Wednesday, 18 May 2011

How do you spell discipline (and how do you do it?)

Discipline seems to be a recurring theme this week both in family and business life! It not a word that gets people excited (especially kids) and everyone has their own theory on how much is needed in daily life particularly when it comes to parenting. My theory (which I am trying hard this week to apply) is that discipline and lots of it is VERY NECESSARY in achieving anything! 

Okay first in business - cash flow management. I know, I know pretty exciting stuff! I really hate the term & I hate doing it even more! Somehow I got stuck with the raw end of the bargain & it has become my job! Scary I know! When I worked I always had an accountant to help me manage budgets! Not any more. Discipline in stock management and purchasing and taking the cash and putting it where it needs to go - STRAIGHT AWAY! Keeping a healthy balance sheet. Selling old stock before you buy new stock! Managing with the financial year in mind (for Lodhen that is June to July!) Yes so discipline and focus with money is highly necessary if you want to achieve your financial goals! It's only with a strong application of financial discipline that you can run a profitable business. That is so obvious it's embarrassing to write but its a lot lot harder to do! I think I have a system in place now its only a matter of keeping it up!

And on the family front - my little girl needs more discipline! As the family grows - it dawns on you the growing need for more discipline! Life just becomes impossible - things become unsafe, noisy, messy, unbearable! if kids don't do what their parents tell them. Tara is learning about tough love this week I am afraid! Late slips for school, bedroom time, being banned from her next door favourite play date! I am the adult responsible for Tara and Norbu and their safety and well being. This is compromised when she does not do exactly as I tell her (you know flying on swinging ropes with 18 month old wanting to join in and a few other kids running around too!). In the end its better for her. If I don't discipline her no one else will (I have to say that this becomes harder when parents have very different parenting styles - like say Lodhen and I!), she will have no friends or social skills and she won't be able to achieve the things she wants in life! 

Note to self: I am in control and I will stay in control of our business finances, the family budget and MY DEAR CHILDREN by the application of daily discipline!

Okay that's enough of the rant on discipline! I just hope I can continue to apply it in my life.

Here are some cute warm beanies I found this week I want to give one to all the little kids I know one!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Alone is not lonely!

Alone is not necessarily lonely! Norbu had his first day of childcare on Monday & I have to say that I had forgotten what it was like to be alone! ABSOLUTELY BLISS FULL! I could hear the birds singing and my thoughts flowing. I was undisturbed and undistracted! Rather than do the million chores on my list, I languished in the bliss of being totally undisturbed! I went browsing at the shops (i.e not running around madly with ten things to do in five minutes). I had to keep stopping myself from looking for things for the kids. "It's me time" I had to remind myself. I had an absolutely HUGE disgusting chocolatey thing at Max Brenner for lunch! I went to the library - this is where I got stuck into the kids section. Love kids books! I always get so many books for Tara that I can't carry them & we have big trouble not losing them & returning them on time. We always get hijacked by other people's agendas - but I felt so much more mentally sane after my few hours of me time. It was disturbed by my husband asking if I could urgently transfer the rent money! Oh and Norbu had the best day. He had a ball! He loved all the new toys, had an hour sleep, sat down while he ate. So I am hoping that Mondays will now be a regular time where I can sit down and do some writing and work towards building Tibet Gifts. It has been kind of periodic so far.

Where is Lodhen?

On the business front, Lodhen is at Coolemen Court this month and will most likely be at the Canberra Centre next month. You can also find Tibet Gifts stocked in

  • Xpress Newsagency at Westfield Belconnen with Narelle
  • Oriental Treasures at Gold Creek with Marie
  • At Cooma High Country Centennial Markets on Sunday with Trish
If you are still reading good on you! In terms of our shop front strategy - no luck with the two shops we were interested in in Civic. The one in Garema Place was taken by a multinational who was happy to sign a lease for five years with a possible extension & the other one - the owners decided they did not want to let it?%^&$ Ah leasing!!!!!! Lodhen says its not good i.e too risky to sign on for for five years & prefers the business strategy of taking his good to different people. The really good thing about not having the very high fixed cost of rent is that you can actually take some holidays! This is a novel idea for Lodhen! Here are some pics of Taronga Zoo last week and us on holiday!!!! Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

So much to do.....

Each day there is so much to do! It's a matter of deciding where to focus on today! I never realised how much there is to do as a mother, wife, small business owner!

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes before you even sell one product! The amount of times you view, transport, photograph, organise, fold, display a good before it even sells blows my mind! Below our house is a two car garage and some more. It acts as a warehouse for us and my job is to......keep it under control!

I don't know what it is. Maybe as a Tibetan who is not used to so many possessions the idea of organising like with like, categorising, filing, sorting is sort of foreign!

I never thought of myself as the anal type (you should have seen my desk at the office. I liked to think of it as a creative mess - but I knew where everything was!) but relative to my husband - I am organised in the extreme! I like to know how much stock we have, see it easily, count it, look at it neatly stored.

I guess Lodhen is running a lean, mean, one man show & focusses on the selling - poor guy can't do everything! That is his excuse anyway!

Then there are the things to do to sustain my beautiful family........I am not complaining, I wouldn't swap it for anything. It's just busy that's all! Anyway while Norbu rests, I will run downstairs and try to regain some order! Lodhen is on dinner duty tonight & I am looking forward to being able to stay and watch Tara at choir practice (that is 1 1/2 hours of beautiful, melodious singing as opposed to talking!)

Hope you are enjoying this blog - give me some feedback please - what do you want to hear about - what is not so good........

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


At the moment we are waiting to hear back on whether Lodhen has got a shop that he has applied for in Garema Place. It would be perfect - its small and cheap and in a good location. Its next to coffee shops..... I am really looking forward to Lodhen having a fixed location. He says he doesn't mind being a business nomad. He thinks its good to take his goods to different locations. But personally, all the lifting and packing and carrying. I couldn't do it! Fingers crossed we will hear back soon. Lodhen says not to get attached to this shop or to rush into it. There are plenty of shops out there he says! But me in my Western ways - I like to have a plan! I like to have some things that are fixed! I guess that it good not to have fixed costs though! I am enjoying the fact that Lodhen has this week off - after working last year pretty much without a day off - it sure is nice to have him home for the week. I am off for coffee with a friend so that father and son can spend some quality time together!

About Tibet Gifts

Tibet Gifts, a family run business, was started by Lodhen Ngui, a former monk & political prisoner from Lhasa who now lives in Canberra.

Business PhilosophyOur business aim is to support Tibetan culture & artisans through showcasing their unique goods. We provide a long-term sustainable income to Tibetan populations by purchasing their goods.

Our GoodsLodhen will tell you the significance of each of his goods – where it was made, its original use, the meaning of the Tibetan symbols! He loves to keep Tibetan culture alive & breathing! All Tibet Gifts goods are ethically produced! They are NOT made in China and they are NOT made using child labour.

Where they come from - Lodhen imports and picks all his goods making yearly trips to Tibet (where all his family live), India and Nepal (where his old monastery Jamchang Lhakhang is). 

Lodhen buys from members of his own Tibetan community.Goods are purchased from Tibetans & are hand made by Tibetans living in exile in India & Nepal. Many goods are made from Tibetan wool which provides income to Tibetans inside Tibet.

Thank you for supporting Tibet Gifts