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Family Ties In Ireland

Family ties lured us to international travel

What was I thinking?

The short ride from the airport in Cork to our daughter’s home in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland was breathtakingly beautiful. It was cold and overcast yet the green fields stood out like sparkling emerald gemstones. In contrast, the white sheep with long curly wool accented the landscapes only interrupted by the dark blue streams flowing seamlessly.

Taking in the view, I instantly started regretting the thoughts I had before the trip became a reality to our family. Other than our new granddaughter, there really was no need to travel all that way around the world just to see old ruins of ancient castles. After all, they are just a pile of stones, dark, damp and gray. Most of our family enjoyed travel by watching the television, the History or Travel Channel. We needed to focus on opening our auto transport business to make money. What was all the fuss about international travel anyway?

When I caught the first glimpse of one of the ruins, I felt the pangs of instant regret for those feelings. Traveling to a foreign country is a big deal. Each country has something another country does not offer. Each population holds a unique history and their story adds to the excitement in life. Then I started thinking what if we did not make this trip. Imagine what we would have missed.

Out of our comfort zone, the adventure

Arriving at Jeanette’s home, the winds were still biting at our uncovered cheeks. We could not wait to get inside and warm our tired and cold bones. This would be surprise number one; construction of homes in Ireland is different from the United States. Although the home looked the same, the floor had no sub floor. With just single planks, covering the raised foundation the trade winds swept under the home encircling us with frigid temperatures.

Due to limited monthly income, the kids could not afford the electric heater and used a traditional coal fireplace. Watching our son-in-law build a fire while our teeth were chattering made me want to jump in and do it myself. Have you ever used coal to heat your home? It is not a quick burning fuel; it reminds me of starting the briquettes for a bar-b-que.

With double entry doors in the living room, we had to close them both to keep the little heat the coal produced in the room. It did not take long and this new grandma retreated to the bed with a heavy duvet to warm up.

The next surprise came in the kitchen. Refrigerators are quite small and foods needing cold storage usually end up spoiled if not used quickly.

There was no coffee pot, only a coffee press. This kitchen tool is tempered glass. First, the water boiled on the stove top. Next, pour the hot water into the press with the coffee grounds in the bottom. There is a flat circular press inserted that then presses the coffee grounds to the bottom and the coffee is strained ready to be poured into a cup. Sure seemed like a lot of work just for a cup of Joe.

Grocery shopping in Ireland is a very different experience, too. Since it is an island, everyone is aware of the amount of trash generated. There are NO plastic grocery bags; you must bring your own purchased shopping bag. Purchase of food is for one to three days only, making the recycled bag just big enough to hold your purchase that day.

Speaking of trash, they must pay by the pound. We did not really understand this concept as we pay by the month and cubit foot (size of trashcan). We did not use paper napkins or paper towels, instead we used cloth everything. The purchase of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats made it simple to avoid extra packaging, which in turn made less trash. I wonder if maybe the whole world should adopt such a rule.

Made to feel at home

The people of Bandon were very hospitable. Friendly is an understatement. Healthy is a term I would use lightly because although they walk everywhere, eat healthy compared to Americans…they drink and smoke very heavily. The drink of choice is either Guinness dark beer or Irish whiskey.

Red and brunette hair, fair skin and big smiles adorned most faces we met. It was as if we were in another world, literally. Laid back, easy going the people took life one moment at a time. They are hard workers and love their family. We look forward to our next trip back. We want to spend more time with the local people, get to know them and the culture and traditions. 

Our little granddaughter grew to recognize our voices and touch even though she was three months premature. Her head would turn when she heard her Uncle Dan enter the room.

Being my first grandchild it was easy to just sit, hold her and talk with her, of course in her language of gurgles and coos. Grandpa fell in love right away and to this day she is his little princess who has him wrapped around her little finger.

 

One week is not enough for international travel

It was hard trying to experience everything on our five-day visit. The travel to and from took up two days of our vacation making it tough to bond with the baby, visit with our daughter and her husband then squeeze in a tour of southern Ireland.

If we had to do it over again, we would have done whatever we could to have extended the trip to two weeks. What I realized later about my negative thoughts about those dank, dark castles was I was angry that I was not in a financial position to visit our most precious gift…our granddaughter.

The thoughts and opinions of my parents, in-laws and extended family had permeated my life. I thought that because they could not or did not travel afar it was not okay for me to desire to do so. Thankfully, I came to my senses and appreciated every single moment we had to spend in that gorgeous country and with our loving family.

We would learn when we returned home to our auto transport business that being mobile is important when your family lives far away. Opening our minds to serve a customer when they want to ship a car helped us to expand our thinking when it came to international travel, too.

Next week we will take a tour of our trip to the castles, manors and quaint townships of the local area. There is so much to tell and so little space to tell it. Stay tuned for the whirlwind tour of a lifetime and a peek into the past times of kings, knights and fair maidens of Ireland.

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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 – Is It For You?

Auto transport – is it for you?

As I debated about becoming an auto transport broker myself, I often wondered what type of person would be interested in auto transport. Only knowing one person involved in the business it was not an easy answer to find. However, within a few weeks my research found a variety of people who owned these types of businesses.

Part of my research involved making sure the business could be a profitable one. No one wants to sink money into something that will not produce a return. What I found is that regardless of the economy people will always continue to move. Children grow up. They go off to school, move across country, even get married and relocate. It only made sense that the market is one that will continue no matter what.

When putting all of the facts together, the auto transport business was a solid proposition. In the six years, since we opened our doors we have enjoyed all the rewards of working for ourselves. From freedom to travel to the limitless income potential, it was the right decision for us.

Have you been looking for a rewarding, challenging career change? Maybe starting an auto transport business is for you, too.

These brokers are just like you and me.

One particular woman is an ex-waitress. She desired to get off her feet and work from home. We have since become friends and she has been instrumental in my accumulation of a wealth of knowledge.

Businesspersons from diverse industries seemed to be attracted to auto transport as well. Some were self-employed while others were corporate employees looking for a way out.

There was yet another part of the work force that wanted to realize freedom too. A mom of three young children who was a full time student while working full time, too. She was looking for a way to work from home, be with her kids and be able to finish school without killing herself.

Another broker was a truck driver and his wife. They bought an existing brokerage for his wife to run while he was on the road. She was able to keep his truck loaded with cars. In addition, she scheduled her own clients with trucks who ran different routes than her husband.

Everyone had a few things in common. They were all willing to invest in their education and their future. They were willing to work hard and learn as they built their business. All of them had the desire to have the freedom to work when they wanted to. It was very important to them all to be able to work from anywhere. They could still serve their client whether it was in the office or on vacation. Last but certainly not least they all wanted "no ceiling" on the income they could earn.

Is it a money making proposition?

There are no guarantees when building a business. Being a business owner is nothing like being an employee. In order to make money in business we must show up and give it 110% every day, without exception. There will be difficulties, this is how we learn and grow.

What I have come to learn is that you take it as it comes. One month you may be busier than a bee. The next month you might be able to catch your breath and relax a bit. During this time, you will be able to catch up filing, send thank you cards and balance the books.

We had to adopt the attitude of take it while the getting is good and save for that rainy day. Some seasons of the year are flat out crazy busy. This usually occurs from about mid-February through August when the kids go back to school.

Other seasons are very slow. This time of year, we learned to relax, maybe take that long awaited vacation. It takes planning your finances though or you can spend every last dime. Then you could find yourself in a pickle come the "relaxing season".

One thing is for sure. Auto transport can be a money-making business. You can learn how to become an auto transport broker; and with the right attitude, coach and determination you can work from the comfort of your home office. You can succeed in building a profitable business in auto transport.

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How To Build An Auto Transport Business Without Spending An Arm and A Leg

 

How to build an auto transport business without spending an arm and a leg

Do you know someone who wants to build a home business? Like many of you, I have looked at several home businesses over the years. That search lead me to getting started in network marketing.

 

The products ranged from jewelry to insurance and investments, even personal products. It was enticing knowing I could be mobile with no territories. I could work from where and when I wanted to earn the money I needed and more.

However, the major drawback was the inability of other business owners to come up with enough capital to continue their business strongly. I wanted a real business with an income that would help me reach my goal of being my own boss 100% of the time.
 
Never having gone to college I did not realize what it really took to build a business let alone from home. Network marketing was just the beginning of my business education.
 

It was when we decided to become an auto transport broker that I learned what business was all about. It is a way to build a real home business without spending an arm and a leg.

Getting started in an auto transport home business

 
When starting a business of any kind the first step is to research your market. You want to know who your competition is. Knowing who your ideal client is will help you build faster. Learning who to contract with will help you serve your clients at a higher level, too.  

Next would be any legal requirements, like licensing, bonding and any local governmental requirements. Check out names you would want to use. Remember, you will need a name that represents who you are. This took me a week to decide on a name that not only fit auto transport, but who I am, my personality. I do not know about you, but I think “Bullseye Auto Transport” is a good fit.

Then you would start making a list of office supplies and equipment that you might need. I had always worked in an office. But, until I started equipping my home-office, I did not realize how many different pieces of equipment I used on a daily basis. It never dawned on me the numerous types of pens, pencils, file folders and paper, ink, etc that was on the supply shelves at the bank!

You will need a business checking account, book keeping software and any software applicable to your niche. I know this is not a detailed list for every home business, but it is a good place to start.
 
 
Have realistic expectations of start up capital needed
 
I remember thinking $2,000 was a lot of money to get started in business. That is what I needed to get started in one of my home based network marketing businesses. That was more than I made working at the bank in a month. No wonder I thought it to be a lot of money.

However, my desire to change how my life looked over-ruled my small thinking when I started the auto transport business. I used a zero balance credit card to get started. Later I would learn that by investing into my business and my future it gave me a reason to take the commitment seriously. Yes, I had a serious desire to earn enough to pay the credit card back. But that was not all, I wanted to increase my bank account too.

In any business, you need capital to get started. There are some areas where you can cut corners and others that you cannot. There are ways of being frugal and still get the job done but consider all options before making that decision. My grandma always said that you could be “penny smart and dollar stupid”.
 
That is where having a mentor or coach comes in handy. They most likely have been there done that. It makes sense to find a coach or mentor who has a proven track record. When they have built his or her own successful business in the niche you are researching they will be able to help you get started correctly.
 
Home business without inventory
 
When we built our auto transport brokerage, we did not need inventory or a brick building. We did however need to have money available to get started.

There were licenses to apply for and associated filing fees. We had no office equipment so (and I loved this part) we went on a shopping spree. I am a real bargain shopper so we comparison-shopped the first day. The second day we went back to the various stores and made our purchases.

You may think that was not smart because of the time spent shopping. The reality is we saved hundreds of dollars by shopping that way. Those dollars were able to supply the office for the next few months.

You must begin training your brain to be a business owner. Smart decisions from the beginning will set your business up to be more successful from day one. By using the money available to you in a well thought out manner, you will be setting your business up with tools for the greatest bang for your investment buck.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
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Auto Transport Broker, The Role Of A Middleman

Auto transport broker, the role of a middleman.

Have you ever wondered what an auto transport broker does for the customer? If you have, you are not alone. Many people do not know exactly what to expect when they make that first phone call. When I first learned of the auto transport broker business, I did not know the exact role of the transport broker either.

There are many small details just like any other job. However, today I want to address one BIG part of the job. That is how the transport broker must balance serving their customer with serving their drivers.

Brokering may seem simple…

The reality is there are many details that make up the job. Some may seem minor, but could take a twist and turn for the worse making a mountain out of a molehill.

One such detail is the carrier's insurance. Department of Transportation requires each truck and driver on the road to carry a minimum amount of insurance. Truckers are no different from you and me. We are fined when we do not have insurance on our cars, the same goes for them.

One major difference is in the insurance limits and terms of coverage. Verifying the insurance is in effect and will not expire during the transport is part of the job. Then there is the matter of what is covered. It only makes sense that liability and company's equipment is covered. However, what about the customer's car; is it covered?

Trucker's insurance has a special coverage called "cargo". Each company's limits will vary according to their equipment, how many cars they can carry and of course, the premium they are willing to pay. Therefore, as a transport broker we must make sure our customers precious cargo is covered at least for the minimum allowed by law.

Another aspect of brokering is in verifying the reputation of the carrier and company. Each brokerage has points of contact to do this part of his/her job. There are government websites available and reference checks from business contacts to aid checking a carrier's reputation. In any case, you always want to know whom you are dealing with on behalf of your customer.

What will happen if a problem comes up?

Just like any other job, problems can arise no matter how well you have done your job. Sometimes it can leave you feeling like you are between a rock and a hard place.

With government cutbacks, paperwork and websites are not always up to date. Insurance lapses and the updating of each file can fall between the cracks. A quick call to each company's insurance agent can solve that piece of the puzzle very quickly.

Can you really count on references to give an honest one? One source you can trust is your fellow auto transport broker! We have found over the years that a huge key to our success is building a solid relationship with our fellow brokers.

By advising each other of negative experiences, we have developed a "black list". This list contains names and locations of carriers who have performed below the standards we choose for our customers.

One of these problems arose just the other day in our office. We received a phone call from one of the office managers of the trucking company. The issue revolved around the delivery of a customer's car. After carefully listening, pulling the file and contacting the customer for their side of the story, we were able to call the carrier back with a solution.

As a business owner, you must be able to referee each part of the transport in a fair and equitable fashion. There is Department of Transportation laws that govern what we as brokers may and may not do, period. Keeping this in mind, we must serve our client who has paid us. Then, we must also take care of our truckers who provide the service to our customers and us.

So, what are we to do? Listen to all of the facts, from both the customer and the driver. Looking at our file and notes, we must then make a determination of "the reality". We must keep in mind that each driver and customer is going to be looking at it from his or her own perspective. Each will want the situation to end the way they want it to. We help each party calm down, take a step back and come to a solution, peacefully.

We must make each one happy. We want a happy, satisfied customer with their vehicle safely in their possession. However, we also want a satisfied trucker who will want to work with our company again.

As the transport broker and business owner, all we can do is follow the law. Guide our customer through the process and help the driver and customer complete the transaction in a fair and equitable manner.

This is auto transport brokering. It can be a fun, challenging and rewarding profession. If you want to ship your car a broker can help you. If it is a new career you are looking for, an auto transport broker is a possibility, too.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

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Efficiency of Employees Determines Business Profits

Efficiency of employees determines business profits.
 
Today I woke to the buzzing and pounding of a chipper truck. The truck, chipper and crew was parked directly in front of our driveway. The chainsaw was whirring, limbs falling. The employees of the unit stood watching, as the brush pile grew larger.
 
There were five men in all. It certainly did not seem like the operation's efficiency was at its peak that is for sure. The man with the saw rode high up into the sky in a bucket truck. His job seemed to be simply to operate the bucket and cut the limbs from the overhanging trees.
 
One man wearing the bright orange colored safety vest sat on his lunch box by the side of the road. Our guess was his job was to direct traffic. We could tell by the orange flag he had placed in the cone, which sat in the middle of the street. Never did see him wave a flag, stop a car or actually move off his lunchbox for that matter.
 
The other three men each took turns picking up one branch at a time. Walking over to the chipper, they were careful to shove the branches into its grinding steel teeth. All three were cautious to remove their hands and arms before it chewed up the limbs to the end.
 
None of them would have been following my grandpa's words when he said "step it up" that is for sure. Their actions were more like "slow as a turtle" in the heat of summer. Watching the way they went about their work reminded me of cutting wood with my dad. Now there was a system with true efficiency.
 
No stranger to cutting wood and pulling brush.
 
What seemed like an eternity turned out to be only about an hour or so. The odd part of watching this comedy is that I grew up helping my family cut wood. You see we used oak wood to burn in our heating stove.
 
My dad had a system, a well thought out system with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine. He was in charge of the chain saw cutting down the small trees, and then cleaning off the leafy shoots. 
 
Dad cut the logs into manageable pieces; mom would carry them over to the pick up. My sister would pass the log to my other sister and then to me. My job was to stack the logs in even rows.
 
There was always a rotation of jobs. Each sibling had each job for fifteen minutes to half an hour. This ensured that no one got overly tired.
 
Within one day of working together, our family was able to cut, clean up, load and unload, then stack enough wood to last us the winter. The efficiency of the day's work made for a profitable, warm winter.
 
Working as a family teaches how to build business profits.
 
Although I hated helping out in the fields as a kid it taught me the basics of how to build business profits. You must always start out with a plan, a well thought out plan.
 
Next, you should use enough workers to get the job done efficiently. By employing too many, we waste not only their time, but also our money and valuable resources.
 
When on the job, we always were working. There was no time or place for slackers. In fact, if dad caught you slacking…you got the privilege of cleaning up the brush and completing your assigned job.
 
Everyone welcomed break time, always. Hot cocoa and donuts re-energized us giving us the desire to keep going. Today, we look forward to stepping outside the office for a hot cup of coffee and a piece of fruit or light snack.
 
We learned early on that when we worked together we had the privilege of enjoying the reward together. All winter long as we sat by the fire we could tell a story of being together cutting that wood that was keeping us warm.
 
Just like our family, business profits depend on everyone doing their part. You must employ just the right number to get the job done but not too many to waste precious resources.
 
So, if you are an employee think about what you give to your employer. Do you give 110% or are you a "slacker"? If you are a self-employed business owner as I am, do you give "you" 110%? On the other hand, do you find yourself slacking, too?
 
For any employee's efficiency to produce business profits, we must show up and give 110% all the time. The rewards of working in a "well oiled" business are profits in the bank.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
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“Build Your Own Business” or Risk Getting a Job

To "build your own business" or risk getting a job has been the question for decades.
 
Parents are asking their children if they want to "build your own business" or risk getting a job. With reports of corporate downsizing, relocating and "going out of business”, security is a very obscure word.
 
Many are turning to other alternatives like to start their own business. Something they are passionate about, maybe even to work from home.
 
Baby boomers like me are looking at retirement creeping in with no real security in sight. Social Security benefits are a real scary issue for those depending on it as their sole source of income.
 
Thinking on the many dilemmas facing many today made me think of my grandparents. How they took their future security into their own hands many years ago by starting their own business.
 
A few things I remember Grandpa sharing with me.
 
One of those things was about the American dream; to "build your own business". You see, grandpa had had many jobs. He was in sales, worked in the fields and finally he landed a "good job" for the Navy. Grandpa was a civilian machinist working at Mare Island in Vallejo, CA.
 
Grandpa never gave up his dream of being a business owner though. In fact, while he worked away from home building ships and gunnery, grandma was working to build their own security at home.
 
Grandpa loved wine
 
So naturally, he soon owned a "rootstock" vineyard.
 
The vision my grandparents had for their own business kept them focused. Their goals inspired them to do the day-to-day tasks in the fields. It did not matter if it rained, snowed or was 115 degrees in the baking sun; they had to show up and work.
 
Part of their dream was to be able to share that spirit with their family. All of my siblings and I were involved in the workings of business from its early beginning in the mid 1960's. We all learned what it took to make business profits.
 
My grandparent’s rootstock nursery was one of only two in the whole state. Their product was high quality rootstock. That quality stock helped the wine makers develop high producing vineyards. The vineyard owners would take grandpa's rootstock sticks and "graft" them together with different varieties to develop new ones. Although I was too young to understand the whole process, I certainly learned the beginning steps to "build your own business".
 
Early mornings and back breaking work was not easy. The pay was not that great by standards today. My starting wages…a whopping $.25 an hour! However, I was only in grammar school and back then (;) yes I am in my 50's) that was great spending money for a kid! My mom earned a modest $1.20 an hour.  Any extra money earned back then helped with essentials needed in the household of seven.
 
Basic ideas have not changed, but mindset has…
 
Although 30 plus years has gone by since working in the fields with my mom and grandparents, the basic idea to build your own business has not changed. My mindset was not on the right path was all, I was afraid of failing.
 
I had worked in corporate America for most of those years. The work ethic grandpa taught helped me to rise quickly within each company I worked with. Each promotion brought more responsibility along with the increased paycheck. You could also say who I am today was formed by those years of learning. 
 
Like many others, I thought my career at the bank was secure. Thinking it would provide solid retirement benefits for my golden years. Then in 1985, the banking industry started changing, centralizing operations. I found myself being demoted. By the time childcare was paid for I would have paid the bank to allow me to work there. Sound familiar?
 
The decision to leave the bank and work from home was one of the best decisions I ever made. My mindset changed and for the better.
 
The security that was sold to many others and me? After ten years with that bank, my retirement payout was a whopping $200! Is security real or is it a lie attached to a gold ball and chain?
 
There were twists and turns during those formative years. Nevertheless, well worth the time spent to learn. What was the biggest lesson learned? There is no such thing as a "secure job" within corporate America.
 
Thank you Grandpa…
 
I remember as a young child not liking grandpa very much at times. I thought he was mean for making me work. He taught us not only how to work, but how to take pride in what we produced.
 
"Do it once and do it right", he would say with a stern voice. We learned how to watch out for our fellow worker and protect the crop that put food on the table.
 
Many a weekend I wanted to go play with my friends instead of standing on my head in the fields. However, it was the family business. Not only was pride involved but grandma and grandpa's future security was at stake.
 
Today I thank my parents and grandparents for working side by side in the family business with me. Not just telling me what to do, but also showing me how to do each task. By setting the example themselves they helped form the work ethic necessary to "build your own business" today. Nothing is expected, it is always earned.
 
Sure there are still days I would rather go play with my grandchildren. I have been able to "live my life, on my terms" by owning my own auto transport business. When we work, work smart so we do not have to work hard as I did in the vineyard fields.
 
To grow a thriving auto transport brokerage does take work, there is no denying that. Developing relationships with customers, other brokers, truckers and dispatchers is part of the job.
 
Fully serving them in their time of need without thinking about ours is what has set us apart from the rest. By focusing on the customers, an amazing thing has happened in our business. Our needs have always been met and then some.

So the next time someone says "take a job with benefits" or "build your own business"; stop. Really, think about what risking security means to you.

Invest into your life, your future, your family. "Build your own business" for the security and future of your family.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
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“Ultra-Mobile Auto Transport”

"Ultra-mobile auto transport" pays off when you have a growing family.

When I decided to work from home there were many things that made it attractive. As my auto transport home based business was in the beginning stage a key factor was the freedom to work from anywhere I wanted to; being mobile was important.

Previously when I worked at the bank taking time off was not easy. If you wanted vacation time, you had to choose your dates in January. Other time off was out of the question. I don't know many people who plan that far ahead of time, do you? We usually planned our trips at the last minute. When the mood strikes…we would go (wink, wink).

As the kids grew up and left home it got harder and harder to find time to travel to visit them. As the grand babies started arriving it became more important that we have time to spend with them. I didn't want to have to choose – a visit with family or a vacation for hubby and me. Time is precious and not unlimited…we needed to be able to have our cake and eat it too!

The solution? To work from home enabled me to leave the office and still work no matter where I was. I could travel whenever I wanted to. If my kids needed something or someone…me (smile), we could just pack up the car and go.

"Ultra-mobile auto transport" and a new grand baby…

This year our newest grandson arrived mid-November. Because our auto transport business is home-based, we are mobile. We packed up the laptop, forwarded the phones and off we went. We packed for a week taking the warmest jackets we own. 

The excitement of the new baby clouded our judgment. We didn't even think about it being mid-November…winter was almost here! Living in California winter is usually rainy and cool, not cold. Our daughter and family live in Idaho where the winters are cold, but not usually unbearable. The long range forecast didn't indicate any problems, so off we went.

If you have grandchildren then you know what happens to all common sense. Of course Mother Nature doesn't pay attention to the long range forecasters nor what we think. All we could think about was the new baby and the chance to be with our grandchildren again.

Weather and business have a common thread…

Being in the auto transport business for myself has taught me many a lesson. One of the biggest lessons has been…change is imminent. You must go with the flow. Taking one day at a time helps you to deal with the minute by minute changes. Little did we know how this lesson would test us to the max one more time.

Our trip up through the back country of California was beautiful. The fall colors resembled those we'd seen on a show about the Northeast on the PBS station earlier.

As we entered Oregon and Idaho each had it's own unique landscape and color scheme for the season, too. Driving and chatting all we could think about were those darling little faces of our grandchildren and the surprise on mommy's face! We hadn't announced our visit to them…we were just going to show up!

Having the ability to pack up and go while working from your cell phone has it's advantages. As long as I could get a signal, I took phone calls. Knowing the seasonal rates helped. I could quote certain routes with my eyes closed. Other, off the wall routes I called back when I had the aide of my trusty laptop.

The surprise was on us!

Our first week in Idaho was awesome. Reconnecting with the kids was so much fun. Feeling the shallow breath of the newborn on my neck was precious. We instantly bonded (smile). 

Soon we settled into the kid's routine. Answering dispatch and client calls fell in between breakfast, lunch and dinner prep. There was lots of time to watch their favorite movies…Toy Story 3 and Cars…can't beat a cute movie and grandchildren.

As orders came in I was able to type them up and find an available carrier right away. The days flew by and before we knew it our week was almost gone.

Then it happened…

The late night news weatherman announced the storm of the decade was due within 24 hours. There was no time to prepare, no time to get out of the area. We had to relinquish our plans of leaving for home to staying put at my daughters home.

Normally I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But, I had a business meeting scheduled in Dallas, TX with Sandi Krakowski at A Real Change International. There was no time to change those plans, nor the flight. I had to get home.

Weather became the topic and talk of the day. Mother Nature was not cooperating. Each day brought more challenges and change.We had a choice…either relax and enjoy or fight it and get all stressed out.

Our one week trip turned into 17 days. We loved being with the kids. We got to watch the baby change every day. He filled out, lost his umbilical cord, got circumcised and went to his first check up. In his first two weeks he gained a pound and went up a size in clothes. We never got to experience that with the others.

I had work to get done that required quiet, focus and time. But with four grandchildren and four adults in the house cooped up for over a week…it was time to just relax and have fun. Thankful that my business is mobile I was able to take advantage of this extra time with my family.

What did love, patience and business teach me?

Everyone who has children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews fully knows the love that swells in your heart. The pull those kids have is amazing.

Sure we have to work to support our little ones. But, part of that support is love and patience, too. When change comes, whether through business or the weather how we react determines how our kids will react.

Just because I didn't have the chance to return home on the schedule I had planned I could have gone off the deep end. The old Carla would have…all work and no play. I would have stressed myself out. Not being able to have the alone time to write would have pushed me over the edge.

Instead, the love for those babies swelled my heart to near capacity. I was able to journal a little, the best I could. It paid off – I took orders and dispatched the freight…as I could. My priority – my family and enjoying every minute with them…work came second.

You know what? By being mobile, keeping my priorities straight I came home one fulfilled grammy and the money in the bank increased, too. We all got plenty of rest, ate right, took our vitamins and had lots of fun together.

So, if you are a home based business owner like me or want to cash in like I have; take a tip from me…you only live once. Relax, go with the flow and work your business like we do our "ultra-mobile auto transport" with patience and love.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

p.s. love to hear your thoughts, remember caring is sharing….leave your comments below.