Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We Can't All Move Mountains, But We Can All Move Rocks

Last night, I had a conversation with my sister and it inspired me to write this blog.  There comes a point in our lives, or two, or several where we question our value in this world.  I think society places an emphasis on people who have done wonders to the extent that those of us who have not might not feel we have lived a life worth mentioning.  Stories of celebrities, the rich and famous, leading businessmen (and women), and those who lead a life of privilege flood our news feeds.  But does a person have to live the life of fame and fortune to make a difference, or an impact, in this world?

My answer is no.  Of course not.  I am not a famous celebrity.  I have never won a Nobel Peace Prize.  I don't own a Fortune 500 company.  I'm not some world renowned scientist.  And I may never be any of these things.  But I do know that I have made a difference or an impact in someone's life.  Maybe more than one person.

I work at a conferencing company (check us out at  Usually I answer the phones and help people resolve billing issues, schedule operator assisted calls, and create new accounts for our new customers.  I also act as an operator on some of our customers' calls if they request our operator assisted services.  There is one customer in particular that I remember doing a call for.  This customer holds a call every Christmas Eve to connect with her family that lives in different parts of the world.  This is the only time of the year this customer ever uses our services.  I was her operator for her call this last Christmas Eve, as well as the one before it.  But this last call that I had with her has stuck in my mind.  When I had her on the conference line, she told me before I connected her other family members that this call is the most important call all year.  It's the only call where she can gather her family together for Christmas.  And even though they might be thousands of miles apart, that one call brings them together on that special day.

After hearing this, I felt my heart grow a little warmer.  I thanked her for using our services for this special occasion and proceeded with bringing her family members in onto the call.  After everyone was connected, I stayed on the line a little while to hear them laugh and sing a Christmas carol in Polish (the grandmother of the family lived in Poland).  When I exited the call, I felt pretty good about the job I have.  It's moments like those that let me realize I am making a difference in someone's life.

Sure, the customer could have used a different conferencing service or a different operator for her call.  But I was the one on the call that day.  I helped her connect to her family.  And I hope that my co-workers feel the same way when they help a customer out with an issue or help someone connect to their conference call.  It's more than just a business, it's getting people connected.

Now, I'm not trying to make this into a promotion.  There's other ways I try to make myself feel significant in this world.  I do so with my writing.  Whether it's the novel I'm trying to finish up, this blog post I'm typing, or freelance work I do I like to believe that I am contributing my thoughts and ideas to the world.  That someone who reads my work will think "Yeah, that makes sense" or "That's ridiculous!"  Regardless if they agree or disagree with my thoughts, I want my readers to think or to feel some sort of compassion.

How else am I contributing?  Well, it seems more people are trying to make a buck these days, especially the direction our economy is going.  In these trying times, people are finding ways to make their own money. Have you noticed more people selling Avon or Pampered Chef?  What about people joining MLMs (Multi-Level Marketing)?  These are all different ways people are starting to make extra money on the side.  So what I have done to help them is I made a Facebook page called Grow Your Business.  The friends of mine who like this page and have a business that they would like to promote, I post a link to their site or make a post about what they are selling and how to contact them.  The more of their friends that they get to like the page, the more posts about their business I make.  So how does this help?  Well, it gets seen by more people outside of their friend's list on Facebook.  It's a form of word of mouth, and it's free advertising.

So you see, I'm in no way moving mountains.  But I am moving rocks.  And the more rocks I move, it might eventually build the mountain I've been longing to push.  If you've reached a point in your life where you feel like you are a non-entity, take a step back and really look at what you do.  You might have only smiled at someone, but that smile could have made a person's day.  Take it upon yourself once in a while to ask, "How many rocks have I moved?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo - 2012

Last year a co-worker of mine talked about this huge writing event that takes place in November called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I didn't pay too much attention to it until after one of her friends had actually done it and won.  How do you win?  You write 50,000 words from November 1 - November 30.  What do you win?  Your novel being published.

I think this is a great way for aspiring novelists to get their work and ideas out there without having to rely on a big publishing company to determine if their work is read-worthy or not.  Of course, you're not going to create the perfect novel in 30 days.  This just gives you a chance to write your first draft.

I decided a few months ago that I would sign up for NaNo and actually give this a shot.  I went to, created my profile, and started reading the message boards and forums to give me an idea on how I could do this.  One tip that was widely mentioned across the site was "Do NOT edit".  As a writer, that is like saying "Do NOT breathe".  I knew that not being able to edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite again would be my biggest obstacle.

Of course, I didn't let that deter me from taking on the challenge.  So yesterday, November 1, 2012, I took on NaNo in full force.  It's suggested that you write an average of 1,667 words per day to hit your 50,000 word goal.  My first day of Nano I was able to hit 2,116 words.  Not too bad for a noob.

So the challenge is on and I'm ready!  I have my writing buddies to give me encouragement as well as family and friends.  The rest is all up to me.  Want to see what my story is about?  Check out my NaNo profile at .  From there you can read a synopsis and excerpt of my book, read my bio, and check out my stats.  *Note: My attempted novel is 18+ as it is intended to be erotic fiction.  The excerpt may contain situations, language, or innuendos not intended for children* 

As always, comments are always appreciated.  And to all fellow NaNoWriMo writers out there...Happy Writing!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Think Before You Publish

It seems these days more and more companies and organizations are having to issue public apologies for something offensive they've published in print.  Today alone I have read two headlines online where public apologies were made.

One was from the shoe company Reebok where they printed an offensive ad and had them circulating in Germany.  The ad simply stated "Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout."  Now, I can see Reebok trying to come up with something hip or funny for their market to remember.  After all, the point of advertising is standing out.  However, this is definitely the wrong way to do it.  Of course, they pulled the ad after they received complaints about it being disrespectful towards women.

To be honest, I kind of laughed to myself after I saw the ad, but that's because I have an odd sense of humor.  And never, if working for a company as an advertiser, big or small, would I ever allow something like that to be published.  It's bad PR.  Sure it will get people talking, but most of it won't be in favor of the company.

Another story I read today was about an elementary school, of all places, who sent out a letter to their students' parents about studying Black History and having their students dress in African American attire.  The offensive part in the letter stated "...students could wear animal print clothing or shirts with animals native to Africa..."  Again, after word got out that this letter was printed and sent out to the parents, it created a negative impact and the school started receiving complaints.

The school's Chief Communication Officer apologized for the letter and had said, "We are reminding all of our principals to be very sensitive in word choices when communicating with parents concerning different ethnic groups and cultures that make up our world."  While that's all fine, what I think the real lesson here should be to demonstrate good publishing tactics, no matter how big your business or organization is.

I've worked in the corporate world going on 10 years now (wow, I can't believe it's already been that long).  My first job was at a big name home security company.  Working for this company taught me many things, including what should and shouldn't be used in business communications.  Any letter that was sent to a customer, any advertisement that was made for publishing had to be approved by an executive.  And this was true with any corporate company I've worked for (my number is 3).

I'm sure the same applies with Reebok and the North Carolina elementary school that have had to issue these public apologies for their bad taste, or at least I would like to think the same would apply.  So why would they let this kind of communication filter out for the public?  I would like to think that a competent executive would know where the line stands when it comes to offending a gender, race, or the public in general.

I'm not saying that everything sent out to the public from a company or organization has to be sugar coated.  I'm just saying that it should be decent.  Maybe these executives should take a refresher course on how to make their external communications public friendly again.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reader Review - If Love Had a Manual

Recently, I came across an eBook that I decided to read.  It was called If Love Had a Manual and it was written by Dante Long.  I liked the concept of it.  You have manuals for your TV, computer, or cell phone.  But no one has really written a manual for love.  Sure, there's a lot of self-help books out there for dating, however, these books only tell you how to attract the opposite sex.  There's nothing really out there that tells you what you should do once you come across that feeling that most people search their entire lives for.

If Love Had a Manual is a short eBook, about 12 pages long, that uses the author's voice to tell what he feels everyone should know about a little thing called love.  In the beginning, Long does advise that he is not a relationship expert or a philosopher so what is stated in the eBook is really his personal views on love and relationships.

This read had some good points and advice to offer that I think some people might find useful when it comes to the subject of love.  It talks about different approaches you can take when you are meeting someone or trying to get someone to date you.  It also gives advice about the concepts of trust and infidelity, which just about everyone has an issue with one or the other if not both.

After I finished reading the eBook, I walked away with at least one different perspective on love.  There was one sentence from the eBook that stuck with me.  In the chapter called Something to Think About, it talks about the reasoning behind couples who take their vows to heart and stay together 'til death do they part. The sentence that held on to me said "...when someone accepts you into their life as a mate; it's up to you to cherish that gift."  This is probably the most accurate accountability about love that I have encountered.  Being loved is most definitely a gift from someone, but how you receive that gift is up to you.  You can either ignore it, neglect it, abuse it, or cherish it.  And when you cherish it, it can be the most beautiful thing.

If you're looking for something to read with a personal perspective on love and relationships, I would recommend If Love Had a Manual by Dante Long.  You can purchase this eBook for only $0.99 on, a site for indie writers and publishers.  It's not too much money for a different insight on something we can all find to be confusing at times.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are You Entrepreneur Material?

The V.P. of the company I work for encourages everyone to read.  Whether it's in between taking customer calls on a slow day, like today, or if it's during your free time at home, reading is something he highly recommends as a way to "broaden your horizons".  It's not just any book, however, it has to be a book that is smart and business related.  A book that will make you think or invoke some sort of response.

I have already read two books and am in the middle of my third already.  The book I am currently reading is The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber.  Essentially, this business literature is a guide on how you really should look at starting a business and what most business owners do that cause their venture to fail.

I just finished reading Chapter 5, which talks about breaking out of your comfort zone as a business owner.  So far, the book has stated that most business owners are technicians, someone who knows a lot about the job of the industry and loves it so much they want to make it their own.  What these technicians-turned-business-owners fail to do is allow other people to do the job for them.  Which makes sense because these owners know the job inside and out.  When they see someone do the job and it isn't done perfectly, it upsets them enough to where they will just do the job themselves.

In the chapter I just finished reading, this business owner that the author is talking to, had hired an employee to do just about everything for them.  They had a bond with this employee because they both worked equally as hard.  When the employee finally quits because the compensation isn't enough, the business owner is astonished.  She doesn't know what to do because, now, it's just her running the place.  She tells the author that she is "afraid' to hire anyone else because she fears they might quit on her, too.

After I read this, I took a moment to process it.  Really?  This business owner doesn't want to hire anyone else to fill the open position because she's afraid that they are going to quit, too?  I had to think, is this someone that the author really talked to, or is he making this up for book content?  If this was a real conversation, and I was speaking with this woman, I would have told her that she doesn't need to be a business owner if that is one of her biggest fears.

Being in business, no matter how big or small your company is, you have to separate personal feelings from work.  If you have to fire someone because they are not doing a good job, then fire them.  Don't let them hang around simply because you two have become friends or you might feel sorry for them.  And if you don't take care of your employees to compensate for the hard work they put into your business, don't be surprised or offended if they quit.  In most cases, it's nothing personal towards you.  Usually, it's because their work-related needs were not met and they found something better.

If this happens and you don't hire someone else, your business is undoubtedly doomed.  No one, with the right business sense, would willingly do all of the work themselves to avoid employee conflict.  It happens all the time.  People quit or get fired for whatever reason.  It's the nature of the business world.  If you can't handle it, you don't need to be a business owner.

After going through this thought process, I then tend to wonder how many business owners are like this.  How many owners take on all of the work themselves, put too much emotional value into their employees, or don't allow their business to grow and evolve because they are afraid of change?  In a free market economy, it's impossible to tell a business owner that they must meet requirements before they can start a business because that defeats the purpose of a free market.  But in some cases, I think there should be some sort of evaluation of a business owner that can say whether or not they are allowed to own a business.

The book states that each year nearly 400,000 businesses close their doors because the business owner couldn't maintain or grow the company.  This puts people out of work, and if business loans are involved, makes the owner's debt outstanding.  In essence, it's a beautiful tragedy.  We have the freedom to start a business if we're passionate about something or have the desire to better our financial standings.  But we don't realize what actually goes into starting a business until it's actually done.  And, according to how many businesses close each year, we don't have the willpower, knowledge, or understanding on how to keep a business running through the tough evolving struggle.

Not every business will immediately take off.  Sometimes, it takes 10 years before you actually see exponential growth.  And because the consumer market can be fickle, if you're not ready to adapt to change then you're setting yourself up for failure.  So, if you're thinking about starting a small business, you might want to think about these following questions:

  • Can you remove yourself from the emotional aspect of a business relationship with your employees in case they quit or you have to fire them?
  • Can you allow your employees to do their job without you standing over their shoulder?  They might not do it perfectly, or to your exact standards, but if they are getting the job done and to the customer's satisfaction without hurting the business then you should see it as no harm done.
  • Can you allow your business to evolve with the consumers' needs?  
  • How well do you adapt to change?  Because the business world, big or small, is always and forever changing.
So, are you entrepreneur material?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Keep Writing

So apparently I have been away from my blog for a while that I now have to get used to blogspot's new interface.  Which is ok, it looks easier and cleaner to use.  Now, why haven't I blogged in a while?  Well, other than the fact that I'm constantly busy with work, school, and family I have decided to take up writing as a paying hobby.  For the last few months I have been writing for Yahoo!'s Associated Content.  And just recently, their affiliate OMG has targeted me as a featured writer.  What does this mean?  It means I get emails when they need someone to write an article for them about a celebrity, tv show, movie, or anything else having to do with Hollywood.  And these articles are paid upfront, which means I don't get paid based on just how many clicks my article gets.  They pay me a specific amount for each article if they publish it.  The amount depends on how detailed the article needs to be and who or what it's covering.  And once it's published on OMG, millions of people have a better chance of reading it since it will be a featured article.

I must say, I did always want to do something with my writing.  I knew I had a talent and I knew that it shouldn't go to waste.  I just didn't know how I could make use of it.  I don't think I have the patience to write a book, but who knows that might change too.  I've tried lyrical writing with an old school friend and we were pretty good together.  However, I just didn't have the time after I started working full time again and got married to keep it up.  But this is something I can make time for and get paid doing it.  It's not a whole lot of money, but with the submissions I have been making it will add up quick.

I can't remember which article it was that had attracted my interest, but I had seen that the writer of the article was a member of Yahoo! Contributor Newtork (YCN).  Their group of writers post articles on YCN's Associated Content.  In many cases, articles are display and performance only, which means the writer will only get paid for however many clicks they get on their article.  The content can range from creative writing, to favorite venues, to current events.  Some articles, and you have to be quick to claim them, are exclusive.  This means that Yahoo! will own the rights to the article that is written but they will pay you up front for them.  The first one I wrote that was exclusive, I was only paid $4.00.  It was about a local Olympic athlete that will be at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was featured on Yahoo! Sports.

Now, I'm getting most of my requests for OMG!, Yahoo!'s source for celebrity news and gossip.  The first article that was published on OMG! I was a little unsure about.  It was about actress January Jones, and unfortunately I didn't know too much about her.  After doing some research I saw that she recently had a baby and was not releasing the name of the father.  Now personally, I don't care who the father of her child is.  That is her business and if she doesn't want to reveal to the media who her father is then so be it.  But gossip about celebrities has the tendency to attract readers.  So I thought, why not?  I'll write a gossip article and see how well it goes over.

After it was published on OMG!, I took a look and much to my surprise I had comments from people who I didn't know but had read my story.  And it apparently struck a nerve with some of my readers.  I thought some of the responses were a little comical as well as flattering.  To think that my writing inspired people to write a comment, positive or negative, about what they thought of my story made me feel almost like a professional.

So, if any of you followers out there want to read my published writings, I'm posting the links at the end of this blog.  Let me know what you think as I welcome any comments, positive or negative.  Also, if there are any stories you would like to have written, tell me your ideas.  If there's something that you feel is newsworthy or at least worth reading, send me an email at and let me know what it is you would like to see in print.  Til next time, just keep writing!

DFW Local Charity Supports Fallen Heroes

Relationship Advice

Miami's South Beach

JDRF Walk for the Cure

Local Indie Music Store

J.Lo Starts Dating

Local Karaoke Bar Review

DFW Olympian's Plans for 2012 Summer Olympics

How I Changed After 9/11

January Jones Keeps Baby Daddy Under Wraps

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All We Need is Just a Little Patience

Is it really that hard to not let things that you can't control take control of you?  Sometimes, yes.  I will be the first to admit that there are times when I don't want to wait.  I want the result right here and now.  And because of my demand for instant gratification, it only makes my anxiety levels worse and stress levels high.  At times, I have to remind myself that if it is beyond my control then I just have to be patient.

A good friend of mine, as well as my former producer when I had fun with my singing, can testify to me telling him every day or two "G-WIZ, you need to learn patience".  I might have been able to get the message through to him because these days I see a lot of patience in his Facebook status updates. 

Those who know me well, know that I have a high tolerance for most things.  And those who know me well, know that there are few things I will allow to get under my skin and I feel a force to rant.  With this tolerance, I have also learned that there are few who are like me.  My case in point, a trip to a local Whataburger after watching the fireworks this last July 4th.

My husband and I decided to make a late night run to the burger joint because we were a little hungry after all of the excitement and activities throughout the day.  We were just going to go through the drive-thru, but after we saw the cars stacked in line we decided that it would be best to order our food inside.

When we go in, we don't see a long line of people, however, we do see a few patrons sitting on the benches near the register with long, tired faces.  We didn't think much of it because it was late.  We figured these people had a day, and night, filled with the same activities as we had.  We later found out that this was not the case.

After we ordered our food, we decided to take a seat with our number on the plastic orange and white number card in hand.  We chatted a little while about how great the fireworks were and how good it was to see everyone.  However, after about ten minutes of waiting we realized that we haven't been called with our order yet.  And those patrons who were there before us were still there waiting for their food to come out.

This wait was very unusual for this particular location.  Usually, they are fast in getting you and your order out the door.  It was then that we started paying attention to the other customers ranting and complaining about not having their food yet.  It had seemed that one too many employees had called in on the night shift and there were only three employees working. 

There were about 4 people in front of us who had been waiting on their food for what was almost 20 minutes.  Each of them demanding not just their food, but also their money back.  The manager on duty was as apologetic as she could be and issued each one of them a refund on top of their ordered meal.  Now, I do understand that waiting 20 minutes under normal circumstances can seem a bit absurd when you order from a fast food restaurant.  But in this case, I can see why it took so long.  There were only 3 people working!  That's 3 entire people working the drive-thru, the front register, and the fryer.  Of course there's going to be a wait.  Granted, management should have reconsidered their schedule when allowing those people who called in or asked for the day off.  But as a patron, is it that hard to give management a benefit of the doubt?

I think my husband and I were the only ones who didn't ask for a refund with our meal.  In fact, while the manager on duty was getting ready to leave (she had already been there for 12 hours and had to be back in 10 hours later) we talked to her and joked around with her trying to make her feel better.  It was obvious that it had been a rough night for her and she was ready to bolt out of there.  We both felt bad for her and her staff because of the hassle we witnessed the other customers giving them.

Now, I'm not saying that this kind of service should be acceptable all the time.  It obviously wouldn't be fitting during lunch hour when management knows they are going to be busy.  However, in instances like this where business is usually slow but the one night you go in and the wait is longer than usual, try to have some patience with the food staff.  I'm sure they are not trying to keep you there just for the entertainment value.  Just take a deep breath, converse with your friends or loved ones, play with your iPhone, and when you meal is finally ready at least say thank you even if it isn't with a smile.  At least the staff feels somewhat appreciated for the burger and fries that they made for you.