50 Things I’m Grateful For, Summer 2018 Edition

The tradition continues. Each year since 2012 (the year I started CCC), I’ve published a list of 50 things I’m grateful for. This isn’t a 5-minute exercise. I create the list over the course of weeks or even months. Oftentimes, I’ll jot down an activity I’m doing or a memory triggered by a conversation or passage in a book. What are you grateful for?

Celebrating CCC's 6th anniversary in the office

My business, Clearly Conveyed Communications, turned 6 in May. That’s something to be grateful for!

 

50 Things I’m Grateful For, Summer 2018 Edition

  • Coffee shop patios on overcast, stressful days
  • My smartphone — and the mobility it provides
  • Rare moments that I can put my phone away
  • Ocean waves crashing
  • Playing with my nephew
  • Meeting fellow KSU alumni
  • Handwritten cards, letters and notes
  • Instagram Stories
  • My niece, who’s growing into another strong Shine woman
  • Stephen King

  • Lifelong friends
  • Fireworks on a summer night
  • Listening to the orchestra
  • Firetrucks in parades
  • Brands who own their voice
  • 80’s movies
  • Classic rock
  • Finishing a workout and feeling strong
  • Linda by Chuck Close
  • Rollerskating (and Roller Derby)

  • Capturing a moment — in picture or prose
  • Creating content
  • Solving problems
  • Reliable technology
  • The power of putting pen to paper
  • Traveling for pleasure
  • Experiencing different cultures
  • Taking a journey in a book
  • Donating plasma to those who need it
  • Exploring trails

 

A lake view

I love water views — while working, relaxing or contemplating life.

 

  • Water views
  • CCC’s 6th anniversary
  • Small victories
  • Eating tacos on a patio on a beautiful, summer day
  • Sipping a latte
  • Long weekends
  • Touchscreen devices
  • Solving WONDERWORD, crossword and other word puzzles
  • Different viewpoints
  • Aha moments

  • Pocket, Evernote and other productivity apps
  • Mesmerizing stories and storytellers
  • Editing and revising a rough draft into sharp content with a clear message
  • Vegetarian enfrijoladas
  • Family
  • Outdoor concerts and movies
  • A night at the ballpark
  • Food carts and street food
  • Reaping the fruits (and vegetables) of a garden
  • Strong women

That’s my list for the summer of 2018. Take a moment to think about what you’re grateful for in your life right now. Share your list, however long or short, in the comments or leave a link to your own post. Writing down what you’re grateful for is a powerful exercise to remember to count the blessings in your life.

So, what are you grateful for?

Counting my blessings,
Jaime

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Life On The Road: Conducting Business On the Go

As I sat on a plane last week thinking about blog topics, I realized that the CCC blog has never delved into business travel. Despite the Great Recession, business travel remains a popular way to close deals, educate people and cement/maintain crucial relationships. I used to travel for business more than I currently do, but I have spent the better part of the past two weeks on the go.

Image

My view — from 35,000 feet.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up from my travels over the years:

  • Know where you’re going. Does your hotel have a pool or workout facility? Continental breakfast? Free WiFi? A Keurig in the room? With a little forethought, you can be prepared to take advantage of these amenities and save yourself time and money. Are you familiar with the area? Will you need to entertain clients? What restaurants or entertainment is available? When/where is your meeting? Are you attending or presenting at an event? What’s the time difference? Have all of the details on you, so you can alert necessary parties if travel disruptions cause a rift in your schedule.
  •  Know how you’re getting there. Have ALL of your travel info (airline info, itineraries, special policies, hotel confirmation, rental car confirmation, driving destinations, routes, airline, hotel & rental car contact info, etc.) in one place and easily accessible. Electronic copies are great, but it helps to have printed copies too. If any problems arise, you’ll have confirmation of your reservations and can easily contact the appropriate parties.
  • Know who you’re meeting with. Whether you’re attending or presenting at an event or meeting with clients, do some research. What’s the dress code at your event or client’s office? It’s helpful to understand a client’s corporate culture if possible for meeting purposes and to ensure a successful, long-term relationship. What’s your client’s gift policy? You may think you’re being nice by bringing a special something to leave behind, but it may make for an awkward situation if your contact can’t accept it. If you’re at an event, are there other opportunities to do business or is it not appreciated (or flat out prohibited) by management? Don’t start off on the wrong foot by making an innocent mistake that could lead to major consequences.
  •  Plan for the worst; hope for the best. Sh%@ happens. We all know that but expect everything to run smoothly all of the time. If at all possible, don’t take a last minute flight to your conference. If it’s delayed or even canceled, you’ll have time to reroute to the conference before it begins. If you’re driving, allow for extra time in case you hit traffic or encounter construction. You may get lost, not be able to catch a cab or find out your hotel room reservation was lost. Obviously it’s not always possible to allow extra time, but oftentimes we (as human beings) put everything off to the last minute and cause a lot of our own stress.
  • Track your expenses. Whether you’ll need to fill out an expense report or are a small business owner, it helps to track your expenses. You can see where unexpected expenses pop up and may be able to plan to eliminate or reduce these on future trips. For example, if you find yourself consistently buying bottled water, try to pack a refillable (and even folding/collapsible) water bottle.
  • Conduct a post-trip analysis. Take a few minutes to analyze your trip when you return home. It’s really helpful to keep a small notebook to jot down ideas and feedback in real time during the trip. Were you surprised by an airline policy? Did you find a hotel that’s in a better location? Did an audience member suggest a presentation change? Did you notice something during your event that you could do differently next time? Write it down so you can look into it further or implement changes for future travel.
Keep the essentials in your carry-on!

Keep the essentials in your carry-on! Losing your luggage is terrible, but it doesn’t have to sideline your trip. (No, guns aren’t allowed in carry-ons and even gun-shaped hot packs may cause a stir.)

Helpful packing tips:

  • Wear the same clothes on travel days. If you’re going to be working in airports, sitting on planes, setting up your booth, etc., save room in your suitcase.
  • Coordinate clothing so that you can mix and match. You may be able to stretch two pairs of pants over three or four days with different shirts.
  • Pack (mostly)  healthy, on-the-go snacks. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to eat (especially at events), so try to have almonds & dried cranberries, fruit snacks, granola/protein bars and a refillable water bottle on hand. Grab some apples, bananas and other fresh fruit for your room from the continental breakfast.
  • Stuff shoes full of socks, undergarments and accessories to save space.
  • Roll shirts, workout gear and other items to save space. Pants may fit better folded in a specific location.
  • Put event credentials, medication, chargers and any other crucial items in your carry-on. A change of clothes is helpful too if it fits.
  • Take advantage of outside pockets, interior compartments, specialty niches and any nooks & crannies in your luggage. A little planning while packing goes a long way!
  • Leave room for swag bags, samples and literature you’ll be picking up at a show unless you plan on shipping these items back. (Depending on baggage policies, it may be advantageous to ship these items. Take advantage of any onsite or show specials in this area.)
  • Wear slip-on shoes and simple clothes (free of embellishments, metal, etc.) to the airport. It’ll help you breeze through security and save time and a lot of frustration.
  • Know where your liquids (in zip bags) and electronics are in your carry-on, so you can remove them for security quickly.

Your Turn

What other travel or packing tips have you picked up along the way? Chime in and help everyone do business a little easier on the road.

Enjoying the view,
Jaime

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My 2013 Bucket List: Six Months In

“Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.”     –Lesley Carter

Earlier this year, I came across Lesley Carter’s 2013 bucket list and was inspired to create my own. (Ed. Note: If you haven’t checked out Lesley’s Bucket List Publications, please do so. What an inspiration!)

Related reading: My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

It struck me a few days ago that we’re already half way through the year. Crazy, isn’t it?! So I wanted to post an update and see how I’m doing so far.

Without further ado… (items crossed out have been accomplished:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
Lake Erie Monsters hockey

I love Zambonis! Watching the Lake Erie Monsters

  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
  • Get together with my family at least monthly <So far, so good!>
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends <Just celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday and Father’s Day this past week! Next up, my brother’s birthday.>
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
Valentine's Day wreath

A slightly different take on a Valentine’s Day wreath…

  • Bring on 5 new dream clients <On pace, lots of activity right now…>
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.) <I need to start counting!>
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
Dark Tower Series

Finished 6 of 7 Dark Tower books by Stephen King… along with a few others.

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
KSU + Haven of Rest = Pay It Forward

Proud to join the KSU Alumni crew at Haven of Rest for National Day of Service 2013

  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
sunset at Canal Park

Watching the sunset at Canal Park

  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
  • Create with my hands
Mother Nature's beauty

Enjoying the serene Alder Pond at Gorge Metro Park

  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often

How about you? How are you doing on your 2013 bucket list? It’s not too late to create one! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Dark Tower books photo courtesy of The Dark Tower Official Website
All other photos from my personal collection 

Smiling in the sunshine,
Jaime

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My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

What’s on your bucket list?

I was thinking about adding another (overdue) 50 Things I’m Grateful For.. post when I came across Lesley Carter’s entry about entering a contest to fulfill a bucket list trip. Lesley’s Bucket List Publications is one of the blogs I follow, because her updates about checking items off her always evolving bucket list inspire me. As she notes, “Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.” That’s exactly how I feel about life.

Without further ado, my 2013 bucket list:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
Akron Marathon 2012 "Blue line, blue toes"

Celebrating hitting my goal in my 3rd — and final — half-marathon in Sept 2012

  • Get together with my family at least monthly
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
  • Bring on 5 new dream clients
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.)
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
skydiving crew!

The skydiving crew — Sean, Steven, Yours Truly & Greg (celebrating his bday!)

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
Hilton Head

Lounging on the beach in Hilton Head listening to the ocean

  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
Laugh often

Having a ball at my brother’s wedding

  • Create with my hands
  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often
trail running

I love trail running — and mud.

Because it’s February, I’ve already crossed a few of these off my list.

How about you? What’s on your 2013 bucket list? Leave your list in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Watching the snow fly-
Jaime

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