July 16 Affirmations

I am going to begin semi-regular topical affirmations of the day posts. These will be affirmations in several popular categories all in one post. If there is a category you’d like to see added for future posts, please leave a comment.

May at least one of these hit the spot for you today!

Stay inspired!

Ray

  • Wealth Affirmation: As my mind expands and expects wealth in my life, my wallet opens to receive it.
  • Career Affirmation: Today is day! The job of my dreams is coming my way!
  • Business Affirmation: Today and every day, I build my business on the foundations of integrity, determination, and vision.
  • Sales Affirmation: I am the very embodiment of a sales professional. Customers are attracted to that and buy what I’m selling.
  • Health Affirmation: My immune system is healthy, strong, and protecting me.
  • Gym Affirmation: Step by step and rep by rep, I am building my ideal body.
  • Recovery Affirmation: Moment by moment and brick by brick, I am building a life of things more important than my addiction.
  • Spiritual Affirmation: My connection to spirit (God, the Universe) is stronger than ever before!
  • Relationship Affirmation: When I am ready my ideal relationship appears. I am ready today!
  • Writer Affirmation: Whenever I meet a blank page amazing things happen!
  • Education Affirmation: Today I release my mental blocks to taking tests and ace them instead!
  • Nature Affirmation: The Earth is an amazing blessing and every day I find ways to appreciate it.
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Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Give Advice to Entrepreneurs – The Affirmation Spot for

Today’s Affirmation:

I am flawlessly executing my business plan and I am succeeding brilliantly!

Do you have a business or an idea for a business? Wish you could pick the brain of two the most successful entrepreneurs of this generation? I came across this great little exchange of business people asking questions of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It only runs about 5 minutes, but there are some good nuggets in here for business and entrepreneurial people.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Success Stories: Sophie Zollman – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday April 22, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:

Today and every day, success is just a choice away for me!


The power of other peoples’ stories to inspire us is practically limitless. There are so many people out there who want to have their own business or pursue their own bliss, but they are allowing “things” to get in the way.

Today Sophie Zollman of SophieZo, LLC shares her story in her words about her transition from freelance work-at-home-mom (WAHM) to successful business owner. Sophie and I became acquainted on Twitter. I find her story compelling and inspiring and I hope you will too! May her story give you the determination to pursue your goals and know they are possible.

Stay inspired!

Ray

From Freelance WAHM to Successful Business Owner: The Story Behind SophieZo, LLC

About 10 years ago, I decided to work from home after my second child was born. I knew that daycare for two children would eat up most of the pay I would make at a regular JOB. I started with data entry from home for a local company. After we moved to another state, I found mystery shopping through a friend. It was a lot of fun but did not provide much income.

In 2004, I found a website that was called Emoonlighter.com. Today many know it as Guru.com. For those of you who have not heard of this site, it is a place to find work as a freelance artist in various fields of expertise. I signed on for customer service and administrative assistant work.

Six weeks later, I had an interview for a customer service position for an eCommerce website. It was just a day or two before Christmas. The next day he called to offer me the job. I accepted and had a very Merry Christmas that year.
This customer service position began as a part-time project. It quickly grew into a full-time position where I became his Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. Over a four-year period, I managed customer service, vendor relations, database management, and executive correspondence. I even handled some accounts payable and receivable.

In that time frame, I learned a lot including the fact that I was not being paid what I was worth. The VA industry had changed and grown in so many ways. After four years, I knew it was time to make a change. I decided to “retire” to become a stay-at-home mom once again. However, eight months later our financial situation would change drastically. I had to go back to work.

When that realization came to me, I was determined to do something I enjoyed that paid me what I was worth. I knew I was a great typist with a good ear. I decided to learn transcription after finding a company that was interested in training new candidates.

After a short time doing transcription, I found a new kind of clientele that required Virtual Assistants. When my transcription contract came to an end, I re-launched my VA career. At the same time, I found Twitter and Facebook. Once I found my way around those social media sites, my life changed dramatically.

About 6 months later, three established VAs asked me to partner with them for outsourcing purposes. I knew right then that I had to change from a freelance Virtual Assistant to a business owner. In October of 2009, I registered SophieZo, LLC Virtually There For You and began my new business venture.

Again, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, my new business began drawing clients regularly. I also began talking to people who needed services I did not offer. After speaking to my mentor, I decided to add a team of VAs to be able to handle more clients and offer more services than I could do myself. I launched that new team concept at the end of February 2010.

Since October of 2009, I have expanded my business, quadrupled my client base, and still have many opportunities in the works. I have hired an accountant and will be begin paying myself a regular salary. I never imagined I would be where I am today. Thanks to social media, my mentor, a little hard work and believing in myself, I am having the time of my life. I am truly blessed with a great business, a wonderful family, and the time I need to be with them and take care of myself as well. It took me a long time to get here, but I am glad I finally found my way.

Despite the economic times, more and more women are working from home. As a WAHM turned business owner, I can say that now is the time to do it. The internet has made working at home and owning a business so much easier and less expensive, too. I started my business on a shoestring budget. I took advantage of Social Media and every free teleseminar or report I could get. I learned a lot in a very short time.

The key to success in business is networking and marketing. Social Media makes that easy and very inexpensive. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are easy to use and free. You can begin networking and marketing the minute you start your business. Building relationships online is essential to growing your business even if it is brand new. In fact, it is one of the best ways to grow a new business quickly and economically.

Starting your own business allows you to follow your passion. You can do what you like instead of doing what you have to for money. True success comes when you are doing what you love. Thanks to the internet and Social Media, dreams can and do come true for women like me every day. Won’t you join us?



Sophie Zollmann of SophieZo Virtually There For You is a Virtual Assistant committed to working with online entrepreneurs to increase their productivity and income potential. She provides virtual assistance in blog/email/social media management, WordPress website design & maintenance, 1ShoppingCart set up & maintenance, internet marketing, event planning, Real Estate support, schedule management, proofreading, article submission, social bookmarking, dictation/transcription and much more. Learn more at http://sophiezo.com


Remember When All Was Possible? It Still Is! – The Affirmation Spot for Friday May 29, 2009

Today’s affirmation is:

“I am a visionary. I see and respond to trends well ahead of the pack.” (click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

What a world we live in! Posting this from the airport in Minneapolis. Today I’m featuring a brilliant video I found on YouTube. It’aimed specifically at entrepreneurs, but really applicable to any of us who have an idea, a dream, a vision!

Stay inspired!

Ray

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Affirmationspot

With Liberty and Justice and Fewer Customers for All

Today’s Affirmation:

“My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a prosperous place to be.”
(Click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

skull_money

There are positives in everything and the current economic and mental environment is no different. However, just as in our individual lives, our collective life must be driven by productive, empowered thoughts followed by committed action if we are to succeed.

Einstein’s famous quote is true here in spades – the level of thinking that got us here will not get us out.

We are in a recession. That’s not a big revelation to the employees who have lost jobs or companies who have seen their stocks tumble in recent months. What is a recession? Well, the technical economic definition is three consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP.

In the old days, recessions use to be called panics. This is probably a more apt term than the sanitized word recession. The word panic indicates human thoughts and human responses to a situation. To be clear, our economy is having a giant panic attack.

Now is the time that the power of our thoughts can be exposed as cause and solution to these issues.

I would argue that recessions are as much psychological as they are economic. I’m not suggesting that some pretty big mistakes (perhaps even corruption) did not occur in our economic structure bring us here. Only that the extent to which we experience the recession has and continues to rely on the thoughts of people and the actions that flow from those thoughts.

Henry Paulson and other leaders since have tossed around words like “recession”, “depression”, and “catastrophe”. We all have images in our minds that correspond to those words and they are not good. So people begin acting in a way that follows the thoughts that have been planted.

Markets didn’t drop 40% in recent months because companies were suddenly worth 40% less than they were before. They dropped because human beings experienced panic and sold, sold, sold.

Credit didn’t dry up because banks (especially after the government bail out) didn’t have funds. They dried up because humans at banks experienced panic that if they loaned money they wouldn’t get it back.

Fewer Customers for All?

The layoffs that are occurring right now are happening because CEOs and CFOs are experiencing panic. They have been taught that they must captain their “ships” to maximum profit at all costs. In a normal situation, that makes perfect sense. The market determines winners and losers and those that don’t succeed retool or go away.

Layoffs happen as a result, but in calm seas those laid off can swim to other “ships”. They can continue to be consumers. All is good.

This environment is different. Corporate leaders must show vision, courage, and thinking beyond the quarterly numbers for their own sake and that of the broader economy.

In the current economic and mental environment, this usually smart business response – cutting labor costs to save – is counterproductive. This is a stormy sea (mentally and financially). As “ships” continue to throw people overboard to save themselves, they forget that all the other “ships” are doing the same thing.

They forget, at their peril, that their own choices magnified across the economy only deepen and worsen the situation – feed the storm and make it stronger. Because while a company sheds employees to save costs, other companies are shedding that company’s customers and potential customers.

This short-sighted approach means fewer customers and potential customers for everyone. It slows possible recovery and deepens the abyss.

When the entire fleet (economy) is experiencing seas like these, enlightened business minds should see that layoffs are not the way to economic survival. They are the way to further collapse.

Corporate leaders need to step up and stop the job carnage now before they decimate their own markets. Will profits drop for a while, if you keep employees? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Employed people make better customers than unemployed people.

What will you tell WALL STREET? Well, I’d say Wall Street isn’t in much of a position to judge anyone right now. Maybe this is an opportunity reverse the business power structure and gain back some ability to make long-term decisions for your company rather than having to “manage by the quarter” for Wall Street analysts.

Minds can and must change.

Working together and with the right mindsets, we can come out of this situation stronger and better. There is much opportunity in all of this. We may see the emergence of new virtual entrepreneurism that makes corporate structures obsolete. This all could be transformation as much as recession.

Regardless, it is our thoughts created this circumstance and they will lead us out of it. The question is how long will it take us to get it?

Stay inspired!

Ray

Big Rocks First – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday December 1, 2007

Today’s Thought:
What is is, but that doesn’t mean it’s what must be.
~ Ray Davis

big_rocks.jpgToday, perhaps, is not my most original post. However, there are certain ideas and concepts that we keep forgetting. An occasional reminder never hurts.

You may be familiar with the Big Rocks analogy. If not, let me briefly recount it. The story has countless derivations. Many authors credit Steven Covey for putting it in his book First Things First.

A college professor instructing a class full of high-powered, driven, MBA candidates decided to make a point to this group of overachievers. He announced to the class, “It’s time for a quiz.”

There was shuffling in the room as the students pulled out pen and paper and prepared themselves to expound on some esoteric principle of macroeconomics. To their surprise, the professor produced a large, wide-mouthed glass jar from behind his desk. As the class looked on, the professor placed a series of fist-sized rocks into the jar until the rocks reached the top of the jar.

“Is the jar full,” he queried the class?

One particularly eager student raised her hand, but could not even wait to be called on. She proclaimed, “Yes, professor, the jar is full.”

“Are you sure,” asked the professor, patiently?

He produced a jar filled with small pebbles and began to pour them into the first jar until they filled all the space between the larger rocks. When he’d finished he asked again, “Is the jar full?”

Skeptical, from being burned the first time, someone said, “Probably not.”

Smiling, the professor pulled out a jar of sand and poured it into the first jar. The sand seeped into the crevices between the pebbles and filled the space. As the sand reached the top, the professor had one of the students come to the front of the room and pat the sand down and smooth it so that it was even with the top of the jar.

“Now is the jar full?”

A few people were now ready to guess again that the jar was full. The professor pulled out a bottle of water and began pouring it into the jar. The water was absorbed by the sand. When he had poured as much water as the jar could hold, the professor asked one more time if the jar was full.

The class sat there, a bit unsure. Finally, the professor confirmed that the jar was now full.

“If we apply this example to our lives,” the professor asked, “what is the lesson?”

One student raised his hand and said, “That if we really, really try we can always fit one more thing into our lives?”

“No,” responded the professor satisfied that they had taken the bait, “The lesson is that if we don’t put the big rocks in first, there won’t be room for them.”

If all goes well, we get about 80 trips around the Sun (plus or minus 10) in this life. The water, the sand, and the pebbles are always going to be there knawing at us, stealing our time away. We have to put the Big Rocks into our 80-year jar first or we may never get to them.

Coaching their sales teams is the Big Rock (in their job) for managers in my company. For most, it was not only the most critical to their success, but the real reason they like being a sales manager. Yet, all the little things were getting in the way because they were not putting the Big Rock into their calendars FIRST.

My wife and I took our first trip to Hawaii this past March. We absolutely fell in the love with the place. We developed a mutually shared dream to live there one day.

hawaii_kauai_hanalei_bay_beach_0055Friends and family don’t think we’re serious, but we are already thinking about and acting on ways to make it happen. We both are afflicted by the sights of the beautiful blue water every time we close our eyes.

Hawaii has become a Big Rock for us. When it came time to decide on a vacation destination for next year there was no discussion. We could have gone somewhere we haven’t been before, but we put our Big Rock into the jar FIRST. We booked another trip to Hawaii.

What are the Big Rocks in your life? Who are the people, which are the experiences, what are the achievements that bring or would bring you the most joy? Are they the FIRST things in your proverbial calendar or are they relegated to the bottom of the pile in the hope that you will get to them someday?

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect and take stock of our direction your life. Think about what your Big Rocks are and make sure they are the priority in 2008.

Peace…

Ray

For more inspiring content, visit The Affirmation Spot website or YouTube channel.

Interview with Andreea Ayers of Tees for Change – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday November 28, 2007


Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

April and I are reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This is the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection. Oprah and the author Eckhart Tolle are hosting a 10-week online course covering this book beginning Monday March 3. They recommend reading the book before the class. You can register for free at Oprah.com



March Affirmation Sale!

Beginning February 28 Download any two affirmations during March from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third affirmation free. There are no limits! You can download 20 and get 10 free. Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot!



Today The Affirmation Spot begins a series of interviews with and articles about inspirational people. These are people making a difference in the world by demonstrating the courage to share their gifts and pursue their dreams. My hope is that their stories will inspire you to begin taking steps in the direction of your dreams.
tees_for_change1.jpgThe first installment is an interview with Andreea Ayers, Founder of a Boulder, Colorado company called Tees For Change. Andreea started the company in early 2007 and it is already transforming her life and the lives of everyone wearing her products.

Her company is something special. Tees For Change is very eco-conscious – all their products are organic, they use low-impact eco-friendly dyes, and they plant a tree for each t-shirt sold. Her t-shirts proclaim emphatically positive messages such as, “today matters”, and “choose happiness”.

In a recent interview with on makethemostofu.com, Andreea is quoted as saying, “I am hoping that my tees will impact the person wearing them and also the many people he/she comes in contact with. Words are so powerful, as are thoughts, and a slight shift in your thoughts can make a difference in your day.

Our tees really make you think. What does “live mindfully’ or “today matters” mean to you? It’s probably different than what it means to your friend, sister or co-worker. My goal is to get people to at least stop for a moment and think “hmmm…” I want people to have conversations (with each other or even within themselves) about what the words on our tees mean to them.”

The following interview was conducted with Andreea by e-mail.

The Affirmation Spot:  Andreea, thank for your time. Can you share with us a little bit about your professional background and how your path led you to create Tees For Change? And, please tell us about Tees For Change and your goals for the company.

Andreea:  My background is in marketing for ‘green’ companies. I have a degree in Marketing from Cornell University and my first few jobs out of college were in market research and analysis. In 2001 I started to work for a non-profit publication called The Green Guide and, because the company was so small, I did everything but editorial and fundraising.

That was a great way for me to learn all aspects of online and offline marketing, customer service and the publishing industry. Then in 2004 I branched off on my own and self-published a book called The Green Apple: Organic coupons for healthy living in NYC. It was a guide and coupon book to everything eco-friendly in the Big Apple. However, I felt that I wanted to do something more national in scope and reach out to more people, so I did not re-publish the guide in 2005-2006.

In late 2005 I became a marketing consultant for Ideal Bite, a great company that sends out free, daily eco-living tips by email. I did their affiliate marketing, online marketing, and set up marketing partnerships, so I had the chance to learn more about ‘green’ marketing and building an email list.

Then, in 2006, after a brief stint in direct marketing at New York University, my husband and I moved out to Boulder, CO. I got the idea to start Tees For Change while I was in a prenatal yoga class. My goal for Tees For Change is to grow the company and reach out to as many people as possible. Right now our tees are available for sale in nearly 50 yoga studios across the US, but it would be great to have them available in every state and hopefully, one day, to have our own Tees For Change storefront or showroom.

tees_for_change_men.jpg

TAS:  Unfortunately, we live in a world bathed in a lot of fear and unhappiness. I’m sure you’re aware that many people see “positive thinking” as somewhat unrealistic in the face of realities like war and famine. In your experience, what tangible difference does thinking positively make in our lives and in our world?

Andreea:  In my opinion, thinking positively has a huge impact on our lives and decisions. I grew up in a communist country where people were constantly afraid and did not trust anyone. Then there was my grandmother who always instilled in us to think positively and look at the bright side. She lived her life that way, despite all the hardships she encountered during communism and despite the fact that her husband died when they were still very young. Today, she is 95 years old and still looks at the bright side of things. She taught me by example that positive thinking is the way to go.

I learned that you can’t be creative if you are constantly afraid. And if you can’t create, then you can’t advance. So, in order to grow as a person, a company or a nation, you can’t be afraid.

I don’t watch the news because all they report on is what is wrong with our neighborhoods, our schools, our roads, and our security. Can you imagine how different your evening would be if you turn on the news and you hear about all the good things people are doing in our communities and in our country? Just by being aware of people doing good things you feel better. Imagine if you walked around all day thinking good thoughts! I constantly challenge myself to think positively, even if I might not feel it at the moment, just to see what happens. It makes a huge difference!

TAS:  You’re a new mother with a new and growing business, I’m sure there are tough days. Who and what keeps you inspired and motivated? Do you have any role models, mentors, or heros?

Andreea:  There are definitely tough days, but I love what I do, so that makes my challenges a bit more manageable. I am definitely inspired by my family and by the natural world around me. I am inspired when my customers write to tell me about the difference that one of our tees has made in their lives. I am inspired by people who follow their dreams, whether it’s to be a doctor, entrepreneur, teacher, musician or plumber. I am constantly inspired by children – they naturally ‘think big’ and it’s amazing to see their drive and determination.
 
Everyone I meet is a role model, in one way or another. The ‘positive people’ teach me what to do and the ‘negative people’ teach me what not to do. Sometimes I feel that we all start out as role models and then, somewhere down the line, life takes over and we forget what it’s like to have dreams and ambitions. I think I’ll add two new tees that will say “be unrealistic” and “reclaim yourself.”

TAS: What does owning and operating your own business mean to you?

Andreea:  It means that I can be creative and follow my dreams. But it also means working long hours and taking risks (good and bad) that I would not normally take if I was working for somebody else. Having my own business has allowed me to constantly challenge myself and to question my decisions and actions.

TAS:  Many people have creative dreams or business ideas they want to pursue. Often, they feel paralyzed by the perceived risk or by other peoples’ opinions. If you could speak directly to one of those people sitting in a cubicle in corporate America reading this interview or to someone working a job that’s not advancing their dreams, what advice would you give him or her? What words of wisdom can you offer to persuade that person that following your bliss is worth it?

Andreea:  Well, I think that there is definitely a place for corporate America in all of us. I learned a great deal from working for other companies, small and large. There is value in learning from other people who know more than you do. But, having said that, I think that if the spark is there, you’ll know when you’re ready to pursue your dreams. For some people it might not make sense to quit their job and start their own business, but what if those people start their own business (part-time), while holding on to their job?
 
About five years ago I read a great book called Kiss Off Corporate America : A Young Professional’s Guide to Independence by Lisa Kivirist. I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of leaving the cubicle life. It inspired me to leave my corporate job and start my own market research firm. Even though the market research firm didn’t work out (there was still so much more that I needed to learn!!!), it was a great experience and it gave me the courage to start other things later on. I personally feel better when I know I tried something (even though it might not have worked out) than when I don’t try it at all.

tees_for_change_women2.jpg

TAS:  Finally, what’s on the horizon for Tees For Change? Do you have any new lines coming out? Where can people find your tees? Are you expanding beyond tees into other products or apparel?

Andreea:  I am currently working on sourcing the tees for the Spring 2008 line and I will be adding more styles (tank tops, sweatshirts) and colors. I want to expand to other products, especially eco-friendly ones like canvas bags and reusable water bottles.

Right now, people can find the tee at Tees For Change and at nearly 50 yoga studios and boutiques across the country. For an updated list, they can visit http://teesforchange.com/retailers.
 
Thanks so much for allowing me to share my story!

TAS:  Thank you, Andreea, for generously sharing your time and your insights on positive thinking and pursuing your dreams.
With the holidays fast approaching, there is probably someone on your list who could use or would appreciate “the gift of positive”. Tees For Change is ideal for that person. Here is a quick FAQ on shipping and the logistics of ordering a shirt from Tees For Change.
 
Peace…

Ray
The Affirmation Spot.com

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