Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

6 Signs Spring is Finally Here

Filed under: General — by at 2:28 pm on Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring – particularly late spring when it is a tad warmer – is my favourite season because it is when everything comes alive in bright colours without the heat of summer.

Last Sunday Darrell and I trekked around False Creek. With camera at the ready, I was on the hunt for sure signs that spring is definitely here. See what I found…

1. What is spring without pussy willows?

Pussy willows against a blue sky

2. The temperature is warm enough to curl up with a book outside.

Two women resting on reclining benches and reading books

3. The birds are twittering about. Winking smile

A sculpture of a gigantic bird

4. Canoe paddlers are practicing on False Creek.

Long canoe paddlers

5. Snow is still atop the local mountains and only there.

False Creek in foreground with snowy tipped mountains in the background

6. My favourite part of spring: the blossoms!

Pink blossoms on a bush

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All Tied in Knots After a 4-Hour Workday: Making Time for Renewing an Old Hobby

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by at 9:01 pm on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One handicraft I learned way back in Brownies was macramé. I liked it because it was something I could do. I’d spend hours sitting on the living room floor, my project tied to the couch leg, knotting jute cord. Over the years I’ve macramed wall hangings, holders plant holders and such.

My last project was a door pull, long before I was married. The door pull eventually wore out a few years ago; I have been struggling with closing our front door since then.

I have kept my eyes open for more cord to make a new one, but, except for nylon clothesline cord that wasn’t very exciting, I could not find anything suitable. Does no one macramé any more?

Spool of purple cord and beads on bookshelfA year or more ago, Mom found nearly a full spool of purple cord and a package of wooden beads in her favourite thrift store. Purple, yes! Now we are talking.

But there it sat on my bookshelf, within view from my desk, taunting me. Tempting me to create something with it, something in my favourite colour. But I always had something else to do.

The spool sat on the shelf until well into February when I could take its taunting no longer. I googled the ratio needed for macramé cord length (my memory hadn’t failed me – the suggested ratio was still 7:1), turned off my computer after my four hours of work and got busy.

Knowing I wanted the final product to be, roughly, two feet long, I placed the exercise bike fourteen feet away from Darrell’s power wheelchair (here’s where having one-foot square parquet hardwood comes in handy), measured out four strands and cut. There was no turning back now.

Purple cord strung between exercise bike and wheelchair

Initially this middle-aged woman took a while to rediscover the neuron pathways created decades ago. At one point I had to remind myself that I was merely tying the reef knot, not developing a replacement for Google.

Once I found my groove, I couldn’t wait to finish my four-hour workday to get back to my macramé. With my computer shut down and my music on, I had no desire to check my email, hang out on Twitter or update my status on Facebook. I was content, happy, in the moment. . I even found myself totally loosing track of time, which hasn’t happened in eons.

Partially completed macreme displayed on table

The door pull is now complete and hanging on the door. It works great and looks pretty good too!

Purple door pull hanging on white front door

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Holiday Pay Doesn’t Exist When Self-Employed: Less-Effort Income Can Fill the Gap

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by at 6:19 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paula Lee Bright, Online Reading Teacher What do you do when a serious back injury leaves you unable to teach in the traditional classroom?

If you are Paula Lee Bright, you find another way to do what you love.

That spunk is what instantly connected me to her when we met at SOBCon (Succeeded Online Business Conference) in Portland last September.

Using various online tools online, Paula has created work for herself remotely tutoring kids who are struggling with reading to read; the kids who the regular school system dismisses as failures. She loves what she does.

Recently we chatted about working by the hour, creating less-effort-income streams and where to even start…

Paula: I am currently working only by the hour. My problem is that I love preparing for the hours I work, and I love the actual time implementing it with the kids.

Glenda: I love what you are doing and how you have created work for yourself after no longer being able to teach in the traditional sense. As Reverend Robert Schuller would say, you have definitely turned your scar into a star!

Paula: Now, in teaching my types of kids, prep is absolutely needed. But I’m so fascinated with my topic (kids who can’t read, or read badly) that it’s hard to tear myself away from the reading and preparing. There’s so much going on now in learning and teaching that there are new tools for me to check out every day!

Glenda: That is great you have found something you enjoy. So much happening in the field is definitely exciting and encouraging. My question is do you really need all of that time reading, preparing and checking out new tools daily? Could you spend even a fraction of that time on another task, such as product creation?

Paula: No, I don’t need to, although it does take hours a day, since every child is at a different time and place in their reading. I spend that much time because it’s my favorite thing to do! But, of course, I could work on something else. I know I could. Yet I don’t.

I know I need to create a passive income by writing a book on how to start a tutoring business online, writing a book for parents of struggling readers, or by creating a course about it. Yet none of those interest me. How can I gear myself up into wanting to do those things?

Glenda: Think of it this way, Paula…you are making money only when you are sitting at your computer with a child on the other end of Skype or whatever. Your income is limited by how many tutoring slots you fill. If you are having a bad pain day and can’t sit at your computer or laptop, you aren’t making an income. Or, if it’s a beautiful day and you want to go play outside, or if you want to attend a conference or go on a holiday with your family, you aren’t making money. Holiday pay doesn’t exist when you’re self-employed. Having several income streams makes financial sense and adds some stability.

Earning an income is the same as investing. You wouldn’t invest all of your money in one stock. Why invest all of your time in one income stream? It isn’t a sound business practice.

Paula: Glenda, can you believe that I have never, ever thought of it that way? You’re right.

Glenda: Start small. Rather than a book for parents, how about a booklet with reading tips and exercises parents can do with their kids and sell that for a few dollars?

Paula: You’re a genius. A booklet wouldn’t be hard at all. I think I could set up my main points in one sitting, since I know “my stuff”. And yes, I could use quite a few things that already exist.

Glenda: With all of your preparation work, do you already have content that could be repurposed into a sellable product? Perhaps by spending a couple of hours per week on it, you could have something to sell within a month or two. That would give you two potential income streams. Slowly grow from there.

Paula: That sounds so much easier than “writing a BOOK.” Yikes. No wonder I was too afraid to start. What got you going on the passive income?

Glenda: I know I have a limited energy level and I can output only so much typing with only my left thumb; that’s why I took a reduced course load in high school and in university, and why I implemented the 4-hour workday earlier this year (and am sticking to it). With that in mind, my potential per hour or per project income is restricted. There are only so many hours in a day.

Years ago, when flipping through a book entitled something like The Secrets of Millionaires, one short passage jumped off the page at me. Paraphrasing from memory:

Your time is finite. By selling your time, your potential income is limited. To get ahead, do not rely on selling your time.

Here is where creating a product once and then selling it repeatedly resonates with me. Many people call this “passive income”, but I consider that phrase a misnomer. Once the product is created, it still requires constant marketing; that is far from passive. I’d rather call this “less-effort-income”.

Paula: I don’t think that anyone who’s self-employed can earn money passively. You are absolutely right. We’re in charge of our own income, or in my case, lack of! But I can (maybe?) change that with just one small booklet to start. Wow!

Glenda: Exactly. Ideally, my income stream would be a combination of per hour or per project and less-effort-income so that I would be earning an income even when my energy is low or when I feel like playing hooky for a day or two. I don’t want to live the rest of me life constantly chained to my computer.

Do you have any more questions, Paula?

Paula: Right now, I feel pumped and ready to GO! Oh, wait. Where do I sell this booklet?

Glenda: It depends on the booklet and your audience. If the booklet is something buyers might print out to use, then sell it on your site using e-junkie and PayPal. If the booklet is more for reading, consider offering it on Amazon.

Paula: Thanks, Glenda. You are a constant inspiration to me. And to so many others. I’m so glad that you do what you do to reach so many.

Glenda: Thank you, Paula. All the best working with these precious young people

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Hey Doc, Where’s the Laughing Gas?

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:56 am on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The final chapter of the molar broke by an extra hard chocolate-covered coffee bean gets written on Friday. The ending is the one I was really hoping to avoid: extraction under general anaesthesia in hospital.

Since learning the date of this unhappy ending, I have been oscillating between Eckhart Tolle’s “being in the now” and Gary Zukav’s “allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling”.

Right now the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the radio is on and I am doing what I love – writing. Nothing else at this time matters.

In the next moment, I am thinking how hospitals are my least favourite place to be;  the lack of dignity, privacy and respect as an intelligent being leaves me feeling depleted and devalued. But what I am dreading most are the sensations of being put under: leaving my husband and Mom, the less than cozy warm operating room, the sight of torturous-looking equipment, the smell of the black rubber or clear plastic gas mask…in all of the times I have been put under, I’ve yet to encounter laughing gas in my mask, but rather a claustrophobic, uneasy, tingling, numbing sensation that I can not fight off. I succumb, hoping that I will wake up and without any further complications. The memories make me shudder and bring tears to my eyes, again.

I will be relieved when this molar’s final chapter is complete and I can get on with writing my next one.

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