Bad Girl, Good Business

The Settler Who Refused to Settle

And so begins the second quarter gold rush…

If you’re reading this, you may be following along on my “pioneer” journey to the Southwest (Phoenix area, to be specific) that began in the fourth quarter of last year.

The purpose of this serial blog (for those of you who are new readers) is to share my roadmap for breaking into a new geography or otherwise rebooting your life and business. Thanks for joining the wagon train. I’ll attempt to keep you safe and entertained. (If only I could open a virtual saloon and dance hall!)

As I wrap up the first quarter, I reflect on those things that worked – where I found fresh water and the promise of gold. Prospecting (literally and metaphorically) takes patience, commitment, and the right equipment and community. You have to sometimes sift through a lot of dirt to find those nuggets.

Gold (or any precious metal or gem) is a relative term. Before you begin a reboot, reset, or other disruptive journey or life change, you need to get really clear on what you’re looking for. Is it:

  • More balance in your work and life?
  • A fundamental shift in your career?
  • De-toxifying your relationships?
  • Less dependence on “things?”
  • More purpose – giving back rather than just doing?
  • A simple change in scenery?
  • Some combination of the above?

People & Places

“The Valley” (as the Phoenix area is called) has renewed my belief in the kindness of strangers, especially after that harsh winter in Minneapolis.

I have only encountered a few unhelpful settlers along the way. The people who lead with “Have you ever been here over the summer?” or those guys who make blatantly sexist comments. (Hey guys…it’s 2018…Did the memo NOT make it to the Southwest yet?)

But I’ve discovered mostly amazing guides – assisting me in navigating my new place of work and play.

Plan

Even in our era of “agile” business, I still believe in long-term (30-and 90-Day) planning; setting goals and committing to them. Of course those goals need to morph along the way but, to quote the postcard my mother sent me years ago, “A cowgirl gets up early in the morning, decides what she’s going to do, and does it.” It was attributed to Marie Lords in 1861, but I am that new-age cowgirl (or is it cowperson?). And yes…I know I am mixing up my western lore, but you get the general idea.

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished 99% of what I set out to do whatever was in my control in the first quarter (although I have 11 days left, so I might hit 100% after all).

As my focus shifts from settling to prospecting, I am looking specifically for:

  • More of the right kinds of writing, speaking, and strategic consulting assignments*
  • A trusted consultant who can help me package and market my existing content and get a book deal
  • Companies and gatherings in which to pilot the 30-Minute Problem Fix (a new venture with Lela Cocoros)
  • Partners in and advertisers/sponsors and possibly buyers for my web ventures (BleisureLiving.com, sheBOOM.com, and EmbracetheMachine.com)

*I am committing myself to helping put an end to both sexism and ageism in the workplace. The bias against older women is a topic that has yet to be addressed openly by the media. I have grown businesses and built brands and also have the technology skills of a 22-year old. (I could argue that I am even more valuable because I know how to apply technology to business growth and streamlining.) I was thrilled to be asked to appear on local TV and national radio talking about technology and Boomers, and I’m determined to stay on that path and put an end to “Boomer Bashing” (assumption that a younger person has more business value) and “Bitch Slapping” (poor treatment of women by other women, regardless of age and stage). Now is the time to see and reward wisdom of both genders and all ages — in business and on conference stages.

Process & Patience

I’m great at the former. I suck at the latter. My standards for myself are impossibly high. When I look back at everything I’ve done professionally and personally over the past 90 days I suppose I should cut myself a little slack. But too much slack will turn me into a slacker and I don’t want to rest until I’ve experienced the gold rush.

Thank you for following me on this journey, and remember if you’re going to set out on a pioneer adventure yourself:

  • Bring a map (preferably one that includes watering holes and dance halls).
  • Be kind to strangers (One never knows where that can lead. My new friends and colleagues have come not only from business events but also from the nail salon, gym, LinkedIn and Facebook, MeetUp, and even my building parking garage.)
  • Get used to feeling lonely or scared at times.
  • Beware of people who want to share your supplies but aren’t willing to do any of the work.
  • Remind yourself of all the new skills you’ve mastered and obstacles you’ve overcome in your lifetime and keep panning and mining.
BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Some brave women went to the Klondike in search of gold.
BGGB_ShakingHands Are hugs now dead in the workplace? Here’s a perspective on handshake versus hug.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred A sordid tale of the gold rush and “Claw-Fingered Kitty“. Some rule-breaking women are evil.
BGGB_Pointer Fun facts about the women of the 1849 gold rush.

 

 


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