Here’s my article from Working Mother magazine’s website on why I work.  I encourage you to journal these ideas for yourself, or hang up your list where you can see it daily.  It WILL motivate you!

On the window of my office I have a list that describes the top ten reasons why I work. When feeling discouraged or uncertain, I reflect on this list. As I write this blog, I’m experiencing in real time several of those reasons. Currently, I’m on a train with my family heading from Paris to London. On my prized list of why I work is to afford to travel, to show my children the world, and to experience adventure in my life. So here I am…as I sip my tea, gaze out the window at the winding streams, farm land and cattle, I am grateful that I work. Yes, I have bouts of guilt.  I struggle with balancing the demands of family and home while owning a business.  But at this moment, I’m experiencing the rewards of my effort.

At a Paris cafe with my family this past week.

At a Paris cafe with my family this past week.

Stop and consider why you work. Odds are something drives you to do so and hopefully it’s more than a paycheck. Whether you like the challenge your work provides, the mental focus it requires or the benefits it brings your family I’m certain there are very specific reasons why you work. If you don’t yet have a top ten list of reasons why you work, consider creating one today. The first four or five reasons will come easily to you. As you begin to work on numbers six through ten you will really have to think, “So why do I work, what does it do for me and what specifically do I get out of it?” This exercise is incredibly powerful because it will force you to reflect on all the little things work provides but that you take for granted. Another on my list is to be challenged and stimulated mentally- without this I would go crazy! So what about you?

Use the space below to create your own top 10 reasons why you work:

Struggling to finish those last few spaces? It’s okay, give yourself some time to reflect and come up with the right reasons versus just rushing to fill in blank spaces. Once you have your top ten, print it out and post this list where you can see it every day. While I rarely look at my top ten, when I do, it’s a lifesaver. In those moments I’m typically experiencing some sort of anxiety, fear or major challenge in my business. Looking at this list brings focus, clarity and a reminder as to why I’m pressing forward rather than giving up, why I get up every day and do what I do and most importantly the difference I’m making in the world. I promise, it will do the same for you!

Written by Traci Bild, work-life balance expert and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement. Get a free Get Your Girl Back Dream Journal to create your list of why and fill the pages with the dreams you hold dear to your heart.


(as seen on my blog earlier this week on WorkingMother.com)

I lost my phone while in Phoenix this week. The next morning I called my husband David and asked him to use the Find My Phone app to track it down. While I was hoping it was still in the hotel, sadly it was about ten miles away at a Chinese medicine store on South Central Ave. Not sure what to do I decided to just let it go. Clearly, someone from the hotel found it on the table where I left it and took it. I really wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation.

I went to meet my BFF Shamim Wu, who works in my industry and while listening to her talk I thought, “I wonder if she would go with me to track down my phone?” Wearing a gorgeous white Chanel suit, I thought it better to skip the idea all together when out of the blue I said, “Shamim, my phone is about ten minutes from the hotel, will you go with me to get it?” Head of sales for a billion dollar organization, I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea…but the truth is Shamim is a kick ass woman who knows no fear. While her boss might not like the idea of me dragging her into my investigation, I knew she was my girl!

Not surprisingly Shamim agreed to go. We jumped in the back of a black SUV and headed off in search of my stolen phone. As we pulled into the parking lot of the medicine shop I started to get really nervous. Was someone really going to admit they had my phone? What if we get into a fight or worse yet, shot?

We walked into the store… black heels, white suits (yes we actually both had on white) and nerves of steel. Shamim said hello in Chinese and proceeded to tell the owner that my phone was stolen and tracked to her location. Playing tough we requested she let her employees know that they could give up the phone now to us or deal with the police later- who we would promptly be calling (that was of course a bluff).

The store owner returned from the back of the store and explained that none of her employees had the phone. Graciously she let us look around. My heart was beating so fast I thought I would pass out. About to give up we decided to call Dave and ask him to ping the phone for us. With just 2% battery life left, we were running out of time!

Resourceful, Dave jumped on google maps to zero in on the location and tracked the phone to a doorway- “It’s on the Northeast side, by an entrance” he said. Sweating, Shamim and I walked around; furiously looking for the phone…it was nowhere. We looked in trashcans and behind cabinets- even our driver got involved. Dave was in Florida looking at a computer screen and trying to tell us where it was but we simply couldn’t find it! I felt like we were playing a game of cold, warm and hot. “It’s by an entrance, I see it!” Dave kept saying. Where was the phone?

We decided to walk outside and look at the exterior of the building when we heard a, “Ding, ding, ding!” Everyone started screaming, including the store owner, employee, driver, Shamim and me. We could hear it but where was it? I couldn’t believe we might actually find my phone after all! Looking in cars and gutters we realized…it was in the bushes. Digging through dirty diapers, empty bottles and leaves, we found it…my phone was actually there. I could not believe it- what started out as a crazy idea resulted in a successful recovery of my phone. Sure I could have gotten another but I had three days left on my trip, kids I needed to stay in touch with and a business to run. I wanted this phone.

The elation we felt was indescribable. Even more powerful was the feeling of adrenaline, adventure, fear, spontaneity, and ultimate victory! Pulling away, we were laughing so hard that we could barely catch our breath! The highlight of our week, Shamim and I felt like Starsky and Hutch- in that moment we were not working women, wives or mothers, we were best friends on a crazy adventure of a lifetime.

While it might not have been the smartest thing to do, it was by far a memory I’ll never forget. Sometimes, as grownups, we can play it too safe, hold back due to potential consequences or fear of the unknown. Othertimes, we can act like kids, take risks, go for it and be downright bold- that’s exactly what we did and to the day I die, I’ll never forget this victorious moment.

 

Actual moment of badassness.

                 Actual moment of badassness.

 

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frontier

What I learned from Frontier airlines is that everything my mother taught me about manners, as a child growing up, was spot on.  Let’s start with the golden rule: Treat others as you would expect them to treat you.

Here is what I learned today: Frontier is a service business- I was blown away that they would violate the golden rule over and over in my experience with them today. Trust me; I will share in detail what occurred.  All I could think as I traveled was, “Has service in the airline sector gotten so horrible that they simply don’t give a crap?” Jokes used to be made about used car salesmen. In my opinion, they are now the heroes; they help people get into cars with no credit and little money. Airlines, they’ve become worse than any used car salesman I’ve ever met and to me that’s tragic.

From Fun to Run!

So here’s what happened. We woke up this morning excited; our family was heading out to Breckenridge for our annual family ski trip. Keep in mind that I’ve traveled for over twenty years as a professional speaker and my husband is an airline Captain for AirTran, soon to be Southwest. My kids have traveled to Paris several times as well as throughout the great USA. We are traveled people so we know the highs and lows of airline travel. Yet today broke my spirit. It took everything in me not to cry in front of my kids. What’s worse is that I wasn’t mad, I was disappointed. So much that it tore at my heart. Can’t we do better than this?

  1. Don’t You Have an Extra Couple Hundred Dollars? Our flight was scheduled to leave at 9:50 am per our itinerary that we checked ten times. I attempted to check in online the night prior and the first upset came when I saw that I wasn’t just going to pay $25-$30 per checked in bag but also $25-$30 per CARRY ON Bag (unless a briefcase type). I’m thinking, okay, I’ve got Paris and Noah’s two carryon bags with their beloved stuffed animals, which travel all over the world with us. Hmmm…don’t think I can check them so that’s $100 and then my bag is another $30. So we are looking at $130 EACH way simply for carry ons (unless I check the animals and risk losing their most treasured possessions to include baby blankies). I also had two large bags with all our ski clothes so that is another $50-$60 and ONLY if I pay for everything the night before. If I dare wait because I’m totally perplexed on the carryon bag charge, then I will be charged up to $50 PER BAG FOR BOTH CARRY ON AND CHECKED. Hmmm.  Now I’m looking at a possible $250 for bags EACH WAY for a total of $500 for my wonderful luggage because the fact is, I will need to change my clothes at some point. Really? Just put the real price of the ticket instead of TRICKING us into a ticket and then killing us with extras. All I could think of were the people who would be stuck at the airport, not knowing about all these fees, and trying to figure out how to pay for it. I’m fortunate enough that while I can afford it, its plain wrong and deceiving.
  2. Read the fine print: Apparently if you buy your ticket on the Frontier website or some other odd place you avoid all these fees (does anyone buy tickets direct from airline websites?).
  3. Sorry! Oh, forgot to mention that after all this upset, trying to figure out fees, and putting in my credit card twice, I was told they could not check me in online and that I had to go to the airport desk.
  4. Change of Plans! Didn’t You Get the Memo? As we leisurely headed to the airport with time to spare, and a grand plan to get something to eat, we get to the gate and are told we are going to MISS OUR FLIGHT! What? Oh, they forgot to tell us that the flight was moved up from 9:50 to 9:15, didn’t I get the telepathic memo? No worries, I can do this! I’ve got global entry and we can zip right to the front of the security line, or so we think. Wrong! It’s airline travel, right?
  5. Bummer! We pay our $130+ dollars (no time to look) for checked and carryon bags, run to security and am told that I can’t use the global entry, not on the boarding pass even though, I’m holding the prized card in my hand. Remain calm…
  6. Ha! Just Kidding! We get through security, run to the gate, and as we get to the door are told we HAVE TO CHECK OUR BAGS! What? Didn’t I just pay $100 (I confirmed that there was indeed space and assured there would be room)?  Sorry! My kids start to cry, although silently, and I do too but just inside because I’m mom right, need to strong in this moment (and I’ll use my pen later to get it out as I’m doing now!). The kids grab their favorite animal and I promise nothing will happen to their dear friends in the belly of the plane, they are safe (not so sure the way this is going, there could be a gremlin down there).  By the way, I had the gate agent come back in and give me her name as I asked for a refund on the bags but imagine that won’t happen without some hard follow up work with long wait times. Trust me; I’m following up on that supposed “credit.”
  7. Hungry? Got Credit? As we sit down, I realize I have two kids and I included who have not eaten; we have no water and a four hour flight. I look and “Yeah!” they have items but for a price. Isn’t it basic courteously to offer your guest a drink? Not on Frontier! You can have a drink but for a price! Again, just rude. No problem- I whip out my Am X platinum that I’m burning up today anyway and pay $14.99, to be exact, for food and drinks.  
  8. Yeah, we are on the flight, have food and drink, and guess what, there are even televisions, which as a parent is a Godsend on a plane. Could it be free, like on Jet Blue? Of course not, it’s yours for $5.99 EACH.

Did I really need to get my bags on the plane, have something to drink, food to eat, and entertainment for this trip to Colorado? No, it’s not a human need, it’s a want. Yet in a service industry, I expect more. I expect an honest business transaction. Give me the real price for my ticket when I buy it, don’t trick me into buying “the lowest fare” and then kill me with extreme fees that would literally break the bank for many families as they head off on a much needed vacation. Its plain wrong.

I do fly AirTran and Southwest often and am grateful my husband flies for them and not Frontier. AirTran’s business class rocks and Southwest always makes me laugh. There is still hope yet but may this be a warning to them NOT to follow in the footsteps of airlines like Frontier. People like me will stand up, shout from the rooftops and make sure that people are aware of the misleading purchase of tickets. So let this be your warning. If you buy Frontier, read the fine print and make sure you buy the ticket on their website or be prepared to spend your vacation money on airline fees.

So thanks mom for teaching me to know when a wrong is being done and to stand up for myself and others. I listened, learned and hope that others will benefit from this information in this blog!

If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to. If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at https://gygb.com/category/blog/ and see what we’re working on how it can help you!

Written by Traci Bild, Author and Founder of, the Get Your Girl Back

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