life outside the drone zone Tag

back to school already?!

Y’all! (Like that southern charm?) It has been a BIII-ZEEEEEEEE (busy) summer! Holy guacamole. (Love that stuff.)

Humongo projects with downsizing 5,000 sq ft houses, travels to Vermont, for fun, family, and other, Pro Athlete client move across the country (hello flying for work…so fun and yes, sky miles, and wow lots of shoes), weddings, graduations, retirement celebrations, preparing client homes to go on the market, our birthdays and engagement (wha?!), off to Florida and overseas shortly, and did I mention more work, meetings, work, meetings, and boom, its nearly September?

30 seconds of summer!

At least I made it to the gym today before yet another work meeting with my partner in crime, at the coolest place that’s opened in Charlotte since Charlotte became Charlotte. (Ok, so the USNWC is a super awesome favorite as well.) Messy, frizzy hair don’t care:

When you work for yourself, you’re a hustla, baby. Sometimes you change in a bathroom, and have to go without a shower after getting your sweat on, so you can fill your pipeline with next opportunities. Sometimes weeks pass without a break, then you take a big one. Sometimes you wonder how you haven’t come up for your own air, and then realize it’s because you’ve been filling client lungs with what they need to breathe.

We help people get unstuck. We LOVE what we do. We declutter lives to clear paths for whatever’s next for the people who hire us, dealing with the most stressful all-consuming times they might ever have. (Then WE are all-consumed.) When we are on 24/7, we know we’re making a difference by being the trusted guide by someones side when they often don’t even know what end is up. It’s exhausting at times, but after we get the red carpet rolled out for our clients next adventures, we always make time for our own.

What’s next for you?

We hope your summer was BIII-ZEEEEEEEE (busy…the good kind) like ours. We also hope that you won’t ever be afraid to go out with messy hair so you can keep creating the life you want.

#LoveYourWork #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #LessWaitingMoreDoing

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a minimalist and a maximalist walk into a bar…

I just read this article a friend posted on her Facebook feed, then sent it to someone I thought it would be helpful to, for a project he’s working on. After the link in the email, I added:

Some people like stuff, and a lot of times, stuff does tell stories. I however, hate stuff, and I’d rather be the one telling stories, but either way, we can all get along…

Being a minimalist, childless, single gal from Vermont with a nomadic heart, and because I’m in the business of helping people get unstuck, I’ve been accused of:

1.) Suggesting everyone burn everything they own.

2.) Eating granola 3 meals a day.

3. Wanting all the people around me to move into a tiny house.

Laughing? You didn’t get the memo that all “hippies” from states like Vermont who don’t find it particularly fun or comforting to shop or have large living spaces, must think anyone else who could possibly like Target, or reside in more than 200 square feet is a terrible person? I’m laughing too. Yes, ridiculous, and certainly not the opinions I share.

Some of my besties have the biggest houses I’ve ever been in, and peruse through Home Goods like it’s their job. Some have shelves littered with books, and tchotchkes like your favorite auntie, or garages full of gear, and some could have thriving careers in interior design their spaces look so amazing with all the stuff they’ve collected. In fact, the person’s feed I took this article from is one of those longtime friends who every place she’s ever lived in, has been filled with beautiful decor floor to ceiling in each room, perfectly fit to her personality and experiences from her adventurous life. The kind of spaces you walk in to that transport you to a far of land and make you want to ask a zillion questions about everything you see. I love these homes, but I don’t want to live in them. These people wouldn’t want to live in my home, either.

Isn’t it great that we all have the choice to live exactly how we want?

A recent client was in her home 30 years, and she was more than ready to downsize from over 3,300 square feet:

(If you’re a Broker in Charlotte, come join us tomorrow, Wednesday June 26th for a luncheon from 11:30AM – 1:30PM at this house currently on the market!)

I got this client downsized and into her next perfectly fitting for this time in life, space, with every last bit of decor she wanted to take with her. She told me what she needed, and I was her guide along each step of the way. My job is to show up when clients take a step towards the life they want, and advise and support them…not try to change them.

Whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist; YOU DO YOU. Figure out what lifestyle you want, and go for it. Time waits for no one, so whether you spend your 365 days a year in the same pair of shorts and live in a van so you can have the freedom to roam, whether you redecorate your McMansion every season to be the place with the capacity and currency to host all the people you love, or anything in between, use your time wisely enough that you still have a little bit left to celebrate every day.

#RespectTheClock #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #TodayIsTheDay

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it’s time to initiate a controlled burn

I came to a coffee shop this afternoon to write about a few books I studied on physical and emotional clutter this weekend, but upon my arrival, this text popped in, so I had to pivot:

Quitting Is For Winners

Yahtzee!

Another human who has stepped out of the Drone Zone, and I was able to help. (The Drone Zone is that place where you stay…even though you don’t want to, while you live, work, or play, as a silent, hurting, walking zombie, who’s soul feels crushed every minute of the day.) Sounds dramatic, but it is real. I warn people about hanging out with me personally or professionally, because I’m usually the one to say something like Then why the hell are you doing it?! Let’s make a plan and get you the heck outta dodge! I expect the same from people who give a hoot about me. Often there are tears, or someone gets pissed at the other for being brutally honest, but everything evens out. The truth is one tough, and not so delicious cookie most of the time.

Humans are killing themselves. LITERALLY KILLING THEMSELVES, because they feel stuck, and unsupported in making change. Just last week within 2 days, I heard about 3 (THREE!) friends of friends who committed suicide. THREE you guys. The sadness that runs through me for all the people that love those people makes me want to throw up.

I don’t have the answer….but I’ve always thought that at the most simple level, if you’re walking this earth on any given day feeling just blah, thinking that someone or everyone at any and every minute would judge you for quitting or changing (your job, your wife, your hobbies, your friends, etc.)- any of us (this includes us “happy,” productive ones who have oodles of friends and family), could quickly end up in very, very dark places.

There’s no better feeling to me, than guiding someone (friend or client), to run fast and furious out of their Drone Zone, and seeing them fly. The person above reached out to me several months ago. She was suffering in her job, but felt obligated to stay. She had well given it her all, and yet still felt guilt (totally normal) about leaving. I assured her that nothing was worth torturing herself, but if she wanted to keep pushing, to just please make sure when it crossed the line of soul-crushing to call me, and I’d be right there to help her game plan a respectful and healthy exit.

And I was, and she did, so we met this weekend. And then she quit her job today. And I am so damn happy for her.

Hide your children, your husbands, and your friends before I get ahold of them…because if they tell me they’ve tried their damndest, or just don’t want to whatever anymore, I will stand on the front lines, and skip with a bunch of balloons straight down the Blue Lollipop Road to Quitsville with them, then launch them into whoever or whatever we find that’s a better fit. I refuse to not speak up when I see someone suffering.

If all of us bruised beauties were brave enough to share just how twisted times in our own lives have been, maybe we could save someone else’s.

I believe.

Speak up, stand up, and let’s all push to close the door to the Drone Zone, forever.

#RespectTheClock #Listen #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone

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celebrate everyday: day 2

1.2.18

I just got back from a 5 mile run. It was 14 degrees with a “feels like 7” according to my phone. According to me, it felt like my ears could’ve frozen off. Holy moly, that was about the coldest run I have ever done in the state of North Carolina. I’m from Vermont, but to me 65 degrees is cold, and if I never saw a snowflake again it would probably be to soon. I like frigid temperatures about as much as I like Trump, but let’s stay on track here- we’re supposed to be talking about celebrating, not hate…

Today I celebrate that I have feet. Two that are healthy and work:

Running Shoes

I’ve been a runner since high school, and put in miles all over the globe, on beaches, in cities, on back country dirt roads- you name it. There have been treadmills along the way (including at the “free” gym downstairs in my building, and at the YMCA I pay to be a member at, a mile away from where I live), but running outside is so much better. I think the only time I have ever run on a treadmill was in my building gym in Chicago a few years back, and only because Dwayne my doorman saw me heading outside to pound the negative temperature Windy City pavement and he yelled at me. (Good thing someone takes care of us stubborn people over here.)

If one of my least favorite things is the cold, why would I go outside to run on a day like today? Because I want to feel alive, strong, and celebrate the fact that I’m lucky enough to have a 39 year old body that can. No excuses.

If you’re snuggled up all warm & cozy next to your lover, or with a book the next time Siri tells you it’s as cold as a you know what making you feel unmotivated to move your body, just jump. Jump out of bed, and get out the door to do whatever it is that makes you feel alive and strong. I promise you will feel totally badass after you’re done.

Get moving! I know you can do it. Consider this a stinky feet high-five from me.

What moves you?

#StepOutside #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #Run

*Feeling stuck? Need to get moving? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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just. start. driving.

We all talk. We say we want this and that, we pretend we’re fully committed, we make ourselves feel good by chipping away tiny line items on our never ending to-do lists, years pass, and we never get anywhere, or at least anywhere close to where we actually want to be.

Squirrel!

Am I talking about you? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me too.

We swirl in this purgatory place of half-committed, because life get’s in the way…of life; money, kids, relationships, laundry, rinse and repeat. We ignore the truth, our true desires, we busy and distract ourselves, we worry, we help other people first, and there we are 10 years later.

As in, quite literally, 10 years later.

Blue Lollipop Road kicks off year #10 on October 16th. (TEN YEARS!) When realizing that upcoming birthday during the past few months this summer, along with looking at what my work life had become, (off track from what I’ve really wanted and been trying to do all these years), I decided to call bullshit on myself, and draw my deepest line in the sand yet. I’m a big believer in accountability and willingness to publicly embarrass oneself. Want to light a fire under your own ass even though you know you have the capability of doing “it” on your own? Tell the world you’re going to do something big. Hopefully your world will continue to call you out regularly until you do that thing. (You better believe if you ever tell me you have a burning desire to do something, I will poke you and give you positive grief until you do it. I expect the same in return, so thank you to those of you who always give it right back to me.)

Vacant Apartment

Vacant Apartment

As you can see from the above now empty living space photos, Elvis (Diane) has left the building. Why? To go where? You’ll just have to keep following here to see what’s next.

Would you believe this minimalist, who cares about a space it is only a space and I can make home anywhere! – threw two temper tantrums during her move the other day? Two! As in crying and throwing fists in the air with frustration looking and sounding like that spawn of Satan child in the Target check out line who’s mom said she couldn’t have the M&M’s. It was slightly horrifying. Thank goodness only one person saw, and luckily he still wants to be around me. Who knew I had fallen so much in love with my cozy comfort zone space and habits. All the more reason to jump into a new controlled fire, to keep that light under my ass burning hot. Want to make things happen? Sacrifice, baby.

Crazy how we all like so much, to stay snuggled tight under our warm blankets of complacency, not nearly as alive as we think we are.

As I sit here in my new fire, 110% committed to my one big career goal that maybe should’ve been completed years ago, but probably couldn’t have had the chance to be as great as it will be until now, those annoying little negative, fearful, I must be crazy, worry gnomes are trying their hardest to get a ticket to my party again. Sorry bitches! Ain’t no room for you up in my celebration station anymore! I just took a blow torch to that cozy comfort zone blanket soiree, so I could stand here awkwardly naked, strong and proud, ready to put back on only the layers that fit completely authentically.

Soon I will launch a sparkly new writing project here. I guarantee you’ll dig it, and be able to see a lot of yourself in what’s to come. Happy almost birthday to my sweet baby blue!

I hope you go out today, and get all kinds of naked. Nobody has this life perfectly figured out. All you can do is strip yourself down to your core and hop in the car. Somehow the road is always right there.

#LessPlanningMoreDoing #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #TodayIsTheDay

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the best leaders know how to play

A week ago I road tripped to Charleston with LeaderSurf Founder, Brian Formato for PitchBreakfast:

(Link to video here. Around 11:30 I pop in a two thumbs up testimonial.)

If you’ve been following here this summer, you know I attended the LeaderSurf June class in Nicaragua. Anyone I know has heard about this program and what an amazing, insightful experience I had, about a zillion times at this point. I’ve joked that I’m a walking billboard for Brian’s leadership development + learn to surf program. This single experience feels like it has completely catapulted my personal and professional life into places I never expected. Serious positive impact.

I’ve always been a travel pusher; The person who encourages exploration, trying new things, and the importance living outside the drone zone. I’ve traipsed the globe, and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. Of all the fun I’ve had during my travel, the fun hasn’t even come close to comparing to what I’ve learned by stretching myself in foreign environments. I really stretched some muscles that have needed it for a while now during my LeaderSurf time, and saw my fellow participants come alive and become inspired again about work, too. It was awesome.

I think all of us adults have forgotten that we can have fun AND be incredibly productive and responsible. It seems like there’s some kind of rule that we have to sit inside a classroom, boardroom, or conference center to learn anything new about our company, our jobs, or ourselves. Who the heck had that terrible idea? People are uninspired. They lack drive in their everyday because their passions are squashed. They’re not encouraged to keep cultivating their talents and interests and relate them back to their work. They’re bored out of their minds in training situations because they are in cold and vanilla spaces.

Maybe we should shake it up a little around here?

It seems like common sense for any organization to jump at the chance to send their executives to a leadership development program like LeaderSurf; Throw your best and brightest outside of their comfort zones to learn a new skill in a foreign place. They meet other executive peers, learn more about themselves, and have a blast doing it, then come back to your company refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Send your people to step out of the gerbil wheel and let some waves hit them in the face. It will be a challenge, but they will love every minute of it, and then love you for sending them. Who wins? Everybody.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #StepOutside #WorkUnstuck

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when your mom gets you

In pops this on my phone from the amazing, selfless woman who gave me life:

Adventure travel

…along with “I saw this the other day and thought of you!” and a globe, airplane, and heart emoticon.

My Mother is so cute, and such a nerd. (See where I get it from?) I love that lady so much! The best is, she continues to encourage me to be exactly who I am and go for anything and everything I want.

I’m currently in Charleston at the beach on a client project that has been a big one and kept me all consumed the past few weeks and far away from computer and writing time. Oh my do I have some exciting things to share! BLR Play It Forward event news, upcoming travels, and a story of a random encounter with a person last night that totally blew my mind.

More than any other time in my life, this summer has proved to me 10 times over that if we stay open and authentic, spend time doing what we love, and share our experience and knowledge, the doors of opportunity will fly open.

When you take a step towards life, the universe responds.

I’m off to be dangerous. Won’t you join me?

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #Adventure #NeverStopExploring

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