Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Addition by Subtraction Edition

(Can’t see the video? Then try watching it at Work Happy Now – The Hard, The Fun and The Beautiful – God Hugging Butterflies Edition)

Where we are free to talk about the hard, the fun, and the beautiful of our work week.

Encouraging myself has been the theme of the week. I was raised to be a butt kicker and I know this isn’t a good approach. If I’m not accomplishing as much as I should, I get very angry at myself.

Just last week I was upset that I hadn’t yet earned any money from selling products. I know I don’t have any products to sell, but that’s been a weakness I’m looking to improve on.

I’ve been working so hard on building content, connections, and an audience, yet I’ve done a poor job of creating product revenue from this online venture. I’m guessing most bloggers feel this way.

We have all read about other bloggers making $12,000 from an ebook or $100,000 + from a membership site. We look at ourselves and think we can do that, but then we wonder why it hasn’t happened yet.

I’m making plans to change this. 2010 is the year of Work Happy Now products. I want to create more value for you and I know I can do that if I’m generating money from selling products that I create.

Enough about my business woes.

Let’s get started…


Creating a business out of Work Happy Now.

It’s not an easy thing to do.

Many American companies still don’t equate happy employees with a better business. It’s a shame. My cold calling to organizations around Austin has been a tougher sell than I thought.

I know creating a business isn’t easy, let alone a business that isn’t normal.

That’s where the fun comes in. I’m ahead of the curve. You’ll see. When companies realize their employees emotional well-being is connected to their bottom line, I will have my choice of which businesses I choose to help.


Chance for snow.

Last Friday there was a chance for snow. Living in Texas this doesn’t happen very often, so when it does there is an energy in the air that puts a bounce in people’s conversations.

Everyone wants to talk about it. So small talk is easy.

When I can have a cool conversation with the grocery check out lady about how she will take her kids out sledding (if it does snow), that’s good stuff. Because that twinkle in the grocery lady’s eye doesn’t come very often.


No mosquitoes.

Many of you can’t fathom mosquitoes in the winter, but here in Texas they have come out in full force. With all the rain we’ve been having they’ve been eating us up.

Addition by subtraction. The less mosquitoes there are in the air, the happier I am.

What about you?

What has been hard, fun and beautiful in your life? I’ll see you in the comment section.

*Are you on Twitter? Then check me out at @workhappynow. I give stress relief tips, happiness ideas, and thought provoking quotes.

* Lance always has a thought provoking post over at his blog Jungle of Life. One of my recent favorites is Frank and Me: A Legacy of Mentoring. He is giving away a book to one lucky commenter, so leave a comment and put in a prayer. Hopefully you win.

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15 thoughts on “Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Addition by Subtraction Edition”

  1. Karl,
    I’m not sure if you are familiar with Chris Brogans’ “Overnight Success” series. If you’re not, it’s worth a look on his website. Really some great points about how he has been successful – someone like him who looks like he is doing really well – it still takes a lot of work to make it happen. Well worth watching these short videos he has put together.

    You are doing well, Karl. Part of this is all about building up your tribe, and making meaningful connections that are win-win. I know you are doing this…

    Hard: A telephone call to Microsoft that should have been a five minute call. Six transfers, before I’m told they’ll have to call me back the next day. Day 2: Another hour on the phone, before we do the 2 minute fix. Two hours on the phone, for a 2 minute fix (just to register a piece of software). Hmmm…maybe it’s time to think differently…

    Fun: A telephone call with a friend. Always, always a fun call!

    Beautiful: Looking out at the first snowfall of the season on Wednesday morning – a peaceful setting of snow undisturbed.

    And Karl – that IS a great cartoon…and message!! Less yelling…more smiling!

  2. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work

    Hard – Wasting an hour trying to teach myself how to use Google docs without success. My stubbornness prevented me form calling a resource.

    Fun – Leading an energy vibes exchange experience that has never been done before. A wild ride into the unknown of trust and collective intention.

    Beautiful – The pristine view from my office window into my seven acre spread of my new home because I realized that I bought myself the privacy and space in order to get the silence.

    Tip for you. You’ll get the attention of corporations more if you speak about your offering in their language. It’s not a sellout if it gets you in the door where you can do your thing.

  3. Hard: Messing up a bunch of numbers for a project. I’m so effin ADHD I usually have my husband do this stuff. I didn’t and paid for it with a mess and stress. Augghhh!

    Watching the media destroy Tiger Woods. A sex addiction is a disease. No matter what he is a human being who needs help and deserves a second chance at life.

    Fun: Going to get yogurt with hubby at Yogurtland. My duaghter gave us a surprise gift card. One of life’s small pleasures.

    Beautiful: My hubby doing so well at his new biz he turned down work last week. Amazing…speaks volumes about his work ethic, character and tribe.

    Karl thanks for giving us this space. I agree with Lance you’re doing all the right things. Success only comes overnight for a few the rest of us spend years acheiving it. Hang in there and let me know when and how I can help. Talk soon.

  4. Karl: How much fun was it to talk to you this week. yahoo!

    Hard: Some tough business stuff…wanting to play nice and groovy but having to put my professional hat on about trademarking issues-not fun.

    Fun: Getting my hair done last night!!! I now do a barter for my hair stylist (who is amazing) and coach her while I get my hair cut…starting the same with a massage therapist this week…loving life!

    Beautiful: The snow and my kids building snow men outside. And a snow train. And going caroling in the town trolley tonight with friends and cocoa. Life is good.

    Peaceout karl!
    Happy weekend!

  5. Hi Karl,

    Hmm, my earlier response that I wrote was gobbled up by the computer, so let’s try this again. Apologies if the earlier version reappears and we end up with two responses.

    I agree with Lance and Tess–you’re doing a great job. It can be tough when you want instant results. Personally, I’m a bit skeptical of instant overnight success, although I think if one has their ducks in row, before launching a new venture it can appear to the onlooker as overnight success. Chris Guillebeau makes that point in his ebook “Overnight Success in 279 Days”. The other option might be to re-frame what it means to be successful.

    Glad to hear you’re getting a respite from the mosquitoes. When I was in India last December, the little critters had a banquet at my expense for the first couple of days, and then I guess they decided they didn’t like their food tasting of anti-malarial drugs, so they pretty much left me alone after that.

    Here’s my update for the hard, fun,and beautiful.

    Hard: Feeling a little overwhelmed with a number of different projects and tasks that need to be done. Also I’ve been working on my business idea and have run into some interesting challenges researching the going rates for research consultants in my area so I don’t either undercut or price myself out of the market. Having said that, I’ve just had three ideas pop into my head as to how to get past this hurdle.

    Fun: I did some baking for a party I’d been invited to and had lots of fun playing with the recipe. I took an already good recipe (chocolate ginger snap cookies)and threw in some fresh ginger and a generous measure of dark chocolate chips and wow were they flavor packed! I also went to an Awaken the Dreamer: Be the Change presentation earlier this week and had the great fortune of running into a couple of friends that I haven’t seen for a while.

    Beautiful: Being blessed with sunny weather for nearly a week–even if it was accompanied by sub-zero temperatures and far too many encounters with static electricity. I also heard a really beautiful song on the internet yesterday. Even more beautiful is that the proceeds from the song and the album all go to support initiatives for increasing peace and decreasing poverty in the world.

    Well, I am off to deal with a manageable chunk of the mammoth to do list. Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend.

  6. Hey Karl

    Great motivation in this post about getting out there and doing more! I am so with you – awesome! Can’t believe you are talking about snow and mosquitoes both at the same time….LOL 🙂

    Okay so my week:

    Hard: Re-balancing my time – this may just become the theme for a little while for me…

    Fun: Seeing a good friend this week, who I haven’t seen in a while, it is always fun to catch up.

    Beautiful: the Reconnective Healing experience I had with Jennifer Mannion – wow that was beautiful and a half!

  7. Hi Karl – About getting your foot in the door with organizations, you’re probably already plugged into these resources, but I thought I would send them along just in case. Or maybe there’s someone else here who will be interested. They’re all national but usually have active local groups:

    Organizational Development Network
    American Society for Training and Development
    National Speakers Association

    And one I just discovered on LinkedIn – Need a Speaker/Be a Speaker (NAS/BAS).

    It sure does take time to build a business. I started out ten years ago and a book that helped a lot was, “Building Your Ideal Private Practice,” by Lynn Grodski. There’s the original book and also a follow-up workbook. It’s for helping professionals, coaches, etc, and was written before all the internet stuff. But I think it’s good for any service business, and still relevant. I continue to refer to it when I coach clients who want to start businesses, and they’ve found it helpful.

    Of course, it doesn’t make it any easier to hear the get rich quick stories. I know that’s prevalent in the blogosphere, but I don’t think it’s the norm. Plus, building a organizational consulting business is not the same as building a monetized blog. Two very different things. So hang in there.

    Hard: rain and ground fog have arrived in Sacramento; I miss the sun.
    Fun: Writing, writing, writing
    Beautiful: Music. Listening. Really listening.

  8. Hang in there buddy. Keep working it and opportunities will present themselves. My wife and I struggled for YEARS trying to hammer out a business model and figure out a place in the market. It CAN be done.

    Just one idea: perhaps you’ll want to consider offering to speak for free to local service organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or Lions Clubs, etc. There are often people who make buying decisons in those crowds. Demonstrate the value that you can bring to an organization and you may be able to get 2010 off to a rockin good start.

    Hard: Shoveling 17 inches of snow this week. Yikes, my back is ot happy with me.

    Fun: Watching my little girl learn how to walk.

    Beautiful: The way the trees looked after the first big snowfall. Awesome.

  9. I just want to say this community is so cool. Your encouragement has been awesome. I talk about not comparing myself to other people, but it’s just so hard not to do. Thanks for reminding me that creating a business is a process. When I’m ready and the people are ready, the success will align.

  10. Hi Lance, Microsoft Arrrgh. They can be so good and other times so very bad. I miss the snow living in Austin. I miss looking out over a morning snow with hot tea in my hand. Just something so calm and beautiful about that.

    Hi Tess, I understand the ADHD problem. I like to think of it as just too much energy. And now you know that you just have your husband do the numbers stuff next time.

    Hi Katie, Trade marking issues. That’s something I need to dive into. I’m going to have to ask you about that. I’m all about the trade. I have to start thinking about doing it more often.

    Hi Tom, When I first started using Google docs I was confused, but over these last few months I now love it. Don’t give up on it. Your view sounds glorious, maybe one day I can check it out.

    Hi Sue, Thanks, I’m trying. I know it takes time to create a business. I just get so excited when a business calls me to do a workshop with them. I just know that I’m losing out on money by not having products. I have most of my products ready I just have to pull the trigger. I understand so many projects so little time. I’m glad this post helped you come up with a few new ideas.

    Hi Evita, I love how you talked about rebalancing your time. We have to put the important stuff first. It’s hard to figure out was is more important that the other stuff. It all feels important.

    Hi Patty, Great resources. I knew about some of them, but not all. I have to check out that LinkedIn speaker section. Sounds like my kind of thing. I miss the fog. We don’t get very much in Austin.

    Hi Jason, Thanks for the encouragement. I just have to keep playing with my formula. Wow, 17 inches of snow, shoveling all that isn’t easy. That’s so cool your little girl is walking. I can’t wait to see my son walk.

  11. Mosquitoes suck! No two ways about it. I’m glad they’ve died down a bit.

    And I do believe that work happiness will become more prevalent, especially as more and more talented people leave corporate america to do their own thing. Employers will start getting wise to the idea that people don’t work just for the money. Many people want more than a paycheck: they want that sense of fulfillment and inner joy that comes from feeling appreciated, and from having fun doing something they love.
    Your message will be increasingly heard. Have faith, but perhaps more importantly, have patience.

    For me this week:
    Hard — feeling unmotivated to write or read blogs (it’s a first!).
    Fun — attending a holiday party with a great date last night; we had a blast!
    Beautiful — being up at 3:00 a.m. to shovel snow for my first outdoor job. The moon and stars were out, it was perfectly peaceful, and the snow glistened like little gemstones beneath my feet.

  12. Hey Karl, Like other comments before me, you are still new at this! I remember when I first quit corporate someone said to me, “I feel like a 20 year over night success.” It’s continuing to get your message out there, no matter what. And personally, I think your message deserves more than a product…people need to hear it!

    Hard: this week I struggled with time management.

    Fun: Going to my niece’s swim lesson and nephew’s basketball game.

    Beautiful: All the Christmas decorations and lights that are up in my area, and the glisten of frost on the grass in the morning (that I peer at from my window because it’s simply too cold for me to go out side! Ha!)

    Hope you had a great weekend.

  13. Hi Karl:

    Hard: I’m losing my patience over something that should have happened about three months ago and still hasn’t. I have to keep reminding myself that some things are simply not within my control.

    Fun: My little nephew’s birthday party yesterday. I think I had more fun than the five year olds! 🙂

    Beautiful: A mango I ate yesterday. It was still green but just starting to ripen so I got the best of both worlds.

  14. Hi Megan, 3am shoveling! How come? The picture you paint is beautiful.

    Hi Stacey, Time management isn’t easy. I know that I struggle with what to make my priority on a daily basis. I’m also loving the Christmas decorations. They just put a smile on my face.

    Hi Marelisa, Accepting what is, isn’t easy. You make a good point. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we just have to go with the flow. That mango sounded good. I think I’ll have to make a stop at the store tomorrow.

  15. A chance for snow says it best.

    It’s the anticipation thing. Whenever I hear there’s a chance for snow I feel anticipation — for fun and for survival, and I like it.

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