Friday, May 29, 2009


It is virtually impossible to listen to a television program or read the paper without some reference being made about Twitter. As a user of Twitter, I have gone through many stages with my reaction to this social media. Notice I said social media –no longer are we calling Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn and various other forms of online communication social networking.

1. Stage One

• I had no idea how to jump in and say something. I watched people posting links on all kinds of subjects and couldn’t imagine where they got them.
• I worried that what I wasn’t “smart” enough to write something clever.
• I was mortified when I sent out a 140-stroke tweet (that is all the keystrokes you have available so you have to learn to remove the fluff) with a typo.

2. Stage Two

• I started going to the links that were in some of the tweets. Wow, interesting stuff.
• I was hooked on going to the links and found myself spending way too much time exploring the web. I ended up controlling my time by looking at in the morning while I have my morning coffee. Look again over the lunch hour and finally, in the evening right after dinner.

Word of caution here if you are in the West Coast. If you do not want to learn the outcome of a sports event, Dancing with the Stars, winner of Spelling Bee do not go on the in the evening. You’ll learn the winner from tweets you read.

3. Stage Three

• I realized that I had great links to share. I just started using the links from newsletters and blogs that I had been getting all along. I had signed up for the newsletter and blog updates because I had found them interesting.
• I realized that when I found a link that had been posted by someone it was great to RT (ReTweet – send it out again with the sender names attached)

4. Stage Four (Where I am now)

• Saw on the news that a reporter had gotten information on Portland, Oregon by asking on Twitter for favorite inexpensive restaurants in Portland before he came. He visited, used the Tweeps (word for people who use Twitter). A one-half page article ended up in the New York Times – “Frugal Portland”. Word is that those restaurants’ businesses are flourishing.
• I was heading to Long Beach, Washington. Mentioned it in a tweet and the next thing I know I am connecting with a woman there. While at the beach, we tweeted with each other and arranged to meet. A terrific conversation occurred and we are now in touch on a regular basis.
• Learned it “Doesn’t Hurt to Ask” ….Plan to use this approach when I visit new areas to find great places to eat or see…and, perhaps connect with a person.

I am long way from being in a position of being called an expert on social media, but in order to keep up with the world, it is necessary for me to understand these communication tools. I urge you to put your toe into the social media world…and just relax and see what you can learn.


Check the activities in your suburban newspapers. Great networking events can be found there. Bet you will start understanding networking can be fun if you go to them. Take your contact cards (formerly called business cards) with you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


As a holiday approaches, we make plans to spend three days with no “work” schedule. If we are traveling some place, we scurry around and get things in order in our home before we leave. Interesting how all of sudden we finish those little things that seem important to get done before we walk out the door.

In my case, those nagging little things were done before I left to make the 2.5 hour drive to one of my favorite retreats, Ocean Parks, Washington and the Surfside Inn. I have been going to this place for the last 18 years and do much of writing there.

The drive takes me along the Columbia River, over the mountains and then to the wonderful area known as Wilipa Bay – famous for its’ outstanding oysters. Yes, I have learned to like oysters. I steam them in the shells with fresh rosemary.

Yet, the place that truly clears my mind is when I walk to the beach. I can see the beach out my condo window. However, it takes the quiet walk to the ocean before my senses truly open so I can hear and see.

Yesterday, the sun shone brightly. Few people were on the 22-mile long beach because people had to head home to report to work this morning.

The waves caught my attention. They were all different sizes. Some gentle and slow moving, some of them swiftly came in and still others noisily crashed on the beach and moved things that had been deposited by previous waves.

All of a sudden, the saying “the wave of emotions”, took on a new meaning. I have heard it often, yet, now I was watching this concept being revealed before my eyes. Like ocean waves, some of the waves of emotions are gentle and have little effect on our lives. Other waves make us take notice and still others come crashing into our lives when we least expect it.

When the waves came in at the ocean, I could choose to run away from them or I could stand my ground and wait for the wave to arrive and then move back out of my life/environment. It was my decision to decide if I wanted to run from the experience—just like the decisions we need to make when emotions entered into our daily lives.

Memorial Day reminds us how important it is to recognize and appreciate the people that helped keep our country free. This weekend, I also was given the gift to remember the “wave of emotions”. Like the soldiers that helped protect our country, the waves of emotion come in all different sizes. It is up to me to decide how I will work with them. This week will I run away from emotions or will I stand strong and work my way through them?


If you have special projects that need to be done, you might want to check out People from all over the world can bid on your project. I have had real success using this site.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Last night an announcement came up on a LinkedIn group about the time and date of “Latest and creative approach of building your network- Speed Networking”. Good thing I had overnight to think about this before I wrote this blog—I’m calmer now.

Now we are speeding up our personal interaction. In my mind/world, I think that is really sad. With technology, gobbling up more and more time the need for inter-personal communication is growing. Then we come up with an event that makes sure we do not have time to really connect with a person.

It is my personal belief that if you go to a networking event (Look for a place will you learn or have fun), you should not plan to meet more than three people. Networking is about building relationships. It is my experience people are really bad about following up with three people they have met. Imagine trying to follow-up with 20 or more.

My recommendation:

1. Find an event will you will learn or have fun.
2. Plan to meet three people.
3. Start conversations with a question:

What great thing happened to you recently?

Great piece of jewelry does it have a story behind it?

Come up with one that fits your personality…key is listen to the answer so you can ask the next question.

Send a handwritten note to the people you met and include your contact card (formerly called business) In my mind, that is how you start building a relationship.

PS Be sure to put the person’s contact information into your home contact program – One never knows when you will need the information about people you have met and developed a relationship.


If you haven’t joined the world of social networking, I would like to suggest that you seriously consider it. We do not know where this all going, yet I can already see using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter together I am getting my name out there and new opportunities are surfacing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Before me was a four-day training trip that involved three cities, five airplane rides, and two rental cars. Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and South Shore Tahoe were on my schedule. I was anticipating that the trip would be a great adventure and that is what it was.

After flying to Burbank, I got my rental car and headed to Bakersfield. I have made that trip three times over the last three months and it was glorious to see how the mountains change on each trip: barren, then spring flowers, and now golden brown at the bottom and green at the top.

Once in Bakersfield, I made my copies for the training, got myself something to eat for dinner and settle into my great place Four Points Sheraton. After a good night’s sleep, I opened the door of my room and I heard “Have a Happy Day”. The maid yelled this greeting from the other end of a long narrow hallway. The greeting brought a huge smile to my face—what a great way to start my day.

After the training, I headed back to Burbank. Returned the rental car and went across the street to catch the Metrolink to Union Station downtown LosAngeles. Before long, I realized the last train had left. I went up to a bus driver and she said, “Here come with me to Burbank, I’ll get you to the right bus.” She told me which bus to catch and to make sure I went to the end and then catch Bus 33.

For the next ¾ of an hour I journeyed through downtown Burbank and headed to downtown LosAngeles. When we got to the end, the bus driver said “Mame, why are getting off here?” I explained to him and he said, “You really should have gotten off back 12 blocks earlier”.

He said, “It isn’t safe leaving you here.” Tell you what, it is the end of my shift and I’ll take you Union Station.” He drove me up the door and as I went to hand him a tip, he said, “No, I won’t take that – just do something nice for someone along the way.”

As I settled into my hotel that night, I smiled. It has been a good day and the kindness of southern California strangers played a big role in making this second day a very good adventure indeed.


If you travel a good deal, make yourself a checklist of things you need to take with you. Invariably you will be interrupted as you are packing. Checking off the list assures you have put the necessary items into your suitcase or carry on.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


My topic “Effective Teams” was all over in 1.15 hrs. It felt good. People came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed my story about the ducks on the pond outside my window. It seems there were two baby ducks that didn’t like swimming in a straight line with eight other siblings. The mother panic and the story goes on—you’ll have to read my forthcoming EBook to hear the rest of the story.

After my speech, I changed shoes and headed outside. Thank goodness, I had thrown in an umbrella after checking the weather forecast before I left. People have told me that it never rains much in Salt Lake City for any period…normally cloudless blue skies.

My goal was to visit the Contemporary Arts Center, which much to my surprise was free to the public. The first stop was a gallery of paintings done by visually impaired people. They had four goggles that you could look through to experience the artists' sight as they painted. The paintings were impressive at first glance. When I realized what their sight was liked as they created them, I stood there and marveled at what it took them to complete these works of art.

Looked at my watch and it was time to return to the conference to hear my dear friend Gayle Beacock make a presentation. The message she was about to deliver was cloaked in secrecy for she wanted to surprise everyone.

Gayle revealed the true Gayle Beacock in front of the assembled group and let people know the history, the work and the traumas it took as a family to create Beacock Music

Her family started the store in 1979 and today it is a thriving music store with people from all over the world contacting and featuring them for their innovative ideas.

Half way through the presentation there was a slide of notes her mother, Sue Beacock, had taken in 1969 which said, “Do to the difficult economy…” Gayle illustrated the fact that their family had been through this stuff before and they are alive and even better today. Her point was “A single-minded attitude” didn’t let them give up."

At the end, the group gave her a standing ovation. Her risk to share warts and all worked—people could identify and they liked it! Once again, proving to me when people believe you are authentic, they hear and appreciate your words.


When giving a ten-minute talk, stick to just one principle. That way you can develop it fully and people will walk away with an understanding of the point you wanted to make.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I feel fortunate that I was selected to return for the second year to the RPMDA (Retail Print Music Dealers Association) Conference.

It has been about 30 years since I had been in Salt Lake City, so I looked forward to the visit with great anticipation. As the plane landed, I was reminded how the city sits within a valley. The mountains surrounding the city were snow-capped and the sun was shining brightly. A quick, eight-dollar shuttle ride took me to the site of the conference Salt Lake Marriott City Center

Checked into a lovely room overlooking the city and the mountains. It would be my home for the next two days. Grabbed a bite to eat in the lounge, greeted people who organized the event and before I knew it was time to get dressed for what would be an extraordinary evening.

Attendees gathered in the main lobby and then we walked about three blocks (Salt Lake City’s blocks are about twice as long as normal blocks) and found ourselves in the Joseph Smith (Founder of the Mormon Church) Memorial Building. If I were to say, it was ornate – that would be putting it mildly. Everywhere you looked, there were examples of the amazing works of artisans who obviously painstaking created this building – rumors are that it was once a hotel.

A lovely dinner was served there and then we had time to roam the Temple grounds. Tulips were in full bloom – flowers were as far as the eye could travel. Then it was time for us to enter the hall to watch a rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Three hundred and sixty voices, plus an orchestra of approximately 40 musicians was being coaxed to perfection by the conductor. We learned that a choir member has to make a commitment of 20 years or until they reach the age of 60.

A break was taken by the choir and then entire group came out in full dress regalia. The conductor walks to the microphone welcomed our group (which was sitting front and center) and says for the next ¾ of an hour we want you to know this is for you.

What unfolded was one of the most unbelievable events I have ever attended. For many in our group it was especially poignant because they were actually using the print music that was sold to the choir from their stores. A song “Lilies in the Field” had to be one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.

This evening has to be one of the most extraordinary evenings I have ever been a part of in my life. I am honored and humbled by the fact that I was able to witness this evening with the participants of the conference.

My next blog will continue information about my journey in Salt Lake City.


Assume that the next person you run into is a client. Last night coming home on an airport shuttle, I met a woman who asked me what I do. She's attending my next event where I will be speaking in my community.