takingthebullbythehorns

I’m baaaaack!

01/31/2011
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Hello world! I have returned to Greensboro refreshed! It felt great to get away from the stress I have created here. I came back with a stress reducing weapon too! Haha!

While I was away at my parents’ my mom and I went shopping and I bought some Marley’s Mellow Mood drank. Ha! Yes, I said drank. It’s ebonics! Look it up. Lol! It is a can of berry juice that is supposed to reduce stress and relieve tension. It has a picture of Bob Marley on the front and I got it at Hot Topic in the mall. It is basically sugar water with some calming herbs like chamomile, kava kava, valerian root, melatonin, etc. It comes complete with a warning label that reads: This product may cause drowsiness. Do not exceed 2 servings daily, consumed several hours apart. By the way one can = one serving. I wonder if Bob Marley’s family is getting any of the money from this… I am going to set it on the mantle in my house for a conversation piece. If I get stressed one day, then I will probably end up drinking it, then put the empty can back on the mantle. Ha!

So, I talked to my dad and he seems somewhat open to the idea of helping me with this $150,000 dilemma. He said that he would rather help me start my own business b/c it can probably be done for $50,000 instead of helping me buy one that costs $150,000. I said I would think about it b/c the $150,000 business already has customers so it’s not as risky. I have bills to pay monthly like everybody else….

I also told him about this book that I am reading called The Richest Man in Babylon. One of my new super awesome friends recommended it to me! I am halfway through it. My dad started it then told me he wanted to buy it from me. I told him he could have it but he insisted on giving me the $10 anyway so I can go buy it again. This book is about how to obtain and manage your money. It is biblically based so it has stood the test of time. It is a quick read b/c it is based on a parable (story) of a man who was a good worker but poor and how he went to ask a self made rich guy how to get rich. You just gotta get past the thou’s. Thou shalt read this book. Thou shalt save 10% of everything you make. Thou shalt control thy expenditures. Lol!

So, I got back to Greensboro and checked my e-mail this morning and found this from my friend Chip Symonds:

I checked out your blog, clever name I like that. The bull analogie might also relate to the stock market, a “bull market” one that is charging along to success, so you are hoping to have a bullish year. I don’t know a lot about prospecting for investors but I did do some reading on it back in the 90’s. Basically you put together a business plan and proposal then use that to attract prospective investors. The newspaper is one place to look for people interested in investing and you can place your own ad as well. Today we have the internet so you might want to look at Craig’s list and some investing web sites. I am glad to see you have made the first steps to starting your own business. Good luck selling your sleds and calenders.
What great new information! I had not thought of this before! I met Chip a long time ago when I was in college. I was booking bands for this place called Game Time Lounge over in the ghetto. I did it for an internship for credit for an independant study class. I thought I wanted to own a club at that time. I learned a lot like it’s not that easy to get people to come out to support live music.
I cannot remember exactly how Chip found me or how I found him. He was in a band at that time. Now he is a one man show. He is soooo talented! He plays the guitar, keyboard, flute, and sings! You can listen to his music at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/LifeTrip1
I personally like track 8 and 13. I also think he sounds even better live! He is very inexpensive to book too. We had him play at the apartment complex I work for at a resident event and everyone loved it. He creates his own music but he also does covers from Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley, etc.

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Let the melt down begin

01/28/2011
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You will not be hearing from me tomorrow and possibly not the weekend either.

Tonight I went to my indoor soccer game. I didn’t feel like I got to play enough which is partially my fault. I don’t really pay attention to who is subbing in and out. Therefore, when I go out I never know when or who I should sub back in for. We ended up winning the game by one point. I was not happy though. We have beat this team once before. Then as I am driving home, I start crying. Why am I crying? It can’t be b/c I didn’t get to play enough soccer. That doesn’t make sense. I must be under too much stress. So as not to give up on this thing entirely, I am just going to take some days and try to not think about anything.


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Passion

01/27/2011
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Good morning all! Today I am listening to Adele sing. I love her passion! She is a British singer that got famous off of myspace. Here is her new song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYEDA3JcQqw

I love you tube too!!! 🙂

So yesterday, I talked to a guy from the Greensboro Small Business Owner meetup group. I have been attending this group for approx 2 yrs and am now co-organizing it. The link for it is: http://www.meetup.com/Greensboro-Small-Biz/

Anyway, this guy’s name is Ed Gillooley. He was very nice and positive. He said a couple of things that really stuck with me. 1. People view their business as their baby. If you look at their numbers and deem that the business isn’t worth what they are asking for it, then they will look at you as if you just told them that they have an ugly baby. And NO ONE thinks their baby is ugly. Haha! 2. If you don’t get the business, you will have at least learned a lot and have documented it to use in the future.

After talking to him, he sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Nice to talk to you

Great to talk..let me know if I can help.

God bless you and your (future) successful business.

 Ed Gillooley

www.hirefinance.net

Very cool!!!

Then I spoke with a guy from Self Help credit union. They originally financed this buiness 10 yrs ago for the current owner. I thought all credit unions gave better interest rates than banks. However, this credit union will finance businesses that banks won’t so they actually charge a higher interest rate. The guy was nice but told me to basically use them as a back up if I can’t get the money elsewhere. He also said that they would want me to have the 20% to put down from my own money (a mere $30,000). They would not want me to owe it to anyone else even if it was family. He said that a family member could gift me the money though. My dad is DEFINITELY not going to want to do that. Ugh…. It is going to take a TON more to convince him and I am sure I will still have to repay him… Today I am going to type up an argumentative paper to present to him.

Something else sucky happened too. I found out that my boss’ friend wants to buy this business too. She has the contact information and she is older than me with access to more money. I told my boss that I was going to be pissed if she bought it out from under me. Fortunately, my boss and I have a decent relationship that we discuss most things. It hasn’t always been this way but I have been there for 5 and 1/2 yrs now. Grr….

I forwarded the e-mail from my bank to the owner within regards to what I/we need to see. I included some things my business consultant suggested as well. I am waiting to hear back from her as far as when she will be available to meet. My business consultant said it will take approx 2 hrs to do a due diligence. Once I know the business is worth it and making good money AND I know I can get the money to pay it, then I will be putting down the earnest money (deposit) to hold the business. I need to be patient b/c if I put down the money and somthing doesn’t pan out, then I won’t get it back and it is $1000. I really feel like I am racing against time. I’m going to take some deep breaths now and leave you with this quote:

Whether you think you can, or you can’t, either way you‘re right.” (Henry Ford)


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It’s Wednesday!

01/26/2011
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Yay the week is half way over!

I am sitting here this AM next to my woodwick candle that my best friend sent me for Christmas.  These things are sooooo cool!  When you burn them, the wick crackles and sounds like a real fire.  You can buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond, Hallmark, and Cracker Barrel.  Wow these stores should really pay me for promoting them. Haha! By the way, these would make great Valentine’s Day gifts ladies and gentlemen!

Yesterday I finally had a little bit of a break through within regards to this $150,000 dilemma. I am working with Suntrust and Truliant. I was also contacted by two business finance guys and referred to another credit union by a guy from my small business owner group.  The bank/credit union said that they generally want 10 to 20% put down. They said they will determine the worth of the business and how financially healthy the business is when they review the financials. Yay! I like knowing someone else also sees the value of this business! It’s kinda like going to another doctor to get a 2nd opinion…. you already determined there was a problem and that’s why you went in, then the doc tells you what they think and then you get another professional to verify it. The more people that look into it the better chance that they will be able to fix it correctly!

I contacted the owner about going ahead and signing the confidentiality agreement so I can see the financials. She said she would get the information together and fax it to the bank/credit union. Since I cannot have the financials myself, I need to find a time to meet with her and my friend who is a business consultant. I am hoping to do this before the weekend b/c I am going home to visit my parents (aka bank of dad) and discuss this with them.  I had already planned a visit home before this opportunity presented itself. And my mom has actually sold 5 sleds for me! Yay!!!! I love my mom! She is the best!!!! Thank you God!  🙂


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Feelin good, Feelin good

01/25/2011
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Feelin good, Feelin good, Lookin good, Lookin good

Haha! That’s something Jay from Jay and Silent Bob said one time. 🙂

I went to my Greensboro Small Business Owner meetup group last night. It is always interesting, informative, and inspiring! I love being around other business owners!!! I learned what a quick response is and will be on the lookout for them. They are basically small images that smart phones can download for information. Here is a pic of one:

View Image

These things will be popping up everywhere soon! They will be on business cards, products, and in art and on buildings. Wow technology!

Today is Day 2 of trying to find $150, 000 to purchase a local business. I have some places to contact that the group recommended. Did I happen to mention that I am competing with 2 other people who are serious about buying this business? Whoever gets to the finish line first wins!

Today’s applicable scripture:

Keep on asking and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthews 7:7-11

Dear God, Today I am knocking and asking. Thank you God for blessing this situation for the highest good of all. Love, Julie

I often times repeat that last sentence in times of panic. And I have the verse above on an index card on my fridge.  By the way, I have not always had a relationship with God. I strayed away for awhile when I thought my prayers went unanswered in my youth. Luckily, I found my way back.

Pepe wants to go to work with me today but he can’t. However, if I am able to get this business then he will be able to sometimes. I was going to add a reminder picture of what he looks like but my computer is acting up. Sorry guys…


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Helping others – helps yourself

01/24/2011
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Here is a picture of one of Craig’s mom’s wreath:

You can purchase one from her by calling her at 336-501-7793. Her name is Nancy and her business name is Noah’s Place.

1. Today I sent off 1,000 e-mails to my friends, family, and acquintances to try to raise $150,000 to buy a business. I would post on here what it is but I don’t want anyone to buy it out from under me.

While I am helping others, I would like to let you know that I bought my car at Automotive Solutions of Greensboro. If you are in need of a car and go over there, then please tell him that I sent you b/c he will give me a referral fee if you buy one from him. The car lot manager is named Joe Hodges and he is a wonderful person! He is a pleasure to work with because he is soooo knowledgeable, trustworthy, friendly, and funny! He also has some beautiful cars for sale! Their link is: http://thecarsolution.com/


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Church and then the discovery of my half birthday!

01/24/2011
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Hello! Today is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad it is. They made us say that in church today. I had forgotten that little quote… I vaguely remember it from my childhood anyway. These people are so positive and happy! Soooo cool!

2. I thought this morning about how I labeled this New Year’s Resolustion as number 2. That was probably a mistake:

So don’t worry about these things saying “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father already knows your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:31-34

Today I put my dearest friends’ names in the prayer box. That way others can pray for them to be open to the idea of God and for God to surround them with other believers to help plant seeds as well.

After church, I went to work. It was rather slow today thankfully. I was able to think some and realized it was my half birthday when I pulled off the day on my Dilbert day-by-day calendar. Ha! I came up with the half birthday concept years ago when I saw a birthday card about tennis when I was looking for a b-day card for another friend. I knew that my ex-boyfriend would like the card but his b-day was a long way off and I wanted to go ahead and give it to him for fun. So, I waited a month and mailed it to him (even though he lived in town) for his half birthday. How funny! I love being unforgetable! And I loooove birthdays!!!

Upon my discovery, I immediately texted several of my friends. They all sent back texts saying happy half birthday! Haha! One of my new friends asked how I would celebrate. I thought about it for a second and then responded that I was going to go hang out at this business that is for sale and fantasize about buying it. And that’s what I did! I decided that I really do want it. Then I went home and called Craig to brainstorm about how to get the $150,000 to buy it. This is a picture of Craig. He is soooo cute and sweet! 🙂

1. I also talked to my business consulant and he agreed to go with me to look at the financials once I set up an appt with the owner. I have a list of 7 companies to call tomorrow from banks to the SBA, Women’s Resource Center, Self Help, etc.  I also talked to my mom and asked her to mention it to my dad. I don’t know if they would be willing to lend me some money or not. I then wrestled up my resume and my business diploma from UNC-G. That way I don’t have to go into the bank empty handed and begging on my knees. We will see if God has this place in the cards for me. I really hope so! Of course everything has it’s pros and cons and I am trying hard not to get overly excited.

I also helped Craig’s mom today. She asked Craig to give me one of the wreaths that she makes so I could put it in the office at work. That way if someone comes in and asks where we got it then we can give them her information. I put it up at work and also wrote her a note that we needed pricing info, more business cards, pictures of some others she has made, and a flyer so we can put it on the bulletin boards in the mail centers. Then I went online and found 2 places where she can sell them. One is the Farmer’s Market downtown is having an arts and crafts fair March 20th. The other one is an Art for Art’s Sake festival in Winston. I went to a couple of their festivals last year and it’s nice b/c they don’t charge a booth rental fee for artists. I hadn’t even looked at their site yet this year. So by helping her, I also ended up helping myself. I need to get back out there with my side business.

I wish I had taken a picture of her wreath to put on here before I took it and put it up at work. They are very unique! Oh well…. I just thought about that…

Here’s another picture instead:

Remember these perpetual birthday calendars? You know you want one! They are only $5. They look so much better in person too! For some reason, none of the 25 pictures I took of them look good…  How bizarre!


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Feeling better yo!

01/22/2011
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Woke up early AGAIN… That’s ok I just hope I don’t get tired super early tonight.

1. Reposted my sleds on craigslist.org and posted on marketplace on facebook. However, I could not figure out how to send the marketplace post to all of my friends. I sent one of my super smart friends an e-mail requesting his help. I need to get this rolling b/c it is supposed to snow on Monday. I also need to make a flyer to put out.

2.  Need to send out a Dear God text. This is my new way to plant seeds. I like to send out funny texts every once in awhile. My last Dear God text read – Dear God, Please turn the heat up outside. Love, Julie.  I’m not sure what todays Dear God text will be about… I am going to marinate on that. I also need to begin applying the knowledge I have from the book The Five Love Languages.

FYI – I have been doing good with my other resolutions:

3. I have decided on an amount to donate for cancer monthly and have sent the check for $25.

4. I have not been sleeping on my stomach.

 Oh dang….  I still haven’t lifted any weights yet. Grr….


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Some days are more difficult than others

01/22/2011
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Today was a difficult day at work. I kept thinking about how my co-worker’s boyfriend is making $72,000 a year as a personal trainer.  That is more than double what I am making and he gets to set his own schedule. It cost only $550 to become certified. I was pissed about this all day long.

My roommate and Craig tried to make me feel better via text. My roommate said that she also wasn’t happy with what she is making either. She said she got her W2 this morning and it made her want to vomit. Ha! I told her maybe she should b/c taking sick time is one of the few advantages of working for someone else.

Craig told me that I should be thankful b/c I have a job, own a condo, a new car, slinging sleds, selling calendars, and catching big fish. So why am I upset? I replied that the bank actually owns my condo and my car. And I wish that it was warm enough to go fishing again. That clears my thoughts and relaxes me. And I know I need to be more thankful. I need to stop thinking and start selling sleds…  Then I thanked him for trying to make me feel better. The rest of the convo went like this:

me: the first step is to acknowledge the problem

Craig: You got that right, but its all good.

me:   🙂 this is for you? U r so sweet!

me:    😦 this is for me…. I am working on turning my frown upside down

Craig: Thank you. Ur fine don’t think about it

me: I am just not feeling it today

Craig: Awww poor pee wee

me: I leased an apt and almost felt better. Then they got denied based on credit. Boo

Craig: Nooo that sucks

After work, I went to eat vietnamese food with two of my good friends with whom I have not seen yet this year and it is already the 21st. Car shopping will take away your free time. Thank goodness I have finally found and purchased a new (used really) car. So far I love it! And the manager of the car lot and I have become friends too!

The food at Binh Minh was delicious as always! I love the fresh spring rolls! We had a great time joking around and catching up! The fortune in my fortune cookie said Don’t stress too much. How fitting!!! Lol! I then bought some extra spring rolls to take to our other friend who couldn’t make it b/c she had to work. I took it to her at work and she was so happy!!! 🙂  That makes me happy! Also, my friend J. gave us chocolate covered cherries that he brought back from Germany. They have liquor in them. Yummy!


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The 19th day of the new year!

01/19/2011
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I am up early again. I have been sleep deprived since the end of Dec when I took Nyquil for more than 7 days. At that time, I was fighting off a cold. The end result is that I never got truly sick and I don’t have a problem going to sleep but I have a problem staying asleep. My advice to you is to heed the warning on the bottle. I still love Nyquil though! I think it is the bomb!

I would like to lamment for a second about New Year’s Resolutions. I know everyone is convinced that they are made to be broken and therefore fewer people even try. I on the other hand think January and February are excellent months to be working on some goals. What else are you going to do when it is frigid cold and dark outside?

Pastor Rick Warren (love him!) sent out a devotional talking about New Year’s Resolutions. It said, “Nothing changes your life more than the commitments you make in your life. Your commitments can develop you or destroy you but either way they will define you. Tell me what you are commited to and I will tell you what you will be at the end of the next ten years.” He included this Bible verse:  So, let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you has something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! Now that we are on the right track, let’s stay on it. Philippians3:15-16

I may refer to my resoltions by number specified in my first blog…

 1. My sleds came in for my business. Yay! If anyone knows of anyone who would like to buy one, they are $20 a piece. I now hope it snows again! Here is a picture:

They are 48″ tall and hold one or two people. They got good ratings online.

I am also selling perpetual birthday calendars that I make. They are a mere $5 each. Perpetual birthday calendars are a European concept. It’s basically so you can look and see everyone’s birthday at a glance and you never have to transfer them from one calendar to another. The first lady to purchase some from me is from Holland. She was so excited that I had them because you cannot buy them in stores here.

They are on 11×17 card stock. I also have them in neon yellow. They look really nice in a frame too! Michaels sells 11×17 frames.

Ok well I’ve got to go put these sleds on craigslist now. Wish me luck!!!


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