Posted by: mgorbena | November 16, 2010

why and why not?

Today I picked up the kids from school, my two-year old is starting to talk and his number one question is why?? I am sure many of you know about that phase, I have to admit that from time to time drives me up the wall!! . Today  he was going on and on about why i was using the key to start the car;

well, because is the way it works, I said

 but why? he asks

because you need a key to start the car,

 but why?

 then I realized I was not really answering his question because it was way too complicated to go into sooo much detail, plus I was not sure if I was going to be able to go three more why’s deeper. At  this point my five-year old says:

why not? Dylan, why you have to ask why all the time? it needs a key and that’s it. But mom do planes need keys to start? and boats? and motorbikes? what about helicopters?

At that moment I realized how similar work life is to home life. How many times in my previous life as a business woman I have been asked why, why, why, and how many times I had to justify to the nth degree what I was doing and why I was doing it, when the only thing I wanted to say over and over was WHY NOT? instead of me justifying what I am doing I wanted them to give me a good reason why I should not be doing what i was planning to do.

So today I realized that in reality there are two types of people: why people and why not people . And we have these tendencies way before we get into corporate life.

Why people are very detailed oriented, like my son. He needs to know how everything works and why it works. He needs to take things apart and put it back in to make sure everything is in the right place.

Why not people are more of a big picture kind of people, they need to see the whole picture before they get into the detail. They need to understand if there is any objection to what is being done because if not,  let’s keep on doing it.

So for example for my son he needs to know the detail before he can see the whole picture, many of my coworkers were like that, they needed thousand pages of Powerpoint presentations full of details before they could understand the whole point to be discussed. These are the why people.

For my daughter she needs to be shown the point, the picture the whole idea before getting into the detail, sometimes she will jump into conclusions to early but if you start with the detail she gets lost and looses all interest. Some of my coworkers were like that, big ideas got them interested, motivated and excited, detail bores them to death. These are the why not people

Now the problem is that we are surrounded by the two types and the key is to understand what makes each type tick, so you can get your point across in the work environment and at home be able to give each one of your kids what they need in order to grow and learn.

Posted by: mgorbena | April 28, 2010

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Bed time and story time, i have my three little kids around me, waiting for the great moment when I choose a book,  open the first page and start to read. Start to read the story that for a few minutes will take them to a new world where one is a queen, the other a princess and the third is a prince that will save them all!!!  I love this time of the day is amazing to see their faces as you take them through the stories, as you show them other worlds and answer their sometimes, really mature questions, like, are eggs  really green? or they turn green when they go bad?? ummmmm

So today we read a new book from Dr Seuss: Oh, the places you’ll go.  What a wonderful book, and so enjoyable for a kid and for an adult. While i was reading it i thought about live and the choices you make, and how much of what you experience and do depends on how you face what comes your way.

The books starts talking about a little boy with brains and feet that will help him steer himself in any direction he chooses, he is on his own and he knows what he knows but HE is the guy that will decide where to go. Right from the first page the books gives you a sense of freedom and empowerment so energizing  that you want to jump and start your adventure. This first page made me realize how powerful empowerment and self-confidence are. The first one is given to you the second one is something that you need to build but encouragement from others helps you in doing that. What a great message for kids and adults!! in you is the power to take the direction you want. 

 As the book explains you need to look at the streets with care, some will be good some will be not so good but because you have feet and brains you will decide where to go. And then when you pick your direction or your street things will start to happen, so go along enjoy the view and you will start happening too!!!

And when things start happening, the books goes on and explains that, sometimes you will do great!!, things will happen the way you want them and you will succeed, be the winner, the champion!! but sometimes they don’t, they just don’t happen the way you want, and you don’t succeed and you loose. You get into a difficult place, where things are not as you wish them to be, where you find yourself loosing all your self-confidence, all your empowerment, all your energy, and you start going down this Slump and to get out is not easy. You start doubting your self, you become indecisive and scared of doing anything that will make things worse. But let me tell you once to hit bottom there is only one way and that is up, unless you choose as the book says the waiting room, where nothing happens because everyone is waiting for things to happen as oppose to make them happen. Horrible place to be in and very demotivating… but that is not you, nor the kid in the book not me. We don’t like to wait, we need and we like to make things happen, so we pull ourselves together and start our way up, and in our way up we discover other places, places where the light is bright and we get our energy back.  So we start riding high again, ready for anything under the sky because we are those kind of people!!!

Then the book goes on talking about those moments when things go well and you are surrounded by tons of friends but sometimes you will be lonely and alone and there is the risk that because you are scared of being alone you get mixed up with the wrong crowd:

 you will get mixed up, of corse, as you already know. you’ll get mixed up with strange birds as you go, so be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that life is a great balancing act.

fantastic message for the kids and for us when sometimes we look for advice or for respect from the wrong people. So as long as we can be aware and keep an eye on our feet so we do not get mixed up then we should be all right!!!!

The book ends giving you the best kick of enthusiasm you can imagine:

and you will succeed? yes! you will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 % guarantee). KID YOU WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS!!!!!

Amazing book, what a lesson for life for kids and a great reminder for us the adults!!  is all in you, you have the power to go where you want to go and succeed, just don’t stall too long in the waiting room when things go wrong, don’t let it bring you down and take your confidence away, because you need it to get out and find the bright side where you again will win!!, but always remember to choose your friends carefully as sometimes is better to play alone than with the nasty monsters!!!!

Posted by: mgorbena | March 2, 2010

Teacher, coach, Leader, Mum

During this week i had to fill in Eryn’s application for school next year. One of the questions was about her strengths and weaknesses (interesting question as she is only 4 years old), other question was about what i wanted her to become when she gets older and how involved i was going to be in the process, and how i was going to help her achieve those objectives.  At first I was a little surprise about these questions, then i got a little frustrated thinking about the answers. I have never thought what i wanted her to become, was it really my choice? or was hers? her strengths and weaknesses and how i wanted her to over come them, well i never thought about her having strengths and weaknesses at the age of 4. And my role in all this? well i am her mum… is not that enough…

so for a week i was really thinking about all this, my role as a mum, my role as a teacher, my role as a coach…, suddenly i come across a book that my ex-Boss gave to me sometime ago. It was a book by Jack and Suzy Welch called “Winning”. In there, i found a chapter about leadership. I started reading it and i was amaze at what i found, if i would just change the word leader for Mum, dad or parent, he was just describing what it takes to be a good parent.

Yes at the end of the day a parent is a leader of a small business called family. So here are the key 8 rules according to Jack W. about how to be a good leader, and next to them i will give you my humble interpretation of how to apply this to parenthood!!

One day, you become a leader, and suddenly, everything feels different – because it is different. 

Leadership requires distinct behaviors and attitudes, some of which may come naturally to you, but many of which do not. For most people, the hardest aspect of leadership is the mindset it requires. Before you’re a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It’s about your performance. Your contributions. It’s about raising your hand, getting called on, and delivering the right answer. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. It’s about making the people who work for you smarter, bigger, and bolder. Nothing you do anymore as an individual matters except how you nurture and support your team and help its members increase their self-confidence. Yes, you will get your share of attention from up above—but only inasmuch as your team wins. Put another way: Your success as a leader will come not from what you do but from the reflected glory of your team.  When I read this I thought, that’s it, is parenthood. A new mindset, not about you anymore but about growing others, and your performance is measured by the success of you team, which means by the success of your kids, how well-behaved they are, how cultivated they are, how nice they are……  all those things are a reflection of how good or bad parent you are.

Now, that’s a big transition— and no question, it’s hard. Being a leader basically requires a whole new mindset. You’re no longer constantly thinking “How can I stand out?” but “How can I help my people do their jobs better?” Sometimes that requires undoing a couple of decades of momentum. After all, you probably spent your entire life, starting in grade school and continuing through your last job, as a contributor who excels at “raising your hand.” But the good news is that you’ve been promoted because someone above you believes you have the stuff to make the leap from star player to successful coach.  Do we really know the huge commitment we are making when we decide to have kids? are we really aware of how much our life and our mindset will have to change? for some will come more naturally and will tell you how easy it is, for others the change is so great that it will take several years to really get hold of it.

What does that leap actually involve? First and foremost, you need to actively mentor your people. Exude positive energy about life and the work that you are doing together, show optimism about the future, and care. Care passionately about each person’s progress. Give your people feedback—not just at yearend and mid year performance reviews but after meetings, presentations, or visits to clients. Make every significant event a teaching moment. Discuss what you like about what they are doing and ways that they can improve. Your energy will energize those around you. Isn’t this what we end up doing as parents everyday? we end up finding every opportunity to teach our kids new things, we are constantly given them feedback (well done, very naughty), don’t we care? we care passionately about their every new development, their every new achievement, their progress….

And there’s no need for sugar-coating. Use total candor, which happens, incidentally, to be one of the defining characteristics of effective leaders. Through it all, never forget—you’re a leader now. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about them.

What Leaders Do 

1. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an  opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence. you have to evaluate – making sure the right people are in the right jobs. You have to coach- guiding, critiquing and helping people to improve their performance in every way. and finally you have to build self-confidence pouring out encouragement, caring and recognition. As a parent we have to make sure we as much as we can evaluate our kids and make sure we guide them to find those areas were they can really excel, not only academically, but in all areas of life. Self-confidence energizes, and it gives your kids the courage to stretch, take risks and achieve beyond their dreams.

2. Leaders make sure people not only see the vision — they live and breathe it. In this case we can say that the vision are those key family trades, values, culture, those things that make each family unique but are so important to create that harmony and that union.

3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism. Everyday we make sure no matter how awful things are, or the bad day we have had, or how things are not going as we planned, we always look at the bright side for our kids, we never let them feel down, we are always there giving them hope, energizing them, believing in them. Is all about the “can do attitude” no matter how hard if you want to you can do it!! 

4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit. This is really important as our kids need to believe, feel and be sure that they can 100% trust us. We will always tell them the truth, we will always be honest with them about how they are doing, what are they good at, what they are not so good at. We will be transparent no sugarcoating, but objective and honest. They need to know that we will always be there to tell them the things as they are but also to help them overcome what ever they need to overcome.

5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls. who has not hated their parents at some point when they have made a decision that was not at all of our liking? how many times we have heard as kids and we have said as parents “i know you don’t agree but this  would be a good thing for you”? well i am sure we had a hard time being the ogre, but that is being a parent,  is not a popularity context.

6. Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making  sure their questions are answered with action. Don’t we do this every day? how many questions do we ask them in order to try to know them better, to understand them better, to know what is going on?

7. Leaders inspire risk-taking and learning by setting the example. is a philosophy a way of life at least in our house hold.

8. Leaders celebrate.

 

So there is no easy formula for being a leader and there is no easy formula for being a parent. Both are challenging- all those balancing acts, all the responsibility, all the pressure. And yet good leadership and parenting happens. The best care passionately about their people and their kids- about their growth and success. And they are comfortable in their own skins, they are real, filled with candor and integrity, optimism and humanity.

after all this reading and thinking i went back to Eryn’s application form, and it was not difficult to come up with the answers. I will be there for her as her teacher, coach, leader and mum for the rest of her life. I will give her the energy, passion, optimism and self-confidence she will need to accomplish what ever she wants in her life. And i will do it with honesty, trust and integrity.

Posted by: mgorbena | February 18, 2010

Experiences the most treasured possesion

I keep on reading all these articles about how this economic crisis is shaping the way we behave as consumers. In the luxury industry you keep reading articles and they all talk about the dead of Bling, the going back to the true values of  “Quality, authenticity, provenance” . Also in the latest trends reports for 2010 the buzz words are functional, simplicity, real value, experiences. It seems that all the hip, over the top display of wealth, all the accumulation of things for the sake of buying with no clear purpose, all the need to show to the world how much we had is something that is not  quite acceptable any longer and consumers are looking for the real thing, the true value, the true meaning.

we could say that we  as consumers have mature during this crisis and what used to be important to help us define our selves in 2007 is not longer necessary and now we are looking for something different and more meaningful. But the reality is that this is not new, this consumer life cycle is continuously happening.

Sometime ago I read a report that was commissioned by American express in 2006. It was called 21st centurion living. In that report they were explaining the idea of the luxury consumer life cycle, which was divided in 4 sub-cycles. These cycles could also be applied to different regions and countries. Here it is the summary:

The Futures100 identify four distinct cycles within the existing luxury market, as it develops in tandem with the local economy and the mindset of the individual consumer. These four cycles of luxury are outlined below:

 Cycle 1 – Acquisitive luxury

The first flush of wealth is defined by flamboyance. In this cycle, luxury is all about spending and display.

Cycle 2 – Inquisitive luxury

The second phase sees the emergence of critical judgement and a more considered approach to luxury. Consumers are more likely to invest time in distinguishing between products.

Cycle 3 – Authoritative luxury

Luxury consumption at this level is personal rather than subject to trends. Consumers become more proactive, demonstrating higher levels of discernment, and become archivists or collectors of the best wines, furniture or art.

Cycle 4 – Meditative luxury

Many developed economies are currently entering the fourth cycle of luxury. This is where luxury moves away from the product and into the realm of experience. Consumers at this level realise that what matters is fulfilment, and seek it increasingly through learning new skills and engaging with culture or politics on a personal level.

As you can see many of the buzz words we are hearing now as a result of the economic crisis are the words that back in 2006 defined cycle 3, and 4.

 The cycles are influenced by both the socio-economic status of the individual within their regional economy, and their personal mindset. Typically, as an individual’s socio-economic status develops, so too does their attitude to luxury consumption.

 In the 21st century, four key attitudes in consumer behavior are shaping the luxury market and influencing the way providers run their business:

· The desire for experience

· The thirst for knowledge

· The importance of value

· The commitment to consuming with a conscience

As consumers progress through the luxury cycles, each one of these attitudes becomes increasingly prevalent.

So, no,  I don’t think the luxury industry is changing I think is following is natural curse, is following the natural behavioural pattern of the human being, and how we all as humans mature overtime thanks to knowledge, different experiences, and understanding of value and quality.

There are going to be regions in the world that will now be entering Cycle 1 and 2, we have the clear example of china. But even within that region there are going to be consumers that are already in cycle 3 or even 4. Other Regions like Europe and USA that have been called the classic markets of luxury are most likely in cycle 4 as a region but there are also going to be customers within those regions that are at stage 1 or 2 because they just got their wealth.

Also another thing to note is that although is human nature to mature overtime we all know someone around us that resists as much as they can the curse of nature and make the conscious effort to never mature, or grown up. The same will happen to some luxury consumers they will never leave cycle 1.

So with all this,  we will still have luxury industry for a long time, but is extremely important for the companies operating in this area to understand their consumer;  not in general terms but as individuals, each one of them will be in a different sub-cycle and we can not make the generalization of where they are coming from as country of residence as this may give us some idea but never certainty of their behavioural pattern. Consumer is king, has been king always but lately we forgot. Is about time to go back to the personal touch, to be able to understand and predict what Mr Jones wants because we know him.

In the age of instant feedback, social networking, twitter, facebook, blogs….. where our customers play in a daily basis we need to start using those tools to be closer to them, to be able to have a two-way communication. To let them get to know us, as well as us getting to know them. Making them part of our development and hopefully they will let us be part of their lives. It is extreamelly important to go back to that personal relationship that characterized the luxury industry for centuries.

But as always all these thoughts come back while I am here in my new role as an expat full-time mum. But what trigger this one in particular, was when I saw my 4-year-old daughter covered from head to toe with all her possessions (mainly custom jewelery, sun glasses, sleeping beauty high heels, two hand bags, and her princess dress). She came out of the bedroom looked at me and said don’t I look pretty? she had more than two rings per finger, and as many necklaces as she had been able to find.  At  that very moment i thought “who said bling is passé?”  but, of course I said “you are the most beautiful princess in the whole, wide world!!!”

And I realized how true were those 4 cycles I once read, but not only for the luxury consumer but for any consumer, for any of us. My daughter will with time learn which princess is the one she likes and she will become a fan, then she will grow out of that and will get into the next big thing dictated by all the influences around her (mainly school friends) of which we will be a very small part. And then over the years she will learn to decide by herself what she likes and what she doesn’t regardless of what the friends say. And at some point she will start experiencing the world on her own and learning from her experiences and those experiences will become her most treasured possession.

Posted by: mgorbena | February 3, 2010

work, play, learning and inspiration

Last night i was reading this book from Russell L. Ackoff and Herbert J. Addison called management F-laws. Very interesting views on those key management laws that we have all heard or learned about.

There was one in particular that made me think last night. It was law 45 : All work and no play is a prescription for low quantity and quality of outputs. I found the  explanation quite interesting as they say that back in the days of the Renaissance human activities were dissected into four categories: work, play, learning and inspiration; and it was the integration of all of them that determine the effectiveness of an activity and the joy that can be derived from it. 

I have to admit that in my particular experience only those organizations that understood and integrated all four categories were the ones that got the best out of me and in the ones that i felt i was not 100% but 500% utilise and motivated. It is really important to have a balance in all aspects of our lives, but at work sometimes it seems our balance gets totally skewed to one side – work, work, work; and anything related to have fun, learn in the process or get inspired seem to be obstacles to get the job done as oppose to enablers.

In one of the  organizations i worked,  i worked in a team who decided to take a look at the history of the company in terms of organizational behaviour and see how the different stages of its life had affected the results. We discovered that during the early stages of the company when the spirit was more entrepreneurial and less burocratic, when there was a balance of the four elements the teams  were really motivated and they all had a “can do”  attitude – it came naturally. They were working million hours a day, but they also had quite a few laughs and play, each day they were learning something new, something unexpected, and they had great managers that would inspire them and make them seek their own inspirations.

There you go, you would say this is a dream come true!!! but life goes on and as organizations grow and mature, this is when systems, structures, codes, laws, regulations, processes start finding their ways into the organization. Some of it was really needed, but some of it went to far, to the point that the balance of the four elements got pushed out and work prevail as the one and only…..   this stage is the most dangerous stage in which any organization can stay as it kills all innovation and motivation. So everything that made your company succeed will not be there much longer if you do not get the energy back.  An getting that energy back, that balance of the four elements back is one of the most difficult tasks  a  company will have to face. The reason for that is because it involves people, and people are the greatest asset but also the most complex. 

So how do we as an organization get our balance back? well, when we were doing our study we found out that many areas of the organization were reluctant to embrace the 4 elements. They were defending the idea that some areas of the organization are about control, structure and processes and any play, inspiration, innovation or creativity belonged somewhere else. But i totally disagree,  you need the 4 elements in any area of the organization, the only difference is that the balance will be made with different combination of quantities of the 4 elements but all of them need to be there.

Human beings are all different, we all get excited about different things and we all get the most out of ourselves in different environments and situations. For example, for me an organization that pushes me to challenge the norm, think outside the box, be creative and have fun while working really hard is my panacea – but it is a nightmare for many people.  So the balance of the 4 elements for me and for some of my colleagues will be different but they will all be there.  It’s the same for an organization, all areas should have all the elements as creativity and innovation need to be address, whether it is in operations or finance, from marketing to design.

Thinking about all this made me realize what makes it so hard to go from working to being a stay at home mum, is that suddenly your balance goes out of the window. Where do you get the learning when you are spending 12 hours a day with children who are all less than 4 years old? where do you get the inspiration? Play, yes you do that a lot; but let’s face it, you really entertain more than being entertained.  Work,  i guess work, work, work, work is what it seems you do all day but you get no pay for it.

But as with any organization unless you get your balance back, creativity, innovation, motivation, energy and ultimately happiness will not be around you anytime soon…

So i needed to get my balance back.  I started thinking about what were the things i enjoyed more about my job as a manager and that was to get my team motivated, inspired, excited about new ideas and also help them grow. It was hard work but really really rewarding. so i though that should be my role as a mum, this is the reason why i am here because i want to encourage my kids to look at things in new and interesting ways, i want them to challenge, learn  and work hard and have fun doing it.  i want to help them find their balance of the four elements and show them the importance of that.

So i guess i have a job for the moment and a very challenging one!!!!

Posted by: mgorbena | January 27, 2010

on networking

one of the first things you learn or you are taught when you enter business life is the importance of networking.

When you are young an at school you tend to call it having friends and meeting people, it comes naturally. You are in the park or play ground and some kids are playing with a ball, you want to play with the ball so you go and join them, as simple as that. As you mature and get older you have your group of friends with whom you hang out, go to the cinema, have your first drink and go to the pub. Only when you start your professional life meeting people becomes networking. 

On my first ever job an internship in Alcatel a French telecommunications company my boss told me something that i  will never forget; he said Mercedes if there is only three things you learn in this internship they should be these: a) learn how to play Chess, if you want to succeed in business you need  to be able to predict the next three moves in the chess board and  know how you will react. b) learn how to play poker, in business no one should be able to read your face, they should only know what you want them to know. c) the most important thing you will ever have is your contacts address book, build it, treasure it and never ever loose it!!!

So 20 years ago I received the first lesson on Networking and the importance of your contacts, but those business contacts need to be taken care off, they are for life. They are as important to you as you are to them, never be afraid of using them but NEVER, NEVER abuse them. It works both ways you may have something I am looking for, I may have something  you are interested on.

How does networking apply to my current life?? great question…

I have to admit that since i discovered Facebook and Linkedin  i have managed to keep up with my social and work network in a much easier way an actually i have managed to find contacts that i had lost a long time ago.

But there is no way you can just live of this social and work networking sites it is in the human nature or at least in mine and i think pretty much in anyone’s from my generation to meet people face to face.

After deciding that nothing lasts for ever and that I needed to get on with my new life, i figured out that it was extremely important to start creating my own network, my own set of contacts that would help me figure out the island and where things are, how to get things done and also would help me feel something more than the wife of … as that was what i was for all my husband’s colleagues.

I have to admit that having kids is a wonderful way of networking as you have the great excuse to go to certain places (I.e play group, play ground, park, kids activities…) and always start a conversation… so how old is your kid? he/she is so tall/big/beautiful…. you first start with the kid’s questions and comments and there you go you started the ball rolling, you say how you are new to island and need some help to figure out what to do with the kids… The next thing you know in a couple of months you know pretty much half of the expat mums in the island. 

Let me tell you if it would have not being for all those years learning how to network, my life right now would be very very different and very, very lonely!!

Posted by: mgorbena | January 22, 2010

nothing lasts forever

so after the panic of week 2 I decided to create a business plan for a new product called Mercedes Expat mum. More than 15 years in business, a bachelor degree in business and a MBA need to be useful in any situation and for any product, don’t you think?

So i decided to apply all the rules, laws, tips, ideas that i have learned over the years; some from others, some i have developed on my own to this new stage in my life.

Today i’ll talk about : nothing is forever.

Yes, Nothing is forever, your product is a success until the next one comes along, your marketing campaign has won a lot of new clients until it becomes overused and old news. The profits of today may not be there tomorrow…. you can never count on anything being forever, nor success nor failure. Which is something really good as, if we have been successful with a product we need to make sure the next one is even better, because if not someone else will make it better. We have to be on our toes, always thinking  two, three, ten years ahead, 10 products ahead, ten moves on the chess board ahead… in order to keep the competitive advantage, in order to always be on the crest of the wave, in order to always have the most desirable product in the market. I once heard Carl Lewis the Olympic athlete saying that as soon as he wins a olimpic medal he sings the national anthem and then  forgets about it and focuses on the next championship. 

This philosophy is also good when we have made mistakes, when we have made a loss, when our product was a failure, we still have the next one to look for. It is important to learn from our mistakes and ask why? what happened? how can we fix it? how can we make it better? AND MOVE ON!! yes in capital letters, MOVE ON!!!. There is no time in this life to stay in the failure zone, too much to do, too many things to explore. Yes you made a mistake, learn from it and go to the next thing.

So how was I going to apply the nothing is forever rule to my new life??? well very simple, one morning i woke up and said, hey you are not going to be here forever, you are not going to have kids under 4 forever, you are not going to be 37  forever and you will definitely not be a stay home mum forever, so get on with it, enjoy the moment and make the most out of it. Learn from all those years coming home at 6:30 just for bath time and bedtime story. How many times have you wished you had more time with your kids. Learn from all those nights finishing up work e-mails when you were saying if only i had a little bit of time to just do nothing or try to get more involve in the kids’ school activities…. Well, now i had the time and still i was complaining.  Although, this time that i wanted to go back to work!!! this needed to stop!! YES, NOTHING IS FOREVER SO EVERY MINUTE COUNTS!!!  we need to learn to enjoy every situation as it is, never loosing focus of the end goal,  what ever that might be for each of us, and always work and live towards it but never forget that today will never come again.

So it seems that the rule in business and in life contradict each other. It doesn’t, it’s all about realizing that what ever situation you are in will never last forever!!!!

Posted by: mgorbena | January 21, 2010

From a successful business career to expat mum

From a successful business career to expat mum in one plane ride!!. yes that is what it took 12 hours in a plane from London to Cayman Islands and my life changed completely.

Sometimes we think big decisions in life take time to take and you need to think and think pros and cons, evaluate, re-evaluate and then when you are 100% sure you make the move. Well actually that is not my case and if i start thinking back to the time i started to make my own decisions and carving my own path i have never taken long to make a crucial decision. Probably because if i would have evaluated and re-evaluated i would have never jumped in the pool. So this time again i jumped hoping for the best.

Left work on September 11th 2009 and arrived in Cayman on September 18th. Let’s face it the first week very little was going through my mind in terms of the future, it was all about getting to know the new environment more like a holidays let’s say… My husband had not started his job yet so the four of us plus the bump were just having a great time by the beach.

Then suddenly week 2 arrived, husband at work and me with two kids 4 and almost two to take care of!!!    and then is when it hit me, oh my god i have never taken care of the kids for longer than a weekend or a holiday and this is it for who knows how many months!!!! 

It sounds crazy but it is true after each maternity leave never more than 6 months, i went back to work. So in the case of Eryn she went to nursery and Dylan was taken care of by a nanny. I would be back from work at 6:30 time for bath, bed time story and of to sleep at 7:30 the latest. That was my life then of course the weekends and holidays i would try my best to make up for the time lost but really after work you are sooo tired that the whole saying of quality time Vs quantity becomes more of an excuse than anything else.

But now it was for real, i had the time i was going to spend tons of time with my kids and the thought on one side made me very happy on the other scared me to death!! what i am going to do?? and what about me? yes what about me? that was the key question.

Once you become a mum it seems that to think about you is a sin, all you do and all your decisions are for the best of your kids and you become an after thought. But the truth is that  we are all selfish and we all need our space and take care of ourselves. so although i am a mum if i don’t think about me i will not be able to provide a healthy environment to me kids!! at least that is what i think. I need to make sure i keep on top of what is going on in the world of culture, arts, economy, politics, trends, fashion, technology… so taking all this into account you can understand my fear and panic attack on the second week in Cayman when i realized i was without a job,  in a extreamelly small island, with nothing to do but taking care of the kids!!!!!! Read More…

Posted by: mgorbena | January 21, 2010

so this is it!!

Finally i have decided to say hello to the world using the tools of the 21st century!! After more than 15 years in the telecom industry i was never what you will call a geek. I used the solutions that were applicable for me but never felt the need to say hello to the world in a  big way. Now that i have moved to a somewhat remote place, (or at least that is how it feels to me) i have this amazing need to communicate with the outside world. To share my experiences and to hear from others.

Now a days it seems irrelevant if i have ever met you face to face, as long as we share a passion, an experience, a thought it seems that we have a bond, and those are now a days created through this amazing world of internet, social networking and blogs.

So here I am about to start a new chapter of my life as a blogger. I hope you find my thoughts and experiences interesting. I am sure I am not the only woman who has left a successful career, become a mum of three and decided to leave everything behind and move to a small island in the Caribbean. So if you are one of those you will find that many of the things that i end up discussing here you have experienced.

that’s for now

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