Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest Post- When I Grow Up...


Have you seen those retirement commercials? You know the ones I’m talking about. The commercials that promise you can do whatever you dream once you retire, as long as you invest with them. But why should you wait to retire before you do what you love? Why not start now, today, and live the rest of your life for the present instead of the future?
What’s holding you back? Is it a lack of education? A lack of resources? Or is it just fear, plain and simple? Don’t let anything hold you back from achieving your dreams. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still do what you love.
If it is education that is holding you back, then go to school. There have never been as many adult learners in history as there are today, so you won’t be alone. Plus, with online degrees you don’t even have to miss work to further your education.
The excuse of not having the resources won’t cut it anymore either. There is always a place to get your ideas funded. Government grants, non-profit organizations, even your friends and family can help you to have the money you need to make your dream a reality. Whether you are starting a new business, inventing something, or just embarking on a new career, there is always someone out there that can help you out. The internet is a great resource for connecting people who have similar interest, so take a look around and see what you can find.
If you feel too afraid to start pursuing your dream, guess what... Everyone is afraid; you just have to learn to continue despite the fear. It is not fear of success that scares you, it is failure. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from even trying. If you think you won’t be able to survive, will lose everything you have, take a look around you. What will you really be losing? What can you do without? What is holding you back from pursuing your dream?
Don’t let your past determine your future. Look ahead and take it one day at a time. If you keep your goal in mind and make a plan, you are sure to succeed.

Author Bio
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny agency.  Learn more about her here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Career Change

Have you been thinking about changing careers for a while now?  Do you work a full-time job in an industry that is very different from where your true passions lie?

Changing a career isn't as simple as going and applying for a job in a new field. Often you need to update your skills, or gain new skills that are required for the new job. You may have to first volunteer or intern in that industry to gain experience. You have to update your work history to show how the skills you already have can work in the new field.

 If you have decided that now is the time for you to make your move to a new career, Susan Guarneri of BlogHer has assembled some useful links in her article 9 Resources for Mid-Life Job Hunters.

One of the links was to O*Net Online. This website allows a job seeker, to look up a certain career based on industry, or similar careers. It then gives very detailed information about the job, such as typical duties, experience requirements, education levels etc. I entered a search for an Editor position and received a very detailed description. I think this website is good for anyone who is interested in getting more information about the field they would like to make a change to.

Head over to BlogHer to check out more of the helpful career change links.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scared to Succeed, Do it Anyway

The concept of success is different to every person.  What would it take for you to consider yourself successful? For some success means being rich beyond their wildest dreams. For others success means, being able to run a full marathon, raise a healthy family, or  make a difference in their community. The concept of success depends on what's important to each person.

Most people would say that failure sucks. As someone who has been rejected or has failed to accomplish some of my goals in life. I can attest that yes, failure does suck. But what about success? Does it suck?

About a month or so ago, I applied for a new project. Getting accepted for this project would help me to further my career goals. Last week I received an email from the director of the project. He emailed me to ask some follow-up questions. He didn't say yes, or no to me regarding the project, but just said that he would be in touch.

The fact the he even acknowledged me as a possible candidate for the project made my heart race.
What if instead of the no, I've gotten fairly used to receiving, I actually get a yes this time? Then what?

By recieving a yes, I would have to leave my comfort zone. I would have new responsibilities, and have to demand much more of myself than I currently do. Which is exactly what I want. Yet, I couldn't shake the nervousness I was feeling. That's when I realized even though I have all of these goals and dreams, I'm scared to succeed.

Being scared to fail or succeed causes a person to procrastinate. They don't do what it takes to make their goals a reality. If their goal is to make a career change, they look up new jobs, but never actually apply. They keep coming up with excuses to not get that new cover letter written. If their goal is to begin volunteering, they talk to their friends and family about what changes need to be made in the community or world, but never actually sign up with any organization to help out. If their goal is to complete their college degree, they sign up for school, but then never go to class. You get the idea.

In the past, I have done all of the above mentioned things. Until I realized that I was doing nothing but hampering my own success. Now although I get nervous at the prospect of doing something different that will better my life, I apply for that program, complete that class, submit that piece of writing anyway.

Now that I'm actually walking through my nervousness, it feels pretty good. I am finally doing what one of my favorite books says to do...Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight

We all have dreams. There are things we want to accomplish or overcome. Sometimes your goals and dreams can feel completely impossible or out of reach.  As someone who has worried that some of my goals may never be reached, this story inspired me.

At her highest weight, Hattie Montgomery weighed over 500 pounds. She had struggled with her weight from the time that she was a child. She dealt with a lot of her personal pain by overeating. At 500 pounds, ever getting to a healthy weight might seem impossible without risky surgery. Hattie, however, lost the weight on her own.  She says of her major accomplishment:

I still have more to my journey... but I can't express how lucky I feel to wake up each day and know that I am alive! Three years ago I was thinking about how my family would no longer be burdened by me once I died, and now I'm going to do an indoor triathlon in less than a month! I have an amazing support system of friends and family who have made my success possible, cheering me on every step of the way.

I don't know many people who get a second chance, and it is my wish to be able to take this wonderful opportunity to reach out and help people realize that it's never too late to make a change. Yes, it's hard. This will be a life-long journey for me, but I gave up all those foods I loved for all those years so that I could finally live.

Rich and Dani lost over 285 pounds together.  Their story also shows how it's never too late. Check out their story and let it inspire you to make your goals a reality.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guest Post- The Benefits of Community College for Adult Learners

So you’re thinking about finally getting your degree, but where do you start? Do you go to a traditional four year college? Do you try to get your degree online? Isn’t there something in between? Something affordable that offers support and actual classroom instruction? Well, yes, there is. Community colleges offer more than just Associate degrees. They give adult learners a toehold in a strange world.
If you’ve been out of high school for a while, it can be hard returning to school. Community colleges offer testing and introductory classes to get you started, regardless of your education level. Everything from basic writing and grammar to basic math classes help you catch up and not become overwhelmed by college-level courses. Brush up on the skills you’ve forgotten or never learned in the first place.
In addition to introductory classes, community colleges also offer support. You can talk to real advisors and receive advice on your career plans, learning schedule, and class choices. Many community colleges now offer online courses as well as traditional ones so that the schedule can adjust to your needs.
Not only do community colleges offer support, they are also far cheaper than traditional colleges, online or off. With tons of financial aid options to choose from and affordable class selections, there is no reason you cannot afford to return to school.
Not only can you receive an Associate’s degree from community colleges, but most also offer certifications in key areas. Maybe you want to move up in your job or even have to become certified to continue in your current employment. Whatever the case, community colleges offer an easy and affordable way to get the certification you require.
Quality is not sacrificed at community colleges. The programs and degrees offered can usually be transferred to any four-year college you choose, which makes the decision even easier. Whether you are satisfied with an Associate’s degree or want to continue and receive your Bachelor’s or even Master’s, community college is a good way to start your learning journey.
Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to become a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

Monday, February 6, 2012

Forget Regret Or Life Is Yours To Miss

Anyone who knows anything about me, knows that RENT is one of my all- time favorite broadway musicals.
The musical which is all about living your dreams, living for the present moment, and measuring your life in love has inspired me for more than a decade now.

As I listen to the soundtrack now, I'm struck by the line "Forget Regret or Life is Yours to Miss" from the song Life Support.  We all have things in our lives that maybe we regret, or wish would have happened differently. How many of you, however, live from a place of regret? Do you ask yourself questions like, why did I do that? Why didn't this happen for me like I wanted it to? What would have happened if?

I admit I've found myself doing this on more than one occassion and have had to remind myself that these were fruitless questions. Nothing at all can be done about the past. It's done and over with so why put your energy there?

Last week on the hit show Grey's Anatomy they had an episode called "What If" in which we saw what life would have been like if things like a parent dying or someone not having the mentor they needed never happened. It was an interesting episode and it ended with the idea that somethings are just meant to be.
The episode, however, did lead me to thinking about all of my "what ifs." For me  that kind of thinking is never a good thing.

What regrets haven't you let go of yet? As the song says if you don't let go of those regrets from the past, you ended missing out on the life you still have left. No you may not have completed school when you were 18, but you can do it now. No you may not have invested wisely, or gone after the dream job while you were young, but you can do it now.

Don't miss out on another moment of your life because you are stuck living in the past.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why Not?

We often have a lot of reasons for not doing the very things we desire to do. It's too hard, most people who try to do the same thing fail, you're not capable, or smart enough. If you look for them there are a million reasons not to pursue a goal or dream-- At some point you really do have to just decide..."Why not?"

Rieva Lesonsky decided "Why Not?" and at the age of 50 started her own business . After 25 years of working for Entrepreneur  magazine and reading about the successes of other start-ups she finally took the leap and decided to start her own business. Now four years later she is the owner of GrowBizMedia.

It wasn't easy but it was worth it. Lesonsky writes:
I won't lie and tell you owning a business is oh-so-easy. I have never worked this hard in my life. Or slept so little. There were moments (more like months) where I questioned my decision several times a day -- and my sanity even more often. There were times I didn’t think we'd make it. I can recount almost every high (meeting new people who've become friends, partners, clients and mentors; winning a new contract), and low (clients who go out of business; learning the cost of health care; finding out people you thought were your friends really weren't). But I don't regret taking the leap. Do I wish I'd divorced my job earlier? Absolutely. But apparently "50 is the new 30"

A lot of time is often wasted worrying about all of the reasons why you are sure to fail. Imagine what could happen if you say "Why Not?", and go after your dreams no matter what.