Tag Archive for auto transport

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Moments of reflection

Reflecting over the past year in business, I have learned many things. Many have propelled me forward into areas of business that I did not know about. Some made me scared while others were familiar to me. I think the most inspiring thing I learned was how to face the reality of business head on without fear, taking the emotion out of the decision.

One thing has not changed and that is I am a woman, wife, mother and grandma who loves people. Besides being a student, coaching other students and running a business I have learned how to turn back the clock. That lesson turned me into an anti-aging, fiery grandma of four who looks and feels like she is twenty something again.

Being able to bounce back after making a life changing decision has not always been easy. The first decision of that kind happened back when I decided to leave my first network marketing business. When my friend and mentor, Gary called me to let me know he was leaving, I remember how I felt and what I did. Handing the phone to my husband, Rich I raced to the bathroom and threw up.

Today when making a decision of that magnitude some of the same emotions wash back over me. However, having learned that it is “nothing personal, it’s just business” has helped me to deal with it head on.

I have learned that you must think on your feet or wash out to sea by the ever-churning tide of the marketplace. Another lesson under my belt is that when making the right decision and standing by it you come out a winner every time.

One of those stark reality checks happened last Thursday. I really cannot say it was much of a surprise, yet the result still stung a little bit. Any human being has to deal with emotions otherwise, we are nothing short of being a robot. What is it I am talking so passionately about?

Live your passion

In our auto transport business, there are many things I am passionate about, mostly the people who work in the industry. The job tasks themselves anyone can learn how to do them. Running a successful auto transport business for over six and a half years has proven to be lucrative, fun and worthwhile.

One season of our business took us to serve our fellow broker friends. We provided free information that we had learned over the past few years in business. As the year progressed, we developed coaching programs to help them get started in business. Many friends and business associates benefited from those programs.

As my skill at teaching improved, we hosted a free teleconference to give yet more information to those wanting it. Yet, many more wanted additional information. It really seemed that the request for details came faster and faster yet did not result in increased revenue.

Business decisions are not always popular

This is when the rubber had to hit the road or not. For the good of the company, we made a decision, yet I did not want to face it. It took a strong coach to show me how to continue profitably. A solid plan for my life, what did I want it to look like and why?

So, in watching and listening to the marketplace my husband and I have decided to change our focus. It is time to look to the future with today in mind. It is time we start living the life we have dreamed of for a long time. We have finally taken the time to define what that means and go for it.

As the tide of the marketplace has shifted, it is time to recognize the timing and start working on a back up plan. Therefore, we are starting to build our retirement business part-time.

While still working our auto transport business, we are focusing on helping others find what we did. At our age, to recapture our youth, reverse health issues and financial woes is timely. It is time to add to our bank account. When we focus on serving others and focus on helping them get what they want, our goals and dreams will follow, too.

Join us won’t you? This anti-aging, fiery grandma of four found out how to turn back the clock. She found the youth of her twenties. Ask her she will share her secret with you, too.  Click here to join us at our new home, with a new look and focus.

Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.

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Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Caleb’s High School Graduation and Falling Forward

Caleb's High School Graduation and Falling Forward

Preparing for our youngest nephews graduation

Friday morning rolled around and my usual routine of making coffee, feeding the animals and booting up the computer was to change. For just this one Friday, I would not even open the auto transport office door. The night before our trip, I had set the phones to mute. I did not forward them to my cell phone, as I normally would have in the past.

My bag packed fresh batteries in the camera and my cell phone carried a full charge. I had downloaded all photos off my memory chip in the camera. After all, I did not want to run out of space at the ceremony.

It was about 8:00 AM when my parents arrived and parked the minivan in the driveway. Tossing my luggage into the back, I settled into the passenger seat behind my mom, she took first shift of being the driver. This would surely test my nerves and control I had or not over my tongue.

I will let you in on a little secret about my mom. She is in her seventies and recently told me she is developing a cataract in her eye. It troubled me that she would be driving, but after all, I am the daughter and she the mother. My sister, Cheryl and I shot each other "that look" and grinned, agreeing to go with the flow.

Giving my husband, Rich a quick hug and a kiss we shut the door and off we went on our way to Fort Bragg, California and our youngest nephew, Caleb's high school graduation.

Potty break and driver change

A few hours into the drive, we all needed a potty break. Mom and dad drove Highway 20 often whenever they traveled to Fort Bragg to visit my sister and her boys. There was a convenient gas station and store before we hit the small town called Clear Lake. Taking this opportunity to stretch our legs, refuel our snack and water supply we were ready to hit the road again.

This leg of the trip my dad would be the driver. Although my sister and I offered to drive, both parents informed us that they were fine. Looking at each other my sister made a wise crack about have loose wires (that was our code for oh no). If you happened to be on FaceBook that day, you saw my post. Now you know what I was referring to when I say she had a few wires loose in her head. (smiling)

Dad's driving was fine as was mom's while on the freeway. As we made our way around Clear Lake the highway narrowed and became curvy making the 30 MPH speed limit necessary. The drive around the lake was beautiful. Due to the increase in rain this year plants and wildflowers were greener, the colors more vibrant and beautiful.

The short drive up Highway 101 to Highway 20 took us through lush grassy meadows and thick-forested groves of tall pine trees. The last time I had been through this country was during an extreme drought and everything was dead and ugly. Now, the scenery was breathtaking and I could not help but think back of all the family vacations we had enjoyed years ago with our family.

Then, out of nowhere, my sister gasped and yelled out, "Dad, watch what you are doing"! He had reached down for a toothpick and headed straight for the mountainside. After our hearts stopped pounding out of our chests, we laughed…nervously laughed and said our prayers.

Fort Bragg, family and the graduation ceremony

When we arrived at my sister's house, no one was home. What did we ever do before everyone started carrying cell phones? Even my parents have one of their very own. We were able to track them down to a local restaurant and joined them for lunch.

By now, we were all tired of "grab and go" meals and wanted a real homemade, hot meal. My sister, her two boys, their dad, and his family were all present. We had a good time catching up on what had gone on in their lives over the past year and our meal was scrumptious, too.

It was now time to return to their home and get ready to head over to the high school as graduation started at 5:00 PM. We stopped by our hotel and freshened up, checked in and loaded our jackets and cameras. It did not take long and we were back in the minivan headed for the commencement ceremony.

Hopes, dreams and Denzel Washington

As the graduates filed onto the field to the band playing "Pomp and Circumstance", my thoughts went back to when I was the graduate. My hopes and dreams of becoming a successful businessperson was all I could see. When life did not go exactly as I had thought it would, I found myself falling and picking myself up. I wondered if life would deal a hand like that to my nephew, too.

Usually the speeches given at graduations do not really catch my attention. However, this speech did. The Chairman of the Board shared a quote by a famous actor, Denzel Washington. He had been a keynote speaker at the graduation of the University of Pennsylvania. Rich Schulman wrote, "It is no surprise that a great actor like Denzel Washington would provide some great expressions during his speech. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

 
"Some people say that you always need something to fall back on, but he never understood that", he said.

"I want to fall forward. I figure at least this way I'll see what I'm going to hit", he said.
 
I wondered if the graduates were listening. This was sound advice from someone who had been sitting right where they were year's earlier and found success. He went on to say that, this is and has been the time of their life. Enjoy each lesson, embrace what it gives you whether a failure to learn by or a success to celebrate.
 
As the chairperson handed the diplomas to each student, a sense of responsibility came over each one. Their expressions showed all over their faces. For some this was the end of their formal education and they would move on to join the ranks of working America. For some, like my nephew it is only a rest stop, a fueling station. Caleb is continuing on to college.
 
My Mom, Caleb and My Dad
 
It did not matter the student's destination in life, each family celebrated this day with balloons, Hawaiian leis, shell necklaces and bouquets of flowers. Barbecue dinners and parties followed the formal ceremonies and the class party at the school followed those.
 
One of my favorite past time activities is scrap booking our travels. This hobby has found its way into our family's hearts too. My gift to my nephew, Caleb is to journal his special day with pictures for him to treasure for years to come.

Today, you get to share my gift and view it here…Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

What is the lesson for this auto transport business owner? I, like Denzel Washington, want to fall forward. I do not want to see what I could fall back on; I want to see what I will land on. I, too have failed, picked myself up and moved forward.

Making each day the best I can, I want to serve my clients with my whole heart and soul. Helping each person regain his or her health, lose weight, or build an auto transport business as we did excites me.

Whatever is in our future, we want to embrace it and share with our friends, family and clients. To serve another makes my heart beat proudly within my chest.
 
What is it you take away from this lesson? Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.
 
Share this with your friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. We can not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping all you can.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Business Owner Decides to Work Part Time Earns More Money Part 2

 

Business Owner Decides to Work Part Time Earns More Money, Part 2

Benefits of a coach

A year and a half ago I made a decision to bring our businesses online to increase our visibility and profits. Highly intimidated by technology I was scared to death. This was an area I had neither interest nor experience in, what would I do. Like most people I have met and talked with at length, I fumbled around online searching for the right person to teach me how to market online.

Because I did not have, knowledge in what or who I was looking for cost me dearly. Spending money we did not have I tried every coach, system and product out there, or nearly every one. Did I see success? Nope. Matter of fact I nearly gave up.

Then she appeared. This woman with a strategic loud voice showed up on FaceBook. I knew her from our part time home business. She had attended some of those personal growth training seminars, too. As I watched her, it seemed she knew what she was doing. Gradually my trust started to build and I purchased one of her training classes.

The woman I am talking about is Sandi Krakowski. She is currently my business coach teaching me everything from how to build an e-commerce website in WordPress and social media marketing to lead generation for our auto transport business and part time networking business. It has been a journey and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to build a business online.

Let's not forget the major decision I talked about earlier. Sandi is a genius at marketing and listening to what the market wants. She knew my loyalty and love for my home business, products and the staff of the company. She honored my decision to remain loyal to that staff, our product quality and compensation plan. She kept reiterating to listen to what my market was asking for. Did I get it? No, I did not understand.

You see learning marketing is like being in college. When you are a freshman, you will never understand mathematics like a senior, right. The freshman starts with algebra and the senior finishes up with calculus, it is a progressive learning curve. The same goes for learning anything new, you must pay the price, practice, learn, and implement to build your skill.

Major decision launches trips to bank

Have you ever heard the term "Can't see the forest for the trees"? Well, that statement described me for the longest time. A coach is someone who is there to encourage you, show you your strengths, to root you on to success and not dwell on your weaknesses. They lead you to resources to help you over hurdles they see you need to cross but it is not in their area of expertise.

It was during one of our coaching calls that the past years worth of lessons, techniques and practice all came together. Finally, the light went on and I realized what I needed to do to propel my businesses forward. I had learned to step up and out of my "employee mindset" and think like a true business owner. Remember my friend, the one who told me "it's nothing personal, it's just business"?

I had been holding onto a dying part time home business, the part time business that I came online to grow. After more than a year of working my butt off, I had not sold one product, not enrolled one business partner…not one!

It was that realization that propelled me to listen to what my clients, truck drivers and friends on FaceBook and Twitter wanted. They did not want what I had. After banging my head on that proverbial brick wall, voila! Bingo and hallelujah I got it!

Therefore, after more than fourteen years loyally dedicated to one product line, one company and the staff I decided to step back. To look at providing the market what it wanted. The result?

In just 90 days, our checks are as much as our checks after fourteen years with the other company. We have more business partners actively working with us than we EVER had before. We are having fun, our auto transport business is in full operation and our dispatch center is blooming, too.

Sometimes those tough, gut wrenching decisions are the ones you are suppose to make. That is your test, to jump off that bridge and be a business owner who decides to work part time and earn extra money or remain loyal to a dying business. It is your choice, what will you choose?

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

 

Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
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Humble Country Western Star Teaches Enchanting Customer Service

 

Humble Country Western Star Teaches Enchanting Customer Service

I grew up listening to country western music

This past weekend one of our son’s customers, Randy Givens treated us to a country music concert. Randy showed his appreciation for the enchanting customer service he has received from our son, by giving him tickets to the concert. We are so proud of our son, Dan. He has grown into a wonderful young man and an exemplary employee.

Any parent would be happy to see that their hard work raising their children paid off, right? It was especially exciting to watch first hand the interaction between Dan and Randy. Each man was just himself while putting the needs of the other ahead of their own. This mom's heart almost burst with pride.

There was no way we could know in advance that the events of the evening would teach us such a big lesson. Popularity and stardom does not necessarily mean a person has to be arrogant or rude. This star was salt of the earth. He displayed the humble traits of a true country boy. Joe Nichols will always hold a place in my family’s heart due to his actions after the concert.

Yes, part of our admission included a “meet and greet” with Joe himself. I have to admit, I had no idea what this really meant, but it was an event we will not forget for a very long time. Joe Nichols has mastered the art of enchantment with his fans and followers.

Cold drinks and meeting friends

Arriving early, Randy treated us to ice cold drinks to quench our thirst. The temperature was a balmy 85 degrees and humid. There was a slight breeze. It kept us cool as it touched our sweating brow. The cold drink washed away the dust kicked up by the crowd in front of us at the fair.

Our son introduced us to his friend and customer who graciously gave us the tickets. Randy, a local businessperson is very involved in his community and a solid family man, too. Watching him throughout the evening, you could see he has a true servant’s heart. He was constantly making sure everyone was having a good time, even giving up his personal seat.

Crowd watching has always been a hoot for us. People from all lifestyles came to see Joe Nichols, famous country singer and performer. We saw cowboys and cowgirls right off the local ranches. Teenagers dressed in short shorts and cowboy boots gathered in circles excitedly chattering about the impending show. Business people from the community brought their parents, grandparents and children, too. Grandma and grandpa held the hands of the little ones. One little girl even had small pink cowboy boots on. She was so adorable. People of all ages were ready to enjoy the sounds of country music.

Let the show begin

It was finally time for the concert to get started. The sun had set a few minutes earlier and now the stagehands cranked up the stage lights. The warm up band, Curtis & Luckey had the crowd clapping their hands, swaying to the music in anticipation of the star of the show making his grand entrance.

Now I would learn first hand how to “self-promote”. After the warm up songs and entertainment ended the lead singer announced, they had a gift for everyone in attendance. Sending their promotion crew into the audience, they handed each guest a postcard. This card was promoting their new hit single, “I Have a Dream”. There was also a link to download the entire album FREE. Click here, I'll share my gift with you, too!

At the bottom of the postcard were three small bottle cap pictures…can you guess what they were? Each picture represented a different social media site. Yes, Twitter, You Tube and Face Book were clearly marked so we, the fans, could find and follow them on social media. Do you think we should follow what they are doing in country music to promote their business?

Country Boy, Joe Nichols rocks the house

By now; the crowd was primed and ready for the main performance. It was very refreshing to see men as well as women excited to listen to and engage with Joe in his music. Unlike many performers today who have groupies in their following I did not see any that evening. There were no tears, no extravagant dress and definitely no screaming at the top of their lungs to drown out the concert. 

I had to wonder though…maybe I am getting older, maybe I cannot relate to the younger generation and the extremes they go to wanting to fit in. Each person in attendance that night remained who they were. No pretenses, no airs put on, just down to earth country folks from all over the country.

Many of the songs Joe sang had stories within the words. One in particular got my attention. It is titled “The Impossible”. It made such an impression on me that I had to share it with you. Watch the video and really listen to the words.

Country music written from each writer's heart tells his or her story. I think it is the same for you and me. When we feel passionately about an issue, our job or business is when we are most effective at helping others. Don't you think that is true?

Meet and Greet

When the concert was over, we headed down to the secure area behind the stage. We all were a bit nervous never having met a big country western star before.

Joe Nichols was born in Rogers, Ark., on Nov. 26, 1976. His father drove a truck but also played bass and sang. Nichols would hear and watch his dad perform at VFW dates. Like Nichols grandfather and uncles, his dad played classic country music.

Like many other country western musicians stardom and success did not come easy for Joe. His first major hit was in 2002 after his father died. This is the story behind the song that shot to the top, "The Impossible". You can read more of Joe's biography on CMT.com.

The manager had us line up single file. Joe spent a few moments with each person. His warm smile and sparkling eyes made his tanned face glow. He gave a quick hello, thank you and a hug to the women and girls. Each man received a firm handshake and firm hand on the shoulder. You could feel his genuine gratitude.

His manager arranged for one of his crew to snap photos of everyone using their iPhones, cameras or both. Some of the fans had him autograph their cowboy boots, hats, tickets and jackets. The beauty queen contestants presented their sashes for autographs along with their sparkling smiles.

My husband and I were in line about midway when we noticed our son and his friend at the end of the line. We decided to stay put and take our turn. Joe expressed his thanks to us for taking time out of our day to enjoy his passion with him. Wow! That was out of the ordinary, that statement surprised us.

We had our tickets and Rich's ball cap autographed, clicked our picture and off we went to wait for our son. Soon it was our son Dan's turn. There was yet another surprise coming. The country music star called us back up to talk again. When he found out we were Dan's parents he told our son, "You need a picture with them. Again, this man's sincere thoughts and actions were enchanting!

Finally, Joe put the icing on the cake. For our family photo with him, he put his arm around Rich on one side. Dan was next to Joe with me on the outside. Joe stretched his arm over Dan's shoulder, guided me into his loving hug of our family, and said, "This is family". Overcome with emotion at his attention to every detail I was speechless. What country western star do you know enchants like that?

Floating on Cloud 9 we all left the area chatting like baby robins in the nest. We all were shocked at the personal interaction of such a well-known man. I bet his momma is proud.

Next stop, souvenirs

We made our way through the crowd to find the table filled with Joe Nichols souvenirs. Tee shirts representing different songs done by Joe were plentiful. There were key chains, wristbands, ball caps, pictures and CDs. My family wanted an autographed tee shirt and I wanted a CD.

While waiting in the long line we were watching people, again. When you listen to what others talk about you can get a good sense of what they want. These fans wanted to see Joe, up close and personal.

However, the meet and greet was over. I wondered how they would get what they wanted. Then everyone went crazy. We could not figure out what the commotion was and then…there he was. Joe had left the secure area and come out front, to the masses for pictures, handshakes and autographs.

He spent the next hour greeting his fans, taking pictures and thanking them for supporting him and his dream. I overheard him tell a young girl, never give up, always follow your heart. He took his time with each fan, not to rush them and not to forget anyone. Each person left with a big smile and a huge place for him in their hearts.

Unexpectedly we were back face to face with the star once again. With a big grin, and his cute sense of humor he said, "Back again". My son, with an equally funny sense of humor said, "You are so good we came back for seconds". We all laughed, clicked even more photos, and got more autographs and a bigger hug.

We will never forget the love and appreciation shown to us by Joe Nichols and his staff. None of the fans at the Lassen County Fair in Susanville, CA July 22, 2011 will ever forget him either. This is what remaining humble will do even when you are a big country western music star. When you keep your focus on your customer, when you make them happy then your dreams and goals will come true, too.

Thanks, Joe for the lesson in enchanting customer service.

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

Wrestling Your Pesky Finances into Submission in Three Simple Steps

 

Wrestling Your Pesky Finances into Submission in Three Simple Steps

Finances, pesky finances.

Even those of us who seem to have our finances totally under control have bad days.  And those bad days may extend into weeks if we don’t nip it in the bud.  It usually comes from overwhelm.

As with any other part of our busy lives, we expected that computers and other new technologies would make life simpler and leave more time for plain ol’ living.

However, in the past we only had to check our checkbook balances and look at paper receipts to know what cash we had spent and what we had available.  Today it’s ATMs, online purchases from bank cards or Paypal, automatic deductions, phone-based text message contributions, debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, and so on.

And how do we keep track?  We have invoices and statements that are mailed to us.  Others are online.  Some, like Paypal, we have to go hunting for.  We might use online services like Mint.com or CommonSense or Quicken (to name but a few) to consolidate things.  Or we might try to do it all manually.

Now that’s just our current personal finances.  Not to mention any investments, IRAs, etc.

And that load might double if we own a business!

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and stretched too thin, you have the right to take off that Superwoman cape every so often.  Turn off the incessant chatter in your head.  Take a day or two where you give yourself permission not to keep rehashing what a mess your finances are in.  Breathe.

But not for too long.  Because the world didn’t take that day or two off with you.  Life moves on regardless.  And any backlog will just get worse.

Once back and focused, you do have a few choices of how to handle the situation.  Some are healthy and some are not.

1.    You could stick your head in the sand and totally ignore things.  Known as the Ostrich Method of Personal Finance, this one catches up with you eventually and by then the chaos is so great, you might find yourself facing bankruptcy.  Or at least your credit will be in shambles.  Not wise.

2.    You could just deal with the “screamers.”  (As in “He who screams loudest gets my money.”)  Those are the bills that have red letters on the outside of the envelopes.  Or the calls you’re getting from creditors … or collectors.  Again, your credit will be ruined and your nerves will be shot from the anxiety.  And eventually the whole thing will come toppling down on you.  Not smart.

3.    You could keep juggling things the best you can, trying to remember all you have to pay, what’s due when, what’s where, what’s siphoning off which account, what credit’s left on what credit card, and all the little expenditures you don’t even feel yourself making, called “bleeders.”  But not for long.  Eventually you’ll wear yourself out, or forget something that triggers a spiral of late charges, unpaid bills and worse.  Not good.

4.    Or you could take the time to give yourself every chance to succeed with your finances.  You could “wrestle” them into submission in three simple steps:

Step One:  Do a handwritten brain dump. First, take a deep breath.  Then do a handwritten download of everything you can think of that needs to be done regarding your finances.  (No computers here!)  Unless you have a clear picture of what you’re dealing with, you will see your situation as worse than it is.  (Overwhelm will do that.)

Writing it all down on paper becomes a sort of cathartic brain dump.  That, in turn, frees up space in your head for you to be more creative in your solutions.  And it doesn’t matter if you hate writing and haven’t held a pencil in your hands in years.  It’s important to have the physical sensation of writing and visualizing what’s going on … in your own letters and numbers … for you to own where you are and feel the true impact of what you need to do.

Step Two:  Simplify, simplify, simplify your life. Besides all the payments you have, you also have all sorts of open loops:  car insurance you keep saying you want to re-quote to lower your premium; rebate forms to send in; charges on your credit card statements that you don’t recognize; or doctors’ bills that didn’t go through the insurance company and you know you don’t owe that much.  These are soul-suckers.  So, unless you’re rich enough to tear them up and forget about them, make a list.  Cross off the ones you decide aren’t worth the effort.  For each one that stays on the list, gather the backup information, plus contact numbers, and pick a day when you promise yourself to clear them all up.  And do so.

Next, look at everything you can get rid of:  pay off credit cards with tiny balances and stop using them so you have one less statement to deal with; pick one debit card and lock all the rest away so they don’t get used; consolidate bank accounts that don’t have any justification other than your laziness to close them; get radical in paring back every financial tool you can live without.  But don’t overlook any impact such an action might have on your credit rating (for example, don’t shut down credit cards, just sideline them).

You’ll be amazed at how many things you can do without, with minimal inconvenience.  So many were just added over the years, without removing old ones.  And by lowering the number of financial tools, your finances are easier to get under control.

Step Three:  Systematize or delegate. With far fewer financial tools to deal with, it’s easier to set up systems for what remains.  One thing that helps is to have all bills coming due at the same time, unless you’re paid twice monthly, on the 1st and 15th of the month.  In that case, you might want to split bills between the 5th and the 19th to be sure your deposits have cleared.  A simple call to a service provider will usually result in a changed due date, with a one-time prorated adjustment for the extra days covered.  At that point, all you need to do is schedule an appointment with yourself to pay bills twice a month.

If you have a friendly bookkeeper, you can delegate some of the tasks to that person.  But remember, you are only delegating the act of paying, not the responsibility.

Out of chaos, comes order.  And out of order comes clarity regarding the inflows and outflows of money.  Out of clarity comes a feeling of control … critical control that frees up time and energy to make more money, save more money, and release the financial genius you know down deep you are!

Sharon O’Day is a money expert with a successful career in global finance and marketing, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in helping entrepreneurial women over 50 remove the obstacles to making and saving money, and to becoming financially free. For more information on how to be “Over Fifty and Financially Free,”  visit http://SharonODay.com

 

Bio: Sharon O’Day lost everything at age 53:  her home, her business, everything.  But how could that be?  She’s an expert in global finance and marketing with an MBA from the Wharton School.  She has worked with governments, corporations, and individuals … yes, she was the secret ‘weapon,’ if you will, behind many individuals in high places.  But yet she did!  Since then, Sharon has interviewed countless women and done extensive research to understand how that could have happened, especially with her strong knowledge of numbers and finance.

The surprising answers will be shared in her upcoming book “Money After Menopause.”  Today her mission is to show as many women as possible how to become financially free for the long term, through her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” coaching programs.  She has developed a step-by-step plan to get past all the obstacles that keep women broke and scared … and from reaching the financial peace of mind they so deserve.

Why Most Entrepreneurs Fail, Why We Will Not

 

Why Most Entrepreneurs Fail, Why We Will not

False thinking raises its ugly head

Have you ever thought there would come a day when life stopped dishing out lessons for us to learn? Well, if you are like me we can always hope so. What I found last week instead was false thinking on my part.

You see, I thought when I left the job at the bank and started building my own auto transport business security was a done deal, locked in. I knew that jobs in corporate America were no longer secure in the new economy. By reading the headlines in the morning paper or watching the evening news I see evidence of the insecurity in working for someone else.

My husband and I lived through the very insecure timber industry here in northern California when he lost his job not once, but three times to it. Learning to live on twenty-five percent of a mill workers income when the bills did not decrease accordingly stunk! This was one more reason we wanted to be independent, work for ourselves, control our own destiny.

Auto transport market changes in business 

Part of the lessons I learned early on in our broker business was we must be aware and have our finger on the pulse of the industry. Keeping our head buried in the sand like an ostrich is not how a business owner builds a successful business. In fact, if you do not watch what is going on in the rest of the country you could easily go broke.

Just like when Hurricane Katrina hit and we almost lost the business. If it were not for our owner-operators, who love and cared for us giving us advice we would have closed our doors. It certainly was a tough lesson and one we will not soon forget.

During the darkest of times back then is when we decided we had better look at alternate ways to make money if I wanted to keep the business going and stay home to work. If you recall we were building a part time vitamin business at the same time. It was at a networking breakfast meeting that one of our members questioned me about what an auto transport broker did. When I answered the question, they asked for a business card and said their uncle was looking for my type of service.

The following week we received a call from the uncle of the member of the networking group. It did not take long to figure out that they had misunderstood my explanation of what I do. This man was looking for a dispatcher.

However, I agreed to meet him and his wife for coffee to discuss what services I could offer them. The rest is history, thus was born “The Dispatch Center”, a division of Carla’s Transport Services.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket

The next phase of the business grew right along. Soon after accepting one owner-operator job, others followed. Even though the customer side of auto transport had slowed down, the dispatching of auto carriers kept me hopping.

I found I loved working with the variety of clients, from car owners, other brokers to the drivers themselves. Relationships grew, as did my circle of professional business partners. Soon I found myself inside their lives helping them with their health, too. How could that be you might wonder?

One of the drivers I had dispatched a car to for one of my auto transport customers transports went missing in action. Panic began to set in when his company called me looking for any updated information. His wife called me asking when the last communication we had was, what time of day and the like.

All I can say is thank goodness for relationships, companies who care for their employees and the GPS systems some trucking firms use on their trucks. After a whole day of investigating, he was finally located at a truck stop, in the back, face down having suffered a stroke. He is all right today, thanks to everyone’s effort and relentless phone calls.

As the seasons change so does the volume of business, both on the brokering and dispatching side of the business. It made perfect sense to diversify and build our vitamin business due to the difficulties of the market.

However, I neglected one detail. I settled into the false thinking of security. The mindset of if brokering slows, I have the dispatching to fall back on. Doesn’t it seem logical and safe? Wrong.

Depending on someone elses business for security

In this current economy, government agencies are looking for ways to boost our economy. Now, I am not saying anything is wrong with that it does need help. However, let me share with you what happened to one of the trucks I dispatch. Please, share your thoughts and help me understand the logic of this situation.

This truck has been running the same route for over six years. What this means is he hauls a load of cars from California to Texas and back again using the same interstates. For our safety there are inspection stations manned by Highway Patrol officers trained in semi-tractor safety and highway law. Stay with me here as I take you through my thinking.

On the last load-in the inspector tells the driver that his equipment is one foot too long. Now, after six years his truck is illegal to run the state of California, he is done. What does this mean to his business and mine? One of two things can happen. He can purchase new equipment that is the right length for the state requirements at a great cost or he is out of business.

What did this teach me? The light bulb went off in my head and it exploded. I had allowed my thinking to slip back into a comfort zone that had gotten others and me into trouble before. I thought I was secure in my auto transport broker and dispatch center. I thought even if one side generated less revenue it would be okay because I had the other side.

What I had not counted on were the regulations changing. We try not to think about trucks breaking down, trailers being too long. This all caused an immediate loss of work, revenue and comfort.

We were comforted knowing that while we were building our business we did not put all of our eggs in one basket. We had begun building another business part time, our anti-aging vitamin company.

 
Have you ever thought about how secure your job or business really is? It was a real wake up call for me. Now I know for sure, the only security in business is to have a back up plan.
 
Start today working on your plan. You do not want to be caught off guard by rules, regulations and laws that are not within your control. Like my family, yours will be thankful that you thought ahead.
 
We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Leave your comment below and join in the discussion. We'd love to hear your thoughts about being prepared for imminent change.
 
Click the FaceBook "Like" and "Re-tweet" buttons; or if you Stumble that's great, too. You mean the world to me. Thanks for your support.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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Auto Transport Broker Parties and Drops Two Pants Sizes

 

.(Before December 2010)

Confessions of an auto transport broker

I have a confession to make to all of you. There is something I have not shared with you while coaching many of you to run successful auto transport brokerages. This little, well…BIG confession is something no one told me. Frankly, it never crossed my mind to share it with anyone either. It is very personal and some of you may not want to hear my story. That is okay, I understand. I used to be in your shoes and was not ready to hear this either.

However, for those of you who want to know the ugly truth about what being an auto transport broker can do to you. Read on.

Have you ever taken a family vacation and upon downloading the photos, you realize there are no pictures of you? Just trying to find this picture of me was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That is my virtual assistant, Tiffany Johnson from Virtual Hired Hand in the picture beside me. By the way, to set the record straight I am drinking ginger ale in this picture. I am not a teetotaler, but I was not feeling the best that evening.

That is right. I am the photographer in our family and for good reason. I do not like how I look in pictures. In the past six plus years of working from home, I slipped into some unhealthy habits. One of these habits set the stage and my body for a 50+ pound weight gain. Bet no one ever told you that could happen from working at home.

The ugly culprit that started it all

As you recall from an earlier post my day in the office starts when the first phone call comes in. Hopping out of bed and running down the hallway to grab the phone does not set my day up to be successful in the eating arena. Once I boot up the computer and the phones start ringing there is no turning back. 

Normally, there is time later to grab a quick cup of coffee in between calls. However, every single time I ever tried to slip out of the office to grab a bite to eat, the phone would ring. Rather than let a potential customer get away I would turn around and answer the phone.

In spite of taking good vitamins and supplements come afternoon my butt was dragging. I was not sleeping well at night, my skin started looking haggard and I just plain old did not feel up to par. Funny thing was I could not figure it out. Then, almost overnight, my clothes did not fit. My commute, the whole ten feet of it, became a chore. By the time I opened the door and sat down to turn on the computer, I was winded.

Have you ever known what the problem was but found yourself in complete and utter denial? I have always struggled with my weight, my whole life. Following my mom and sisters, I have tried diet after diet, pill after pill. What was the result? I gained more weight, felt worse and like most others I know…gave up and settled.

I had convinced myself that the way I look, the weight I am at all came with being a grandma. Is that crazy or what? What do those darling little angels have to do with the ugly, chicken fat hiding under this skin I have hidden beneath these clothes? Enough was enough; I had to do something but what?

It all started with one little yellow caplet

Three months ago a friend introduced me to a new product. Many of you know I have been with a nutritional supplement company for a long time, fourteen years. Being very loyal to both the executives and products, I was not open to new ones. However, my husband wanted this new one so we bought it.

I started using it too. I am not one to loose out on anything. What happened? First, I started sleeping really well. After a few weeks, I noticed my energy level was up and the endurance was incredible. I still was not eating though and found I had highs and lows through out the day.

My skin improved and I lost a few pounds. That was encouraging so I continued. Serving our auto transport clients seemed easier. It certainly was not making any sense, how could a little yellow pill make shipping cars easier?

One day while handling a particularly angry customer, I figured out how that little caplet was helping…I was on an even keel. No mood swings, no anxiety. My heart was not racing as my frustration with the situation mounted. Amazingly, no tears fell from my eyes, no deep breathing and it just went so smooth.

Friends who share make a difference

The final piece of the puzzle came together when a business associate and I had the chance to sit and visit while in Chicago at a seminar. Renee explained to me that my glycemic level may be unbalanced and that is why I had highs and lows, no energy and was gaining weight. She made sense but it sounded excessively hard for someone like me to do.

What I found was a simple secret weapon diet that even I could use. Because I needed something easy, the grab and go, snacks worked perfectly for me. The amazing part is that I love it. It is simple, tastes awesome, and I am not hungry! I know that sounds weird, but for me never eating, I was hungry and ignored the pangs. Now my body knows a regular little snack is coming and all is well.

Every two hours I grab my snack and enjoy it with coffee or water. Guess what the amazing news is? In just under two weeks of using this secret weapon, I have lost two jean sizes. Not only that, but I crossed over from the Women's sizes to Misses sizes. I think that counts as more sizes lost, right? lol

Even auto transport brokers must eat

The moral to my story is this. Since I have started taking time for me and designing the life I thought I was designing I have more energy. Deep, sound sleep allows my body to rest, recuperate from the daily stresses running a full time business puts on it. Learning how to eat and use the secret weapon I found helped me to lose more than two sizes in less than two weeks all while eating delicious food and feeling the best I have felt in years.

Remember, YOU design your life. When starting your auto transport business make a schedule. Set the kitchen timer if need be, eat every two to three hours a small grab and go snack for endurance you will need to run a profitable auto transport business like I do.

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Leave your comment below and join in the discussion. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Click the FaceBook "Like" and "Re-tweet" buttons to share with your friends.You all mean the world to me. Thanks for your support.

 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.