Category Archives: The Business of Life

My favorite curse word starts with a P and it is not Patience

Are you wondering what four letter word that Ms. Annie Sells is admitting to as her favorite curse word?

Well, I am not going to tell you. Instead we are going to take an honest look at what really should be a curse word to many of us.

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If you type patience into Google, then your first hit will be the definition.

pa·tience ˈpāSHəns’ – a noun: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

You will also find this Wikipedia definition.

Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.

If you are a faith-based person you might look up the definition in a King James Version of the Holy Bible. Ecclesiastes 7:8 reads like this.

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Keep your cool. Not letting your blood pressure top out, your voice raise, your heart race, and all those other grand reactions, which we are prone to when things do not go our way is simple. Yes I said simple, not easy.

There are two steps to finding patience. Step 1) Breathe. Step 2) Wait.

So a betting man (or woman) might say that patience is not just a virtue preached to us and explained in Google and Wikipedia, but patience pays!

So breathe and wait for your payday!

“Write without …

A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain t...
A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain taken by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907. See also other photographs of Mark Twain by A. F. Bradley taken in March 1907 in New York on Mark Twain Project Online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.” Mark Twain

Mark Twain wrote “Write …”

Apply yourself to what you love. The rest will come through discipline. What are you applying yourself to?

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

Allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree

A - Z Tree

October, 2013:  I, Ms. Annie Sells, wish to share a very special tree friend with you. I know that this is not Saturday morning cartoons, but the tree pictured here is very important to my family.

This tree lives in the corner of the parking lot at our local Boys and Girls Club. Hundreds of children walk past it daily.  Thousands of automobiles drive past it daily.  This tree lives wedged between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk. Ick!!

I frequently tell friends that I prefer not to live in the city because there are too many people, too much noise, too much concrete, and not enough trees!  Yesterday, we touched on “being a survivor.”  This tree that my family calls the A – Z tree is in fact, a survivor!  Any living thing that can live on a tiny piece of land between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk has determination to live, like no other!

Now, you may ask me why this tree is important to my family?

Several reasons in fact.  The first of them is that my son is 8 and developing his independence, as well he should, and I am 32 trying to develop mine from him.  But this is where we meet in the middle – literally.  Daily my son’s cues are given in relation to this tree.  Will he walk past this tree to the Boys and Girls Club?  Will he meet me under this tree, get picked up early, and come to work with me at my office?  Will he get picked up early, go for ice cream, and then come home for me to work from home?  Or will he meet me under the tree for me to take him to one of his soccer games?

I travel a lot for work and when I get back into town, if it is before 6 PM, I do not drive home.  I race the clock to get to this tree, because this is where my son knows that he can find me.

I have shared my family’s story with this tree, but there are likely so many more. Trees provide us with fresh air, but they also provide us with a safe place to be.  They shade us from the sun and they are solid. Daily my son looks for me, no matter the arrangements we made, hoping to see my green jeep parked under this tree.

I am A, my son is Z, so ladies and gentlemen please allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree.  Have a wonderful day!

The air crisps, the roses fade, and fall approaches quickly

Today, October 3, 2012 I awoke earlier than normal and found the air crisp and after loading the coffee pot quickly got dressed to ward off the chill. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t cold in my house, but it wasn’t warm either.

After getting my first cup of coffee in one of Grandma’s coffee cups I sat down at my desk and realized that the roses I had cut and placed there were faded. This brought a smile to my face.

2013-10-03 07.17.28

Often (probably too often) I share pictures from my gardens.  It seems that I now have over a dozen varieties of roses and hundreds of pounds of canna lilies. I didn’t plan this assortment of flowers, these are just those that have survived the many cycles of life.

Sometimes the summers are “too hot” or “too long” or the winters are “too cold” or “come too early” or “come too late.” My roses and lilies have fared the best. They are the resounding survivors.

With all the current unrest over the “government shutdown,” the recent overwhelming changes in my professional career, and the overwhelming losses of loved ones in my family over the last several months I have had to consciously take pause and find comfort in these basic things.

When you find yourself in a similar place, what do you turn to?

Spring 2013 Without Shirley L. Watkins


Spring is the new beginning we all share each and every year. It is the time when the bitter cold, freezing rain, death, and desolation of the winter passes away. The birds begin to sing, the daffodils bloom, and the crops take root. Generally speaking, I am tripping over myself with excitement about the arrival of Spring and the possibilities that come with it.

I usually find myself chomping at the bit waiting for the next sale paper for the local Yeager’s, Lowe’s, Sutherland’s, Home Depot, and the Mulch and More. I actually let myself miss the opportunity to purchase top soil at $1.00 for a 40 pound bag times 20!

By now the seedling pallets are usually springing to life in the bedroom floor. The first new raised bed is usually built and a new year of mulch going down. Most years I would have an assortment of bedding diagrams with complex plans for what will go where completed and waiting.

Spring 2013 is different than the the last 31 of my life. This is the first Spring without my Master Gardener Grandma Shirley L. Watkins. She talked about the coming spring until the very end of her life and her final struggle. She made it until the daffodils began to bloom, but then moved on. I know from my study of life stages and psychology that it is normal for my loss of her to affect other areas of my life, but if she were still here I don’t think she would smile on my lack of dedication to our stewardship of this world.

Therefore, I think she would agree that it is time to get to work. The first step was cleaning up the yards last week and burning last year’s yard refuse and then cutting the grass yesterday. The next step is to get that next raised bed built, filled with dirt, and plants transplanted. This year we will have to skip the seedling process and purchase nursery stock: Farmer’s Co-op and Neumeier’s Nursery & Florist here I come!

The Power of Vulnerability & My Girl

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability #TED:

Good Saturday!

For my regular readers, friends and family, those who know me well, you know my favorite time is Saturday and Sunday mornings. I don’t wish to speak to anyone until half a pot of coffee and at least noon. When I say I will cook breakfast, you know that means lunch. This is my time to let down and recharge.

This morning allow to invest this time into telling you a story:
For my birthday, just passed, my best girlfriend bought me a beautiful Victoria Secret robe. I beamed with appreciation and special fondness for my friend. Her perception and love are embodied in the beautiful gift that she presented me with. But it is not the material gift that she gave me that is the point of this story. My friend is. She is a beautiful person, who by chance came into my life.


The first time I met her, I had just borrowed a behemoth of tiller from a neighbor. My husband had moved out my baby Wal-Mart swimming pool and built me a huge above ground pool, with the help of several close friends and family. The children and I did most of the dirt work, but I had a bald spot in my yard from the first pool. It was the cherry spot for a vegetable patch, because no grass had grown there for years. The ground was rich from years and years of sediment. It was in the gas and electric easement. So I decided it was time to take this fallow land, break it up and enrich it with fertilizer, weed preventer, and saw dust.

I had been behind that machine for long enough to tear through all the layers of hide on my hands, but was determined to get the job done. My girl, then a stranger, came over with her boyfriend, my husband’s best friend and we had never met. When she saw what I was doing, she offered to help. Of course I was shocked, but said okay sure. She hung with me for the rest of the day. Not only did we break up the ground, but repurposed old landscape timbers and built a 20 X 20, 4 timber high raised vegetable garden. As we sat exhausted, but with a sense of accomplishment, I thanked her for her help and told her bluntly that we could not be friends. She looked at me like I was crazy and asked why not.

I told my girl that because she was dating my husband’s best friend that it just would not work. I had been down that road and lost close friends and even family, because of changing situations and alliances, as it were. I had experienced that heart break, was still dealing with it and was unwilling to go there again. She respectfully disagreed. That was a year ago. Since that day, my girl has become one of the most important people in my life.

Besides being willing to jump in and help with anything, why is this woman so special? She prejudges no one. She accepts broken people for who they are. She gives freely of her time, herself and whatever she has. She can talk to you all day and all night or sit quietly for hours. She is content in her own skin. But most importantly she is both strong and vulnerable. It is those two qualities combined that make her a phenomenal person.

Please watch the video I shared above and think about your life and the people in it. I challenge you to let go of your shame and know the worthiness within yourself and the people in your life. Life is about connecting. Start now. You will be blessed for it.

CV – You mean RV? Resume’ – You mean Get Going Again?

Okay I know; I am gushing! But I have been waiting for weeks, for the newest version of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation and they arrived together just in time for my birthday. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to Ms. Annie Sells!


I owe about 100 thank you’s to all the friends and family that reached out to make me feel loved and appreciated on the celebration of my birth. I owe the biggest thank you, to Chris and Z who made it clear that they love me without measure and wanted me to know it on my special day. But I owe a big thank you to these authors for rekindling a spark in me!


I have spent time “on-line” forever and was one of the first people I know to do AOL, to get a Yahoo account, I was on MyLife way before it was MyLife and I still slink around MeetMe which of course used to be My Yearbook. I remember when chat rooms were thought to never take on. Of course I have seen many more come and go. I miss Threadsy. 😦

I have advocated for online learning for over a decade and every degree and certification that trails my name was earned online. I respect and love higher education, but firmly believe that if colleges and universities don’t come a lot further very quickly, toward embracing distance and online learning that future generations will suffer.

However, I did not need to tell you any of this, because it is all out here on the world wide web for your viewing pleasure. Do a search for “Ms. Annie Sells” and you will find a lot, but do another search for “Ms. Annie Sells, social media” or “Ms. Annie Sells, Fort Smith” and you would be entertained for a while

I have tripped my way through a lot of trial and error just like Trust Agents and Thought Leaders. We are the guinea pigs that are testing everything and putting ourselves on the line, so that we can learn for ourselves and teach as many of our friends and colleagues who are willing and interested in learning. Trust me, if you take this route you will not need a resume’ or CV either.


Ms. Annie Sells