Thursday, July 30, 2009


Each Sunday or early Monday morning, I sit down at my computer and organize myself to find the “right” quote that I want to send out. The selected quote triggers a little discussion in my mind, which in turn becomes no more than four and one-half lines about “why” I thought the particular quote relative. Then the paragraph is followed by a question that is written to make you think about your week ahead.

Much to my surprise, I discovered I have been sending it out every week for the last seven years. It has never been a chore and find that between keeping my eyes and ears open for information to dispense on Twitter and my weekly ezine I find that I keep much more alert to things that are happening around me.

The distribution list is growing and all people on the list have opted in to receive it. If people unsubscribe, the comment usually is something like “I’m just too overwhelm with email.” I smile, for Weekly Wisdom is so short it takes no time to read, but it was a good way for people to let me down easy when they really mean it wasn’t serving them. Rarely, do I get these unsubscribe messages.

This blog was triggered by two emails I got yesterday. One woman wrote to tell me where she had met me and said, “I signed up for Weekly Wisdom then and I am so glad I did. Keep up the good work.”

The second email said, “Kathy, I am changing jobs and I want to be sure I continue to get Weekly Wisdom, would you change my address? It is so helpful to me and really puts me in a positive frame of mind as I start my week.”

Needless to say, I was smiling as I read them. Weekly Wisdom keeps me connected to people that I have met as I keep developing my wonderful life that is filled with adventure and growth.
Next week, I am heading to Palm Springs for an extended period of time to use my networking skills to raise funds to help bring back the Rodeo to Palm Springs after 40 years.

Weekly Wisdom will continue to arrive in your email no later than Monday morning.

I will have a new blog, in addition to this one, on my journey to raising funds in Palm Springs….I will let you know when that is up and running.

If you are not presently a subscriber to Weekly Wisdom, please do sign up The box is in the upper-right hand corner of my home page.

Do send me comments about your reaction to any given Weekly Wisdom—love to get your comments.


Stretch yourself by going to visit an industry that you know very little about. You will be amazed at the how a different environment might stretch your thinking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Recently, I sent a woman I hadn’t seen in a couple of years and whom I admire, a note congratulating her on her outstanding professional achievement. It was no brainer for me to write the note since anyone in the professional world knows receiving accolades from your own industry is truly an honor.

Two days later, I got a call from her. “Kathy, been wanting to connect with you, let’s have lunch.” We set the date and I looked forward to it – we always have had stimulating conversations.

I had read that the particularly restaurant, where we were going to have lunch, was accepting books for donations for our local library foundation, so I went through my own library. Found three books that I was ready to let go. (Not an easy task for me.) As I entered the restaurant, I gave the books to the manager. What was great, is that he sincerely seemed pleased I had made the effort….it was a feel good moment.

My friend, Jan, arrived and the next hour and half was full of catching up, business, and truly connecting. We gave each other suggestions and ideas flourished.

It takes such a short amount of time to write a handwritten note. Yet, the rewards are far reaching.

What do you think? Do you have someone you would like to write a note that is important in your life?


It is never too late to send someone you know a handwritten note. It is appreciated more than you will ever understand.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


In my supply cabinet is an array of note cards. I have my formal printed ones with my logo, name, and address on the back. However, I have discovered in recent months, I tend to go to the note card that fits the personality of the intended recipient.

Handwritten notes can be used for:

Congratulations on an award.

Congratulations for the news article which included his quote. (Send the article so they have extra copies.)

Letting the recipient know you are glad you met.

Thanking a person for a special lunch or dinner.

Thanking a person for inviting you to a special event.

Thanking a person for giving you a great idea.

Thanking a person for supporting you at a meeting.

Thanking a person for a gift.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out – yet, I think we have gotten away from this simple gesture. All you need to do is write three lines. Then include your contact card (formerly business card) so that it is easy for the recipient to get in touch with you if they want to in the future.

A simple reminder that the human touch is very much appreciated.


When you have to change a business date, call the person up and give them the reason why. Then suggest some possible alternative dates. A quick phone call will be very much appreciated

Sign up for my Weekly Wisdom at (upper right-hand corner) and receive a very short email that will start your week out on a positive note.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


In a week, I will be going to pick up my daughter and her husband at the airport here on a visit from Belgium. Yesterday, it dawned on me that I was doing the things my Mom and Dad use to do for me when I visited them after I left the State of Wisconsin many years ago. Now I understand how exciting it was for them.

First of all, I marked off the days to make sure I made no appointments – I want to be available to share quality time with them. The only appointment I have made locally is dinner for all of us at our favorite lady-friend’s home who has become a part of our family.

Secondly, I checked with my daughter and she loved the idea of showing her husband the beach. I made reservations for two days at my condo timeshare at Surfside Inn in Ocean Park.We laughed on the phone together because we can’t wait to show him the Cottage Bakery downtown Long Beach. Then, of course, we will be buying fresh oysters on the way up to the end of the Long Beach Peninsula.

This will be a time for us to relax, get caught up on news, and take long walks on the 22- mile beach that we enjoy so much. Oh, I forget, one of my favorite things is the beautiful drive over there on the Washington side of the Columbia River.

Meanwhile, I have been diligently getting my home ready for them. Interesting how a special visit gets one to focus on the clutter…..that’s why I have been sorting in recent weeks. The clutter is now gone and I am proud to walk into any room—things are in place with their own home.

There is a pile of special newspaper clippings I am convinced they will be interested in, and items I have picked up for them that will, at last, be delivered. Smiling as I write this, because these are not big things—just things I know that will be meaningful to them.

Finally, I have started planning the food. I could hear my daughter smile when I said, “How about if we have egg salad sandwiches on the way to the beach? She said “Great!” Egg salad sandwiches were always packed for the first leg of any trip when they were little—even I smiled as I thought about stopping to eat them at the picnic grounds of the old cover bridge we will be going by.

Children do not fully understand how important visits are to parents. Now I can say with real understanding --- Parents love it when their children come home.

Have you visited your parents lately?


From experience, I have noted how much search engines like it when you make comments on other’s people’s blog. Don’t forget this important aspect of social media.

Friday, July 10, 2009


In 1994, I had an office in my home. It was a time when it was not “cool” to be working at home. People would go to great lengths not to let people know they were working out of their home.

Looking back, it is interesting the main reason I avoided having a “real office” was that I found I got awfully tired of the same space each day. I need a huge amount of variety in my life. Even when I worked in an office, I would find ways to hold meetings in cafes or outside around the outdoor water fountain in front of the office building. Just give me a change of environment.

The other night I was at a networking event and a woman quietly said, “I work out of my home”. I was standing with another woman and we both said “Good for you”. Immediately she had a big smile. Staying home working was new to her and she hadn’t gotten over the old norms that made it one feel like it is something to hide.

Let’s look at the negatives and positives of a home office.


You know your work is as close as the next room.
You probably lost a guest room.


Your know your work is as close as the next room.
No commute time.
Room is tax deductible.
No overhead costs – even cable only requires an extension.
Phones – Use your cell phone or get a phone with three extensions.
You records are always handy.
Schedule meetings together at your favorite restaurant or café.

Now I would go kicking and screaming if someone told me I had to stay in the same office. Recently I changed the artwork in my office an added a great rug. Easy to do when I have all my “stuff” in the same location.


If you need your office organized, here’s the person to get in touch with: Brandie Kajino

SIGN UP FOR MY WEEKLY WISDOM---A positive way to start the week out on my website – upper right-hand corner

Thursday, July 09, 2009


When I “tried” to shove still one more piece of wrapping paper in my hallway closet and things fell to the floor, the decision was made. The Fourth of July weekend would give me time to work on getting rid of “stuff”.

I pulled everything out of the closet and gingerly walked around the “stuff” as I either found new places for it or put it in a bag to be taken to a deserving non-profit for resale. My criterion for keeping it was:

Is it useful? (Pewter candleholders are always handy)

Does it bring me joy? (A knickknack that my daughter bought me Europe that always makes me smile)

Does it have special memories? (A potholder my Mom crocheted)

The bag of “stuff” grew and all of sudden everything had a home in that part of the closet.

Next, it was time to tackle the coats, scarves, gloves, and mittens. Yes, there were a few tears because there were two hats, scarves and a pair of mittens that had been knitted by Mom who is no longer here on earth. They have always been the ones I reach for when I go to the mountains or to the ocean in the fall. They have their own special shelf. let’s see. Started with my favorite ones those were actually in the back of the closet. Since I lost 20 pounds, they were now too big, yet no less appreciated by me for their uniqueness. Made the decision that they had to go – no point in keeping them AND I wasn’t about to gain weight just so I could wear them again.

Last but not least was the floor that contained an array of my father’s tools, nails, and screws. Gee, I have no idea of how they got all mixed up and strewn all over the place  With each tool I picked up I remembered my Dad using it for a particular purpose. Special memories.

Today I have put together a gift bag for a door prize. Smiling for I know right where to go to for the wrapping paper and ribbons.


When going into a one-on-one meeting, ask yourself, “How can I make this meeting a win/win/win?”

Thursday, July 02, 2009


You can quote me on this: “The person who mentions salary first loses.”
I was working with an executive woman who was transitioning into a new career. Her list of computer skills read like the “Who’s Who’s” of the computer software world. The most amazing thing was that she was self-taught.

She called me excitedly to say that she has an interview. Her interview skills needed brushing up, so she hired me for an hour to help her out. We met at our local coffee shop and we role-played.

She learned to answer the question “What is your biggest weakness?” by avoiding giving a personality trait such as “I tend to be a bit too detailed oriented.” Instead, she mentioned a skill needed for the position that she was not proficient. Then she talked about what she was doing to obtain that skill.

When it came to salary, I said, “Do not mention a salary figure, the first person that mentions salary loses”. Then we proceeded to work on answers such as:

“What do you think would be an appropriate salary for a person with my skills?”

When asked what her old salary was, the reply might be: “We’re really comparing apples and oranges here, what were you intending to offer the person in this position?”

My last piece of advice, “Do not take the job on the spot if it is offered to you – Ask for 24 hours to think about it?”

I thought she had gotten it.

That afternoon an excited woman called me, “Kathy, I got the job.” I was surprised and said, “You have already accepted it?” She said, “Yes, I did—I know you told me not to but I was so excited I did on the spot”.

This woman began her job and found out that her salary was $20,000 below that of the men in her department doing the same job. In addition, she had forgotten to negotiate parking. She was stuck with a $75 a month parking bill in a nearby building.

RECOMMENDATION: (1) Do not mention a salary figure first. (2)Ask for 24 hours to consider the job so you can think through the benefits you might want to change or negotiate.


My father taught me always to be a few minutes early. It is a trait that serves me well. If heading to a meeting in an unfamiliar place, be sure you know which parking lot to use and which door you should use to enter the building.