“Fuckin’ white people”

“North American people are the only ones to line up for something as enjoyable as coffee just to take it and go sit on their ass at work.”

I’m paraphrasing this a touch. My friend started it off with “Fucking white people.” I didn’t see his point of view before, but overtime I’ve come to realize what he was really trying to get at:

There is a huge difference between North American culture compared to European and South American culture.

“Hi, I’d like, an extra-large coffee with two milks and a sleeve for the cup.” I say after waiting in line for ten minutes. It takes them two (maybe two and a half) minutes to get my order. During this time, I’m staring at my phone to make sure I’m not late for work.

“Extra large with two milks.” I hear from behind the counter. I smile and grab my coffee and check the time once more. I walk out the door like the rest of the cattle people heading to be branded with coffee in hand. By the time I get to work and settle in for the day, my fresh, hot coffee is now warm at best and piss cold it is when I’m finished.

(Editor’s note: I literally just had to nuke my latte because it’d gone cold while working!)

Now, in Europe or even South America the culture is very different. The emphasis isn’t put on the rat race and competition but more hard work and enjoyment. They’re happy to bust their ass and work hard day-to-day, but when it comes time to enjoy something they’re going to enjoy it knowing they’ve earned it.

I believe the point my friend was trying to make here was this: when you take a coffee to go you take the simple pleasure out of it. In Europe and South America, the culture is a much slower pace. They bust their ass hard at work but when it comes time to enjoy something or celebrate a win they’re going to kick back and do just that. Because they know not only that they’ve earned it, they deserve it.

I can’t tell you the last time my coffee was hot from start-to-finish, let alone the last time I sat in a café for pleasure.

North Americans have stopped taking the time to enjoy themselves because they no longer believe they deserve it. While life is about progression it’s also about enjoying life in the moment. We put so much emphasis on being successful that we stop enjoying the time it takes for us to reach the level of success we desire/aspire to reach. We’ve lost how to sit back and enjoy something because we’re always looking for that instant gratification. Working through obstacles to reach a goal is what makes the victories and accomplishments so sweet.

And what happens when we do accomplish something? We downplay it. Erase the significance, and move the goal post, rather than, I don’t know, celebrating it? What’s the point? We’re working towards these goals with no real destination and no satisfaction once reached. We equate happiness and enjoyment with a reward we refuse to give ourselves, and that can’t be how life works. If you’re always moving your goal post, you’re going to live a very sad life.

To erase the significance of a win is to deny yourself happiness. This is unacceptable. We are not perfect, we are human. We can and must celebrate the small wins because know this: a win is a win. The only person who can let that win be taken away from you, is you. You may be asked what’s next. You may be asked now what? You may be asked why are you celebrating? The beauty? That’s for you to decide.

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Your trash is my cash – how I make money from garbage

If I told you that I make money from another person’s garbage, would you believe me? Better yet, if I told you that I picked up the once TV unit above from the trash and made $120-dollar profit from two hours work, would you keep reading? Good. Keep fuckin reading. Now the truth of the matter is if you’re reading this you either want or need more money. Whether you’ve lost your job, want to be your own boss, pick up a new hobby that you can profit from or save for that next vacation – we all want more. I’ve found the way. The life-hack. The ultimate DIY and the best thing of all? Anyone can do it.

Something you may not know about me is I live in Downtown Toronto. Canada’s very own New York City. People from all over the world migrate to this city with dreams of a better life. We currently have the fastest growing housing market in the world where the average single-family home can easily sell for $60,000 over asking price. It’s insane. The cost of living is increasing drastically and our pay rates are staying the same.

What does that mean you ask? What does one have to do with the other? Guys it means I’m fuckin poor. I’m barely scraping by and this to me is just unacceptable. I used to accept this but I’m done.

Fact: the average millionaire has seven sources of income.

Do you know how long I’ve spent working a 9-5 job miserable just to come home, watch TV while stuffing my face just to do it all again the next day? Since my first office job. It sounds pathetic because that’s exactly what it was. It was fuckin pathetic. I have been living the life of a robot and I refuse to do this any longer. When you realize that life is about progression and working towards goals and aspirations and that you can achieve ANYTHING you put your mind to then you will not fail. You will have set backs but you will learn from them and understand that they make you stronger.

Okay I know you’re all thinking “Lindsay, get to the point. Tell us how to make the $$$$$$.” Here it is:

  1. Find your driving force
    My driving force is the criticism I receive and my current position in life but understand that my driving force is different than yours. It takes time to figure it out so don’t beat yourself up over this. Like everything, it takes time.
  2. Analyze and assess
    I don’t pick up just ANY piece of furniture I see. I take a moment to assess it. You must know what you’re getting yourself into. Yes, the furniture is free but how much work does it require? How much money do I have to put into it before I make a return? How will I fix it up? And most important: Would I buy it? I’ve gotten this assessment down to two minutes. Don’t bull shit yourself. It either works or it doesn’t.
  3. Find your target audience
    I say to myself during an assessment “Would I buy this” because I am the market I want to target. I want to appeal to people in their early 20’s up to mid 30’s because I have more knowledge on styles and trends they tend to follow. This allows me to apply it to the project at hand for a maximum return.
  4. Find your platform
    This one is fun because the options are endless. There are many ways to sell the furniture you’ve restored and you can use as many as you need when you’re first starting out. A few of my favourites are: Facebook Groups, Craigslist, Kijiji, Etsy and Instagram. Now don’t forget about step 2 when finding your platform. There are many things to take into consideration. How much is shipping? How much will it cost me to deliver? How much will I profit?  Remember these questions are crucial to your success.
  5. Get to work!
    I loved this project because I knew the moment I saw it I wanted to turn it into a seating bench. My original assessment was no more than .5 seconds long. I wanted to paint it white and make some seat cushions. I wanted to market it as an outdoor bench. I began sanding it down and when I grabbed my paint I noticed I had teal. A light bulb went off and I changed my approach. I’ve always wanted a nice statement piece in my house. A rustic piece of furniture in a random colour to make a room pop. I want people to walk in and go “OU! Where’s that from!” so I decided I’d go with an antique TV stand. I couldn’t be happier with this split-second decision.
  6. Stage. Stage. Stage.
    I cannot reiterate the importance of this step enough. Drill this process into your brain and you can send me a thank you note later. The rate in which a product will sell is dependent on many factors and one of the easiest factors to fuck up is staging. People underestimate how much faster a house will sell if is staged right. What do I mean when I say staging? I mean making it livable. Functional. You want your audience to look at it and think “that would look great in the living room!” or “That’d be perfect I never thought to use it for that!” You must share your vision for it so others are able to picture it in their own space. People need visuals. This gets me every sale. Every time. I pick a couple different ways in which I think it could be used and decorate it accordingly. 
    I originally set out to stage this as a TV stand or coffee table but while staging it as a TV stand I couldn’t help but wish I turned it into a bench. Another light bulb! I went for lunch the day prior at a cute little restaurant and sat on the patio. The reason I share this is because I remembered they had wood benches with a pillow behind it. I ran to my room and grabbed every pillow I had and started playing around with it. I couldn’t have been prouder of the outcome.
  7. Final assessment
    Final step!! Assess your work! Consider the quality. Consider the time and money you’ve put into it and decide on a price that you find to be reasonable and that you yourself would be willing to pay. This assessment took me two minutes. I spent a couple hours on this project sanding it down, painting, staging and posting it. I did not have to spend money because I had the paint but I was damn proud of this shoe bench and would have been happy to keep it for my home. I wanted my price to reflect that. I decided on $120 and posted it just to have it sold and picked up three days later.

 

 

 

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Look who’s crazy now

They say that if you want to achieve something you have to make a plan but until you have an actual map outlining how to reach your goals, they are merely your dreams and aspirations.

Today I’m going to outline how to achieve my one year goals. The first step is to make them realistic. They need to be attainable. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin because that will inevitably lead to me throwing in the towel before I break ground. This I know.
The hardest thing?

Starting.

Just fucking start.

I put so much pressure on the end result of… well, everything. My friends think I am absolutely ridiculous because I’m always planning things down to the smallest detail, lengths in advance. I can’t help it. It’s an anxiety thing. I think I need to have everything figured out at that very moment. I need to think of every possible scenario on how it may play out. I need to worry about what x, y and z will do/say, and all the ways I can fail. This is me. This is unavoidable. So I’m just going to start. This is me starting. This is huge. I’ve been so down. SO down. I haven’t felt this inspired in awhile and I’m not really sure what it is but I’m going to run with it as long as I can. All of this is incredibly new for me. I realize that I will learn along the way and my ideas will shift, grow, improve, crash and everything in between. This is important to know. When you anticipate obstacles and even failure you’ll be able to keep on keeping on. Failure, although it sucks, is what makes the victory so sweet.

Tip: Instead of saying “I don’t have enough time” try saying “it’s not a priority”. I guarantee it’ll help

I have a bad habit of starting something and not finishing it. Seriously, you should see how many posts I have sitting in drafts right now. I battle with anxiety and depression and it often make tasks incredibly overwhelming. While my intentions at this moment in time may be amazing, I have days where I am incredibly low. I mean the days where I can’t get out of bed and end up binge watching Netflix, or 1000’s of calories while completely letting my hygiene go by the way side. It’s bad. It’s really bad. I’m aware of it. I know it’s happening. I just can’t get out of it. I wish I could explain it, I really do. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is my attempt at pulling myself out of it. By putting it out there, and holding myself accountable, I mean really accountable, I can find a purpose and move forward. I need a purpose. I need to work towards my goals and aspirations. I need to show people that I can move forward despite my setbacks and that I can come back stronger and smarter than before.

I am not my illness; I am not depression, I am not anxiety, and I am anything but weak. My illness does not define me. I will not go down without a fight.

I will continue to build my blog and tirelessly pursue this life, a life where I help others. I want to live a life of happiness, a life of adventure. I want to show you that you can be yourself wholeheartedly and that the best version of you is YOU. Don’t conform, don’t fold your hand and don’t listen to all the shit talk. Do you and don’t let anyone stop you. Unless of course you’re planning on killing someone or robbing a bank. Don’t do that. Definitely don’t do that. Look what I’m trying to say here is, if you want something, I mean, really want something, you must work for it. Don’t wait. Work towards it every day. Success isn’t owned, its borrowed. Its borrowed and those who have it work for it every day of their lives.

I have been struggling for the past two years with my career path. I’ve spent more time unemployed, depressed and anxiety ridden than I have employed, happy and pursuing my dreams. I spent a lot of time getting knocked the fuck down being told I wasn’t good enough and you know what? Over time, I believed them. I started thinking that I wasn’t good enough. I figured, they’re right. After all, they would know. How ridiculous is that? Who am I to let someone else make me feel as if I’m not good enough.

If you’ve ever made anyone feel as if they’re not good enough I have a few words for you: You’re a piece of shit. Okay I realize we’ve all done it and it comes off sounding terribly harsh but I’m at a place in my life where I see how damaging and awful that is. I’ve seen how it can hold someone back. Shit, I’ve dealt with it first hand. Now I know. I know how important it is to let someone dream. To encourage people and build them up rather than knock them down.

Inspiring people will take them a lot further than criticizing ever will. That’s a fact and you can take it straight to the bank. Build someone up instead of knocking them down and my god, you’ll be amazed at what they can accomplish.

They say if you want to achieve something you need to make a plan. I always wondered who “they” really were. Now I know. They’re the ones that don’t give up. The ones that don’t care what they’re told. The ones that bust their ass every single day until they get what they want. They’re the underdogs. The ones that have been told they’re not good enough. They are the strongest people in the world because they aren’t afraid of failure and struggle. They’ve been there and done that and it inspires them, in fact, they thrive off it! They know that shit’s going to go wrong, its inevitable but its all about working through it, in spite of it. They know that in order to get to where they’re meant to be they need to go through the highs but, more importantly, the lows and that everything that’s happening in their life is pushing them to where they’re meant to be. You will receive skepticism. You will receive an ignorant tirade of advice on how you should be realistic. You’ll be told to stop dreaming. Don’t. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Pursue every idea you have no matter how ridiculous people may think you are.

Don’t listen to the opinions of others. Trust yourself. Be a misfit. Be different. Refuse to give up. Refuse to conform. Refuse to settle. Be fucking amazing!

And never, ever, stop pursuing your dreams. A man once thought we should sell bottled water and everyone thought he was crazy… look who’s crazy now.