Embrace the Suck (Because What’s the Alternative?)

Life sucks. Not to be a pessimist, but sometimes it seems that everything goes wrong. Sure, there’s always that saying that someone has it worse than you somewhere, but quite frankly, that isn’t always the most comforting thought in the world when you have your own problems.

a cat having a bad hair day

We all have bad hair days;
it’s how we handle them that counts.
Pic credit: Melissa West

Today, I decided to run some errands. I ended up going to three grocery stores (plus Target, Walgreen’s and the mall), buying a few things twice and taking much longer than expected. Then I came home to put a new battery in my alarm clock (which I went to two stores to find), and it didn’t work. The clock itself is dying, which should have been obvious because the battery is only a backup. You think I would have thought about this while holding the alarm clock last night while it was still plugged into the wall. (If anyone needs any CR2032 3 volt batteries…) Wednesday night, I took a nosedive on our beautiful sidewalks during a night run. Last week, I missed Trick-or-Treat. Seriously, I completely missed Halloween this year. (If anyone needs any candy…)

“Accept failure. Enjoy it, even. Embrace the suck, for the suck is part of the process.”  –A.J. Jacobs

So you know what I did? I threw the unneeded batteries in my drawer and went for a 6-mile trail run followed by 100 jumping jacks, 60 squats, a 60-second plank and 30-second high plank (with stretching pre-and post-run). Then I came home, made a green smoothie, had some trail bologna (a specialty in my world), updated the CCC Facebook page and sat down to write this blog post.

kicking toward the finish line

Running (and writing) makes me happy and clears my mind. What’s your medicine when things go wrong?

Life sucks. You’re going to fail, fall down and get beat. You have to deal with it and get up — again and again. Sometimes it’s really hard to do that when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. But I believe that we are all dealt a winning deck, eventually. If you keep working and working, things will work out. They may not be what you had planned, but they will work out. (For a real-life example, listen to Steve Jobs’s inspirational commencement address at Stanford in 2005 below.)

Honestly, this week has just been a microcosm of the past year and a half (and I left a lot out for brevity’s sake). I knew it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done to start my own business, be my own boss and and build my client base. It’s been even harder than I expected (which somehow I expected, if that makes sense).

A 6-month battle with insurance companies over a mistake in my medical records while setting up personal insurance. People not following through on their word time and time again. Anticipated projects (and the paychecks) never materializing. Working for free. Being asked repeatedly to work for free (subject of an upcoming post). Coming from a background and an area where nobody understands what I’m doing (or why). We all have things that beat us up every day. 

Are you feeling shitty? Down in the dumps? Do what makes you happy — whatever that may be. Don’t worry about what people think of you. If you’re a runner, run. If you’re a shopper, shop. If you’re a film connoisseur, catch a flick. If you’re a talker, call a friend. How long? Until the smile’s back on your face.

Cheer up. Yes, life sucks, but learn to embrace it. The suck is just one small part of this beautiful thing we call living.

What do you do when you need to cheer up?

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

p.s. If you need to vent and a friend’s not available, feel free to vent below or hit me up on a social network. Seriously, I’m listening.

p.s.s. If you’re having a bad day and can’t bring yourself to comment, just throw me a like so I know you’re there. 🙂

Embracing the suck,
Jaime

Embracing the suck or riding a wave, connect with me… 
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Jumping Off A Cliff: My 1st Year As An Entrepreneur

A year ago today, I took a deep breath and jumped off a cliff. Figuratively speaking, anyway. I left my job in corporate America to start my own business.

A year ago today, I walked away from familiarity and security toward an unknown and exciting horizon. What a ride.

A year ago today, I walked away from familiarity and security toward an unknown and exciting horizon. What a ride.

I was terrified and excited, overwhelmed yet satisfied with my decision, completely burnt out but eagerly looking toward my future. In some ways, it’s been better than I expected. In other ways, I had no idea. Would I do it again 12 months later? In a heartbeat.

Venturing out on my own has taught -- and continues to teach -- me to focus on what's important.

Venturing out on my own has taught me — and continues to teach me — to focus on what’s important.

I’ve grown so much as a person and as a business owner even though there’s still so much to learn. I’ve experienced the highest of highs (tremendous opportunities) only to dip into the lowest of lows (major health insurance issues) days later. I love roller coasters, but this has been the craziest ride of my life.

While I continue to learn new things about myself, some things have become even more clear. I love to help people. Whether it’s donating platelets, helping a friend or writing copy for marketing collateral, it makes me smile. It pulls me out of bed in the morning (preferably not too early though) and gets me amped about the day.

My pride and joy, hopes and dreams. I'd love to work with you!

My pride and joy, hopes and dreams. I’d love to work with you!

That’s how it all started. Clearly Conveyed Communications. The name, the focus, the mission. Because my goal is to help others communicate. It sounds simple enough but is surprisingly difficult to do. We live in a 24/7 hyper-competitive world, so it’s tough to stand out.

Whether it’s writing copy that sells, creating marketing that brings opportunities, managing social media that sizzles or cultivating your personal brand to help you stand out and move up, I love it.

I have so much respect for others who have made this jump — successful or not. I’ve learned so much about myself and experienced so many situations because I stepped outside of my comfort zone; I’ll never regret it. No matter what happens going forward, I made the right move.

trail running

I love the outdoors. All of it, even the mud.

I’ve rediscovered who I am. I’ve reconnected with nature. I run on the local metro park’s trails and walk errands and hike to see the beauty. I’m eating cleaner and healthier than I ever have. I cut cable and read even more (certified bookworm here) and finally stopped to smell the roses (or espresso beans, whatever your pleasure).

My point is: love what you’re doing. Enjoy your life and do everything in your power to do what you love and love what you do.

I’m not a motivational speaker (a little too sarcastic) and am certainly not stepping on a soapbox anytime soon. I’m here because I’ve failed and failed and failed again. But I kept pursuing my dreams and I still am today. I’m not there yet but I’m on a much better path than I was 365 days ago.

Oh, and I’d love to work with you. Really, I would. Because I love what I do.

Photos via my Instagram account

Have faith in yourself,
Jaime

p.s. If you’re new to the CCC website, come back soon and visit our Facebook page too.  We’re going to be running a few contests to celebrate our first year of existence.

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It’s All About The Little Things

It's all about the little things.

“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things.”
-Charles W. Chestnutt

Yesterday was my birthday (yep, I’m a Pisces). Upon the outpouring of well wishes from friends, family and business associates, I was reminded that life is so much about the little things.

A message on social media wishing someone a happy birthday. Making time for dinner with your family or lunch with an out of town friend. Calling someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile just to check in. Small acts that cost you little but brighten someone’s day.

Little things are just as important in business. My mantra has always been, “People do business with people.” I always try to put a face behind my company name, make my digital world seem more human and personal. Although much of what I do is electronic – writing, marketing strategy, social media, etc – I love connecting with people and putting a face with a name.

I believe that rich relationships are what life’s all about, in business too. Reach out and connect with people, care about what they do and how you can help them. The business will come, but first you have to connect with people, develop and nurture relationships.

Who knows what could come out of a simple birthday wish?

Your thoughts?

Cheers,
Jaime

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Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Apparently 50% of Americans do, yet 88% of those resolutions fail. I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. That’s not because I don’t want to improve myself; I just don’t see the point of waiting until New Year’s to do it.

incoming!

The most peace I’ve ever felt in my life —
               jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet.

For example, I jumped off the proverbial cliff last April and started my own business. Sure, I had been planning it, but at some point, I had to make the leap. Others may operate differently, but if I hadn’t jumped, I would still be sitting here talking about it today. That’s just who I am.

How about you? Is there something that you’ve been eyeing? Something that would make you happier, reduce your stress, put a smile on your face? Then go for it. Sit down right now and start figuring out how to accomplish it.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment, because it might never come.

I’m not a motivational speaker. I was born with a healthy dose of sarcasm and realism, so my feet are tethered firmly to the ground (unless I’m skydiving). I’m just speaking from personal experience.

I can honestly say that my life has done a 180 in 9 short months. The day I left corporate America is the day I started to feel like myself again. I’m happier now than I have been in a long time. That’s not a knock on the company I worked for, corporate America itself or the industry I worked in. It just wasn’t for me. I’m a free spirit who loves a more flexible schedule, being my own boss and enjoying nature more (which I couldn’t do working 70+ hours per week).

So don’t worry if you don’t have a long list of New Year’s resolutions. Find that one thing that will make you happier and go for it. Don’t put it off or think that you can’t do it. Your time is truly now.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous — and truly life-changing — 2013! Oh, and if you’re looking for marketing, writingevent planning or personal branding help, give me a call. Or tweet me.

Cheers,
Jaime

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