Squeezing my Eyes Shut and Wishing Big!

I tend to be one of those people who when I get excited, I get really, REALLY EXCITED! I also happen to be someone who believes in ‘signs’ and ‘feelings’ as dorky as it may sound (even to me). So, now that you know both of these things about me you won’t really be surprised that I’m crossing my fingers, wishing on a star and hoping as hard as I can that we get a contract on our house this week.

Let me back up a bit. We originally put our townhouse on the market last May and over the summer we had a bunch of showings but no actual contracts. In September, my husband’s job was up-in-the-air, which would have impacted where we would live, so we decided to take the house off of the market until we figured everything out.

Well, for 6 months I worked like a demon to get as many house projects done as possible. We replaced our kitchen appliances with all stainless steel models, rearranged the living room to include a dining area, updated two bathrooms with new vanities/mirrors/lights, and repainted and fully decorated our finished basement to look more like a den. Then, we relisted our house for the exact same price as before.

I know, after all that work and money we spent it would have been nice to get a little more money out of it. However, it’s not like we were fighting off the offers before, so hopefully we’d get at least one this time. So anyways, we relisted our house in the middle of March and at that time I told my husband that I’d be really, really happy if we could get an offer by the end of April.

Fast forward to this past weekend – we had a showing on Sunday. Unlike many showings where you can’t even tell that someone has been in your house, I could tell that they actually looked around. There were shower curtains out of place, telling me that they looked to see if the tubs were in good condition. There was a smudge print on my basement stairs, which told me that they walked out the back of the house to check it out. They even took THREE of the house flyers that I left out on the kitchen table. (Yes, I know I’m a regular Monk/CSI/Bones). Anyways, I had a ‘good feeling’ about it.

This morning, I woke up in a great mood… even though the sound of my husband accidently setting off our house alarm is what got me out of bed. I saw my lucky number a couple times on my way into work and came into the office with an obviously dorky skip to my step. I wasn’t even surprised when my Real Estate Agent called this morning to tell me that the person’s agent had asked for more specific information on the number of parking spaces and age of our roof. Apparently they’d like more information and may also want to see our house again.

Of course I’m thinking that I might get my wish of a contract before the end of the month.  I know I should reign in my excitement and try not to get ahead of myself. But this kind of excitement/passion/supernova happiness is what makes life worth living!

So do me a favor and throw a wish my way that we get a wonderful and competitively priced contract on our house. Cross your fingers. Wish on a star, a butterfly, your lucky number on a license plate or even a flyaway eyelash. Any little bit will help. Right?

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Grades: They Really Do Come Back to Bite You in the Butt

When you were in school, how many of you were the ‘straight A’ students who actually looked forward to receiving your report card in the mail so you could show your parents? Yeah, me either.

I got good grades in the subjects that interested me, especially in college when I could concentrate on my major (communications). However, there were other subjects that were part of my required curriculum that I struggled to pass. Even though I worked my butt off (and even graduated cum laude), I still had that fear of negative feedback on my report card.

Apparently a lot of people are not afraid of negative feedback… and they really should be.

My SUV was recently hit, causing damage to part of the bumper and wheel well. Since the vehicle is pretty new and was in great shape before the accident, it was important to me to have it repaired at a reputable shop that would make it look perfect again.

My husband knew of a body shop a couple minutes from our house, so we dropped it off for a quote. However, while I was waiting to hear back from them I decided to google the shop’s name along with the keyword “reviews”.

Holy Crackers – the reviews were TERRIBLE!

A dozen people took the time out of their day to post reviews on yelp, yahoo, google and more. They complained about the terrible customer service and that it took a really long time to get their vehicles back. Not one person posted a favorable review on the body shop! Seeing nothing but bad feedback resulted in me immediately deciding not to use the body shop for my repair. I hadn’t experienced their supposedly terrible customer service, but decided that I didn’t even want to give them the chance to ruin my day (or my SUV). Based on this negative feedback, they not only lost the money that I would have spent, but also all future recommendations that I give to my friends.

There are millions of internet users and I know I’m not the only one who looks for feedback before making purchases. Whether it’s checking tripadvisor.com to determine if that hotel is really as nice as it seems on their website, or looking to see how many stars an ebay seller has, other people’s feedback has a huge impact on future decisions.

So here’s my tip for all the small (or large) business owners out there, keep an eye on your feedback. Make it a point to google your company’s name to see what people are saying about you. If you’re the ‘face of your company’ it’s also a good idea to google your own name to see if it pops up anywhere.

Don’t forget to come back and visit Pocketful of Joules, I’ll be writing a future blog post on what to do if you see negative feedback on your company.

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Zombie Joules Strikes Back

I’m having one of those days where I’m so bone-tired that it is an effort to walk down the hallway without closing my eyes for a mini nap. No, I didn’t have a crazy night of drinking. My husband and I drove to Rochester, New York and back to sell one of our cars to a DSM enthusiast. The 14 hour round-trip drive was actually not too bad, but my back is killing me today and I can hardly keep my eyes open.

This could most likely be the reason that little inconveniences throughout the day are making me want to lash out at the people who cause them.

Let’s take this (not so) hypothetical example – someone has come into my office and asked me to basically rearrange my work schedule to do them a huge favor. This request requires me to go back and try and negotiate favors from hotels and airlines that have already received final payments and passenger lists.

Normally, I’d be totally cool with helping someone out. However, if the words “please” and “thank you” do not occur when asking me to do you a favor, I become a lot less helpful.

If I had a list of the 5 easiest things you could do to run a successful business (or even a successful life), it would have “Be Polite” written at the very top in red marker.

Obviously there are times that I have to release my mean Joules from its cage to get stuff done. However, in most situations if you are super nice when asking for someone’s help, they’d usually be thrilled to be your knight in shining armor.

If you’re polite, people actually want to help you solve your problem. If you are rude or have an entitled attitude, they typically just want to punch you in the face. Or maybe that’s just me?

Do you have an example of how a good attitude on your end ended up with surprisingly awesome results?

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