Business Boost

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I always make sure I put in the work to get my business right. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

For the last few days, Mr. Divine and I have been talking back and forth about what I want I want to do which my business. Well maybe do is to vague a reference. It was more about what we are trying to accomplish while I tried to develop new, solid business ideas to strengthen and possibly expand the business.

Since it started, the business has been getting steady calls to take groups on various types of hikes. Due to the fact we traveled quite a bit this year I hired another staff member of staff so I could have an extra person to keep on top of office work and make sure everything was running smoothly. By making that hire, things got better organised and we were able to add a few more hikes to our schedule. Now its time to see what else was possible.

“Okay,” I murmured as we sat down to talk one morning while the children were out visiting friends. “The company has a solid handle on the hikes. It’s now to consider what we can add to make things more interesting. I was thinking to add some other outdoor activities to our hikes, maybe by teaming up with some other companies.

“I love the idea of more outdoor activities but my worry is the other companies. Finding the right ones to work with is the hard part. Your company has a top rep. One wrong move by working with the wrong company and that could ruin you.”

“So we do intense research to make sure whoever we do work with has the values we agree with,” countered Lindsay.

Mr. Divine smiled. “Okay. What do you think is the best to add to the hikes?”

“From just doing some basic research I’ve been thinking of some related things like paddle boarding, scuba diving. Maybe some horseback riding. I also remember coming across a place that does zip lining.”

Mr. Divine nodded. “These are good additions. What do you think about adding a photography focused hike?”

“That sounds super interesting. In fact, I think it is something I would love to add to the business. But how?”

“I think we can do it the same way we do the hikes now but put more emphasis on stopping at key points to take pictures. You have to get your skills up with the camera showcase what elements they can discover. It would be a good way to draw their interest.”

“We will get all these things to come together and it would be a brilliant new addition to the business.”

I smiled as joy filled every inch of my being.

“Time to go out and figure out the best companies to collaborate with dear. Time to have some fun.

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Business Mind

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Making sure my business work for me means knowing what my money is doing every day. Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Money and how I use it has been on my mind for the past few weeks and the next money related item in my agenda to tackle is my little side business. I have it on a separate account at the bank, but I think I need to make some changes.

Mr. Divine found me one afternoon making notes I’m going over the paperwork for the company.

“What’s up?” he asked sitting down next to me.

“it’s not so much that something is up but that I would like to set things in place so if that the money that is made by the company is allotted usefully.”

Mr. Divine urged me to explain what I had in mind. “I want to establish a salary for myself and the children so I can take the money that comes in and invest it like you do. I have some money that I put into an investment a while back but I have not added to it.

He listened as I continued to explain my overall vision. From there we started to toss ideas back and forth as we looked at the company’s income and what was the best course of action. By the end of our pow-wows, I was truly happy with the ideas we came up with and the decisions we made.

With a solid plan in place, we made appointments to go to the back and put systems in place to transfer the money to the various organisations where I needed them to go. We also took out a lump sum from the account to start the rotating investment plan that Mr. Divine explained to the children.

We visited the various financial companies that we planned to use and started the accounts that were needed. To do the three month rotation we figured out how to get things done while we were travelled and it was not as difficult as we initially thought.

“I’m so happy that we got that done,” I told Mr. Divine as we walked through the car park.

“Me as well,” he said pulling me closer. “Now we just have to look at the business and see if  there are any major changes you want to put into place before we have to leave and take the children to school.”

“Back to some major brainstorming to see what possible ways we can maybe up the business,” I said with a smile.

“Brainstorming. That is always non-stop fun. Let’s get going,” said Mr. Divine as we got into the jeep and headed home.

Money Lessons

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I had so much to learn about money and how to make it work for me. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I came home from visiting Noel to find everyone in the kitchen cooking. We got to talking and after I told them about the incident that happened while I was as Noel’s. It prompted a lesson about money and how to make it work for you. The conversation had the children’s full attention and when we sat down to dinner that was when the back and forth started.

As we settled down to dinner we continued to talk.

“So dad, explain how you made your money work for you?” urged Shane as we sat down.

“Well they are several methods,” he stated to tell us. “ Some low risk, some middle risk and others insanely high risk.”

“Which ones do you use?” asked Kyla as she poured salad cream dressing over her veggies.

Mr. Divine laughed. “All of them.”

Kyla smiled at his comment.

“I rotate my money between stock market investments, high yield accounts, money market and treasury bonds. I set money into fixed, high-interest accounts in cycles or fixed deposits.”

The kids looked at Mr. Divine confused as they waited for more of an explanation.

“So I have a business from which I get a monthly salary. From that, I established a budget. What I need to send each month to pay bills and survive and a little fun money. Then I have the money I plan to save and use for investment. I also have an emergency fund.”

As we ate he explained more. “For me, a cycle is every three months. I take the money I saved over three months then divide it into sections and invest it. Some I put into investments that mature in five years. Others go into the money market, another set into the stock market.”

The children sat there listening, and I could see Kyla had on her thinking face.

After Mr. Divine paused she started with the questions.

“So you have your investments set up that after the initial investment period you get a lump sum coming at you every three months. You can then re-invest it as is when it matures or add on money that you set aside to invest.”

Mr. Divine laughed in delight. “And you, my dear, are thinking like a successful business person.

We spent the rest of the night talking about investing and investments. How to manage them. The risks of the stock market. Making smart investments. Overextending yourself. It was an educational night. Not just for the children but for me as well.

The next day I dragged Mr. Divine with me to the bank. We looked at my account and the children’s accounts. Next, we removed three-quarters of the money from each account and make our way to the credit union and investment broker. It was time to make our money work for us.

Money Madness

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Talking over dinner.

When I got home from my visit with Noel, I found Mr. Divine in the kitchen cooking dinner with the kids. From the looks of it, we are going to having some type of stir fry chicken with baked sweet potato with salad.

“How was your day, honey?” asked Mr. Divine as he stirred the pan on the fire.

“It was good. In fact, the best word for it would be interesting.”

He paused mid-stir. “What happened?”

“Well, while we were talking Noel got her bank statement in the mail and that was when the drama got epic.”

“Over her bank statement?” said Mr. Divine. “What did they do?”

“Had five dollars extra in the maintenance fee charged to her account. Then when she finally found a number of calls on one would answer. She had to press the extension for wealth management to get an answer.”

Mr. Divine’s jaw dropped. “Yikes. That’s….unheard of.”

The children watched us, listening to my explanation of what happened. As I continued the story I could see Mr. Divine becoming very disturbed by what he was hearing.

“That sounds insane. When I call the bank I never have that problem.”

“And I bet your account is under business or wealth management and you have a specific person you talk to about your account. Someone who knows you and sees to your every need.,” I said as I climbed onto the stool in front of the bar top that extended from the countertop.

He nodded as he mixed the pasta into the chicken and veggies he had stir-fried. “I see what mean.”

“So what’s the huge difference,” asked Kyla as she cut vegetables for a salad. Shane handed her the leaves of lettuce he had washed and continued on to the other veggies and fruits he had on the counter close to him.

“The way bank staff deals with you basically. Your dad has a direct line to someone in the bank and they scramble to help him but when most of us call the bank its a different story. We have to hunt for a number firstly. Then we call and call but no one answers the phone.”

Kyla looked at me shocked. “Really!”

“Sadly yes,” I replied. “That why Noel is so against banks. Nowadays its fees, fees and more fees and little or no service.”

“So what can you do?” Shane dried his hands and moved to stand next to Kyla while he asked the question.

“It’s about being very strategic with your money. Making it work for you,” said Mr. Divine.

The kids looked at us confused. “What does that mean?”

Bank Battle

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Noel going to battle with the bank over the phone. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I watched Noel as she called the bank number she found in the telephone directory for what seemed like the tenth time. After the fifth call, Noel put each subsequent call on speaker for me to hear. She pressed various extensions to try to speak to someone but the phone just kept ringing.

“Now tell me if this is right. They take my money for the slightest thing but I can’t get anyone to answer the phone.”

“That is just wrong,” I reply as the phone just kept ringing in the background.

“I have an idea,” said Noel. She quickly dialed the number for the bank again but this time when the recording came on she pressed another extension number. After two rings there was an answer.

“Wealth management. How may I assist you?”

My mouth dropped open and Noel flashed me a huge smile. Then to my shock, she started speaking with a thick English accent.

“So, for me to speak to someone I must be wealthy because I’ve been calling the number for this bank more than fifteen times in the past thirty minutes. I’ve pressed every extension trying to get someone and this is the first time someone has answered the phone.”

The bank worker started to do the usual spiel, apologising. Seeing how she was sorry this And that while Noel in her thick English accent let her have it. I was hard-pressed not to laugh at the exchange I was hearing but by that time she was done, I fully understood her displeasure with the bank.

The person Noel got on the phone was at a totally different branch from where she banked and she needed to be transferred. Again I listened and all my head kept screaming was that the woman on the other end of the call was telling lies. As far as I was concerned each bank worker we encountered so far displayed massive content, like how dear we call them to complain. Even though they talked a good roll, it became obvious it was nothing but rehearsed words. By the time Noel got off the phone she still hadn’t gotten her problem fixed.

“No, my real question is why do I need a bank because as far as I’m concerned they do nothing for me. All they do do is take my money. I’m over it. It’s time to find a better way to operate,” said Noel.

“You have a good point,” I said nodding my head. “I’ll have a little chat with my hubby see what he says.”

“He’s rich. A businessman. Banks approach him differently. It’s just Joe-public who has to worry nowadays. They are raping us and not even hiding their faces when they do it. Protect your money Lindsay. Get it out of the bank.”

“I’ll talk to Mr. Divine.” I assured her.

After that drama, we went back to talking about random stuff having a good time but what Noel said why still on my mind. I was going to talk to Mr. Divine for sure. This was going to get interesting.

Bank On That

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Never a boring moment with my friend, Noel. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I went to visit my friend Noel after I came back from my trip to Europe to just relax and catch up on how things were going. While we were sitting there, her mail came in and I speak talk she opened the letters. When she ripped open the last one her growl of frustration filled the room.

“These people get on my last nerve,” said Noel as she waved the letter in her hand from side to side.

“What’s the matter?” I asked and she pushed what I soon realized the bank statement towards me.

“Look at that,” she said pointing to a particular line on her statement. What she was showing me was the line that said maintenance fees and the corresponding entry that said twenty dollars. After I read it my eyes widened.

“What? Why so much?” I asked looking at what she was showing me. “What bank is this?”

She pointed to the letterhead.

“I don’t bank with them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had similar fees on my statement. Those banks. When one starts something the other quickly follows.”

“My question is what is the point of the bank nowadays? In the olden days you at least used to get a bit of interest from them, but nowadays if you if you get two cents added to your hundred dollars it’s a miracle.”

I laughed. “It’s not funny,” I said as I tried to hold in my laughter. I took a deep breath. “In fact, it is sad how true it is.”

“It’s so bad that they don’t even have the branch’s telephone number on the correspondence.”

“Yeah. I noticed that on my correspondence as well. Also, the fastest thing they can tell you is to go online.”

“One minute! They charged me twenty dollars. I only went to the bank three times. They owe five dollars. I’m going to call them now and sort that out.”

The fire was in Noel’s eyes. It was on now.

Discover Europe

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Artwork and architecture on a building in Milan, Italy.

Mr. Divine has brought us on a trip across the pond and when we drove out of the airport we were all smiles. Yes, the kids and I were beach babies, but we also loved to explore and discover. Right now we are in London with its blend of old and new all hidden in countless nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. It called to use us to explore. First, we took a tour on an opened top double-decker bus all around the city. From that, the kids took a note of the places they wanted to revisit.

 

We visited so many spots. Somehow we got in more than ten of the must see places to visit. As we bid London goodbye, Mr. Divine took a note of our sad faces.

“Don’t worry. We’ll be back again soon,” he assured us as we boarded a fast train to Scotland. When we got to Edinburgh we took in the crisp, fresh air, eager for more to discover.  We started on the Royal Mile and just rambled. After several hours we had visited The Writers’ Museum, Queen Mary’s Bath House, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Victoria Terrace and of course the Scotch Whisky Experience. The next day we took a day trip to  Loch Ness that also stopped at Glencoe and the best part is that it allowed us to discover the Highlands. The vistas we saw were truly breathtaking.

The trip didn’t end there, in fact, it had only just begun. We spent the next three weeks roaming through Europe. First, we went to Paris, then to Madrid, across to Barcelona, a stop in Marseille to see the views from the Basilique Notre – Dame de la Garde. In Monaco, we went to Jardin Exotique and Palais du Prince. We continued ongoing from one major city to the next until we had seen most of Western Europe.

We had the most amazing time on that trip and the truly amazing things we saw changed our opinions and impressions of the world. I’m sure there will be other trips like this in the near future and I can hardly wait until we all go to another. Along with the discovery and adventure, we enjoyed the togetherness and uninterrupted family time. It’s an experience we will never forget and are eager to repeat.

Summer Fun

 

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Tell me we are going on a cruise and my cases are packed.

Oh Goodness me! I now realize how far behind I am about what has been happening so I’m going to try extra hard to get you, my amazing readers, back up to date about what’s going on. We all had an amazing summer even though things were in limbo. The issue that has us unable to fully sit, stand or turnaround, is that we’re waiting to find out about the children’s next step when it comes to school. To take our minds off for that complicated bit of information, Mr. Divine decided we should all go on a trip and indulge in some adventure.

The next thing I knew, we were packing to go on a two-week cruise of the Caribbean. It ended up being one of the most enjoyable parts of the summer vacation. Like I said, only one of them because my lovely husband always has something up his sleeve. Our days were spent going on various tours that allowed us to discover the most amazing locations. We saw so many unique places and discovered so much information about each island we visited, it captivated us.

Every day the kids were up early and ready to scamper off and discover. Sometimes we went out together or they would spend the day with the new friends they met on the boat. No matter what, we always had dinner together every night. I had some serious foodies for children and dinner was our time to try new things. It was filled with pure fun and laughter. Dinner was our time to talk and recap the day. We would plan what we wanted to do for the coming days and to seek out new adventures. Whenever possible, the children had to get in some beach time. They were true water babies and the beach makes them happy.

When that cruise ended we were all a little sad, but it ended with new friends and the potential for more adventure right around the corner. Let the fun begin.

On Notice

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I love to just to be with you. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

My trip to see Mr. Divine extended into the next week and as such, I had a deal with Lorna and each encounter was just as bad as the first one. If she wasn’t shooting me dirty looks she was dropping nasty remarks about how I looked and that I made her boss marry down. That Mr. Divine must have hit his head when he decided to marry me.

I looked at her and said nothing as she continued to try to make me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want her and her horrible attitude in any way connected to my husband or children and I planned to let her fashion her own fire to destroy her own career.

Recording what she was saying and taking it to my husband would have been easy but what was the fun in that. No, Lorna was going to be lead on a twisted dance called don’t mess with the boss’s wife cause she will rip you a new one. When I was done she wouldn’t know which way was up.

First I looked on the Internet to get a list of the recruitment agencies in the area then choose two and got started. One of my talents had always been the ability to mimic voices and after getting my throat warmed up I called my husband’s office.

“Good morning I’m calling from McHema Recruitment to discuss the candidates for the PA position you asked us to advertise for.

There was silence then a slow voice answered. “Job for a PA? Ahhh…I wasn’t aware we were looking for someone. Are you sure you have the right company?”

“Of course I’m sure. This is a follow-up call updating our client with regards to our progress. We have ten candidates we shortlisted and we want to discuss second round interviews.”

“We searched around individuals we had previously head hunted that are looking to switch positions. It was requested we move quickly as there was a time element involved. It there someone I can speak to?”

“Ahh…the boss is not here right now but I’ll give him your message.”

“Thank you very much. I’ll also call you again a little later.”

Lindsay disconnected the call and relaxed back against the lounge chair. Looking up she smiled as Mr. Divine walked towards her with two cocktails in his hands.

He put them down on the side table and sat down on the towel next to me.

“I know that naughty smile. What are you up to?”

“Nothing. Just stressing out you PA because she keeps being rude to me.”

“Lindsay,” he growled. “What did you do?”

“Make her think you were recruiting someone new for her job.”

He shook his head and gave her a rough kiss. “You are so naughty.”

“No, I just learnt to fight dirty. Now it’s to see what happens tomorrow.”

Mr. Divine settled back against her. “We’ll see.”

With You

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Lunch with my sweetheart. Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Mr. Divine dropped the basket with his lunch onto his desk and pulled me onto the couch and into his lap.

“I missed you so much,” Mr. Divine whispered against my lips before he held me closer and pulled me to almost straddle his lap. Okay…I was straddling him and it felt good to be in his arms after so many weeks.

“I miss you too,” I replied and fell into his kisses.

“When did you get here? Where are the kids?”

I relaxed against his chest as I told him. “ I came in about an hour or two ago. The kids are having a sleepover at their friend’s house, then I heard them mention something about Sunday at my mom’s house. They chased me out of the house.”

Mr. Divine laughed. “When those two put a plan in motion they fight tooth and nail to see it happen.

“Yes, they do.”

He twined his finger into my hair an pulling me close. “So you bought me lunch.”

“Yes,” I said getting up from his lap and going for the basket. I placed it in the middle of the couch and flipped it open.”

He peeked in sighed with pleasure. “My favorites. This is just so amazing. Thank you, honey.”

We settled in and started to eat and stayed there talking and enjoying each other. The time kept ticking away and we don’t care we just were happy to be with each other.

We didn’t know how much time we spent sitting there on the floor but after a while, there was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” Mr. Divine shouted and his PA Lorna opened the door and moved into the room slowly. She looked at our picnic spread out in front of the couch and me cuddled against Mr. Divine’s chest and turned up her nose.

“You got several calls sir. What do you want to do with the messages?”

“On the desk is fine. You can also leave for the day.”

She looked at us then shrugged and left and we went back to being engrossed in each other.