Sunday, 10 April 2011

7 Lessons Learned From Legally Blonde

Photo credit: jdurham from

Whenever I watch a film, I like to ask myself what lessons are there to be learned. I happened to catch Legally Blonde on TV the other day, here are some of the lessons I took away.

1. Never allow another person's opinion of you dictate your future
People will always have an opinion of you - either good or bad. The most important thing is for you not to allow other people's opinion of you to shape your future. Just because someone says you don't measure up to certain standards does not mean they are right. And apart from that, even if you lack certain skills you can find a way of learning that skill in order to develop yourself.

2. Don't wait for adversity before you decide you can make it
In the film, it wasn't until the main character was rejected and humiliated that she realised she had potential in the inside of her. She was almost accepting her lot in life before someone spoke a word of encouragement and she came to the understanding that she could do much better.

3. Inside of us is that seed of greatness waiting to be germinated
We all have seeds of greatness within us. It is left to us to activate that seed and allow it to germinate. The main character went to Harvard and won an internship at a top law firm. By studying hard like others she also was able to pass with flying colors. Initially, she never knew or thought she could accomplish this.

4. Sometimes appearances can be deceptive
I deliberately removed the word "first" here. One of the people who looked down on the main character and thought she would amount to nothing later became her very good friend. On the other hand, one of the professors had ulterior motives for liking her. She had thought it was because of her academic abilities alone, but it turned out the professor had a different agenda.

5. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you, not put you down
It is not worth hanging out with people who constantly put you down and don't have anything positive to say about you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with friends pointing out areas where you need to improve, but when it appears you can't do anything right by them, then it may be time for you to find a different set of friends.

6. Help sometimes comes in the most unexpected places
The main character enjoyed having her nails done and in the course of discussing what her ex boyfriend did, the lady who attended to her offered her some valuable words of advice. In the same vein, main character also turned out to be the "help" needed by a client who was accused of murdering her husband.

7. It does not pay to look down on people
Even though she was "just" an intern at the law firm she was working at, she was the person the client confided in and eventually hired to represent her. Almost everyone including the prosecution had looked down at her ability to represent the client, but they soon discovered they had made a mistake because she won the case.

Can you identify with any of the lessons listed above?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Goals: Do They Have to be Written?

I found myself in conversation with someone one day regarding the above topic. The person's theory was that even if goals were written, they would not necessarily be achieved. The person was not convinced that writing down goals down would be any more effective than having it stored in one's memory.

Based on the above, I will list why I find writing down goals important.

1. You will be able to see clearly what your intentions and plans are for a particular year, week or even day.
How are you going to know you've reached your destination without a goal. After work, I usually review my goals for the day to see if I've been able to

achieve them and if not assess why I haven't and make plans to see if it can be accomplished on another day.

2. It will help you to focus
It helps you to bring your mind towards that which you are looking to achieve. You have something to fix your mind on and work towards.

3. You can go back and add to the original goals written
If you find yourself achieving goals sooner than you expected, then you can add more goals to your list. That is what even makes it more interesting.

4. Your goals will help you measure your success
An example that I can use here is if I intend to contact 15 potential customers in a month - by crossing off their name each time I make contact, I will be able to see the ones that are left and make plans towards contacting them.

If I do succeed in contacting them all by the end of the month, then that will be the success to show for it.

5. Your written goals are not meant to be rigid
Goals are not set in stone in that they can't be written or amended. You may have started out the year with a plan to move your business a certain way; but then decided to change your course of action due to situations occuring within the industry you are representing. There is no hard and fast rule about this,just change it.

6. They spur you to action
If you find that your written goals have caused you to advance further to your desired location, then of course you will be motivated to take further action to see that you achieve all the goals you've lined up.

On the other hand, it could also have the same effect if you find that none of your goals have been achieved, it could spur you to take action to ensure your goals are met. It will also make you examine the goals to see whether they are realistic.

7. Goals let you know you've "reached your destination".
Once you've accomplished your desired goal, you will know because it's written down for you to see.

Do you have any success story with writing down your goals?

Monday, 4 April 2011

When Baby Steps Are Neccessary

I'm talking about taking baby steps today. Baby steps in building a business is important in order for the potential business to grow. You learn more this way because you are not overwhelmed with too much information.

Photo credit: pablogv2004 from

Taking each blueprint that pertains to the success of your business and applying it into your life could make a huge difference. This could be done in chunks rather than at one sitting.

Taking baby steps however should not be construed as a ticket to procratination or wasting time. Some people hide behind the fact that it is considered a waste of time and therefore would neither build their business or take action in chunks or gather all the information in one sitting.

Whilst I accept that baby steps are important, I also know that each and everyone has their own learning skills and abilities and if they decide not to learn in chunks but at one sitting, that's fine as they have already established a pattern that walks for them.

I got some inspiration from this 1.13 min video from Fran at

Please do let me know what you think about taking baby steps. Thank you.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Distractions Faced by Work-at-Home Moms

I decided to talk about distraction today as it is one of many productivity killers. One of the definitions given by for distractions is "that which divides the attention, or prevents concentration".

So what are some of the distractions faced by a work at home mom?

House chores
These form some of the day-to-day activities in the home anyway, but as a work at home mom, it becomes a distraction when the chores are done at a time when work
pertaining to the business should be done.

Sometimes it could be hard to distance oneself from house work because it is there in front of you, but without allocating time for house work and business, it may be difficult to get things done on time or done at all.

This is an area where I'm trying to discipline myself. Having set times to check one's e-mail is a way of avoiding distractions. Checking one's e-mail every now and
again without any set time, could lead one to respond to e-mails that could be done at a later time or even get carried away with an irrelevant mail that adds little or no value to what you are working on at the moment.

Social Media
Facebook, twitter and other social media avenues are very good ways to gain visibility and promotion for one's business. There are however times when this can become a distraction when that is all that person seems to be doing. Social media is just one aspect of building one's business and therefore attention needs to be given to other areas as well.

Unless one is disciplined with regards to watching TV, this could be a distraction especially if you don't have a room set up specifically for your business. Modern
technology now gives us an opportunity to record TV programs. Why not record your favorite program and watch when you are giving yourself a break.

Telephone Calls
Telephone calls become a distraction when they have nothing to do with your business during working hours. As a work at home mom, you may have friends and relatives who do not really understand the concept of working from home and may be on the phone wanting to chat. There are two things that you may do here - either put the phone on silent and let them leave a message or let them know the time you will be able to take calls.

In addition to the above there could be other distractions which we don't have control over such as attending to the children. I hate to use the word distractions for children, but if one is going by the dictionary definition then that is the word that qualifies it. You may be in the middle of writing a blog post and your child needs you - you have no choice than to leave what you are doing and attend to them. Afterall the reason why you became a work at home mom was to be able to attend to your children and buisness in the comfort of your home.

What distractions have you been able to overcome or avoid?

Saturday, 2 April 2011

How Do You Invest Your Time?

I'm going back to basics a bit today. I shall be talking about time.

We all have 24 hours in a day and how the hours are managed by each individual is up to them. The thing about time is that it cannot be saved or accumulated in
comparison to other things like money. We can both save and borrow money, but we cannot do this with time. Once the time we have for the day has gone, that it is - we have to wait for another day to use the time that is available in it.

I read something interesting about the average hours we spend doing one thing or the other in the week:-

56 hours sleeping
50 hours at work (which includes the commute)
24 hours eating (you may add the time spent visiting the toilet to this)

As we have 168 hours in any given week, after subtracting the above, that leaves us with 38 hours and for each day of the week we have approximately 5 extra hours to spare.

What we do with the 5 hours could make a difference between living a productive or unproductive life. If we are able to analyse how we spend the 5 extra hours each
day; perhaps that would help us to manage our time better.

It is amazing how easy it is to discover where the hours have gone when we take an inventory of how our day was spent. If you do this for a week or two, you would probably be able determine what measures to take to make for positive adjustments.

I was speaking to a teenager the other day and she told me how she forgot to do her homework and had to do it on the bus in order not to get into trouble at school. I
then asked what she did when she got home and she said she watched a bit of TV, spoke to mates on the phone and browsed the internet. I then suggested that next time she has homework to do, she should do the homework first before switching on the TV. She would be surprised about how quickly her homework would be completed and then still have time for other things.

This example could be applied in the life of adults as well. Whilst we might be complaining about not having enough time to develop ourselves by reading books or
taking courses; we may not realise that those extra hours are there for us to use. Watching a 2 hour program on TV has already sucked into the 5 hours, you probably
have a few chores to do after that and oh there's the e-mails to check. And the list goes on and on.

Time as we all know, waits for no one - so let's invest it wisely.

Free to use image taken from

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Challenge Starts Today

I have kind of taken note of some of the things that interest me and that I will be writing about this month and they include the following:-

Social Media
Community Spirit

I'm not so sure whether all the topics listed above are ideal for the one blog, but we'll see.

There are loads of things under blogging that could represent a topic. For example, after learning how to do a task, I could blog about it. I do not know a lot about posting images on blogs. This could represent a topic for one of my posts, so there you go, I have one blog post in the pipeline already!

Productivity is important to me because I need to know how to manage my time effectively in order to spend it wisely to produce good quality work. Eliminating all forms of distractions is equally important and could also form a topic(s) for one of my blog posts.

The effective use of social media in promoting one's blog and business could also be a blog post. Find out the aspects of social media to use. What works for my blog may not necessarily work for the other person's blog. Find out what works for me and stick with it.

I've recently started using Squidoo, so I may post about my experience there.

Community Spirit with other bloggers and how it helps to be in a community. I have some experience of that with squidoo and could also incorporate that.

I'm not too sure about talking about motherhood and parenting in this blog so I would need to check.

I'm determined not to let procrastination get the better part of me. Even as I'm writing this, I'm thinking should I have said that? What if I do procrastinate; then what would people who read the blog think? Well there might be lapses here and there but the most important thing is getting oneself up and continuing - not stopping.

As with anything in life, the topics might change and I might find myself blogging about topics completely different to what I first thought I would write. That's okay as long as I am writing about something tangible and valuable.

The good thing about the challenge is that one is surrounded by a community of other bloggers of different experience levels who will be able to help along the way. So it's not as if I'll be on my own.

I do look forward to the next 30 days and hope to look back as others have done and say it was well worth it.

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