Are you following the positive taps?

Guest Post from my better half – Corey Perlman ūüôā

A few years ago, I read something in a business book that really stood out to me. It read: Are you following the positive taps? At first I couldn’t figure out what the heck that meant, but as I read further the author explained that positive taps are taps on your shoulder from the universe. These taps are supposed to help lead you in the direction you’re supposed to go in life. They’re often not obvious, so you have to pay close attention to when these positive taps occur.

A few years ago, I had two business hobbies that were taking up most of my free time. I call them hobbies because I wasn’t making any money from either venture, I just enjoyed doing them. One was a Website called Investorteams.com where we paired real estate investors with specialists like real estate agents, mortgage brokers, etc. The other was a course I taught on Internet marketing called eBoot Camp. I soon realized that doing both was not going to be an option. So I spoke with a friend about it and he’d read the same book I had. He asked me where I was getting the most positive taps. I thought back for a minute. Well, InvestorTeams was fun and people thought it was pretty cool, but I couldn’t think of any times where I felt a significant positive tap. Then I thought about my last few Internet marketing workshops. I had people rush up afterwards to shake my hand and thank me for the information. I did a workshop for the Dale Carnegie Franchise in Michigan and when I was finished, the owner, Ralph Nichols, stood up and walked over to me. The next thing he did I will never forget. He stuffed a $50 bill in my shirt pocket. He said the workshop was worth way more than that, but that’s all he had in his wallet. That, was a positive tap.

I chose eBoot Camp and never looked back.

A more recent example is a story I really enjoy telling. It happened only a week ago, but I’ve told it numerous times already. Jess and I were down in Key West and it was our first time away from Talia, our two-year-old, for more than a day. We took the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and engage in some ‘adult’ conversation. We talked about our purpose here on earth and what we were both passionate about. We agreed that being parents was #1 for both of those categories, but she was still searching for a bit of her identity that may have been temporarily lost in the all-consuming job of being a mom. So I asked her, “where are your positive taps coming from?” She couldn’t really think of any, but did say that she often gets positive feedback when she makes things. I reminded her of the halloween costumes she always makes for us. They often win us contests at parties and lots of pictures and compliments when we’re out trick or treating. She hadn’t thought of that as a positive tap, but also mentioned she hadn’t really been looking for them.  We both agreed it was time she stay more attune to positive taps. Conversation over. Or so we thought…

The next day we went window shopping on and around Duval street in Key West. We wound up in a Tommy Bahama store and I was in tropical, casual attire heaven. There was a very nice woman at the register named Regina who was classic Key West in that she was slightly odd but in a really cool way. She was in the middle of selling me another shirt when something on Jessica caught her eye. She said, “where did you get that?” She pointed directly at Jessica’s neck. Jess felt her neck and remembered that she had on a necklace/scarf that she made out of one of my shirts.

Side note – I liked this shirt and was surprised to see it ripped up to shreds draped over Jessica’s neck. But she swears I said I didn’t want it anymore –  oh well, C’est la vie. It looks better on her anyway.

Back to Regina. She was really impressed with this necklace and demanded to know where Jess got it. “I made it,” Jess said. Regina asked Jess to take it off and let her get a closer look and so she did. Then Regina ran out of the store. Jess and I stood there a little puzzled. A few minutes passed and she came back and let us know she ran down the owner who was in her car heading home for the day. “The owner needed to see this,” Regina said.  Regina then asked a question that had POSITIVE TAP written all over it. She said, “would you be willing to sell these?” Jess was taken aback and stood puzzled for a second. So I shouted out “YES!” ūüôā Regina explained that the store was 85% Tommy Bahama, but they had the ability to sell 15% of whatever they want. They were interested in selling Jess’s little necklace/scarf thingy and splitting the proceeds.

Had Jess just been offered a high-end  retail deal right there in Key West? For something she‚Ķmade? What?

We left with a simple commitment that we would send them some samples and go from there. Who knows where it will end up. Maybe nowhere. But for someone who was looking for a sign from the universe, I think she just got hit over the head with it.

Let’s just say Jess’s shoulder was black and blue from the force of this positive tap.

So I’ll end this where I began. Are you following the positive taps? The first step is to start looking for them. Be aware of where you get positive reinforcement. And just keep doing it.

Keep your shoulders open and ready for positive taps. And when you feel one, follow it.

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Our YEAR in transition

As the week comes to an end and we close out the year I begin to reflect on 2011 and all that has happened. ¬†I find myself having a hard time thinking back to all the events of the year – what did we do? Where did we go this year? ¬†Then I remember about the ultimate source for all family activity – our calendar! ¬†We are a Mac family so all of our calendars sync up to include everything from playdates for Talia to trips we take to visit friends and family. ¬†As I begin my journey through the calendar entries for the year, here’s what I noticed:

РCorey traveled A TON last year.  Annual conferences and private company workshops had him traveling 2 to 3 times a month which resulted in a very busy schedule, but in turn great growth for our business.  His main struggle this year was finding the motivation and inspiration for his next book Рhe has several ideas in the works, so his writing journey will continue into the new year. Despite his busy schedule he continued to put his health as a number one priority and amazingly found a way to balance the business, working out and being present as a Dad!

–¬†Talia was a very busy girl – she attended music class and many programs at the library to keep her socially engaged and challenged. ¬†We discovered her love for rolling around in the dirt, sand and of course playing with flour! ¬†She reminds us each day to not take things so seriously, laugh and let go.

¬†– My months consisted of juggling Talia and¬†Corey’s travel schedule and my own part-time role in the business. ¬†Throughout the year, I continued my passion for biking and triathlons by completing the Tour de Cure in support of my Dad and his fight with Diabetes and my first Triathlon since Talia was born. ¬†My main struggle was, and continues to be, balance in mind, body and spirit- no surprise there! ¬†I look forward to 2012 and finding a balance between what my family needs from me and what I need for myself.

 РAs a family, we had many opportunities to connect with our extended family at weddings, holiday celebrations and of course online via skype!  We embraced the time we had with each family member and look forward to many more celebrations of love and life with them in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall 2011 was a great year and our life in transition continues into the new year as we continue to plan for 2012 and focus on finding the perfect place to call home.  Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!

 

All I want for Christmas is…Time

My In-Laws recently asked me what I wanted for Christmas and, as usual, I said ‘hmm I don’t know let me think about it,’ and changed the subject. ¬†Not because I didn’t want anything, but because I honestly had spent the last month thinking about Talia’s gifts and Corey’s gifts for the holidays and his birthday (double whammy!) so I hadn’t given it any thought. ¬†A few days later Corey asked me again, “my parents were wondering what you want for Christmas” and after some thought I had the answer: Time. ¬†Sure I could always use a gift certificate to Anthropologie, a new set of earrings or the latest accessory for my iPhone, but what I really wanted was some quality time for myself and with my husband.

For those of you who don’t know, we live in Michigan with a great number of friends but our families are miles away. ¬†Corey’s parents live in Florida and mine in Illinois which didn’t seem to be a big deal until little Talia came along and now we better understand why people live close to family. ¬†For example, when we hear other couples say, “we dropped our son off at Grandma and Grandpa’s for the night,” or “our daughter is spending the weekend with the Grandparents while we go away to a wedding or on a trip,” we can’t help but feel a little jealous. ¬†Partly because they get to take a little break from the day-to-day routine with a toddler, but mostly that they have someone they know and trust that they can leave their kids who aren’t on the clock and will play with them, love them and keep them just as safe as we would. ¬†Of course there are great baby-sitters out there and we have a few on call in times of need, but I think you would agree with me it’s just different.

So my wish is for time – and my husband seemed pretty surprised by this answer but quickly agreed that some alone time for me and some date nights for us would be a good thing. ¬†Often our priority list is our daughter Talia, our business eBoot Camp and then ourselves/our relationship – not the best way to prioritize our life, but these things happen when you have kids and a business to run. ūüôā ¬†During the next few months while we are in Florida and family is close by, we plan to take sometime for ourselves.

For the first time in months, we had a great date night last weekend and it was great spending time together and having conversations that were outside toddler tantrums and work stuff. ¬†Later this week, amidst all the holiday madness, we have a Sunset Cruise planned (thanks Uncle Jaime!) and some time set aside a few mornings for the grandparents (Poppo and Maimo) to watch Talia so I can get some solid work done on the business or take in a pilates class at the gym. ¬†The best part about having this time, is knowing that while we are away, Talia is in good hands being showered with love and getting her own little break from Mama and Dada¬†which I’m sure sometimes she needs too.

Settling In and Branching Out

35th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run!

As the sun comes up today I find myself at a local Starbucks with a sleeping toddler in the stroller next to me. ¬†Of course this was after a 5am wake up call and a drive around the city a few times to get her to fall back asleep ¬†– BUT I am sitting outside enjoying my coffee so life is good ūüôā ¬†The past week has been filled with lots of family activities and getting ourselves settled into the new place. ¬†Corey and Domino made it down safely and were quickly thrown into the mix of family hugs and sunsets by the beach.

The house we are renting has a great set-up for our family, a nice kitchen so we can cook meals at home, a garage equipped with bikes for our daily travels to the village and my personal favorite a beach and pool within walking distance. ¬†We have less clothes so that = more laundry and two great dishwashers – Corey and Jessica ūüôā ¬†It’s pretty easy to quickly remember why we love our time here at Siesta Key – sunny days, runs on the beach and quality time spent as a family.

We’ve had a chance to meet some of our neighbors and a very nice family with a 3yr old and 1 yr old live right across the street from us. ¬†In fact we went to the 1yr olds birthday party last weekend. ¬†It was a great way to get to know the people in the neighborhood and find out where all the moms hang out. ¬†I have to admit going to a party where you don’t know anyone – even the people who are hosting the party – pushed us both a little out of our comfort zone. ¬†When we got there the house was decked out in the Sock Monkey theme and the little birthday boys face was on a banner, the plates, the napkins and even the cake – too cute! ¬†We were met with friendly faces and Talia quickly introduced herself to all the toys in their playroom as Corey and I made our way around the room introducing ourselves and starting up conversations with the other families. ¬†At the end of the night we both agreed that there was a good mix of families there, some we might fit in with and some maybe not so much, but overall a good group of people and the best part, it was catered by Chick Fil A so you really can’t go wrong when the main entr√©e is chicken nuggets for the kids and chicken fingers for the adults!

Branching out is going to be important on this journey.  It is not the easiest most comfortable thing to do but it will help us determine if this is a great place to visit or an even better place to live.  Only time and a few pushes outside the comfort zone will tell.

Going Where the Weather Suits my Clothes

Today the adventure begins. ¬†As I sit in our semi-empty house I can’t help but get a little sentimental about how I will miss this place. ¬†Yes, the size the kitchen drives me nuts and we are starting to feel cramped with the addition of a new daughter and dog over the past few years, but still it feels like home. ¬†We made a decision a long time ago that we would embrace life and take on each adventure together – I even said it in my vows – “I will always cheer for Team Perlman, because together we can achieve anything!” ¬†Pretty corny I know but it’s true we have both worked very hard together to¬†achieve a lifestyle and a business that can be operated from any corner of the world – so you would think we would be headed to some far off tropical destination, but really we aren’t that spontaneous or brave! ¬†No our sites are set on four months away from home and the bitter cold that Michigan winters bring. ¬†We will be spending two months in warm sunny Sarasota Florida where my husband grew up and his family resides and two months exploring Roswell Georgia, a town we fell in love with during a summer trip to the mountains. ¬†We plan to embrace these two towns as our own and try to see them through the locals eyes asking ourselves – what would it be like living here and making this our new home?

As hard as it is to think of our life outside of Michigan we know that no matter how many glorious sunny summer days we have here there will always be cold bitter winters that cut you to the bone and after 10 years it’s time to move on.

So here we go.  The final boxes are being packed up and the arrangements being made for our house to be rented out while we are away.  We say goodbye to friends, divvy up our remaining food in the fridge and take a deep breath.  Tomorrow starts a new chapter and I hope you will join us there to experience the ups, downs and all arounds of our life in transition.