Welcome to our office - project me day 789

The beautiful gardens of La Vie en Rose

There's something about sitting with other business owners and having that conversation that goes, 'where are your office?'

To shamelessly have the?commonality of having that desk allocated somewhere in the house but the majority of business being done, well, literally anywhere we choose was so refreshing for my soul today.

In this day and ages surely this is how simple it should be? There has always been something about Greggie and I that doesn't want any kind of stuff environment and when ?I do my visualisations I always pause to make sure that the office I create in my head is open, fun, free and so in line with what we have created as our prefect working environment.

An old house .. that's what I see most of all. I know I need gardens and I know I need big rooms where ?the boardroom doesn't represent a boardroom at all. At the moment I work with cats on my lap and country music filtering through my home. That's when I'm working from home.

Heading off to Greggie's house and there's a dog lying by our feet, the furthest from country music filtering through the air and me chilling (in my office chair) at the kitchen table.

On the best days, our office is situated in the gorgeous gardens of a very dear Jozi spot! Yes, I've said it before and checked in often. Not as often as Greggie though, seeing that he's holding Foursquare mayorship there.
La Vie en Rose has literally become our office away from the office. I can't even think how many meetings we've had there and business lunches also can't be counted on fingers and toes. On the odd day, I think that it's time for us to get some sort of office, but then a day like today happens.

It's terrible to feel alone in the world, even when striving to be unique and do something different. But finding common people who do their own kind of different but make it feel safe and familiar to you, those are the great people to hang around with. The people who love our 'office' because theirs is exactly the same.

I'm truly?satisfied?with being in this modern day world of living, where a laptop, mobile phone and some sort of internet connection can make anywhere an office. Now to master the art of manifesting a week in one city and a few days in another, all while the work day ticks on for me.

I sure like my manifestations so far!

Know when to quit - project me day 788

Since #FollowSA and the?awareness?that people have on my following, I'm often DM'd and asked to Tweet or Tweet, take a peak at something or offer my assistance with something else. I'm always more than happy to do the once over and it takes nothing for me to Retweet as long as I know I'm dealing with someone who understands that socialising online is a two way street.

There's a downside to my day today because even though we landed a new client and had a successful meeting filled with potential ... I'm getting tired of potentials of meetings without a financially booming end result and I want to be working so much more with so many more hours to spare on clients.

This is where I value partnerships because my down days are always coupled with Greggie's looking on the bright side of life and spurring me on. It's an interesting life lesson to have to learn to turn success and respect into financial gain. If we measure ourselves against so many benchmarks then we are wealthy beyond words, but the lesson of money seems to be a life choice of mine that I'm not finished dealing with. I blame the 8 in my life path ... it's extreme! I'm waiting for the extreme wealthy because I've done the down side.

In the yo-yo of the mixed feeling that made up today, I found myself wavering between worthy work and aimless things to occupy my mind. One of the less important things was an email I received with a personality test. Well, that was sure to pass the time. The emails always begin with the offering that is unique to everyone else and with my mind half down the drain, I was falling for anything.

If there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it wasn't in the questionnaire and close to 30 questions later I was hearing the voice in my head scream for me to 'quit'! I'm not a quitter, is what I kept telling myself. Now this free survey was going to tell me something that I didn't already know about myself? A few questions on and some tricky maths ones got me thinking, 'it's not like they are going to tell me I suck at maths because I know that'. ?The drive to not quit kept me going for a few more until I realised that I was hardly even reading the questions and the long, drawn out free tool, would be completely?innumerate. 'How did I know that?' was the next question that played on my mind just before I hit the 40th question.

Answer ... because I know myself well enough. I haven't been project me'ing my life for over 8 years to not know when I know that there's very little you can tell me about me that I don't know. Mostly, to when to quit and no to quit.

The irony of pressing the exit button and aborting the questionnaire, that I should have quit ages ago, was the reminder of why I was doing it in the first place. Today I could have quit. To be honest, it's Tuesday night and Greggie, mom, Pat and I get together for feelings night and I know I'm going to shed some tears and say I wish I could quit, but I know I'm not ready. I know that no fibre of my being wants to.
It's not like we are going to sit down and discuss other option for my life if had to choose to quit, because that's not on the cards but it doesn't take away from the frustration of waking up each day and doing your utmost to monitise you dreams. You know what ... that's why so many do quit and why those who don't write a book about it!!!

Tweet on the run - project me day 787

@ohgodknows & @jaakOrilla before the race ... note you won't find many 'after' pics ;p

It's Monday! I have to admit that my body didn't really care and I woke up far too late for a work day. At first I felt guilty and wanted to kick into some form of self sabotage that scream of me being lazy, apathetic or maybe losing passion for what I'm doing.

Then I remembered ...

I set my alarm for before the sun even rose on Saturday morning, to be on time for the Deloitte Pretoria marathon that was starting at 6;20am ... all the way in Pretoria of course. Not that I had that problem because I was not running, I was only Tweeting. Um ... no ... not from the sidelines but from the comfort of my bed. But, yikes, who wakes up at 5:45am to Tweet!

Me! All in the name of ?#FollowSA and supporting my best friend, Greggie, who was holding the flag high for our first sporting team. Two runners for team #FollowSA and a few others who were willing to grab stickers and add to the bodies, made it so exciting lying in my warm, cozy bed and Tweeting all the way until the finish line had been crossed and they 10km champions were sipping on cold beers.

Of course Greggie and I always have a combo of fun and work in the same agenda and so this event was another #FollowSA way of gathering stats and seeing the power of the Tweet. Wow, it was powerful indeed and here's Greggie's blog post to prove it.

Now for the?frustration!

All the jokes and giggles aside and being a total treat to post from bed, I don't always wanna be doing that. I want to Tweet on the run and I certainly don't want to miss out on such exciting #FollowSA events. So why am I not out there?
If it weren't bad enough that my back doesn't allow for doing any kind of running, there's always the possibility of me being the 'Tweet on the walk' kinda girl. The only thing standing in my way is getting my fitness up and that's being halted by this bloody ankle of mine.

So I went for x-rays and there's nothing broken but the?ligament?is damaged and my doc seems to think that I'll be fine with how long it takes for an injury like this to heal. His instructs are to not overdo the anti-inflammatories or the ankle guard but I've now decided that I'm going slightly mad. This ankle injury happened last year already and I know I haven't mentioned it much, but it's holding me back from getting back to gym and I'm going mad.

The excitement of the first of many #FollowSA sports teams ?and I know that I want to part take in whatever I can. Who knows, this might be the thing that gets me going and sorting out the weight I want to lose and getting me feeling fit and fab ... it's 40 next year you know 😉

Snackwich Sunday - project me day 786

I'm a sucker for themed get togethers and everyone loved the idea of snackwhich Sunday ... a whole lot of fillings and scattered snackwich machines ... and some crazy combos!

Of course we have to make mentions of Greggie's pancakes to ?end the day ... a totally decadent day!

Happy 6th birthday Indulgence Cafe - project me day 785

Pat and I had such a glorious day celebrating the 6th birthday of Indulgence Cafe with the very special owner Mandy and a whole pile of Twitter friends ... and don't forget the champagne and the cutest cupcakes!

Same time, same place next year indulgence!

Amen to American Anthems - project me day 784

It's nearly March! Once again I'm expecting to be staring at a Christmas Tree with that, 'where did the year go?' look of shock in my eyes. But there's one think I've worked hard at, knowing how lost I can get in the world of social media and making my career happen. I promised myself that there would be me time and us time.

I've waited all my life to be in love and I can't stop staring at the ring on my finger, but that's now where I want happiness to end and begin. So Pat and I have decided to have moment ... very special moments. Going to the zoo, picnics under a tree, movie night ... and the theatre!

It felt like I hadn't been in ages and the excitement helped carry me through another day that's been filled with a little too much rushing, anxiety and the 'how' of life. The theatre and me, well we're great friends but when it's added to by my one of my great loves, I knew that it would be hard to beat this night.

Pat and I have not much in common. Sometimes it borders on nothing at all. Then music fills our home and I'm reminded of just how connected we are. I've said it over again and if you're new to this blog then welcome to my passion for good ole' American music. The kind that has everyone bopping and line dancing. The rock and the?country that was brought to life by the production, American Anthems at the Joburg Theatre.

Let me give you a?glimpse?into my childhood ... I grew up with Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Presley, The Eagles and Tina Turner on repeat non stop. I swear, my mom was never without music and it became an institution in our lives. I couldn't distinguish between genres but something about a touch of toe tapping and a lot of guitar fed into my soul early in life. That's why Bon Jovi, Cheryl Crow, Meatloaf and Bryan Adams were so easily my musical choices as I grew older and the growing has never stopped. Now I find myself as one of the few South Africans who cling to the day that I can travel to America and get lost in all that is Route 66 and the Grand Ole Opry.

In front of me sat an old lady and she seemed to be with her child and grandchildren. A few rows in front were 5 girl friends who couldn't be older than 30. I didn't think I would say that was young, but I'm beginning to realise that 40 is looming I'm getting to be the older generation. So sitting in the middle of these two distinct ages I was reminded that music is timeless and so are the memories that they?invoke.

'Born in the USA' was the first tape I owned for my walkman.
My orthodontist used to sing 'Jolene' while tightening my braces.
My fondest memories of my grand are attached to the song 'Desperado'.
'Living on a prayer' was my obsession when I used to collect music videos and I swear I've seen that video over 1000 times.
My first CD was 'Bat out of hell'.

Wow, the memories could go on and on!

And all around me, I saw young and old chair dancing, clapping, singing along and wiping a tear at a memory that was provoked by some of the most amazing songs of all time. Mostly, Pat and I formed new memories as we reminded each other that these songs were long played and a part of history before we met but that each one was close to both of our hearts and bonded us that little bit more.

To an amazing cast with incredible talent and to the songs that created so many memories ... I thank you for stopping time for a while and treating me to all the things I love best in one special productions.

If you are in the Jozi area and 'more than a feelling', 'Hotel California', 'Born to be Wild' and so many more spark a memory for you, then American Anthems is not to be missed.

Mike Wronski of Fuseware tells his Project Me Story

Mike Wronski studied electrical and computer engineering at UCT, and worked as a software engineer for a year before starting Fuseware. Fuseware deals with social media monitoring and analysis, and was created combining Mike?s two main passions for technology and psychology. Mike developed an interest in software development at the age of 10 and was involved in development ranging from games and 3D animations to business software and web applications. After seeing an opportunity to help companies understand what consumers think about them through social networks, Mike jumped into the deep end and started Fuseware.

On a personal note:?As both Lifeology and #FollowSA grow to become a well known name in the circles of social media, it has been with much gratitude to Mike and Fuseware for helping us has stats to back up all of our hard work and effort.

Mike, you have also grown to be a good friend and your passion and support of myself, Greg and all of our ventures means the world to me. I can't wait for both the stats and the friendship to keep getting stronger!

Mike tells his project me story:

What is your definition of happiness?
Mindfulness & appreciation for what you have

If you could have everyone say one thing to themselves every day, what would it be?
Today is the oldest I have ever been, and the youngest I will ever be

We all have that moment when we need someone to believe in us. Who is that person for you and why?
My dad, he has been an amazing pillar of support and love during the most difficult stages of my life

What quality do you believe we can never be taught because it is our birth right?
Passion

Describe the moment when you realised that you could achieve anything?
Closing a large corporate deal within only 3 months of starting my business at 23

How do you deal with the fears that could potentially hold you back?
Meditate on their opposite (e.g. instead of focusing on the fear of failure focus on love for achieving success), always keep on pushing my comfort zone until it becomes natural

What have you always dreamed of being or doing and have you reached that dream?
Owning a company that rocks an industry. I am halfway there.

When life gets in the way, what do you always remind yourself of?
The simple things that truly matter

We all have something unique to offer the world, what is yours?
An unrelenting desire to change the world

What do you believe we have lost sight of in the world as a whole?
Compassion for our fellow man

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Read Mike's blog: Startup CEO?

Kitchen confession: my fear of flour - project me day 781

Tuesday nights are the traditional gathering of Greggie, Pat, mom and me. We've been meeting for years and Pat has named it our 'feelings night' because we really do get together and give each other the ear we need to listen and the eye roll when what we saying about our lives or moments in our lives is so far from the truth.

With a night like that it usually calls for comfort food and I try my best to put a little extra care into whatever is going to be served, so the heart can feel the comfort too.

In their own little way, both the special men in my life (my best friend and my fiance) and suckers for being spoilt with food and they also know how to do that little thing with their voice that gets me cooking what their heart's desire.

In steps my confession ... I hate baking! Literally if it has anything to do with flour I want to run for the hills. It's the fault of school, I ?tell you. It's the fact that I got like 0% for home economics and on my report it was suggested that I don't take the subject one day longer.

And now it's Shrove Tuesday ... neither of the men (boys at this point) are Catholic and it comes from the tradition of clearing out all the flour from the house before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. So Twitter has a hashtag #ShroveTuesday and before I know it, the Tweets are flying and this Jewish girls is being asked to cook pancakes for the non-Catholic boys on a Catholic holiday ...

I've seriously managed to dodge flour since high school and all of a sudden it seems to be finding me. I even attempted to bake bread for Pat for Valentine's Day and despite using a ready made bread mix ... there was still a little disaster when it bubbled out of the pan. Thanks to Greggie's understanding of me not being great at getting much wrong and then knowing I'll never touch flour again, he pointed out that he's seen great chef's clean out the oven after a little spillage from time to time.

Once again, I think my bestie could see that if I didn't step away from the flour (once again, a ready made pancake mix) it would be the last time the fluffy white powder and me ever met. So he swiftly stepped in and took over the making of the pancakes ...

I know what it is ... it's that I have to listen to the instructions. I have to add the exact amount that I'm being told to and there's no variation. I hate that and I've worked enough with my crazy personality to know this ... if it flops and I've followed the exact instructions it means that someone proved it can be done and I still cocked?stuffed it up!

I've never claimed to be all sorted and that's what this blog is all about. So I identify the crazy bits of my personality, acknowledge them and hopefully do something different. I personally think that at least mixing the ready made pancake mix was a fantastic start.

 

Of course, the filling was a different story and my confidence was flying high with my chicken, mushroom and pineapple recipe that was ended off with shredded wilted spinach and grated cheese ... can you see the confidence difference? ;p

FollowSA weekend complete at Crystal Towers - project me day 780

#FollowSA photographer and my amazing fiance @patsloanephoto overlooking Cape Town from the glass pool edge of Crystal Towers hotel

Sometimes the world's impression of you can have shadows of misconceptions that are so well masked behind years of practice. Faking my composure and the illusion that all my ducks are in a row is slowly becoming one of my finest qualities.

This weekend past ... well it was one of the biggest I've ever known in my career. Friday night's #FollowSA Tweetup marked another huge step as Lifeology continues to showcase our business offering as social media campaign and event strategists. The upside was riddled with excitement and pride ... the downside is that I was petrified beyond words.

#FollowSA has grown into the culture of South Africa's Twitter community to such an extent that brands have been beyond generous with their sponsorship and my gratitude goes out to so many who have supported our Tweetups over the months.

But this one was different ... when all was said and done and the last Tweet settled onto the timeline, there was no going home to our familiarity. No cats to cuddle up to and no cars to jump into when the Tweetup ended. We weren't home ... we were out of towners breaking into an unfamiliar market with few faces that we recognised in the crowd.

Then how come we felt so at home? Had that car to jump into whenever we needed it? Had the comfort? Felt the welcome?

African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa ... this girl who started a blog and got some Twitter followers, then blogged some more and got more Twitter followers. This girl who is passionate about social media and a Libran who just loves to see people meet and mingle. This girl who started #FollowSA as a hashtag, turned it into a Tweetup and then another, never thought that the belief in Lifeology and #FollowSA would extend to such generous hospitality and the sponsorship that helped make our Cape Town trip possible.

Our gorgeous hotel room

Okay, so on my vision board is 5 star?accommodation. There's a?chauffeur in a shiny luxury car. There's a doorman who looks like his next stop is opening the door for Mr Trump and there are hotel room suits that I spotted in magazines and pinned into my mind as a dream destination.

Reward comes in many different packages and the hard work and commitment to my career manifested the #FollowSA event and weekend but my belief in my dreams and my worth, well that manifested the generosity of Gary Koetser and the 5 star hospitality of the African Pride Crystal Towers staff.

Being fetched right on time from the airport, welcomed with a genuine knowing of who we were, settling into a hotel that is beyond words and getting us to the #FollowSA venue once we were cleaned, preened and ready to face the Twitter crowds of Cape Town ... well that sorted the nerves out. Calmly and with so much excitement we headed off to make it all happen!!

And when all the work was done Crystal Towers turned into a mini honeymoon

But there's more to Cape Town than just a Tweetup for me. That;'s where my folks were born and a place that was so close to my dad's heart. Every corner of the Cape reminds me of him in some little way and I'm still working through the sadness of finally finding the man of my dreams, getting engaged and not having my dad around to know him. On the other end of the scale ... Pat has never been to Cape Town so every little thing was an adventure and thanks to Crystal Towers, we didn't have to go to far Pat and I to have a moment where #FollowSA successes were celebrated and we could spend a few hours being a couple in a city so close to my heart.

When I did my stint of dabbling into the answer to what life was and how it worked, I came across a teaching that said something about not being able to have it all because there was lacking in perfection. I think that was the day I decided to come up with my own beliefs instead and this weekend, Crystal Towers, my business partnership and my fiance proved me right ... we can have it all. All at one time, in one place and with perfection.
For each person it's called something different and founds somewhere different but for me it all happened at Crystal Towers!

I always say that everything starts with a Tweet ... well in my world anyway. Many Tweets ago I met Andrew Ross?and the Twitter connections began and grew stronger. Thank you Andrew for showing me that the power of #FollowSA works and for being fundamental in connecting Lifeology and African Pride hotels.

FollowSA goes nationwide - project me day 779

I can't quite explain all the emotions that I've experienced over the last few days that was the #FollowSA weekend in Cape Town, but I'm sure going to try.

Firstly, damn, it's a shitload of work ... um ... yes that's my chosen word to best describe what I feel like now that Greggie and I are putting the final tasks to rest on the event that took Lifeology and ~FollowSA nationwide.

Wait, before I get all mushy with the thanks to everyone who made this event possible, I do have to totally indulge in my 'project me' moment of surviving a weekend with my adorable fiance, Pat Sloane and my smashing business partner, Greg Arthur. Wow, but we make a freakin' funtastic team and surprisingly, we didn't try and kill each other nearly as much as I thought we would. I'm taking credit for that because I can see how far I've come at realising that we are fantastic at what we do and that these #FollowSA events are in our blood and every breath we take.
While sandwiched between these two incredible men on our flights to and from Cape Town, I had to fight back a very mushy speech and a few tears at just how lucky one girl can get. I've never been one to do things on my own and I revel in partnerships to make things happen. A floor in my character ... not at all ... I'd say it's the smartest personality choice I made.

So now back to Cape Town and our first Tweetup outside of Joburg. I have to admit that everyone scared the hell out of me about Capetonians and I had a picture of no more than 10 of the 150 RSVP's arriving and then them only pitching up after 9pm, when the sun had finally set. Granted ... you guys do take your time arriving, but when you do, you're one amazing crowd. With a turnout of 90 people and the Tweets overflowing the whole night through, I have a new found love for ?the people who were once just a Tweet.

Of course, my highlight was putting faces to the names of so many Tweeple I have been chatting to for so long. There's a part of my personality that just wants to hug and finally get to say 'hi' to everyone I've met online and one of my Lifeology theories is that social media will never take away from our human need to just want to connect offline ... that's why #FollowSA is the success it is! It's not just me. I watched so many people meet for the first time, after so many Tweets back and forth and the timeline was just filled with connections finally being made.

Who says something can't be perfect? Because I had a weekend that was in every way possible and that's thanks to the people & brands who believe in Lifeology, FollowSA and Greg and myself. We know this will be the first of many Tweetups in Cape Town and a stepping stone to the rest of South Africa ... and it's thanks to you:

Travel.co.za for being our flight partner and Protea Hotels, Fire and Ice for being such gracious hosts and catering.
To Emmanuel Castis for your talent and generosity and for always supporting #FollowSA. The crowd adores you and so do we.

Lovoka, you have become a brand that seems to truly get around at a #FollowSA event and we are so grateful for your generous sponsorship once again.
Thank you for your passion and support and for sponsoring a prize our new friend, Irit Noble.
To the technical sponsors Audio Sure and CCPP Professional Productions for bringing the event together with much needed equipment.
Many thanks to the amazing prize givers: Lovoka, News Now Mag, Hout Bay Manor, ?Morgenster, Irit Noble and Bella Rouge. There prizes are always the highlight of the event and show the true power of Twitter and brand awareness, so thank you for having faith in #FollowSA to bring exposure to your brand through our events.

To the special people, Grant, Karen, Liam and Mitch who gave so generously of your time ... I'm so very grateful!

Here are all the pics of the event: #FollowSA #HowzitCPT