Joleene Moody

Joleene Moody

Do you love going to work?

I’m going to guess no, because you’re reading this right now. You want out, but you don’t know how to do it. You have bills to pay and mouths to feed. It’s not like you can just give a two-week notice and walk out of hell and into your dream job, right? I mean, who does that?

Thousands of people do that every day.

Droves of unhappy workers trade in their desk and stapler for a shiny new career all the time. We just don’t see it because we’re too busy suffering eight to 10 hours a day at a job we don’t love, compromising ourselves spiritually, financially, and emotionally.

A Gallop poll revealed that 70 percent of U.S. employees are unhappy at work. Seventy percent is a lot of unhappy faces.

When you’re unhappy at work, you start a chain of events that become progressively worse the longer you stay behind the desk. Your life becomes miserable. And the misery doesn’t go away. You wait for it to, but it won’t. Not until you walk out the door.

Here are five things that happen when you stay in a job you don’t love, and the remedy of what to do to rid yourself of the misery
so you can live a genuinely happy life.

Your heart breaks
It’s a thin line between love and hate. When you have to wake up every day and go to a job you don’t love, that line between love and hate grows smaller. You start to question what life is all about. Is this it? Is this all there is; just a commute and a paycheck? This is what I signed up for?

Your relationships suffer
As you question life and your place in it, you become angry. Who do you take your anger out on? The ones you love. You’re not nice. You lash out at those closest to you because they’re standing right there. They take the brunt of your anger, until one by one your loved ones fall away and you find yourself alone.

You become mean and bitter
You’ve seen mean and bitter people out there. They hate the world and everyone in it. Now you’re mean and bitter. You snap at others and become hateful. When you see happy people you secretly plot their demise. It’s a horrible place to be.

You slowly die inside
You’re awake and you’re breathing. You put one foot in front of the other every day, but that doesn’t mean you’re living. Your suffering is causing you so much pain that you’re actually dying inside. Your joy is gone. But instead of taking actions to get out, you take actions that keep you stuck right where you are.

You blame everyone around you for your pain
When you’re stuck in a situation that makes you mean and bitter, you blame others for putting you there. But they didn’t put you there. You put yourself there. You made a series of choices that landed you where you are. If you want out, you have to take responsibility for yourself and take action to get out, bottom line. End of story.


You might be reading this thinking, ‘Working somewhere I hate isn’t ruining my life. That’s ridiculous.’ Perhaps, but here’s the deal: Human psychology says that we need to experience and fill six specific human needs in positive ways in order to feel fulfilled and purposeful. One of those needs is growth. Without growth, we die inside; just like I said. We walk around numb and uncertain. We just exist. Our lives become a circle of frustration. We go to work, come home, pay bills, go back to work, come home, pay more bills … and the cycle continues.

When the weekend comes, we think. “I’m saved!” When Monday comes, we think, “This sucks.” Where’s the joy? If we have to wait for the weekend to experience joy, what kind of life are we really living?

You have a right to love what you do and get paid for it. You don’t have to suffer working a job you don’t love. You tell yourself you do because the bills are piling up and your friends tell you it’s impossible to go after a passion or dream. Everyone else has to work a job they don’t love, so why should you be any different?

They must be right.

You’re scared, too. If you leave your job, you’re ditching your favorite security blanket. Plus there’s that whole, “How am I supposed to support myself and my family if I leave my job to go chase a dream?”

Have faith, baby; just a little faith. If you don’t have a drop of faith, you’ll always be stuck. You’ll always blame others. If you think faith isn’t part of the equation here, stop reading. This isn’t for you. This is only for those who are ready to reclaim their lives.

The remedy

You want out; really and truly? Decide to get out. No more fluctuating back and forth, telling yourself horror stories of what might happen when you quit. No more telling yourself that what you have is “enough” when you know darn well it isn’t.

This isn’t going to be easy. Nothing ever is. But you have a choice right here and now: You can continue to feel the pain of doing what you don’t love, or you can move forward feeling the joy-filled pain of doing something you actually do love.

Either way, it’s going to be uncomfortable. Either way, it’s going to be uncertain. But it’s worth every single awkward twitch and burn. Decide. Only you can put yourself where you truly want to be, no one else.

Be brave. Take the leap. You’ll land on your feet. You always have.

 

http://www.nnybizmag.com/index.php/2016/11/22/11297/

A natural way of life: Adirondack beef Co. started to provide healthy food for family

From left, Adirondack Beef Co. owners and operators, Michele Ledoux, son, Jake, 20, a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, studying international agriculture and rural development; daughter, Camille, 17, a student at Beaver River High School and a member of the FFA, and husband Steve, co-owner.

From left, Adirondack Beef Co. owners and operators, Michele Ledoux, son, Jake, 20, a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, studying international agriculture and rural development; daughter, Camille, 17, a student at Beaver River High School and a member of the FFA, and husband Steve, co-owner.

[Read more…]

Strengthen your brand with Instagram

Jennifer McCluskey

Jennifer McCluskey

[Read more…]

Thank you, volunteers, for all you do

HOLLY BONAME n NNY BUSINESS In Jefferson County this year's recipients of the Macsherry Family Community Spirit Awards are Tops Family Markets and Heather White, left, With Richard Macsherry.

HOLLY BONAME n NNY BUSINESS
In Jefferson County this year’s recipients of the Macsherry Family Community Spirit Awards are Tops Family Markets and Heather White, left, With Richard Macsherry.

[Read more…]

Subtle, effective holiday season prep

Brooke Rouse

Brooke Rouse

Temperatures are dropping, days are getting shorter and before we know it people will be shopping for the holidays. As much as some of us don’t like the early launch of holiday decorations and products, there are some more subtle ways that your business can be prepared to make the most of the season.

Be top of mind

People may start their gift shopping this month or they may wait until the last minute. Now is the time to be sure potential customers know you exist so that when they’re ready or motivated, they think of YOU, not the Internet or the big box store.

Plan to increase your marketing now; don’t wait until the week of Thanksgiving or put it off to December. Be active on social media to feed photos of new products or services (or gift certificates) frequently and at least once a week. You may consider doing sponsored posts to new markets beyond your existing fans so that they will “like your page” and receive your posts over the next couple of months. Informing people of what you have to offer is the first best step.

Get them in the door

Now is the time to schedule an event at your shop. A “do-it yourself” workshop, a tasting of some sort, a ladies night, a book signing, a demonstration — anything you can come up with to get your business on community calendars and in the news. In addition to publicity, you also get people to come to your location, see what you have available and begin a relationship with you and your staff. It is all in the name of fun as well as getting people through the doors and into your shop, browsing and buying.

Entice them

Photos are the best way to share what you have to offer, whether it’s a unique product, a delicious meal or a perfectly detailed car — again, think gift certificates. Now is the time to take high quality photos of your products and services, or invest in a photographer to do an even better job. You will use those photos multiple times over the next few months, in print ads, on social media — Facebook and Instagram — and on your website.

Make shopping easy

Think about the many ways you can get your product to market MORE during the next few months. Perhaps extending your hours or opening an extra day will allow more people to shop after work or in their free time. If you have a website that allows for Internet sales, e-commerce, get your items updated, use those professional photos and make sure your online store is functioning, attractive and easy to use. Link the web address to your email signature and your Facebook page. Did you know you can install a “SHOP” button on your business Facebook page? Promote your online store in your brick and mortar store, too.

Reward your loyal customers

Be proactive about getting your existing customers to shop with you this holiday season. You can create a coupon or postcard to hand to them with their receipt. You can plan a customer appreciation holiday party and pop the VIP invitation into their bag as they check out. Your existing customers provide your best word of mouth advertising and if you continue to treat them well, they will shop with you this holiday season.

If you take these and other simple steps NOW to plan for the holidays, the busy season will be less stressful and more profitable. Good luck and happy holiday planning.


Brooke Rouse is executive director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Promotion Agent. She is a business owner, holds a master’s degree in tourism and is a former SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center Advisor. Contact her at brouse@stlawrencecountychamber.org or 386-4000.

Health: From the voices of vulnerable

Ian Grant WEB

Ian Grant

Are you curious about your blood pressure? There are devices for that and they’re popping up everywhere, even in local grocery stores. Do you need to assess your risk for developing type 2 diabetes? There is a simple test for that here: take-control.org. Want to investigate the burden of chronic disease in our region? There is a website for that — ncnyhealthcompass.org.

In our community, we have unprecedented access to a growing variety of personal health data and community health indicators. But suppose you wanted to investigate patients’ attitudes, behaviors, and experiences with health care? For that you must go directly to the patient, which is exactly what we did.

We called community residents on their cell-phones and landlines, and asked them questions about their personal health, lifestyles and socio-economic status. In the end, we talked to 1,800 men and women of the tri-county region from all age groups, income categories and educational backgrounds. From our group of 1,800 respondents, we found more than 230 individuals who live in very fragile economic conditions. This group spoke on behalf of those of us who live in poverty and are most in need of our support.

Census estimates inform us that the most recent 10-year poverty estimates for each of our three counties — 15 percent of the population in Jefferson; 13 percent in Lewis; 18 percent in St. Lawrence — are the highest they’ve been since the early ‘60s and ‘70s. This vulnerable and growing population typically suffers a disproportionate burden of poor health outcomes, low access to health care and insufficient social supports. To alleviate these burdens and develop an equitable health care system, we need a greater understanding of the scope of social and economic factors impacting their health.

Our 2016 Community Health Survey allowed us to explore these social and economic health determinants while confirming the county-level estimates of individuals impacted by poverty. The survey revealed that individuals with limited resources are 67 percent more likely to visit an emergency department and have a 27 percent higher rate of hospitalization than the general population.

Though there are numerous potential explanations for these higher emergency department visits and hospitalizations, the survey data established that these individuals are sicker than the general population. In fact, more than half of Medicaid enrollees reported a diagnosis of at least one of the following chronic conditions: diabetes, prediabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or obesity — while just 38 percent of non-Medicaid enrollees report having one of these illnesses.

In addition to battling the challenges of finding the appropriate level of health care, 43 percent of Medicaid enrollees expressed that they do not always understand the instructions they receive during a clinical appointment. Significantly fewer non-Medicaid enrollees — 31 percent — expressed similar challenges. Health literacy, or the ability to obtain, process, and understand health information to make informed health decisions, affects all economic classes but disproportionately affects impoverished members of our community. Low health literacy is associated with increased risk of mortality, poor overall health and lower rates of preventive screening and immunizations.

Arguably the most startling statistic from the survey indicates that only 29 percent of Medicaid enrollees have five or more close friendships, while 41 percent of non-enrollees enjoy the benefit of large social networks. In other words, more than 70 percent of the individuals living in poverty within our community do so while experiencing low levels of social engagement and isolation. Notably, high levels of positive social engagement are associated with improved physical health and mental well-being.

Documenting the voices of the vulnerable is only half of the battle. Our extensive network of partners — including community coalitions, local health departments, community health centers, hospitals and social services agencies — will leverage these findings to tackle these challenges. These stories will continue to motivate action by all sectors of our community. The data underscore our duty to support our vulnerable brothers and sisters.

To learn more about poverty and health in our community and how you can take control of your own health visit the North Country Health Compass at www.ncnyhealthcompass.org.


-Ian Grant is the population health program manager for Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, Watertown. Contact him at igrant@fdrhpo.org or 755-2020. Visit fdrhpo.org to learn more. A column from Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization staff appears every other month in NNY Business.

Opportunities for NY hemp production

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

Last June, the state Legislature passed legislation that allows for the transportation, processing, sale and distribution of hemp grown as part of New York’s research pilot program.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation into law, kicking off an opportunity for universities and colleges to partner with farms to establish research trials and businesses to produce industrial hemp. This action became permitted through the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill.

So what exactly is hemp?

According to the website hempbasics.com, hemp is primarily cannabis sativa, a species of the plant cannabis that grows wild throughout all 50 states. Cannabis sativa is grown for industrial use and has no drug properties because of its low THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, content. Cannabis indica is the species of cannabis commonly known as marijuana and has enough THC content to produce a psychoactive response.

Hemp was grown by Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and was a major American crop from 1776 to 1937. The plant is used in the production of fiber, which has antimicrobial properties. The fiber can then be made into twine and cordage, yarn, rope and webbing. It is reported that a single acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and lasts longer than cotton fiber.

Paper products may also be produced from hemp fiber, from tissue paper to cardboard. It takes two to four acres of trees to produce as much paper as an acre of hemp. Many websites reported that hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is as strong as wood.

Trees take many years to grow before they can be used for wood or fiber production. Hemp requires 120 days to grow before it is ready to harvest. A substance similar to cement can be made from the silica that is leached from the soil, combined with unslaked lime. This material is waterproof and fireproof.

Hemp seed oil provides essential fatty acids, lanolin and linolenic acids. You can purchase food items such as smoothies and have hemp seed oil added to enhance the nutritional benefit of the smoothie. Hemp oil is also being used in the production of body care products. The protein produced from hemp seed has the potential to produce tofu, veggie burgers and salad oils and can be ground into flour.

Hemp has potential for biomass production. Researchers are looking at hemp for biofuel production as 70 percent of the plant is the “hurd” or woody core of the plant. The oil from hemp may be used in biodiesel production.

With so many good uses of hemp, why is it not grown commercially across the United States?

Because it is difficult to visually distinguish between the different species of cannabis, prohibitions were put in place to prevent the growth of any cannabis species legally. Even though THC levels are extremely low in hemp, there was concern that it might be possible to extract THC from the plant. Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany have allowed hemp farming and commercial production.

The Germans use hemp fiber in composite automotive panels. Other countries are looking at hemp derivatives as a replacement for petroleum-based chemicals. Slowly, we are seeing the easing of regulations against growing hemp in the U.S., allowing this historically valuable plant to come into production again.

It appears there is a future for hemp production in the United States. There is reportedly a bill working through the state Legislature to allow full commercialization of hemp production.

The challenge will be to enforce laws that prohibit growing marijuana while allowing growth of hemp.

 

August 2016: Small Business Success

Understand options for crowdfunding

Jennifer McCluskey

Jennifer McCluskey

Crowdfunding, using various internet platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter to reach multiple investors, has been increasing by leaps and bounds over the last few years. So is crowdfunding a possibility for your business?

Certain types of products or businesses work better for crowdfunding than others. New and exciting businesses and products, nonprofits that can help people connect to a cause, or anything else that could get regular people excited to donate their hard-earned money may do well with crowdfunding. [Read more…]

August 2016: Business Tech Bytes

Health care IT advances across region

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

Health care IT is undoubtedly a north country industry that has seen scores of advances. This year, you have most likely found that health care providers have successfully transitioned from a primarily paper-based system to a technology-driven digital one.

Where consumer health care cost savings is questionable, better patient care, which allows patients to be more actively engaged in their own care and ultimately healthier, can be credited to these IT advances. [Read more…]

August 2016: Commerce Corner

Workplace wellness: It really can be fun

Brooke Rouse

Brooke Rouse

Many of us spend a long day sitting in front of a computer, eating lunch at our desks, and eventually feeling the negative impacts of this routine on our health and wellness. When you think about it, this daily practice is not normal. Even on your biggest “couch potato” day at home, it is unlikely that you will sit in a chair in front of a screen for eight hours straight, unless of course, there is a great series marathon on Netflix. [Read more…]