November Update

1 Nov

You will never believe where I’ve moved to. Well actually, you probably will since I revealed it in my July video. I’m officially in Washington, DC after arriving  from Montana about eight weeks earlier than I thought I would. Turned out to be perfect timing. In a city of doers and achievers and where even recreation and relaxation is planned out, I am adjusting. Which brings me to my next point. The things I learned from Hawaii that are staying with me forever:

1. Work. Better, work it. I have my VBFF (very best friend forever) to thank for saving my soul from work-aholic-ism and insisting that I quit my jobs and pursue my passion. Funny that I make more and work less now.

2. Find a pace. In Hawaii your workday may end at 3 pm, but it’s so you can get home to friends and family and head out to enjoy the water before the sun sets. There’s a work-life balance that’s unparalleled to anything else I have experienced. Work hard, go home at a decent hour.

3. Always choose the restaurant’s lanai at sunset.

4. When possible, take off your shoes.

5. Friday night fireworks. Tradition. Must not miss.

6. Flowers. Everywhere. All the time.

7. Speaking of, lei etiquette. Very important.

8. There’s nothing better than meeting someone and hearing later that they called you “very aloha.” Highest compliment.

9. Don’t honk. Please. It’s unnecessary. I loved, LOVED, about Hawaii that if the girl in the car in front of yours was at a green light putting on mascara, nobody would ever honk. It was kind of like, “the girl needs to put on mascara, we can wait…”.

10. An obsession with water. I’ve tried to pretend that the Potomac is the Pacific but it’s not quite the same.

11. Life works in this order: family, friends, the office. Period.

12. When you need a slice of Teds’ pie, you need a slice of Teds’ pie. Simple.

13. Nothing will replace Fat Greek with the girls.

15. Shopping with Kellie. Lifelong tradition, I don’t care how it happens.

16. Always pay to park downtown and in Waikiki. Unless you like tickets and towing.

17. Monday night half off deals at Sansei’s.

18. Learn to surf (I did not). It’s great for business.

19. Laugh. At the big things, at the small things. No need to take ourselves so seriously.

The biggest themes for me are work and play. I learned to work less. And I, finally, learned to play. This total flip-flop from my previous way of life saved me. Doing graduate school in a program fueled by passion and vision, making some of the best friends of my life, starting to live my dream and experiencing such tremendous growth and learning to balance that work with consistent and stable relationships and play only set the tone for the rest of my life. Rest assured, this break from the 808 will be lived with the aloha spirit. I don’t know how long it will take before I can move back to the islands, but rest assured, the islands came with me to the mainland. Washington, DC, get ready!

And a bonus video that needs to be watched by all writers from one of my business favorites, Marie Forleo:

July Update!

10 Jul

How time flies. In lieu of a lengthy written post, I decided to do a little video update this month:

In short: I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I actually moved from Hawaii. I’m still in transition, but my current abode is a beautiful cabin in Montana where I’m helping family friends run their business for a few months. Then, I’ll head off to my final destination of Washington, D.C.

How was leaving Hawaii? While I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, it was the right time for my life to evolve in new directions (on the mainland. sniff). I’ll be back to my islands. I’m sure. It’s all part of the adventure.

My writing? As you’ll hear in my video, I’m learning the art of balancing time and improving efficiency. I’m back to waking up super early to get in a couple hours before heading off to my temporary “real job.” In the fall, my time will be devoted to writing again.                 I. Cannot. Wait. 

And that is pretty much it for now. Aloha all and have a great month!

February Recap

13 Mar

Right now I’m staring at a pile of checks, amounting to a little over $9,000, that needs a home beyond my desk.

That sounds more exciting than it is.

Really, it’s the accumulation of a couple months in revenue and I’m really bad about getting to the bank.

Still, I’d like to think that one day that, and more, will be my regular monthly deposit.

Notice that I’m nearly two weeks late in getting this out? I needed emotional distance from certain aspects of February before I could write about any of it. 

The biggest business highlight last month was doing a four-week incubator/mastermind group. Last year I wrote down a goal to participate in Marie Forleo’s adventure mastermind within the next three years.

The opportunity to do a local mastermind through an amazing networking group of female entrepreneurs here in Hawaii, called Social Wahines, fell into my lap, and I decided to jump on it. While I can’t get too specific about the ideas/products/businesses/and personal goals that were incubated, I’ll just say anyone who is able to join a well matched mastermind group, should. Incredible.

Secondly, I made goals to recruit a creative type and a bookkeeper to our team for socialKINE (my social media management business). Many new business owners struggle with when to hire. While we’re still a young company, I’m confident that:

less money now (due to paychecks) = more time for brilliance = a greater payoff in the end

The final professional highlight in February was being coached by Ruth Zive. I’m a huge believer in working with the best while you develop your own expertise and niche, and my experience with Ruth was a testimonial to that theory. Her suggestions for moving forward were worth every penny.

So you see? February was chugging along…just fine…until the very end…when any focus for business (or anything at all) was train wrecked. Let’s just say, a huge chunk of unexpected white space suddenly filled my life. Le sigh. Had one of those weeks (ahem, or longer) where I had Eat, Pray, Love playing on a loop. In fact, I may have had a couple of these moments:

(and, this)

There is a part in the book and at the end of the movie where Elizabeth Gilbert says:

“Some people come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you…they break your heart open so new light can get in…

…In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call The Physics of the Quest. A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity.

The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

I took the opportunity of the unexpected to clean out my life a little: had some important honesty talks, opened a few doors, closed a few doors, deleted a million voicemails, and allowed God to sort out some critical details for me. In the end, I’m counting on it to all turn out just fine. I’m at least 77 percent sure that it will.

March revolves around finishing my thesis and closing a chapter. I’ll have income from ongoing projects, but I literally couldn’t care less about finances for the next couple months. I’ll be finishing my master’s degree, packing up my life, traveling during April (stay tuned…), and am settling somewhere new (yet, old) for the summer. There’s a story there; I’ll tell it later.

In the meantime, let us all carry on.

Thoughts on Time Management

16 Feb

In my Moleskine today:

Moleskine Doodles/Thoughts

January Recap and Lessons Learned

6 Feb

First, let’s address my new content strategy for Startup Freelancer.

I see that I’m actually getting visitors here, which is somewhat surprising considering that I haven’t marketed this blog at all (aside from posting new article links on Twitter). From here on out, look for my monthly recap and a couple mid-month thoughts or two.

Now, onto January.

I know I’ve said things like this in the past, but I continue to feel very…blessed. Since starting my freelance career, I’ve not had to worry a single day about meeting my expenses. And, personally, it’s amazing how many other pieces of my life have fallen into place.

I believe this comes down to a “path” issue. When you’re on the correct path, meaning your correct path, things just seem to flow.

For several years I knew that I needed to dip my toes into the freelance waters (*again), but was afraid of the slow start up and transition to actually making money. I didn’t expect the, literal, overnight success that came in the form of two, unsolicited high-paying assignments the morning after I finally declared I was ready. Basically, things have been progressively more and more great amazing ever since.

Professionally, January was awesome. My social media company, socialKINE is consistently growing and took on a new, large client at the beginning of the year. All signs are pointing toward a profitable 2012. I also whipped TaraZirker.com into presentable shape. Eventually, I’ll need more design work there, but for now it serves as a nice little resume site.

I also:

Billed out close to $4,500, all from repeat clients and within a reduced work schedule.

Took on my first $100 per hour assignment (not a huge one, but still an amazing feeling).

Established my 2012 goals.

Started running (*again).

Opened my heart more.

Basically, my story follows the same trajectory of every other Personal-Fulfillment/I-Can’t-Believe-How-Rockin’-Life-Is story you read online:

You commit to your path, you experience the first stages of success, you establish new habits, you start listening to your body (and are promptly informed that you’ve been a lazy slug all these years and need to consume more spinach and start running…immediately), you wake up earlier because you can’t wait to work, you write, you go on mid-day walks and receive your daily download of inspiration and direction, you create, and you’re in awe of all that life has to offer, etc., etc.

I’m a textbook case.

January Lessons

First, it’s okay to let go of control. In fact, it is preferable. Hence, my company is hiring a part-time employee, I’m allowing others to assist me more (see the next point), and I’m letting certain things just be and see what organically develops.

Second, it’s time to get these finances in order. I’m in the market for a bookkeeper because, though I’ve always done my own taxes (worst year: something like four or five W-2s and a few 1099s), I’m starting to worry that I may not be skilled enough to cover all my bases from here on out.

Finally, I’m sending it out there…more. I know, sorry folks for being a little woo-woo for a second. I’m just constantly amazed that what I feel inspired to ask for usually happens or appears within the day.

2012 goals:

Goals are a very big deal to me. Mostly because, at this point in my life, I try to avoid over-committing myself to too many of them.

That may sound weird, but it’s progressively more important to me to keep my life simple and allow ample space for the commitments and people I value most.

In other words, if I don’t LOVE or BELIEVE IN it, I’m not buying/doing/committing to it. I’ll write more about this mid-month.

In a nutshell, this year I plan to:

•Love •Make $$ (I have specific goals, but for a future post) •Be active •Finish my Master’s degree •Start something I’ve been meaning to start for a few years •Go to Nepal •Take November and December off (maybe..hopefully) •Decide on my next big moves

Here’s wishing everyone a successful February!

Mele Kalikimaka

21 Dec

Just packed my bags and am headed to the mainland for Christmas tomorrow. 

Best wishes to you all for happy holidays.

And just for fun:

Hulihe`e Christmas 2011

December Goals

2 Dec

I’ve not been feeling so hot the past few days (flu), so I’m feeling a little tamer than usual about my monthly goals. That’s okay. These will be great accomplishments this month:

  • Finish this semester*!!!
  • The $3,400 in assignments on my desk right now (2 projects).
  • Finish my mother’s Christmas present from two years ago (yes, I know. I know).
  • Finish annual letter and website.
  • 2012 planning party with my business partner for socialKINE.
  • Enjoy two study-free weeks (here in Hawaii) before flying home for the holidays.

*This is technically my last semester of coursework for my Master’s. All that’s left, after finals next week, is a thesis in the spring! It’s a good feeling. Just remind me, if I ever start mentioning PhD ideas, how much I’ll enjoy having a real life again.

Wishing everyone a beautiful start to December (one of my favorite months),

T

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