Sunday, January 31, 2016

Entrepreneurship: When no one's looking

Took a while to decide to publish this one but's one of my rambling rants.  Why?  Well why not?  Plus this blog needed a new post... and writing is a great outlet for me :-)

One of my favorite Seal songs says,
"...we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy..."
This song is so real to meIt takes a toll when working so hard to persevere and follow the simplest of goals.
My mind breaks it down this way:

It's NOT all about money.  That's a CRAZY thing to say.  NoTell THAT to my business expenses and creditors with a straight face.   
Here's a little Secret:  They want EVERY CENT that's owed to interest.

Do what you love.  That's more crazy.  What I REALLY LOVE don't bring in Jack Sh**. How am I going to pay them people?

Never give up. I ain't sure feels like these sayings are bordering on lunacy now.

Focus!  Well now its all NUTS.  I am still learning how to REfocus.  It's now like an art since so many things are so great at getting your attention.  I admit - I'm one of those people that the SHINY stuff gets me...WTF?'s now an art.

See the point?
So...a tiny bit more than a "little" CRAZY?  That's evidenced here because I am...still  working towards those goals.  Why?  Because of my hallucinogenic visions of what will be.  What is the simplistic definition of a hallucination?  Seeing things that are not there.  Sigh!  What ELSE is there to see...other than what's not there?
Que sera, seraWhatever will be will be...heh...I'm dating myself with that one from Doris Day (that's a LONG time ago). conclusions here because I don't have the answer.  Many times there are no answers and I'm okay with that now.  At one time I felt I NEEDED to know the answers. But wisdom reveals that many times the answer is elusive and many "answers" are fill-ins...or are less than truthful...hmmm.  Well, that's just what's swirling in my head right now.  It's busy in there--just a little bit crazy.

Now back to surviving the grind...right after I listen to these two songs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Entrepreneurship: I Can't Breathe

Meanwhile, During my Entrepreneurship Journey...

It starts with EXCITEMENT as the weekend approaches!  I am WORKED UP!  I am GOING to get something significant accomplished!  But time ALWAYS runs out and by Monday morning, the excitement engine sputters to a stop.  I have to pay the cost for my space in society so there is the job that must be attended.  From there, the better part of the work week is spent anticipating the coming weekend.  WTH?!!  What happened to this zest I have always had for work and life?  Is the old Typical Work Week cartoon now personifying my experience?

We've seen this old Snoopy cartoon many times before... 

How did I get here?  WHY am I even here?  This CANNOT be good.  Based on my Google Knows Best Search, (because Google knows best...and today is Wednesday), I am most likely BURNT OUT. 

Thinking Out Loud

This broken thing needs to be fixed.  I need to just write about it.  Get it out of my head.  Drink Wine?  Uh...maybe not too much of that.  Meditate.  Pray.  All of these actions work.  They really just temporarily take my mind off of the problem.  But sometimes that's all that's needed to be able to tackle it later.  Refresh and restart.  Sometimes non-actions work - relax.  Take a Vacation. Do NOTHING.  That would be GREAT!

Hmmmm!  I've convinced myself that I need to go on a much-needed vacation.  I already feel better.

I really need a vacation

New To Do List

  1. Think about what you are doing RIGHT
  2. Analyze your goals for those that are off track.
  3. Realign or readjust goals
  4. Plan for a vacation
  5. Take a vacation

What is being done RIGHT

Checkpoint: I did "retire" previously but not in the way I thought it should have been because I had to return to a job after the business was closed.

Checkpoint:  Saving for retirement.  Though this is slow, at least it's being done.

What is OFF Track

 Checkpoint: Business Procedures and Apps. This seems to be the source of much of the stress.  Enough time is not being allocated to get this done properly. 

Realign Goals

  1. Update timetable
  2. Break down off-track goal to more manageable parts
  3. Do more of what you enjoy doing.  
  4. Delegate what you don't enjoy doing to someone who enjoys that task.
  5. Get more training on what you enjoy doing.  It opens the mind to new perspectives.
  6. Work at your own pace and persevere.  Everything else is a distraction.


So it all boils down to perseverance.  This is truly a writing that evolved on its own because I had no clue what the conclusion would bring.  Indeed, for me it seems, writing about it works.   

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Learning Challenge! Mission Accomplished!

To take a piece from the late James Brown, "I feel good!" 

I have successfully completed four learning challenges: Cloud Development, Web Development, Office 365, and SharePoint.  You can view my profile information here.  It was very nice to know that 55,000 people from approximately 146 countries around the world participated.  This included the 296 who identified from the Caribbean.  I thought that was a noteworthy fact  :-). 

Excitement Abound

I was seriously falling out of love with programming but now there is hope again.   Everything had began to feel like drudgery and grunt work.   But new platforms, new, improved ways of doing things, new tools - these all contribute to a new level of creativity.  Quite refreshing.

The Fun Part - Implementation.

The fun part now is applying all this knowledge.  For example, our company, AOWR Media,  is in the process of moving to the cloud because it makes more sense for us. The Cloud and Web Development challenges provided enough insight and information to help us make that decision.  Paired with the fact that AOWR Media is part of the Microsoft Partner Network, this is really just a case of optimally utilizing resources that were there all along.

By the end of the first quarter (yes - by the end of March 2015), I am looking forward to implementing some awesome features in my projects.   I shall keep you updated.  

Until then - get some of your energy source from learning.  It's an amazing thing.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fresh, Sweet, IT Skills

So Excited!

Seems like I desperately needed a challenge like "Know It. Prove It." to get me excited again about technology.  I'm not terribly competitive so it definitely is not for any competitive aspect of the challenge.  What keeps me highly engaged is the commitment and probable accomplishments that has kicked everything in my brain into high gear.

A Refreshing Learning Experience

And it is well worth it.  I feel renewed, refreshed and more alive.  Hey.  That's what works for me. For the first time in a long time, technology doesn't seem like just a mere money-making commodity, but once again full of exciting tools to creatively solve real-world problems.  With  some amazing upgrades, the problems, the solutions available, the vast canvas for a new level of fresh creativity without having to fumble around (too much) in the dark...hey, darkness is always there...hmmm.  Darkness is still, after all, the absence of light.  

Hopefully you're still hanging in there with me (lol).  That was one of my weak Yoda-esque moments. ;-)

Web Development

I am ambitiously taking four challenges and dedicating myself to completing one each week during the four-week challenge.   Having already dug into and currently developing using MVC programming, web development was an awesome introduction/review for me.  With these types of courses the formal introductions help fill in missing blanks and provide suggestions for improvements and best practices.   Awesome!

Some Feedback

I cannot tell a lie, the beginning part of the cloud development challenge was pure torture. This was the introduction and mostly Administrative and configuration aspects of Azure. Definitely Not my thing.  But once I moved on to the design and development sections, it quickly became my new favorite skill to have.  It will definitely change the way I approach development...for the better.   I would vote this the most refreshing challenge so far.

I  am now on the Office 365 challenge and then finally, will be on to SharePoint, according to my plan.

Mobile Development Challenge?

If there is still time then maybe  the mobile challenge.  However, I am already embracing mobile first development via responsive web design so that topic is more or less already being sufficiently addressed.


Mutual Benefits

Our customers will benefit greatly from this newly acquired knowledge.  There are still two weeks left in February from the time of this post to get on the challenge.   And you can STILL join the challenge.  Just sign up at MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy), and start refreshing your brain on this exciting stuff.  Have fun!

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Know It. Prove It.

A quick note and then I'll be back next month...I promise!
It has been quite busy for me so far and that's a good thing.  Just wanted to drop this information real quick about Microsoft's Learning Challenge, Know It. Prove It.  

I'm taking this tech skills challenge (an ambitious four of them).  Learning is a beautiful thing.  The challenge starts February 1, 2015 so as soon as you see this, if you have any kind of techy in you, go get on one or more of the challenges.  There is no charge.  Check it out. 

I'll be in touch next month and let you know how I did.  



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Male-Dominated IT Field? Who knew!

In my experience, working in a male-dominated field such as Information Technology (IT), can feel:

  • As daunting as being coerced to be part of a “herd,” 
  • Like a close-knit family with brothers looking out for you, their “sister”
  • Somewhere in between the two.

In these teams, as with any other team, there are Pros and Cons:
  • Work.  Your quality of work must be equal or, more likely, better than colleagues in the same position.
  • Perception.  You may be perceived as being “different” for a female...and you probably are.  Use it to your advantage.
  • Your Femininity. You might find yourself De-feminizing yourself just to be taken seriously.  Suck it up and do it on those days when you have the big meetings.  Conservative is the safe way.  Or, depending on your environment, use your femininity to your advantage.  It works both ways but ALWAYS in moderation.
  • Focused. You will become VERY focused on where you are and where you wish to be.  Otherwise you can become very depressed or some unfulfilled place in between
  • Intimidating. Some males (and females) will become visibly intimidated and try to undermine you in whichever way they can.  If you are focused on your work, reliable, and dependable,  some will try to find your weakness and attack.  Sad but true.  This will sometimes blatantly come from management…the most dangerous level.
  • Prove Yourself Repeatedly. Your work will speak for itself but you have to repeatedly prove yourself.  Means you have to keep updated/relevant and ahead of the game.  Always alert. Always a bit uncomfortable.  Means you keep growing.  Downside is that those that do not grow may increasingly become uncomfortable around you.   You must keep focused though.  The alternative is to become complacent.

Cons: Summarized for my experience in the video above.  This is a rare occurrence in my career that probably and hopefully won't ever happen to you...but the scenario exists in real life.  Thanks for watching.

Conquering the Challenge. Confidence has its rewards and pains.  It’s how you manage it that matters.  The pains strengthen you.  How well you develop that poker face and let some things roll off your back is important.  The reality is that if you allow it to be, then the world will be THEIRS.  But you are in this world, making it YOUR world too.  The opportunity is there to make an impressive impact as a female in a male-dominated profession.   Keep smiling through the pressure.  You wouldn't be there if pressure was not a big motivator.  Make it work for you.  Keep FOCUSED.