Friday, June 28, 2013


I mentioned that I have been making attempts at distracting myself lately away from thoughts of business. Side note: Business is picking up! Yippee!!! 

I definitely most enjoy learning new things and keeping myself challenged. That's why an opportunity arose and I couldn't say no to it - especially when I was most needing a distraction! My friend graciously invited me to go mountain biking. I have never been and always thought it would be fun to try. I have to say, I love every minute of mountain biking! 

Happy Mountain Biker!
Something that I didn't realize about mountain biking was that contrary to cruising or road biking, mountain biking provides another type of mental relaxation. When I cruise or road bike, it really gives me an opportunity to think and work things out in my head. Mountain biking doesn't allow you to do that. You have to be in the present, the here and now, only focused on the trail and obstacles that lie ahead of you. Now as a woman, (and let's face it ladies, we are ALWAYS thinking), I actually found this to be a really nice break from my own brain! I couldn't worry about my business, I couldn't worry about my relationships, I couldn't worry about my financial situation. Seriously,  I could only worry about the next five feet in front of me and not plowing into a tree and that was about it! Is this how men feel all day long? Maybe mountain biking is the nearest experience to a male brain that women will find? I don't know but it's always a possibility.

A true woman multi-tasks while mountain biking. I picked flowers. Discovered after our ride!
Every obstacle I encountered from huge dipping ramps, to log mounds to rock gardens to large drop offs was fun to me. It was even fun when I did happen to run into a tree (just a little). No obstacle too big - like the challenge of life. 

Now that I've experienced some mountain biking, I really want to experience more! Hmmmm - just to get some more funds so that I can purchase my own mountain bike! I want to thank my friend, Mr. Minneapolis Fatbikes, himself for inviting me to experience something new, fun and challenging at a time when I really needed it. You can follow him and his adventures on Facebook

What's a new challenge you've recently taken on that you are proud of?

Friday, June 21, 2013


It is very hard for me to blog sometimes. Perhaps you've noted my absence? Maybe you don't even care. :) I like to think MAYBE some people do, but all in all, I write this blog for me. So if you happen to catch this and do enjoy my blogs, well, I'm very glad. :) Most especially, I've come to realize that it is even MORE difficult for me to write when I am not all Miss Glass Half Full, Miss Positivity, Miss Happy Go Lucky. After all, that is how most people know me. That is the image I am able to project to the world most of the time. My insecurities usually stay tucked right up inside me and are only divulged to the very few people close to me with whom I feel safe to share them. 

I've been accomplishing a variety of tasks lately - more as a use of a distraction. A distraction from a confession that I'm deciding to discuss today. My confession? Most people view me as a very strong person. I think I AM a strong person. However, I actually do have a variety of human emotions. I have high-highs and low-lows. I feel struggle, sadness, self-doubt, stress and fear just as we all do. Lately, I've been feeling the latter a lot more. It's in these times, that I - yes, my strong self - need help the most. I need encouragement, uplifting, a reminder that this is just part of the process and to not ever, ever give up (my 93 year old grandpa tells me that) , a boost to keep my chin up, up, up!

I have struggles; professional struggles, relationship struggles, financial struggles, emotional struggles, yes - I have struggles, a little bit of them all. This has been a difficult season of life for me. The weather in Minnesota has been less than desirable. It's rained all but about 10 days this spring. Weather is very unpredictable right now. Unfortunately, I own a business that is weather-dependent. Business has been slow to non-existent. I have begun to doubt myself in so many ways. Have I already failed before I've begun? Did I make a mistake in taking more of a risk with my business? Is business going to get better? Will the weather get better? Will I be able to survive financially? This whirls and whirls and whirls around my head all day. I have to try and push these negative thoughts and feelings aside. Sometimes I can do this on my own, sometimes I need help. Some days it can take a chat with my closest supporters to remind me that I AM strong, that I need to keep moving forward, staying positive and that truly, one can only say that they failed if they never tried. I learned something many years ago from a therapist I visited. 

Strong people are the people that ask for help when they need it. 
Yes. Strong people need help too! 

Perhaps some of the difficulty in expressing this comes about because on occasion when I've been discussing certain circumstances with people, circumstances which I had to confront and make a very difficult decision that they are also facing, I told them my point of view. They have responded to me, "Yes, but you are a very strong person." It kind of makes one feel that because they are a "strong person", that they must not experience all of the feelings that the "non-strong" (I think we all have the  capability to be "strong") feels or that at the very least, they shouldn't. Of course we do, but it's the strong that choose to march forward and attempts (sometimes with help from our friends) to not let this drag them down. 

Recently, I also started attending entrepreneurial groups. I love the group, networking opportunities and encouragement. On the other hand, I sometimes find myself talking with successful business people   comparing my success to their success. Wondering -  When it will be MY turn to talk about my success?! How come I don't have the level of interest they are having?! These are flash second thoughts, but I remember - this isn't a competition!  This isn't about who is more successful or less successful. This is about ME and my business. I am my only competitor. My mind is my only opponent. The only person to beat is myself. I'm also reminded of these people who many failures of their own.

This week, I also ran across the post of another local blogger I've had some contact with who was experiencing similar struggles. Facing fears, taking leaps and beating her only opponent - herself! Check out her post. Such a wonderful post and for me, it reminded me that I've come a long way. That I've continued to march through my fears, even though they are still there - everyday. It reminds me to stay strong and keep marching on! And that's what I'm going to do! But what I do need sometimes too, are some words of encouragement. Send some my way sometime! :)

What helps you get through times of struggle? 
What's your coping mechanism that keeps you marching forward?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

All things new...

There's a been many new changes in my life since I last blogged. The most obvious? I chopped off my hair! I love having a new style and the change! The added bonus is it will be nice and cool in my bike helmet! No hair on my neck! My friend Sarah who works at Honeycomb Salon in Minneapolis cut it. I think she did an awesome job, don't you?

Me being over-joyous one day about having finished my accounting.
Next, I finished my last day at my job with Neighbors, Inc. They even ordered me a really cool cake to celebrate my biking business:

I truly will miss seeing my coworkers every day. However, I have to move forward and allow myself to take some new risks with my business. For now, I am working as a freelance Spanish interpreter with an agency. I interpret medical appointments all day long as needed. I'm hoping that I can sustain myself on this income as well as some income from my business.

In terms of my business, the season has started! Although, I haven't had any paying tour customers yet! I'm getting a bit nervous about this, although our crazy and lengthy winter weather hasn't helped. This upcoming weekend, I will be doing a tour with a local hotel as they were interested in sending guests my way! I hope that goes well!! I have, however, had a lot of inquiries about the summer months so I am hopeful that this is just a slow start!

I am also pairing with some new businesses this year. A running tour company and I are planning on doing a couple of duathlon events this summer! I'm very excited about that!

I'm also excited to be pairing with some coffee shops this summer in doing a Coffee Tour! I hope that I can get some guests on this tour and see how it works out! 

Although change is hard sometimes, in accomplishing your goals, I've come to realize that sometimes it's simply necessary. 

Source: via Melanie on Pinterest

It's not easy, it may be a struggle, but sometimes if you don't make change in your life, the other opportunities will not come. I made a calculated risk with my business. I know that I can make enough income from my freelance position to keep up with bills and hopefully I'll be getting some extra income from my business soon enough. I ran across this article in doing some research and positive reinforcement with myself and change. It's a good read and I recommend you check it out HERE.

What keeps you motivated for change? How do you remind yourself that you are making a positive change when doubt enters in those dark corners of your mind?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A little help from your friends.

Well, since I do blog about my goals, I figured why not ask for a little help from my friends? If I'm writing, I may as well as harness the power of the blog, right? 

As you all know, I run a business called Minneapolis By Bike! I give bike tours in the city. This is my third year in and I've been working hard! I've been doing the business and a full time job now for about 3 years. I've been scraping by on funds for the last couple of years but it's all been worth it to pursue my passions. Finally, I am able to cut my hours back at work and really throw myself into this season. I'm amidst a work transition now so that I can still do some work to pay the bills, but also dedicate some more days to my business.

I would love to be able to expand my business next season to St. Paul! For that, I need more equipment.  But I also need some more equipment for some shorties that show up on my tours. They are quite difficult to fit on bikes! :) 

With that said, I recently entered a competition sponsored by Intuit for $5,000 to a small business! If you are reading this and would love to support a Goal Getter, please click HERE to vote for my business! :) I appreciate any help or votes! The votes don't make it so that you will win, necessarily, however they DO help in making decisions and getting noticed. :) 

Once again - please click HERE and vote! You can do it once per day even! :) 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Turning Leafs

I have big life events occuring lately! A lot of very exciting changes and I'm pumped for them!

This week is my final week at my full time position at the food shelf!
Yes, I have officially left my full time job. Before your jaw drops to the floor, there are a few things I should mention. I have recently gotten another position with a freelance interpreting company. I will be doing intepreting part time (during biking season) and will be dedicating more time and days to my bike tours!


I'm very excited for this new change but I'm also very nervous! This is a big risk (even though I have interpreting as a back up job) with my business and I'm hoping for the best. I've been very busy working away at the business and my official start date this year is May 9th!
I've been able to add 2 tours to my schedule so I'm excited for the changes! I have a new coffee tour as well as I'll be working with another running tour company to do a duathlon running event! Can't wait!
Recently, I dated someone - albeit brief. It ended in a disappointing manner where he canceled a date on me and then blew me off completely. For the person that I thought he was, I expected more compassion than that. While it hurt my feelings a bit, I have to say that overall, it was a good experience and reminded me of something that I forgot about for a while - there ARE people out there that I will like and have a connection with. Yes, they exist. It reminded me to leap when I felt I had a connection and also to let go when you aren't being treated as you should be. Both of these things I did and I'm glad for the experience. Every experience in life is meant as means to learn.

Source: via Berry on Pinterest
Given this - I've decided to take a bit of a dating hiatus. Not because I'm all bummed out and crying in my cocoa puffs each morning, but because I want to regroup and I have a lot going on in life at the moment. I've got a lot of new changes and new beginnings and I just want to have a bit of a break while I focus on all of that!

I'm also doing some new stuff this season of life. I find that during biking season, it's really hard for me to keep up at the gym. I am so busy every day that getting in an hour or more at the gym is pretty impossible if I want to have a social life too. I'm staring a new HIIT program that I'm enjoying and I'm going to stick with that over summer and will get back to weightlifting during the winter. I've been making some new health changes again - still eating clean but have just been playing around! A lot of fun new changes for me coming up, so stick around and keep reading.

I've STILL been working on goals on my goal board and I have yet to update you guys about some of them or they are still a work in process - I will be updating you all soon!
Hope you all find yourself busy and up to accomplishing some goals too!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


As I usually say, and it's always true, I've been busy. This keeps me away from blogging most of the time. I'm swept up in the momentum of accomplishing my goals, acheiving what I want to acheive, growing my business and then it's all too easy to forget or not have time to write about it. I want to write about it. I love to keep myself accountable, put my goals out there and show that you CAN, in fact, do anything that you put your mind to. Positive thinking, positive thinking, positive visualization, positive thinking! All of this, while still wanting to balance the normal things - working out, cooking and eating clean, social relationships and down time (a novelty that I don't give myself as much as I should!).

Despite looking out at a blustery winter day blowing outside my window, I know that the biking season, also known as my business and work season, is just around the corner. I should not be easily fooled by the cold temperatures and small snowfalls. It will be here, before I know it.

At the beginning of March, I learned that I no longer had a space for my business. I knew that biking season was 1-2 months away (but with this weather it may not be till June!). I just knew that I was pressed for time and had no location for the business. I had to move quick! It could have been quite easy to turn the situation into a negative circumstance, claiming that everything was working against me and I simply wouldn't be able to pull it all together...but that's just not reality nor how you become successful.

See, I believe everything happens for a reason. We are put in situations to learn, because there is something better that is meant for us, or even because a negative is to later show you a positive. That is life. Life happens...and it happens to us all. We all choose how to react to these things and I think that only the strong who can turn that one downer into a positive, are those that survive. What good is it putting your energy into being negative?

A lot of great things came from this occurrence! People that I do not even know from the community helped me search for a space. Friends went out of their way to help and support me. I'm even met and got into contact with more people and networking opportunities. I knew that out there, somewhere, was a place where my business would thrive.

In the midst of chaos, it appears that shiny happy occurences make themselves present. For example, despite the lack of business space, I was contacted more and more about my tours. I have people now wanting to refer me business! Out of that comes my own inner concerns; Can I keep up? Will I need to quit my job? What if I have to turn lots of people away? All of those, however, are very good concerns.

As luck would have it, about 3 weeks or so of searching and I found my new space! It's a garage that faces on a street and I have electricity! Exciting! A space to call my own! It doesn't look like much, but it's mine for my use only!

Ultimately and currently, I'm working on preparedness, positivity, and perserverance. The 3 Ps we'll call them. Now with a new space, I'm keeping optimistic about the upcoming season! I know big things  are on their way!

Source: via Alyssa on Pinterest

Hope you are all perservering in whatever situations you find yourselves - whether difficult or pleasant; it all comes with purpose.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A house to call home

I've been laid out these past 2 weeks with a terrible cold!  I'm finally back to almost normal health!

I mentioned various times that I have got a NEW place and I'm loving it! I'm surrounding myself by the things and people that I love! My old place left a lot to be desired, specifically SPACE! I really liked the place for the cost and the location but after 2 years and struggling to pay bills, I finally reached a point where I could take on a bit more in rent. Like I've said many times, I don't regret sacrificing so that I could accomplish my goal of starting my business. It was what it was and now I'm in a better position to have a place more suitable for my life.
The old place always made me think of a photograph that I've come across many times. A picture of a young Steve Jobs who is in a tiny apartment - pre-Apple success. Now, I'm in no way comparing myself to Steve Jobs - nor do I aspire to be Steve Jobs. The photograph does, however, make me think of people with a dream and vision willing to sacrifice and to achieve these. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that at this time, that the things pictured, were all he needed - "All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that’s what I had." Well, I certainly had more - but space I did not. I took a similarly styled Jobs photo when I left my last place just as a reminder.

Steve Jobs
At this rate, I think Steve's place looked bigger. Either way, it's a fun picture and memory of my time spent plugging away at my business and bills.
But now I have more exciting pictures to show you! My NEW place! I moved to a one bedroom apartment now in the city of St. Paul. It's further from my business, but much closer to my day job. Also, it's a really great price for the location and it's size. It's not HUGE but compared to where I lived before, I now feel like the proud tenant of a mansion! I even have a table to eat at! I've eaten in a bed for the last 2 years! Keep in mind, I'm still arranging everything in my place, so it's not completely organized as of yet.
This is the main living space of my apartment. My father and I spent some time and hung up my bike for function as well as an art piece. My new living area is going to have a bike theme!
And here is the other portion of my main room. A corner with a desk/sewing machine table! I inherited my grandma's sewing machine and like listed in my goals, I'm now taking a class! I will blog about this soon! :)
Ah, yes. The new kitchen. SPACE! I can cook AND eat in here!
My new eating nook! I can actually sit at a table now!
Welcome to my John! John, this is everyone! I have a bathroom...INSIDE my apartment! Yes, my old bathroom was in the hallway about 20 ft from my room.
And here is my budoir! No, I dont always make my bed - don't judge me!
My bedroom that's JUST for sleeping, unlike my old place where the bedroom was the main room, the living room, the office, pretty much "the everything". The furniture was my grandma's and I also got one of her old jewelry boxes which I love! In the third photo, I discovered a new way to organize my jewelry, belts and scarves on Pinterest! Check it out!

This is the view of my place sitting on the edge of my bed. I can see all the way to the kitchen! I feel like I live in a mansion! :)
There it is everyone! My new place of living that leaves me a much happier lady, more able to have a clear mind and focus on my goals!
Happy Wednesday!