Caretaking Couple Now Offers Midday Dog Walks

Caretaking Couple Now Offers Midday Dog Walks

I (Valynne) will be handing out these sweet flyers and displaying them at local businesses here in Northeast Portland over the weekend and can’t wait to see what the response is like.  BIG THANKS to Maxwell at No Limits PDX for a less than one day turn-around (!) and I really appreciate that this locally owned business charges LESS than the box stores, as well.

Also, I am going to do my best to track the response to this old-school flyer in comparison to the response I am getting via social media. Because we are newcomers to Portland, I think actually getting the word out in the community will be more effective than my various social media campaigns at this point.  What do you think?  Got tips?  If so, we would love to hear them…

PS Time for another prize drawing.  Leave a comment on ANY blog post here at Caretaking Couple and automatically enter to win a week’s worth of Shakeology, starting NOW and ending this Friday (10/14/11).  I will send the prize out on Saturday.

A Note to House and Pet Sitters on Inner Value

A Note to House and Pet Sitters on Inner Value

Six-Figure Pet Sitting by Kristin Morrison

I recently purchased a copy of Six-Figure Pet Sitting by Kristin Morrison.  It took me a week or two to actually take the time to sit down and read it, but once I picked it up, I could not put it down.

In Chapter 5, Kristin discusses the concept of Inner Value, or the lack thereof.  Although this book specifically covers pet sitting, what she has to say about inner value is pretty universal and worth pondering, whatever your occupation.

The following is an except from Six-Figure Pet Sitting:

“Do You Lack Inner Value?

A symptom of the lack of inner value is often under-earning.  This lack of inner value can be made to look productive through marketing and activities to increase your business, but often there is little or no follow through to ‘close the deal’.  Remember the sabotaging techniques you previously wrote about?  A lack of inner value can also sabotage all of your efforts and often will feel as though you, once again, have your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time.

Having a lack of inner value that sabotages your business and financial success is often expressed through:

  • Not raising client rates for two or more years.
  • Being afraid to say no to a client request.
  • Working too hard and not having a lot to show for it.
  • Not holding clients to terms outlined in the contract.
  • Not having clients sign a contract.
  • Giving discounts without clients asking for them.
  • Not keeping orderly and accurate business records.
  • Being afraid to hire people and/or saying no to new business.
  • Returning client calls too late: 24-48 hours later.
  • Marketing a lot but feeling too tired to call new clients back.
  • Not spending enough time doing revenue-producing activities.

List all the ways you notice that YOU lack inner value and sabotage your business and profit…”

She then goes on to have you list positive actions you can take to stop sabotaging yourself and provides a series of “action steps” that seriously encourages follow-through.

If you are a house and pet sitter, or are considering becoming one, please buy this book.  This is just one of the excerpts that resounded with me.  Thank you, Kristin ~ I SO needed to read this guide right before launching Phase II of Caretaking Couple! Here’s to Inner Value,

Valynne

PS You can find even more tools and resources (including business coaching, teleclasses, forms and a blog) at Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy.

 

(Almost) Spring in Tennessee

(Almost) Spring in Tennessee

Paul Prunes the Mother of All Rose Bushes in Prep for Spring

The weather is beautiful here today.  I spent the bulk of February with a nasty head cold (yes, me;  she who never gets colds) and am now feeling hopeful that both Paul and I will shake off any and all remaining funk now that the sun is shining and the windows are open.

Happy (Almost) Spring, Everyone!

Macs, Goals, and Winners

Macs, Goals, and Winners

Flashback - Paul and I in Italy, Summer 2007. Thought I would share as most of my pics are in between laptops at present and I get complaints when there are no blog pics : ) AND this is what I want to look like again, which is why I am using Beachbody Products!

Honestly, the old hp has done me well, considering I have used it every day for over four years now…but it hasn’t been the lowest maintenance of computers (understatement).  Not being one to throw away a (barely working) machine, I have been waiting and wondering when it would finally go.  And it went. 

So, guess what is charging up right next to me?  My early Christmas present: a brand new MacBook Pro.  I am VERY excited!  AND Santa is bringing us an iPod nano (actually, it was a promo with E.Webscapes when I had my blog redesigned but I am sure Santa would have brought it otherwise).  YIPEE!  Can you believe neither of us has even used i-Tunes???  Instead, we have been lugging thousands of CD’s around with us.  Uncool but true. 

Of course there will be a bit of a learning curve with the new lappy but I have seriously wanted an Apple for years and years and have looked over many a Mac user’s shoulder so I don’t think it will be too painful.  If you are a Mac lover and have any pointers or want to share what you love most about it, that would be super appreciated!  Just click on the comments link above and tell us all about it.

***Speaking of appreciation:  I have an announcement to make regarding yesterday’s prize drawing.  The lucky winner is…David!  Thank you for your comments (even the feisty ones)…I will be sending your Tennessee prize package in the next few days : )***

A couple of blog posts back I decided I would share my monthly goals with you.  I’ve always done this for a new month – sort of.  As in I wrote down my goals somewhere but didn’t always remember where and didn’t always remember to see how I did at the end of the month, etc. etc.  So I am turning over a new leaf.

The man who inspired me to take monthly goals seriously can be found at http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com/.  I found him (or he found me – can’t remember now) on facebook and have been following his blog ever since.  I am seriously impressed with the progress Chris Ducker has made with regards to his quest for a truly Virtual Business Lifestyle this past year.  Seriously. Impressed!  Not to mention inspired. So, here goes…

My December Goals:

Blogsville:  My goal for November was to get this blog redesigned and transferred over to it’s new platform.  I hope you like our new look and find the social media links above to be useful (as in, I hope you are using them).  My first goal for December is to work on a few quirks with the blog that have been brought to my attention.  If you notice any, please let me know.  My second goal is to figure out how to use my Mac..I cannot waitto give you podcasts and other cool features I see popping up on my favorite blogs.

My Writing: I am currently taking a memoir writing class through Gotham Writers Workshop  and am pretty disappointed in myself for not dedicating more of my time to it these past few weeks.  These classes are great and deserve my full attention.  I just submitted two more chapters of my book for critique, so I did accomplish last months goal…but just barely.  The class ends soon.  My goal is to refocus and to polish up two more (very rough) chapters.  I am working on an FAQ’s page as well, so if you have any questions for Caretaking Couple, please fire away.

Health and Fitness:  Last month I told you I was considering becoming a Beachbody Coach.  I decided to go for it and am so happy I did.  This company is great – the online office tools are phenomenal, which makes my new job that much easier.  They immediately hooked me up with websites, an e-mail address, and a great “Getting Started” kit.  So, I get to sell products that help others which in turn keeps me focused and accountable for my own health and wellness goals.  BONUS – I am actually losing weight and getting in shape over the Holidays! 

Speaking of the Holidays:  My goal for this year is to continue to simplify and to celebrate the Season by sharing the love in ways that allow me to live within my means and beneath my seams (I think that is how that old saying goes).  That doesn’t mean I won’t leave a little extra come time to tip or anything miserly – it just means that I won’t overdo it like I have in the past. 

Thank you for stopping by.  As always, we would love to hear from you…my goal for this blog is to make it as interactive and user friendly as possible.  If you have friends that you think would like to join in the conversation, please tell them about us.  The easiest way to keep in touch is to subscribe via the “News and Updates” box to the upper right of this post.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

A Journey Into Enlightenment (Part II)

Here we are in Tennessee, on our third official sit as a couple (and my fiftieth or so as an individual).  It has been a whirlwind of a fall and we are both looking forward to hunkering down for the winter up on Signal Mountain.

Now that I am finally and fully embracing the wonders of blogging and social media in general, I find that I can be more distracted than ever if I am not careful.  In the past I have had specific job duties, like mixing drinks or selling soaps or entering data…now I am mainly accountable to…me.  Yikes. 

Time to retrain my brain.  Time to walk down a different street!  If I want to make a living online, I need to be super organized and results-driven.  I need goals, and I need to accomplish them.  I can’t simply wait for someone else to tell me what to do, whether it be work related or otherwise.

So, each month I am going to hold myself accountable to not just me, but to all of you as well.  Each month I am going to post a goal (or four).  I know we are almost halfway into November, but I have been working hard on the following and feel the need share now, so here goes:

November Goals:

Blogsville: I am currently working with Lisa Sabin-Wilson (author of WordPress for Dummies) on this blog.  It is being completely restructured in order to be more user friendly and interactive.  You will see the new look this month (can’t wait to show you)!

Other Social Media: You can now find either myself or Caretaking Couple on twitter and Linked In as well as facebook.  I am not sure if I will be adding to or subtracting from this list – I am just going to have fun with each and see where my time is best spent.   Do you have a favorite?  If so, please share.

My Writing: Most of you know that I am taking writing classes and working on a book.  I have eight chapters outlined and three written.  I will finish Chapter Four by the end of the month. How many rough drafts does one woman need to write, anyway?

Health and Fitness:  I am looking into becoming a Beachbody Coach.  There is still a bit of research to do with regards to this.  I am considering Beachbody because I have seen the results in people who are consistent with it, and it is something I can do from anywhere in the US.  And it will hold me accountable!

The goals above are more challenging than I thought they would be but there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now.  Except for maybe going for a bike ride and getting to know the new neighborhood…another benefit of working from “home”.

Thank you for reading this, our 100th blog post here at Caretaking Couple!  As always, I would love to hear from you.  Enlighten me ; ) Just leave a comment on any of my 100 posts between now and December 1 and I will enter your name into a drawing for a special CC gift from Tennessee!

A Journey Into Enlightenment

I have been going through all of my business and personal paperwork in order to get Paula (the new owner of Mountain Girl Organics) whatever I think she may want or need, as well as to continue the process of whittling down in preparation for our next sit (i.e. how will we fit all of it into the 4Runner?). 

While whittling, I found a wrinkled photocopy of a photocopy tucked away in my “Important Papers” file. It was given to me several years ago by someone who knew me well.  I am glad I kept it…

A Journey Into Enlightenment * In Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1:  I walk down a street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in – I am lost – I am hopeless – it isn’t my fault – it takes forever to find my way out. 

Chapter 2:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in again – I can’t believe I’m in the same place.  It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in – it is a habit.  My eyes are open – I know where I am – it is my fault – I get out immediately.

Chapter 4:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.

Chapter 5:  I walk down a different street. 

I have made a lot of progress in the few years since I read this last…even still it is a relevant read, a simple yet effective reminder.  It is time again to make some changes.  Time to walk down a different street. 

OK, we are almost at our next sit (Tennessee)…more about my changes soon! 

Would love to hear from any of you that can relate to this little story – perhaps we can support each other in our changes for the better…

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