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Get Ready For a Fight …

These past two years I’ve made a LOT of enemies (some things never change), received death threats, countered some vile and disgusting accusations, and I’ve been unfriended by the best haters in the business. I’m good with that. Since we last spoke, active shooters have become the new norm. When it began to escalate, I […]

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Steven - This is so important for the greater good of all of us. Kudos to you for taking this on.

Tammy - Thanks, Steven, hoping a lot of other people ‘take it on’ too.

Susan Melchiori - Great article Tammy. I find it so said that my eight year old Granddaughter knows what to do if there is a shooter on campus. But it’s a fact of life we shouldn’t have to live with. Keep up the good work.

Tammy - So agree, Susan. It’s devastating on every level. NO, we shouldn’t have to live like this! Thanks for the support, appreciate it tons.

Are Self Employed People Entrepreneurs or Slackers?

I’ve been self employed for nearly 30 years. Last week at a networking meeting I was told by a hotshot recruiter that self employed people are just people who can’t find work or keep a job anywhere else. What the?!? I’m not sure I’ve ever been so insulted in my life. And that’s saying something, […]

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Evette - Absolutely RIGHT ON, Tammy! I have always prided myself on my work ethic – working longs hours and doing an exemplary job – but have never worked harder than I have/do as self-employed – and I love it!

Mel Glenn - You are to be commended, not insulted. I think it takes a rare amount of courage and self-confidence to live by your own wits. The person you had lunch with is a drone, and was trying to get under your skin, (which he did.)
Kudos to you.

Tammy - Hi Evette, Your mention of long hours is something I neglected to add. The hours are sometimes endless, yet it rarely feels like “work”. That’s what comes from doing a labor of love. So very happy you popped in to share. Thanks ever so for the post!

Tammy - Hi Mel, I love the way you put that “live by your wits”. Yup, I do live by my wits, some days are definitely better than others. I agree with you…he was a drone (and a bit of an ass). And he absolutely got under my skin in the worst way. Lucky for him I took my anger out in words but what I was really compelled to do was wait for him to come out of the building and run him over. Kidding. Just kidding. Thanks for the support, the understanding and the post!

Evette - Tammy, I read and agree with most of your posts, but, like you, I found my feathers quite ruffled after reading the recruiters comment about a ‘real job’ and just couldn’t help myself! Hope you are well – I send my best wishes for an amazing 2013!

Tammy - Evette, so happy to know you are “out there”. This WAS a feather ruffling moment for me as well. Please, never be shy about contributing here. You know I would love to hear your take on all things agreeable AND disagreeable. It’s what drives me. The warmest wishes to you for an epic 2013! Keep making the world a prettier place.

Jeffrey Davidson - Tammy,
Perhaps you are a better person than I am. I probably would have told him what you did when you met with him but I would have told him when i met him and he first made the comments. My time would have been too valuable to spend it meeting with him.

You are correct in all that you say. Perhaps he does not have the discipline or character to be self-employed. Isn’t anyone whose owns their own business and even employs others self employed?

John Grisham is self employed as is Danielle Steele. Boy they are certainly slackers albeit prolific ones at that.

When people make such broad statements without information to back it up, it usually indicates to me that they do not have a clue what they are talking about. They frequently are the type of individual who try to build themselves up by putting others down. “Since you are a ‘slacker’ and can’t make it in the real world, I, who am successful and good and great because I work for someone else, will find you a job!”

Keep up the great writing and your wonderful insight into what is going on in today’s world.

Carmen - Thank you Tammy!!! You really hit that special spot in me. My family has been self employed for over 20 years. When I retired, I joined the family business. Let me tell you, self employed individuals work harder, are more desciplined, more caring and give back to the ecomony. There is no such thing as a regular lunch hour and a 40 hour a week job. I am sure a few of us would like to meet with this man who obviously is a piece of work without a mind of his own. I could go on for days!!!! Thank you

Tammy - Carmen, a 40 hour work week…what’s that? Lunch? Yeah, right. Yes, I think the self employed are the pioneers of today, forging on when times are lean, working when everyone else has gone to bed, and worrying until the deal is signed. We know. And we are to be celebrated, not ridiculed. And yet, neither of us would have it any other way. Would we? You are absolutely right with your mention with our penchant to give back to our local merchants. We know what it means to be supported by those around us and so it is that we go out of our way to do the same. So very happy you are here and more than thrilled that you shared today!

Tammy - Jeffrey, I think that the man’s statement found me in a shocked state. I am well aware of the view (I’ve heard it many times before), but I’ve never heard it delivered to me with such surety, smugness and downright contempt. By the time my wits were gathered he was long gone (probably back under the rock he crawled out from). Small minds benefit no one. I just had to spout off, well, because I’ve had quite enough of that misguided mindset. And I always welcome the change to given enlightenment to those who lack it (snicker). Thanks for being here and for the post!

Malissa - Grumble under my breath, what a jerk! Send us his number and we can give him a piece of our mind.

Self employed barber almost to go out of business because of our country’s rescission . Thank god I’m retiring in sept. with no retirement . Going to retrain and find something else I hope.

That just burns my ass! LoL sorry, thanks for sharing!

Tammy - Malissa, I hear ya sister! If I wasn’t laying myself open to a potential lawsuit, I’d give out his info. That would be fun to watch. But you would be surprised how many people share his train of thought. Bizarre and ridiculous! Good to know you are still out there, Malissa. The place wouldn’t be the same without you! Thanks for posting!

Ande Lyons - Woo Hoo!

What a fabulous moment for you Tammy! This recruiter helped you get deeper understanding and clarity as to why you are passionate about being the Goddess of your own Destiny! What a gift!!

I’m absolutely unemployable. Either I’m the Founder/CEO of my own gig… or I’m watching the sunset eating bon bons.

My husband is too. However, we decided while we were raising kids, we couldn’t have TWO entrepreneurs in the home (someone needed a ‘steady paycheck’), and given he was more employable than I… out he went. 10 years later… 4 layoffs later… he’s back in the saddle again – yeee haaaw! Two weeks before Christmas he got ‘bumped’ … three days later his website was up and four weeks later he has three signed contracts.

For this family… there is no greater security than being the Captain of your Domain. Working for someone else has a much greater cost – financially, to the family, to one’s health and definitely to one’s quality of life.

Three cheers for the entrepreneur/ solopreneur!

The Chief Passion Curator

Amanda - I haven’t read all the comments yet, but wanted to leave one of my own concerning hours. Speaking of which, there are also the times when you deal with wildly different time zones than your own, so you really do end up either getting up insanely early, or staying up insanely late, to deal with customers. That guy sounds like a real jerk and I’m glad you set him straight.

Tammy - Amanda, I don’t know how I could have missed the time zone crunch point. HUGE! Thanks so much for adding that. YES, we deal with the east coast as well as the international clients. It’s a huge pain in the butt, but something that is part of the territory, as you know. Yup, this guy was a gold medal jerk to be sure, but you would be surprised how many times I’ve heard that kind of jargon from know-nothings (an affectionate term for the ignorant). Awesome to have you here. Thanks for speaking up!

Tammy - Ande, you are, indeed, the chief passion curator! Thank God, because we need one! That’s quite the story you shared about you and your husband. There is pity little security out there in the “real jobs”. Two weeks before Christmas? Ouch! The best part about your sharing is how quickly he bounced back. You are so right … there is no greater security than being the Captain of your own domain! The quality of the entrepreneur’s life is SO much better, happier and probably longer lived. How happy am I to have you here? Ecstatic! Your enthusiasm is oozing as I read your words. That’s a gift, my friend. Thanks for being here and for the post!

Nancy Wurtzel - Oh, what a terrible insult to so many of us who work for ourselves! We are every bit as capable and valuable as someone who punches a time clock. I admire you for not jumping across the table and taking him on! Great post, my dear!

Tammy - Hi Nancy, I get kudos for not taking him down on the spot, although truth be told I was actually in a state of stunned shock for about a minute after he melted into the crowd. But you will be happy to know that I had my way with him (not in a good way) when we went to coffee. I left him with his mouth open and a deer in the headlights look on his face. The real problem is that so many people share his lame view of the self employed. It’s all so ridiculous it’s hard for me to wrap my head around it. So very lovely to hear from you. My pleasure, really.

Lee Lefton - Tammy, the last time I had a “real” job was in 1983 when I was a copywriter at an ad agency. When it was time for my yearly review, my boss told me I wasn’t going to get the full whatever % since there were a number of areas where I needed improvement. (Immediate red flag). First, I wrote too fast and was often finished with my work by noon. Huh? So I said, “Give me more work.” Second, I freelanced at night and on the weekends. So? Apparently, since I was on their payroll, they thought they owned me. No outside work allowed. Last, I sometimes left work before 5 pm. Yes, but I also came in most days before 7 to avoid the traffic. Didn’t matter, I was being paid for 9 to 5.

As you can imagine knowing me, I went home with steam coming out of every orifice. My wife let me rant and rave for a few minutes and calmly said, “You have two choices. Suck it up and go with the program. Or tell them Sayonara and build your freelance business.” I did the latter and tripled my income in the first year. And I’ve never looked back. Oh, and interestingly, they were one of the first clients to hire me…because I wrote fast.

Post script: About ten years later, I got a call from my old boss. Seems he’d been let go. His boss called from his car to tell him…while he was in the bathroom. And you’ll never guess what he said next. “I should have been brave enough to have left when you did. Do you suppose you could give me some tips on how to start a freelance business?”

Nuff said.

Tammy - Lee, wow, if that’s not a crazy strong endorsement for being self employed, I don’t know what is! The work “mill” is so regulated, so stifling for a creative mind. As a copywriter for an ad agency your job was to create. You would have thought they would have asked you to bring your dog to work, play cool music and inspire yourself to create great things. But nooooooo! Instead you were expected to fit a mold, a time slot and fill in the graphs. What a dreadful fate for a creative mind to suffer. I’m so very happy you escaped. Your wife is one smart cookie. I almost feel sorry for your old boss … I said almost. Calling from his car was hugely disrespectful. If only everyone understood the value of the independent thinker, the solo employee that chooses to take a chance on their skill. Then it might be a kinder world for those of us out there selling our wares. So great to hear from you. Thanks so much for sharing!

Lizzie Williams - Tammy,

During the course of the past year I have read so many self-help articles and “you can do it” articles, but your post here today has given me more encouragement and confidence than anything I’ve read in the past.

I’m going to do this. I’m going to enter this wonderful world of self employment. I’ll do it with courage, determination and confidence! And if I ever doubt myself and my ability to succeed, I’ll come back to this post because it’s all the encouragement I need.

Thank you,

Joan Cooper - I’d like to know the age of that “hot shot recruiter”.

I went to work at age 16 and I am still working – at 83. Do I want to? No of course not. But I must in order to live.

It started when, although all my life I had no problem getting a job, suddenly, I guess my wrinkles were showing, employers were not interested – EVEN PROFESSIONAL JOB PLACEMENT COMPANIES. Yes.

One I remember and can now smile – the lady started to pull an application out of a drawer, and she stopped halfway through, looked me up and down, and said…’oh we are all out of applications…could you come back some other time…’

I started my own small business and I can tell you, mr. hotshotrecuriter – you don’t know what work is until you run your own business, responsible for everything and worrying if someone doesn’t like it, you lose. What an a__h_l_

Joan Cooper

Tammy - Hi Lizzie, thank you for that amazing post. It made my heart sing. Truly. Clearly you have been pondering the idea of being self employed for some time now. You will need that courage, determination and confidence, that is no lie. But it may surprise you to know that your excitement, pure joy, and love of the challenge will feed your spirit, your mind and your body. You, my dear, are in very good company. I’m thrilled this post spoke to you … there is nothing that quite speaks to the soul like truth. Take your truth, own it and run with wild abandon into your destiny. We are all right behind you. I hope to hear from you again. Thanks for sharing.

Tammy - Hi Joan, the recruiter was 44. Old enough to know better, don’t you think? Your story proves that necessity is truly the mother of invention. When life pushes us in a corner, we generally come out fighting. You did just that. A big hooray for you and all of us who managed to find our own way and make a place for ourselves in the business world. I applaud you and agree wholeheartedly that the man was a bit of an ass. Thanks ever so for being here!

Charity Kountz - Oh if you could only be in the same room to see me nodding along and cheering you with every sentence! You hit the nail on the head! I actually think, for me, being employed is harder. I have to move to someone else’s beat and I’m just flat out not good at that. It’s a necessary evil sometimes but oh how it chafes. I can’t wait to return to doing what I love but for now my family needs me to work a job and bring in a steady income. One day I’ll be back in the trenches full time again and loving it! Regardless I’ll never stop being an entrepreneur and self-employed because the rewards are so great. Good for you for setting the record straight!

Tammy - Charity, thanks, girl! You hit on something that tweaked me big time. Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It DOESN’T necessarily mean that you are currently self employed. YES, you will be back in the trenches, wringing your hands, pulling your hair, going to bed thinking about what you will do next….all in time. I agree with you, working for someone else is harder once you’ve tasted the nectar of self employment. I too have worked for someone before. I call it the “selling my soul for health insurance” time of my life. It only fueled my fire, enabled my abilities. You will be the exact same. I sense it. Thanks for this input and for the sharing of it. Great hearing from you.

Charity Kountz - Wow, you give me hope Ande! I’m back to being employed again, working for a small company. My husband doesn’t earn nearly as much as I do as an assistant manager for a restaurant so my income is the primary one. Unfortunately, trying to run a fledgling business on a minuscule salary wasn’t cutting it. The right opportunity came along and here I am, back to employed again. I miss my freedom but for now that paycheck is important but I can’t agree more – Captain is better than ship swain. Good luck to both of you!

Charity Kountz - Go for it Lizzie! It’s not easy but I don’t think there’s an entrepreneur anywhere who will tell you it isn’t worth it. Hard as hell , yes, but always worth it.

And I just have to say, I self-published a book in November – the lead character’s name is Lizzy. 🙂 You have a great name – you’ll do great things if you just believe in yourself. My character Lizzy believed in herself, made a wish on a star for snow and it came true, sending her on the adventure of a lifetime. Your belief in yourself can do the same for you. Good luck!

Charity Kountz - I think this is my germination time. For whatever reason, the good Lord thinks I need a little more grooming, a little more tweaking and a little more time in the fire. Hopefully while I’m at it I’ll use my talents for good for someone else but for now this is where I need to be, whether I understand why or not. (I find it ironic that I’m working for a 61 year old man who has made more in his career than I have ever imagined, who has a graphic design degree and previously published several books and is now running a financial services company).

I’d rather be writing and I’m starting to feel like this is going to get me ready to take that leap. For fifteen years I’ve been doing everything but my God-given talent (writing) and I think God is teaching me a lesson. We’ll see how long it takes me to learn it 🙂

Judith Briles - Excellent post Tammy–I’m passing it along to my crowd. I’ve come to believe that the great majority of the slackers out there are the ones who get a regular paycheck, not to mention the perks of 401(k), vacations, a few sick days here and there.

The self-employed, which includes you and me, most likely “work” double the hours (and have more fun and personal appreaction of the outcome) than those that have the “steady” income guarantee.

For 40 years now, I’ve started each month with no guarantee. No promise of a paycheck twice a month. For 40 years, I’ve raised a family, saved money, lost all of it when a partner embezzeled a nifty sum 30 years ago, started over from scratch, put the kids through school, the roof over the head, paid the bills, etc. During those 40 years, two of my children died. As a slacker, I didn’t have the luxury of co-workers stepping in for me; of taking some grief time off; of healing. During those 40 years, I’ve experienced cancer and got/took a few days “off” for surgery, and then back to work–nope, we self-employed slackers continue to reach out to others, sometimes in unbearable pain physically and emotionally, and keep on truckin. We slackers are entrepreneurs. We are survivors and we thrive–not because we think out of the box. We trash the boxes of conventionality of the “normal” workplace … for us, being abnormal as what we do–and it is a good thing. I can’ imagine having a 9 to 5 –I don’t know what that is. Do you?

I understand feeling a little dumbfounded–but I could imagine blowing off any time with the jerks of the world–unless it was for the sole purpose or creating you excellent post and he was your platform. Otherwise–two hours of kiss off time would find me in front of a favorite show on TV that I was dying to catching up with–now, that could be slacking a tad.

Tammy - Hi Judith, clearly you are no doubt the poster child for the successful self employed entrepreneur. When you shared you life and your tribulations here, well, it brings it all home. It’s personal. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Our work is personal, just like our lives, our choices, our children, our grief and our pain. It belongs only to us. We struggle for it, through it, past it, and make it to the other side as best we can. When I grow up (any day now) I want to be a slacker just like you. Thanks for shedding that bright light of reality … and thanks for being here. You, Miss Judith, are pretty damn awesome!

Scott Morgan - Funny how full life is of answers to questions no one asked. Also funny how people like this jackass at the networking function see the self-employed as people without real jobs, when companies that hire people to do “real” jobs often start as one-person enterprises. Then again, the guy’s job is to recruit people, so he’s got to make you doubt yourself to be successful. Hang tough, Tammy. Saying the self-employed don’t work is like saying parents have plenty of play time.

Tammy - Hi Scott, you made me laugh. You are right, of course. Hanging tough I am. The very idea that solo entrepreneurs don’t have “real jobs” was so offensive to me. I think Judith has a good point, I probably should not have wasted a moment on this man, yet felt compelled to “set him straight”. It’s exhausting being me! Thanks for the read and the comment. So glad to hear from you!

Tana Bevan - Some thoughts and questions come to mind.

Was the “hotshot recruiter” in a funk because so many prime candidates were choosing the path of entrepreneurship leaving him slim pickings for job placement?

How “hot” was the “hotshot recruiter”? His comments lead me to believe he doesn’t consider the fact people are wired differently. In a people placing business, I would think matching temperaments was as important — if not more important — than matching job skills. After all, skills can be learned.

In very simplistic terms, I believe there are those who function well from the outside-in and those who function well from the inside-out. The former do well when given parameters, told what to do, how to do something, and when to do it. They make better employees. The latter need to set their own parameters and have control in deciding how to do what, when. They make better entrepreneurs.

A person may have a natural inclination of one over the other. However, I believe time (and life experience) can cause a person to re-evaluate. For example, one could have wound up an employee and never really thought about it until circumstances forced a change, at which point he/she discovered they flourished as an entrepreneur. (The reverse also being true.)

There is never one size that fits all. A person who resorts to name calling is simply showing a lack of civility and common courtesy. In the end, such comments are a reflection on them. (And a poor one at that.)

“Hotshot” would do well to recall many corporations begin as entrepreneurial businesses, only to grow, and grow, and grow.

Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur, be brave. Be bold. Be different. Be courteous. Be respectful. Be open to possibilities. And please keep in mind, just because a person has chosen not to “go your way,” he or she is not necessarily on “the highway.”

Maureen - Love all the comments! And would have loved to been a fly on the wall during that coffee! Having done both sides of the coin, I absolutely prefer to be my own boss – it allows me to be in charge of my life and happiness. That someone else thinks because I don’t work outside of the home and punch a clock makes me somehow ‘less’ than competent, or that I don’t have a ‘real’ job – just tells me that person hasn’t figured it all out yet – & that we have. 😀

Tammy - Hi Maureen, I agree, so many of my readers submit excellent comments. There is lots to learn from there. And I’m sure you would have appreciated the “give and take” during our coffee. I was strongly confident of his badly informed ego. It proved very gratifying for me to inform him of his misguided opinion. You are right on … this man has not figured it all out yet. But is sure sounds like you have. Kudos to you, my entrepreneur friend! Thanks for popping in and sharing!

Tammy - Hi Tana, thanks so much for this eloquent offering. Every single bit of it rings true! I am especially fond of your turn of phrase “just because a person has chosen not to go your way, he or she is not necessarily on the highway”. AMEN! It has been and will always be different strokes for different folks (I totally dated myself there). I’m afraid there is a definite lacking of courtesy and civility in the workplace. I have to assume that is stems from ego, false judgment and simple rudeness. The entrepreneur is often required to go against the grain, to swim upstream and to take those chances that can, and often do, make a difference. I admire every single one of them as I also admire the worker who shows up to work every day and gives their best for their employer. There is room enough for all of us. So very happy to have you here! I hope you subscribe and become a part of the tribe.

Leigh - Great Read! As an entrepreneur myself, I couldn’t have said it any better. I’ll definitely be sharing this with my colleagues. Thank you!

Tammy - Hi Leigh, thanks for the encouragement! I’m so happy you found your here. I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will be back!

Lana Figgs - WOW OH WOW!! Just reading the title made my b/p go up!! I think anyone who believes that is “slack” in the head! It takes A LOT of courage to step out in faith & choose the path of self- employment! Did this genius consider that MANY small businesses began with SELF- EMPLOYMENT? KUDOS to ALL who have the courage to choose their own path & pursue their dreams!!

Tammy - Hi Lana, I know, right?! My b/p was sky high as I watched him walk away, leaving me stunned and mortified and questioning “what just happened?”. No worries, I seized the opportunity to set the record straight. You would be surprised how many people share his sentiment towards the self employed. It’s beyond ridiculous to me. Of course, you are 100% right, many small businesses began as self employed people. Duh! I guess it comes down to, it’s hard to argue with stupid. Yes, let’s raise a glass to all of us, them, you, who are out there trying like crazy to live our dream, pay our bills and doing it our way! So glad you dropped by, and thanks ever so much for the post!

Jerry X Shea - Hi Tammy, Just read your article – that guys is the reason they invented the word “jerk.” A person that makes that kind of a statement is just a “weak person hiding in a JOB (Just Over Broke).” He would not have the (fill in your own word here) _____ ) to make in his own business. The last time I received a pay check for “going to work for someone else” was in 1981. I have owned 6 different types of businesses and now write books about small business success and tour the country speaking at small business Expos. I have met many people like him over the years. I have no problem with people that love their job (working for others), but when they question those of us that go into business, it shows their weak character.

Tammy - Jerry, you are a prince among men. Thank you. Am still giggling about your “fill in the blank here”, pretty funny! I admire your spirit and your sharing has only entrenched me into the idea that this man, and all those who think like him, are just too stupid to get it. Thanks again for posting here. You’re awesome!

Angela Boudreaux Campbell - Tammy:

If I have a dollar for every time I’ve heard “but you have a Master’s degree and you’re selling lipstick?” I’d be a gazillionare!! They really don’t get what I do and why I do it. It’s not even about the cosmetics, although that’s a pretty nice perk. It’s about enriching women’s lives. It’s about showing someone that the best helping hand is at the end of their of their own wrist. But, most of all, it’s about giving people hope.

Tammy, kudos for standing up for yourself. That guy is just jealous. He was in the presence of greatness and was intimidated. Have a great 2013.

Kerry Brooks - You are so right Tammy – and thank you for following through, speaking your mind, and sticking up for the rest of us! Jeffrey below is so right too; the recruiter not only doesn’t have the discipline and character to be an entrepreneur, he doesn’t have the courage.

Almost eight years and counting and never looking back!

William Essex - A banker once turned to me at a media reception and said, “Now, you strike me as somebody who’s totally unemployable!” He was speaking without thinking, in the flow of conversation, and he was immediately embarrassed. I took it as a huge compliment. We’re all self-employed in our own lives, aren’t we?

Tammy - Hi Angela, I’m so happy you stopped in to share! It sounds like you have found your real purpose and have a very good time in life fulfilling it. I would say that your Master’s degree has worked very well for you! I wonder if people like that are a bit jealous of the free time (and boy, do I use that term lightly) that self employed people enjoy. I can’t really figure out why those of us who take all the risks are ridiculed for it. But I’ll tell you what … I’m sick of it and won’t stand for it for another moment (gets out her soap box). Thank you for being here and for posting. It … and you ….are awesome!

Tammy - Hi Kerry, eight years and counting? Wooo Hooo! Wonderful! Once you have tasted flight you will never again walk the earth without looking up! I forget who said that quote, but they were bloody brilliant! It does take courage, guts and a good deal of know how and elbow grease to make it as a self employed person in this world. I happily commend you on your accomplishment! I know meeting this guy was probably a big waste of time but I must confess … it sure felt good. So happy you stopped in here to share. So happy! Thanks for the post.

Tammy - William, interesting thought. I absolutely love that you were immediately and automatically flattered. Love that! I agree, and am quite sure he meant it as a compliment. Some people have such a sense of self, of courage that they shine just a wee bit brighter than the rest. It is my complete feeling that many of these people are the self employed of the world. Not because they are better, but because they dare to try to be. Maybe we are all self employed in our own lives after all. Great having you here on the blog! I hope you come back and visit again! Thanks for the post.

Ron - I have been self-employed for 21 years now and have been called all sorts of things from time to time because I am unafraid to do things in an unconventional way sometimes. Lately I have been inundated with work designing websites. Never fear what others say and never give up on your dreams and goals. Never allow others to dictate to you. Decide what is right for you and persue it with passion, always giving excellent service and value to your clients. Failure is not an option, only a result now and then, but never permanent.

Tammy - Hi Ron, thanks so much for sharing this here! You are SO RIGHT when you say that failure is not an option for the self employed but simply a result every now and then. YES! Most of us that own our own business view failure as a necessary evil in getting ahead. I for one, know that failure has been my best teacher. It never felt good while I was in the process, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. That’s for damn sure. Your advise is golden. NEVER fear what others say and NEVER give up your dreams or allow anyone else to dictate to you. You couldn’t be more right on. Thank you for posting. You, sir, are awesome!

Mark M - A lot of people have said a lot of really stupid things due to their ignorance and arrogance. The question I would want to ask the hotshot recruiter is “Who do you think Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Ted Turner (among many more) have been working for?” They are all self-employed people who can’t find work or keep a job anywhere else. So how does hotshot stack up against them? Do you think he can help them get a “real job”?

Then you hand him your business card with your slogan, “I help make stupid people smart,” wink, and ask him to call you so you can connect him with a “real brain.”

Of course, I know you aren’t going to do anything like that. You’ve got too much class.

Stacey Joy - This is an encouraging post! I am not self-employed, but my second job that I’ve launched in my writing will be my first entrepreneurial journey. I’m taking it with pride! Thank you Tammy!

Tammy - Mark, man, you are so right, and I am appreciative that you shared your post here. A HUGE point needs to be brought forward that many of the large corporations were, at one time, self employed entrepreneurs. Hello? And many would be unable to get a job somewhere else, or if they could, unlikely to keep it. People who have such strong individual ideas and goals often clash with their boss who just wants to collect the check and get home in time for dinner. I’d like to think that I have too much class to take your suggestion, but truth is, it would feel so good to do, that should this ever happy to me again…class may just have to take a back seat. THANK YOU again for posting, appreciate it!

Tammy - Hi Stacey, just so you know, about half the entrepreneurs I know have full time jobs elsewhere. For now. Spirit matters. And clearly yours wishes to soar a bit higher, step out of the box and take that chance. You, my dear, are in very good company, and the world welcomes you into the fold of upcoming entrepreneurship. So do I!! Thank YOU, Stacey, for sharing and for posting.

Sandra Rea - I sat across from a recruiter when I was THINKING about going back to the 9 – 5 grind, something I never enjoyed, because I’m not good at playing corporate games, I don’t like wasting time in “necessary” meetings that the company forces its high-ups to have for budgetary reasons, and I don’t fit into cliques of the types of low-level-thinking individuals I’ve met along the way. OMG! I could tell you stories. I used to take contract work “inside” marketing departments and I did far less work than I have ever accomplished in my home office. Here, no one is dropping by my cubicle to tell me about her date, which I couldn’t care less about, and there are no two-hour useless meetings that accomplish zero. Anyway, the recruiter told me that I am deemed “unemployable” because I’m a serial entrepreneur and that if a company were to hire me, I would get bored after I had learned everything and walk out with some of that company’s clients. He’s right about that. We entrepreneurs who have smarts are a bit dangerous. Not lazy. Dangerous. We learn more quickly than the average bear, we outdo our peers, we become the center of an department or operation pretty quickly, we know how to gain trust (and to be trustworthy), we don’t play stupid games and, darn it, people like us. Just my two cents!!

Tammy - Sandra, I think I love you. *giggling* My favorite line “darn it, people like us.” Yes, yes they do. Because we are great listeners, we offer solid strategic advice, we care, we contribute and we follow up. Hell, I like me! I’ve never heard the observation about entrepreneurs being dangerous, but I couldn’t agree more with you. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to a company’s idea and morphed into something better, stronger and more profitable. Yup. And I did it without a corporate staff. Two of my career path businesses were ideas I got when I went to a seminar that someone else was presenting. I left with the thought process of “I know I can do better than that”. And I did. Dangerous we are. But in the best of ways. Love the way you think and am so delighted to have you here sharing and posting. Please say you have subscribed??

Sandra Rea - Let me see… yep. I just subscribed. Waiting on the feed burner request now. What’s funny is that I very rarely comment like this, but your piece hit me. I had to chime in. I run a wee little ANTI agency here in the OC (California), and we get more done with our little virtual team than I have seen happen in large groups of corporate players. As an entrepreneur who works with other entrepreneurs to get a project done, we work virtually and have to rely heavily on excellent communication skills, another thing that I’ve noticed is lacking in corporate America. I’ve met more inept middle management individuals than I can count, people who are afraid to make decisions or do not have the power to do so, and people at the top who got there on the backs of hardworking others. We as an entrepreneurial group work together, have to count on each other, have to develop together as a team and work cooperatively. In short, we know how to play well with others and make the playground a fun place to be. We work fast, too. Have you ever seen anything in corporate work fast? That’s why they OUTSOURCE to people like us. They cannot get things done in-house. Just an observation…. my opinion. My humble opinion.

Tammy - Sandray, SO HAPPY to have you here! You will receive my ‘chime in’ every other Wednesday. I have a feeling our thoughts will often walk the same path. I too garner a fair amount of business from corporations or small business entities. And for ALL the reasons you mentioned. An ANTI agency, eh? Sounds interesting. I will look you up on LinkedIn and connect. Always good to run in the same pack. So very happy you choose to chime in here today and pleased as punch to have you as a member of my tribe!

Haralee - Good for you!
When people complain about health care costs and they work for a company and have to pay some, I tell them how much I pay as a self employed person and the complaining stops!

Tammy - Haralee, AMEN. Every time I share my health care cost “number” I get a deer in the headlights glazed over look, mouth gaping, and finally a muted comment of “are you serious?”. Yup. There’s a high price to pay for being on your own. I for one, am more than happy to pay it! Thanks tons for popping in AND posting. Love having you here!

mindy - Hear, hear, Tammy! Life’s path for everyone is not always linear. Not everyone is made for a 9 to 5 desk job, and the sooner people realize that the better. Self-employed people are not deadbeats…they are risk takers, and they are betting on themselves.

Tammy - Hi Mindy, HERE, HERE!! Yup, they are betting on themselves and they are winning. In most cases. What so many don’t realize is that it takes time to build a clientele. I know an awful lot of “deadbeats” who punch the clock and accomplish pity little during their day to day. Can’t blame them in many cases. The corporate world is not designed to be efficient, nor does it give much thought to the happiness of their employees. Maybe all the more reasons people are striking out. Ya think?

Brittany - Rock on, Tammy! People who belittle the self-employed are usually ignorant and/or envious. That guy with the “real” job probably wants to be an entrepreneur, but he’s too scared. Your courage to think and act outside the box threatens him, but that’s his problem, not yours.

Tammy - Thanks, Brittany. I agree, there is no need for belittlement. Ridiculous. I’ve washed my hands of people like that, but I must admit, it threw me for a loop. I was dumbfounded to know that people really thought like that. So “yesterday” and stagnant. Thanks for stopping in for the read and know that I appreciate the comment!

Robin Marie Younkin - Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. I get the “Have you thought about going back to your real job?” question regularly, and my response is always the same: Why? Why would I give up my passion for predictability? Why would I choose safety over my sanity? Why show my newborn son that life is about helping someone else achieve their dreams and not your own? I’m fortunate to have stumbled upon this today.

Robin - Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. I get the “Have you thought about going back to your real job?” question regularly, and my response is always the same: Why? Why would I give up my passion for predictability? Why would I choose safety over my sanity? Why show my newborn son that life is about helping someone else achieve their dreams and not your own? I’m fortunate to have stumbled upon this today.

Tammy - Hi Robin, so happy you enjoyed the read. Not everyone did. But isn’t that the beauty of things; knowing that we are all different? If only people would reserve judgment, see the big picture and honor all of us who try so hard to achieve. If only! I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me here. Thanks for that. Hope you subscribe and we see more of each other.

sugar daddy - I’ve just found you thru Score Tammy! I wish I could make your next talk. This blog post is just what I needed to read today!

Tammy - So glad you enjoyed the piece and happy it spoke to you. Which SCORE did you find me through? I contribute to a few.

Ranch Office - People who think that self-employed entrepreneurs are slackers just don’t understand the whole point of entrepreneurship. Totally agree with everything you’ve mentioned. Thanks a lot!

Organik - Thanks for the read! I look forward to reading your next post!

The Savage Season

The electorate has spoken and has given us Donald Trump as its president. The defeat for Hillary Clinton was swift and painful, and the only comfort many of us have is in the knowing that the savage season of the presidential election is over. While he did not win the popular vote, Mr. Trump will […]

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Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski - Feeling your pain. I’m giving myself today to rant and vomit on Facebook before going back to posting food and travel photos and puppy dogs. But if Sarah Palin or any of those other crazy goons becomes a cabinet member I may relapse. Just saying.

Tammy - Haaaa! You made me laugh, Rebecca! I’m with you…if Sarah shows up in a cabinet position, we will storm the White House together. I think even he knows how crazy she is. Relapses are okay, just jump on board eventually.

Sheryl - Perfectly said. I can only hope that his presidency brings out the best in his opposers and we will all demonstrate calm and unity. And I keep hoping it was all a silly show and things won’t be as bad as we fear.

Stacey Joy - Thank you, Tammy. I felt every emotion you have written. I’m looking forward to seeing how an untrained, unskilled, unkind man manages life as our President.

Domi Moreno - While I applaud your open heart and mind, I find it most challenging, dare I say nearly impossible to have the same attitude on this tragic day. I, like the rest of our country sat glued to my TV set last night. With each passing hour, I could not digest what the numbers were saying. It was a blood bath, unlike any other. It’s not the fact that my candidate lost, it’s the person who won that I find so hard to accept. We all know our country has racists, ignorant, misogynist, bullies, but is it too much to expect to not have the leader of the free world be all of this rolled up into one?
I found my 24 year old daughter last night watching these horrific events alone, with tears rolling down her face. What could I possibly say to her when her pain and fears were mine as well.
She comes from a generation has accomplished so much, only to see it all thrown away in one election. The fear and disappointment in her eyes is not one I will soon forget. And her words to me “now what mom?” will forever ring in my ears.
So Tammy I applaud your open mind and optimistic attitude on a day when so many of us are mourning, not only for what we lost, but for what is to come. It is the likes of Americans like you that will carry us through our darkest days.
God bless America, and God help us.

Tammy - This show has been put on the market for four years and can’t be cancelled by the networks. More the pity. But gather we must, as we hope for the best. Great having you here, Sheryl.

Tammy - Oh, Stacey, there were tears, I won’t lie. A few today too. And fears. Lots of them. Like the rest of you, I will wait and see. I will be vigilant, aware and ready.

Tammy - I am with you, Domi. I understand. I shed many tears yesterday and today. The sadness and fear is epic and well grounded. Like you, it is not the loss but the winner that is horrific to face. You will tell your daughter that nothing was lost for her yesterday. She is still the bright and beautiful, smart and funny young woman she was on Monday.She will shine because she can. I confess, I am not optimistic…I’m just trying my best to be a good American. It’s not easy. I didn’t want to write today. But in times like these we must all cry it out then stand tall and defiant against those things that would threaten our liberties. We must do what we can where we are. And so I find myself here. With you. And that gives me comfort.

Carol Cassara - Definitely a lot of fear out there and well-founded. I hope people can rise to the occasion. I don’t think some will. I fear a dystopia.

Tammy - I understand your feeling. And, yes, there is a lot of fear out there. I carry a good amount of it myself. Rise we must. This is our country, and at the end of the day, there will be no hijacking of its liberties. It is bound to get messy. But how we deal with it will help to prevent the dystopia you fear. Fingers crossed, my friend. Fingers crossed!

Estelle - I admire your grace under pressure. He should release his tax returns and convince us that he is not in bed with Putin. If he does that, I’m willing to give him a chance.

Tammy - Things seems to be worsening by the day. Keeping a hopeful heart is getting harder to do. It took 24 hours for Putin to publicly praise Trump, along with various other dictators. Still…I’m hoping for the best.

Justin Brown - Just a quick note to tell you that I have a passion for the topic “The Savage Season” at hand. I have no idea about this topic before today. I am going to bookmark the site for further assistance. Thanks and have a good day!

When Love Fails You …

I promised I would take care of her forever, watch over, protect, and never leave her. I made that promise to my mom when I was 5. I broke it 40 years later. She was a teenager when she married my dad; hastened by an unexpected pregnancy. I was born soon after. I remember her […]

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Lynne - Wow, what a moving essay. Will be thinking of you during this difficult time. hugs xo

Tam Warner Minton - Tammy, that is an unbelievable story. Sometimes our parents are incapable…and you are right, one has to practice acceptance. It is amazing to me that you have been able to accept…most people wouldn’t, I think.

Maryjo Morgan - This is so well written, Tammy, this expression of love and hope, pain and acceptance. Narcissism is especially difficult to deal with in one’s one parent! Kudos to you for setting balanced priorities – blessings on you and your daughter’s relationship.

Tammy - Thanks so much for that, Lynn. Appreciate your kindness and the read!

Tammy - Tam, I’ve had years of practicing acceptance. Believe me, I didn’t go quiet into that night. But eventually we learn to accept what we cannot change OR we allow it to consume us. Of course I wish things had been different. Every day. It was her decision. I’d like to think she would do things differently given the chance. I will never know.

Tammy - Thanks, Maryjo, so wonderful to hear from you! You are right, I had no choice but to set my priorities. No regrets there. Thank you for your blessings, I’ll take them! And thank you for the read and the comment!

Lynn Tarson - You have a wonderful talent for expressing your emotions in a clear, empathetic way. This was a very touching article. I hope that it will bring you peace.

Connie Mcleod - Oh Tammy, I just want to reach through the computer and give you a hug. Thanks for sharing. I hope writing of your pain helped ease it.

Tammy - Lynn, thank you so much for the compliment. The writing of it all did bring me much needed solace. Writing has a way of doing that. It’s time to stop wondering, looking back, wishing it had been different. It is what it is, and I love her still.

Tammy - Connie, that is one of the sweetest things, thank you. I’ll take that hug! Yes, the writing of it all did absolutely ease the loss of so many years. I do love how writing can cleanse the soul. Life is for the living, yet so many of us get wrapped around the need to “understand why”. I no longer consider myself to be part of that tribe.

evette - no words…

Tammy - Evette, me either. Some things defy explanation and only require acceptance and quiet understanding. It has taken me years to learn that. Good to hear from you! I hope you are thriving!

Vicki - Dearest Tammy
As always your writing includes truth and love. Exposing yourself like this makes me love and respect you even more. You are lucky you are so forgiving of your mom but also see the love she had for you, unfortunately for her quite limited. I just want to say that you are so smart and so beautiful ❤️❤️

Kim Tackett - Oh, Tammy, I never would have guessed. And my heart breaks for you…in fact I read your piece earlier this morning and had no words. In fact, I still don’t have any…except that by showing this side of yourself and your story, by being so vulnerable, you’ve also shown your strength. May you find light in the cracks my friend.

Tammy - Vicki, it took me a while to own this. And a while longer to come forward. Only when we face our demons do we escape them. THANK YOU, honey, for your kind remarks. I am smart and sometimes I am beautiful. I’m feeling particularly so right now…thanks to you. <3

Tammy - Kim, I’m so grateful you came back and shared with me. It is absolutely true that vulnerability has its own strengths. Although it’s never a comfortable place to be, no lie. Thank God for the cracks, my friend, for there is light to be found everywhere! Appreciating you and thanking you for the read/comment!

LISA CARPENTER - Hugs to you! The need for a mother’s acceptance and unconditional love never, ever fades, regardless of age. Your mother missed out on some much, it seems. It also seems like your mother was a bit like mine — unable to love unconditionally. I chose to do the VERY opposite of everything she did in order to be the best mom I could be. Sounds like you did, too. And it sounds like YOU love not only your daughter unconditionally, but your mama, too. You’re an inspiration. Again, hugs — huge ones — to you! xoxo

Linda Lichtman - Darling Friend & Coach – I see it a little differently…I believe the love your mom gave you was a down payment for who you have become. Whatever she couldn’t give you created a void which you, my sweet, have worked out to your advantage. When I see you (and I’m hoping it’s soon) I see a beautiful, sensitive, articulate woman who has worked very hard to become the loving, caring human being you are. You are authentic because that’s what you know…all that and a willingness to unbutton your blouse and show your bra at Cafe Bijou.

My life has improved from knowing you…I love you…Linda Lichtman

Tammy - Thanks, Lisa, for your kindness in this. Truth is, when I was furious with her, I still loved her. Funny how that works. I’m finding out that perhaps my story is not so unusual after all. Being a mother seems to be harder on some than others. It is a selfless occupation, no lie about that. Not everyone is suited. Hugs right back to you. Thanks for being here!

Joan stommen - Oh Tammy…what beautiful honest words of love! I agree with Rael…it was meant to be that she knew you’d found happiness and security and she could leave. Silence be damned and how petty to ignore her granddaughter….but you must believe she never stopped loving you both. I think your postt was well worth waiting for…and what a weight off your shoulders to get it out. You have shown great courage in forgiving and moving forward and believing in your amazing self! Bravo and big hugs, my friend

Carole Schultz - Oh Tammy, Tammy, Tammy, it seems all the heartfelt words have been said, so there isn’t much that I can add, except to say you have shown great strength and acceptance to come out of all that as a beautiful ‘Witty Woman’. Many hugs xo

Tammy - Thank you, Joan. I’d like to hold to those words. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if it were all true? I can only hope. It is a weight off my shoulders, but for some reason, today has been tremendously sad for me. Rehashing something is never a good thing. As far as having courage, I’m not at all sure I do. Truth is, I couldn’t NOT love her if I tried. She is my mom. And will always be. I choose to be grateful for what I had. It’s all I know how to do. And so it goes. Thank you for sharing with me. Hugs back to you!

Tammy - Carol, what a super sweet thing to say. THANK YOU for that. I’m finding that acceptance seems to be the universal key to peace and happiness. Wish I had known that 20 years ago. Life lessons can be quite the bitch. I’ve had my fill for the moment, but that’s just it, isn’t it? We never know what lies for us around the corner. It’s wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for that! And thank you for sharing with me!!

Tammy - Lindala, you made me laugh out loud! I’m so grateful for that! It’s been a day. Thank you, dearest, for your kind words and warm sharing. I love your take on it and will give that some serious contemplation. It’s been a hard road, much of it. But it works out in the end, doesn’t it? I am nothing if not true to myself….a blessing and a curse. I’ll unbutton my blouse for you any day, my friend. THANK YOU for being here. Really. xo

Elaine Ambrose - Tammy, this is so powerful. I read it twice to make sure I understood the facts. Both my parents are gone, and we weren’t close. I took care of Mom during her last years, but the relationship was never as it should have been. I had so many regrets after she died. Now, every so often, she’ll appear in a dream or in a vision. She’s young and happy. I think she’s trying to tell me it’s okay wherever she is. I wish the best for you. Please keep writing about this.

Sue - Dearest lovely friend. Amazing journey with your mother…she is finally at peace and in time, you will be too. It takes time when we feel like orphans. So sorry it happened on your special day…that sucks.
Our parents really did do their best, which taught us that we can do better..look at your own daughter…
Tammy, you are an amazing lady and writer. Thanks for sharing your life in words. Sending largest HUG!! Xoxo

Tammy - Elaine, I’ve heard about the dreams and visions from others. I have not experienced it where mom is concerned. I’ve had them with my father. Maybe she is still angry with me. I hate to think so. I’m so sorry for you, Elaine. Regrets are a heavy burden to carry for the rest of your life. I hope you can shake them off, as they serve no purpose but to instill guilt. And guilt is the most wasted of emotions. Communication is an epic healer of things gone awry. Yet it seems to be so hard for so many. I BELIEVE you are right; that your mother is telling you that she is okay. I believe it to the core. That says something. Best to you. And hugs too.

Tammy - Sweet Sue, thank you for you kind words. It seems like a lifetime since I’ve seen you. 10-12 years? So nice to know you are still on the other side of my little blog. It comforts me to know it. Thank you for sharing with me here tonight. I miss and adore you.

Tana Bevan - Tammy, Glad you’re able to remember the good and not let it get lost or lose its value because of what came after. Hopefully your mother has found a peace in the afterlife which eluded her here. While the timing of hearing about her death sacked (your wedding day and all) I’m glad you were and are with the Love of Your Life as you sort this out. Makes a huge difference. Hugs & good thoughts.

Tammy - Thank you, Tana. Thank God for silver linings! Life is for the living, and I make my business to give it my best shot. Sadness cripples us, and it did me for a while. I think it’s only natural. Thanks for the good thoughts and I’ll take those hugs! Sending some right back at you!

Tracy Milam - Hi there Tammy! I too have taken a summer break, I only wish I had as much clarity and peace as you have. My dad passed a year ago. I have spent the last year dealing with the crazy left behind in the form of my step mother and mother, the latter of which lives with me. These two women made such bad choices when we were young, actually all three did, he was just the most likeable! But it’s hard to understand the long lasting affects they had on my sister and I. You give me hope we will work through it all eventually.

Tammy - Hi Tracy, I’m so very sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. Whether it’s parents or our kids, to not be accepted, loved and valued is a crime against each other. You are right, of course, the effects our parents have on us is indeed long lasting. My mom and I never were able to work it out between us. She was big on avoidance and small on conversation. A perfect storm. We can’t make people something they’re not. Acceptance, tolerance and inevitable forgiveness leaves a chance for better times. I’m hoping you will find a better life for you and all concerned sooner rather than later. So happy to have you here, and so appreciate the read and the comment! Thanks for that.

Carol Horowitz - As we get older, In our our minds we can reflect and intellectualize, and come to some kind of understanding and even closure as to why our parents were who they were and why they did what they did, but inside of us, in our hearts, there will always be the little girl looking for unconditional love and acceptance. Not sure we ever figure out how to reconcile those two, the mind and the heart. I think we just say a prayer of gratitude for the lessons learned and hope it’s made us better people.

Tammy - My thoughts exactly, Carol. We have two choices, make peace with it and be grateful for what we have/had or resent it and become bitter people. The first being harder that the second, but still, a no brainer. There is no getting away from the brutal fact that we are the people our parents helped to make. In the end, it’s our choices that make us who we become. So great to see you here….yaaaaaaa! xo

Sandra Sallin - Such a moving story and so well told. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. How you’ve integrated this into your life is very impressive.

Tammy - Hi Sandra, so good to hear from you. It’s been ages. Thanks for the kind words. Integrating all of this into my life was simple; it WAS my life. Adapting to it was a whole other thing! Learning as I go!

Linda Lichtman - Although we haven’t logged in so many actual hours – my sweet, wonderful, full of love friend – I’ve already soaked in the essence of who you are to your core. I actually felt the sense of the “more” and the “less” of you and this beautiful post has filled in the spaces that are slowly filling up. I love you Tammy Bleck – for all you’ve managed to become and for all that’s still coming…xoxoxo

Tammy - Aww, Linda, thank you for your loving response. Truly. I’m not sure I deserve such praise, but I’ll gladly accept it with love and humble gratitude for your friendship. Life isn’t always kind. Those of us who have lived a few years know that to be true. Which is why we need to be kind to ourselves and those we care for. Without that, it’s a bleak world indeed. Grateful for you. xo

Man vs. Dog

I pick dog. Duh? I recently saw this declaration on Facebook that in order to find out who loves you more, your dog or your husband/boyfriend, try locking them both in the trunk of your car for 20 minutes then letting them out. Which one is happy to see you? Well, what do you expect […]

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Charity Kountz - Awww – such a sweet post! I used to be a cat person and absolutely adored my cats. Then, I met my fiance, who is allergic to cats but is a dog person and wow! The difference is incredible.

Mind you, my cats were always completely devoted, loved to cuddle, and were always happy to see me. But dogs – wow! I could walk out the front door, come back in five minutes and my dogs will be ecstatic to see me as if I’d been gone hours. If I am gone for hours, the exuberant joy at my return has them bouncing, prancing, body-wagging, tongues lolling, and panting. It’s the most contagious happy energy I’ve ever experienced. They simply radiate adoration.

Now, my fiance is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. He loves me completely but he’s flawed as we all are, because we’re humans. So I totally get your comparison and agree with you. My Nani (my Sheltie) is hopelessly devoted to me. We bonded the instant we met and she has claimed me completely as her human. I never knew dogs had so much love and affection to give until I met these two dogs. Now I can’t imagine life without them! GREAT post – as always!

Joan Cooper - That is the BEST yet, Tammy.

I always say ‘you haven’t loved until you love a horse’. Well, a horse doesn’t cuddle or things like that, but just the amazing beauty and royalty of the horse’s being is awesome. When you experience a welcoming whinny when you approach the paddock, it makes you feel very very close to God.

They say, unlike humans, animals know the purpose of life is to have fun. Good company to be in.

Joan Cooper

Suerae Stein - Your post made me cry. I love my animals with all my heart. And it was my dog, Wilbur, who has been by my side these last few difficult months. It’s Wilbur that forces me to walk every day and I need that. They really are our best friends and I am so glad that Maddy is still by your side. She is adorable! I’m so sorry to hear about your pneumonia. That sounds completely miserable and I hope you are on the mend. Love the post even though it made me cry! Please get some rest.

Tammy - Hi Charity, I always say that you meet the nicest people in dog parks. There’s a reason for that; their pets have trained them to be better than average humans. I am still a cat person but have also graduated to being a dog person. I’ve owned many a pup, usually the strays that find their way to me. But it has been little Maddy who has taught me so much about being owned by a dog and about total acceptance. As far as I see it, there is no real tangible down side to being a dog/cat owner. And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure who is happier I’m home once I step in the door. The happy dance you described goes on in every dog household in America. How lucky are we!? So very happy to have you here! Thanks for sharing and posting.

Tammy - Hi Joan, so happy you enjoyed the read. I’ve never been close to horses but have admired not only their beauty but obvious sensitivity and caring. I was a city girl growing up with pity little income so horses never entered my vision. I’ve seen many a documentary where horses are used to help people with disabilities. How awesome is that?! The love these animals give us can never really be repaid in kind but we can sure try. You’re right…they are GREAT company to be in. Thanks for sharing this perspective. It’s too bad horses can’t cuddle. I bet a hundred bucks they would if they could. Thanks for being here and for posting. You’re awesome!

Tammy - Hi Suerae, oh nooo! I don’t want to make you cry! You will always remember that is was Wilbur who helped to see you through this tough time and probably others as well. I know if it weren’t for my animals, when my daughter left home, I would have been a complete basket case! As it was, I was only a partial one. They have “rescued” me more times than I can count and I am here for them no matter what. And all they did was love me no matter what. If someone offered me 5 million bucks for my dog, I wouldn’t even entertain the thought. That’s the absolute truth. Contrary to popular belief, I think that means I have my priorities straight. Clearly, you do too. So, so happy to hear from you. Thanks for sharing Wilbur with us. Am mending … slowly, but I’m getting there. Wonderful post!

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Aren’t pets AMAZING! My ten pound Shitzu loves me in a way others just simply cannot comprehend. And you’re right, he would most definitely die for me.

Thanks for that lovely post and hilarious chart listing the virtues and small in conveniences of pet ownership. It’s true, Rasta IS just a little bit too farty at times…

Love your witty and wise words Tammy! -Laura

Teri Heyer - Loved your post. I have two big, wonderful, rescue dogs, Shani and Dude. They’re family, no two ways about it, and totally devoted. Doggie kisses are the best. You can see pics of my dogs on my blog at My husband was not a dog person, but after a zillion years of marriage he had no choice but to convert. My dogs love him almost as much as they love me.

Sorry to hear you had pneumonia, but glad to hear you’ve recovered. That had to be a really miserable time, but at least you had your best friend with you.

BTW, Maddy is a real cutie! We could all learn a lot of lessons from our pets, unconditional love being on the top of the list.

Jeffrey Davidson - Once again, you hit the nail on the head. I know that pets give far more to us than we can possibly give to them.

I have two horses, and, even though they are nothing like dogs, there comes a certain tranquility, comfort, relaxation and happiness when I spend time with them.

Your comments bring to mind some famous quotations about dogs. More will be sent directly to you.

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
– Josh Billings

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
Ann Landers

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
James Thurber

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain

If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.

Keep writing what is real in you own (Erma “Bombeckish” style.

Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, thanks for your kind words! I had fun making the chart but it was challenging keeping it brief (hahaha). I adore Shitzu’s! They are just so wonderful and cuddly. And uber smart too! How can we not love a little being that would die for us and whose whole world revolves around us. My life has been made so much richer because I am owned by a bossy dog and two cuddle cats. I’m convinced that these animals are here to teach us how to love. No doubt! So happy you enjoyed and so happy you’re shared with us. Thanks oodles for posting, you know it means a lot.

Tammy - Hi Teri, I scream every time I hear that people go to breeders or pet shops for their pets. Rescue animals are the BEST in the world. They know that you save them and will work to make a life and a home together. Clearly Shani and Dude (love that name) are shining examples. I love that your husband ‘came around’! When I first began dating my boyfriend we had talked about me moving back to California. He asked me if the cats had to come too. That was almost the end of the relationship. What kind of crazy talk was that?!? He also ‘came around’ and now buys laser toys and cat brushes so he can play and groom them. Further testimony that we humans are trainable; all you have to do is love us unconditionally. Easily done with our furry family. I will pass your compliment on to Maddy, thanks for that. Of course, she is well aware of her adorableness and uses it to her advantage every opportunity. Haa! Am still recovering, and you’re right, it was made easier because I had my best friend by my side. A little like life, don’t you think? So very happy to have you here. So very happy! Thanks for sharing and posting!

Tammy - Hi Jeff, LOVE, LOVE those quotes! Mark Twain and Ann Landers were my favs! Every single one of them true. You have been a wonderful supporter of my writing and I am humbly grateful for your reads. Happy you enjoy them and ever so happy to have you on the other side of my little blog. Thanks for posting!

Jenny Paulsen - As Chase, our tabby kitty, and I sit here and read your blog we agree that kitties, dogs, bunnies, manatees (random I know but I love those big lumps that eat sea grass) are all so special. Most mornings I am waken by a oh so tender touch on my cheek by his paw. Promptly followed by the smell of tuna canning warehouse. LOL!! Chase and I think this blog was purrrrrfect. We also watched the fish and Chase put many a nose print smudges all over the computer screen.

Tammy - Hi Jenny (and Chase), so happy you enjoyed the read. I have to share that whenever I bring my laptop to bed (often) Charlie can’t wait to lean up against it and watch the cursor move. He loves the heat from the computer and he loves the screen movement. I love having him there but I have to confess that it takes me twice as long to write as he always seems to push buttons that screw things up. When he does curl up and finally go to sleep, I have a half a pound of fur on my keyboard to remember him by. Small price to pay for the company. Our animals are awesome and we are better people for appreciating them. Happy fish hunting to Chase and a warm thank you hug to you for sharing and posting.

Nancy Wurtzel - Oh Tammy! What a wonderful post. It was moving and oh-so-funny. Love that picture and the chart is priceless — and sadly ALL too true. Keep ’em coming!

Carmen - WOW! What a great article and so so truthful. As you know in my next life I will have all the dogs I possibly can. Once again you hit the nail on the head. Keep them coming!!!

Tammy - Hi Nancy, Thanks for the good review, appreciate that. It was an easy and fun post to write; and I meant every word of it. The chart was challenging as I had so many more items to add, but as you know … less is more. So happy to have you here and thanks oodles for posting.

Tammy - Hi Carmen, as you know dogs are a lot less trouble than men or kids. I do, however recommend all of them. In my “mature years” I don’t know where I would be without the silent never ending love and affection that I get from my pets. And that’s the truth. Clearly if I had to choose between a man and a dog, hands down, it’s the dog. Kind of speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Thanks for popping in and posting. Appreciate it tons.

Kellie - Oh yes I do know dog is best friend. Why else would I just spend $550 at emergency vet for my little bundle of love. Not sure I would spend that on a current boyfriend at regular hospital ER. Kidding…kinda of!

Cynthia - Shane, ShoKi, Rudy, Chester, Tucker, Tanner….and all of them. They are the best friends ever…so devoted…always available…and when they get sick and leave us, it is devastating. I hear you loud and clear Tammy. They are are heart and souls, our ears and our voices. Their unconditional love is beyond what we could ever provide as humans. Tanner, I miss and love you….Tucker, I will protect you and find you another best buddy soon.

Tammy - Hi Cynthia, I know you understand what it’s all about. When I met you, you were soon to lose Chester. I will never forget it, as I saw in you a similar soul to mine. Chester left you, but not without a fight. When we lose them, I’m convinced that a little piece our heart closes. Beyond sad. Do I now understand that you have lost Tanner too? I did not know. My heart hurts for you for your loss. I understand how you feel, all of us that have been owned by a dog understand. I’m so sorry, Cynthia. You were/are the best dog mom in the world. Tucker is left behind and that’s okay because he still has you…and soon another pup will grace your life and his too. Blessings to you my friend and a strong, long hug.

Tammy - Hi Kellie, hope that bundle of love is okay. I here you; last year when Maddy was sick I had to open up a Care Credit card as the bill was well over $2,000. Yup. I was lucky … she survived. Now I tease her that she should poop gold nuggets to help pay for her medical bill. She pretends not to understand me but I suspect she knows full well. Haaa! Great hearing from you and thanks for posting!

Marcia Nichols - It almost makes me want to get another one…until I remember how hard it is to lose your best friend. I am just not ready to do that again. I am more apt to risk my heart in another relationship than to feel the hurt after the loss of my pet. I guess that means that I agree with you wholeheartedly!

Jo VonBargen - I soooo get this. I cook my dog’s meals and spoil the four cats who have me well trained. It would be a sad world, indeed, without my true loves!! Great write, my friend!

Tammy - Hi Jo, we are surely sisters from another mother!Thanks for the good review. We spoil because we are smart enough to know what we have. Glad you stopped by and posted. Appreciate it tons!

Tammy - Hi Miss Marcia, I think that losing a pet is a little like childbirth; we hope to forget the pain so that we will venture there again. Not having a dog would be like not having air. I hope you recover enough from the loss of your dear friend so that you may enjoy many more years being owned by a loyal and forever loving fur ball. My heart is with you. Thanks for being here, Marcia, and for sharing.

Stephen C. Spencer (@PaulDMallory) - Pure gold as always, Tammy!

What impressed me most in this edition was the confidence you showed in writing the thing in the first place…a confidence that obviously stems from the security you feel in yourself, as well as in your current “non-dog” relationship. How else could you get away with saying, in effect, “You’re wonderful, honey, but my dog’s a better friend than you’ll ever be”?

There was no room here for a misstep, and you didn’t make one. You carried off the job with grace, charm, and your trademark eponymous wit.

Way to go!

Tammy - Hi Stephen, Aw, thanks. I read your post and laughed out loud. Yes, I guess there is no two ways about it…I stuck my neck out. One could argue that I was confident in this post or extremely stupid. Jury is still out. I really do believe that honesty is the best policy. No need in letting the wonderful man in my life live in a delusional bubble, right? I mean he rocks at everything else, but “best friend”, I think not. Let us say out loud that he is my “best people friend”. Better? I stand by my belief that no one loves you like your dog. It’s not in our DNA. And I consider myself a very fortunate girl indeed to be able to acknowledge that fact and still be loved and adored (I may be pushing it there) by the awesome man in my life, whose name is also Steven. So happy you enjoyed the post. Love, love having you here! Thanks for sharing.

sheila - Hi Tammy — so cute! I have a sign on the wall that reads: Husband and Dog missing. Reward for Dog!!! 😉

My hubby is pretty good though since he and I together have 5 dogs — 4 of which are rescues. Gotta love a rescue!

Keep up the fun writing!

Tammy - Hi Sheila, do you remember that old joke where the Indian woman said that she got a dog for her husband…. it was a good trade. Hahahaaa! Not to take away from husbands; a good one is worth his weight in gold. But as you already know, a dog’s love is a league of its own. And, YES, there is nothing quite as special as rescue animals. My life has been blessed with them. Thanks for dropping in, hope to see you back for more fun and frolic. Thanks for posting!

Cindy buehler - Must Love Dogs.
my Jack Russell, Tink, aka Puppy Toes, aka Potamus, aka Tinkernator…..saved my life by forcing me to care for her, take her to the Puppy Park, love her, when I was going through a terrible time. She drew me out of my depression and is still the joy of my life. Yes, I have turned into a “dog lady”…I have added a pound mutt and I swear, these are the happy children I never had (Both my boys were difficult children growing up) When people say pets are a lot of trouble, I say yes, but they give so much more than they take……………and they don’t break hearts………..

Jim Dougherty - Ha! Great post, though I would choose my wife over our dogs any day! 😉

Kesha Brown - Tammy, OMG, I am still laughing (and laughing at Sheila’s “Reward for Dog” sign) LOL . This post is hilarious!! Sharing!

Tammy - Hi Kesha, I think that Sheila’s sign is something we should be selling on this website! So happy to start your week with a giggle. Love it when I’m ‘shared’! Thanks for that! So glad you visited and ever so happy that you posted with us. Have a great week!

Tammy - Hi Jim, good answer!! You will never be in the dog house with that attitude. Ya gotta admit, dogs are pretty awesome. Thanks for the read and for the post. You’re awesome too!

Tammy - Hi Cindy, Jack Russels are Uber smart. Probably why I’ve never owned one. It’s bad enough my phone is smarter than I am. Your statement was powerful “she saved my life by forcing me to care for her…” I understand this completely. When my dad died I recoiled into a ball of sadness and secluded myself from the world. Well, as much as you can when you have a dog. But having her made me get out of the house 3 times a day and talk to people along the way. She helped me from feeling so alone and I’d venture to say that she had a lot to do with saving me as well. Happy to hear that you have two fun ‘children’. I understand the logic and the feeling. And, no, they don’t break hearts … except when they leave us. That is pretty damn traumatic; but the loss is worth the having. So happy you shared and ever so happy to have you here. Thanks for posting!

Kesha Brown - Girl, do it! You know how much money you can make off that sign! Just let me be an affiliate 🙂

cheryl - Tammy——-Loved your post. So sorry to hear you had pneumonia. Hope you are feeling lots better———and I didn’t know that you almost lost Maddy——–this picture of her is adorable. Yes, as you know we all love our pets. I so still miss Stein—–even though I know you still bear his scar. Sorry. cheryl

Tammy - Hi Cheryl, am still recouping. Pneumonia is dastardly stuff. Part of my problem was that I self medicated for at least a week thinking it was just some awful cold. That gave it time to grab a hold of me big time. Ugh. So glad you like this post. Yes, last February Maddy was besieged by a liver ailment that almost took her. It came on so suddenly. Again, I thought she just had eaten something and gave her a couple of days to snap out of it. I still kick myself for waiting those two days and never will hesitate again. We were lucky that time around and she graces my life every single day. Steiny was a rare gem. He had amazing parents. You and Bob and Stein all gave all that you had to give … to each other. A beautiful family love story. But, as we know, there is always an end. I know you still miss him, you probably always will. I still bare the scar, very visibly, on my right arm. That will teach me to never interfere with a cat’s territorial claim. He was just doing his job. What’s’ not to love and respect about that?! Happy you stopped in, glad you enjoyed. Thanks for posting! Miss you … still.

Katya (Clever Girl Eats...) - Hilarious!

Although with comparisons, my ex wiped his butt on the carpet about 5 times, but never vomited behind the plants.

I’m so, so glad you included cats in the scenario, too!

Thanks for this post Tammy!

Tammy - Hi Katya, you are TOO funny. I always loved this post. It speaks from my heart about my best friends. Of course cats are in the scenario! If I hadn’t included them they would have probably vomited a hairball in my slippers. Ewww. Appreciate the read and grateful for the post!

sugar daddy - Oh Tammy! What a great article and so so truthful. In particular, comparing men to dogs makes me feel particularly interesting. Yes, dogs are the best friends of humanity. I have watched several movies about the feelings between people and dogs. They are very touching. I love dogs very much. I also admit that dogs are more loyal than men. But not all men are bad guys. Of course, I am one of the good guys.

Tammy - So glad you enjoyed the read. I have little doubt that you are one of the “good guys”. Happy to report that there are many of them out there (thank goodness for small favors!). As for dogs…well, there is not quite anything in the world that can compare to their unconditional love and devotion. I’m convinced they are a gift from God to his troubled people.

Aca Baranton - I am not surprised by your observations. The unconditional love of your pet dog is always unmatched and legendary. They will always win hands down even when compared to the most loving of humans.

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