self-employed

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Make Way for Happiness!

Published July 8, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2842Hello Happiness

This is why I’m more a believer in pronoia than karma …

First, I must explain “pronoia” since everyone knows what karma is. According to Wikipedia, here is the definition: “Pronoia is a neologism that is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia: having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people.”

Blessings in disguise are necessary to one’s evolution. It really sucks to be going through a bad time, but that’s what moves you to a better time. A quick example would be my career. Thanks to always trying to escape nasty people and office gossip, I’ve advanced myself to places I’ve always dreamed of. Starting out as a shipping clerk right after high school, I’ve learned all aspects of the working world — A/R, A/P, credit/collections — then went on to more creative venues, from typing, to proofreading, copy editing, writing features, learning design programs, and authoring three books. (As well as helping other people write their books). I am now superwoman. The more I learn, the higher my rates become; and the more I can pick and choose what work I want; and the more concerts I can go to, the more clothes I can buy, and the more vacations I can take. Go me.

Had I been someone who thrived on negativity, I would have stayed put. Fortunately bettering myself, away from back stabbers, always meant advancing in my career. Thank you Universe.

But pronoia doesn’t just work in career, it works in just about anything. A prime example happened a few weeks ago. I got hooked on a particular eatery and was spending much time (and money) there. However, I realized, being a health fanatic, the options were limited once I got bored with the dish I enjoyed most.

I also had to coach them to let them know there were certain items they put in their foods that I didn’t consider healthy, such as grains; almond or coconut milk from a brand that uses cane sugar; and bananas, which are extremely high carbs.

One day there was a new counter girl, having a hard time with my order. I was extremely patient, with a smile on my face. Fifteen minutes later, the grand finale was that she put granola on top of my finished product. (I do not like granola at all!)

I told her I was allergic, which gets you more compassion than just saying you do not like something — sometimes. But not this time. The owner was very snippy with me and said, “You’re allergic to nuts?!” as if I bothered her.

Right then and there I made up my mind that I would never step foot in that place again. I never really felt comfortable there to begin with. It was just an all around bad vibe as they tended to cater to people they knew personally, making it clique-ish. Plus, that day I saw fruit flies on their samples. It was no longer an inviting place to eat.

Is this the universe speaking? You bet! Read on …

I spent 45 minutes on the internet looking for another healthy place to eat in the area. Well, I found one that was much healthier — all raw vegan foods with no processed sugar, no grains, and many items minus bananas! I’ve been going every day since. The service is better. The owner even came out to shake my hand for writing a good review about them. That’s the way to go!

But wait, there’s more!

You get “points” for your purchases! Now, not only is this place, healthier and friendlier than the first place, but less expensive. And with the points, I’ve already had two free healthy desserts (made from natural, organic fresh fruit and cacao).

Then the real reward is that going to this place takes me through the back roads, avoiding all traffic. So instead of just looking at cars, I can see deer (and fawn!) romping, rabbits, swans, etc. It’s an all around prettier trip.

If you pay attention to pronoia, you will see how it happens often. Bad things almost always push you in a better direction. If you feel uncomfortable in your place of worship,  job, or the person you are with, it’s definitely the universe (or God!) telling you that you belong somewhere else, or with someone else.

While “pronoia” is the official term, I like to call these things The Parable of Sonny & Cher. As the story goes, Sonny and Cher were so down on their luck, they had to sell all the furniture in their home to make ends meet. This is when Sonny Bono wrote their hit “I Got You Babe.”

Did you ever lose it all, then get your dream job? Or win the lottery?

Did someone you love deeply die recently? If so, watch how many great things start happening to you almost immediately afterwards. Whether it’s the universe repaying you for your loss; or your loved one, now in heaven, taking care of you from above — it’s a given that tragedy leads to precious gifts.

Did you ever have a horrible day, followed by a fantastic evening? That is also pronoia at work. Bad things motivate you to grab the good. It’s a survival mechanism.

How has pronoia worked for YOU? Feel free to share your stories; I’d love to hear them!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books, including “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon. If you like positive, fun, silly books that don’t go in a downward spiral, this one’s for you: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” will be published by GenZ later this year.

 

 

 

 

Too Busy

Published January 4, 2017 by Maryanne

busy-2

Last night I was reading my old diaries from 1993. I was only 29-years-old and really loving my life. At that time I was living in a beautiful world people can’t even imagine today. Even as a very good-looking young woman, I had my dateless, lonely nights. The difference was, if you had the blues back then you could count on a phone call from at least five friends in one night! So being sad was not an option.

Today, other than my husband who I could always count on, I can’t imagine conversing with any of my friends without first making an appointment to speak with them. People are always so “busy.” Picking up the phone is no longer an option. So, I just cry instead.

The first of the year usually means new beginnings. As someone who is self-employed, this is usually the time when my business takes off. People always come to me for ghost writing, book editing, and public speaking engagements because they know they can count on me. There’s an old saying, “If you need something done, ask the busiest person you know because he/she will get it done for you.”

That said, I have to question everyone else’s version of “busy.” Because even when my version of “busy” gets so crazy, I’m glued to my desk for hours without getting up for a drink or to go to the bathroom, I ALWAYS sincerely answer an email from a friend who is in need.

This week started out as one of those busy weeks. Then one person cancelled an appointment — at the last minute. So not cool. And another just totally stood me up — no email, no phone call, no explanation.

I was heartbroken for being slighted. This is not the way I do business. This is not how I’d treat somebody. For all the technology we have in this day and age, this should not be. In this modern world, no one can be too busy to type three simple words in an email: “Can we reschedule?” And, I might add, at an appropriate time, not at the last minute unless someone very close to you died. Even so, I think back to when my father-in-law, who sometimes lived with us, passed away three months ago … I still was able to conduct business in a professional manner. And I still listened to problems from friends who needed a friend. Is it so much to ask the same in return?

It is not narcissistic to expect to be treated with respect. My time is just as important as anyone else’s. But here I am, crying my eyes out in the middle of the day, waiting patiently for my husband to get home so I can cry on his shoulder.

It is far from being “unprofessional” when you are disappointed by how so-called professionals treat you. There really needs to be a book on manners in this day and age. What happened to the Miss Manners column that ran in newspapers on a daily basis? Oh, I know, no one reads newspapers anymore.

No one does a lot of things anymore that they should. It’s a sad world we live in. A world without manners. A world without consideration. A world where people do whatever they please as long as it suits them.

And nothing can be done about it either. Just wait for the good karma you’ve been owed … so then things will turn around … and you’ll get everything you’ve ever deserved … because you already have a lot of it … Like a husband who truly adores and loves you. Because you were never “too busy” to find someone you adore and love.

So, hooray for demystifying the “too busy” myth! For those who are “too busy” will never seep the rewards that come from making time.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning writer and a public speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

 

 

 

Getting Psyched for “Love Cats” Promotions!

Published June 1, 2015 by Maryanne

back cover proof CORRECT“Love Cats” back and front cover

The biggest thrill for any author is seeing your book in print for the first time!

Last year when my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” was published, I was so ecstatic, I kept the book at the foot of my bed, so when I woke up, the first thing that would come to my mind was: “I’m an author!”

Over the weekend my first copy of “Love Cats” came in the mail to check for color. It looks absolutely beautiful! Darlene Foster (www.darlenefoster.com) did such an incredible job.

Now  my next step is ordering a bunch of copies from the publisher and getting out there and doing the book signings.

Last year with “Guest List” I had a blast, going on radio shows, signing copies at libraries and even doing a rock ‘n’ roll signing at a record store, accompanied by Stu Deutsch, original Plasmatics drummer (as he endorsed my book!)

SAM_4811Book signing for “Guest List” last summer

I’m still pretty chill, as it hasn’t really hit me yet that this is my second book! (And my third is finished and I’ve been seeking a traditional publisher).

My husband always said to just enjoy the ride. From start to finish, all of it, as it will be on-going. It’s true, as I do have one last book signing for “Guest List” this September. When “Love Cats” came out last week, “Guest List” Amazon rankings went up. One book always helps another. So this is a positive thing I am looking forward to!

Get your copy of “Love Cats!”

Here’s the links and thanks in advance for your support! :

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

You can also purchase “Guest List” (a musical memoir) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Or those local to New Jersey can stay tuned for events I’ll be at this summer. I’ll be booking within the next few weeks when I receive my first batch of books from the publisher.

Happy National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Published March 29, 2015 by Maryanne

Pear tree buttons - 2My business “Pear Tree Enterprises”

Happy National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Observed annually on March 29, according to National Day Calender (http://nationaldaycalendar.com/2015/03/28/march-29-2015-national-mom-and-pop-business-owners-day-national-lemon-chiffon-cake-day/), it’s a day that honors all small businesses.

The summer of 2008 I started my home-based business, Pear Tree Enterprises (www.peartreeenterprises.com). Fed up with the politics (and gossip) of working for other people, I decided to create something for myself, focusing on using my talents to the best of my ability. My ultimate goal was to work with positive people doing a variety of things I loved: freelance writing, book editing, personal assistance and marketing.

Interesting, “marketing” the skill I felt I was the least good at has opened up many doors for me. And I was able to market myself when I eventually became a public speaker (late 2013) and an author (2014).

I recently won a book on Good Reads called “The Business Romantic” by Tim Leberecht: http://www.amazon.com/The-Business-Romantic-Everything-Something/dp/0062302515

While reading this book, I was fascinated by how much in common I had with the author. My vision of romanticizing work and looking forward to tending to my business every day had come to fruition early on. I embraced the times I was high on the hog and during lean times I was still happy because I was able to successfully avoid: gossip, harassment and not being recognized for your efforts. Since being self employed I was able to take vacations when I wanted; take off for funerals without having to jump through hoops; and let go of people I didn’t want to work with, respectfully.

Each day is different. My world is a blessing of working with people I genuinely like and respect; being creative; and time flying because I’m having fun!

Currently, I offer a series of lectures to libraries, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, senior clubs, etc.

And I am in the process of helping two people write their books.

From time to time I write for the Paterson Press online. I will always love journalism no matter what.

If I can successfully get past August, my time at Pear Tree will surpass any other job I’ve held. That shows that this is where God wants me — working for myself. Because working for myself isn’t always about me. It’s about being a better wife. Without the stress I’ve endured at previous places of employment, I am a much happier person, which makes my husband happier too. (Happy wife, happy life, right?)

Working for myself makes me a better friend and relative. I’m able to juggle my schedule around if someone needs me. No more do I have to turn down people I care about because of work and answering to an employer.

And working for myself gives me the opportunity to hire other people and pay them generously. Even though I’m far from a CEO money-making status, I’m happy to say that I can pay people who work with me what they deserve. I never wanted to be the person who keeps others beneath me. I want my colleagues to be at my side — as it should be.

Life at Pear Tree has been a very happy journey and my greatest wish is for God’s blessing to keep it going. And if that is the case, I don’t plan on retiring. Why should I? Pear Tree keeps me young and very happy!

maryanne-typingAt Pear Tree, we give you good old fashioned business!

And now a little shout out to self-employed people I’m currently working with:

Darlene Foster who did the cover of my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist: http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

View Darlene’s work here: http://www.darlenefoster.com/

Carol Erickson is currently working with me on my “Learn and Listen” series: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/ella-fitzgerald-program-learn-and-listen-series/

View Carol’s work here: http://www.carolericksonvocals.com/

Bridget Briant is currently working with me on our “Make Art Out of Recyclables” program: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/make-art-out-of-recyclables/

Bridget is a yoga teacher and has a new program called “Baby Buddhas.” Check out Bridget’s work here: http://www.yogatogonj.com/

If anyone is interested in booking the “Listen and Learn” program or “Make Art Out of Recyclables” or having their books ghost written or edited, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com
 
I’m always looking for new ideas and others to work with. Feel free to contact me with your innovative ideas. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
 

My “NotMom” Interview

Published March 27, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6304Proud Kitty Mom!

Hello Gang!

As some of you know I’ll be speaking at the NotMom Summit this October, in Cleveland. I’m honored to also have been recently interviewed for the NotMom website.

Please check out my female-positive interview here: http://thenotmom.com/the-notmom-interview-maryanne-christiano-mistretta-author-of-on-the-guest-list/

Soft Sell

Published March 25, 2015 by Maryanne

maryanne backMaryanne, 2011, photo by Darlene Foster

I was very happy going to my accountant yesterday. Not because I’m happy to pay taxes, but because I was able to share with him that my business is finally exactly the way I want it: author, journalist, book editor and public speaker.

Marketing was always in the mix, but I always hated it, though it was a lot of fun at times, especially when I scored. However, I’m so relieved that at this point in my life, the only person I’m promoting is myself (subtly).

When people say “no” I take it as a “no.” No means no, not maybe. No means moving on to the next person. Maybe means the same. I don’t harass people until they say “yes.”

And what is really cool about this method is that out of the blue, people contact me to speak or to write articles or to use my services. People find me via word of mouth, from my lectures or from my website. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when people come to you without you even trying.

I call this “spiritual marketing.”

Not too long ago, November of last year, I became a distributor of Young Living Oils. The person who got me on board makes a ton of money selling these oils. I hopped on board, not for the money — because face it, if making money is your ultimate goal, there are a ton of things you can do to make money — but because I believe in the product.

As a Young Living person I was taught the tools — to promote on Face Book, to have parties, to learn about the oils, to share with EVERYONE you know, etc.

I did none of that.

I got people on board, organically and honestly. By simply sharing what I loved about the oils when (AND IF!) they came up in conversation. One friend who came on board said she did so because I “wasn’t pushy.”

The words “Young Living” have a bad reputation. Some say it’s cult-like. Some use the oils and believe they are the end-all. Me, I love the oils very much and use them every day. I enjoy them. And I want to share them with those who can also benefit. And like every other good thing in my life — that is the end of it. Young Living Oils are a part of my life, not MY LIFE. I love Young Living Oils, but I am not of that cult. I’m merely in the corner, not in the spotlight and certainly not losing my religion.

Even if I made all the money in the world selling Young Living Oils, it would not stop me from doing other things I love like writing books and public speaking. I don’t see Young Living Oils as the “retirement plan” many say it is. Selling oils is just not creative enough to make me happy. (Though the creative health aspect of it excites me which is why I am so into it!)

My point is, some people get through life by being a hard sell. And that is not me. While my personality is pretty dynamic, I’m not a pushy person. I’m a live and let live type. All I have in life came to me in a natural way: My husband, my cats, my friendships, my career …

I’m not saying I’m a slacker. No, not by any means. But via the Law of Attraction, I ALLOW good things into my life. I do not FORCE them.

And guess what? I’m doing really, really good by this holistic method.

We live in a society where everyone wants everything fast. Women push men into relationships and marriage. People don’t climb the corporate ladder anymore, they sprint up skipping many great steps along the way. I have to say, as successful as some of these people are, I kind of feel sorry for some of them.

There’s a beauty in going slow and waiting for the all goodness in the world. I wish more people would see that. By being a late bloomer and taking my time, I think I enjoy my life more than those who whiz through it. I do take big chances though. I’ve left jobs without another lined up. Same with boyfriends when I was single. But that all falls into the category of not forcing things to happen.

I remember, back when I was 12, I dug a catchy hook in an Al Stewart song, “Nothing that’s forced can ever be right, if it doesn’t come naturally leave it.”

I took those lyrics to heart and still do. From dating boys to job hunts to finally running my business and being an amazing wife, kitty mom and friend … nothing should ever be hard or forced. Just enjoy your life and all you do — that is when the good fortune comes, when you’re relaxed about it.

Evolving Spiritually in Business

Published November 16, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6364Cherry Hill, New Jersey

(photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

When the Universe is Perfectly Aligned

On Saturday I had the experience of being an extra in a commercial for a new health product. The shoot was on location in gorgeous Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This scenario is nothing usual for me as I’m always finding cool, creative work. I’ve been self-employed since 2008 (www.peartreeenterprises.com) and the best part of it is being able to work with the most amazing people doing things I love.

Saturday was one of many perfect fits. The acting cast and film crew were absolutely spectacular! Everyone was nice, professional and easy to work with. Our team was so together we finished an hour and a half earlier than was excepted!

When I got home, I raved to my husband about how cool everyone was and what a great time I had. Like many other instances I’ve had since being self-employed, what happened on Saturday was way too much fun to be called work. From a spiritual standpoint, when you’re in the right place things are so easy you wonder if you’re dreaming!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Of course in business, even being self-employed, things aren’t always perfect. We know that. And of course you roll with the punches. However, when things get so hard you’re in tears, that’s a major sign that things need to change. A friend once said, “The universe doesn’t always speak softly, sometimes it shouts.”

For example, if you’re not getting along with your co-workers it means a lot more than not fitting in. Do you feel overworked, underpaid and/or not appreciated? Do you have more bad days than good? Do you hate getting up in the morning? These are major signs that you’re in the wrong place and should make a change.

How do I know? I’ve been there, many times over. Even being self-employed and loving what you do, it’s not unusual to get hooked up with the wrong clients — or outgrow clients you’ve been with for some time. Perhaps your business has outgrown what some clients are still paying you. While money isn’t everything, let’s be realistic, taking two hours out of your day to appease a client who is paying a low hourly fee is not helping your business grow.

Suppose you’ve grown as a person and now you cringe at a client’s misogynist comments you once found funny. Or maybe a client never gave you mutual respect from day one and never will. The more you hang on, the more you go backwards, over-analyzing situations and figuring out how to make it work. Frustration leads you to secretly wish certain clients didn’t need your services anymore. Unfortunately you can’t wish bad clients away. You have to do the dirty work to get from Point A to Point B.

Spiritual Evolution in Business

One of the first signs your business is evolving spiritually is when you realize there is definitely more to life than profits and business. It’s about treating your clients (and having them treat you) in a responsible, caring way. It’s more than a cash cow. It’s talking to others with respect and creating a “family” vibe.

It’s always awkward when I feel like “just a number” to a client. Brief “all business” emails weird me out, especially the single word “okay” as a response. Ew … just ew!

As a sensitive — no, make that hyper-sensitive — person, running my business in a sweet, caring manner, for the good of all, is very important. I like to get up in the morning and feel like I have a purpose in life, not just thinking about the money I am making. I want my clients to feel comfortable with me and know that I am on their team.

Each morning I say a prayer to bless the day with the highest good for all involved. And then when you put the trust in the universe, you can sit back and watch the magic happen. Because it always does. When you operate your business from a spiritual standpoint, you can kiss good-bye excess marketing on Face Book and stressing yourself out seeking clients. Because good things ALWAYS happen to good people! And oftentimes effortlessly.