Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Dealing with Others’ Success

Slinging MudHave you ever known someone who seemed to take pleasure in the misfortune of others? You know, think of the classic snark crooned by our favorite brooding alternative musician, Morrissey.  His song pretty much sums it up, “We hate it when our friends become successful….It should have been me.  It could have been me.  Everybody says so.”  Ah yes, that explains the situation quite accurately.  It’s envy.

It is definitely obvious in the world of start-ups, in sports, and the entertainment industry. Even if a team or individual wins, the critics are there to dissect every aspect of the event from promotion to completion.  It doesn’t matter if a boxer wins a title bout or a football team clinches a division, if there were empty seats there is fodder for envious pundits.  It is the same for someone who sticks their neck out to launch a new business, whether or not it succeeds.  Apparently we as a society have become so concentrated on honing-in on the negative that we can’t celebrate a victory.

Perhaps those who criticize the most are the most envious. Several minutes into any one of the celebrity gossip shows there’s usually a big scandal. Yes so-and-so won this award, but did you see what she was wearing? Who cares, catty mean girl!  I couldn’t tell you who even a handful of these “celebrity” hosts are, but then I’m sure I’m not their target demographic since I do not watch them.  The point is shows like these, ones that air after a big award show especially, are strictly to rip on people.  A studio filled with green-eyed monsters no doubt.

Not that everyone needs to hold hands around the board room or red carpet while singing kumbaya, but how about a little respect. These are athletes, entrepreneurs, and performers who have trained and worked and had the guts to get out there and put it all on the line.  People who hate it when their acquaintances become successful feel that way because it forces them to reflect on their own inadequacies.  They are likely not happy where they’re at in life but it’s easier to criticize than make changes.

As usual, Morrissey hit the nail on the head. Snark on, sir, snark on.




Writing Through the Change


November first, where did the year go?  I mentioned last week that there were big changes coming for our business, Wilmes Hospitality.  It took a lot of discussion and debate over the last few months, but we have decided to shutter the Fresh Air Lodging green certification program.  As of today that is no longer under the Wilmes umbrella of services.

As I said in the last post, change is inevitable.  We thought we identified a need, or better yet, a niche.  So we jumped with both feet out of our comfort zone and plunged into the icy waters.  It was a huge step, and many said we were crazy—you know, that internet thing is never going to catch on.  But we knew if we didn’t at least try the Fresh Air concept we would spend the rest of our lives wondering “what if”.  That is not how I want to live.

What did we learn from this?  Well, we learned many things about starting a business, branding, and working together in a family business.  It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun, too.  And I think we learned a great deal about ourselves in the process.  Jumping in takes nerve and perseverance.  Some days we looked to each other to buoy ourselves through the rough waters.  But in the end, it was a great experience, a learning experience.

So what’s next for Wilmes Hospitality?  Well, we are still looking at what will stay under our umbrella.  Consulting is always an option, and that has been on the docket since we started.  But since my time was spent in the promotional arena for Fresh Air Lodging, I am pulling on a different hat, but in the same style.  I will continue to write, and hopefully as a hired pen.  But rest assured, faithful subscribers, I will continue to post, just on a wider arena of topics.

And since it is November, it is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  I am again taking the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I did it last year, and frankly it wasn’t nearly as hard as I anticipated.  So today I am embarking on a writing journey, hoping to pound out a decent draft.  The book is about the late jazz violinist Stuff Smith and his widow, who just happens to be my friend.  Fifty thousand words…Go!

Winds of Change

Small Spray

Change.  Small word, big fear.  Well, for most people anyway.  I try to look at it as inevitable, the only other sure thing in this world besides death. I also believe that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.  In other words, if something’s not working for you, it’s up to you to make the adjustments, don’t just try to ride out the wave.


Last week we had a doozie of a storm on Lake Superior.  Living near the largest body of freshwater in the world has some pros and cons.  But one thing is certain, the weather is always changing.  When the sky turned gray I grabbed my trusty Canon and headed for the beach.  As the daughter of a Great Lakes Captain, I have always looked to the water; for solace, answers, comfort.  I appreciate the many moods and changes, and have much respect for its great power.

Rocky Foreground

I’ve heard in the past that wherever a person is, whatever their situation, it’s because that is what they want.  I think that’s kind of over-simplifying things, but for the most part fairly true.  Life is all about choices, and the choices we make move us in one direction or another.  You know, like hurtling at break-neck speed toward a cresting wave with only a camera for protection.

Hillside Lighthouse

Whatever your feelings are about change, it’s bound to happen.  You can yell and scream, make a splash, but it’s still going to come.  Big changes are coming for us next week.  What will it mean?  Ride the tide?  Crash the rocks?  I guess you’ll just have to hold on tight until next week!

Splashing Rocks

**All pictures taken by author.  They are all original full color and untouched by computer programs.

Just One Thing

BWCA Web PicnikedWhether you are one or you know one, multitaskers are all around us.  I’m not just talking about soccer moms driving the carpool while talking on a phone.  Think about how multitasking has taken hold in the workplace.  When was the last time you sat in your office/cube/workable space and did just one thing?

I confess, I am a HUGE multitasker.  In fact, I can’t even ride in the car without doing something else.  If I am not the driver, you’ll most likely see me with a tablet, phone, or creative item in my hands.  I can’t help it; I do not sit still very well.  I have a bad habit of working at all hours of the day and night. Because of the work I do, it’s easy to pop onto a computer for a short burst of productivity and then back to whatever I was doing.  This got me wondering…what if I focused on just one thing?

For the past two days I have made a solid effort at reining-in my need to do more than one thing at a time.  I thought about one of my goals for the year (to get my office and papers organized) and actually sat down with binders, dividers, and a three-hole punch.  I have to admit, it felt good once it was done.  I had a sense of accomplishment and my papers were neatly accessible.  Maybe I was on to something.

Then I started looking at our green certification program.  In this new-found approach of unitasking, I focused on what would keep someone from becoming more socially responsible.  Of course, it would probably be the feeling of being completely overwhelmed; the incorrect assumption that a business would have to jump into a myriad of new and scary practices.   Most people think to be green you have to make a bunch of expensive changes, renovate your facility and increase your staff.  This is definitely not the case!

If you, your family, or your business has a goal this year to be more socially responsible, my adv ice is to be a unitasker.  There are many things that you can do, and you don’t have to do them all at once.  Here is a list of some options that we have compiled.  There is a cost associated with some capital improvements, but many of the items require little or no investment.  Once you have selected a few options, make a list prioritizing them and really focus on them one at a time, working to create your new culture of social responsibility.  I have a favorite saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”.  That’s a long-winded way of saying change is our friend.  And in this case, it’s okay to do one thing at a time.