Let's keep it up!

We are more than half-way through the year, guys!
Hang in there, keep going.  You have it in you to be extraordinary.
Don't let yourself down.  Give it all you got and then give even more!
You have more potential than you can even imagine.

New printable in the works

Hi, OWL peeps!
I just wanted to let you know that I'm working on a new printable that should help you with making every day a success.  This particular printable is specifically for a team of people I'm working with, but I am about to make another one that's a bit more generic for anyone to use.

Guest post from Katie Armstrong on her travels!

Traveling Abroad: Five Recommendations for a Trip Filled With Comfort and Adventure

Katie Armstrong

In May, I finally saw Venice, Italy. My mother had told me stories from when she studied there many years ago. And now, I’ve fallen in love with it just as she did. Every ancient inch of it. The canals. The clock tower in the square that has mechanical statues strike a bell with hammers in order to announce the time. The churches squeezed among the shops, with their doors opening onto the tiny laneways. And the way the streets emptied out after it rained one evening; tourists sat down to dinner inside, away from the rain, but I went past Piazza San Marco to an open space overlooking other islands. The buildings and their columns and artwork were reflected in puddles on the cobblestoned ground, and the light was breathtaking.

Seeing Venice (along with Florence and Rome) has been a highlight of my many travel adventures. Along with Italia, I’ve been to Australia, South America, and other countries in Europe. A lot of those trips were part of study abroad programs, and so they were planned for us. Traveling in Australia and this past trip to Europe, however, was the result of my own (and my friend’s) dreaming, planning, and budgeting.

Traveling is expensive, especially for a full-time student like myself with only a small stipend for spending money. The American dollar is weak when stacked next to the Euro or the Australian dollar, so tacking that on to general expenses makes the billing and charging that much more daunting. But there are ways to save money, and ways to spend it, in order to have a smart, comfortable, and inexpensive journey. Below, I share some steps I took to have my adventures in Italy.

1.    First, there’s budgeting at home to finance your trip. I live close enough to my university to walk, and since bus fares have climbed to almost $2 each way recently, I would trek the almost-mile by foot twice a day for about 5 months. In the end, I saved enough for financing my stay in one city.

2.    Caffè mochas are my weakness. I’m not a fan of brewed coffee, and tea just doesn’t cut it when I need a caffeine spike. But like everything else where I live, fancy coffee drinks are expensive. For about four months I would limit myself to just one mocha a week, as opposed to the four or five I’d been used to. (I kept telling myself that caffè lattes in Italy would be better anyway, and sure enough they were!). I figure the money I saved without mochas here was enough for me to eat healthy, good food during my time abroad.

3.    Anyone traveling on a budget knows not to stay at hotels. Hostels are much cheaper. But sometimes, hostels can be a pain (where to store stuff if there’s no luggage storage? What about clean bathrooms? What if you don’t want to share a room with strangers and there are no single rooms available?). In Italy, we stayed at convents. Found via monasterystays.com, the convents were clean, convenient, and had private bathrooms. Only 10 Euro more expensive per night than a hostel, these cozy stays were tucked away on quiet streets. In Venice, the convent was a palace-turned-convent on the very last street on the northern part of the main island…just a cool tidbit J

4.    Whatever other money-saving ideas you may have during your trip, do NOT skimp on food. Wherever you are, not just in Italy. Food is an iconic, and often amazing, part of a culture. Ok, so sometimes fast food is necessary, like when you’re rushing to get to a train from Florence to Venice and have 10 minutes between sightseeing and the train platform. But really, eat the pizzas, and the homemade pastas, the fresh vegetables, and the coffees and gelato, and frequent the little sit-down cafes. There’s no need for high-end restaurants when budget traveling, of course, but don’t cheat yourself out of delicious, carb- and chocolate-laden memories.

5.    Sometimes, it’s not worthwhile to see everything that’s recommended in the guidebook. Instead of trying to cram in three of the most important museums in Florence into our schedule and budget, my friend and I visited just two – the Uffizi Gallery and the Museo Galileo. It meant we missed out on Michelangelo’s’ David at the Accademia Gallery, but we were also able to take our time and enjoy each of the galleries in the Uffizi, and marvel at the tools of science for more than a brief hour at Museo Galileo. Ultimately, your trip is yours – not the guidebook’s – so marvel at what you find most appealing.

In Italy, one phrase that kept popping up in my mind as I traversed through rooms full of paintings and little laneways full of glorious architecture was “To marvel at beauty.” I’m so glad and grateful I was able to marvel at all that beauty, and I hope you found my tales of budgeting and planning useful for your next trip.

One Thing Printable

Just email me for the printable. :)

Free Printable: Who Can I Give Value to?

This is something you don't hear stressed in school.  It's not the good grades, or the stack of completed homework, or the degree that gives you opportunities to create a bright future.  It's people.  Education serves you when you use what you know to serve other people - which means that we need to be paying just as much (if not more) attention to building dynamic relationships with a network of people as we are paying attention to our grade point average or what have you.  People are opportunities.  Being able to look at a person and think, "What can I do for you?" is what will help you move forward in life.

As Jim Rohn said, you create income by bringing value to the marketplace.  What is the marketplace?  It's people.  You create income by bringing value to people.  As an entrepreneur with several different types of businesses, I've been able to figure out this principle from the inside out.  When you're willing to serve other people and help them get what they want, you will eventually get what you want.

But the KEY is that you can't wait for someone to "hire" you, to give you a project to do, to raise their hand and say "help me."  You have to be the one to think and say, "How can I help you?" and be willing to not benefit monetarily at first, and yet realize that there is always a benefit in helping others - every time you give value to others, you become a more valuable person...and that can lead to some pretty incredible opportunities.

Email me at michellerohr@gmail.com for this printable to help you become a more valuable person!  :)

Don't pile stupid on top of stupid

I've been listening to Dave Ramsey's Podcast faithfully for a couple of months now.  Guests call in needing help with their financial problems.  One of my favorite phrases I hear from Dave is, "Don't pile stupid on top of stupid."  It's one thing to mess up once, it's a worse thing to compound the problem by sticking our heads in the sand instead of fixing what's going wrong.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
- Lou Holtz
 Life is always teaching us a lesson that will help us grow.  Life only gets really hard when we reject the lesson by running away from it or failing to see it.  Really successful people are people who move from one lesson to the next, and next, and next...because they know that to not accept the challenge of life's lessons is to accept stagnation, mediocrity, and eventual disaster.

Whether your life is hard or easy is up to you.

What lessons are in front of you right now?  How can you master them?

SUCCESS Magazine

I have been a subscriber of SUCCESS magazine for a couple years now and love it!  The free CD in every issue is how I got exposed to people like Chris Guillebeau and Seth Godin.  The lessons I learned by listening to the interviews with the people on the CDs helped me change my life, adapt to the new economy, and take my mindset to another level.

Can't wait for the Hugh Jackman issue!  Just click on the magazine to go to where you can check it out. :)

Get back to the drawing board!

Click HERE to access THE MAY REVIEW!

A couple of months ago, I had the immense pleasure of contributing just a bit to this AMAZING workbook created by Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association.

Now that it is the beginning of another month, it's the perfect time to reap the benefits of this workbook once again.

Don't cheat yourself out of the wonderful things that you can have happen this month.  Take the time to plan and set your goals for July right now!

"Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success."
- Stephen A. Brennen

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