Life Lessons from a CEO

This week I am talking about some of the life lessons I want to share.  There are about 15 more, but in the interest of keeping the post sort of brief, I went with just a few. This list is just a few of the things (I feel) are needed in life.   I will do another follow up post in the future with the other lessons. I will eventually post more information about vegetables and salad stuff, but I wanted to share some things I've learned over the last several years.  I have grown tremendously in the last 5 years, and am truly at a happy place in my life.  I love and respect myself now, which wasn't always the case. Are there days that I think I'm crazy for doing this salad dressing thing?  Yes.  There are days where I get down and tell myself that I'm crazy and I suck, and go through self doubt, but I make sure to acknowledge the thought and immediately shift my thinking.  I firmly believe your thoughts become actions and/or things, and that the energy we put out is what we get back, so I really try to be as positive as I can as often as I can.   I titled this life lessons from a CEO, but could have easily entitled it, "Life lessons from a NJ woman" or Unsolicited Advice from a Dishwasher and Salad Dressing Maker" because I do all those jobs, but I thought CEO sounded cooler.   Take a few minutes to read this and see if you can relate to anything I'm writing about.  Feel free to add comments. 

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  1. Confidence - When I started making and selling the dressings, I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Wow- that’s a tough business.  You have a lot of competition.”  Yes- I do have a lot of competition, but I have confidence in my product, and my abilities.  There are people that are a lot less intelligent than I am, and they manage to have successful, profitable businesses.  And if you don’t have too much confidence, fake it till you make it- it will come.  Tell yourself that you (or whatever- in my case the dressing) is damn good, and everyone will flip out about how good it is when they taste it.  It’s funny how people’s perception can be altered one way or another by your confidence or lack of.  
  2. Balance- I say this all the time.  Life is about Balance.  Think about this- if you eat junk food every day and no vegetables- you are out of balance.  On the flip side, I eat well about 90% of the time, but I’m not going to never eat a french fry again.  How about all work and no play or people who are too serious whatever?  Balance is one of the keys to life.  Practice trying to attain balance in the things you do, and the choices you make.  
  3. Positivity/attitude- “Your perception is your reality” is something I say quite often in my fitness classes. If you tell yourself the workout or the job or whatever it is is too hard, not fun etc., then it will be too hard or not fun. We all know that saying, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” but it's true. Always try to maintain a positive attitude. Tell yourself the class is fun or think about how strong you are getting and how good your body is looking by working out (in the case of the fitness classes). I personally always ask myself “what is the lesson learned here” when bad things happen because there is always a lesson to be learned or something positive can come out of a bad or tough situation. Always.  Even if you learn how not to treat others when dealing with a jerky person for example. 
  4. Growth. My parents former neighbor passed away about 4 years ago but you know what I still remember about her?  Her beehive hairdo. Seriously- straight out of 1963.  Beehive hairdo and cat glasses. Can you imagine having a beehive hairdo in 2017 (and I know it can be cool but you get the point I’m trying to make- it reached it’s peak in the 1960s).  That was a silly little example of someone not changing with the times. God rest her soul, but she looked ridiculous and I would see the stares from people as she strolled down the boardwalk.  I know one point here is that SHE was happy with the way she looked, but I’m trying to demonstrate how we have to change with the times. Life is constantly changing. That’s the one constant thing about it. Changes occur every second of the day. You have to adjust and grow along with those changes otherwise you will stagnate and/or find yourself unhappy, looking ridiculous or whatever. Harriet was just one example (that was the neighbor's name). Think about other examples of life changing. Can you imagine if we lived in the past?  Life before flat screen TVs, cable, cell phones and the internet? Growth and change are parts of life. Make sure you change and constantly challenge yourself as this is what brings about growth. 
  5. Timing- they say timing is everything and I could not agree more. Think about being in the right place at the right time.  Relationships.  Applying for a job or college (maybe your dream job position was JUST filled and you missed out).  Timing really plays a huge role in things.  Sometimes it’s luck, but I personally think the Universe has things lined up for us and everything happens to teach us something.  We can learn from everything and everyone.  Even the jerk that cut in line can teach us how to be patient or how to speak up. 
  6. Education- Education helps us grow, and growth is one of the keys to life. Education is never wasted.  I went back to school in my 40’s and got my masters degree.  Am I using my masters in nutrition to provide nutritional counseling to clients?  No.  I’m not, but it did challenge me (it was TOUGH), and I made some awesome friends in school, and I also came to learn what I want to do (the salad dressing).  This business is tough, but in all honesty- my goal was to hear people say, “I eat salad because of your dressing” (Nerd alert).  Guess what?  A few people actually said those words to me, and I can’t even tell you how happy it made me. 
  7. Face your fears- don’t be afraid to try new things.  If I didn’t step out of my comfort zone, I would not be writing this blog post and Trixie’s wouldn’t be in existence.  Am I scared shitless sometimes? Yes.  I’m scared shitless at times.  I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking, “what the hell am I doing?” or had that same thought when I am selling at my booth and it’s pouring rain and I’ve sold 3 bottles of dressing all day.  But this has been one hell of a ride so far, and I’m just getting started. I'm so excited to see what the future has in store for Trixie's and for me too!
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Margaret ChapmanComment