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  • Writer's pictureRyan & Ally Gerken

Google Doc Turned Gold Mine ❤️

In 2018 when Ryan and I were living in our house and survived him losing his job two weeks after we had our second baby girl, it was time for us to adult again and transition ourselves out of survival mode. We honestly didn’t think my two jobs would sustain us, and the stress of that made 2017 a tough year – it’s also the year Ryan’s doctor told him he was getting fat (or his Dad-bod as we like to call it).

One of the things I started to do on my journey to a better life was self-help everything until I found things that worked for me - still a continuous work in progress! One of the things I found that worked was a podcast called Courage & Clarity, consisting of one-part inspiration and one-part strategy to accomplish your goals. I loved the podcast for its straightforwardness and implementation tools BUT probably even more for the fact that I could tell the author was from somewhere near Chicago. That accent! Yes, it’s true ya’ll have them and I miss them and the subtle reminder of where we once lived, sometimes more than deep dish pizza & Sunday soup!

Somewhere in 2018 I actually started believing I could be like some of the women on this podcast I was listening to; accomplished entrepreneurs. I needed a starting point, I knew Ryan and I wanted to work for ourselves, I knew we wanted to be in the Hemp/Cannabis industry, I knew we worked well together, and therefore knew if we could figure out how to start we would make it work. One tip from my podcast was know where you are and know where you need to be to keep living life the way you need. Ta-Da, my 8 Year Financial Development plan was born.

Still to this day, this is probably my most prized piece of work, though it has taken several overhauls these past three years. It is my work-baby, my pride and joy! What started out as a list of where Ryan and I were receiving money in 2017, to how much money we needed to live our life, to what our ideal revenue streams would look like eight years from then; transformed into every entrepreneurial idea I ever had and yes I added Ryan’s in too! Though his were and are still much less complex than mine – that yin & yang thing ☺️.

It is a list that went away for a while, it sat unorganized in my Google docs because I honestly didn’t know the tool I had created and how powerful it was. One day I opened my Google docs and began organizing my files and I stumbled upon my list – my wish list – a list of very aggressive goals that I am not sure I believed I could do when I wrote them down. And then, as I began organizing the list, not only did I find LOTS of duplication BUT I found that I had accomplished some of my goals!

When I started my first job in what I consider my career, a job at a hospital with a badge that had my picture on it and a regular work week with weekends. I remembered walking up this torturous hill, that just like that Chicago style accent, I really really miss somedays now. Anyhow, walking up this hill I looked down at my badge, I think I was on my way to orientation, and this little voice in my head said, “you did it Ally”!

Did what you might ask? Well when my Grandpa was regularly in the hospital I would visit often. I loved eating at the hospital cafeteria – they had the best grilled cheese. I told myself – one day you will work at a hospital and eat grilled cheese. Also, I remember my Dad had a badge on his hip with his photo on it for work, my Dad is an accomplished man, and that badge, I viewed as a measure of success. I told myself – one day you will have a badge with your photo on it that opens doors!

Many doors have sense opened, and when re-organizing my 8 Year Financial Development Plan and hearing that voice go off over and over again saying “you did it – you did this” boar my love for this spreadsheet. There are still a lot more boxes unchecked than checked and I am so far from where I want to be with certain things in my life (more on that later) but I bare a lot more self-efficacy around knowing that “I can”.

We all need to tell ourselves "I can" a lot more than we do, we need to hold space for others so that they can, and we need to believe people are good ❤ .

Be Kind. Be Positive.


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This is where my time and attention has gone as of late, but I am very happy to be writing again! I only moved a few of the blogs over, so if your favorite is missing - DM us.

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