Tuesday, July 24, 2018

When I Decided To Not Give A Sh*t. It Wasn't Harsh. It Was Quite Uplifting.

At one point or another, most of us have experienced those moments when we sit back. Reflect. Take a mental inventory of our current life. Decide if certain areas need a bit of shifting. Or if this or that needs to completely change. Sometimes, we skip the entire process of reflecting and have an epiphany of sorts. It's one of those wrecking ball moments where you immediately decide, "I no longer give a shit about this."

I've experienced both ends of that spectrum several times throughout my life. In my 20's and 30's, these realizations were followed by lengthy periods of deliberation and carefully strewed plans. Now that I'm in my 40's, I don't have time for that shit.

In other words, when I get to the point where I no longer care about something and need to hit the reset button, I do it. I'm there.

I know that sounds a bit harsh, but it's actually quite uplifting.

If I was writing to please the masses, I would tell you that my proverbial light bulb went off while I was walking the beach on a sultry Summer day. Feet in the water. My long bohemian skirt hiked up. Waves crashing. The salty air kissing my skin. My long wavy hair hugging my face in the wind. Listening to the dull cry of the seagulls.

I don't write to please the masses. It didn't exactly happen like that.

My epiphany occurred while trying to rid the stench of old farts wafting throughout our home because I made egg salad the night before.

Lisa was in the kitchen doing dishes. I exhaled louder than the sound of her whistling while she tossed mugs around in the sudsy water. She turned around.

"What's the matter? Are you okay?"

"I'm so done with this shit. I'm not doing it anymore. This is it. After 12 years, this will be the last time."

"Good. It's about (F-Bomb) time."

Lisa knew exactly what I was referring to. Ghostwriting. Tutoring college students. Independent Living tutoring. Providing services for free. Offering discounted rates for services.

At this menial egg-salad-stench point in my life, I had done what I set out to do many years ago.

I have traveled to some great places for business. Worked with some incredibly talented people. Played guitar hero in a multi-million dollar home. Sat through dozens of classes for content management, marketing, SEO optimization, writing, social media, etc. Managed other people's websites. Wrote their content. Built blog sites.

I have talked with and tutored dozens of college students from all over the United States and prepared them for their writing career. I have tutored hundreds of teens and young adults during their middle and high school years. I have tutored well over 100 16-21-year-olds in the area of Independent Living.

I have witnessed the success of dozens because of my hard work, long hours, perseverance, commitment, and determination. This applies to students, CEO's, and entrepreneurs.

My breaking points have hit periodically throughout the past few years and that's been a culmination of the past 12 years.

I love writing. It's my passion. But, I am fed up with ghostwriting. I'm done watching people get credit and awards and degrees for the work I have done. It's time to write with my name attached to all of my work.

And, to those dozens who have hired me and midway asked, "Do you want more money" or "If you want me to pay you more, just ask," I am too prideful in my work to dole out a price. But, at the same time, to this day, I have to question your appreciation because I have yet to receive proper compensation.

I love using social media for marketing, offering valuable resources, and spreading the word about something. But, I'm fed up with managing other people's social media. I felt like a fake because I was managing the output and replies. None of the CEO's or entrepreneurs that have hired me are so busy that they can't reply themselves and be part of the conversation.

But, I guess hiring someone to do that for you gives you the sense that you're kind of a big deal.
News flash, you're not.

I love content management and the challenges surrounding the everchanging world of SEO optimization and digital media. But, a lot of the entrepreneurs I worked for had very little experience in that area. They took my advice lightly. They used their job title status as a means to trump my experience. For most of them, that didn't work in their favor.

But, please, send me numerous emails inviting me to participate in your new adventure. Seriously? I'm not interested. Remember the piece I wrote and got published about the percentage of emails that get sent to the trash folder even before opening? Welcome to that world.

I loved tutoring the college students who were majoring in writing and marketing. I came across a handful of exceptionally talented individuals who embraced what I had to offer from praise to constructive criticism. I have no shame in admitting that I learned a thing or two from them.

But, I got fed up with the 90% who thought their drafts were worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. The ones who told me I had no idea what I was doing. These were the students who got an award for just showing up. The students who had friends and family that praised their work even though their writing sent me into an oblivion. They were not receptive to suggestions on how to improve their writing skills.

I loved teaching Independent Living. What I enjoyed was sharing my experiences and mistakes and transpiring that into "how not to make the same mistakes I made." More so, it was the combination of students and their parents who worked diligently to get on the right track and they valued my time and efforts. Those are my success stories.

But, again, what broke me, and became the archetypal pattern over time, were the students who lacked determination and motivation. They showed up when they wanted to. Their parents held up high hopes that 2-4 hours of Independent Tutoring time per week would make up for years of their impaired parental skills. In addition, these were the same parents who failed to follow through, participate, and/or enforce consequences.

Independent Living tutoring is inefficient if the parents are not willing to put in efforts and adhere to a little tough love on their end. And those parental efforts have nothing to do with doling out the money every week for tutoring.

There is a lot more that contributed to my egg salad moment, but you get the gist of it. 

What it all boiled down to was I was fed up, tired, and done with hoisting people over my shoulder, or letting them sit on my shoulders, and carrying them to the finish line day after day after day.

After years of doing that, my back was breaking.

While the people I had carried on my shoulders were basking in the celebrations and glory and success, I was collapsing. Laying in a fetal position. On the ground. In pain. Thirsty. Hungry. Frustrated. Underpaid. Not appreciated. Labeled as "a dime a dozen." Disposable. The anonymous soul who just wanted a peeled, juicy orange and a helping hand up.

Not looking for a pity party.

And maybe amid all of that, I was just looking for a little time to focus on what I needed and wanted to hone in on. My business. Our blog. Our mission. My work. My passion. My success. Our success.

I love being a wife. I love being a Dog Mom. Taking care of our family. Our home. That is my soul. My pride.

I love taking an old piece of wood and creating a gorgeous DIY Dog Mom Project. I love offering most of these projects for sale.

I love sharing our journey of being Dog Moms with people. Because yes, the struggle is real. We're real Moms too.

I love creating new, homemade dog treat recipes and homemade meal recipes to share. Our kids are healthy and happy and that's partly due to the time we take to make their treats and meals. There's a lot of pride in that.

I love inspiring other pet parents. I love being a trusted and reliable resource. I love helping pet parents in need and being able to provide care packages. That ranges anywhere from pet parents falling on hard times or making a get well package for pet parents and their furry kids.

We love our neighborhood friends and beyond who have become family. We love the people who have extended our circle and continue to do so despite the changes we've made and chaos, year after year after year.

That's what I care about. That is what I'm focusing on. Because, when you retire from certain services you've provided over the past decade, there are minor consequences. Less money. Severing ties with former coworkers. Climbing down from the corporate ladder. Pissing people off. Not eating pizza at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with multi-millionaires and shady entrepreneurs who promise you a rose garden because they think they're a big deal but really aren't. And those few lucrative CEO's who will lose interest in you and your endeavors. There will be no more all-expense paid travels. Etc.

Then, you have to contend with those who felt your services were obligatory and necessary...

"You're so good at what you do."

Yes, I am, but I'm going to apply that to building my business. Finally. After all these years.

"What am I going to do without you? My son is 19 and he still doesn't have a job or ambition or direction."

Well, step up. Be his parent. Put your foot down. Give him a dose of hardcore reality and white knuckle the concept of Tough Love. He's an adult now and you're no longer obligated to support him, so stop supporting him. Take away his phone, video consoles, games, and the remote control. He's an adult. Be strong enough to deal with the bullshit that follows. He'll eventually learn."

"Who am I going to turn to when my website is done and I need a consultation?"

Me. But you will be charged accordingly."

"Can you promote my business and new adventure? I know you have pull on social media and your blog."

Sure, but there's a charge for that too.

"I was going to hire you to motivate my 20-year-old daughter. She still lives at home. No job. No ambition. Nothing. I'm at my witts end. She rips up chore lists and says she hates me when I enforce reality."

At this point, there's nothing I can do. If she's ripping up chore lists, it's because there have been no discipline or consequences or follow through with either in the past when you've enforced chores or other rudimentary life skills. Her actions right now is a complete reiteration of what you have or have not put up with. She's 20. She's your protege. Best of luck to you."

My stinky egg salad moment summarized that final spirit-fingers wave when I no longer gave a shit about the services I retired from and why I walked away.

I am not obligated to get anyone to the finish line.

I am not obligated to contribute to anyone's success.

I am not obligated to straighten your kid's shit out because you didn't have the time or tenacity to do it.

I am not obligated to jump-start your business.

Our purpose and passion are to nurture and feed the relationships we have in our life. Our kids. Our home. Our friends who have become family. The people in our lives who love and adore us unconditionally.

To build my business, to better our family, to assist, and strengthen our mission. To help others.

To welcome those who have found refuge and continue to expand and strengthen our circle.

Our audience.

I will work for all of you. My wife. Our kids. Our family. Our mission. Others. The people joining our audience.


That's my passion.

That fire in me is burning bright.


  1. I just have to say that I know I don't know you in real life but I just think you're the neatest person I ever "met"!
    I enjoy reading your posts and I think it's very cool how you are both so happy and gracious towards others and your little ones!

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Brandy. I get even neater when I'm sipping Sangria. LOL! I raise my glass to you.