Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28th 2013

The trees are bare and the grounds are covered with snow around our house. We moved since the last time I started writing my first blog.  A lot has happened, we moved, we got married right in our backyard, we adopted two cats from the local animal rescue. Dreams do come true and these all did. However I am looking to find a job which can excite the passion I have inside.  I am hoping this blog will ultimately rekindle some thoughts and some new directions.
It's Thursday morning here in West Des Moines Iowa, I am thinking of the steps I need to take to find what I am looking for. Vision board... I need to update mine...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Thoughts and the (Unspoken) Unwritten

It's been a while since I last wrote. Writing is a process and writing it sounds cliche, I know. Today at 5ish in the a.m.I decided to talk to you again. What happened since our last time, when I was writing and you were reading me?

Well I helped a friend move after her spouse passed away from cancer. I went on several long bike rides and enjoy the saddle again. I started up tutoring French one on one which I love because I get a chance to help my students learn the language based on their specific needs and interests. Sometimes teaching a class of 19 like my last one is challenging. I love the one-on-one of teaching. Also I completed a Translator Workshop at our local Community College here in Des Moines.

Updating my composite pictures with my agent worked, I landed a nice contract month back and took part in a large campaign for a national energy company. The last time I heard it will be featured on television as well as newspaper ads, it should be coming soon. I am very excited, on the day of the photoshoot I had my own personal make-up artist and it felt very glamour. And, I am "still on the skywalk downtown Des Moines", on this big sticker poster and it's funny to see myself when I drive downtown.

I spent quite some time the past few weeks, reshaping the landscape of my life. It's my 35 year, it's an important one. I feels like I have been grooming for years. In an economy where a lot of people in the U.S struggle I count every day what I am lucky for and always tell the people I love right now why I love them so much and remind them also that sometimes letting certain people in your life is a sincere choice.

In the world of social media where everyone is your friend and by looking at pictures of others lives, we flirt with envy, as Melvin Udall said in As Good As It Gets (one my fav movies)

"Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good"

I believe that I have achieved more in my life when I spent time working on what I wanted in my life rather than what others had better in theirs. Wealth has increased for me since the beginning of this blog.
  •  Assessed all my current assets
  •  Set up financial goals for this two Q for the rest of the year
  •  Also Met with my CFP great guy earlier this year
  •  Diversified my sources of income (creative ways to supplement income, why settle for dull)
  •  Make choices based on what will make me healthy, happy and accomplished
  •  Use all the tools proven successful for my latest accomplishments and find new ones (read the HRB)
  •  Refine my craft, over and over and over and over, make it better
  •  Learn new vocabulary regarding finance
  •  Talk to my team (my ex-husband, my boyfriend, my best girlfriend, my mentors)
  •  Stay true to myself - gut feeling + faith + confidence + serenity
My focus areas:

  • Map screenplay
  • Outline for the Etiquette book
  • Secure modeling contracts
  • Secure 3 -4 more private one on one French tutoring classes per week
  • STICK TO my military calendar for exercising, training
  • Get the side of my car fixed
  • Register for a  3 credit Community College Creative Writing class
  • Register for Adult ballet Classes (since my French Mom passing away I never stepped foot in a ballet studio, I almost went pro to Paris)
  • Update my modeling portfolio and resume
  • Update my current resume
Time to sign and get the day moving, my cold is finally over, my nose is still stuffy but it all today my mind has spoken!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How this Second day was My First Time

Smart Start II, I completed my first official Forecasting Cash Flows class.

A a part II of a workshop sponsored by the Iowa Small Business Development Center.

A couple key words from Benjamin Shlaes:

Balance Sheet, Forecasting Sales, Forecasting Expenses, Pre-Opening Cash Needs, Projected Operating Expenses, Monthly Cash Flow Projection, Depreciation (which BTW needs to be in its own category in your pro forma income statement and pro forma cash flow statement). It's important to include In Loan and Principal Pmt Loan info).

I know that I don't want to ever have to do a Loan Equity Injection or a Term Loan nor a LOC- I would rather cut my salary.

I enjoyed the accounting sheet, my Break-Even Analysis Worksheet and I thinking everyone should know their Contribution Margin Percentage but more important... MOS, not to confuse with SOS.. Margin of Safety...

I learned also about this poor guy who had signed some papers with a partner and purchased some equipment, apparently he hadn't accounted for the depreciation of that equipment and while the seller was able to claim it on its taxes this ... anyway I may not be able to tell the story well, but the buyer got screwed.

My head is full, we went overtime tonight in class, plus I had questions after class. The instructor was awesome, he is MBA, CPA. He is retired now but his hobby is teaching Accounting and I can see why.  I thanked him about the class. I think now the I learned today is going to help me while I am reading these.

This Second was my first Small Business Accounting Class for $15, I learned so much for this session. I wish everyone would take this class, not just for opening your own business but just thinking about your life as a business venture is quite an outlook and I was glad to be there among the 7 students. (BTW where were the women I was the only one!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shoah and Nutella

I was about 8 years old, we were living on the farm my adoptive parents and I. We had everything then.
We were Kings and Queens and Princesses, we had our farm which was the biggest home in this small hamlet 45 minutes away from Chartres and 20 minutes from Courville-Sur-Eure.

Our home was surrounded by corn fields. Our garden used to house birds and rabbits, we had two additional barns. My father and mother were proud to grow their own vegetables. My father had taught me to plant seeds and I grew my first radishes and I was happy to have them on our dinner table. There is such wealth in eating what you have grown yourself and such pride in sharing it with the people you love.

I was also about 8 years old, when I first saw the movie Shoah. My father and mother thought this was as important as learning how to grow your own garden and how to have proper manners at the table. See, my French father was born in 1911, and his parents were Russian Refugees, my French mother was born in 1912 in France and her roots traced back to her ancestors in Brittany. They had both grown up actually poor and where food was scarce, they had both lived through WWI and WWII. During the second war, they had both joined the French Resistance and were honored both, my father received a sword and a medal. I remember seeing them in our library by my piano but all our books overshadowed them.

When they decided to show me Shoah, they told me to never forget what I was about to see and to remember it for the rest of my life. I knew it was important but didn't know yet why. Now as a 34 year-old I see. How could one ever forget. So, the three of us sat with our dogs on the old couch in our living room. And the VHS unraveled its story.

And this is the first time I learned about the Holocaust. I learned about it with my parents and my pets in our living room in our kingdom. The images were difficult to watch and I remember crying and I remember asking my father why would people could hurt so many and how mean this was.

My father and my mother explained to me about the genocide and Nazis, they explained to me how important it was to remember and to share it with me. They also explained to me how they both witnessed a Jewish family being taken by the Gestapo and how my father pleaded them not to and how they threatened to take him and how this family had a daughter and how my father pleaded to let them take at least the little girl. The gestapo almost took my father that night. My father still had tears, I hadn't seen my father cry. He always had a Joie-De-Vivre. My mother was quiet. I now think his tears were because he felt ashamed that he couldn't do more and was haunted.

We sat a long time at the kitchen table. My mother explained that day why we never threw foods away that we only cooked what we could eat and why sometimes I needed to eat food that I didn't like. She said that they had lived when there was nothing to eat. They knew hunger.

I think I cried again, I was sad for the people who died and also the family that my parents hadn't saved. My Maman went to the kitchen and came back a slice of baguette with butter and some Nutella. I ate slowly and carefully. And I think maybe it was the first time I realized how rich we were.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What does Liliane Bettencourt read?

I wondered.

I was reading Forbes online when I saw a brief article about her. According to Forbes she is the daughter of L'Oreal founder Eugene Schueller (...) Liliane is the world's richest woman, thanks to her controlling stake in the cosmetics giant. She has held the stock for more than four decades.

I wondered which magazines does a Millionaire or Billionaire woman read?

So I tried to guess, about a month and half ago ago when I started this experiment, I went to the bookstore and selected a couple of magazines including Investor's Guide 2011, Travel Issue Forbes Life, Automobile, Money, Town & Country. 

What I loved about each:

In Money:
I highlighted in Stocks section the Peer-group abbreviations. I want to understand stocks because I own them in my 401K but I want to understand the market better. I know that I am invested very aggressively which makes sense because I don't plan on retiring anytime soon. I love working on projects and earning money.

In Town & Country:
I didn't highlight this time but I gloated, this magazine's binding is thin compared to a Harper's Bazaar or a Vogue. This magazine has sheer elegance. Most of the ads of perfumes, classic or modern homes, jewerly, just targeting a royal lifestyle. For just a few dollars you can read about the elite.

In Automobile:
The cars were awesome there was this great article about Ferrari and the Fiat 500, both cars were bright red and I said to myself I wonder what the insurance rates would be for those. Funny in this magazine there were no ads for car insurance. I would have thought there would be some.

I bought one issue of Better Homes and Gardens and read through my subscription to Real Simple.

It's clear all these magazines target specific audiences and income.

The ironic part in all the magazines that I read, Better Homes and Gardens had the most pharmaceutical ads (Celebrex-arthritis, Reclast-osteoporosis,Vimovo, Boniva-bone loss,Cymbalta-chronic back pain, prolia-post menopausal), Real Simple had 6 (Boniva, Reclast, Lapband, Prevnar, Humira, Flovent). Automobile none, Harper's none, Money none, Forbes none and Town & Country zero, none.

What does the presence of those ads tell us about the the audiences. Should I assume that the wealthier you are the healthier you are? or the healthier you are the wealthier you are?

What I notice is in Town & Country there no tips about eating healthy, no tips about how to energize your life or how to never buy the wrong clothes. When you read T&C the assumptions are that you already know how to be healthy, how to energize your life and you already have control over your life and finances. And clearly in contrast to other publications, there are no acticles in T&C about time management but all photos and articles are enjoying life.

The elites and the wealthy enjoy life (I am sure there are some exceptions but mostly it would safe to say that there is this peace of mind and clear balance - is balance and in peace your heart easier when you are wealth ?perhaps that peace of mind is what makes many others envious of them)

While magazines will tell us from to time to time the how-to-, there are magazines who actually remind us to just live well and be happy.  Someone ask me once why would I ever want to read T&C compared a Cosmo or Marie Claire and that maybe I was turning into a snob or a bourgeoise - I said in T&C, everyone is actually looking happy, looking they're having a great time. Why wouldn't I be in that picture?

When I read a magazine sure I always to learn something new, perhaps a recipe or a new stretch but ultimately I want to be reminded of the constant opportunity to live at peace, wealthy and happy and all those are compatible and essential for success.

Maybe Liliane and I are not reading the same articles but I believe in being happy, healthy, wealthy and having beauty as Liliane would...because I know I am worth it! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When you make a 1000 - make 1 000 000!

When I started this blog. I was thinking about money, my net worth and my debt ratio. I was thinking about how money was going to give me what I wanted to live and I hadn't yet.  I've noticed a change in me since March 26. I am no longer timid about what I want to accomplish and how I want to be prosperous. I adjusted my life according to my beliefs of being already a millionaire. I took an honest look at what deters me from being wealthy and analysed what has held me back. Moving forward I am investing in what works and remain open to modify what works to make it work even better.

1.  I read more than before, reading a variety of topics, books on Business The Invisible Hand by Adam Smith  and Getting Things Done the Art of Stress-Free Productivity and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie and I have a queue (like a netflix queue) and the Science of Wealth is an online only book, none of my local bookstores carry it.

2. I am at peace. I am not stressed but if I feel just one concern coming on I apply what I learn in Carnegie's book:

Rule I-  living in day-tight compartments, I live in the moment.

Rule II I ask myself what is the worse that can happen and then I prepare mentally to accept the worst if necessary and

Rule III I calmly try to improve upon the worst, which I have already mentally agreed to accept. Then I remind myself  the exorbitant price I can pay for worry in terms of health.

3. I eat what's good for my mind and body. Health is everything is you are a Millionaire, I want optimum health to be more productive and foremost I want health to enjoy my wealth.

4. I tell people around me how much I care for them, I thank them, I celebrate them and when I do that I feel very wealthy and lucky.

5. I focus on what I have right now and how to maximize each asset. My current assets are health, my friends and those I consider family, my spirituality-faith, my opportunities, my optimism and my resources, my network, money I already have in the bank, my debt-free habits, my eagerness to learn and be better.

6. I am my first investor. I absolutely believe in myself.

I am excited about what's in today but I am looking forward tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Unexpected...

The unexpected happened!

How about 1 month ago it happened. In one day a simple story made it in the online Wall Street Journal chosen by James Altucher as one of the 9 must read blog. I have to admit, it was a surprise and it shocked me. I got a 1000 hits and I was watching it like a stock increasing its worth in front of my eyes. I was mystified, happy and actually terrified as well.

It reminded very much about the first published writing. It was a surprise too.  I was a teen and I was entering  Nerinx Hall High School as a junior. I had arrived in the US in 1993 after my French adoptive mother had passed away a year earlier and it was my French adoptive father who  suggested I finish my studies in St Louis with this American couple he knew well.

At Nerinx I loved German, History, I loved all my classes and the teachers too. I wasn't used to wear a uniform but got used to it. And the all girls school concept was quite empowering.

One day one my teacher submitted one of my essays in a contest, she never told me. The topic  I wrote about was living in France when my mother was still alive. It described the last walk both my Papa and Maman and I had in La Baule Les Pins. I still remember the night of that day and how the trees looked like. My teacher submitted it without telling me and when she heard that I was going to be published she showed me the letter. I was shocked, amazed, excited and absolutely terrified. I think every time that you write, you undress your soul. You make yourself vulnerable.

The excitement is in this shot of power, of recognition that others will read you, it's an incredible rush and then a few days later I started wondering how do I keep this. And I think that's the frightening part, how do you outdo yourself?

Well it happened a month ago for me when I went mute after the Blog and seeing it ... but now I think I still have a lot more to share and what I learned about the past days I went quiet... is that I no longer have to worry being vulnerable to myself that maybe the best articles you read out here are the ones written from the heart and that if you are a bit scared about a successful event, it means you are getting a taste of greatness, and being vulnerable is not being weak but can make you a better writer.

Being a bit afraid after being excited about success is a test of endurance and when you want to be successful it is a necessity to overcome.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


OK I am still in my Millionaire mind. I am the Bruce Wayne/ Peter Parker mode. I thought I would share where are my investments

So here are my industries:

1- Hydrology ( locating water sources)

2- Urban and Regional Management ( focus on land allocation and population management which would include food supply management- self sufficiency- population travels by foot and bicycles)

3 -Environmental transportation and logistics as stated above

4- Trees/Seed productions

5- Preventative health

6- Mandatory Money education in high school

7- Fashion: I would open a cycling clothing line (love the fashion~)

I don't have 12 like Bruce. But I think he started with a few.

Tomorrow I 'll decide on the percentage allocated in these industries and where my assets are distributed.

Thanks for reading and being part of my dream!

Todays' cost of yesterday's freedom fries and soda of ignorance

Today for some strange reason unpacking my books. I started thinking about one short unpleasant encounter I had with the CEO of a local well known company many years ago. 

The US had invaded Iraq and France was against the invasion. This person made it his duty to come to my desk, he knew I was French and started making jokes about France and wanted to make a point that moving forward he would no longer call French fries, French but Freedom Fries and that we should dump immediately French wines. Working in entry level position I was at the time in no position to answer. I looked at him baffled.

I let him vent his "knowledge" and that's the only thing I could do. But that night I did come home and told my husband that his thoughts were remarkably ignorant for someone in such a high position especially considering that this person was trying to export his products abroad. I told my husband that night in great lengths, the catastrophic ripple effects ifthe US companies decided to dump all the French wines and French products and started banning and making fun of French culture.

But the reasoning of this CEO was not economically logical. All these French products imported into the US gave jobs not just to French people but American people too. And these jobs were not limited to wine stores but included American shipping companies, American transport companies, American attorneys involved in the international contracts and the list goes on,  come to think of  it all, it involved multiple levels of the American economy.

Arrogance accompanied with an overpouring self righteousness is bad for American economy. A cultural joke with a punch and a knee-jerk insult for the populace is not funny. As we move forward in a tough economy we do need to be  considerate socially our communication impact our relationship with our international community. The cost of ignorance is a price to high to pay which our American economy cannot afford.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why losing my mother's photo in a Piggly Wiggly made me richer!

Surrounded by boxes, wide open recycling bins I surrendered yesterday afternoon by sipping some cheap champagne I had found in my speechless fridge. I am moving out of my old wooden apartment to a place to save pas mal d'argent.  I've lived there for the past 4 years and it's been just a lovely place. 

Standing there yesterday I sighed looking at the inevitable. As I looked at Tom who was on autopilot wrapping the electronics.

Recalling many years ago when I moved in with my boyfriend who later on became my husband, I remember a now accurate portrayal, when he said "Parady! How could such a small person accumulate so much paper?". Granted I am far from the hoarder status. I do love my papers. I have collected news articles about finance, fashion, career, economics who back to the 1990s and filed them rereading them occasionally. Once I came very close to laminating them but due to cost there was no way.

I've kept for the past decades all presentations I have attended by others and all the ones I got a chance to present. I  admit I have saved every brochure whose layout was lovely. I saved business cards I loved from people I didn't. I saved, saved and saved.

When you move as much as I have both internationally and domestically (now in the upwards 25+). You learn to keep it simple. I have a fair collection of shoes but the largest part of my belongings and to me the most valuable is the one which weighs the most: my clippings files and folders and my books. I have a hard time getting  read of books I love the hardbound ones which weighs more than the soft covers. But don't worry I collect the paper ones too.

Why do we keep so much? I've been realizing that I kept all these articles because I have always thought they would become life turning, telling myself when I need them I'll have them all at my disposal. I realize this morning as I am unpacking things, that I have kept them for the wrong reasons most of them can go in the trash after I read them today and tomorrow. We keep things and load ourselves with too much because we are afraid to forget. I've been afraid of forgetting.

In 1993 when I came to the US. I had only one envelope with about 23 pictures of my childhood and my French parents. In 1995 I had lost my father and my mother had passed in 1992. Pictures were my only worth. I hadn't been living in the states long enough to have my own book collection.

I was thrown full force in the pool of fears when one day I  lost one picture in Piggly Wiggly in Memphis Tennessee. This picture was in a small wallet which I must have dropped in the produce section. It was my Maman's portrait taken in early 50s a beautiful black and white picture of a woman who could easily have been a movie star among the likes of  Gina Lollobrigida, Simone Signoret and Romy Schneider. I was heartbroken. It was an old picture a beautiful picture of a younger mother that I had never known then. It meant everything to me, at time of my life I was in a country with my pictures and both my parents were gone and I had lost the picture of a memory in a grocery store. Needless to say I cried, I wanted offer a reward but had no money and my English was not good.

Now at 34, I see and vividly recount the chest pain and my sobbing. I was sobbing because I was so afraid to forget my mother. Now I still remember the picture and I am richer for it. It's never about the books, the articles, it's not about collecting, sorting and filing. What's most valuable, what's truly worth something, what makes you richer is not in the collection but it is in the remembering.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Was Bruce Wayne a Millionaire or a Billionaire and why was Peter Parker neither?

His father was a surgeon in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne was born into wealth, he had everything. Wayne Entreprises formerly known as WayneCorp had 12 main branches Wayne Technologies, Wayne Biotech, Wayne Foods, Wayne Shipping, Wayne Steel, Wayne Yards, Wayne Aerospace, Wayne Chemicals, Wayne Medical, Wayne Electronics, Wayne Entertainment (source:


It's safe to believe that in today's world Wayne Entertainment could be DreamWorks Pictures which is currently totally at about 4.5 Billion USD, let's count this as just 1/12th of Wayne's net worth- this is an easy shot, the worth of the 12 branches got to be totalling in the Billions.
 There is no contest Bruce Wayne is a Billionaire and not Millionaire.

Why did I want to share this with you?

 Well. As I was driving to run my morning errands. I kept on feeling that Millionaire self. And picturing 1000K in the bank I felt the same as Thursday. I am the same Parady with just more money in the bank. 

Now the next question was what type of Millionaire would I be? There are so many types. I always thought that Millionaires were above humans, like a different race, a specie of some sort who looked like us. So I started to visualize something that didn't seem intimidating. I traced back to my ideals and I found them in Silver Age Comic books . I've always loved Bruce Wayne and the Batman figure and Peter Park as Spiderman.

Who is the smartest Bruce or Peter well, Bruce Wayne is named as the one of smartest one  in

Art by Jim Lee

Defined as an industrialist, Bruce Wayne has everything but still goes out to risk his life, Peter Parker has less money than Bruce but still goes to risk his life. Sometimes viewed as an Archangel instead of an angel Batman's strength is unlimited while Peter's humanity makes him more approachable.

Peter Parker was a photographer/scientist. Peter was never a Millionaire because it was never his interest, undoubtedly he could have become one with his knowledge, his incredible skills, he could have patented and sold part of his soul and profited greatly. But Peter Peter would never do that, and that's what I love about him, he would never comprise his values.  In the comic when he discovered his powers, he was on a TV Show and he couldn't reveal his identity by getting paid, he couldn't get a check written to Spiderman. He would have needed to compromise himself. 

So the type of Millionaire I would chose to be? Well, I would be a "Bruce Parker" or a "Peter Wayne". I would be/ I am a mix of unshakable strength and business savy. I, Parady, am an industrialist who owns 10 different types of ventures all completely diverse. I am an industrialist, scientist, and photographer. I am powerful because I have integrity and I keep my humanity by recognizing others vulnerability. I am a simple Millionaire.  

After all "It's who I am underneath it's what I do"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Premier Jour as a 1000KR

Today, is the first day of my experiment. The goal of the experiment is to behave mentally, physically as a Millionaire, to assume and live every moment as I am one among many, I am picturing my networth to be between Bernard Arnault and Llliane Bettencourt, I am French they're French. To me at this moment it doesn't mean to go shopping at luxurious stores but rather read, breath, think like Millionaires do. I started reading Carnegie's work and I will document my readings, findings and what I am experiencing along the way. I'll share it. I started this endeavor tonight with a trip to the Half Price Bookstore where I pick my brains at the magazine stands, what do Millionaires read? what do they? so I picked what I thought I would read as a Millionaire. I picked Forbes March 14, 2011, Automobile March 2011, Money issue Jan- Feb 2011 Investor's Guide 2011, Travel Issue Forbes Life 2010 (bc I couldn't find any 2011 issues), I selected Town & Country March 2011 and oddly Aviation Week Business & Commercial Aviation January 2011- all these were 50c each mag, except T & C which was $1. Why didn't I buy full price these? I think the cost of the investment will bring higher returns in knowledge, so it's a good investment. Today's action: well, buy low right now but buy value. ROI