Monday, April 25, 2011

Prescription for a "Make it Count" Monday: Coffee and Aspirin with Dee Anna David

It's Monday. The week has just started out and you are almost done with your first day back at work. 

The pressure is on to make this week "the week"....the one where you actually finish that project you've been delaying, the one where you ask your boss for the raise you feel you are long overdue, the one where you finally book the trip you've been working hard towards (you know, the one you are saving for by sacrificing your Starbucks).

OR on the other hand, it could be just another Monday where time flies by and before you know it, Friday rolls around and you feel as though you have nothing to show for the past 7,200 minutes of your life. The choice is yours.


To help make this Monday different from the last, we have a little prescription courtesy of Dee Anna David. What's her remedy for making Mondays count?

Coffee and Aspirin. Learn more about Dee Anna and the role Coffee and Aspirin play in her daily life.


Who: I'm Dee Anna, a ten-year lifestyle media professional and writer paying rent in Los Angeles. Over the past decade I've traveled all over the country, made a lot of friends, and have had a lot of fun. I could tell stories from behind the proverbial velvet rope all day but now I'm on a mission to change the world, one socialite at a time, and teach people what I had to learn the hard way: The most important thing in life is not to count your blessings, but to share them.

I've finally been convinced to open up and share this behind-the-scenes look at life as I know it: travel, media, events, fashion, nightlife, my "deetours," and the projects and charities my friends and I are taking on in 2011 to fight poverty, AIDS, support disaster relief and most importantly initiate change by engaging the lifestyle and nightlife industry to join in our mission.
What: cof·fee \and\ as·pi·rin
Noun - A perfectly adequate substitute for sleep when a more than full-time profession in lifestyle media, wild travel schedule, ten-item new year resolution list and unbreakable love of nightlife doesn't allow much time for naps.

How it all got started: I am a very, very lucky girl.
Over the years, I have held an amazing career in lifestyle media, that has shuffled me all over the country, lead me to experiences many people will never have, see things many will never see, and make so many amazing friends all over the place. Everyone thinks their friends are amazing, but mine really are.

When my beyond perfect life suddenly fell apart at the end of 2008, I was at no shortage of support to turn to and help me put the pieces back together, a process that more than two years later is still in progress, but I’m getting there. And, when in the end of 2010 with my 30th birthday approaching, I decided to do a $5k fund-raising campaign for charity: water to fund a dedicated clean water well in the Central African Republic, the rush of support surprised even me.

My inner circle, my family, my mentor and my “best friend” in each of the four states I’ve at one point had my mail forwarded to, came through right away. But thanks to the overwhelming love and support from business associates, co-workers, every ex-boyfriend/old flame that ever meant anything to me except one (don’t judge him, we’re in a weird place), long lost friends and even a few surprise social media followers, I was able to shelve marketing tactics I had originally planned to use,  the goal was met ahead of schedule and turned out to be the first of many more charity projects to come … which leads me to, the list.

The Resolutions aka "The List": New year’s resolutions are important to me, partly because, I was born on New Year’s day. I’ve always had a doubly perspective that each year is a new chance to achieve anything and everything a person wants out of life. This year, I told myself that I would set goals that didn’t just have to do with my career path. I’ve already exceeded all of those. This year, my extensive list of goals would focus on happiness and fulfillment outside of just my career.

1. I will commit at least 5% of my take home earnings next year to charity and aim for 10%.

2. I will do at least 3 more charity projects this year. At least one will involve giving time, not just money. Projects I am contracted and paid for will not count.

I will not be a victim of my vices

3. I will get back on and use it daily to manage my spending and saving.

4. I am holding myself to a strict policy of how much clothes I am allowed to have at any time. When I am over my limit, I must donate some. I will not sell or consign any clothing or accessories this year unless it is for charity.

5. I will spend no more than half of what I spent in 2010 on clothing and accessories (baby steps).

6. I will cut down my caffeine intake. I am a huge coffee and Red Bull addict with a daily routine of one Starbucks and three Red Bulls each day. That will cut to half by summer and no more than an average of 1.5 per day by year’s end.

7. I will cut back on my drinking. I don’t drink as often as it looks like I do anyway. In my industry, I’ve had to learn to go out to all hours and stay sober. But when I do, I can overdo it. I have a small frame and a Mexican tolerance. Dangerous combination. I haven’t figured out how to make that quantitative yet.

I have spent the last several years in flight mode. When I go to sleep on New Year’s Eve 2011, I will know that I am where I belong.

8. I will get over my fear of driving and learn how to drive again (this ties to the beginning of what happened to me in 2008).

9. I will get over the past, my fears of hurt and let myself be open. Stop seeking out men with inherent flaws and stop pushing away the others. (Already this year I have failed at this one disastrously.)

10. The biggie. I will determine and settle in the city I see myself in long term. That place may or may not be Los Angeles. It most likely will not be Phoenix. Las Vegas, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and New York are all possibilities.

Bonus ongoing resolution: To every year, no matter what, always find a way to go to at least one, new locale to which I’ve never been and have one experience I’ve never experienced.

The Jaclyn of All Trades asked Dee Anna for some words of encouragement/wisdom with regard to shifting perspectives. Here's what she recommends.

"The most important thing in life is not to count your blessings, but to share them. I believe in karma and if you don't pay it forward, you will pay it back, but even more important than that, we are all here to share. 

In today's world, financial security is an immense blessing but if it isn't that then maybe it is time, or wisdom or love. We all have something to share to help improve the lives of others. Sharing your gift with others, not only makes them feel good, but it will always immediately benefit you as well. Sharing your gift is a good way to grow upon it. 

For me, it was a ten year experience in marketing as part of a team that helped me achieve my goal for charity: water, realize that I was capable of managing and succeeding in such a marketing campaign on my own, and this even lead me to a couple new friends I never would've met otherwise."

As you can see, Dee Anna is living proof of her wise words. She plans on launching another campaign for charity: water, a few weekends ago she ran as part of an ASU alumni team in support of the Pat Tillman foundation ( and her next stop will be a project in support of an organization called European Disasters Volunteers (

See? Told you I have the perfect "make it count" Monday remedy. Now, how are you going to make life count this week, next week and the many more weeks to come?

Share your comments, your tips, share your stories here. 

And for daily inspiration, reflections on life and some pretty phenomenal photos, be sure to check out Dee Anna's blog

Until we meet again,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

P.S---We made this Monday count by distributing an amazing startup story! Please check out the press release for, a job board, featuring careers in the corporate social responsibility and social enterprise sectors, that is launching next week, Monday May 2nd.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Entrepreneurial, Empire State of Mind Thanks To The Wix Lounge

Starting a new business is tough. And traveling to a distant city to expand a new business is downright terrifying especially when your main goal is to make new contacts.

As I discovered, trying to find a place to power up your laptop (aka "the true lifeline and soul source of potential revenue") for a start up business while in the Big Apple is nearly impossible.

Ask any entrepreneur, freelancer or business traveler what their opinion is with regard to working from coffee shops, big and small, in Manhattan and they will back me up on this--you either need to be grandfathered into your little nook or be willing to sit on the floor and swap your laptop batteries out every few hours.  One major coffee chain (that a lot of entrepreneurs have supported these past few years) is now covering their power outlets so that they can't be used by anyone. As if starting your business and paying $4.00 for coffee wasn't already stressful, right?

Affordable, self employment workspace in New York City is almost unheard of.....that was until the Wix Lounge came along and provided it...FOR FREE.

In addition to this FREE office space is FREE wireless Internet FREE hot coffee and FREE networking. And because of the Wix Lounge, I have connected with other dream chasers trying to take over the Empire State, one start up at a time.

Thanks to Wix--the online, flash website building platform which sponsors the space, the process of starting a business in this challenged economy has become less intimidating and even more inspiring in the Big Apple.

Working at the Wix Lounge where the Empire State Building is within plain sight
My maternal grandparents immigrated to New York City in the early '60s while I often joke that I immigrated to New York City in 2011. Manhattan is an entirely different animal compared to the hills of Hollywood by which I came. But the American dream evolved in this city; the city that never sleeps. And I want to be where my dreams can come true. Apparently, I am not alone.

Eager and anxious to slay the concrete jungle with my success, I took to the Internet to find a place where I could work and keep myself any one of these three things: motivated, grounded, focused. With the help of Google, I came across the Wix Lounge located at 10 West 18th Street centrally located near the Flatiron, Union Square and Chelsea. The website site said they provided free workspace. Unsure of what that really meant, let alone, what I should expect, I jumped on the crowded six train from uptown and headed towards the Empire State Building--the true symbol of success, power and style representative of New York's "make it anywhere" motto.

 Photo by: Jaclyn Mullen

What I found turned out to be more than I could have ever imagined, even for a girl coming to NYC from the land of motion pictures.

Entrepreneurs engage and encourage each other while working at the Wix
Working at the Wix Lounge has proven to be a breeze. There are a variety of start up companies within the walls, each mapping out their 5 year plans for success. People with their laptops type in unison while sitting at desks or on comfortable couches.

And talk about the people; tons of people frequent the lounge and work really hard. Week one, I met Victoria Monsul, the manager of Wix Lounge, and Rodney Williams Itier, Photographer for Getty Images. Week two, I met Julius D.C. Bryant, of Damien Christopher Model Agency. Week three, I met Zachary Held from Open Action, Mike from Holstee and Joshua Manley, founder of Idea Pinata.

Since my first visit nearly 10 weeks ago, I have flown back to LA to recharge and upon return to NYC, I continue to work from "the Wix."

At the Wix Lounge, I am never alone. Sure, as a solopreneur, I may be the only one putting the blood, sweat and tears into my company but while I do so, my working Wix friends are by my side simultaneously putting blood, sweat and tears into their companies too.

As a matter of fact, my "working at the Wix" crew now entails Charlie from, Andre Wagner (a photographer/fashion designer from Omaha, NE) and Raeven Western, founder of the blog

New York, the Big Apple, the Empire State. It may be known for breeding tough business people but the Wix Lounge proves that when the start up industry gets tough in Manhattan, the tough go to Wix and get to work. I hope to see you there soon.

This post is merely the beginning of more "Working at the Wix" start up stories. If you would like to gain personal exposure for your startup and blog, email

She will be hand selecting a new "Working at the Wix" story to feature each week in the newsletter.

In closing, be sure to leave a comment in this post with your name, website and Twitter handle so we can all continue to connect amongst the concrete jungle.

Signing off ,
Founder of

Do you have a start up story to tell? The Jaclyn of All Trades is compiling a series and we want your tips! In need of some social media help? Email or follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen 

You can also follow @WixLounge on Twitter too

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lessons from A Legend: Sweating Sucess with Richard Simmons

Last Saturday, I experienced something beyond my wildest dreams. 

I worked out with Richard Simmons, (yes "Sweating to the Oldies" Richard Simmons), at his studio in Beverly Hills, CA.

Eight days later, I am still in shock that I was able to experience a Richard Simmons workout live, no VHS tapes or DVD's present.

And in one hour and fifteen minutes, not only had I worked up a sweat and burned approximately 400-500 calories but I stood in the company of greatness. Throughout the entire workout, comprised of leg lifts, cha cha's and jumping jacks, I watched an entrepreneurial living legend of success and individuality smile at myself and nearly 65 strangers as we worked our cookie consuming butts off. And it was through this living legend that I was reminded about the importance of positive energy, helping people and having fun while on the path to achieving one's dreams. This, ladies and gentleman, is a lesson I'd like to share with you.

Richard Simmons and I have a lot in common
Ever since I was a child, it has always been my desire to be a true Hollywood celebrity inclusive of a star on the walk of fame, famous friends and owning a profitable, celebrity brand business. Wow, you might say to yourself. Why all the glitz and glamour?

For me, it was never about fame or wealth--it was about the possibility of performing and bringing happiness to people. I had always wanted to pursue a career that would remind me I was alive everyday by allowing me to sing, dance and have fun for a living.

Richard's not the only one who likes to dress up
The Jaclyn of All Trades, sometime in the 90's

At twenty-nine, things aren't quite as I had envisioned them. They are still a work in progress. A big, huge, daily work in progress--something I had not considered when I was a child. With maturity on my side, I look back and realize that many a time throughout my twenties, I have taken detours to my dream.

As a matter of fact, yesterday, I read some of the journal entries I've been carting around for ten years and am surprised at the consistency of patterns towards achieving my goals.

"This year, I want to take more dance classes."
"This year, I will write and record more songs."
"This year, I will sign up for acting class."
"This year, I will build a blog."
"This year, by golly, I will be a successful entrepreneur."

And if it wasn't for the encouragement of Richard Simmons last week, I'd probably continue to be frustrated with myself and dissatisfied at the amount of time it is taking me to make my dreams come true. When wise people say, "patience is a virtue" they should follow that up with "which will hopefully pay off over the investment of it in another 15 years."

Words of Wisdom from Richard Simmons
Almost everyone over the age of eighteen knows who Richard Simmons is and why is that? Because he has done such a great job of establishing his identity and individuality! As soon as you hear that name, you think of this energetic, daisy duke wearing dude who is famous for helping people lose weight.

And talk about being a successful entrepreneur. Richard has been touted as one of the Top Ten Pitchmen due to the success of his aerobic videos, books, apparel and appearances.

Despite his rise to fame occurring in the 80's and 90's, these positive associations with Richard Simmons still ring true in 2011. He has not allowed critics or people poking fun at him change who he is and his fans love him for that. The hair, short shorts and signature energy have not changed one bit at all no matter the decade.

For that reason, it came as no surprise to me last Saturday to arrive at the "Slimmons Studio" and find 63 people waiting before me. The place was packed and as soon as the magic doors to the exercise room opened, everyone ran like race horses to get in.

My roommate and I secured a spot towards the back of the studio, right under the shiny, swirling disco ball. Richard, dressed up as a pink poodle, greeted the whole class with amazing energy and presence (not to mention body rocking, bass pumping music).

For a second, I totally forgot I was in a workout class and felt more like I was in a music video. This thought seemed to be the group consensus--people of all ages, sizes and genders were smiling from ear to ear despite the river of sweat running down everyone's bodies. And that's when I got it, the secret to Richards success. He has and will always be true to himself and his way of being which is why people gravitate towards him. There are only so many ways we can workout--the Richard Simmons way includes his sense of humor, rhythm inducing pop music and connecting with other people throughout the process. Out of all the workouts I have ever done, Richard's was the one I will remember most and long to do over and over again. Following the killer cardio combo came weight lifting, push ups and words of wisdom.

"Don't let anybody kill your dream," he said to the class as we sat down to stretch. "It was my dream to help people, open this studio, to write books and I wasn't initially accepted in Hollywood. But I had hope and didn't give up. Neither should you."

I never thought a workout with Richard Simmons would occur in my lifetime but it sure was a fitting experience given my childhood dream. As I sat there staring at him in awe of what he had done for my body and my soul that day, I realized that we never stop living our dreams. Here was Richard Simmons, quite possibly sixty years old and extremely successful, still pursuing what he loves; still living his DREAM.

And maybe, just like me, you feel that your dream hasn't happened....yet.

Or maybe you gave up on it a long time ago. Maybe you wonder why I always blog about dreams and goals and inspiration? And the answer is that this blog acts as my compass and map. One day when I make it, I'll have the proof that hard work pays off. I'll have hoped by then that you've simultaneously achieved your dream too.

Richard Simmons, with his signature style and music and dance moves, has managed to remain relevant and influential after all this time. And maybe, just maybe, it's because he continues to believe in himself and refuses to give up.

Thank you Richard for getting me back in touch with the little girl who wasn't afraid to put on a pink tutu and dream big. I'm going to keep at it, whether I am 29, 39, or 59. Thank you for wearing that pink poodle outfit last Saturday which reminded me of her.

And for the people that read this blog, I hope this post recharges you. Go out there today and give life your very best. Pump up that bass filled music, add a little sparkle to your outfit and push yourself to make the routine of life just a little bit more fun.

Signing off this "sweat success" Sunday,

The Jaclyn of All Trades

In an effort to provide you with more content, I will be featuring guest posts from other entrepreneurs and bloggers in the upcoming few weeks. Everyone has a story, I am happy to share them with you! If you are interested in guest blogging, email: or follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life Is Not A One Way Tweet--How #Blogchat Inspired a Guest Posting Invitation

We've all heard the expression: Life is not a one way street. No matter our political preferences, tastes in music, or ethnic origins, people in general like when there is a give and take to any relationship.

Social Media is very similar. Chances are you've come across that one person on Facebook that updates every their single meal, wrong turn on the highway and article of clothing they have worn on any given day. Don't you just sometimes wish they'd stop and say "How's everyone else doing today" or maybe even mention some great way you can get involved in an activity to make the world a better place? Life is not a one way tweet, blog post and status updates are the same for that matter.

That's just my preference for social media use but I really believe in this digital age where it's becoming easier to communicate, it is also easier to develop one sided communications.

Life Is Not A One Way Tweet--Practice Makes Perfect
Realizing how often I send a text message or email lacking some sort of engaging question which would illicit a response from the recipient, I have recently tried to make a habit of creating conversations...everywhere. At the grocery store, I now say hi to everyone and ask how their day is going. Online, I leave comments on various people's blog posts and recently I have gone as far as meeting up with my online contacts in person to discuss our life's purpose and how we can support eachother.

Well guess what? This whole, "Life is not a one way tweet" approach is working! Instead of just empty, one sided communications, I am making contact and want to encourage you to do the same. The rewards can be quite fulfilling.

Take this scenario
As a result of reaching out to a fellow blogger I met through #Blogchat on Twitter, I connected with a new friend from Chicago, IL.

Justice Wordlaw published a post back in March about the five things he'd learned last month which compelled me to comment on his blog about what I learned too. That led to Justice checking out the Jaclyn of All Trades blog which further resulted in an invitation for me to contribute as a guest blogger to his site.

And just like that, I wrote an article entitled "The Starting Path To Becoming An Established Entrepreneur" which has successfully been shared through Twitter and Facebook.

The moral of the story here is that both Justice and myself were willing to engage in a "two way tweet" conversation. To add, this point isn't just about Facebook, or Twitter, or blogging. It's about life, human connection, interaction. Who was the last person you tried to communicate with? What did you ask them? What recent two way street have you created in your life recently? Please share!

As a result of this experience, I am now going to reach out to the individuals that shared the article via Twitter. That's right. Aside from thanking Justice (Twitter @justicewordlaw) I also want to thank:

Onye Akpala 
John Cridland
Jane Rushton
John M. Anderson 
A Cass

All this social media stuff isn't just for us to sit around and waste time behind a screen. You gotta admit, it feels good to get back in touch with childhood friends, to share a funny experience that happened to you in the hopes it will bring humor to others or, in my case, to pursue a passion for writing which has led to meeting many great new people along the way.

Here's to another day connecting with the world.


The Jaclyn of All Trades

Do you want to use social media to contribute to the disaster relief in Japan?

Check out the Scene PR "Auction for Hope" taking place now through April 28th. Proceeds benefit the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fun. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nutrition for Your Soul When Sucess Equals Stress

Do you ever have those days where you feel amazingly, astonishingly productive but overwhelmed at the same time?

Your heart races, your head spins and somehow minutes turn into hours. I suppose the feeling I am describing is equivalent to that of hiking the highest mountain; adrenaline pumping disbelief meets a combination of your sappy self functioning on total sleep deprivation.

Wait, what did you say Sarah Jessica Parker voice that I hear through this blog?

That's the feeling of: SUCCESS? 

Are you sure? 

Why does it always seem to be that the actions associated with success often equal STRESS?

Now, I am not talking about stress in a "bad" context. Admittedly, stress is a huge source of many people's motivation.

Stress creates a sense of urgency when you need to meet a deadline. It can help provide that extra push you need to make sure you aren't late to a meeting. We experience stress so subliminally that it takes a lot more to stress us out then it should. To add to this, many of us experience the symptoms of stress--headaches, loss of energy and appetite, grinding our teeth, insert your stressful symptom (___________)--without even realizing that any of those things have occurred until the work day is done. And, we collapse into bed.

Sucess Equals Stress Examined Further
Is this an ideal imposed on us by society or worse, by ourselves? Can we celebrate a day that does not start off with formulating the "to-do" list, working through the "to-do" list then thinking about the next "to-do" list while we have yet to finish calling, faxing, emailing, texting and tweeting? (some people still fax!)

What can we do to shift the energy from stress into the positive energy force of momentum?

The Jaclyn of All Trades acronym for MOMENTUM is:
Making Opportunities Match Expectations Necessary To Unleash Magic

I shift the gears into momentum mode by seeking "nutrition for my soul."

Yes, you heard correct. When I need to be less stressed, I look for things I can listen to or read that revert me back to childhood when stress wasn't on the daily menu. Back then, life was about having fun, dreaming big and exploring childlike wonder.

As an adult, nutrition for my soul helps reorganize the way I spend my energy by placing the concept of time into total perspective so that life is fun again.

And my most recent favorite source of this soulful juice is the Holstee Manifesto.

Beautiful, right? Read it again. How do you feel? A little less.....stressed?

The brains behind the Holstee manifesto definitely practice what they preach. As their website points out, "Holstee began as a dream (that it's founders) Mike, Dave and Fabian had to create a lifestyle for themselves - a lifestyle which reflects their manifesto. Holstee designs and curates with the hopes that each product and its inherent story inspires others to follow their dream. A closely knit community of fans has been growing around Holstee products, curated items, the music they listen to, and experiences they share."

When I need to be recharged, when my momentum is starting to diminish, I pick any one of the quotes from above and apply them in the appropriate context to the actions of my daily life.

Which of the quotes above really speaks to you? Do you think the actions of success equal stress? What do you do to manage it all? Inquiring minds would like to know, we can all benefit by learning from eachother.

All in all, I hope you like the Holstee Manifesto as much as I do. I hope it replenishes you in the areas you need most. It's mid week. We still have those goals to accomplish. Celebrate each step and stride and even if you fall short or get off track, remember: "Getting lost will help you find yourself." Or at least help you find some nutrition for your soul.

Signing off,

The Jaclyn of All Trades 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Motivational Monday's "Secrets of Adulthood"

At the tender age of twenty-nine, I think I am finally grasping the concept of adulthood. Add to that the concept of not worrying; of being happy. Happy like the song, "Don't Worry Be Happy." Happy like the book, "The Happiness Project" inspires.

Just how have I made this transition? Below are my personal secrets of adulthood.
  1. You're never too old to enjoy some childlike fun whether that be playing a video game, a round of mini golf or watching cartoons. 
  2. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." One of many great quotes from Randy Pausch. 
  3. There is a legitimate reason why you should be at the airport two hours before your flight. Prepare for the unexpected. As they say, it is ALWAYS better to be early than late.
  4. To add to that, bring a cell phone charger and back up battery no matter where you go.
  5. Keep up with reading. Just as we exercise our bodies, we need to exercise our brains too and reading is mental exercise. 
  6. Try to always take the high road. Notice the word "try." Sure, it may be hard but two wrongs never make a right. Work on being the bigger person, the universe will reward you for it. 
  8. Money can't buy you happiness but it can help you get out of an unhappy situation so be sure to spend smart and save. 
  9. You will see who is really there for you when you go through a tough time. Keep these people close to you and be there for them when they need you too. 
  10. Always have a stash of napkins in your glove compartment just in case of an emergency spill. This may sound silly (until you spill something in your car and can't wipe it up!)
  11. Every now and then, you will need to cry and that is ok. 
  12. If you're on time, you are late. If you are five minutes early, you are on time. 
  13. Spend time with children. They'll remind you to stay patient and inquisitive; to keep your dreams alive. 
  14. You are what you eat and drink so choose wisely. 
  15. There is no need (nor is there any room) to compete with anyone other than yourself. 
  16. If at first you don't succeed, pick yourself back up. Dust yourself off. And then, try again.
  17. Keep an open mind. Just because something doesn't interest you initially, doesn't mean it won't interest you ever. Expand your horizons and evolve.
  18. Plan, execute, evaluate. Then plan again.
  19. Vitamin C, oil of oregano and Culturelle probiotics are my recipe for supreme health. 
  20. A cup of coffee can make life just a little bit easier.
Please feel free to add your own Secrets of Adulthood. We can always learn from one another.

Feel free to share these as well. All in all, I just want to say that I sincerely thank you for reading my blog and I hope you feel empowered this Motivational Monday. Make it count!

Signing off,

The Jaclyn of All Trades