Business 06 January 2020
My entrepreneurial journey started when I was kid. Growing up, my mom and dad were both entrepreneurs. I remember that with everything I did, even then, I always thought I could turn it into a business. My mom put me in gymnastics, and when my friends would come over I thought I should charge each friend $10 and give them gymnastics lessons. Not realizing certifications, insurance, etc., I just wanted to figure out a way to make money. I was eight.
My mom would ask me for a massage after a long days' work, and I would ask her if I did this every day, would she pay me so I can start a massage business. I would walk into a laundry mat and think how cool it would be to do people's laundry, listen to music, and fold clothes. It would make so many people's lives easier, and I could charge per load of laundry.
I always thought at the time that all my ideas were great, and I could make a lot of money by word of mouth. I just had that desire to be on my own, make my own money, and be successful. Fast forward to me trying to think of ways to earn extra allowance. I don't know if I was a shopaholic, but my mom did want me to earn my own money so I could stop asking her to buy me clothing at 13. My mom said if you want it, go out and get a job.
My first job was in my town, Montville, at an arcade called Game Town where I helped with all the parties by waitressing and bussing tables. For 13, I was making a lot of money. It was cash tips, so it became addicting to have cash in my pocket at all times. I went on to waitress at a local diner and work for one of my Dad's companies. Then I ventured out to try different jobs until I figured out what I wanted to do. That didn't happen until I was about 28 years old, but I finally found my niche.
I moved to Poughkeepsie, New York in 1998 and worked for a psychiatrist and then at an Assisted Living facility. I soon decided that though I loved where I was working, I wanted to move to Westchester instead of staying in Poughkeepsie. The owner of the assisted living complex owned an apartment complex in Yonkers so I moved there and rented an apartment from him.
I quickly realized that I needed a second job to pay for the gas back and forth to Poughkeepsie. and went into a local Italian restaurant to ask if they were hiring for a bartender. I never bartended a day in my life. But I was hired. The first drink was a screwdriver, and even then I was stumped. I am eternally grateful that the owner was happy to train me and the customers were patient while I learned, because in 2015 a partner and I purchased that same restaurant where I started bartending at just 21 years old.
Prior to purchasing, I waitressed there while I started a PR firm that I thought was going to start small and stay small, maybe one other employee that services local accounts only. Three years in and I was referred to multiple celebrities and reality stars that I am thankful to this day. These early relationships put my company on the map and turned it into a firm with 10 employees and over 30 clients spread across the entire country.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be flying out of the country to manage celebrity events like the Cannes Film Festival. At one point, clients were flying me to Los Angeles once a week, if not more, to manage the celebrity and talent wrangling for major award shows. It was fun to experience new things and make friends wherever I went. I soon found myself partnering with a celebrity on a wine brand, growing my PR firm, purchasing a restaurant, and partnering with one of my employees on a non-invasive beauty business.
Through all of these experiences, I have grown to appreciate being an entrepreneur in so many ways. While there are many hurdles, struggles, and stressors to being in your own business, once you get to a place of stability, the rewards are so worth it. It's definitely not for everyone. Sometimes you just don't know where you are getting a dollar to pay a dollar back, but I stuck it out somehow. Looking back on this entire journey, it's been the most rewarding position I have ever been in.
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.