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Monday, August 19, 2019

how to be instantly more attractive

Attraction and looks is obviously important when attracting a significant other, but I totally believe there's so much more that can help attract the right person or people into your life. Here's what I've learned based on my experience: 

smile
A genuine smile can literally light up a room. We’ve become a generation of people who have normalized the “resting bitch face.” And yeah, maybe you do have a rbf…but think about it, when you’re out somewhere.. are you ever attracted to a guy/girl that looks miserable, bitchy or angry? Hell to the no! I think when you’re generally happy and having fun, a smile comes naturally…and if it doesn’t, well think of something else that will make you smile and let it show. Someone who looks happy, friendly and approachable is instantly more attractive. 

sense of humor 
OMG—this is a top 5 for me! A guy who can make me laugh is 100x more attractive in my eyes than a guy who doesn’t. I have a guy friend who I don’t see a lot, but every time I do, he literally has me laughing out loud the whole night. I always leave him feeling so happy and lighthearted. Sense of humor is SO key—it shows that you’re fun and that you don’t take life too seriously. 

confidence confidence confidence 
This might be my #1 trait I notice in guy. Confidence is so sexy to me. Confidence (without cockiness) is how you sell yourself. When someone can show up and be who they are, own it, and exude an energy of, “I’m comfortable with me,” —that more than anything is so attractive. Someone with body confidence, good posture, a strong handshake, and just an all around good vibe helps too. Confident people are a breath of fresh air—a demeanor of coolness, an easy to be with vibe, an “I know I’m not perfect but that’s okay” kind of attitude. Confident people have an air of self-assurance that’s just attractive AF. 

a grateful stance in life 
This one has become more evident to me the older I’ve gotten, but someone who has a grateful stance on where they’re at in life is super attractive. This goes for any age, but especially your 20’s when things are confusing AF and you’re trying to figure things out and you may or may not be where you want to be, but if I meet someone and they’re okay and content with where they’re at while trying/working to get to where they want to go… totally attractive. Also, someone who realizes and appreciates the little things in life. Entitlement is the quickest way to have most people running in the opposite direction. Gratitude is everything. Living and loving life for the simple things = ultimate attraction. 

positivity 
Looking at life through an optimistic view is way way waaaaaay more attractive than a pessimistic view. Someone with a bright and positive attitude is completely magnetic in my eyes. Someone with an upbeat “it’ll all work out,” kind of attitude is my kind of person. My dad and I love businessman Grant Cardone’s, “No Negativity,” saying that he stickers on his private jet. Negativity is draining. Positivity is enlightening and so attractive. 

smell good 
Literally had this discussion with my close guy friends a few weeks ago. We were pregaming before getting ready to go out and I saw one of their cologne’s sitting out. I sprayed all of them with a quick spritz of cologne and they were all like, “Lauraaaaaaa!” And I said, trust me…girls notice! And we do. As I’m sure guys do with girls as well. When someone smells good, you notice. It makes you want to linger around them a little longer. 

be present 
Unfortunately, this is something to be mentioned nowadays with the distraction that comes from our damn cell phones. Whether you’re out at the bar, on a date, hanging out with your friends…put your friggin’ cell phone down. This is actually one of my BIGGEST pet peeves in the world. When I’m out with a group of friends at a bar and someone is on their cellphone the entire time texting/calling/snapchatting whoever is NOT with us… I find that 1) annoying AF but more 2) disrespectful AF. I’m an old fashioned gal and if I could go back to the days before cellphones I would in a heartbeat, not going to lie. Focus on the company you’re with. 

be a good conversationist  
Being able to carry a good, engaging conversation about literally whatever is so much more attractive than not being able to communicate at all. I once went out on a date with a guy who talked about himself the ENTIRE time. Don’t be that person. Talk about something that you both, or the group, can add to. Communication in friendships + love relationships is so key. 

be passionate about something 
Passion is something you love. Being passionate about something and sharing it with the world shows that you know what makes you feel good, what makes you feel happy, and what lights up your life. Passion is addictive and contagious. When I listen to someone talk about something they love with enthusiasm and excitement, it gets me just as excited for them as it does for me, even if I have absolutely no interest in what they like to do. That’s exactly what makes someone having a passion so attractive—doing it and loving it so much even if it doesn’t make sense to someone else. 

be fun 
One of my favorite qualities about a guy I once dated was his spontaneity to literally do and plan whatever. One weekend we’d be at a dive bar playing shuffleboard and darts, the next we were at a luxury hotel in another state. Someone who can be down with whatever is so attractive. When someone says, “Hey, you want to go out on the boat?” and without hesitation someone says back, “What can I bring?” THAT is attractive. That no questions asked, doesn’t matter who’s going to be there, I’m down for a good time kind of vibe. Those are honestly my favorite kind of people. Someone who is fun and easy to be with. 

vulnerability 
I saved this one for last because it’s one that’s more easier said than done, no doubt. Vulnerability can be hard. Women tend to be more openly vulnerable than men. Men, it comes…with time. However, vulnerability is incredibly sexy, attractive and badass. I used to be scared of vulnerability because people can be judgy AF! However, what good does it do to hide yourself from the world and from people who may potentially love you? I’m a deep person—a deep thinker, a deep conversationalist... I don’t do well with the shallow shit. Being vulnerable has literally changed my life, and when I meet someone that can return the same to me (without judging), it’s incredibly attractive. 

I hope my perspective inspired you and made you realize you're way more attractive than you thought you were. 

All my love. XOXO

Keep on keepin' on
XX,Laura 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

greece 2k19

This past month, I took a trip to Greece and it ended up changing my life. 

Let’s rewind back to March when I initially planned this trip through a group travel company for “young professionals.” It was a travel company for people aged 25-40. I have always always always wanted to go to Greece and felt like it was a good time in my life to just do it. I also love having things to look forward to. Not to mention, I love meeting new people, so I figured what better way to meet people my age that like to travel than to go on vacation with them? 

Friday, July 12th, (after a 4 hour delay and 2 glasses of wine) I took off from the United States and landed the next morning in Athens, Greece. This was my first time overseas completely by myself. Landing in a foreign airport is always a little stressful, as the first language is not your own, but you typically figure things out by following the herd of other Americans. 

I had to somehow get myself from the airport to the ferry port to meet my group in another part of the city. I grabbed a cab and gave him the address. The first question I get asked sitting in the cab was, “Do you have husband?” I was jet lagged but smart enough to answer with, “No, but my parents are waiting for me at the ferry” (They weren’t…but when traveling alone, never act like you’re alone). The ride started off with a lot of questions about my love life, but ended up being one of the most insightful cab rides of my whole life. An early 50-something year old Greek man who left his long term wife thinking the grass was greener on the other side. Turns out, it wasn’t for him. He ended up missing the love of his life for flings that came and went out of his life. However, from this, he told me, “Fall in love with as many people as you can while you’re here on this earth, because love is the only thing that matters.” We had a long conversation about love and relationships, but we also talked about life… he told me, “The days are long, but the years are short…don’t let them pass you by.” It was like the best 45 minute car ride of my life.

I finally met up with my group in 90+ degree heat, and at this point mind you, I’m still in the same dress and makeup I put on over 18 hours ago. Can you say, woooooof. Any who, met the group and boarded the ferry like a herd of sheep with 100+ other people while sweat was literally dripping down my back. You leave your luggage in the bottom of the ferry totally free and open with everybody else’s with hopes that the people that get off before you don’t steal it. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, it’s a total trust system. The 4 hour ferry from Athens to the island of Milos was long, but I got to know some of the people in my group pretty well. Fast forward those 4 hours later, we arrive in Milos and check into our hotel. 

I had dinner (paid for within my group travel price) with my “young professionals” group that night at a local family style restaurant on Milos. Now, this trip wasn’t overly expensive, but it wasn’t cheap either. It was a group of mainly girls (12-15) and 2 guys. At dinner, it was a group decision on what to order for wine—the group vote ended up being a sweet ass white wine (woof) when all I wanted after a 24 hour travel day with no sleep was a nice glass of cab. Following the wine at dinner, I quickly got a sense of the vibe, the conversation, what everyone was looking for out of the trip… and I immediately felt like I didn’t fit and knew I wouldn’t last 10 days doing this. 

So, without consulting anyone, I rebooked all of my plans, my hotels, my flights, my ferries, everything, to go off and explore Greece by myself. Obviously, I called my parents and filled them in so, God forbid, anything happened they knew where I was. My mom knows me so well, she knows I will do what I want regardless, but she said, “I trust you, Laura.” But, my dad being a dad was like “Ughhh, Laura….going off on your own…hmmm…I don’t know about this.” And I told him, I had never been more sure of anything in my life. And I meant it.

The next morning, I hired a private tour guide to show me around the island of Milos. Not only was he my age, but he was sooooo cute. It was just him and I, and we spent the whole day together—oh baby! Haha just kidding, kind of. Anyway, he was so incredibly knowledgeable of the whole island. He took me to the most amazing spots around the island— Cyclades, The Catacombs of Milos, Klima, Sarakiniko Beach (Magical—OMG!!), Plaka (a fisherman’s town where I insisted we had lunch together—greek salad for me, fresh calamari for him). There’s no other way to describe it than simply amazing. Not only did my tour guide show and tell me about the island, we talked so deeply about life and relationships. It was so refreshing and insightful. He taught me a different perspective on men and how they view women—it was not what I expected, but in a good way. He dropped me back off at my hotel and I hated to say goodbye to him. I actually had the hotel owner phone him to come back (after 3 glasses of rosé at lunch—so embarrassing!) just so I could tell him what an impact he had on my life that day. He kissed my cheek and asked me out for a drink, but I was leaving early the next morning. That day, that guy…it was truly one of the best days of my life. I still think about him from time to time.

The next morning I was off to Santorini— which would in turn, turn out to be one of my favorite places in the whole world — Wow! Santorini, truly a dream! I stayed at the Rocabella Santorini Hotel and Spa. I got a deal on TripAdvisor and literally lived the dream while I was there. It was a beautiful resort with first class service. It was truly amazing. I explored Santorini a bit the first day on my own and then lounged by the pool. The next day, I hired a private tour guide again and it was SO worth it. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Alone again with a male tour guide (living my parent’s dream..lol), this one was a bit older—later 30’s, early 40’s. Once again, had one of the best days of my life with him. Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegan Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, hence how it got it’s curved island shape. He brought me all around Santorini— however, we spent the most time in the city of Oía, Santorini. Oía is the picture everyone has in their heads when they think of Greece—the white buildings with bright blue, colorful doors. Truly amazing. I did a little shopping while we were there, as he patiently waited outside for me. 

After Oía, we took off for a wine tasting at a family owned and operated well known Greek winery— Hatzidakis Winery. The winery is literally in an underground cave with stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, the whole unique shabang. My tour guide was a level 3 sommelier (he humbly told me when we got to the winery, like NBD) so he did the wine tasting with me (then spit it out into a bucket b/c he was my driver lol). I love learning about wine in general, but because it was just him and I, I was able to learn sooooo much from him! I ended up buying one white and one red to take home with me. After we left the winery (him sober, me kinda really buzzed), we went to the “black beaches” of Santorini, also known as the Perissa Beach—all black sand and black pebbles—one of the longest and most famous beaches in Santorini. Also lined with bars after bars, aka party vibes. 

One night in Santorini, I was having dinner at the restaurant in my hotel. There were 4 other guys about my age that came in and sat at the table next to me. They were kind of looking at me and I was kind of looking at them…and by chance, our waitress was trying to set us up to meet each other-Haha! Long story short, we ended up going out together in Santorini that night to some high end night club. They ordered bottle service and the rest was history. The boys were such gentleman, all born and raised in NYC and now work on Wall Street. I was totally taking a chance going out in a foreign country with a ratio of 4 guys to 1 girl (every dad’s worst nightmare), but it ended up being one of the best nights of my life. Sometimes you just have to trust your instinct and go for it. 

The next morning (hungover AF, mind you), I boarded a ferry in Santorini that took me back to Athens and I spent my last few nights there. I stayed at the King George hotel which I also got a deal on thanks to Travelocity. I’m the queen of finding luxe for less—a secret talent of mine. The hotel is also known for their rooftop restaurant, Tudor Hall, that overlooks the stunningly famous Acropolis. I think I had the best meal of my whole trip here. It was the perfect ending to my trip. 

I ended my trip earlier than expected due to changing plans and spending way more $$ than intended, but it was soooooo worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I will never ever regret money spent on travel.

Greece is BY FAR my favorite place I’ve ever visited. It totally knocked Italy off my #1 spot. 

My favorite things about Greece:

—The weather! It’s hot AF in the summer, but the blue skies and sunshine are so worth it. 

—The food! OMG I literally ate a Greek salad everyday—to die for. Aside from that, everything was so so fresh, especially the seafood. Not to mention, the olives, capers, and tomatoes are all grown locally and out of this world. 

—The people! Greek people are a different kind of breed. I’ve been to a few different countries in Europe, and personally, I found Greek people to be the friendliest, most appreciative, helpful, and happiest. Not to mention, they’re total romantics—OMG! I got asked out 3 times while I was in Greece (totally flattering) and all of them were so sincere, sweet, and complimentary…but I obviously knew and kept in mind I was an American girl by herself, like helloooo common sense.  

—The vibe! It’s hard to describe, but the vibe in Greece (at least the summer vibe) was so fresh and fun. 

What I learned from this trip: 

—I know exactly who I am and I don’t f*ck around or waste my time (or feel bad about it). 
-Case in point ditching my group travel. 

—Everyone, including myself, is truly looking for the same thing out of life: true love.

—Don’t try to be classy and spit olive pits into your napkin. You look like a buffoon, Laura.  Use your hands and take them out of your mouth and put them on your plate. 

—Traveling solo, you can be whoever the f*ck you want. Nobody knows where you’re from, what your background is, what your situation is…they know you for you in that moment. Liberating AF!

—You're young and free and it feels f*cking amazing. 

—You learn what you like and what you don’t like. Hence, me ditching my “young professionals” travel group. I wouldn’t have known that that wasn’t for me, had I not tried it. You live and you learn. 

—You make friends WAY faster overseas than you would at home. I don’t know if it’s the vibe, or being out of your normal element, but everyone wants to be friends when they’re traveling. 

—You don’t need to pack as much as you think you do. 
Side note: I say this now, but will probably overpack again on my next trip. 

—You don’t need another glass of wine, but you won’t regret it…because you’re in f*cking Greece! 

—Street smarts, baby. I kind of have a “baby face,” that can come across as very friendly (which I am), but when you’re in another country alone, there’s no time for mixed signals. Honestly, I walked around like a bad ass bitch, not because I think I’m cool—I’m definitely not (lol), but because I didn’t want to be a target for someone to take advantage of me. I hate to sound cold, but shit does happen to people, and you have to think that way and protect yourself the best you can. 

Lastly, the most important and meaningful takeaway from this trip:

—Problems at home don’t seem so big anymore because there’s a whole other world out there. Never forget that, Laura. 

If you made it through this long blog, WOW good for you, the real MVP. Honestly, I could have kept going with details. It was the TIME OF MY LIFE. I honestly came home feeling like a completely different person. 

 Also—if you read this, book a trip to Greece, ASAP.

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

final takeaways from 25

25—what a weird age. Halfway to 30, but feeling so far away from 20. 

I turn 26 years old today and I’ve spent some time these past few days reflecting back on my 25th year. 25, for me, was the most challenging year of my life. However, it was also the most rewarding. 

Final takeaways from 25:
  1. If you want to feel like you’re worthy, you have to act like it.
  2. There is no healthier drug than creativity. 
  3. You’re not intimidating. They’re intimidated. There’s a big difference.
  4. Happy people don’t hate.
  5. 3 ride-or-die, trustworthy friends > 30 acquaintances 
  6. Bigger hoops + higher heels.
  7. Listen more, talk less.
  8. You’re unhappy because you’re not in alignment with who you are. Not because of what anyone else is doing.
  9. Say yikes and move on. 
  10. 99 problems. 99,000 blessings.
  11. Don’t settle. Wait for the real deal. 
  12. Don’t be afraid to be the full package. 
  13. You are exactly where you need to be.
  14. Be the attitude you want to be around.
  15. Bad vibes don’t go with cute outfits. 
  16. The sun doesn’t care if it blinds you. Don’t be afraid to shine.
  17. “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” —Brené Brown
  18. Be enough for yourself first.
  19. Don’t seek validation from people who aren’t even valid. 
  20. You will never be too much for someone who can’t get enough of you.
  21. Respect > Attention
  22. You can’t buy love, but you can buy wine. 
  23. Be obsessively grateful.
  24. No grit. No pearl. 
  25. Speak your truth.
I’d Rather Be Anything But Vanilla 
Although the majority of people tend to like vanilla flavored anything, vanilla is pretty, shall we say, basic?! Maybe a little boring. Maybe even a little blah?! Vanilla doesn’t have the pizzazz that rocky road or chocolate chip cookie dough has. They’ve got a little extra sumthin sumthin to them. I use to try and be the vanilla girl, to hide all my extra add in’s and toppings (lol). I wanted to appeal to everyone, try not to be disliked. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that vanilla ain’t shit. It’s really everything you add into ice cream that makes a flavor stand out. I would 100% rather go out and be a girl that someone says, “OMG I LOVE HER,” or, “OMG I CAN’T STAND HER,” than be a girl described as, “She’s nice.” Talk about a snooze fest. I think this has definitely come with age, but it’s been one of the most profound and life changing things to happen to me this year—to go out into the world and be my own crazy flavor.

Be Humble but Don’t Hide 
I thank the Lord that my parents raised my sister and I to be humble human beings. However, in the past I was almost overly humble that I kind of devalued myself. I kid you not, when I was younger I use to straight up lie about things in my life just so I could fit in. It was a learned behavior for me. As soon as someone found out too much about my life, they would look at me differently. So, I coped by lying and downplaying anything that I thought might make people uncomfortable. I look back and feel sad for that girl that she felt like she had to hide who she was. To fit in with who? and for what? I’ve now learned that it’s not my job to protect someone else’s ego. Being humble has nothing to do with being lesser than or shrinking yourself or your life to “not make others feel uncomfortable,” but being so content and at peace that you don’t feel the need to hide who you are or prove your worthiness to anything or anyone. 

Growth is Uncomfortable AF… but so worth it 
This is something that no one really ever talks about. The price you pay for growth isn’t all happy and fun. It’s hard f*cking work. It’s lonely, it’s isolating, it’s confusing. My friends joke that I have a tendency to disappear come wintertime. For the past 3-4 years, I kind of have. I hate using the term “lost” but I kind of was. I didn’t know what or who was true in my life anymore, or where I was suppose to be, or what I was suppose to be doing. More than once, I felt like I was completely losing my sh*t. So, the past few years I spent some serious time soul searching and deep diving into who I am. It was painful AF at times, not going to lie. When you really take the time to look at who you are—your faults, your dark side, your childhood, your upbringing, your relationships, traumatic things that happened to you, etc…it’s deep and it’s dark. But once you acknowledge all of that, own it, work through it, and heal… the other side is so damn worth it. Hands down, the best and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself.

Travel
Near, far, across the country, to a different continent…travel, anywhere. It keeps you curious about life and gives you something to look forward to. The places you go, the people you meet, the food you eat, the wine you drink… there is nothing in the world like it. Traveling opens your mind, inspires you, gives you new perspectives, and leaves you wanting for more. Travel is theeee most important luxury to me.

Judging Ain’t My Style
People have a lot to say about lives they’ve never lived. There’s some gurus out there that will tell you that it’s natural to “judge,” and I’m not saying they’re wrong…but I’m saying that I don’t believe it does anyone any good. Life is hard AF. We all come from such different backgrounds, situations, heartaches, etc. We were all raised differently, we all think differently. We were all put here on this earth, for whatever reason, with whatever circumstances were given to us…and we’re all just out here living, doing the best we can. Anyone who thinks they know best is full of sh*t. Nobody has all the answers, except maybe God. Everyone is on their own journey, let them experience it, let them figure it out. You truly never know what’s going on in someone’s inner world. We all sin differently, make mistakes differently, learn differently, live differently, love differently. The differences are what makes life so damn cool. 

You Do You and Imma Do Me
Following the above statement, I definitely use to be more of a judger than I am now. Not going to lie, I use to hardcore judge the girls that wedge their bikini bottoms so high up their ass and then turn around to “get a pic for the gram.” But I mean, honestly… I got to thinking, if that TRULY makes them feel good, what does it matter to me if they shove their bikini bottoms up their ass crack for a couple of likes on Instagram? Does that impact me? Does that affect my life? Obviously, not—not in the slightest. So WTF do I care for? What am I wasting my time thinking about their wedgie pic for? I’m sure there’s people out there that are like OMG, Laura…another dog pic? Another quote? Another food pic? It’s much easier to go through life allowing and accepting people to do whatever they want. Different strokes for different folks. 

You + You = Greatest Relationship You’ll Ever Have 
When people ask me what’s changed my life the most, it’s truly been by spending time alone and falling in love with myself (I know that sounds corny AF). I was deeply insecure when I was younger and never really knew it. Even in long term relationships with men who loved me, I never felt like I was enough. I always felt pressure (in my own mind) to be everything I thought they wanted me to be, instead of just being who I was. Following the above point, spending time with me, myself, and I over these past few years has made ALL the difference. A trip out west followed by a ski season in Park City, UT was really the turning point for me. Everyone thought I was living the dream in Park City, which I most definitely was, but I was there completely alone. If you’ve ever moved somewhere where you know absolutely no one, you know how lonely that can be. Like, PAINFULLY lonely. That was a growing season for me, for sure, baby. Ever since that winter, I’m no longer afraid to be alone. I’m completely okay with it because I truly learned to love my own company. I say with complete humility that I really like who I am now. I know the amount of time and work I've put in trying to better myself and become a better human being. No way am I even close to the girl that I was a few years ago. And I’ll tell you what, after you learn to love yourself and your life, your taste in the company you keep will change as well. 

Sexy is Being A Good Woman/Man 
In my humble little opinion, I think in today’s society, being a good woman or a good man is SO undervalued, overlooked, and underrated. I think sometimes we get so focused on the superficial shit and being the best and being the baddest..when really, just being a good, classic, wholesome, down to earth, kind person is what’s really sexy.

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them 
When I think back on people and relationships I’ve had in my life, I tend to have this bad habit of overlooking how they first act, their reputation or what they share with me. I like to think, “They only act this way because of this,” or “Oh no, they definitely meant what they said.” I’m a “but you don’t see what I see in them,” kind of gal. I ignore the, “Laura, you really shouldn’t waste your time,” or “Laura, they’re not a good person.” I honestly can’t help it. I choose to see the good in people. However, I learned from a good friend of mine that when people show you who they are, believe them the first time. People will show, and sometimes tell, you point blank. Don’t try to twist and turn and figure out what you think they might have meant. When people show you who they are, believe them. 

Roots Will Always Be Tangled
As we grow and change through life, I think it’s only natural that the people and places in our lives inevitably change as well. One of my favorite Nicholas Sparks quotes states, “I think it happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.” That’s the beautiful thing about life—that history can’t be changed. Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time, you grew side by side together. Your roots will always be tangled. 

Getting A Pet Truly Does Change Your Life
This past Christmas, I got myself a miniature golden doodle puppy named, Peanut. It was actually more my parents’ idea than it was mine. I was in no way, shape, or form ready for a dog. Like, at all… but my baby boy, Peanut, ended up being a nice little spontaneous Christmas surprise. Holy hell, does a puppy turn your world upside down!! My life went from cool, calm, collected and CLEAN—to lots of pee, poop, and patience. Waaaaay more work than anticipated, but so so worth it. He is the little love of my life. He’s brought me more love, laughs, joy and comfort than I could have ever imagined. He is my constant companion. 

Looking back, 25 ended up being one of the best years of my life for many reasons, but mainly because it shaped me into a better woman. I appreciate where I'm at right now. I have never felt more self-assured, secure, and unafraid to be myself than I do now. I'm excited for this next half of my twenties and all of the uncertainty and new chapters to come with. 

25- thank u, next. Here's to 26.
XOXO, Laura

Thursday, June 20, 2019

what i've learned about entrepreneurship from my dad

I am absolutely and completely obsessed with self-improvement, business, success and entrepreneurship. I love reading books, website articles, listening to podcasts, or watching YouTube videos… anything that has to do with a great success story.  


However, my greatest inspiration has always been, and always will be…my dad.


 My dad is a self-made entrepreneur and businessman. For all intents and purposes, he came from nothing. He started his business from the ground up completely by himself almost 30 years ago. He’s had this business since I was a baby—so I’ve seen, heard, and watched the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, and the reality of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Here is what I’ve learned from watching my dad:


 + You Don’t Have to Be a Rocket Scientist

Many people would be surprised to know that my dad barely made it out of high school. In fact, many people assumed he would never amount to much. He didn’t go to college and has no other formal education besides a basic high school diploma. What he did have though was ambition, drive, a strong work ethic, focus, dedication, a good gut instinct and common sense. You don't need to be a braniac, but you do need to be willing to work.


+ There Will Always Be Another Party

This is something my dad has always said to my sister and I. He was told this by his mother when he was a kid. The gist behind this is that anything you want in life is going to require sacrifice. When my dad first started out in his early twenties, he didn’t have much of a life besides work. From dawn till dusk, he was working. He missed parties, birthdays, nights at the bar, etc.. because he was working. Throughout my own journey, I’ve learned to switch my mindset from “I’m missing out” to “look at what I’m trying to gain.” Success requires sacrifice, and sometimes you will miss out, but there will always be another party.


+ Entrepreneurship is a Lifestyle 


Growing up, I always remember my dad being up at 5 am and out the door no later than 6:30-7. He would return home almost 12 hours later to eat dinner with my mom, sister and I. Fast forward 20 years later and not much has changed, except now we have advanced technology. My dad’s phone is ALWAYS on—answering phone calls and texts. As well as checking, sending and receiving emails. There’s been birthdays, holidays, even Christmas morning when my dad has had to take emergency phone calls or jump in his truck and head into the office. Entrepreneurship requires you to be “on” most of the time.  There is always interrupted sleep, continuous stress and a huge weight of responsibility on your shoulders 24/7. Just because the day ends, doesn’t mean the work stops. 


+ Pay Attention

This is probably one of things I admire most about my dad—his dedication, commitment and loyalty he has always had to his business. It’s taken him almost 25 years to be okay with leaving his business for a week, or taking an afternoon off in the summer. However, I think it’s been a huge reason for his success—he pays attention. He knows absolutely everything that goes in and out of his office, he opens every piece of mail and knows the statistics and numbers behind his business like the back of his hand. Almost always has my dad chosen being in the office over attending a golf tournament or a business lunch. He’s the first one to arrive in the morning and the last one to leave. 


+ Willingness to Take Intelligent Risks and Make Quick Decisions 


Entrepreneurship involves taking risks, there’s no doubt about that (I mean, starting your own business is a risk in itself)…but my dad has always been great about taking intelligent risks. He has never thrown himself into a project just for the thrill of it. He identifies the outcome he’s looking for, calculates the logistics, actions, and timeframe, executes a plan, then gets going. He is also a strong, smart and quick decision maker. He does not waste time going back and forth about a decision. He’s more of a, “if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it now,” type of person. In his eyes, time is money and it shouldn’t be wasted.
  


+ Perseverance and Time


I’m sure many of you have seen the “Success Iceberg” on the internet. It’s a picture about success that shows a small visible part of an iceberg sticking out of the water representing “what people see,” versus the huge other half under the water of “what really happens.” The part of the iceberg under the water represents the part of success that nobody sees: the failure, the setbacks, the naysayers, doubts, hard work, more hard work, more failures, sacrifices, risks, late nights, early mornings, courage, persistence and action. This is also the half of the iceberg that people talk about the least. I have heard my whole life people say that my dad got “lucky.” However, luck only comes to those who have paid their dues. It took my dad many years and a whole lot of patience and perseverance to get where he is today. Quitting was never an option. I learned from my dad that more often than not, the only difference between those that succeed and those who don’t… is that the successful never give up.



+ The Importance of Teamwork 



This is something I didn’t really notice until I got older, but when you are the boss/owner/CEO of a company, you are responsible for the livelihood of so many people. Not only does your family depend on you, but your employees count on you. They count on you for a job, they count on you for income, they count on you for leadership, they count on you for instruction. It’s a lot of pressure but also kind of a neat dynamic—the boss depends on the employees, but the employees also depend on the boss. There is no one without the other.  My dad has always emphasized the importance of being a team and working together. Morale, communication, appreciation and sense of support is so important when it comes to running a successful business. It’s true what they say, teamwork makes the dream work. 


+ You Have to be Willing to be Mocked, Hated, and Misunderstood


There’s a lot of people who love and admire my dad (like myself), but there’s also a lot of people who strongly dislike him. Unfortunately, criticism and hate are two major things that come when running your own business. When you’re first starting out, there will be people who won’t believe in you. As you gain momentum, there will be people waiting for you to fail. And when you’ve made it, they still won’t be happy for you. However, I’ve learned from my dad that haters are one of your greatest assets. Haters should be used as fuel to take you to the next level. 


What I’ve learned  the most from watching my dad on his entrepreneurship journey is that, it’s not easy.  It’s hard as sh* t and it’s not for everybody. Owning your own business is stressful, time consuming, and a hell of a lot of responsibility. However, the outcome and satisfaction of watching a vision come together is priceless. 


Dedicated to my dad, who dreamed it then real life’d it.
XX, Laura 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

energies

Everything around us is made up of energy. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred or changed. You are responsible for the energy you bring to the world, the energy you give off to others, and the energy you receive in return.

Here’s what I’ve learned about attracting the right kind of energy into your life:

Realize that energy is contagious. Whatever you surround yourself with, positive or negative, is what you will become. Your environment influences your mindset.

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Hang out with like-minded people who make you feel alive— people who have dreams, desires, goals and ambition. I believe enthusiasm and passion are two of the most attractive qualities a person can have.These people will subconsciously motivate and encourage you to follow and pursue your own aspirations.

“There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So never apologize for your enthusiasm.”

Your vibe attracts your tribe. You can’t complain and be miserable and expect to attract positive and happy people into your life. You have to be the exact energy you want to attract.

“Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters, the game shakers. They challenge you, break you open, uplift + expand you. They don't let you play small with your life. These heartbeats are your people. These people are your tribe.”

Where focus goes, energy flows. Wherever your focus is directed, that’s where your energy will go. What you think about expands, so keep your thoughts happy, positive and powerful.

Be the light. Matthew 5:14–16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

expectation vs reality – life in your mid-twenties

I remember daydreaming back in high school about who I was going to be once I got into my twenties. I had my whole life planned out in my head. When you’re 17 years old, 25 seems like a lifetime away. They say God laughs when you make plans, and now that I’m older, I’m laughing too. 

When you’re a kid, adulthood looks so appealing. I thought that your twenties was full of glitz, glam & good times. And don’t get me wrong, your twenties are certainly fun…but my expectations vs. reality ended up being a little different.

I had this conversation with someone recently about them feeling the need to “have it all figured out” by now. That’s actually what inspired this post. 

I like to think that your twenties are a lot like the theme song from Friends, “See no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke and your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear and it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year.” 



Expectation vs Reality of my life:

Getting Married

Expectation:  Married at 23

Reality: I can’t even fathom being married right now, let alone being married at 23!! 23 seemed so much older when I younger. I don’t know why I wanted or expected to be married in my early twenties, but that sure as hell didn’t happen. Thankfully, during my late teens and early twenties I’ve dated some really great guys. I always say that I could have easily married all of my ex boyfriends—meaning they were all good experiences, just not the right fit for the long term. My mom always told me how important dating was when I was a kid and she was so right. You learn so much about yourself and what you want through relationships. You grow. You evolve. What I wanted at 18 years old and what I want now, are two completely different things. I hope to be married by 30, but I’m truly in no rush. Forever is a long time and I want to be sure that I do it right the first time around. Besides, I’m having more fun now, dating in my mid-twenties, than I’ve ever had before. I also have this gut feeling I’m going to be the type who meets the man of her dreams and is engaged within 6 months (lol). Time will tell.

Kids

Expectation: At least 1-2 kids by age 25

Reality: Following my above vision of marriage at 23… I for sure thought I’d have at least 1 or 2 kids by the age of 25 (like what!?). I always envisioned myself being the young, hip mom at school. The closest I am to that right now is being a young, hip, dog mom picking up my mini golden doodle at doggy daycare. I bought a puppy this past Christmas and it was like having a furry teething infant running around that poops and pees but doesn’t wear a diaper. Let’s just say puppies are WAY more work than I remembered. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed her freedom and ability to “get up and go,” getting a dog was a big (but good) change for me. I love my little dood (he’s the best thing that ever happened to me), but it made me realize that I am A-OK without kids for a few more years.


Finances

Expectation: Buying clothes, traveling the world & balling big

Reality: When I was younger, I really didn’t think too much about long term finances. I’ve always been great about paying my bills but any extra money leftover always went straight to clothes and shoes. I loved clothes and still do, but I’m MUCH more mindful about my purchases. I also want to be in a great place financially when the above (marriage & babies) come along. I'd like to think that I've matured in my financial thinking (is that a thing?). I actually taught myself a lot about money and finances through reading books and articles online. One sentence that changed my life a few years ago was, “Just because you can pay for it, doesn’t mean you can afford it.” That line has saved me big time and always makes me think twice. I’ll always love clothes and shoes, but I’d much rather be on time with all of my bills, have money put away for my future and spend any extra money on travel and experiences.

Career

Expectation: To have it figured out by now

Reality: Reality is, I still don’t have it figured out (does anybody!?). When I was in high school, I wanted to be a fashion designer. In college, I started studying exercise science. At 24, I wanted to be a professional ski bum (lol). And in between all of that, I’ve worked in our family business (real estate). As you can see, I’ve bounced around quite a bit trying different things. I’ve loved some of the jobs and loathed some of the others. Although I might not have a “set” career (aka something that I know I’m going to stick with forever), I certainly know what’s important to me in a job. I need to be hands on, I need to be inspired and I need to be able to express my creativity. Something I would have not known had I not tried different things. I’ve learned that if you can’t find something to do that you love, try to find something that you don’t hate.

I've heard it said a time or two that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. 
I think your twenties are just that. So if you're feeling like you've gone down every other path than the one you had planned...don't worry, you're certainly not alone. 

Keep on keepin' on
XX, Laura