2017 Word of the Year

As 2017 approaches, it was time to sit down and choose my word of the year. In case you’re not familiar, I choose a word that I keep in the forefront of my mind as I go through the year, making decisions, living life. Last year’s word was “Intentional” because, well, I wanted to make very intentional choices and play a role in my life, rather than letting life just happen.

This year, I toyed with a few different words but the clear winner after much soul-searching is {drum roll, please}…

Ease 2017

 

When I say ease, I don’t mean easy. I am not so naive to think that everything can be easy. I don’t want it to be easy. I love the challenge of my business, and I love stretching myself, but it’s very easy to get sucked into doing everything for everyone, and not really creating processes, branding, marketing that come with ease — that feel really good. So, throughout the coming year, my focus for my business, and my life, will be ease — to lessen the times when I feel the need to make something work, to create more ease and flow in my client work, in my money, in my marketing, in my relationships, in my giving.

This is going to require a change in my mindset and a clear vision of what I want to achieve, but I know that as I go into my 10th year of business, I am definitely up for it. Bring on the ease!

 

One Of The Many Gifts To Myself

It’s Labor Day weekend here in the US. This weekend signals the end of summer, and is celebrated with picnics and pool parties. People were out grabbing burgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks, but my focus was on something much, much smaller — a bag of ice. Yep, you read that right…a bag of ice. Why do I even think about ice? It’s not because I’m a crazy person. It’s because there’s something about a bag of ice that makes me happy. I love the texture; the combination of cubes versus crushed, and I don’t just buy ice when it’s time for a picnic or party. I would rather spend $3.00 on a bag of ice every week than make ice cubes. It’s a gift to myself.

I’m sure some people are thinking I am nuts to a) spend good money on ice when I can make it, and b) even think about it on a regular basis. Both may be valid concerns if ice isn’t something you love like I do.

Here’s where it gets important. I was at an AssistU homecoming event a few years ago and one of the assignments during a workshop with Anastacia Brice and M. Shannon Hernandez was to think about what we have in our homes, what we have in our lives. Do we use a certain shampoo or soap because it’s what we’ve been taught to use, or do we use it because we love it? The challenge was to use what you love, creating a home, a business, and a life that we adore. I use my favorite soap because I love it, but for a long time I bought into the idea that I could make ice so why buy it.

Why? Because I freakin’ love ice in a bag. And that’s all I need to know. So, what is it in your life that you’re pretty sure most people don’t even consider, but that you love?

 

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2016 – My Year of Intention

It’s hard to believe that it’s already December 31st. Yet here it is…the end of 2015 and the start of a new year. I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions. I understand the idea of a fresh start but I feel like I know what my bad habits are and what I need to change, and I need to make the change immediately.

However, I do love choosing a word each year to help guide my life. This year is no different. I started with three words but finally narrowed it down. So for 2016 my word is INTENTIONAL.

Each and every decision I make in 2016 needs to be made intentionally. For many years, I leaned more toward reactive living rather than proactive living, and it hasn’t served me well. Acting with intention is crucial if I am to be in charge of my life. Intentional living as I see it means setting specific goals, knowing who I want to work with, how I want to work, surrounding myself with the right people, deciding how I spend my free time and with whom.

By really thinking about what I want from each day, each week or each month and saying yes to the things that will get me there and no to the things that won’t, I will create a life that brings me joy. And I can’t think of anything I want more heading into a new year than a life built joyfully and intentionally.

Do you make new years resolutions or use a word of the year? Do you do both? I’d love to hear about your new years process.

 

 

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Lighten up on your social sites

First things first, I send my unending love and gratitude to the families of our service members who have lost their lives defending our country and protecting my freedoms. God bless you. ♥

Many of us spend Memorial Day weekend with family and friends, and I hope you all had a wonderful, long, and relaxing weekend. Mine was pretty low key. I celebrated my birthday with my daughter and tried to unplug as much as possible. We had a nice dinner and then saw Pitch Perfect 2.

On Tuesdays I have a little Twitter party with some virtual assistants in my network but I don’t really need to log into Twitter to do that. I attend Twitter Twitter using email and Hootsuite or Buffer. So today while I was sitting in the car rider line at school, I decided to do a little Twitter scrolling and catch up on my notifications. I would say I was a little hurt by what I saw, but I really wasn’t. ☺

Are you curious yet? Well let me tell you. Apparently someone followed me on Sunday and in the three days it took me to sign into Twitter and follow back he was pretty pissed. Enough so that he sent me a nice sarcastic post about not reciprocating the follow and then proceeded to block me. Really? Three days? And a holiday at that.

I love connecting with people on social media and I get a lot of great information from the people I follow, but I’m thrilled to say that I don’t sign into my social sites every day. You might see some posts because hey, a girl’s gotta market, right? And I don’t necessarily need to sign in directly to do that.

So here’s the thing. Everyone uses social media differently but whether it’s for personal use or business use, social platforms should be fun and engaging. Make connections. Learn all you can. Enjoy the conversations. But don’t take it so seriously that you can’t enjoy some time away.

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Who is Sandy Wiles, Really?

Today I was actually going to do a review of my awesome new planner but I really felt like I needed to tell you a little about me and why I’m here. So the word for today is flexibility and I’m switching things up a bit.

For the better of eight years I have tried desperately to keep separate all of the moving parts that are my life.

This year has been eye-opening for me. I’m not exactly sure what shifted in me, and it really doesn’t matter. The fact is there was a shift. I am now running my business for myself in ways that feel comfortable to me.

All the reading I’ve done on the subject, all of the training I’ve taken, and all of the good advice I’ve been given over the years has said keep your businesses separate or you may confuse people; don’t share too much of your politics or religion or you may offend some of your biz peeps; don’t reveal too much of your personal life.

Well, I’ve never been a traditionalist and I firmly believe that my work and my life — web design, network marketer, mother, Christian, girl scout helper — everything is somehow joined and by being shared in one location can hopefully benefit someone else. So to kick this off right, I wanted to share some things about me that you may or may not know.

  1. I guess in keeping with not being a traditionalist, I don’t dig traditional Christmas colors (red and green). I decorate everything in silver/white and light blue.
  2. I would LOVE to live in a Mandala home.
  3. I don’t ever watch scary movies. Never.
  4. I don’t own a microwave right now. The only thing I really miss is microwavable popcorn.
  5. Yes, my name is Sandra Lee. I got tons of jokes during the Grease era. As much as I have avoided using that name for many years (most people call me Sandy), I am growing into it and learning to love it.
  6. I hate flying. I avoid most trips that involve flying. I know it’s silly but it is what it is and I’m okay with it.
  7. I love pajamas — all kinds of pajamas for all the seasons.
  8. I have had thyroid cancer twice. I don’t normally call myself a survivor mainly because the struggle was more emotional than physical and I have a hard time using that word. I’m searching for something else to use in the meantime. Suggestions welcome!
  9. I sing in the car…loud.
  10. My niece calls me a hippy and,yeah, it feels right.
  11. I opened my business in January 2007. I am a digital badass, and all around tech diva. I love the constant challenge this part of my business brings me. As much as I love technology, I love color and graphics and fonts just as much. That’s what makes me a creative geek.
  12. I’m a bit of an introvert. That doesn’t mean I’m not social; I just prefer to work in a crazy, uninterrupted focus.
  13. I’m a single mother and have been blessed with an amazing, beautiful, daughter (even if she hacks my Instagram account occasionally).
  14. I really enjoy coloring.
  15. I am an optimist. No matter my path, I know that I have been blessed with so much.

So there is a small peek into who I am. I would love to learn something new about you too; drop me a note in the comments and share a bit of who you are.

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Lessons Learned + Making the Most Of It

I was reading this awesome post today and was so struck by it that I had to write my own.

As I say goodbye to 2013, I knew I needed to share my thoughts and the lessons learned. This year hasn’t been the easiest but I have learned more about my business in the past 12 months than I ever thought possible.

For a good part of the last 4 or 5 years, I worked with a client who had huge demands on my time, and I gave him that time. What happened at the end of 2012 took me by surprise and required most of 2013 to recover from. He went bankrupt. No signs. No warning. My business and my income took a massive hit. Lessons learned = NEVER give any one client so much of myself and my time that I don’t have the energy to do anything else.

The ironic part is I knew deep inside that this client was toxic and that I didn’t really love the work I was doing with him but I continued down that road anyway. Lessons learned = ALWAYS trust my intuition and act on it.

Initially I panicked. I had bills to pay but giving up was not, and never will be, an option. You see, I love what I do and the reasons that I do it. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. My only choice was to work my ass off and build it back up. And building it is what I’m doing.

This past year I started working with clients who are amazing at what they do. I started doing only the work that I love to do. I started selecting who I follow and learn from. I STARTED MAKING CHOICES.

Yes, I am super excited about 2014 and the possibilities I see. And yes, I’m a little bit scared because I have every intention of pushing myself so far outside my comfort zone that major successes are inevitable. As with everything else in my life, I can look back with sadness for the trials and struggles or I can look forward with great joy for all I’ve learned and the accomplishments and strength I’ve gained.

I choose forward!