Do you make lists? I do. I love the feeling of crossing off items on a long list that seems like it will never end. It is magnificent to get to the end of a long day and know that you’ve accomplished more than your fair share of projects or errands. I just had one of those beautiful days. When I look at the clock and see the day winding down … I smile a little to myself as I cross off the last item because I know that I mean business. Not every day goes that smoothly. There are times that I make a list and, because of one thing or another, I never seem to get anywhere. Then that darn list sits on my desk taunting me. I add everything to my list from “run four miles,” to “stop at the grocery store,” to “meet with a new client.” It’s difficult to separate my world into personal and business. They are so integrated. Recently, the “getting down to business” sensation has been made even more possible because I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m. to work out. I am not necessarily a morning person. In fact, I wish it were not necessary. But there is something to be said for crossing the first thing off the list before most people are out of bed. It’s a struggle … sleep or get half-marathon-running-ready. I guess it takes balance. We’re always looking for it. There’s the yoga class for beginners that teaches us balance with our bodies and minds. There’s the family who needs us and the office that never seems to have everything it needs. Balance. It is elusive. This month we celebrate the women who go out every day and with all they have seeking the best of all worlds. They truly mean business. Kiffi Ford certainly does. She is a partner at a prestigious law firm in Lansing, the mother of two active little boys and wife to a successful, busy husband. Some days, like most of us, I’m sure she wonders if it will ever get easier. If Kiffi were anything like me, she wouldn’t know what to do with a lot of time on her hands. My husband always says that I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s probably right. Just when I think I couldn’t be busier, I add another new project. It reminds me of those balance experts at the circus. They balance on a chair, add a few sticks and a set of china. It’s always wobbly, but it never seems to fall. I feel like I’m pushing the limit. One more plate … no worries, right? As I keep adding, this year the magazine has invited the women in our community to golf at the first annual CAWLM Lady Classic. (I hope to see you there!) I also decided to train for the Capital City River Run (CCRR), which will be held on September 27. It has been interesting trying to fit the many hours of hard work it takes into my daily schedule. The CCRR benefits the Impression 5 Science Center in downtown Lansing. Really, this race supports two great causes — the museum and my health. I have to take care of myself, because this is going to be an even busier year than usual. My oldest son graduates from high school. Beyond the senior pictures, events, trips and so many other things, I have to get my house ready to host the open house next summer. There are so many projects that I have been procrastinating on for the last five years. Oh well, I work better under pressure, right? I’ve also taken up a few new causes, because we shouldn’t focus all our efforts on ourselves. It is so important to be thankful for all the blessings we have and share our talents and treasures with others. I went out with my CAWLM team and my family to take part in the most recent ePIFany Now party. We spent three hours performing random acts of kindness in the community. It was so much fun and really gives a person perspective. Bob Hoffman, public relations director at the Wharton Center, thought this up one day and brought it to fruition with the help of a solid volunteer team. They are really passing it forward. When I think about passing it forward, my mind goes to one of my favorite people of all time — my grandma. She recently passed away. It has been an extremely challenging time for my family and me. But, if there were ever a lady who meant business, it was she. My grandma taught me so much. She was strong yet soft, loving and smart. She had business savvy and simply didn’t take guff from anyone. She definitely wouldn’t have been bullied into anything. In the end, my grandma died the way she lived — her way. She wanted to be at home. Hospice services were called in to make that happen for her. She lived in Phoenix, and I’ve chosen to pass it forward right here and have volunteered some of my services to help the local Sparrow Hospice. They are holding the Hike for Hospice on October 4 in Hawk Island Park beginning at 11 a.m. I hope individuals in our community support the amazing work done by Sparrow Hospice. However you’re spending time this month, I know you’ll go after it with all you have. After all, Mid-Michigan women always mean business.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.