book. Be really audacious – read a fiction book. Recently, I’ve been into Ken Follet. Maybe you are more of a Harry Potter fan. Or be real decadent and just read a trashy novel. Anything that will let your imagination run free and the creativity flow.
2. Hang out in a coffee shop. You’ll meet the most interesting people (especially in
3. Go for a drive. Pick a place you haven’t been before. I’ll often jump in the car and drive down to the beach just to get my head clear.
4. Have lunch with a friend. You know, at one of those fancy, chi-chi restaurants with the great view. I highly recommend Shutters in
5. Go to a mid-day matinee . Be really adventurous and make it a 2:00 showing. Plus it’s a great way to escape the summer heat waves. The DaVinci code looks like a great one!
6. Enjoy a hobby. Golf, tennis, knitting, painting, gardening, whatever it is, give yourself some time to have fun with it. Internet surfing and chat rooms don’t count! (But planting a few house plants does!) I’ve recently added a “Friday afternoon golf” outing with my honey. And I’m planning a golf outing with my clients when I get back.
7. Play games with friends. Two of our family favorites are Guesstures and Balderdash. Games are an amazing way to let off steam. The idea is to laugh like a kid again.
8. Get some culture. Most towns have outdoor concerts for the summer that are free. Visit a museum. The Getty in
9. Spend the afternoon with a child. If you don’t have any of your own, borrow one from a friend. Do something you would never do unless you were with a five year old! Make a fort in the living room couch or play hair salon. My 7 year old niece loves to make me looks silly with weird ponytails and clips. Remember how fun that was?
10. Treat yourself to a spa day. My personal favorite – massage. It is something that is good for EVERYONE! If you are really looking to decompress, head out to a spa weekend. A few of my favorites are: Palm Desert Marriott Hot Springs, The Bacara in
When my clients get stressed out, I give them an assignment to take time off. It always works like a charm! The pay off for taking breaks can be significant. Writers who suffer from writers block often say that the best thing to do is disengage for a while and do something else.
When you notice you are reading the same sentence over and over again or when you sit staring at the computer for over 15 minutes, trying to remember what you were just working on, it’s time to take a break! Have fun with it and just enjoy yourself for a few hours. I promise, nothing horrible will happen and you will be much more creative when you return.
So here’s an opportunity for you to integrate more time to tap into your creativity…Plan to do at least one of these 10 recommendations within the next week. Watch what happens. Realize how your energy is rejuvenated. Observe how much more productive you become when you take time for fun. Open your mind to the flow of creativity and new ideas. Pretty soon you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how nice an “entrepreneur`s vacation” can be.
Why I think I need a vacation:
Since April 2005 the following has happened to me:
(1). My father passed away in April. He was my hero and rock, he was "the wind beneath my wings." I had to take care of the matters of his estate with my brother during this time and it was most difficult as I was dealing with some other serious issues in my life as well.
(2). One of the issues I was dealing with and being treated for were 2 brain tumors. Both were benign however they were quite troublesome for me as far as causing symptoms. I had the Gamma Knife treatment done as well as was receiving other treatment before and during this time period.
(3). I was working at a "high stress" company dealing with a member of the team there who did everything she could to sabotage me (while dealing with the loss of my father and my health issues). I could not take the pressure and stress so I left my job.
(4). On Memorial Day weekend, I was burned out of my home by a mentally ill man that I am payee for and the caretaker of and lost everything I owned. This young man was like a "son" to my father so he could not deal properly with the loss of dad as well as his own personal mental health issues.
(5). I had to meet with and negotiate with members of law enforcement, the mental health community, doctors, insurance adjusters and investigators during this time. I worked long and hard to keep the mentally ill man out of jail for what he had done, while working to get him the medical attention and care he desperately needed. I did succeed in my efforts and he received treatment and parole and is now doing great!
(6). I started a new job in June of 2005 with a most excellent company which was a good thing as it helped me keep it together during the time that all these things were happening in my life.
(7). During this time I had issues with Cingular Wireless "To Go" Phone service. The company had my money but I did not have service. It was an absolute mess to get resolved. I did get it resolved only after 4 different calls and then going to the CEO`s office of the company. Also, Earhthlink thought they would be cute and try to take money out of my account before the time it was due and I had to go after them to get the money refunded. AOL had a serious security breach with my account and someone was using my personal information-including my son`s pictures-on AOL. It took me going to the President of the Company`s office to get that stopped-but I finally did. With everything else going on who needed all of that going on as well?
(8). My middle son had to be admitted to a hospital for suicidal issues as a result of all that was going on in our family and his life.
(9). I started my website company, Haroldsays.com as a result of my success through the years in helping my family members and others resolve their financial or customer service issues with companies, organizations and government agencies. I had already helped lots of other people and was doing it in the present time, so I thought, why not expand my outreach and reach out to help more people in need?
(10). Because of the fire and all that had happened to me financially, (from dad passing, to my health issues costing me money, and just everyday life things happening), I had to move a couple of times between 2005 and 2006.
(11). My sister who is mentally ill was abandoned by my brother and sister in law and left to die without her medications. She had 2 or 3 strokes, was off her medications due to a pharmacy error, and nearly died. About a month ago I brought her to live with me and to care for her. She is now in the hospital being properly treated so she can be released and come home to live with me again.
(12). I took in a young Puerto Rican man to live with me who I have known for 6 years, to help him. He had lost his job and was homeless so I took him in. He is an outstanding young man who is drug and crime free and wanted help and direction in his life. He is now working at a very good full-time job, is doing wonderfully, and is a great help to me during this time in my life.
I had a weeks vacation coming this year from where I am working however I used up all of the time because of all of the issues and problems that I have been dealing with. And besides, it is not like I have any extra money for a vacation even if I had the time.
The bottom line for me is this-whether I win the vacation or not-my life still goes on and I am ok and will be ok. I am happy. I love life. I love others and enjoy serving others. I live enthusiastically and positively and live "like I was dying," making and taking the most I can out of every moment of life. I look forward to doing even more with my life and web site business in the near future to help people with their issues, problems, and struggles. Thank You!
Wow - how can I compete!
I`d like to win the vacation contest for one main reason...
To get more clients for my business every where I go!! A vacation spot equals more potential clients, and more opportunity for me to spread the word about Arbonne ! (apparently I need a break really bad)
Of course, 90% of the time spent would be relaxing and catching up on sleep. Being a momprenuer is no easy task as we all know.
I am fairly new to this website myself...and although I am not quite yet a full entrepreneur...I am definitely aspiring to such! I have been in the planning stage for quite some time now but only because of funding difficulties due to medical bills (which I will get into later). Although I truly believe we all could use a vacation...and I love the idea that TJG has...I have to admit...and be honest with myself...I would give anything for a few quiet moments...and here are my reasons:
My day starts at 3:45am when my husband wakes to head to work...I try to make sure he has a lunch to take with him. I then get myself ready and our 4 year old son who will then go off to daycare...and I will drive an hour to my full time day job. In the evenings I get home, make dinner, do dishes, work on the upcoming business venture, then fall back into bed. Not exciting...I know...but wait...there`s more!
My dream to be an entrepreneur started 4 years ago when my son was born. He was born with a chromosome abnormality and I have spent every waking (and sometimes the sleeping) hours since researching every term, diagnosis, prescriptions, funding, support groups, non-profits, etc. It suddenly occured to me that it was time to share all this knowledge...which is where my idea for my organization came from. I am starting a non-profit organization that will be (*fingers crossed*) the largest source of information for the special needs community...ever. If we don`t have it, we will find it...and if we can`t find it...it doesn`t exist! Unfortunately...when I say we...I mean me! I created a website and have done 99% of the research on my own during my off time (technically when I should be sleeping but insomnia is horrible). The website took off much faster than I ever anticipated (1200 hits in just under 4 months) and has led me into the realm of trying to get the business end of it all in order to "open the doors" officially on the organization.
I spend most days half at work and half in hospitals or doctors offices with my son. His health has never gotten better only worse, but I also have to pay the bills. My husband and I never got a honeymoon, we don`t get vacations, and we rarely see each other except a few brief moments in the wee hours of the mornings when I am handing him his sandwich and he is running out the door. We are both exhausted, not just physically, but emotionally. Our son just went through surgery #8 about a week ago...and will have #9 in early August. And although I know that there are people out there who deserve a break much more than we do...I often dream of a quick vacation...just a moment to breath...to rest...maybe get a full night`s sleep...maybe get to lay down next to my husband again if for only a moment.
We all work so hard for our families, our companies, our friends. We put our own needs aside so often to fulfill those of others, never once looking in the mirror at ourselves and realizing we are neglecting so much. I am not very good at asking for things for myself...and I have to admit...as I type this I can`t help but think of the million other moms out there who have special needs children who could also use a break....but there is this side of me that is so tired...and could so use it. I spend around 20 hours a day running in circles either physically or in front of a computer trying to put things together.
My family is my life. But for today...I could really just use a break! So glad you are giving us an opportunity to ask for something for ourselves for once...even if many of us aren`t that good at it! Even if I don`t get the trip...at least I finally asked for something for me...good practice!!