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Category Archives: Travel

Invest in What’s Real

Invest in what’s real, who you really are and how you actually live your life.

I remember wandering aimlessly round the mall one Monday, and I was tempted more than once to fit myself into a size 0 pair of jeans that I spotted in a shop window.  The sales staff said, “Get it now before stocks run out.”

I thought about it for a second, and then I remembered that I couldn’t possibly squeeze myself into that tiny pair and decided I’d rather spend the money on my daughter’s trinkets and toys, a book I’ve long been wanting to read or maybe just save it toward the next trip to the malls.

Photo by Mark Mante

Someone once said we’re happiest when “our decisions most closely match our natures and our values.”

Well, I can relate that to our shopping addiction, err…decisions. Instead of spending money on the things you may have no use for in the future, ask yourself before purchasing anything, “How much do you need it? Will I die longing for it?”

This is a simple way of investing in your day-to-day life, and not feeding your fantasy life uselessly.

In Your Bag

I woke up one morning and realized that my daughter has more bags than I could ever buy.

Well, she does own more pairs of shoes than I do, too. The number of pairs can very nearly rival Imelda Marcos’ collection, to my family’s amusement.

I went over to where she was watching Barney and rummaged through her “countless” bags, picked one at random as she danced and watched me like a hawk.

I empty the contents onto her bed.  She was talking non-stop — not to me, but to the bits and pieces on her bed.

Times have changed. The tides have turned.

And the contents of baby’s bags have somehow evolved.

Ovaleye’s Kathy Nelson

Before becoming Chief Decision Maker at Ovaleye, she used to be hailed as the Original Napster.

(photo taken from theworkathomewoman.com)

I came across her video on YouTube while I was lazily looking for a makeover tutorial and I immediately hit the Subscribe button.

Organizing Your Team and Keeping Productivity Up

There’s something about her that makes you trust her instantaneously and from then on, I religiously watched her on Ovaleye TV, followed her and her daughter Jenn on Facebook (who’s Director of Operations) and valued her SOHO tips (small office-home office).  She inspired me to start blogging once more but this time, following a more solid and worthwhile direction.

Her humility and grace is awesome; I felt as if I was aiming for the moon when I sent her a message with a simple request: if I can feature her on my blog, saying that I have nothing to offer her aside from my earnestness to share with you all the wonderful things I learned from her.  And she agreed! More than that, she warmly reached out and made me feel very welcome.

What inspired her to start Ovaleye?

My husband and I owned mainstreetmusic.com from 1999-2005. We competed with iTunes and Walmart music downloads back then. It was a crazy fun business to be in. We had thousands of people visiting our website daily and it created many down times for us. So we bought a couple of servers and put them in a safe location in downtown Seattle and were able to handle our traffic easily. But then Walmart bought our database providers and mainstreetmusic.com stopped. I had two servers now what do I do with them? My husband and I started Ovaleye.com back in 2006 helping our local businesses with their websites and hosting them on our servers. Our daughter Jenn joined the business after she graduated from college. We now have many servers in that same secure location and Ovaleye provides hosting and cloud services to all our members all over the world.

I know how challenging it is to get investors. How did she find investors for the business?
Finding investors can be easy if your business is sound and full of potential. I had a couple investors at one point but it didn’t work out. I learned some very valuable lessons that year. I learned that no one is as passionate about your business as you are. Your work ethics are different from the investors. I am sure there are great investors and partnerships out there. At the moment there are no plans to find another investor.

Her take on the most difficult part of starting the business
Starting the business was the easy part. You have to sustain the business and help it grow with decisions you make every day after that. I would say the hardest part for me so far is year 5 and we got through it.I hadn’t gone to that level with mainstreetmusic.com so it was new territory.  Partners, adding new services, and marketing efforts all were hit and misses.  But if you don’t try these you can’t get to year 6 and beyond.

Kathy and Jenn on Ovaleye TV (photo taken from theworkathomewoman.com)

Her expectations for the future regarding Ovaleye
My expectations for the future are good.  Ovaleye uses tons of tools in our tool box of technology.  We have the love of technology and what it can bring to our members.  We have so many things to offer that we haven’t even begun to bring to light.  It’s very exciting!

With her various roles as Mom, grandparent and Chief Decision Maker, here’s how she manages her time
There is not enough time in a day (I agree, Kathy!).  From day one I have never made rules on what time or days I work. I wake up early and start working if needed and work with my daughter and grandson at the Ovaleye headquarters.  In the evenings we have shows on live stream and weekends are filled with family and work.  It seems to balance out after 6 years.  I wouldn’t do this unless it was fun and exciting!

Being Grandma (photo taken from http://www.urbanblisslife.com)

Her top 3 lessons that she learned and which can help us

  1. Start a business you love that you will enjoy spending oodles and oodles of time on.
  2. Learn every day something new about building a business with books, videos and tips from business leaders.
  3. If you don’t try something every day you don’t succeed.

Watch Kathy on Ovaleye TV, follow her on Twitter and Facebook.  She also has a wonderful and inspiring blog.

Mom says she is a “lovely girl”.

Meeting Mr. Right

This guy has a formidable resume.  He’s my perfect blueprint for Mr. Right.

(photo taken from franciskong.com)

This did not deter me however from sending him a message that he may have received quite often in the course of his busy life; there is something about him beyond his credentials that defines who he actually is and where his heart lies.  And despite his stature, his humility stands out.

I caught Francis Kong on Facebook and was astounded that he actually replied and agreed to my request.  See, from his Wall, you pretty much have a sense of how he spends his day —he is extremely busy.  Yet he is cool, calm and collected.  Launching a new concept in consultancy and selling, he saw the need for an “army of consultants” rather than that of sales people.  He has authored books on entrepreneurship, life-changing habits, finance and more.

True to form, he is gracious enough to grant this simple interview.  Excerpts:

Should you combine your many passions or should you choose just one?
I always believe in Focus.  Narrow your target objective but deepen it in terms of excellence and skills.

Following your dreams at any age: how does one do it?
Dreams come true only when the dreamer wakes up and do some work.  Study.  Study.  Study.  Prepare.  Prepare and Prepare and do not allow distractions to come in between your goals.

How do you spend time to relax? Do you still have time for a break?
My relaxations come in spurts.  I have mini-breaks through out the day and even during work.

What top 3 life lessons did you learn that can help others like me?
Love God first and have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He then grants you the ability to know and understand His Word (Bible) and equips you with the power to obey and steer your life towards the right path for success.  Love your neighbors.  Never allow greed or money to take priority but use your God-given talents to serve others.  Be honest, be truthful and maintain humility at all time without relaxing your efforts in leveling up all the time.  Every blessing is a test on our character while every test is a blessing in disguise.

Is there something you wish to achieve more?
Doing more training in the international scene.

Many years ago, I remember coming across this author while browsing in a bookstore (because the money I wish I could spend on great books was instead spent on meals) that changed my perspective in life:  He inspired me to dream big and to turn this dream into reality.  I am living the dream now, and the bonus is that I have been lucky enough to meet the inspiration behind it.  Thank you, Mr. Francis.

Back-to-Back Celebrity Feature

When I was a kid and got caught in a sudden downpour of blinding rain, I open my tiny Kerokeropi umbrella.

Presently, when I’m caught in a sudden downpour of surprises, I write about it in my WordPress blog.

When life throws you a huge surprise, embrace it with your whole heart and being.

Time was when I used to watch him on a well-known morning show on national TV, admiring him for his financial and marketing savvy.

Time was when I religiously listened to her online show, admiring her for her brilliance in household as well as in small business matters.

And now, they’re both here…on my blog, unselfishly sharing their views and life lessons, helping other people push further towards attaining lifelong dreams and heart-held passions with humility and eloquence that’s totally a style of their own.

Watch for this exciting feature SOON!

I promise you it will be awesome!

Celebrity Feature on janicesheilah

‎!!! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT !!!

SO EXCITED to announce something WONDERFUL here on my blog VERY SOON !!!

Please don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.

Many thanks and continue living that awesome life 🙂

Surviving 24 Hours

Working online has its perks:

  1. You get to spend a lot of time with your family while working (assuming you work from home and if you happen to live with your loved ones)
  2. You work at your own pace wherever and whenever you want (provided you are not working on something urgent and/or location-specific)
  3. You don’t have to dress up grandly or go out of the house to check email or touch base with your virtual team.

But there are days when, to borrow my Mom’s term for it, “you just can’t hack it”.  What are the most delirious ways you can come up with to survive a day (and night!) filled with fiery deadlines, nerve-wracking feedback and migraine-inducing colleagues?

DITCH THE GADGET

You do work online, but the Internet must not rule your business and your life.  I travel with just an iPhone and it’s all I need because this way, it leaves room for bottles of formula, water, baby diapers and baby clothes that I always lug around on one arm as I carry my baby on the other arm.  During breaks, I put my phones on silent and get back to them as soon as I resume work.  The world doesn’t end if you fail to answer an SMS or call for JUST a few minutes.  Do remember however to return calls and messages as soon as you get back to your work chair and shift to work mode.

BOOK AHEAD OF TIME

When my family and I go malling or stock up on a few grocery items, I always multi-task and bunch together a few tasks.  The day before, I confirm the travel schedule with Brother #3 (whom we hitch a ride from) and proceed to plot our itinerary in my head.  If someone needs a haircut, I book an early appointment and as soon as we reach our destination, that person goes to the salon while I do the grocery and my brother settles his business.  We find this setup extremely stress-relieving, time-saving and cost-efficient.

We also do the same thing when eating out —we order ahead of time most of the time (provided we have already made up our mind where to eat).

LET THERE BE LIGHT

First thing I always do upon waking up is drawing the curtains and letting the morning sunlight in.  It never fails to light one’s mood up!

Photo courtesy of @endangeredangel

TIPPING POINT

I learned a valuable lesson from Brother #3 and Sister #2: always leave or give a nice tip.  Most of the time, I get good service because Filipinos are inherently hospitable even to strangers.  On occasions when I come across someone mean or intolerable, I report the staff immediately to the supervisor and don’t leave a tip.

For more tips on local shores, you may refer to this article.  Also, let me know if this resembles your tipping style.

UPGRADE

What is the secret to getting an upgrade? It’s no secret, really.  When traveling, try to utilize as few providers as you possibly can.  You will attain a certain kind of privileged status and they will exert a special kind of effort for your comfort because they know you’re a valued consumer.

And one bonus tip:

OWN YOUR JOY

Live your life as if your life depended on keeping yourself and others happy.  Find reasons to be positive even in the direst situations.  I have a friend who laughs at her bald reflection every time she looks at herself in the mirror.  She is currently undergoing chemo and she has never relinquished her joy to the cancer cells slowly ravaging her body and her hair strands.

At the end of any stressful day, it all boils down to one thing: did you live it to the fullest knowing you did your best?

What are your survival tips?