Inward Beauty is the Best!


Hey Guys!

I was re-reading an AWESOME book (the third in the trilogy Paradise Falls; Christal, Falling, and Forever) the other day when I thought of one of the speeches one of the main characters makes. Her name’s Christal, and she’s beautiful just the way she is – no make-up, simply nothing. In looking for her dude that left her (they moved; it was her mother’s decision) at what she hopes is his high school, she comes across cheerleaders in “face paint” picking on a younger girl. What she says is powerful for me, and inspired this blog.

“You think you are more beautiful than others, but you are not. You judge others by a standard of beauty that you do not have. You use your face paint to hide your flaws and appear beautiful to the world but I can see that you have many blemishes and imperfections. You need to be made beautiful and healthy from the within, and only then can you be beautiful on the outside.”

Love your unique self!
Love your unique self!

So thinking of that, we ought not to worry about outward beauty, but the inward beauty. As I was thinking about this, Colbie Caillat‘s “Try” came on. Then I contemplated, You know what? It’s not about what other people think of you, it’s what you think of you. So girls, ditch the make-up and the things that make you skinny. Quit that diet. Your boy’s going to find you, and he’ll like you for who you are.  And boys, don’t be picky about having abs or not. Not all girls care. And you don’t have to work out to be good-looking. Nowadays, smart girls want smarts, not looks. Can they cook, what sort of work can they do, can they clean, are they fun, trustworthy, caring, loving, and don’t put others down, are the sort of questions that most wonder. Looks are just additives to the package. You could be the tee-total ugliest guy in the world, and be smart, can clean, cook, and be loving and trustworthy. Stop turning yourselves into something you aren’t. Make-up’s turning you prettier on the outward appearance. Diets are making you skinnier. Work outs are building muscle. But ditch those. We tend to worry so much about our outer appearances that we don’t worry about our inner. You could be really pretty with make-up and other stuff, and not be smart. Or you could be “blemished covered,” and be as smart as all the world put together.

Be natural. Do what you’re good at. I’m good in math. I want to be a math professor. Though I know for a fact that if I stepped in to do tennis, I’d fail. I might get there, but it wouldn’t come naturally, unlike math. If you’re passionate about your strengths, then you can be radiant inside. I must admit, I’m not as passionate about math as I’d like be. But I can do it. You have to want it in your gut. Stop trying to be a ballerina when your strength is engineering. Girls can be engineers too. “I can go somewhere, I can go the distance. I’ll be there someday, to find where I belong.” This is from Hercules,  “Go the Distance.” You’re good in your own way. Listen to your heart. For you people who feel like misfits, if you work up the things you’re good at, even as hard as it is, and you don’t listen to negativity, then you can be better than the people who bring you down. They focus so much about outward beauty that they don’t build up the inner. Think of every failure as one way that it won’t work, and start figuring out another way to do it. You can do it!

Christal said, “Look at you, you fight and you’re mean to each other and you put each other down and call people losers, don’t you realize that this life is hard for everyone? You need to take care of each other in this world, other wise you’re all losers. It is only through helping each other that you can make this life better for everyone, including yourself. You need to look after each other and see that you’re all in this together, everyone of you! Don’t look down on other people or compare each other, you are all human beings experiencing this life together. Care for the ones who have it the hardest, and be kind to those who are picked on the most.”

The reply she got was: “She’s right. Life is hard and we make it worse for each other, but that’s the way it is.”

She replied, “It doesn’t have to be that way.  You need to stop being afraid of each other and start caring about the people around you.”

Be kind to people, lend support, or simply (or not that simply) hugging your enemy, or liking that person, are ways that you can make life easier. Giving a stranger a smile is one way you can boost that person’s spirit. Stop being mean to someone littler than you and you’ll be building up inner beauty. The primary way to build yourself up is to raise someone else up. I know this probably sounds weird, but if you elevate people up, then people see you as kind and uplifting, and will raise you up. We are all who we are, and we have NO NEED (I repeat, NO NEED)  to hide our blemishes. We are all beautiful.

Do you like you?

‘Cause I like you.

One Important Trait of Billionaires

Optimist or pessimist?  Or just a completely pragmatic realist?  I’m determined to go into the coming year letting my Tigger-like optimism merge with my pragmatic strategic thinking to push my business further.  No more “what ifs” or “if onlys.”

One Trait of Billionaires from Sara Nesbitt on Vimeo.

Are you a Piglet or a Tigger?  Or, like I’m striving towards, a Tigger with some of his bounce tamped down?

Striking the Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur

You just know it would work out this way.  Three weeks of fall break, three weeks of fun, canning, movie watching, and not a peep out of my large order customers.  We’re talking crickets, folks.  Crick-ets!  Days before it ended, orders started rolling in right and left.  What???  Now?!  And it’s not just that orders started rolling in, but they came in with announcements of preorders.  Three weeks of “Oh my gosh, I’m so bored!” now has given way to some serious hustle, right as we’re resuming our second term of school.

This past weekend was especially busy as I worked to fulfill last week’s orders.  The biggest thing is, though, I wanted to clean off the dinette table.  Two batches of soap, lotion bars, and lip balms, and there wasn’t room for a dirty thought on that table, let alone room for a person or four to sit and dine.  In the midst of all this, I really want to put forward with the great cleaning-before-decorating thrust, as well as begin our holiday cooking.  My girls like helping me cook, but the younger one, especially, just wants to sit down with me and watch a movie, read, or snuggle.  It’s so hard finding the time to do everything while still attending to the family as they need, but over the years, I’ve developed my own tricks for making this work for us.

Lists.  Lists help me visualize what tasks I need to accomplish in what order.  I’m a bit obsessive in my list making, thinking always in a linear fashion:  A then B then C then D…  And D can’t happen until C happens.  Lists are a great way for anybody to square up their work priorities, but it seals the deal when I’m trying to balance work and family life.

Working ahead.  When it’s at all possible, I take an hour or two at a time to knock out something ahead of time.  Maybe it’s a batch of soap that’s that customer’s standard order.  Or perhaps it’s 100 tubes of lip balm for this customer.  Those tasks don’t take a huge amount of time, but doing them sooner rather than later can free up a huge amount of pressure and stress later.

Prioritizing my day.  When it comes to my day, what’s most important to me?  Usually it’s breakfast, shower, exercise, and the girls’ education.  Then what comes next?  Production, newsletters, blog posts, marketing, website work.  Somewhere in the midst of this comes a huge pair of brown eyes and a sweet voice saying, “Mom, can we _____?”  No, not right now… Wait.  What.  Is.  Important.  To.  Me?  Is it crucially, vitally necessary that I change my slider on my website right now, or can it wait til tonight after the girls are in bed?  The point at which I start making my business more important than my family is the point where I need to give up the business.  The business will be around a while, but my daughters won’t be little girls forever.

Taking time away from the business.  This was probably the hardest decision for me to make.  Once upon a time, I was all about doing everything possible for my business and my customers, regardless of the sacrifices I had to make.  I started last Christmas when I shut down my business for two weeks.  I still received large orders from customers, but all that was required of me at those times was a quick email assuring them I’ll process their orders when we reopen.  Once I made this decision, I realized it was the best one I could have made for my stress level and my family.

No.  Such a small word with such great power!  Actually, I say “no” by saying “yes.”  To the last-minute request to add soaps to an order…  “Sure, and I will add two days to your order processing time.”  “I’ll happily take care of that after my vacation.”  “I’ll process your order when we reopen early in January.”  These boundaries are my way of saying, “No, I won’t let you make further demands on my time.”  Work Me ends here, and Family Me begins here, and Family Me wants to savor this time.

Family Me is now in high demand, so Work Me has to clock out for a while.