I’VE BEEN WORKIN’ ON THE RAILROAD

 

As the owner of three wonderful stores, LTD 7, LTD 7.2 and Grandma’s Bait, I am often not seen or heard from as much as I used to be. A customer in Grandma’s Bait may hope to ask me a question, or catch up with me, while another gal, all the way across town, is wondering where I am so she can show me something she hopes to create. Yet another customer at the Rowe store is interested in telling me about a friend of a friend who may make a perfect vendor or want to contact me. And, I am hearing that customers have wondered…”Where’s Lynne, I never see her anymore?”

in 6

I am often not there, because I have just left that particular store and I am traveling to the other store. It might also be that I am not in the store, because I am in meetings with potential reps or vendors about the store. And sometimes it is because I need to concentrate on one particular thing at one particular store, in order that everything flow, flawlessly. And, much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I am “putting out fires;” still other times, I am behind the scenes discussing our next sale or in meetings with my managers or tending to the mounds of business paperwork that seems to grow a new stalk every time I step away from the phone. And speaking of phones, I am on mine…a lot!

in 9

My goal when I started this venture in Staunton, was to grow LTD 7 to such a point that I could obtain and open another store. I did that. Then my goal grew to include a third store, Grandma’s Bait, as the timing was right. But what all this growing meant was that I was going to have to redefine my job description(s) and take more of an “ownership” role. It was time, with three beautiful stores up and running, that I confidently turn the everyday operations over to my Dream Team. That task has been done.

Where does that leave me, you might be wondering. What I am working on is all three stores, every single minute of every single day.

I may not be IN the stores but I am working ON the stores.

I am a retail owner. What that means is that I have ten arms and twenty legs and can be in five different places, all at the same time. No, not really. But my office is at home, online, in the store, on the road, in hotel rooms on buying trips and wherever else I find myself. I am in close contact with my managers, not to mention communicating with buying reps, lawyers, accountants, charities, and city officials. For quite a long time now I have been the face of LTD 7 and the spokesperson for the stores.

Baton passing between relay runners

It is time to hand over the reins. We have planned that this would happen when the time was right. We have in place trained and highly skilled managers in each store and they are charged with a myriad of responsibilities that culminate in the successful daily operation of our businesses. If I was to somehow try to be in all three stores, behind the cash register, or stocking the stores, or making a window display, I would be ignoring the fundamental responsibility I have to grow the stores, to market the stores, and to dream and plan for all of the store’s (plural) future growth and success.

I guess the word is “delegate.” I have come to learn that I have to delegate certain responsibilities to others and trust they love the business(es) as much as I do and see my vision for the growth of LTD 7.  I am so blessed to have these wonderful individuals in place now and I couldn’t be happier.

I will still mentor and train the staff. I will still have meeting with our managers and they will meet with their staff for ongoing training. I will still attend events, and occasionally, you might see me in one or all of my stores. My daily job duties include reviewing and analyzing sales and financials, and comparing them to our goals in the short-term and in the long term, Buyer for 3 stores, full time marketing, advertising, management of two shopping websites, Facebook sales, and a new app is almost ready to launch.  To put it another way:  I am responsible for the growth, stability, direction and overall operation and marketing of the three stores. In today’s world we have to do anything and everything to stand out in the very crowded retail field. I must network, near and far, and…occasionally…just every now and then… I have to eat and I have to sleep. zzzz . I am the backbone of the stores and as such, I must move on to the next step in operations.

the-next-chapter-1-470x264

So while I am in not always IN the stores, I am always working ON the stores. “We rise by lifting one another,” and I am so pleased to be making this big step into an ownership role, growing the very businesses you and I have come to love.

rochester-woman-railroad-workers-c1917

In essence, I’ve been workin’ on the railroad, all the live long day! And that work will not stop. Thanks for letting me take the time to explain my strategies for being powerfully connected to you and for letting me detail how I hope to be connected to you, even as I am not in the store all the time. I may not see you as often, or as much as we would both like to, but I am in every store, in heart, spirit and mind. You can count on that!

 Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 8.50.28 PM ~ May-29

Thank you all for your unwavering support of LTD 7, LTD 7.2 and Grandma’s Bait. Without you, none of this would be possible! You are the key to our success. 

Have a wonderful week everyone. Happy Memorial Day!

Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

Kangaroo Jumps

“Every successful person in this world has jumped.”

                                                                     Steve Harvey

kang1

“If you ever see someone soaring by you…they are likely pursuing their passion.” So says Steve Harvey in his latest YouTube video entitled, “Jump.” He discusses how we can take small actions to move in the direction of our passions and that’s what I like most about his message: our actions can be small!

We don’t have to quit our full time job in order to pursue our dreams. We can use the time we spend on our hobby (passion) and sign up for a class, or apply to be a one-time vendor at a craft show. We can sell a few of our pieces of our art or jewelry on Etsy or eBay. We can buy a book and read about the next step in reaching our goal.

You see, it’s usually our hobbies that are our passions. If there’s already something in your life that fills you with excitement, joy, and self-worth, why not try turning that hobby or activity into a successful endeavor? Though it may scare you to make a big life change, if you know there’s something you already love, spend more time pursuing it to see if it’s really your passion and if it can be taken to the next level.

kang8

Your hobby could be anything, from ceramics, painting, or poetry, to teaching yoga or screen printing. If you can’t make money with your passion (like running marathons, for example), then you can find a way to make that hobby the central passion of your life by getting involved in the running world in some other way.

You can transition slowly into spending more time doing your favorite hobby to see if it’s your passion. If you’re afraid to drop everything and devote yourself to this hobby full time, just take baby steps. Remember that you are not required to do something for a living to make it your passion.

kang5

Once you know your passion, you are ready to take kangaroo jumps. You can research the business side of your dream. Just remember that there is no action in not taking action…let your desires and passions make you persistent in those needed steps and set a few deadlines and work towards them. The only way to soar is to jump. If you can start now, do so without hesitation!

Do the thing you’ve always dreamed about. No matter how gutsy, risky, or impractical that thing may be, you should work hard to make your dream a reality. Who knows – maybe you’ll try salsa dancing and will realize it’s not the thing for you, or you’ll travel to the Galapagos Islands and will feel uninspired. However, it is more likely that by being brave and doing the thing you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll be lighting that spark that ignites you.

kang4

Don’t just dive into an instinct for a passion you have full force. Everything takes patience, careful planning, and a lot of dedication. Take kangaroo jumps-baby steps. Move towards your passion simply and calmly. A jump can be as simple as research, talking to people that are doing what you love, taking a class, opening a savings account or putting coins in a jar to save up for your dream.

kang 6

Be determined to pursue your dream, in spite of practical and financial constraints. Make a plan that allows you to try your dream out, even if it’s only for a little while. It could take a while to save up to pursue this dream or to make the proper arrangements, but it will be worth it.

kang7

Put some action into your passion. Tell everyone about it and have a tremendous week!

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Sources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Passion

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=steve+harvey+jump&view=detail&mid=2C0A7B020E8D75B636C82C0A7B020E8D75B636C8&FORM=VIRE5

 

 

 

 

 

First We Dream

Happy New Year!

datauri-file

As you break out the 2016 calendar, you’re probably thinking about the year ahead and wondering what it will hold. You might even be deciding on those resolutions you need to make. Or you’ll get to them later. Or maybe you’ll just eat some leftovers. Looking back at the past and looking forward to the future can be stressful! But the great part about this is we can do this “dreaming” even under a pile of newspapers and sale ads, or a pile of laundry, old mail and wrapping paper.

I talk a lot about dreams on this blog and at LTD 7 (Living. The. Dream.) So what better time is there for me to reflect on goal setting for me and for LTD 7? We all know goal setting better as “New Year’s resolutions.” But whatever what you choose to call them, this January, 2016 is simply a time when we can reassess the past year and set goals for the coming year. Let’s open the new chapter in front of us and appreciate its clean white space.  This chapter is called Opportunity and it starts today….

IMG_5024

Most people, and I am one of them, tend to focus their goals in just one or two areas, like losing weight (physical) or getting out of debt (financial). But there are actually seven areas in which we can set goals and resolutions. I do okay with a few of them, and I get stuck on a few, too. Even if you don’t know what you want for yourself, yet, there are proven strategies that can help. I use them all the time! These techniques work no matter where you stand in your current situation or what you’re up against going forward, even if you have limited experience with self-improvement and personal development tactics. And even if you don’t know what you really want for yourself…yet.

Let’s walk through them.

Intellectual: Goals in this area might include reading more books or going back to school to get an MBA.

Physical: This one’s pretty obvious. You may want to lose weight, go on a diet, spend more time at the gym, etc.

Spiritual: This may mean spending more time in the Bible or getting more plugged in at church.

Family: Maybe you want to start going on a monthly date night or taking the kids out once a week.

Social: Goals in the social category might include putting yourself out there a little more—saying yes to more parties, or maybe occasionally saying no!

Dream: Is it time for a career change? Or maybe it’s time to start your career. You might also want to set a goal to finally get that promotion or a well-deserved raise. You might decide that this is the year you begin to LIVE YOUR DREAM.

Financial: We all know this one! Bills, budgets, goals, college, vacations, etc.

Here’s the truth about these seven areas. You won’t naturally feel like setting goals in all of them. Some will be easy. Other will be hard. I don’t have any problem with setting family, social and career goals. But intellectual goals and physical goals for me…well, that’s a different story.

Keep all of this in mind as you make your 2016 goals. Pay attention to these seven areas, and remember that it won’t always be easy! But if you make it a priority, you can accomplish what you aim for in the next year.

Let’s explore one particular goal in more detail. It’s the DREAM GOAL and it goes something like this:

Effective. Confident. Energetic. Successful. Connected. Clear-headed. Courageous. Comfortable in your skin. Free from habits that hold you back. Propelled by a sense of purpose. Secure in your zone of inner, creative genius. Driven by your true potential to the point of realizing your dreams. Awakened to the positive changes you’re making in your life and the lives around you on a major scale. Slim, trim, and uninterested in French fries. Yada, Yada, Yada. But seriously, how many times have you wished these qualities would just wash over you, and that you’d wake up one day as an unstoppable version of YOU-the one that is living his or her dream and is realizing their potential.

This year I am ready to push LTD 7 (and myself) even higher. So cheers to the year ahead and another chance to get it right. Write down those goals and resolutions. And then start working on them, one day at a time. A successful year is waiting.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. That’s right, when it means enough to you, then you can do it. When you are willing and committed and persistent, you will get yourself there-every single time. It may take loads of time and buckets of patience, but it’s far better to be exhausted from lots of effort and learning, than to be tired from doing nothing.

I pull out this set of “instructions” I have put together over the years (from the internet powers that be) every January and they help me focus on my dreams and goals for the coming year. I wanted to share them with you. Here are a few of the things I use to springboard myself into what should be a big year for me personally and professionally.

Let’s call them:

LTD 7’s 2016 Inspirations and Kick Starts

dream 7

  1. Begin. – Remember the feeling you get from taking the first step is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around thinking about it.  So get up and get moving.  Take the first step this year – just one small step forward.  The greatest miracle of your success will not be that you finished, it will be that you had the courage to begin.

dream2

2. Let mistakes stay where they belong. –There’s a reason the rearview mirror is smaller than the windshield. Looking at what’s ahead is more important than looking at what’s behind you. Yes, you need to take responsibility for your past, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. You can’t be excited about the future if you’re living in the land of regret!

 3. Let experience teach you. –Whether it’s those mistakes you’ve made or the unexpected trials that knocked you off your feet, learning from them can be fuel for future success. When asked about his many failed inventions, Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Failure deepens your compassion, forgiveness and empathy. It can give you more self-awareness, improve your skills, and motivate you to work harder.

 dream5

4.  Work hard on the essential. – Don’t be busy, be productive.  Don’t track your time, track your results.  Put first things first and get them done.  And don’t expect your goal to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard you would already have it completed, and so would everyone else.  The hard part is what makes it worthwhile.  In life there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

dream 3
5.  Stay true to your path. – A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.  You have to do what’s right for you; no one else walks in your shoes.  Keep moving forward, beyond the negative rhetoric echoing from the peanut gallery.  Do what you have to do, for you.  Live a life you are proud of.  And the moment you realize you’re not, find the strength to start over again on a new path.

 dream66.Nurture your self-confidence. – You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of YOU.  Believe that you CAN.  Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before.  Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals.  Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.  And certainly don’t get sidetracked by the people around you who are not on track

7. Be sincerely kind to those around you. – Kindness in words creates positivity.  Kindness in thinking creates confidence.  Kindness in giving creates love. Kindness is power. Through kindness you have the ability to make a profound difference in every life you touch, including your own.  When you guide someone who is lost and confused, when you hold someone who is sad and grieving, when you hug someone who has lost all their hope, you too will feel yourself healing and growing stronger.  Remember, the vast majority of positive changes come about in someone’s life simply because one other person cared. When you choose gratitude, you enjoy better relationships, feel better physically and emotionally, improve your self-esteem, and even sleep better at night. There are no downsides to seeing through the lens of gratefulness, but the benefits can radically improve your life!

Be that other person when you can. Set a good example. It’s not about what you say; it’s about how you live your life every day.  The people who look up to you are watching you all the time.  These people are like sponges – what they see or feel you do, they will imitate.  So remember that your words mean a lot less than what you’re doing.  Choose to believe that you can and will change lives with what you do each day, and you will.  Let your actions speak for themselves. Let gratitude decide your outlook.

8.  Accept the things you can’t change. – What you resist will persist.  If you are resisting something, you are feeding it.  Any energy you actively fight, you are feeding.  If you are using negative energy to push something away, you are inviting it to stay. Choose to accept what is, be positive and proactive, let go of the need to control every tiny detail, and embrace peace in the process.
dream 4

I can’t tell you that any of these are easy, because they are NOT! I didn’t make these up. I have just compiled them for my own personal use. I am not better than anyone else and I struggle. If you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get and keep our lives and our special dreams on track.

What are we waiting for? Let’s get started welcoming 2016 and the dreamer in each of us! Do you have any New Year traditions on reflecting on the past and setting goals or making plans for the coming year that I can add to my “list?”

Are you ready to live your dream?

dream 9

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Credits:

Dave Ramsey, the Minimalist Mom & Rachel Cruze

The World is Your Oyster

One of my visions for LTD7, even when I did not know that was going to be the name of the store, waaaaaay back in the dreaming stage, was a dream that years and years in the retail business began forming in my head. I spent years dreaming of having my own store. I experimented with small niche stores. I got my feet wet and I got soaked many times. But still I dreamed. I was not afraid to try and some of my best lessons came from these attempts.

original_silver-world-is-your-oyster-necklaceThe Law of Attraction: You Really Are the Pearl

How many of you remember the book, The Secret? It came out many years ago and it was a bit controversial. But it had, in my opinion, some valid points. What I found helpful from reading the book was the notion that we can attract that which we hope to see in our lives. We can dream and someday see that dream become a reality.

59f62d82c9e495d01c295a94a5fc0d24

Honor Your Calling

One of the most influential people to me is Oprah. Oprah spends her life encouraging us to be the best self that we can be. She is a staunch advocate for following our dreams and passions. She overcame the adversities of her childhood and followed her dream. She helped launch successful careers and most importantly, to me, she became a philanthropist and gave back to the universe. While I will NEVER be anywhere near to becoming Oprah, I have learned valuable lessons from her.

Who do you admire? Ask yourself why? Study this person or group and try to discover what speaks to you.oprah

One of my visions for LTD7, even when I did not know that was going to be the name of the store, waaaaaay back in the dreaming stage, was a dream that years and years in the retail business began forming in my head. I spent years dreaming of having my own store. I experimented with small niche stores. I got my feet wet and I got soaked many times. But still I dreamed. I was not afraid to try and some of my best lessons came from these attempts.

My dream was not only to bring you a store that fulfilled my passions and goals, but also, and perhaps more importantly, it was to encourage and be available to budding entrepreneurs.

Living the Dream is my personal mantra, but it is also the store name and vision. As it turned out, my dream shaped up over the planning stages into a venture that saw me working alongside and with others who have a dream and who have taken the plunge into the waters of this business endeavor with me. Working with other vendors who share a like passion is so rewarding and I still learn something new every day. Oh, sure there are failures, and bumps in the road and many changes as we grow at LTD 7 but every step along the way keeps me challenged and wanting to do more to bring you our dream and vision in the shape of LTD 7.

follow-your-dreamsWhat is it you would do in this lifetime if you knew you could not fail? Write it down.

What is it you would put on a vision board or write as a one sentence goal if you took the time to do it? Begin with one sentence. Branch out and make a vision board.

What is your dream? What is on your bucket list and what can you do about it, even if it is only one small step in the right direction? Every single step takes us closer to our goals, even the small seemingly unimportant steps. What better day to start than today.

Would you retire early and sail the open seas?

Would you write a book?

Would you change jobs?

Would you open a store?

Would you go back to school?

Teach?

Open a gym?

Learn to fly?

Buy a vacation home?

Travel to Italy?

Open a restaurant?

Get into politics?

Run a marathon?

Move closer to your grandbabies and extended family?

Travel to Italy and maybe never come back?

Visualize It

The list could go on and on. What I found helpful as I asked myself these questions and created my visions for LTD 7 and the future was to make a vision board and always have a rough plan, in a notebook that I kept in my purse. On my vision board I had fabric swatches, ideas for the store, what I hoped to earn, and quotes to motivate me.

Buy a piece of poster board or foam core board or some thumb tacks and a bulletin board and begin to create your dream…where you can SEE it. Buy number stickers and count down the days until you set “sail.” Change your password to your dream…you will see it every day and be reminded. Carve out a special place in your home…even if it is in a closet to make small steps in the direction of your dream.

vision-board-tips1

One Small Step for Mankind

It helped me to take one small step towards my goal, every single day. How you ask? Well, it can be a teeny weenie step. It can be something as small as a trip to the library to read a book on the subject. It can be a Google map that you look at and dream. Other small steps could be something like signing up for realty websites to see what comes available as a workable space or new place to live. I signed up for online classes and webinars. I read all I could read. I went to see stores that were similar in concept to LTD 7. All of these things taught me (and still do) and brought me steps closer to my dream of owning LTD 7.

I still have notebooks chock full of visions and ideas that were generated by attending these hour long web casts and spending free time on Pinterest, and in stores looking for ideas, which I then filed away in more notebooks. I treasure them and look back at them frequently for ideas as I realize more and more parts of my dream for LTD 7.

How to Eat an Elephant

Sometimes I just knew my dream was way too big. At other times I knew there were a million ways I could fail. But I also knew that the only way I could dream was to take things in small chunks. After all, that’s the only way to eat an elephant, right?

Name It!

One fun exercise for me was giving my passion and my dream a name. It can be a book title you want to come up with or a store name or the name of your new business or the name of your future beach home. Pick something that speaks to you and really moves you. Only you know what that is. And don’t forget to write it down as we all think we can remember those thoughts as we fall off to sleep, yet most things are forgotten by the light of day.

All these seemingly small steps really do move you closer to your dream. And don’t forget those vision boards. There is something to be said for visualizing what you want. It plants seeds in our minds and in the universe. It gives you a dream to think about on walks, at night before you sleep, or during a long car ride.

From time to time over the next year, I will share with you more of the steps I took to realize my dream of owning LTD 7 after thirty years in the retail business.

Dream until your dreams come true.

Living the Dream,

Lynne

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/How_to_Use_a_Vision_Board_to_Activate_the_Law_of_Attraction.html