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What FREEDOM means to you?

What FREEDOM means to you?

Life, Inspiration, Challenges, Choices

What FREEDOM means to you?

5  basic principles that help me to achieve FREEDOM

MARIANA KONSOLOS
16 May 2017

There is a lot to say about freedom. There are tons of poems and songs about it too. But … What does FREEDOM really mean?

I think it can mean different things to different people along the  different stages of our lives:

  • When I was a kid it was when my mom would allow me to eat by myself even if I made a mess. That was freedom.
  • Later on, having permission to come back home with no carefew gave me great sense of freedom as well!
  • When I drove my parents car to go places with friends I was feeling very free.

The problem started when I wanted to do things I couldn’t afford or my parents wouldn’t agree with. Soon enough I learnt that  freedom was attached to VALUES and MONEY!

Very early, at the age of seventeen, I realized that I had to generate my own resources to have the real freedom I needed to live the life of my dreams. The goal was so clear and powerful that nothing stopped me since. No job was small enough or hard enough if it would generate any kind of income. I discovered that the real fuel to all my adventures were 5 key basic principles :

  1. Have a crystal clear GOAL There is ALWAYS a way! Nothing distracted me because I knew I wanted so badly to be free. If I would try one way and wouldn’t work, I would try many different ways until I would find the way to get me there.
  2. Every job is an OPPORTUNITY I never knew who I was going to meet being a server, cleaning a house or ironing! I learnt skill that were key for other jobs that came up later. Watching different bosses taught me good and bad management practices .
  3.  Freedom comes with a PRICE ATTACHED. The price can be emotional, social or financial. Can be your time or your priorities. It can mean compromising, negociating or even giving up. But you need to decide if you can live with it, in order to achieve your ultimate goal: to be FREE. It might come with criticisms, jealousy or being singled out. Be ready to pay the price!
  4. BE HUNGRY to achieve your goal The goal needs to be strong enough and powerful enough to make you continue your journey on the hardest days and the toughest conditions. Because there will be lots of those! You need to prefer suffering rather staying dependant!
  5. DEFINE freedom to your own standards. Because we are all different, our definitions will be different. Don’t get caught up on others standards of freedom. I don’t need a bigger car or a luxurious home. In my eyes that makes me more of a slave!  I might need to work more hours to pay more bills and spend more time of my day in things that are not memorable. I am free if I can go for a walk and take care of myself or have coffee with my daughter rather than take care of a bigger house.

I don’t deny that financial freedom is very important. But it doesn’t guarantee anything! I’ve met lots of wealthy people in my lifetime that they are enslaved to their husband or their lifestyles.

My personal definition of freedom is to be able to choose my priorities every day of my life. Basically to do what I want when I want with who I want. What is yours? I would love to hear your opinion! By sharing we are learning to understand each other better!

 

 Thank you, and if you liked it, please share it with a friend!

Kindly,

Mariana Konsolos

 

Los grandes hombres tambien caen

Los grandes hombres tambien caen

life experiences

Los grandes hombres tambien caen

Homenaje a Aldo Wysokikamien

MARIANA KONSOLOS

6 April 2017

Ellos también son parte del círculo de la vida. Hombres líderes, fuertes, controvertidos y pasionales. Hombres estructura, fundación y sustento. Ellos también se debilitan con el tiempo y el peso de la vida. Hombres nido, árbol ,fruto. Hombres río, cielo y fuego. Ellos también se secan y se apagan con el paso de los años. Porque a todos los hombres les llega el momento de irse. Y un día se van… con el viento de la vida se van… Pero en estos hombres hay algo mágico y diferente. Estos grandes hombres dejan huellas profundas detrás de sí. Dejan hijos, mujeres, nietos, colaboradores, anónimos y curiosos. Dejan nuevos caminos abiertos, marcan hitos, cambian la historia. Dejan recuerdos imborrables, historias y leyendas. Dejan al mundo mejor de lo que lo encontraron a pesar de las críticas, a pesar de las decisiones que solo ellos saben porque tomaron. Hombre pasional, líder y decidido: muchos sentirán tu falta desde hoy.
Pero como dijo Borges, “Morirás solamente el día que muera el último que te recuerde”

GIVING BACK is a Gift to Our Souls

GIVING BACK is a Gift to Our Souls

TRADITIONS

GIVING BACK is a Gift to Our Souls

Sharing traditions and making memories by baking Jalá.

MARIANA KONSOLOS

29 March 2017

I made my first Jalá at the age seventeen, when I lived with a group of friends in a kibbutz, a socialist community that today no longer exists in Israel. I think of it today and I was just a girl!

There, I worked tending children with Edna, an Iranian lady who had hands of gold and a giant heart.

Every Friday, we kneaded enormous amounts of dough to make the traditional Jala bread. She taught us the right measurements so the dough was soft and fluffy, and she also taught me to make the braids more beautiful with three and five strips.

It was a ritual that both children and I looked forward to at the end of the week.

There was nothing nicer than the smell of jalot baking on Friday afternoons. It was a feeling of peace, of almost religious serenity.

What I learned years later is that the recipe she made was nothing religious since it contained milk and butter, ingredients that no Jalá recipe had, as it contradicted the laws of kashrut.

Months later, upon returning to Uruguay, I tried to transform this into a family tradition by kneading Jalot for my parents on Fridays. Sadly my parents were away almost every weekend so the intention faded away in a short time.

It was many years before I started braiding jalot with my daughter, Florencia. It was in those years in Canada that she couldn’t go to school. When my ability to create new activities to do with her were running low, I remembered what Edna had taught me and I decided to pass on this beautiful tradition to my daughter.

For many years, we enjoyed the delicious aroma in the house, announcing the arrival of a well-deserved rest and delicious Jalot for dinner.

Returning to Uruguay, on one of my visits, Grandma Sara was spending time with my parents. At that time my grandmother was about a hundred years old. I remembered that she made Jalot delectable.

I asked her why she stopped baking. She said it was because she no longer had the necessary strength in her hands and couldn’t knead. I suggested that she could guide me and that I would be her hands.

At first, she was not convinced. She told me she would think about it. When I got up in the morning, my grandmother waited anxiously for me. She did not need to tell me anything. I could understand that she wanted to start cooking.

“You have to buy yeast, but you have to buy the good one,” she told me, “not that powder they sell nowadays. And bring the whitest flour you can find.”

I asked her whether I should bring milk or butter and she looked at me in surprise. “Did you not know that we make it parve so we can eat it with meat?” No, I did not know. That quiet, silent woman came alive.

When I returned from shopping, she asked me for a bowl to prepare the dough. She began to give me instructions.

“The yeast has to be put with warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. Let’s see, let me touch the water, do not make it too hot.”

I put in the eggs and immediately stirred the flour with the oil. “Stir harder,” she told me.

Without realizing it, she was kneading with the energy of yesteryear. The hands moved alone with surprising rapidity. Her joyful face and her satisfaction moved me.

The scent of the Friday jalot returned to impregnate our hearts and our homes. Now it all made sense: traditions from generation to generation…

And the circle ended when we visited Granada, Spain, the Palace of the Forgotten, where the Jewish Museum is. We learned that to date, the so-called Anise Bread or Bread of Oil is nothing more than the Jala masked at the time of the Inquisition by the Marranos Jews in order to continue consuming it without taking risks.

It is the only bread that has neither butter nor milk! Anise bread is parve!

My grandmother Sara is no longer with us, but there are more than a hundred grandmothers and grandparents in the Home waiting to teach us their recipes and culinary tricks. Their hands are willing to knead with ours and flood our minds with memories of past traditions.

I invite you to be grandchildren for a day, to braid your stories with theirs. It is a real gift to your soul and theirs!

 

A Fundraising Event

A Fundraising Event

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

A Fundraising Event

Getting out of the comfort zone is one of the biggest strengths an entrepreneur should have.

MARIANA KONSOLOS

27 March 2017

Getting out of the comfort zone is one of the biggest strengths an entrepreneur should have.

Tonight was one of THOSE nights for me. It was certainly a challenge.

The Browns, a lovely family that I met through Debbie (the mom), decided to host a soccer meeting and try to fundraise money for the team by gathering at our new store.

Debbie showed up with her two beautiful young girls and her kind husband.

In 15 minutes, they had everything organized: the food, the drinks and suddenly she mentioned something about having activities for the girls.

“Girls!?” I asked, startled.

I should admit that I was in shock when Debbie said that they were expecting 15 girls and their parents!

How could we possible host over 45 people at the same time at our store AND entertain them?

What could I do to keep such a diverse crowd occupied?

Well, the meeting went on and I decided to take a break to have some dinner and think.

I finished my dinner and when I came downstairs, to my amusement, there was a group of 15 beautiful girls sitting on the floor in the backroom of the store, participating in some fun activity lead by one of Debbie’s girls!

They asked me to teach them to count up to ten in Spanish, so I showed them how. It was so cool and really helped me relax.

I started to go upstairs when I heard Debbie introduce me. OMG!

When I saw the crowd, I realized that I was going to do my presentation in front of men and women for the first time!

I was going to need to use some creativity to adapt and improvise my presentation!!

And guess what?? I DID IT!!

To my own surprise, the ideas just flew out of me!

I added some humorous touches, such as when I demonstrated my scarves, I asked the men not to take the “choking part” as an idea to actually apply it.

Also, when I showed the super versatile shawl, I ended my presentation by saying,  “If you are super good to your wife by buying her everything she wants, she will be instructed to use this beautiful shawl as a nighty for you tonight!”

Everybody thought that it was hilarious! And I even heard some ladies saying: “I should take her home with me.”

The energy after that was AMAZING!!

Everybody was excited, shopping and having fun! The girls had a blast! I got some new fans out there for sure! And we sold way more than expected!

Lisa, one of the soccer moms, is going to be starting part time with us, and I got an offer to be featured at CTV by Michelle, another soccer mom!

I am home, relaxing with a cup of tea, and happy with this fulfilling experience!

Challenges won’t stop me!
Fear can’t paralyze me!
Creativity will be always be the answer.
Courage will be my partner forever.

Good night world!
Let’s see what tomorrow will bring us!

 

8 Tips to Retire at 50

8 Tips to Retire at 50

FINANCIAL TIPS

8 Tips to Retire at 50

The secret is not how much money you make… it’s how much of that stays in your pocket.

MARIANA KONSOLOS

27 March 2017

I never had problems making money. I was creative, hardworking and trustworthy. I began a career in Real Estate at the age of 20. It only took a few years and I was already ahead of the game. I was making more money than any of my friends who had University degrees. They had no experience and tons of debt.

But I had other problems: I had no clue how to budget, manage or invest my money. I had a very comfortable life but no financial plans for the future. At 32, I only had $2,000 in my savings. How could that happen when I earned hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Suddenly, the unexpected happened. I sustained a back injury and couldn’t work for a while. Debts started piling up. Which lead to what many people in my situation experience: stress, depression… in such a short time, my life became a mess.

My husband Eli, on the other hand, was a taxi driver. He was a very hard worker. Money didn’t come easily to him but he knew what to do with his money.

When I met Eli, he was 42 and had lots of savings and investments. His and his daughter’s financial future were planned and saved for.

We had lots to learn from each other!

Here are the seven best pieces of advice we could gather between the two of us.

 

1- KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

For a full month, I wrote down EVERY EXPENSE I had including coffee, chewing gum and any other “little things” that I never believed would add up. What a surprise! Those stupid little things could be the future study fund for my daughter! I couldn’t believe it!

 

2- READ THE WEALTHY BARBER

The Wealthy Barber explains the principles of wealth in a very simple way. It taught me the difference between investments and expenses and between investment and lifestyle.

 

3- CREATE A REAL BUDGET ACCORDING TO THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT TO HAVE.

Are your monthly expenses aligned with your salary? What are expenses and what is luxury? What are the things you can cut in case your salary gets reduced?

 

4- SAVE 10% OF YOUR SALARY, WHATEVER YOUR SALARY IS.

Create an automatic transfer of 10% of your salary to a very risky mutual fund (ONLY for long-term periods) and forget it exists! In 10 years, you will be amaze of the power of interest!

Everybody who makes $2,000 could live on $1,800 by cutting the not-so-important things.

 

5- THE EARLIER YOU START SAVING, THE EARLIER YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RETIRE.

Which would you prefer to have: a closet full of clothing, shoes and tools that will sell for a few coins at a garage sale or to have money working for you in a fund, left alone and growing over many years so that when the time comes, you can travel and have the freedom to do what you want, when you want?

 

6- THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS.

The big question is simple: Do you want to PARTY NOW and work like a dog for the rest of your life or WORK LIKE A DOG NOW and party for the rest of your life?

 

7- DO WE REALLY NEED OR  DO WE JUST WANT?

I think we all get caught on the lie that advertising sells us. When you start asking yourself this simple question, you will realize how little we actually need.

I was in Barcelona for three months last spring and I was worried because I didn’t have a car. I actually learned a huge lesson: I used the Subway to go everywhere!

I realized I didn’t have to pay for insurance, no gas, no car wash and I definitely didn’t need cute accessories for the car, or to budget for winter tires, or to fork out garage expenses. I walked more, socialized with people and discovered the city in ways I never would have been able to had I had a car. Less was more!

 

8- NEVER RENT, ALWAYS OWN.

Do you know that renting can cost the same as your mortgage payment? You will tell me that interest adds up, but in 90% of the cases, the value of the property increases with time.

People look at the price of the house when they should be focusing on the monthly mortgage payment.

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