I just had the morning from….the Tim Horton’s line up at lunch time.
There was a train derailment yesterday which through Via Rail into a tailspin. My train from Georgetown, ON to Toronto, ON was 45 minutes delayed. Which, actually worked to my advantage because I forgot my power cord and wallet at home, but worked against me when I arrived in Toronto without my ticket for my new train (because I had to exchange tickets and left the old one in my purse, new one on my bulletin board so that I wouldn’t forget it.). Because we were 45 minutes late, I had enough time to hop on my train to Kingston just as the doors were closing, and couldn’t exchange my ticket. Thankfully, the Via crew was understanding, and looked up my new ticket electronically.
When I arrived in Kingston, my cab driver was having an even worse day. On the way home from the Gun & Rifle club, the Taxi Commissioner caught him smoking in his car, and consequently tried to pull him over. The problem? My cab driver had ‘restricted firearms’ in his trunk and is not allowed to stop while transporting them from the gun range to his house. Consequently, he was handed a $500 ticket for smoking and a $500 ticket for failure to stop for an inspection, before he picked me up at noon.
I finally arrived at my house in Kingston with three bills due last week, and a note from my housemate saying that I owed $2 for something or other and a slightly wet comforter since I forgot to close my window during the snow storm over reading week.
Needless to say, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed and sorry for myself, until I opened up this email from one of my mentors, Julie.
Julie is an executive in Toronto and I have the pleasure of mentoring a team of budding entrepreneurs with her. Julie has two young children and a feisty teenager by the name of Diamante Development (http://www.diamantedevelopment.com/), in addition to her incredible amount of Board work in Toronto’s not-for-profit community.
When I finally sat down at my computer after unpacking, just as I was contemplating cancelling my afternoon meetings to enable some ‘recovery’ time, I saw this email from Julie:
“Woke up in the middle of the night because my son had a nightmare… Didn’t sleep after 330 am. Checked on both kids, read paper and dumb magazines until am. Made waffles from scratch, carried 3 year old downstairs while holding blackberry and empty sippy cups…
Drove a child to school, had a meeting at McDonalds near her school with a businessman.
Drove to Hazelton, bought undereye cover stick from Chanel, got roped into buying a cute dress because a business woman is always grateful for great service, bought a pair of blue pants because I didn’t get my clothes to laundry/cleaners on time, hemmed them in the office while I read materials on my desk, noticed my knee high was torn, turned it around, had assistant bring in chickpeas from a can for lunch with olive oil on it.
And, have a VIP mtg today.
Moral of the story… Its the best job in the world being self employed and, keep an extra pair of nylons and knee highs and a good quality sewing kit (hemming with cheap dollar store thread is impossible) and a under eye cover stick at hand at all times.
Did I mention tonight is music classes for the kids at home (I have to have all their things at home because I don’t have time to drive them anywhere).
Then put kids to bed and have our call and then catch up on work….
Julie’s email immediately added context to my situation. Truly? My morning was a cakewalk compared to what she was up against.
In the process, I was reminded by the three E’s that help keep Julie in the penthouse, mentally, physically, and emotionally, instead of the basement.
Without further ado, here they are:
I was surprised to see an email from Julie so late in the morning. Generally, her first email comes before 6:30 am. Julie is able to fit so much into her day because she’s increased the length of it. She’s also made it more productive by extending her time during daylight hours. Imagine how much more motivating it is to work with the sun coming up, as opposed to later into the evening.
Julie and I have a weekly conference call with our team of young entrepreneurs and they are typically the most productive of my week, all because of Julie. Julie doesn’t jump on a call without an agenda. Accordingly, she can be prepared and make the discussion more productive by having her points prepared in advance and redirecting tangents. Further, she requires that the agenda only include items that need a decision. Julie’s logic is that it is more efficient for the team to forward “FYI” items so they can read them at their convenience, as opposed to eating up face to face time.
The email above from Julie? Not the first of its kind to cross my inbox. Julie never ceases to find the humorous side of situations, and share them with others to lighten up their days. If you don’t laugh, you cry. And in a down situation, it’s critical to keep a smile on your face. It’ll make the other guys wonder what you’re up to.
A huge thank you to Julie for inspiring this blog, and allowing it to be posted!