Photo credit: Alton Wang with photo editing by moi.
Are you gearing up for the holidays? After last week’s U.S. Senate vote for “tax reform”, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch. I’m looking at all the things that are being eliminated and as a small business owner, it bothers me that the bill targets how I do my business expenses. Of course, we talk about not worrying about things that we can’t control so what I can control is making sure that the House members understand that this would be negligent on their part to pass the Senate version of this atrocity. Trust me when I say that when it comes time to pay my taxes, the response in my household is “Are you sure you’re not a Republican?” because I have a higher tax rate being self employed. My husband reminds me that it’s our fair share and although we don’t have children, we want future generations to have quality public education and hey, we all use that road & bridge so an infrastructure that isn’t crumbling would be nice. **le sigh** If you’re unhappy with where this legislation is headed then get your friends in the states where elected leaders are on the fence to voice their discontent. Getting off my soapbox and sharing Tuesday Truths!
- Everyone talks about how getting enough sleep is a pillar to relieving stress. Lots of successful people talk about being early risers and maximizing their day. There are categories of people who do best according to how they get sleep. I fall into the “Lions” category where I usually get up before my alarm and when it’s still dark (although I like to exercise in the morning, which is more a “Wolf” behavior). Which animal sleep pattern do you associate with in your sleep activity? Now that you’ve identified which category you’re in, you can also design your day around how you wake up and power down to get rest.
- There’s a theory that my generation (45-54) is moving into what’s called Generation Grumpy. My husband is already thinking about retirement in 10 years. While I’m a little bit younger than him, I will probably “retire” soon thereafter, probably another 5-10 years. So why are we so grumpy? It looks like the generation ahead of us are staying in the jobs that we would elevate into but they’re staying in those jobs longer. They aren’t retiring and as a result, my generation won’t be progressing into a higher income bracket or more senior level positions. Something to think about as we get older and stick around longer!
- We could all use more positive thinking. I am pretty much a pragmatist. I have had and continue to have my share of disappointments so I always try to find the silver lining, although maintaining a level of optimism can be tiring when others aren’t as positive. I’m still working on meditating because my mind likes to wander so keeping calm is a behavior that I need to practice. Here’s a nifty chart where you can begin your journey of positive thinking.
- I shared Tracee Ellis Ross’ remarks in a previous post about her owning her life. Here’s another version of her creating space and giving herself permission to give zero DUCKS. People always comment about how I turn down invitations because I generally schedule my life to fit all the things that I need to get accomplished (I really am a procrastinator at heart). I’m living on the edge here because I had a pretty full weekend so I didn’t write this post during my usual allotted writing time (see! I don’t always follow my schedule!). It’s my life and I’ll live it the way I want. No one else has to face the consequences for my choices. So don’t give others your power. When it comes to your career, those Benjamins belong in your wallet so how you choose to direct your career path is a combination of your financial situation, your obligations to yourself to increase/decrease your portfolio and how you want to live your life. You work hard for your money so when I hear about a young woman choosing to get out of politics because she can’t find the right fit, I want to hug her to let her know that I’m on her side. We lose another woman rising in the ranks yet at the same time, sometimes it makes perfect sense for a person to step out of their once chosen profession to pursue other interests and dreams. We’re not one dimensional and if you want something, fight for it and find people who will champion you. Leave everyone else behind.
- It may be annual review time and I gotta give a shout out to negotiation extraordinaire, Tanya Tarr. She’s got techniques and a template on how you can prepare for this discussion. It’s an opportune time to pull together your greatest hits and talk about your major accomplishments. It breathes life into your narrative of why your work qualifies for more compensation, either in the form of a higher salary or more benefits. It’s a self confidence boost that will carry good will in the next year.
- When we talk about why someone wants to run for office, it’s such a personal message. You may hear the sound bytes of “We want to build a better place for future generations” or ‘Our children deserve to breathe clean air etc.”. Honestly, I’m not a cynic. What most candidates don’t realize is that campaigns are about values. To get to the generic tag lines, you need to actually dig deep within yourself to recognize the pivotal moment that called you to action. Most people don’t think that they will grow up to be an elected official. It is a job after all and it’s part popularity contest along with some policy awareness. It’s also hard AF to run for any kind of elected office. Those who are truly motivated also recognize that they need to connect with voters and find the moment that ignited the spark to run for office. In my opinion, finding meaningful career goals is a microcosm of what it means to run for office. The tagline may be generic, the moment when you realized that you could affect change by running is not. It’s so deeply personal and is based on what you think are the values you want to explore and share with others. When looking at your career, you should also be aligning your goals to your values. Here’s an exercise that you can do to see what you can do to create meaningful goals.
- I’m going to the Politico Women Summit and there will be a plethora of fierce women in attendance. Instead of the “where do you work?” line of questioning, I’m going to use my standard, “Any plans for the upcoming holidays?” which can also lead to “Do you have any fun holiday party/festivities planned?” aka “What are your hobbies?” which can also lead to “Are you planning to see the new star wars movie?”. I’m such a big believer in learning about people’s lives outside of their work titles. Since I’m the rare bird that grew up in this town, I usually ask, “What brought you to DC?” and if I do find another DMV native, we usually end up talking about all our favorite places for (“______” fill in the blank). So the next time you’re in networking land, here are 55 questions you can use to break the ice and get to know someone.
That’s it for this week, folks – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you in 7 days 🙂