Trading my FOMO for the JOMO

First of all, sincerely, thank you for all of the wonderful and heartfelt blessings and messages this weekend on our family’s move into our new house. We are pleased to finally have roots again and a place to call home. We have been in limbo for quite some time deciding which direction to take. Special thanks to Sevenodd, Inc, a/k/a my brother, Todd, for yet again building us a special home.

As I was reading the messages on Facebook, it struck me that some of you wondered how in the world I could find the time, to be a mom, a wife, and have the energy, and the stamina to open a new store, manage two others and still find away to oversee a house construction, and yet another move. Let me assure you, up front, I. AM. NOT. SUPERWOMAN…not even close! No indeed! Instead, I am one very tired lady with way too much on her plate! There. I said it!  (I ALSO have a dedicated Dream Team and one of the BEST management teams around!)


My southern upbringing wouldn’t have me do anything less than to say “yes” all of the time, but I know this pace can only be temporary or other aspects of your life will suffer.  Socrates once said, “Beware the bareness of a busy life.” More times than I can count, I am hearing, “You are just so busy! How do you do it?” I do not want to get to the point in life where all this activity feels barren.

When I look back at how I let my life get so busy, I realize it wasn’t a conscious effort to become busier, do more, own more, and owe more. In a good way, things just keep building up and falling into place.  One of the most important things I am now setting out to do is quietly begin a “busy boycott.”

In a society that always wants more, it’s important to draw a line in the sand. Have you ever done “it?” Have you ever set boundaries? It is so hard for me to say “no”, sometimes!  But what I’ve learned is if I can draw the line with my heart, I can take a stand with a smile, dump the guilt around doing less, and instead of disappointing others, remind them what’s important in their own lives by honoring what’s important in mine. My “manifesto” is a list of my non negotiable priorities that guide me, especially when I struggle with the call to do more.

Observe an Anchor Day, and Keep it Holy.

This isn’t a Sabbath in the traditional sense. It’s not a Saturday or a Sunday and it’s not primarily dedicated to spiritual nourishment. But it is a Sabbath—a day set apart for refreshing. I call it an Anchor Day because I can position it in the middle of the week, to ground me in the hustle and bustle of a busy life.


Now that I, once again, have a place to call “home”, I don’t want to plan a single thing outside the home on this day. Everything I do on my Anchor Day will be home-centered. DIYs, trying out a new crock pot recipe, organizing a messy space… these are all things I get to do on my Anchor Day.  I really identify with the words of Maya Anglou:

“The ache of home lives in all of us.”


Anchor Day addresses this ache and fills me up so I can be better at all that I do.

Won’t you join me? Let’s trade our FOMO for the JOMO.

FOMO. The Fear of missing out

Let’s begin to protect our health, our loves, and our life. If we do this with a kind heart, our efforts won’t be seen as selfish or isolating, but instead will allow us to be and give our best self. Creating boundaries makes room to expand in all directions. We will free up time, space, and attention to expand in any direction.

By committing to do less, we are going to miss out on things, but instead of fear, we can feel joy; joy that we have a choice, joy that we are protecting what matters most, and joy because we will feel well, or at least well rested. Because we are doing less, we get to choose the things that mean the most, and we have the attention and energy to be engaged and truly enjoy what we’re doing.



The opposite of a busy life isn’t a lazy life, it’s a full life. No need to apologize for daydreaming, stargazing, or any activity that speaks to your soul. Take a long walk, a short nap, or sit quietly.


How about you? Does an anchor day sound like a good idea? Can you skip the FOMO and relish the JOMO?

I will (fingers crossed) be on vacation soon. Or maybe I will vacation and wonder into a few states and shop, leisurely. Not sure when, but soon. Until then I will (hopefully) honor my Anchor Day, refreshed and renewed.

Have a restful and peaceful week, everyone!

Living the Dream,





Dreams Really Do Come True: The Grand Reopening of Grandma’s Bait



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One store makeover, pallets of clothing and shoes, delightful additions to the toy lines and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later, Grandma’s Bait is ready for its Grand Reopening! But once I’ve opened the doors, the thought comes to me, whatever will I dream of next? That’s the thing about living the dream, I just keep on dreaming until my dreams come true. But more about that later…much later.

This is the week. The doors to Grandma’s Bait will open on Wednesday, March 16th to allow our staff and me to work out any kinks in a successful and smooth reopening celebration later that week. A “soft open” is an unannounced or lightly announced business opening, prior to a grand opening.

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A soft opening is much like the final dress rehearsal before a play. It brings together those who have been with us at LTD 7 and supported us as we opened LTD 7.2. It acts as a place where those of you who have gotten us off the ground in so many ways come together to quietly celebrate and tweak any necessary “flubs” as they occur. We all want to enjoy the Grand Reopening celebration that is to come, so the more familiar we are with the workings of the machinery and the merchandise, before the BIG day, the better.

It is also nice to receive feedback in the initial early stages. During a soft opening, we welcome our first customers and enjoy their comments and observations. Customers may say something that sparks a new idea for us. They may be coming in just to show support and we welcome that, wholeheartedly! And finally, a soft open allows us all to get super excited about the big day…the Grand Reopening.

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Grandma’s Bait will officially (re)open its doors this coming Saturday. It will be a day you do not want to miss!

We cordially invite you to celebrate with us on Saturday, March 19th from 10am to 5pm. Most of the activities will take place between 10:00am and 2:00pm, but the store will be open all day!

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We will have activities for the children, a strolling magician, and refreshments. We have apparel, shoes, gifts and toys that are sure to bring a sparkle to your eye. Please tell all your friends about our store and plan to join us as we unveil our latest dream.

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I will see you next week! Until then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my cherished leprechauns. Here is to hoping that you find that four leaf clover!

Living the Dream,













The next chapter in my dream…the possibilities are endless.

Grandma’s Bait, Since 1981, Staunton, Virginia

Re-opening March 2016

February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Although it is celebrated as a holiday of love today, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop. For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine’s Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men’s rite of passage.

In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a change in the festival. He ordered a box to contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this Valentine’s Day we could draw from a shoebox like the ones we hand decorated in kindergarten? What if we could draw out a message that allowed us to pursue our dream… for the next year? Just think about that! The possibilities are endless!


What if, for one year, we allowed ourselves to pursue our dream? What if, starting on February 14th, we gave ourselves permission to work on our dream? Baby steps that begin this week! Floaties on, we jump in the pool! I am getting excited just thinking about it!


My wish for you this Valentine’s Day is that you allow your dreams to take root.




Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

Living the Dream,




The Adult Snow Day

The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. Henry David Thoreau

Do you remember when, as a child, you prayed for a school snow day? I can remember sleepily staying glued to the radio to listen for my county to be named. The TV would have an agonizingly slow crawl along the bottom of the screen listing every school closing or delay announcement in alphabetical order. If you missed the “A’s,” you had a long wait. Augusta…Albemarle…yeah!

For those of us who grew up in snow, school snow days were one of our first exposures to the idea of the “entrenched routine” being interrupted. We didn’t call it that…all we knew was that hot chocolate and dry clothes would be waiting for us after playing in the snow.


Photo: Corbis

If you live in the path of the blizzard, and still have power and internet access, do a quick poll of your friends: Among those whose offices and shops were closed, how many of them had a bona-fide few days without work this weekend? And how many of them worked from home?

I’m guessing very few of you actually had this weekend “off.” Maybe you made an agreement with your bosses beforehand that you would work from home due to the nastiness outside. Or maybe your company has an official policy “encouraging” employees to work from home when they can’t make it into the office. Many farm owners still worked. They said to themselves, “Well, I can’t work the ground…but I can get something done.”

Whatever the case, for many people, a day that would in 1995 have been spent watching the snow pile up against the windowsills, hanging out with the kids, or vegging out with daytime TV, or working at the sewing machine or craft table was instead spent hunched over a laptop. In 2016, snow days are often not a windfall of free time, and the lines between work and home are blurred. We have all read and heard a lot about work-life balance and how off-kilter it is.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 5.33.15 PM ~ Jan-24


It used to be that a snow day turned the world upside down. For the next 24 hours, none of the usual rules applied: no waking up early, no sitting in class, or at the office desk. No commuting to and from school, work and activities. It was always weird to look out the window at 2 p.m. on a Thursday, not just because the world was blanketed in snow but because it was so easy to forget that, at 2 p.m. on a Thursday, anything but school and work actually existed.

The grown-up world has a tendency to strip things of their magic a bit, but the snow day still served as a wonderful stop sign from the heavens for overworked adults. What else could grind to a halt, even temporarily, the exhausting, striving adult world of meetings and reports and office memos? What else could not only suggest to the workaholic that he take a day off, but force him to because the roads were too icy, the subways all closed? What else could unite adults and kids on a sled on a snowy hill in the middle of a weekday?

In a world that forces us to inhabit our roles as workers ever more intimately — one in which time actually off from work has been shrinking for decades, where it’s easy to forget that there’s more to life than what it says on our business cards — snow days were one of the few remaining excuses not to be a worker for a little while.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 5.32.54 PM ~ Jan-24                                                           

But what about if you love what you do? Did you lovingly hear the weather reports all week and think: “Yes! I will have hours and hours of uninterrupted time to focus on my dreams and goals?” Did any of you find that ‘extra magical hour’ somewhere in the middle of all the snowflakes and use it to further your dreams?

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Each day is a gift and we all get to chose what to do with the time we are given. Oh sure, we still have to walk the dog, shovel our paths, check on our family and cook the food, and even with work and all that surrounds it, the truth is there are ways to make a snow day hour or two come to pass with each and every day. We likely won’t see three day weekends or four day school weeks, so we have to invent and invest in ourselves, and in our dreams, each and every time we can.


There a hundred different things we all wish we could do with our lives someday — anything from exercising to meditation or yoga to writing that novel you always wished you could write to reading more, to relaxing and watching the sunrise. But we never have the time, like most people.

The truth is, we all have the same amount of time, and it’s finite and in great demand. But some of us have “made” the time for doing the things we love doing, and others have allowed the constant demands and pressures and responsibilities to run their days. It’s time to move from the second group back into the first. Reclaim your time! Create the life you want and make the most of the free time you can find! It’s not hard, though it does take a little bit of effort and diligence.

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Take my life, for example: there was a time, not too long ago, when my day was packed from morning to night, as a mom running carpools, attending meetings and long to-do lists, and working long hours.  I had little time for myself and almost no time to relax.

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I’ve always wanted to exercise, but never found the time to do it daily. I’ve always wanted to travel more, but I was too busy with work and home. I always wanted to write my story, but there has never been time for that. You get the drill: I’ve always wanted to (you fill in the blank) but work comes first, right?

Wrong. I finally got smart and decided that my life is my own, to do with as I wished, and so I took a time out to decide what I really wanted my life to be like. Then I designed my life, and made a series of decisions and steps to get my life to what I wanted it to be. That life is the one you see me living at LTD 7.

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Today, I wake up early and greet the day with excitement. I have opened two stores and I thrill to the many things this entails for me to do every day. My plans just keep growing. My life is what I’ve always wanted it to be, because I designed it to be that way and worked to make that design come true.

It can be that way for you, to the extent that you’re willing to make small changes. Even if you just want to free up a little time for a hobby or for doing something relaxing, you can do that. It’s all about finding that extra hour, our own personal “snow day” — the hour that lives inside each of us.

What would you do with an extra hour a day?

Living the Dream,


The Adult Snow Day

Kangaroo Jumps

“Every successful person in this world has jumped.”

                                                                     Steve Harvey


“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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.


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

Living the Dream,








Hitch-Itch, Grilled Cheese and Guatemalan Beachwear

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Do you own an RV? Do you dream of owning one? Do you like the pop up camping lifestyle? Would you like to travel in retirement? If you answered yes to any of these questions AND you are one of those who have a knack for sales, and a love for something that is marketable- have I got the job for you!

When I think about my dream (years and years ago) of opening a store and pursuing my passion, I can remember days where I knew that owning a retail brick and mortar store was too much, at the time. There were few if any Internet sales, so I worked in many a store…but it wasn’t where my heart was. These days many of you might wonder about or be considering internet sales as the way to go in pursuing your dreams. And then, there are those of us who love the open road and traveling, with an equal love of flea markets, antiquing, vintage goods and craft shows. How better to get there AND sell your wares than to invest in a pop up store…one that you can sleep in each night!

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Mobile stores are all over Europe and they are becoming more commonplace here in America. They allow store owners to take their “stores” (RVs) to various locations to maximize their exposure and attract diverse customers. You can take your store on the road using a bus, a van or an RV that is set up specifically to hold new or used clothing, vintage items or personal crafts, jewelry, art, or food. The possibilities are many if you stop and think about it. While the space is smaller than a typical brick-and-mortar location, you can still display your wares throughout the mobile store for shoppers to browse.

What if you have an historical interest that spans years of collectables and want to share it? Take it on the road! Museums that travel are popular and the choice of attending a show or event is up to you. The contacts you might meet and the friends you would get to know that share your passion would be incredible.

Do you plan (or hope) to retire at the beach? Why not supplement your income selling hot dogs and lemonade from your RV? Heck, why not sell cupcakes, baked goods, Italian ice or even ice cream! Can you imagine the fun you would have? RVs can be equipped with professional kitchens and the menu can change according to your whims.

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Flea marketing and selling in a caravan and the RV lifestyle are extremely compatible. You can sell whatever interests you. Many caravans take orders for the goods they sell, while others have everything on hand. You want to always plan on having something popular to sell that people can take home that same day.

You can sell a hodgepodge of used and new items, and personal crafts and wares, depending on what is available, where you are at, the type of show, and how long you expect to be there. Weather is always an issue for the mobile enthusiast who travels with her store. Your selection of merchandise can change from weekend to weekend, based on the weather, the area and your inventory. Some vendors specialize in one line; others travel and spend time looking for new wares to sell, and then set up their store. Still others make their goods while they travel and sell it at the same time-sometimes even unfinished!

Being mobile has several advantages when it comes to selling merchandise. Items that may not sell well in one area may sell great a couple of states over. A market may be saturated with a certain product, to the point where no one is selling much of it, and a dealer with a stockpile of it may be more than happy to trade it for stock you have that is new to his market. The barter system can be fun! When traveling, it is also possible to stop at wholesalers across the country to pick up merchandise, thus saving on shipping charges and allowing you to obtain items that are not available from a catalog. The RV mercantile of today is nothing like the past. Your life won’t suddenly become an episode of Little House on the Prairie…although sometimes I bet many of us long for that simplicity.

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Flea market vending while full-time RVing lets you choose how often you relocate and how many new markets you work. You can also choose the size of your booth display, making it suitable for any size rig. The amount of traveling you do can fluctuate with the time of year, the prosperity of the present market, and how severe your hitch-itch is at the moment. (Hitch-itch is a term used by full-timers to express the uneasiness of being in one place for too long a time, and the desire to hitch up the rig and move to somewhere new).

In the fall, for instance, you can do a series of farm harvest shows, which means you move every weekend. In the winter, you may find a place you like and settle in for a couple months. It is possible to sell at a different market every weekend throughout the year. It is also possible to stay at one market year around, although sales may be better if you move at least seasonally.

You have to consider costs when moving, balancing the cost of moving with anticipated sales increases. Your desire to be in one place or another plays a big part in how often you move, as well as to where you go. Overall, when flea marketing, vendors move an average of about every two or three weeks.

Several guide books and numerous publications are available to help locate markets. State tourism departments offer listings of events, many which include flea markets, craft sales, and antique shows in their programs. Dealers share information on markets and shows, often providing a lead to the next stop.

The equipment needed to operate a business in a caravan is as varied as the people who do it and the merchandise they sell. One flea market set-up is large and seems excessive to some, while others seem too small. Sometimes vendors use as many as 28 eight-foot tables, plus ground space. Some use a pick-up truck to tow a cargo trailer that carries merchandise. One’s home trailer can be pulled by a van, or a truck, transformed into a well-equipped workshop on wheels. In addition to an inventory that is both extensive and bulky, and tables, you need to have one or two canopy sets. On the other hand there are set-ups that include a single card table and a showcase full of jewelry or a box full of the seller’s own handcrafted works. The norm is somewhere in between the extremes.

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In addition to flea markets, other sales vending opportunities exist for RVers who want to spend time outdoors. Fairs and carnivals can be very lucrative. RV shows and rallies are natural places for RVers to sell their wares. Community days, fall days, special interest hobby shows, car shows, beach venues and numerous other special events usually have a sales area.

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Many thrive on the freedom and independence flea marketing and caravanning provides. However, while there are few rules, there are fewer guarantees. One weekend sales may be great; the next they may be completely rained out. Many vendors become family in much the same way RVers in clubs do. Many choose markets that allow RVers to stay on the grounds with their trailer (and pets). Although the facilities may not be the fanciest, overnight fees/campground costs are next to nothing.

An added bonus is that many venues are historical areas or tourism hot spots. This is an added bonus for non sale days. Obtaining merchandise, processing it for sale, setting up, selling, tearing down, packing, doing bookwork, etc. are all part of the job., but everyone needs a day off now and then and you can plan excursions on these days.

Selling in a mobile store is still a job. It can be a lot of hard work. But, it is a job that allows couples or friends to work together pursuing their personal interests while maintaining a lifestyle that is reasonably free of tight time schedules and arbitrary rules. It is a fun way for a single retiree to spend time with like-minded people. It is a way for “Mom” to get away on weekends and take the kids along.

If you are not quite ready for a brick and mortar store or consigning your wares, and online sales aren’t your cup of tea, another way to pursue your passion is with a caravan.

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What do you think? Could you become a store on wheels? Is this the lifestyle for you?

Where there is a will, there is a way. Never stop dreaming.

Living the Dream,


The Daily Grind

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How many of you thought of a steaming hot cup of your favorite coffee when you read the title of today’s blog? How many of you start each day with a “cuppa java” just to clear the cobwebs from your brain and start the day? While I too depend on my favorite brand to wake me of a morning, that is not what I want to blog about.

The daily grind is for me more about that period of time when the party ends; the guests go home and the dishes are piled high in the kitchen sink. The daily grind is the quiet weeks of preparation, before the party.

The daily grind is the period of time after the baby showers are over and the baby presents with hours of colic, requiring hours of walking and swaddling. The grind happens to us when we start a new job, along about the third or fourth week, when the house is in shambles and the kids are home sick. The daily push or grind is that month after the funeral, when all the calls and guests are back to their normal routines of living. The daily grind is the area of concentration and hard work that comes after the grand opening and during the succeeding weeks and months of hard work.

I love the preparation for my dreams. I love opening a new store, like LTD 7.2. It is an exciting time and even though I am exhausted from all, there is newness in the air and I am energized just by walking in the doors of the store.

Then reality hits.

Perhaps you have managed to name your passion and maybe even reserved a webpage with the same name. Maybe you have pounded the pavement and created a niche for your product and enjoyed the hours of meetings and lunches whereby you sought and found a place to sell your wares. Maybe you have a newly printed business plan, the pages still warm from the printer.

Then the hard work begins.

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It is this period of time…the daily grind of working on your dreams that separates the men from the boys. How bad do you want it? The succeeding weeks and months will tell the story.

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It will be hard to stay focused at times; it will be difficult to keep yourself energized and positive about your choices when no one is around to pump you up. It will be much easier to turn on the telly and watch a mindless show, or go out to dinner and a movie with the kids and get your nails done, or sleep in later than normal on Saturday.

Life will get in the way of your dreams and plans and one of the best ways to preserve your hopes and march on with your to do list is to carve out whole chunks of time to devote to the









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Pursuing your passion is exciting and worthwhile. It is also full of hours upon hours of “daily grind.”

Are you up for the task? I can promise you this: it will be worth it in the end.

As we approach the beginning of the school year and the end of the lazy, hazy days of summer, perhaps you will consider printing yourself a new monthly calendar and inking in your dreams and plans in every space you see, regardless of all the other commitments you have. Carve out a chunk of space every day to work on your dream and in time, you will reap the rewards of all of your hard work.

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I wish I could tell you that turning a dream into reality is all fun and games. I can’t do that. But what I can promise you is that if you are doing what you love, you will never work a day in your life.

Are you ready? Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Can you keep at it when the road before you looks long and hard? Do you believe in yourself enough to quiet the naysayers?

If you answered “Yes!” to the above questions, then get to it.

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Make hay while the sun shines. Shoot me an email or Come in LTD 7 and tell me all about your plans and what you are doing to make them a reality. I would love to hear all about your dream. I promise to cheer you on as you work, step by step, to reach your goals.

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Living the Dream,