Tuesday, June 30, 2009


During the week, I was pouring it on for my career. I was getting tired, yet, I knew that on Sunday I would be taking a friend of mine to Mt. Hood for the very first time. Love that mountain. I make the trek there at least once each summer. It is about a two-hour drive from my home.

She arrived at my house and we set off with a clouded sky. Crossed over into Oregon and we took Highway 26 East. This route is filled with interesting little shops. As you get nearer the mountain, ski rental shops become commonplace. Chalets and tiny restaurants are tucked in under the trees that are growing in height and density. You truly feel like you are getting away.

First stop was The Resort of the Mountain in Welches, Oregon. http://www.theresort.com This turned out to be special stop for I was surprised to see the hotel had received an upgrade. Gone was the Scottish decor. Now it was contemporary in every way. We mistook the entrance of the restaurant for a spa – candles burning, flowers…nice.

We had brunch here and it was plenty—one of those places that you decide you are going to throw any diet or watching what you eat to the wind. We’re glad we did.

I showed her Government Camp – the last real sense of civilization before you head up the road to the actual mountain. No room for the terrific Huckleberry shake from the Huckleberry Inn http://www.huckleberry-inn.comNext time.

As we approached the mountain we looked up and there was not a cloud in the sky—perfect day to show off Timberline Lodge http://www.timberlinelodge.com It was dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1937. The building has painstakingly been restored. You feel like you are walking back into time for it contains the original art. You actually sit on the chairs that were crafted so many years ago specifically for this building.

Snow is still right up to the big window that provides the perfect place to view snowboarders practicing their craft. Yes, there is still lots of snow. Mt. Hood is known for summer camps –people were in their full ski gear and sunglasses…truly a sight to see.

I am on the left with my friend, Molly.

We explored the Lodge and then headed down to one of my special places. Long ago, I went on a tour following the Oregon trail with experts on the subject. The picture below shows me at place where the wagon trains went through. Over the years, the ruts are starting to disappear. Note the huge tree that, apparently, they cut down for it spread too far into their pathway. If only those trees could speak.

We ended the day in Hood River-the wonderful town on the Columbia River. This city deserves its own blog – more on that another time.

Yes, came home refreshed. Now, my friend Molly, knows more about the mountain we can see from our community. I’m betting she’ll be going back and sharing it with her friends too.


Schedule a time each day to either learn more about social media or answer or post questions online. If you are not using social media, you are missing out on a way to make yourself or product visible.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Got my coffee this morning and turned on my computer. Overnight approximately 35 people started following me on Twitter. We tend to forget while we sleep the rest of the world is wide-awake and in the middle of its’ workday. Sometime during their day, people discovered me, checked out some of my tweets, and decided they wanted to follow me.

I check them out and make a decision to follow them or ignore the request. I choose not to follow people who do not have a picture, a profile or tweets that are just used to sell their product. My view Twitter is a place where you share your insights and retweet followers who have great links to interesting blogs and newsletters.

Since I am supposed to be writing the first thing in the morning, I questioned myself about whether or not I am making good use of my important asset….time. Smiling for obviously Twitter has given me a subject to write about. Twitter has caught the attention of millions of people.

Is it worth my time? My answer is yes.

Just this week I did a radio interview because Twitter follower Radio Suzy http://dresserafterdark.com mentioned they would like me to discuss communication on their evening show. Turned out to be a great conversation about the use of simple words.

Twitter has provided me with book recommendations, blogs that have great information on communication and, believe it not, I am developing real relationships. Last week I picked up the phone and talked to a couple of acquaintances that I seemed to be connecting with through our tweets. The calls turned out to be delightful—glad I took the time.

Yes, I am hooked.


Messy office? You might want to sign up for my friend Brandie Kajino’s newsletter for some helpful hints. http://www.thehomeofficeorganizer.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Vancouver, Washington is located on the Columbia River directly across from Portland, Oregon. Seems simple enough, yet, over and over again citizens of our community have to explain that we are not in Canada.

Our Mayor’s flagstaff statement is, “We live in America’s Vancouver”. We were actually named by George Vancouver, an English Captain, who traveled by ship to this area. He named our city first, then went to Canada, and named it Vancouver.

Issues that keeping popping up:

When you tell a travel agent you want to go to Vancouver, you have to make sure that she routes you to the Portland/Vancouver International Airport.

A large music group was scheduled to perform in our terrific amphitheater. The plane stopped in Seattle and it was then the group realized they were heading to Vancouver, B.C. No tickets were available so they had to make a three-hour bus trip to our community.

When attending conferences in Seattle, we have to introduce ourselves by saying, “I am from Vancouver, Washington”. Otherwise the assumption is made we are from Canada.

When traveling, we have to make sure our suitcases are routed to Portland/Vancouver International Airport….not Vancouver, B.C.

When using search engines for Vancouver, Washington more than likely, it will include searches for Vancouver, B.C.

National news reporters say Vancouver—that normally means Vancouver, B.C.

Met a consultant through Twitter that lives in Vancouver, B.C – both of us have experienced getting calls for our services only to discover the person had us in the wrong country.

I received a call from a reporter asking my opinion on the subject of unemployment. I called her back and it took us bit to realize that she thought I was in Vancouver, B.C. – the end of the interview immediately.

Recently, I was on a plane and I said I was from Washington. The gentleman sitting next to me said “Washington, D.C.”?

Glad I know who I am – it seems my community continues to have an identity problem.


Keep track of your successes each day. You will be surprised at how much you actually have accomplished. In addition, you have a record of the date you performed the task.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Last night over dinner, we were discussing my recent visit to Palm Springs. I’ve been there three times in the last year and one-half. Two times taking care of my friend, Gary Galland, who has subsequently passed on from a brain tumor at the age of 53.

This trip was different; I was visiting his widow, Kim Galland. Since she was working when I arrived, I walked into the house that I had spent so many hours caring for Gary. Furniture had been rearranged and the quiet was practically more than I could bear.

I called the next-door neighbor who was part of my life while I was there on my other trips. She came over and soon the pain/hurt started to go away. It was apparent to me life in Palm Springs had moved on.

Kim came home and we talked, shared some tears, got that over with, and then planned for the party we had both agreed to the following afternoon. We had come up with guest list of the people that had come in and out during the times I was there – much to my great pleasure, every one of them accepted our invitation.

Sunday afternoon people started arriving. The smiles and the hugs were great fun. Conversations started out on the patio around the pool, around the breakfast bar in the living room. There was constant movement of people--it seemed as if we wanted to make sure we had time to talk to everyone there. Relaxed and easy can best describe the party. Perfect in every way.

Party was over and then Kim and I decided who we wanted to spend our time with during the next two short days I would be there. Each occasion was marked by easy conversation, genuine interest in each other and memorable moments. Like amazing fish tacos at ShanghaiReds,http://www.fishermans.com/shangaireds.php and relaxing setting for an afternoon at Café Koffi http://www.kofficoffee.com

Meet one of my new, friends--- A Bull Dog who is rated the fifth most outstanding Bull Dog in the nation. His ranking had not gone to head—he was one of the friendliest dogs I have ever met.

I drove out of town and headed to the site of the Leadership Trainer I was providing in Bakersfield, California. The day was beautiful and I smiled as I thought about the last four days.

During dinner last night, I told my friends how much I liked Palm Springs. All three of them were in disagreement with me—they found the city too pretentious and really couldn’t imagine living there .They were not even excited about visiting Palm Springs.

When I drove home last night, I thought to myself “I am blessed with some authentic friends in Palms Springs, who believe in living in the present.” They are risk takers and they do not take anything for grant it. “ Just my kind of people. Looking forward to going back as soon as I can arrange it.


Keep a folder handy to put coupons in so you can find them. Office supply stores often have excellent coupons for reducing costs of making copies.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Because I am considered an expert on networking, I am often asked, “What do you think of SendOutCards?” No, let me rephrase that – People raise their hands and say, “I use SendOutCards and send them out all the time even birthday cards to my clients children”.

My only recourse is to smile and say good for you keeping in touch with your clients. The conclusion I have come to is that if you are not good at using handwritten notes appropriately, you might have some real challenges making a good impression with these cards.

My belief is one of the reasons people are so excited about this system is that they see as it a way to make some extra money. They are becoming associates and each person they get hooked on this system becomes part of their multi-market down line network. I have been offered so many free trials I would have enough to use the system for the next year free.

With that being said, here’s my take:


I have to say I probably got a bit jaded on them because of the first one I received. It was printed upside down….clearly not the way to make a good first impression.

The next card I received had his contact card (formerly called business card) printed on the top half. No way, I could file that card or pass it on.

After years of appreciating the handwritten notes (saving every one of them), my mailbox is inundated with glossy cards and nice comments, and verses fit for a Hallmark card. Personally, I want those kinds of verses coming from my family and close friends.

The other day I wanted to email one of the people who sent me the card an article that I thought she would enjoy. I looked for her email….no email address.

Funny, the “handwritten address” is always the same…hmmmm.

For years, I have strongly suggesting people send handwritten notes…they will help build relationships. It is just sad to me people think these cards are accomplishing the same thing. I am convinced others will get tired of them and think, “Oh, here’s another one of those cards”. Then it will promptly be thrown away.

I was considering developing a class to teach people how to use these cards effectively. However, frankly, my belief is that is a short-lived fad. I am going to devote my time to other pursuits.

Right now I need close and send a handwritten note to a new friend that I had dinner with last night—she’s a real joy in my life for she stretches me in my career. She needs to hear that from me in the form of a handwritten note—not something constructed by my computer.


You have heard it before, yet, since I just learned how well it works, I thought I would remind you. Before you close down your home office at night, put everything on it in its’ home. The next morning your desk is clear.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Some of you know I live in a condo very near the Columbia River. My view off my deck is the river and the lights of the Portland Vancouver International Airport. However, it is the view out my kitchen and dining room window that brings me the most joy.

Pictured on the right is a view of the pond that is ever changing out my window. Spring in the Northwest is truly a delight in every way. The plants and trees you see here change with the season.

The center picture is one of the Blue Heron that has taken up residence here. This is a picture of one of his favorite fishing spots. He sits and sits and sits. One day as I was watching, he did get his prey…too big for him to eat all at once so he carried it off. Not sure where he actually spends his evenings, but all I know he brings a smile to my face each time I see him.

The third picture on the right is the real “Ugly Duckling”. We have four resident black swans. They are not very friendly creatures, so watching them from afar has become a wonderful treat. Each spring there is at least two babies born, as was the case this spring. However, all of sudden there was only one.

Living here helped me understand the true story of the “Ugly Duckling”. Each spring there are many baby ducks – sometimes as many as ten of them to a family. Before I know it, they have feathers and disappear somewhere.

The picture I have here is the “ugly duckling” (a baby swan, of course) It is now at least six weeks old. His body keeps growing as you can see by the size of him next to his mother. Yet, he is still entirely covered with down. Thus, the as the story goes…..I’m sure he’s wondering when he is going to be all grown up. It took me 50 years before I truly understood the story of the “Ugly Duckling” and all I had to do was look out my window.


http://www.hotwire.com continues to be an outstanding resource for me to rent cars. I have never been tripped up by them. (No, I don’t have stock in the company)

Monday, June 01, 2009


Turned on the computer this morning and emails started flowing in at a rapid pace. I discovered that there had been a huge influx of people signing up to follow me on Twitter. http://www.twitter.com/KathyCondon Smiling because getting followers is a good thing. As I write about 2500 people are following my tweets (140 characters—all you are allowed) which include, my “witty” comments, learnings and my adventures (if it is something unusual…and with me that is often.)

It would be easy to get sidetrack, but I am sticking to my plan that I developed before I went to bed last night.

1. Exercise – so that is swimming --- today I was there at 6:00 a.m. Like that time of morning for I have the pool to myself and reward myself with a sitting in the hot tub.

2. Took a shower and put the coffee on.

3. Read two papers….Yes, I still do and cannot imagine how I could be an Executive Coach without understanding what is going on in the world – especially the business world.

4. Made breakfast….a true believer in breakfast is important and I cannot tell you how many ways I have figured out to make different omelets…I need the protein.

5. Monday, so “Weekly Wisdom” was sent out. Love doing it and always starts my week in the positive mode of thinking. You can have your friends/colleagues sign up for it on my website http://www.kathycondon.info It is the upper-right hand side of my website.

6. Time to get out of my jammies and return to Social Media…..Did some tweeting and answered some questions on http://www.linkedIn.com

7. Time to write on my blog – that’s right now (10:00 a.m. now)


• Pay some bills online.
• Mail a couple of books out that people purchased.
Yes, I am pleased to say “It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s all about Communication” is selling well and long ago turned in the black on self-publishing.
• Prepare some books to be sent out for marketing purposes.
• Go back to LinkedIn and answer some more questions in the Groups.
• Send some comments/resources to fellow Tweeps (People who use Twitter)
• Work on seminar for Leadership Training Series on Beliefs and Values.
• Make a couple of appointments for coffee with people one-on-one...
• Finish car/hotel reservations for mid-June trip to Palm Springs and Bakersfield, CA.
• Make some phone calls to people who least expect it – time to connect.

Finally, expect the unexpected…..never know when the great phone call or email comes suggesting I am the perfect person for them to speak/training for their association or company.

By the way, this is a very rare thing for me to be working in my home all day without any outside appointments.


If you want some tips on how to do Layoffs, you might want to read the article in The Columbian on Sunday where I was quoted extensively. http://tinyurl.com/m9ky6z