Thursday, December 16, 2010

Much Less Than Perfect Speaking Opportunity

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to speak about victims of Noma to a room of about 50 beauty industry professionals at a Beauty Industry West meeting geared towards the concept of giving. Sitting in a room of individuals in the manufacturing side of the beauty industry, it was welcoming to see some familiar faces and somewhat interesting introducing myself wearing a new hat, and as a guest to a meeting I used to attend quite regularly. As I sat down in a seat that was picked for me, I engaged in a conversation with a pleasant gentleman involved in selling cosmetic product packaging. We conversed about our background, he asked me about sales, and my interest in it, my outlook on selling in the current economy and so forth, as well as, our feelings towards or current lines of work. After some small talk and a few bites of Ravioli, I was called up to the front to share about the work of CreateACTivity, and share the story of victims of Noma. As I stood up at the front, waiting to share with the room one of my biggest passions, I was thrown off by the technical difficulties of a projector that was unable to project my presentation for no other reason than a mismatched plug. Almost at a loss for words, I did the best I could with the lack of resources and near energetic breakdown that I had come over me due to the fact that I would be unable to share images that illuminate the severity of Noma and importance in getting aid to individuals living with the effects of the infection.

Angry at myself for what I felt was a lost opportunity, I slowly realized that the reason for the projector issues may have just been that it was not the appropriate timing for that particular audience in sharing such heavy material. The main gift of the experience was the gentleman sitting next to me that had asked about my past background, and sales interests... when I sat back down at the table, the gentleman looked me straight in the eye and asked me if I founded CreateACTivity, after my short reply of "Yes," he proceeded to ask two more questions. The first question (in a beautiful Australian accent), "Your interest in this is a life choice, isn't it?". My response, "Yes". Second question: "Aren't you scared?" My response, more calm than assured than ever before, "Absolutely not, I know this is what I am supposed to do. I am still in sales, however, now I understand the why the sale is important."

Although it took a while for the anger and frustration of a much less than perfect presentation to brush off my shoulder, I was thankful for the man that sat next to me. For the opportunity to share a little bit about my current adventure with faces of the past, and get to know some fresh new faces within the beauty industry.  I am thankful for Beauty Industry West, and the individuals involved that gave me the opportunity to be present with them during their yearly meeting geared towards giving.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick, But Essential

This post is going to be quick, but I feel it is essential. I find that it is always easier to write about the triumphs and successes, and a little harder to push myself to the keyboard on those days where the energy feels sucked out of you. Today was one of those energy draining days, but I think the energy was drained so that new energy can flow in.

The day started with a phone call to my father, only to find out that he just so happened to be browsing on a job posting website and found that his boss had posted his position (to hire a new person in his place) on the site. My father (the amazing man that he is, a man who I believe can conquer anything life hands him) had not a sign of stress in his voice. When I asked him how he felt he told me that he asked himself "What would Sara do?" So, I asked him: "What would I do?" His response was perfect. He told me that getting the job allowed him to make a positive shift in his life, and that he was grateful for that, that he had passed his final test and it was time to move on to new opportunities. Without hesitation, he went into work to continue his day, only to be greeted by a customer who "unintentionally," gave him a heads up of a job opening with a competitor down the street.

Following the phone call with my father, I wrote the owner of the boat and let him know I that I was going to have to turn down the opportunity of living in his warn in water cabin. The space just needs too much work, when I am not exactly too sure where the winds of tomorrow will be taking me. Also, the bathrooms and showers next to the dock are out of commission at the moment, and as much as I do not mind roughing it, I do appreciate showers and and flush-able commodes. Long story short, the keys were returned and the boat bid fair well. I do still think I will spend some time on the water in the future, this particular space and time, just wasn't the right lock and key (considering there was no way to lock it with a key, haha).

That is the update of the day, I'm calling it a night.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Un-planning Process

The last time I posted, I was visioning boat life in the marina ... calm and relaxed, in my own space, having the comfort of a regularly paid income, paying some dues for rent like the common folk, and having an area to focus on business plans/visions... slowing things down a bit for the sake of putting together plans for the future of CreaACTivity and attempting to have a place of comfort to bring business related or personal company to  if I so chose.  I had also declined speaking in Singapore due to the conference board's unwillingness in paying for travel expenses, and had accepted the lost opportunity without having any emotional attachment towards going (or not going) to the event. ... I'd love to say that everything is going smoothly and exactly as I planned, but what kind of story would that be?

Since the last update, the boat was "cleaned" out, and the keys were handed over. Turns out my perception of clean is a lot different than the boat owners perception of clean. What was described to me as a lovely, comfortable, Tempur-Pedic mattress, is actually two moldy pieces of Tempur-Pedic mattress material. What was described to me as bleached and watered down, is actually dusty, un-swept or vacuumed, and not wiped down at all. But to say the least, I still love the guy for his adventurous attitude and desire to keep his worn in water vessel by renting it out to an adventurous/semi crazy individual such as myself. After leaving the boat and thinking about how much it would cost me to get the thing into, by my standards, a livable condition I started contemplating if it would be worth the effort and began to walk to my car currently packed with all of my belongings. As I left the dock, my telephone rang, and up pops a phone number that I haven't seen in months from the lovely gentleman that invited a friend of mine and I to Haiti in May of this past year. The reason for the call... to derail my planning process. For the third time this year, I was asked if I would be willing to move to Haiti to do some on the ground work in helping provide the necessities needed to survive the dire circumstances many are currently living with in Port Au Prince. The necessity I would be working with this time around ... sanitary water. My response to the phone call... "When do I leave?"

Obviously, there are matters here that I can't just leave behind. With the possibility of CreateACTivity gaining some publicity, donors, and getting our first project off the ground along with potential website upgrade ... there is a lot to be done, and a lot to think about if I was to take off to Haiti. However, there is a lot that I can learn from the experience as well that would only give me a larger understanding to helping those in poverty, and gaining connections to powerful people capable of creating positive change. A lot to think about, but I know all will happen as it is supposed to. I am realizing that  I am really not in charge of any of this, but merely along for the ride.

Another random "by chance" moment happened at work the other day as well, when a co-worker mentioned to me that most of my clients seem to be involved with non-profits. Not thinking too much of it, I went to greet my next client only to find out that she had just spent the previous day volunteering for Habitat For Humanity. I'd love to say it was coincidence, however, the client  that followed her just so happened to worked with a company that matches celebrities and professional athletes with charities. One of the athletes she currently works with is Yao Ming, of the Houston Rockets....who I  happened to (literally) bump into last week in the elevator of the hotel I was staying at because the house I was living in was, by chance, being renovated due to a leaky roof and pipes.

Now for the update on the Singapore conference. Yes, I know, I didn't think there would be an update in regards to this either. I sent the conference board a message declining the speaking opportunity without any expectation of a response back, only to be greeted with their desire to explore cross marketing opportunities. Let the exploration begin.

I also am rocking crooked glasses because I seem to have lost one of my last contacts down the drain... which is probably a blessing because I think it was giving me an eye infection. Can't totally afford new glasses or contacts... but figure the lesson is that I am not supposed to see to far ahead.

More updates soon,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Attempting to Commit to My Promise!

In attempt to commit to my promise, here I am again, blogging away. 

So yesterday, yesterday was interesting (as is everyday). 

It started out with a little part time work to pay the bills, which was fun. A 6'5 guy with a broken arm, (clothing that looked pretty new) came in to our spa to get a massage, so we have him fill out some medical paperwork and got him into session. He then chooses to upgrade his session to a longer length of time. After about five minutes into his session, the security guard for our complex comes in and asks where the guy is, I respond to him that he is in session. The security guard then asked me how he was going to pay, and let me know that he just walked out of the hair salon up the street after his hair cut, and notified the salon that he didn't have any money. We stopped his session, and the guy walks out, hangs out with the security guard for a bit, and then chats with the cops for a little while before they take him to jail. Too tell you the truth, can't blame the guy for trying ... free haircut, free massage, little "cab ride" around LA, a free meal, and I'm pretty sure jail is warmer than where he stayed the night previous.. Couldn't have been too bad of a day!

After work, I went to work, answering emails, balancing finances for CreateACTivity, and communicating with some interns on our newest project. Long story short, I contact a gentleman that saw me speak at the Medical Tourism Congress, only to find out that he is interested in helping fund the current project that we are working on! Turns out he will be heading to Las Vegas this month, and there just so happens to be deals on flights to Vegas right now( according to the email from Jet Blue and Southwest that I received in my inbox last night). Thank you universe, yet another verification that I am where I am supposed to be. 

Mid afternoon, I went to check out the boat. Met the owner of the boat at the dock, he was wearing almost the exact same outfit as myself (jeans, black leather jacket, and some checkered print underneath), so to say the least, I could tell we would get a long. Finding out that one can't "live" on a boat in the marina, but you can hang out on a boat and sleep on a boat, and spend four nights a week on a boat, I learned that there will be no living on a boat, however, I may choose to watch the boat for a bit. As you can see by the picture below, it does need some work, a feminine touch per say. 

Oh yea! And I declined Singapore, they were only willing to wave fees for the conference, but not pay travel expenses. The cost of going to Singapore would easily be about five facial reconstructions for victims living with the effects of Noma, and I can't justify the expenses it would take to get me there. 

Well, I am off to start todays adventure. I will keep you posted. 

Loving Life,