It is just beginning to get light out and I can already tell it is going to be a good day. I don’t mean just the weather, but I feel that something good or positive will happen. I don’t know why, but some days I just have this feeling and more so than not, I am right and something unexpected and positive finds its way to me.
I wonder sometimes if this is what people would call a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy?’ it seems however, that most references to self-fulfilling prophecies tend to focus on negative circumstances and outcomes. There are very few times I hear of them being positive. I wonder if that is just because the attitude of people in general, or part of the actual definition of the term. Or is it because of the general apathy that so many people feel lately? I suppose I would have to look some day when I have the time.
Wouldn’t be nice if we could dictate the outcome of situations just by having a positive attitude? All we would need to do is to be positive all the time and good things would flood our lives and everything would be peachy. You are probably thinking that I am crazy for even thinking that, but those of you who know me better know that I do truly believe that our attitude does influence the outcome of many of the situations in our lives. Call me a dreamer, but I like it that way and I will continue to go on like that as long as I please.
Approaching things with a good attitude instead of dread really can make a difference. If we look for and focus on the good side of things, we can’t help but have a better outcome than if we focused on the negative elements. Once we get into the habit of looking for the good in a situation, it tends to come to us naturally and without thinking and before we realize it, we are happier and more positive people.
Has anything really changed in our lives other than our approach to situations and attitudes? Perhaps not. But by having an upbeat and more positive outlook of things, we do tend to be happier people. I’ll take it.
I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent about all this stuff. But sometimes in the morning when my brain is just waking up and I am evaluating the previous day and planning the present one, I just get to thinking. I think it is good to stop and think about things like this and that is one way this blog has helped me have a better life. It forces me to take a breath each day and think about things and evaluate situations that I otherwise may overlook. Awareness is another good thing, I believe and leads to a better understanding of things.
In any case, yesterday was a good day. One of the best accomplishments I achieved was that I finished the process of changing my merchant account successfully from the old bank to the new one. And I do say “I” because in the end, it was me who needed to do the vast majority of the work.
I sometimes wonder how others who don’t have a firm knowledge of computers are able to sustain their online businesses. There are so many small companies that seem to be less-than-knowledgeable regarding the intricacies of running a web site and still have online stores. Do they allow the financial institutions to do the work for them? If so, how are they certain that everything is done in their best interests? I wonder.
Many people that I speak to with their own sites don’t have a clue as to much of the stuff that I talk about regarding my website. Some have their sites hosted on all-inclusive places where all they have to do is add product and the rest is done for them. As a business person, I find that to be a very dangerous position to be in. While I certainly don’t pretend to know everything about it, I do try to learn all I can about how things work and how everything is set up. Then I am better able to troubleshoot when things do go wrong and I am less reliant on an outsider who has little or no interest.
I realize that learning and doing all of the technical stuff can take me away from my designing time, but I feel that what good would it be to design more and not have a clear understanding of what was going on in the guts of my business. Yes, technical stuff is not really the fun part of a business, but I feel it is necessary to know – at least superficially – every aspect of your business. No one will look out for you as well as you, yourself. Everyone does have their own agenda, which is usually not you and if you aren’t there to make sure that things are in your best interest, who will be?
Getting back to this transfer of accounts – I was told initially that the bank was going to handle most everything from their side. There was to be little for me to do except give consent here and there and set passwords and such.
However, the way things happened, the information was sent to me and the ball started rolling so before I had even gotten back to the bank, I had the new account set up nearly completely. This was not difficult for me to do because I was also the one who had to set it up in the first place, several years ago. All the bank needed to do was to waive the start up fees (they were to cover them because I was forced to change over due to the take over of my old bank) and make sure that everything was compliant. Apparently, I had been running compliant to their standards all along so that also was something that turned into a ‘non-issue’ and we were able to do the transition very smoothly and quickly.
When I connected with the bank representative yesterday, she seemed surprised that everything was pretty much done. I had received all the numbers over the weekend and had entered them into my new account on my own and we were pretty much set to go by the time she called me. I felt proud that I did everything correctly and in running a test, all seemed to be working well.
The best part of the story is that with the new account, I am now able to also take another type of credit card for payment on my site (Discover) which will open more avenues for my customers to pay. This additional service will not cost me any more than I had previously been paying, as the new institution has some sort of relationship with Discover and it is included in the package I get from them for no additional cost.
I also pared some additional features off the account that were on my old account and I feel were unnecessary. I have had that account for almost 10 years now and I hadn’t even realized that they were charging me for these features that I had never asked for or used, and see no need for in the near future. I could always add them on if I choose to at a later date. So now, I am actually going to be paying a little less than my normal monthly fee to process payments. It is only a couple of dollars, but again – I’ll take it.
Learning about all the aspects of running a small business can be a daunting task. There are many different avenues that you need to explore and understand to help make your business successful and remain in control of things. If you allow others to do these things for you, chances are that they are looking out for their own interests before yours and you won’t receive the full benefits of the services that you subscribe to or you will be paying for services that you don’t need and will not use. Either way can be a drain on your resources.
The best way to avoid this is to educate yourself and keep an eye on what is happening. It may mean more work now, but in the long run it will make for a healthy business that is molded to YOUR needs and specifications and will benefit YOU the most. I believe that is how it should be.
Now I am going to get to work and see what good things today brings.
Have a good one!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"