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     It's tough being an entrepreneur. It's a glamorous word that completely glorifies the life of what it takes to be a successful busines owner.  Growing my career is my daily motivation and goal. I get so discouraged sometimes when I feel like I don't know the right answer. So many successful entrepreneurs make owning a business look easy and fabulous. You frequently hear the "sleep when you're dead"  and "hustle hard" which gives you the impression that if you have a moment of weakness that you're failing and that you won't be successful.

       Being a successful business owner requires you to be elastic. You have to be open and willing to go with the flow and adapt to your environment. Today I don't feel like hustling hard. I'm worn out from working my actual job and I don't even know where to begin today in all the things I want to do for my business. I have tons of lists and ideas, but they all seem jumbled up and extraneous. I get distracted, I get sleepy, I get hungry and I beat myself to a pulp judging myself for not being focused all day. It makes me feel like a failure and that I'm never going to reach the pinnacle of my success.

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      Diddy and Jay-Z make it look good. They have reached the point where they can enjoy more of the fruit of their labor, however, the grind never stops. It's so easy to get disillusioned with what it takes to really own a successful business. My advice is to do the best that YOU can. I do find that a major key to success is consistency though.  I struggle with that the most. I love what I do and I want to share my passion and gift with the world, but the ability to make time to share my gift and have the ingenuity is difficult to do, consistently. 

     I'm in the struggle! But, I'm continuing to strive and make it happen, I recommend that you do the same. Try to make a change everyday for the better. Seek to constantly improve your process so that those lazy days aren’t as frequent. And finally, make more moves and make less announcements. 





Ignoring Text Messages... Why?



We live in a digital world where there are multiple avenues  to communicate with each other. Many of which don't require your voice, face or direct contact with each other. I am a human just like all of you and have experienced many times where received communication isn't convenient at the moment. I personally consider myself to be "normal" in my communicating, but in comparison to the people I encounter (friends, family, coworkers, employers etc.) I find that I seem to be exceptional. I've been particularly perplexed at the practice of NOT responding to a communication. For this particular post, let's stick to text messages.



      I've taken a collection of explanations from several people who practice not responding to text messages. Many of the responses came from people who have ignored MY text messages, many are not as my effort to ask them about this topic didn't get a response. This data was collected so that we can begin to understand why this is so prevalent.


1. They don't like you.

2. They didn't feel like it. (I've tried to get more elaboration on this one, to no avail)

3. I forgot to press send. (Upon further investigation, this isn't as common as people make it out to be.)

4. You don't respond or take an extended time to respond to their text messages. ( passive/aggressive retaliation for your lack of response to the previous message.)

 5.  People are at work. Though the text message may be seen, most don't have the aptitude to go back and respond when they get free time. (I personally disagree. But, ok!)

6. They know it gets on your nerves when they don't respond and want to punish you for something you may or may not know bothered them.

7. The battery died. (I assume the person forgot to recharge their brain as well and respond to the text when it showed up as they powered their phone)

8. They find your text message dialogue boring is preoccupying themselves with social media antics and eventually forget to respond.

9. Your number isn't saved for whatever endless reason. They are afraid you might be: Fred, Lou, Cindy or some person they don't want to talk to.

10. They genuinely don't know and have no real answer. (This irks me the most, get rid of these people.) 


You're Probably a Bad Tipper

Let's start by stating that any service that is completed by human ingenuity is subject to gratuity. These services can include hairstylists, cab drivers, carpet cleaners, but most commonly servers (waiters) at restaurants. Despite whatever understanding, thought or misconception you may have from what you were taught, below is a comprehensive factual guide to understanding how to be a gracious and appropriate tipping civilian.  
Let's use servers (waiters) in our example below to bring it home. 

Standard Gratuity (Tip) is 20%

     It doesn't matter that you're 65 years old and back in your day you only left 10%. It doesn't matter that you've been under the impression due to your cultural influence that you think that $5 or a random $10 will suffice for whatever your bill was. It doesn't matter that you're European or Indian and in your country  the servers (waiters) make a salary and you can leave little to nothing.  

     Standard, meaning where it begins, gratuity is 20% and it is based upon the total spent on your meal (in this particular  case, same applies to any other service), This means that your gratuity is not a random figure that you create in your mind based upon your mood. It is a precise calculated figure. Read on and you'll understand why that precise figure is so important.


Servers (Waiters) make $2.13 Per Hour

    In every state (exception of California and Colorado) , no matter what restaurant,  no matter how expensive or inexpensive, the hourly wage of a server is $2.13 per hour. Yes, this is true. Consider, the average server that works 40 hours per week makes $85.20 a week. But, as Americans we know we pay good ol' taxes. Goodbye $85.20

     In fact, if the weekly wages earned from tips surpass the hourly wages earned bracket, servers then must pay out-of-pocket for the balance of taxes owed to the government. This accumulates over the year and could equal thousands of dollars when tax time hits.


It Costs Money to Wait Tables

       Servers don't keep 100% of the money you leave as a tip. As a standard, servers must "tip-out" a percentages of their SALES, not tips, to other restaurant employees. These employees can include hosts, bartenders, bussers, server assistants, drink runners, bread runners, cocktail waitresses and etc. This varies from restaurant to restaurant and can range anywhere from (1.5%-8%) of that server's sales. This means that no matter what you left them as a tip, dependent upon the cost (sales) of your check, that server MUST pay that percent rate to the restaurant to compensate those employees. Yes, if you left nothing, that server still MUST pay that percentage and in fact PAID to wait on you. 


Things You Do, That You Probably Don't Know You Do

      No matter what you spend or eat at a restaurant, the government recognizes that your server sold that item to you. This means that it doesn't matter that you got it all compensated (items removed from your check due to whatever issue you may have had). It doesn't matter that you paid with a gift card. It doesn't matter that you had a coupon for %50 off, that you used a groupon or had a free appetizer card. The government recognizes that you were sold a good from that server. 

    What does this mean? This means the government assumes that you were a decent civilian and compensated the server you had for your good fortune of receiving discounts on your goods. Oh yes! Even on that 20% coupon you keep in your wallet, yes on that free appetizer the manager gave you for waiting longer than expected at the door and yes for the free birthday dessert. And most likely, you didn't compensate for your discounted goods. However, the server is required to claim a minimum of 10% on the sale of that good as cash because surely no one would NOT compensate a person for receiving a freebie. It may seem harmless as $10 appetizer, or a free dessert. But, consider how many times this happens to a server over the course of a year. Thousands of dollars in compensated goods that must be claimed and most likely, never compensated for. Seem like there should be a lawsuit or something in there right?!

Gift Cards

      Oh what a great gift to receive a gift card. You pay with them all the time, but rarely are they enough to cover the whole balance. What's the big deal? Put the rest on your credit card right? Cool.

      That's dandy and all, but the gift card didn't wipe away the total of your bill. If you were to have a bill for $100 and paid with a $50 gift card to put the rest on your credit card, your bill isn't $50.  By habit, you may leave gratuity based upon the $50 figure you see listed on your credit card slip. So, you feel accurate with the $10 you're leaving. In actuality, you're leaving $10 on a $100 check. And, if you refer back to "It Costs Money to Wait Tables" above, you'll find that in fact your server is "tipping out" on your $100 check and that $10 is dwindled down to virtually nothing. 

Splitting A Check     

      Do this all the time right? Yup, me too. And its perfectly fine, but beware! So, the bill is $50 and you and your buddy decide to split it in half. She has cash and you have  your card. She decides to pay in cash and put $30 in the pot. This is to cover her $25 check and $5 in gratuity. You throw your card in the mix and expect the server to make sense of it all. To avoid awkwardness, the server then subtracts $30 from your total and processes your card for $20 (the balance on your bill). By habit, you leave $4 for gratuity as you see that would be the standard 20% from the total on your credit card slip. Good job.

     TERRIBLE JOB. Your bill didn't magically vanish, your check was $50 and you left $4.  If you refer back to the top of this article (It Costs Money to Wait Tables) you'll find that you may have in fact cost that server money to wait on you. In these cases, you should let your server know that you'd like to either separate the checks completely or apply $25 in cash, keep five and run the rest on your credit card. Once processed you should leave your 20% gratuity on your card allowing a total of $10 to be received. There ya go champ!


Tipping Sterotypes

     I have lots of firsthand experience in sales in general, but particularly in hospitality and food. It's unfortunate to say, but its true that there are certain groups of people that have an expected patterns in behavior and tipping practices. I'll let you deduce your conclusions on who and what they are, but if you have an inclination. You're probably right.

      Many of these inappropriate practices are done naively and with no malice, but they still have adverse affects on the server. No, you don't dine out to please your server, but be aware that the server is a person as well. That person is at work, just as you are when you're at work. Consider the difficult patrons that you deal at your job and the patterns you recognize and create in your mind based upon your experiences. True, you're probably pre-judged before you're spoken to, but keep an open mind and adhere to this guide to not add to presumptions.  

- #CPD 


Breaking Up with Friends

Friends are an invaluable accessory to life. I've had some great ones and lost some great ones. If you're anything like me, friends mean more to me than family. Friends are hand selected people that you chose to be apart of your life. Family is simply people that you share a consanguinity with by default that you're taught to consistently find a way to remain in each other's lives despite circumstances. - #CPD

     The family thing has never completely settled in my psyche. Friends, however, have been truly valuable in my development and I've come to learn a lot about the experience of friendship. I find it important that choosing your friends is an essential skill to learn (so many fail at this). Meaning, understand that the people you associate yourself with make or break who you are. Develop the muscle of assessing what qualities you want to surround yourself with and recognizing them in others. Think about how many times you've developed an opinion about someone simply by the people you see they are associated with. You're not exempt from this assessment. Choosing friends is another post. This one is handling losing them.

      Friends are seasonal. Let me explain what I mean by that. When we fall in friendship with someone, it feels great! You've finally found someone that you can connect with, that has like interest and you can trust to infinity. Like love, sometimes there are factors that you can't control and unfortunately as people grow, sometimes their compatibility is stretched and those two people no longer work well together. The friend that you met first day on the job at age 21 may not be suitable when you're a VP at age 39. Life experiences change our perspectives, tastes, priorities and interests. Yours have changed. Theirs have changed. You can't always expect that every person in your life is going to find in every phase of your life. Here are some points to keep in mind as you navigate friendship and lose some that you love on the way.


1. Immerse yourself in the experience of your friendships and appreciate each fun moment that you have. Don't second guess how long they'll be there, question their loyalty or hold back your sincerity or love in fear of getting hurt. Enjoy the season.

2. Your season with your friend can be very short or very long. If it's genuine, then it's worth it.

3. You're only bettering as you get older. More experience means wiser, tougher and more soulful. If your friend isn't compatible with the latest version of YOU, so be it. Your friend isn't wrong (no matter what happened). Your friend is being THEM. If YOU don't like the current version of THEM, so be it. Except that those pieces no longer fit and be open to recieveing a new piece that fit in your puzzle for the next season. 

4. Don't be afraid of losing people, be afraid of losing yourself by trying please everyone and fit into their life. You come first.

5. Your desire that things were different, your wanting things to be the same is what is creating the struggle and that consequental hurt that you experience from losing a friend. Once you decide to come to terms and accept that it is over and that you being the best version of yourself is good enough, you'll find that losing your friend is not as big a lose as you think. Even if you did something wrong to cause the friendship to end, that demonstration is simply evidence that your compatibility has expired. You'll be fine.


      I tell friends all the time to rely on this simple piece of wisdom. You're always going to do what's necessary to take care of yourself. That means that you're going to be fine despite the circumstances. No, that doesn't mean that you're not going to hurt. That means that you should give yourself fully to any friendship that you decide to enter into and not feel the need to hold on to some of you to help you recover when it comes to an end. What I know for sure is that whether you hold on to some of your pride/ego to protect yourself from hurt or not will NOT stop hurt from happening. You may as well allow yourself to fully reap the joys of friendship and jump all the way in. When it's over, be grateful for the time you had and look forward to a new friend to meet the new YOU.