Category Archives: Business

How Auntie Dealt with a Shutdown~a true story.


Auntie pulled into the driveway, excited to have time with her nephew’s family.

‘So, where are we going?’ she asked her nephew, happy to spend time with them.

‘Not sure. The kids can’t decide on a movie.’

Auntie cocked her head to the right, slightly forward, and looked over her glasses before saying, ‘Do you mind… if I… take care of this?’

‘Nope! Go ahead!’ her nephew quickly said with a smile.

Due to the family size, they were taking two cars and Auntie asked the little one—a tween—in the parent’s car to get in her car.

‘I want to stay in here,’ the tween said.

‘Please get in Auntie’s car. There is something we need to take care of before we go. Thank you, ’ she said before the child even moved. And her parents didn’t say a word. One wonders if they were secretly looking forward to the entertainment value of what the kids were about to encounter. It is believed the parents laughed.

Auntie got into her car. All the children were now in the car with her.

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‘Soooo, I understand there is a problem,’ Auntie announced. ‘We can’t agree on a movie?’

Auntie let the children express their desires and frustrations.

‘I wanted to see A. We never get to do anything I want, ’ one whined.
‘Well, I was asleep,’ another said.
‘I want to see B,’ answered another rear passenger.
One child was silent.

Then they started to challenge what one another said. Auntie didn’t say anything and listened carefully. They bickered a bit. She gave it a minute or two before chiding in. ‘Well, let me explain it this way. I came over to have fun and enjoy the company of your family. Your parents are excited to go out to a movie too. And because you all can’t decide we are sitting in the driveway INSTEAD of on our way to the movies. I’ll give a minute to decide. Begin.’ Auntie began to look at the car’s clock. They noticed. The car was silent for a few seconds before the blaming and the ‘I …’ started. One minute lapsed. No answer, just more of the same.

‘Time’s up,’ Auntie said while wearing a smile.

Then Auntie turned and addressed the group, looking at each youngster. ‘ We are sitting in this car instead of going to the movies because YOU keep saying you want to see A, YOU keep reiterating that you were asleep and that you were left out of the original decision making, and now at first YOU wanted to see B but now you say that you too were asleep, and… YOU haven’t said anything at all.’

Auntie’s words were sweet like honey, but it appeared that truth stung like a little bee. And then she continued.

‘Let me help you understand something: today is a great example of what will happen the rest of your life. Someone will give YOU the chance to make a decision and an ENTIRE GROUP will depend on YOU making a decision. It might be your classmates, your family, or a job you have in your future. Sometimes you’ll feel very strongly about your choice, sometimes you will not. And I am not saying you can’t stand your ground when you feel strongly, but others will depend on YOU to COME TOGETHER with other people and MAKE a decision for the GROUP. You might have to give a little. And if it isn’t a big deal to you, you might have to just decide it is about the end result—in our case that would be movie fun. Silence won’t be an option. PEOPLE WILL DEPEND ON YOU.’

Auntie nodded her head as she said, ‘And, you WILL disagree with others. And, you may or may not have a strong feeling one way or the other. But a decision will be necessary. You WILL HAVE TO LEARN to find a COMMON GROUND, a common thing you all can agree upon. And right now, you haven’t been able to decide and we are ALL sitting in cars instead of on our way to the movies. Question. Is it fair that ALL OF US are missing out on the movies because you are fussing with one another and can’t come together on a decision?’

The silent child softly said, ‘Noooo’. Some thought about the question and then began to shake their head in agreement to the spoken No.

Auntie went on speaking, ‘Okay. So that is something you will have to learn. Now, I came to have fun with everyone, your parents want to have fun, and I thought you all wanted to have fun and enjoy our time together. But now because you can’t decide I WILL DECIDE on a movie. And, here are the rules to that: No grumbling. No complaining. We go and have a great time together as a family as we planned. But…,’ Auntie paused, ‘if you don’t like the rules… there is a still another decision you can make. You… can… stay… home.’ Auntie let the words linger for fairness of time to make a choice. Then she smiled and asked, ‘So, who is in?’

Not a child got out of the car. No one cried or complained. The busy parents had rare alone time in their car on the way to the movies, and the family and Auntie had a great time together! And… the whole crew still loves Auntie time.

Do you know of any group that needs honey talk, truth, and tough love? You know! People who’ve shutdown something because they don’t know how to find common ground? Auntie is available to visit them, but let them know in advance: Auntie moves things forward, and is pretty good at calling out nonsense. Auntie doesn’t play that!

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The Chase is on…


Have you ever pictured yourself chasing an opportunity? What does it look like in your mind?  Is it a half-hearted jog ( like to catch the ice cream truck) or an intense sprint –like one induced by all your possessions being taken away, along with your only form of transportation.

I recently signed on to a service that provides opportunities to “meet” nearby businesses through discounted coupons. I’ve liked most of what I’ve seen promoted. One day I saw a rare opportunity! Just what I needed flashed on my email screen and the price was definitely something I could afford. My finicky side and my frugal fists stood staring at the announcement, looked at each other, and a little celebration ensued (they don’t get too many chances to party together–usually one or the other!).  I KNEW this was the opportunity for me so I said, “I’ll come back to this!”    

BIG MISTAKE! 

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Not only did my busy bee nature flit on to the next thing, but it was days before I slowed down long enough to remember the prime opportunity. Today. Sigh. So I lost out, and turn my nose up at every reminder that pops up in my day, which points to my need and how it would have been fulfilled if only I hadn’t let it walk away. Lesson learned… 

In this tough economy there are rare opportunities presenting themselves–IF we look for them.  Just this week I heard of another city offering free business space to those who are interested. FREE BUSINESS SPACE? Yes! ( If this appeals to you, check your local Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Development Authority or whoever governs the area with abundant unused commercial space. Special conditions apply.)  But…just like a bare-footed chase  doesn’t have the same chance as one in athletic gear (unless you’ve been training for this), we can’t chase opportunities unprepared. This is where other FREE  opportunities step in. Workshops and training on enhancing our education, business, resume writing, cooking–you name it and it might be available!   Just because it is free does not  mean it isn’t valuable! New learning is better than none. And, just like pennies passed by, if we’d take advantage of what is available it might add up in the end!

On that note, I’ve got to go tie up my tennis shoes! I’ve got an opportunity to chase!

Caio!

Kerstin

P.S. If you need some help finding something, let me know!

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