All posts tagged work

Working in Jammies

Published March 31, 2022 by Maryanne

Working in jammies?

I wrote the following on Facebook in 2014, before the pandemic, self-employed and working at home:

“It’s so true, when you look good you feel good. Working dressed up instead of pajamas or sweats today and accomplished so much in ONE hour, including getting people on the phone that I wasn’t able to reach since last October! So, no more working in jammies for me — ever again! 😃”

I’m sure I did work in my jammies again at some point. But how fun is it to get dressed up and work in full make-up, even if you’re not going anywhere?

Dress up!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel:

Turning My Back on Age 55

Published August 18, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8479Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today is my last day of age 55.

It’s been an incredible year. My fourth book was published and I wrote a fifth (which will be published later this year). I’ve helped two other people write their books, while I tried to help even more who have given up on the process. Yet I never give up.

It’s been another year of growth, spiritually and creatively. I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker. I not only won a spot to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero,” but I’ve won “Best Speaker,” “Best Evaluator,” and “Best Table Topics.” I’ve continued to present speaking engagements in libraries.

I also started an anti-bullying You Tube channel. And blogging, lots of it for major companies and small businesses.

I’ve loved hard; and I’ve lost hard. Last summer my husband and I took in a beautiful feral cat, Bennie, who chose us to live with during the final months of his short three years. We gave him a happy last few months, then he was put down due to brain cancer. We’ve also lost some friends who died way too young. As well as some high profiles like Shakti Gawain, who has been inspiring me since I found her book in the late 1980s, “Creative Visualization.”

As always, it’s been a year of much fun. Friends, concerts, trips, and lots of laughter. And yet, another cat we adopted back in April–Sammy, with the full name, Samuel Keane Clemens.

I end the year in good health, for which I never take for granted. Young people still tell me, “You look so young” when I share my real age, for which I am always proud of. Many do not make it to 55, so I am so grateful for each day on this planet, and thank the energy we call God or the Universe.

It’s a great life and I’ve manifested it; being in harmony with the universe. Being myself. Being YOUnique. God bless everyone who is a part of my own little world.

Bring on year number 56! I am ready!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here:

Overnight Success Is Not a Real Thing

Published June 26, 2019 by Maryanne

Monkey AroundIs it business or monkey business? 

During my years as a journalist, people contacted me to publicize themselves. (Or just for a great story in general). It was a dream come true writing about bands (both famous and up and coming). I shared the story many times about how I interviewed The Jonas Brothers before they were a household name.  Those years were an amazing run in my life.

Then I started getting into writing books. And public speaking.

All of a sudden, publicists were coming out of the woodwork wanting to make me a “star.” Five years later, none of them impressed me.

Finding a good manager/publicist is like figuring out who to give your virginity too. It may take a long time. It may not happen at all. But whatever the case, don’t just give money to anyone.

I didn’t settle for love and ended up with a very happy marriage. So, why should I settle for a publicist/manager? In the end, I want it all — including a dream publicist/manager!

My goal in finding one would be:

  1. Someone who doesn’t lead with money. When someone (like the last scam artist) suggested that I create a Go Fund Me page in order to use her $7K per month services, I ripped her. I told her, if I was interested, I’d pay CASH in PAYPAL. And that Go Fund Me pages are to support those in real need, like people with cancer or hurt animals … Not publicists. Her plea of desperation for money was a major red flag. She spoke about money before she spoke about what she could do for me. Our phone consult lasted a mere five minutes while she put me on hold several times to talk to her friends at the restaurant. How can you ask for money when you barely spoke to someone? She didn’t even purchase one of my books, so how could she promote me? SCAM ARTIST ALERT! Another one said he could get me to warm up for Tony Robbins if I paid him $50K. He said Tony Robbins always wants him to be his opening motivational speaker act, but he’s too busy with his own stuff. I researched, and asked around. Nothing told me there was any truth in this man working with Tony Robbins.
  2. Someone who believes in me. Several years ago I exhausted myself interviewing potential managers. During one interview, a retired guy said, “Are you any good?” I ended the interview quickly. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework before the interview. If he read my newsletters and saw that I was consistently working for myself since 2009, he’d KNOW I was good. To me, being at the top and not lasting isn’t a good thing. But being somewhere in the middle and having longevity IS! I interviewed a woman who was putting me down while wanting the job. It reminded me of the “Sex and the City” movie when Carrie Bradshaw is interviewing potential assistants and asks, “So, why do you want this job?” It’s mind-blowing that people would want to work for you, but don’t get you. It makes no sense and is sure to go nowhere fast.
  3. Someone with a great track record. Yes, I know a few people like this. They are so good they don’t have time to work with me — yet! I say YET in high hopes that someday these women/men may have a window of opportunity for me. This could be another pipe dream–kind of like how some women wait for their dream guy to divorce his beautiful wife. But when you have in mind something special, it will manifest. It always does. Just don’t force it.

The thing is, when it comes to publicity, just like anything else that is good, stable, and successful, I say, do not rush your muse. Cherish your precious creative talents like you would your body and soul. Do not give them up to just anybody.

What you have is a GIFT from God and the Universe. Slow and steady is the key. Overnight success is not a real thing.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here:


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 ( 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!


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.

Jack of All Trades

Published July 24, 2013 by Maryanne


When I met with my client Stefanie last week, we had such a wonderful conversation about “doing it all” in life and how we both have multi-talents and like to utilize all of them in our careers — which is why we are both self-employed.

If you have a regular job, often your talents are pushed to the back burner. I always remember being in between jobs and going to temp agencies or head hunters (not sure if this is still the correct term to use) and the evil lady behind the desk told me I’d never get a job I wanted.

Yeah, BINGO, so I created my own “job” and became my own boss. While writing is my first love, I love that I am not committed to one magazine, one newspaper or one type of writing. When you work for yourself, I believe there’s more growth than if you work for others because you create more opportunities.

Even if you have a full time job, you can still manifest multi-talent magic by setting up a spot in your home to be used solely for your creative endeavors. Try as many different things over the years and see what resonates with you — and others, as you need others to be interested in your work in order to make money at it.

Other than writing, here’s a short list of all the things I’ve done over the years and have made money at: modeling, DJ, art, accounts receivable/payable/collections, waitress, poetry, data entry, typesetting, typing, office manager, personal assistance, marketing … and so on.

And there are many things I’d still love to try in the future.

There is no rule in life that says you have to excel at one thing. Being a jack of all trades, master of some, is the way to go. It keeps me busy and I love the diversity.





Jesus is My Boss

Published April 12, 2013 by Maryanne

Jesus is My Boss

When you work for yourself, of course you have good weeks and you have bad weeks. And then there are the weeks like this, that are extremely busy, but with so much to do yet you work and work and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. This week I feel like the little hamster running on the wheel, in circles of infinity. When will it ever all get done?

I am usually so fast and so organized I’m finished with my work and left twiddling my thumbs by 3 p.m. This week with three writing assignments from two different online newspapers, having to interview a bunch of people that were hard to track down via phone calls and emails (writing is the easy part), managing five musicians and an author’s career, ghostwriting/copy editing a book, and having another author wanting to come on board and have me manage her … there are just not enough hours in the day! Plus, add the fact that this is also a week for fun, as I went to one concert Wednesday night and am going to another tonite. So, to say this week’s been a whirlwind is certainly an understatement.

Today I got up extra early because a potential new client was supposed to send me a sample of a typing job he wants. Of course, it’s not in my email and the guy didn’t give me his phone number when he called because he said he’d send it in the email. Figures, but of course there’s always something to do anyway, whether I sleep an extra hour or get up early, it’s all laid out for me.

Then there is God’s work, which is equally busy, crazy and fun.

I’m working on my second assignment, volunteering, writing  for the church newsletter.

There’s this adorable, sweet 89-year-old lady who is a church member and has done so many wonderful things, mostly artistic/creative, but she also started a Caring Ministry where members go to the home bound and serve them communion. I was assigned to write a feature on her for the church bulletin, interviewing both her and her church friends.

As super busy as I was with my own business this week and concerts, I feel blessed that being my own boss I could have the luxury of taking a few hours out of my day to attend Thursday church service and then interview this wonderful lady. (I had to do it in person, not over the phone because she is elderly and hard of hearing). Like any other article I write, it’s always a thrill interviewing someone. We all have our stories to tell. Everyone has an interesting life that should be shared. Especially Christians because the power of Jesus Christ is so miraculous.

After the interview, one of the church members said that I’d be great for the Caring Ministry because I have a nice personality and am good with elderly people. (I said how much I love the little old Grandmas and that I always have a soft spot for seniors).

So, of course I said, YES! YES! YES! I would love to be a part of the Caring Ministry and learn how to offer communion to those home bound. It would only be once a month and they’d match me up with a home bound person that I connect with. And I would be trained to do this properly.

I was so thrilled because a few weeks earlier another church member asked me if I’d help count the church money and I had to decline because I’m not good in math — and of course my dyslexia doesn’t help. I felt so bad, but I had to be honest with myself and not take on something I wasn’t qualified for. I made a joke, “If I counted money, you’d have a negative zero!”

But if you truly want to be a part of something, Jesus will find a way to make you part of it. Jesus has a job for everyone. And you don’t have to worry about time, because it will fit in beautifully with your life no matter how busy you are! That’s what makes Jesus a great boss! He knows the right person for every job there is. He’ll put you where you are best qualified. With God you always fit in! There are no cliques or favorites when Jesus is the boss, we’re all equally loved and appreciated. And happiness through the love of God is the best paycheck there is!

When I was telling my husband about my day, he said, “Boy, you are busy!”

I said, excitedly, “I’m working for God!”

He’s like, “There you go!”

I think I was glowing!




The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter

Published March 20, 2013 by Maryanne

home-based business

The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter

by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta(originally published in The Verona/Cedar Grove Patch, March 2013)

Bending over backward to keep each and every client is the biggest mistake small business owners make.

When you run your own business, having more clients doesn’t always mean more profit. In fact, some clients can be so detrimental to your business having them onboard can make you lose business.

The key to running a successful home based business is identifying which clients to keep and which to pass on. There is nothing wrong with having a “pecking order” when running your own business, putting the more desirable clients at the top.

In order to figure out which clients are worth keeping and putting before others, successful small business owners summarize their clients into four categories:
  1. High Profit/Low Maintenance. These are obviously the clients you want to keep because they pay well and are easy to work with. In other words, a small business owner’s dream! They are organized. They are easy to communicate with. They pay on time. They utilize your talents to the best ability. There is a mutual trust and respect. They may even give you a Christmas present or bonus! If you can develop a great relationship with these clients and keep them, you are so ahead of the game as you’ll be making money almost effortlessly.
  2. High Profit/High Maintenance. Whether you choose to keep these clients or not is up to you. The high profit/high maintenance client may drive you up a wall. There may be drama, unexpected phone calls when you’re on the beach vacationing, a ton of stress, disorganization and so forth. But the pay will be well worth it. To me, high maintenance can be amusing if you keep your sense of humor. Unless high maintenance goes too far by crossing the line of respect, eating up all your spare time, making you cry or reach for a glass of vodka after working with such clients, I say “go for it.” After all, sometimes big money comes with a small price.
  3. Low Profit/Low Maintenance. Sometimes a client may come along who doesn’t have a large budget or is asking for a task that doesn’t require too much skill or effort so the pay is lower than usual. But I say to keep these clients on board because it’s easy income. And you never know when you’re going to hit a slow period. Also note that sometimes a low profit/low maintenance client can eventually become a high profit/low maintenance client. That happened to me a few times. I did such a great job at a low profit level, a client willingly increased my rate!
  4. Low Profit/High Maintenance. I’m not afraid to say these clients are the worst and should definitely not to be kept. They will expect you to jump through hoops while paying you peanuts. There will always be stress, tension, misunderstandings, frustration and possibly tears. The hours will add up and you’ll have nothing to show for it but aggravation. You may find yourself passing up work from other clients because you are so wrapped up in this nightmare of a project, which isn’t fair to you, your other clients or your business. Just say “no” and move on.

By immediately recognizing a low profit/high maintenance client you can let him or her down easily by saying that you are currently over-booked and can’t take on a new client at this time.

Or just be honest and tell them their rate is too low. But try to keep the working relationship positive, as you never know what can change in the future.

And I am available for small business consulting! My rates are cheaper than competitive rates. Email me for more details at:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is also available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here:

For Home-Based Business Owners, This IS the Calm Before the Storm!

Published October 29, 2012 by Maryanne


Since September, 2008, I’ve been running my home based business, Pear Tree Enterprises (

And the past few months have been absolutely awesome as far as business goes. Plus, I got to squeeze in quite a few amazing three day weekends, plenty of fun and even a business trip; as well as being on the road a lot regarding promotions/marketing events as well as reporting for Paterson Press.

So my life has been the most wonderful balance of business and pleasure, although a bit on the frantic side because I’ve been bombarded with work — old clients coming out of the woodwork, new ones offering me a ton of hours, all the traveling on the road and an assortment of one-time deal side projects.

Over the past few months I finished projects, I was able to take life at a little bit — but not much — slower pace.

Then enter Storm Sandy and while I’m caught up on the writing end of things, I can’t do any  promotional work because of the obvious — businesses are closed today.

Once things get back to “normal” — whenever that may be, but I’m assuming Wednesday or Thursday — it will be the toughest call for me as to which clients to satisfy first and which ones to put on hold until it all pulls together again.

I am so blessed that I enjoy all my work, as eclectic as it may seem (jack of all trades, master of some) and all the people I do business with. Of course the writing projects pay the most, but they can be done anytime like weekends or evenings. This means whoever gives me writing/editing/proofreading jobs will always have their needs met.

As for promotions/marketing and personal assistance, it’s a different story, as this type of work has to be done during “business hours.” I don’t like disappointing clients and I don’t like clients to feel like they are on a “back-burner.” So while I’m enjoying the down time so much, my head is also spinning in regard to “how will I make everyone happy this week?”

Though I am blessed to have very understanding clients who probably wouldn’t say anything even if they did feel slighted, it’s me I’m worried about — the perfectionist who has to get it all done. And how do I do all that when Mother Nature slashed my time almost in half this week? I know there is a lesson in this and I look forward to some major growth for me in the next few days while I figure it all out. As a wise man once said, “The work will always be there.”

Is there anyone else reading who runs their own home-based business? How are you handling the storm? Do you fear the work overload when things return to normal?