Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have moved my blog to my website:

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Let me know if there are any topics that are of particular interest to you--my goal is to make my website a place where you can pick up some "little things" that will help you in your day-to-day life.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Last week we had day after day of clouds here in Washington, which recently received the distinction of being 5th in the nation for cloudy days. I get up at 5:00 a.m., and it is at least another 1.5 hours before sunrise.

Last Thursday I seemed paralyzed against taking any constructive action. Took a nap—nothing changed. Exercised, ate right, drank lots of water, and wrote in my journal. Then it dawned on me that it was time to bring out my Happy Lite Junior.

A Little Background

Growing up in Tomah, Wisconsin, there was much light in my life. Nothing like the brilliant sun on the white snow that was prevalent in the winter. We have heard of or experienced Wisconsin’s humid summers, yet there was sunshine, too.

After getting married, we moved to Northridge, California, where there were days of 100-degree weather. Most of the time it was extremely pleasant, and we entertained in our sun-filled backyard and swimming pool on a regular basis.

Then there was the move to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, which was a town filled with civil war history and bustling with college students. Many of the activities were outside, for one could pretty well count on the sun showing up each day.

With much joy, we took our next assignment at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. The first morning on the island I woke up to a brilliant sunrise, banana trees laden with their crop, and palm trees; I felt like I was in heaven. The sun provided warmth—and provided me with unparalleled energy. I accomplished much during the four years we lived there.

The 4,000-mile move to Washington and little sunlight became a challenge. I missed the sun and my energy level didn’t seem to match my former life. One day, I discovered an article about light therapy. My symptoms matched the description of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a form of depression that occurs with seasonal changes.

I ordered Happy Lite Jr. from Verilux. The instructions stated, do not use the light near bedtime. With that in mind, I set the light on my desk and turned it on for 15 minutes each morning while I went through my emails. I waited for an improvement.

In less than a week, I caught myself buzzing around and getting much accomplished. Nah, it couldn’t be the light. I did a test and left it off for three cloudy days—that same lethargic mood was coming back. It was the light!

So as the days here shortened and the clouds rolled in, I pulled the light out from under my bed. I wasn’t about to go through another entirely unproductive day.

I’m sitting here smiling, for it is yet another cloudy day and I have written this blog before 9:00 a.m. Imagine what else I can accomplish today.

The way you communicate to yourself is just as important, maybe even more important, than the way you communicate with others. Make sure you keep your mind and energy sharp. It’s too big of a wonderful world out there to feel like all you want to do is pull up the covers over your head.

It’s the Little Things:

1. If you are not being productive, and you cannot get a handle on the reason why, write in a journal and just let your thoughts flow—you may be surprised at the answer.

2. Ask the question, “If I did know …” Starting a question in this way accesses a different part of your brain and helps bring up the answer. (I asked this question while journal writing and was quickly reminded to bring out the light.)

3. If people say they believe in light therapy, do not knock their belief. How many of you are suffering from lack of sunshine and doing nothing about it?

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Writing Effective Reviews that Teach

While reading my email this morning, I ran across one that referred to one of my favorite places here in the northwest: Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, Oregon. Many people know their products for the outstanding natural grains they grind in the plant and distribute throughout the nation. Those of us in this area are fortunate to be able to head down to the corporate headquarters and store at any time.

The website had a highlighted “review” section, and clicking on it brought up a wealth of information about the store and restaurant.

What can you learn from reading reviews? Here is what I learned about Bob’s Red Mill.

1. One reviewer went on about how good the egg sandwich was and how it was an outstanding value for the price. They serve breakfast at the restaurant on the premises, and an egg sandwich is something I hadn’t thought of in years.

2. It was revealed that Bob himself hangs out there on Saturdays. A big deal? Maybe not, but it is nice to know that the man behind the company comes in and talks with his customers—the human touch.

3. Reminder: The open bins of grains are an outstanding value, costing far less than when the grains are packaged and stored on shelves.

4. Reminder: Make sure you go through your cupboards and recipes before you go there, for it is easy to get overwhelmed due to the large quality of bulk bins that line the walls.

5. Reminder: If you think you will be the only one in the store on Saturday, think again. Customers have learned to make their grocery-shopping trip a real outing, where they can browse, eat a meal, and have great coffee with friends.

I wish I had read those reviews before I went. My first visit to the store was truly overwhelming, and reading reviews before my arrival would’ve lessened my confusion.

What if you sat down and wrote a review for a person or business with which you do business?

It’s the Little Things

Tips for Writing Reviews:

1. If you are frustrated with a company, take a deep breath before you head to the computer to write a negative review. Ask yourself, would I want someone to write this about me if it were a one-time issue?

2. Pick up or ask for a contact card as you are about to exit the place of business. When it is time to write the review, you will be glad you have all the information within easy reach.

3. When writing the review, give the reader some useful information about the business.

Example: The review reminded me about egg sandwiches. If I am going to have one, it sounds like Bob’s Red Mill is the place to go—visions of my great childhood dance in my head.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Make Social Media Work for You

Apparently, I am one of the few people who didn’t notice that Facebook was down for an extensive period. I didn’t see any of the tweets on Twitter about it, either, even though I was at my computer all day. I found out about Facebook being down when I listened to the news.

Now, why is that?

As a person who speaks and trains on face-to-face networking, I do not spend much of my day on Facebook and Twitter. I wake up in the morning, check both, and usually add something of interest that I stumbled across in my reading, or add something about improving communication. I do the same thing at night.

The site I do spend quite a bit of time on is LinkedIn. I am a member of many groups and allow new discussions to flow into my inbox. Often I am one of the first to comment on topics that are relevant to speaking, training, and writing on communication issues. Many of the articles posted are outstanding, and I would have never found them on my own.

Am I on the right path? My belief is that I am. A recent survey found that 1 out of 5 teens are leaving Facebook because they are bored with it, though a small percentage is leaving because of parents watching their posts. Recently I’ve been hearing that people feel Facebook is becoming too commercialized, as well. At any rate, it seems that things are changing on these sites.

Some of the social media site experts are now expounding the idea that blogs, once again, are becoming the preferred way of connecting online. An eMarketer’s survey found that more than 1/2 of people online read a blog at least once a month. That makes for an awful lot of people who are not reading blogs, but the way I look at it, this is a huge potential for those of us who do.

I plan to keep blogging and sharing what I learn in my day-to-day life.

It’s the Little Things

I am not giving up on social media sites just yet, though. Here are some things I have learned:

1. Share articles that you have found useful.

2. Keep your own promotional materials to a minimum—being known as someone who shares great information is truly a plus.

3. When you get in the habit of writing quality online information, quality people will want to connect with you.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Writing Every Day Enhances Your Writing Skills?

You have heard it repeatedly: If you want to enhance your writing, write something every day. Easy to do? It depends.

In my family, our parents instilled in us a curiosity about the world. They were great at pointing out that there is always something more to learn. So that know-it-all attitude that seems more prevalent today was not allowed in our household. It was clear to us that it was our responsibility to keep asking why things happened or how something was made.

As I am just about to reach my daily writing goal, my parents and their teachings are on my mind more often. I realize now that all three of us children are still constantly exploring new subjects and sharing our knowledge with others.

My brother shares by digging in and learning everything he can about a subject and shares with great conversations. My sister travels and shares what she is learning with her congregation. I choose to share what I am learning through my writing.

Writing every day can enhance your writing skills—yet, more importantly, a daily focus on writing sharpens your ability to observe the world around you.

It's the Little Things

If you want to write every day, these suggestions may be helpful:

1. Pick a time of day that you have discovered is the “right” time for you to sit down and write. (For me it is before 9:00 a.m.)

2. You decide if you need complete silence. (I have discovered that piano music playing in the background helps my thoughts flow.)

3. Keep a notebook with you at all times. Ideas pop up when you least expect them—and can escape you if you don’t note them.

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Improving Communications with Batchbook

Guest Blogger Brandie Kajino

I'm a small business owner and consultant. I have clients I need to keep track of, which can be a challenge. I looked around and found many different flavors of contact management systems. Oh sure, I had an address book, and even a spreadsheet to keep track of where I was at in the follow-up process with client leads. I was also doing my best to keep track of communicating with my current clients. I was failing miserably.

It's not that I didn't want to have better follow-up. I just couldn't find the right fit. Many of the big players in the CRM ("contact record managers") software arena were way more than I needed on a daily basis. This year, I found Batchbook, and we are happy partners these days. Let me tell you why:

Visibility. I know when I talked to a contact, a copy of the email and any other documents or communication I sent out to this person (attached to their record in the virtual world). It's all in one place, instead of spread out over spreadsheets, searching through my email "Sent" folder and other hidden away corners of my workday. I open the record, and I know what
is going on with Suzy, and if it's time for me to get back in touch with her.

Improved communication. Batchbook made it simple for me to get in touch. A click or two helped me send an email, which is then logged in their record (my account is also associated with my Google Apps for Business account). I wasn't guessing or going by some feeling I had about the last time I had let my client know I was thinking of them. Even better, if I told someone I would call them in a couple months, I didn't have to try and remember that in my busy mind. I just make a note in Batchbook to call them, set the date and know I will get a reminder to
call. So easy!

Improved client relations & continued business. I also found more diligent (and purposeful) communication made it easier for my existing clients to do business with me as well. Many times after sending a note to check in on how things are going, the client would call or email back shortly after thanking me for contacting them. They would also mention they had been thinking about the work we had done, and were ready to book another appointment. This was a huge revelation to me. By keeping that relationship going, we both win.

I guess the lesson I took away from all this was: Keep the communication going. This product helped me keep a very important piece of my business running efficiently: improving communication with clients, leads and partners. It was the right fit for me!

"Brandie Kajino is a small business technology expert, consultant, author & dynamic speaker. Empowering clients with information, tools, technology and simple solutions is her specialty. For more information on her services, products, podcast & internet radio show and free resources, visit "

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Recently I was on a webinar to learn even more about marketing, and one of their free trial offers was a series of email newsletters that you adapt to your own business needs. I signed up and—much to my surprise—the series was practically identical to the Weekly Wisdom newsletter that I have been sending out for seven years.

The only thing missing was my 4.5 lines of commentary. After I finished kicking myself for not taking Weekly Wisdom to the bigger arena, I thought, “Hmmm, sending these out could save me some time.” The company offered a choice of daily, once weekly, or three times weekly newsletters. It might work, but …

Was using this service something that would serve the greater good and make my life easier? I became obsessed with the question and started asking my closest confidants, my sister, my friend, Molly, and even strangers for their opinions.

Then I remembered my values, the first of which is integrity. If I sent that out with my name and contact information on it, it would appear as though I was taking the time to prepare the newsletter. That would not be the case. All I would be doing is paying for the service.

That made my decision. I will continue to personally write Weekly Wisdom and send it to my loyal followers. It’s fascinating that it was a much easier decision to make once I examined my own values. In this case, my first listed value—integrity.


Rotary International’s Four-Way Test says it all:

1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it Fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will be beneficial to all concerned?

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Improve Communication by Writing Notes to Yourself

This morning I woke up, made coffee, and read the newspaper to keep up-to-date on the activities affecting my local community.

Walked into my office, opened my computer, and watched 90 emails flood my screen. Somewhere along the line, one of them triggered a great idea for the subject of my blog, “Improving Communications with Kathy Condon.” I went to write the idea down but thought, “I don’t have to—this is such a good idea I’ll remember it.”

Hours later, I’d showered and was ready for a busy day of meetings, writing, and developing ways to drive traffic to my new website: As I walked back into my office I thought, “Now what was I going to write about today?” Blank…….nothing……nada.

Both frustrated and laughing to myself, I thought, “Now why in the world did I not write down my good idea?” This forgetfulness episode reminded me of why I always carry a notepad in my purse. Ideas flow easily while you’re out and about, but if you don’t catch them, you lose them.

It is only 9:00 a.m.—and I’ve already relearned a lesson. Write down good ideas. Remember, it is the “little things” that help improve communication with yourself and others.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010


The decision was not an easy one. I could either have five days at the beach in Long Beach, Washington, or stay home and develop my website:

Rosie, my friend and the artist for my book It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It's all about Communication has a magnificent home at the beach. In her presence, there are great conversations and fierce card games that challenge my mind. If I stayed home, I would have five days of little communication with other human beings.

I placed the call to Rosie and told her that I decided to stay home and work on the website. Once I made that phone call, my focus turned to the things I needed to do to clear the decks for the five days that were rapidly approaching.

Thursday morning arrived and the focus process began. For this website, unlike those I previously had, I was laser focused on exactly what I want to provide. Using Netfirms E-commerce Site Builder, I began the process by choosing a template for the entire website. This was no easy task, as there were hundreds of them. And once you find the template you like, you still have to choose the color.

The tabs listed the services I provide, and of course, there was the obligatory bio and client list. The framework was complete.

Now the hard part began—verbiage that would catch the eye of my site visitors. Krissi, who I found through Elance became an invaluable asset. Often I would send her a page and she was right there to rework the paragraphs. She helped me clarify statements and wrote eye-catching copy.

The process continued for three days. Then it was time for a break—a trip to Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert and Resort with my friend, Molly. The sunshine, a completely different landscape and laughs renewed my spirits.

The verbiage for the website was pretty much done. Now for the pictures that would help bring the pages to life… My sister, Janet, is superb at working with pictures and, by the way, has a passion for it. We kept Skype on and laughed that she was at my beck and call for the entire day. She got used to hearing me say, “Well, if it were a little more to the right.”

At last, it appeared the website was ready to launch. Now I can make any changes I desire, for I truly am the architect of the entire site. This is something I never dreamed I could do, but advances in technology have made it possible for those of us with limited web design skills … so long as you painstakingly read the directions (not an easy task for me).

The time had come at about 7:00 p.m. on Labor Day. There was both a sense of terror and excitement, for I knew that once I pushed the button, my other website would be gone. I took a deep breath and pushed ‘Publish.’

After it downloaded, the ‘View Your Website’ button appeared. With trepidation, I pushed the button … and then I broke into a huge smile—it had worked perfectly. I found three little glitches throughout the 12 pages; however, they were easy to fix.

As I went to bed that night, there was a huge sense of accomplishment. I slept well. When I got up the next morning, I was wondering if it was a dream—did I really have a brand new website that 100 percent reflected my services. Sure enough, there it was—it was not a dream.

The power of focus has served me well.

Check out my new website:

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Keep Up with the News to Improve Your Communication

When coaching people I ask, “Do you keep up with the news?” A common reply is, “No, I do not like to hear all the negativity.” Hmmmm. These same people complain that they are bored, or they ask me how in the world I come up with such interesting functions to attend.

I still read the newspaper, for that is where I find little gems. We are used to skimming the large advertisements in newspapers; yet, it’s interesting how often the fine print announces an event the companies are sponsoring. These events are often free and open to the community. They help me keep up with developments in my own community by giving me an opportunity to interact with people from different disciplines.

The morning television news shows are a great way to catch up with happenings overnight. My recent trip to Europe, a nine-hour time change from my home, illustrated how much actually happens in the world while America sleeps. You can easily listen to these shows while you get ready for your day’s activities. Then, once you are out about, you will at least have a broad idea of what is going on in the world.

The Internet provides rich resources for up-to-date news. If there is breaking news during the day, at least a skeleton of information is available. By the way, I check the headlines on my homepage when I open my computer in the morning.

Social media is part of my world, too. I pay attention to LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter every day. Social media is not where I go for news, though. I go there to learn about new strategies and their application, and to share my expertise on improving communication.

You can easily see that I would never be able to read everything in detail—or I would never get anything done. As for those negative articles… Why do I want to read about the latest fire in Florida when I live in Vancouver, Washington? Sound cold? Maybe it does. But as my daughter, who is in public relations, pointed out, the reporters look for the worst areas to photograph and the most distraught people to interview.

Just give me the facts. I have places to go, things to learn, so that I can share.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


While at first glance a one-on-one meeting may seem be an extremely slow way to market, it actually can be the most effective. Remember the Hare and the Tortoise -- who came out the winner? I am interested in learning new things and understand that people are interesting and have much to teach me if I take the time to listen.

What if you take a new approach to your marketing? I know the days are frantic with work and issues to solve. Yet, taking the time to have coffee with a person you met at an event can reap huge rewards.

It’s Relaxing

Stopping to have a cup of coffee with someone at the local coffee shop changes the pace in your day. Trust me; you’ll come back to the office with a new outlook.

You Learn

You do not quite understand what Louise does at the XYZ Company? By the end of the meeting you will know more about Louise and Louise will understand more clearly what you do.

You have a New Contact

Maybe you don’t need Louise’s services but you will be amazed how quickly someone crosses your path that could use her services. You refer her to your friend -- your friend wins, Louise wins and so do you because you become known for sharing great information.

You may get a Referral

Louise liked you -- she sends you a referral. It may not be immediate, it may be a year, yet it will happen when you least expect it.

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Monday, August 16, 2010


Arrange time to just talk with your best friend. You do not always have to have an event or a place to explore. My friend, Molly, and I have never had a problem solving issues of the world. We often joke, of course, we are perfect and our position on the subject is the “right” one.

One afternoon over ice tea, our conversation turned to the subject of Skype. I mentioned I am going to use Skype for my executive coaching. Her response, “Well when you do, make sure you stay still. You drive me crazy with all of your movement when we use it.”

My response was “You are kidding, really?” She smiled, and said “You mean you didn’t know?”

Have to say I wasn’t the slightest bit aware of how I was coming across on her monitor. An easy thing to correct, yet, would not have known if Molly had not mentioned it over our casual conversation.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Recently, it took me two days to travel from Belgium to Vancouver, Washington, thanks to late airline departures and mechanical problems. At the time, I was livid that my smart phone would not connect once I was in the United States. However, something interesting happened; I started talking to people instead of fussing with my smart phone.

At JFK International Airport, a couple was sitting next to me—the woman was fast asleep. I said to the man, “Where are you going?” He replied, “I can’t tell you.” A fascinating, mysterious reply. Then he whispered, “We’re going to Italy. It is my wife’s birthday and she doesn’t know where we are going.”

He quietly went on to explain that they are from Alaska and that it was the first time they had ever left Alaska in the summer. She awakened, and I asked her how she felt about being on a journey and not knowing the destination. She smiled and said, “I trust him completely.”

They went out for lunch, and when they came back she was smiling broadly. He had given her the travel journal for Italy so she could read it on the overseas flight.

My plane was delayed and I missed my connecting flight. Fortunately, I received a hotel voucher. Once again, I found myself sitting on a bench next to a couple. The man said, “What hotel are you going to?” I told him, and he said, “I have a hint for you. Be sure to ask them for a refurbished room, for some of them are older and musty smelling.”

Once I arrived at the hotel, I said to the clerk, “There is word on the street that some of the rooms have a musty smell, and I’m allergic to mold.” She said, “Well, we can’t have that. Let me find you a good room.” Soon I found myself in a room on the newly remodeled executive floor, complete with a flat screen television and wonderful view.

Now are these two incidents significant in the realm of everyday life? Maybe not; however, both made my adventure more interesting. One of them was a great example of a couple caring about one another. The other conversation enhanced my physical comfort on a long journey.

I am convinced that if I had been engrossed in my smart phone I would have missed both of these conversations. On my final leg of the trip, I watched as people sat silently engrossed in their own smart phones. What interesting conversations were they missing with their fellow travelers?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A fascinating aspect has changed in my life. Gone are the days that I can work at home and forget the makeup and fixing my hair when I have a day to work at home.

Living in a higher end condo complex means that the residents maintain their appearance when they leave their own unit. My girlfriend jokes that when we go shopping how often I will say, “This will be great for wearing around the house”. Rules such as no bathing suits with no cover-up on the way to the pool are strictly prohibited.

The attire I wear in the complex is not the issue. Skype is the real change agent for me for each morning, it runs through my mind, and “Who will be calling me on Skype today?” I know you can turn it off and I do that on occasion. However, if you had a daughter with a new grandchild living in Belgium with a time difference of nine hours, would you risk missing the moment when your daughter has time to jump on for a few minutes?

It is with this in mind, the shower is taken early, hair fixed and makeup applied as soon as I have had my coffee and read the local newspaper. Yes, I read the newspaper, besides receiving my news online. I teach networking. You would be amazed and what you can pick up in ads and little tidbits tucked away in obscure locations on the pages.

Skype means we are visually available at any given moment if we stay online. Do I consider this a bad aspect of the technology? Not at all. I have never stayed in my jammies and bunny slippers all day. Now I just prepare for the day more deliberately and sooner.

Skype is changing our world and is improving communications. At last we can visually see a person’s body language, which is 55 percent of communication. Changing my morning routine is a small price to pay for the benefits Skype brings to my world.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Professional Pictures Improve your Image

After an eight-month stint working in Palm Springs, CA, my appearance had changed. My hair was lighter, for one thing. The fun factor seemed to pop out much more frequently, too, as it’s easy to become more of a free spirit when you have bright sunshine every day.

Once I returned home, I noticed that my professional picture seemed so structured and dark. It had been two years since I’d had one taken. Because I was preparing my new website, it seemed to be the perfect time to take the leap and have a new photo taken.

It was time to find the “right” photographer…

The first person I asked was Brandie Kajino She replied with a big smile and said, “You have to use Kate Singh of Aevum Images —she’s terrific.” Since Brandie and I are in a mastermind group, I knew she was looking out for my welfare.

I contacted Kate through Facebook. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from her and we proceeded to interview each other. We set the date and location. We planned to get the pictures taken at the Grant House here in Vancouver, WA, on the veranda—trusting that it would be a sunny day.

Kate asked me to bring different sets of clothing, and she reminded me not to wear anything that would clash with the color of my website. Never would have thought of that on my own.

I made an appointment to get my makeup done at Nordstrom I contacted a girlfriend, who is an artist, and asked her to come along for the shoot. I knew she would keep my hair, clothing and everything else nice and neat through it all.

The sun shone brightly on the morning of the photo shoot. Perfect, for I was determined not to have a usual background—I’m not known for following the rules.

It took a village to get the new photograph on the top. I’m thinking it has a little more personality than the one below it. How about you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


When my daughter was an exchange student years ago, we communicated by sending weekly letters. There was no email, and phone calls to Belgium cost 30 cents a minute.

This same daughter lives and works in Belgium. Yesterday, I got a phone call from her smart phone from the hospital informing me I am a new grandmother. The reception was crystal clear and I could hear the nuisance in her voice letting me know that she was okay.

When I told her I really wanted to see a picture, she said “Okay, Mom I’ll send one from my smart phone”. Less than an hour later I was viewing this precious new member of the family stretched out in her cubicle right beside her Mom.

That same night, the new baby’s great aunt, who is just coming back home Beijing, was on Skype anxious to know the details about the latest addition to the family. How wonderful it was to see her smiling and excited!

You can say all you want about how technology is stopping interpersonal communication. However, today, technology truly helped me feel connected. I can hardly wait until I will be able to interact with my grandchild on Skype in the years to come.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


About three years ago I was using a goal sheet, filling it in and reporting to my executive coach. The line on the form that said “What have you accomplished this week?” proved to be one of the most helpful.

Now returning to the use of this goal sheet reminded me of the value of writing down my activities. I had gone through the week writing, meeting with people and doing my normal one-hour a day communicating on social media sites. It wasn’t until I completed the summary that I realized, that instead of feeling like I wasn’t accomplishing much, I had made great strides forward toward my three quarterly goals.

Do you take the time to write down the activities you are doing that are propelling you toward your goals?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with two professional men in a relaxed atmosphere talking about our careers and interactions with people. It wasn’t long before the topic of quiet time came up. Both men said, “I just want to come home and pick up the remote and stare at the television. I’ve been around people all day demanding attention from me, I need a break.”

As the only women present, I sat there smiling. I remember well the period of time when I was home taking care of my two daughters. I was delighted to have my husband come home so I could have some adult conversation. It appeared that I had done the same thing that was annoying the two men. I welcomed home my husband by telling him ALL the details of the day. Now this extrovert working in the professional world understands the feeling of the need of space and quiet at the end of the day.

What do you do in your quiet time?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A couple of months ago, a consultant and I had arranged to have coffee at our local consultant hangout at 10:00 a.m. Ten fifteen had gone by and he still wasn’t there. Fifteen minutes is my allotted time to wait for a person in case they get caught up in traffic or were the victim on an extra long meeting.

Normally, I write the phone number down with the person’s name. This time I hadn’t so I had no way to get in touch with him. This was before the arrival of my new Droid Incredible so didn’t have access to text or email either one. I finished my coffee and headed home.

Once home, I sent him an email “Missed you at River Maiden” Shortly thereafter an email arrived, “Kathy, I am so sorry my Blackberry didn’t synch up to my Outlook and it didn’t get into the calendar”. Yup, technology that is supposed to save us time isn’t always the perfect answer.

He apologized profusely and said “I owe you lunch now.” We both got busy and a month went by when one or the other of us got back in touch. We have known each other casually but had never sat down and really talked. We set the date and he told me where to meet him.

This time it was my mistake. I had it in my head an entirely different restaurant a few minutes away. When I realized my mistake, I called the restaurant, Hudson’s Bar and Grill at The Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington. They delivered the message to him that I would be there in 10 minutes.

I spied him as I walked into the restaurant sitting in the booth getting caught up on his emails. Once he saw me arriving he greeted me with a big smile and a handshake. We immediately went into a fascinating conversation. Sharing what we were both up to and discovered ways that we could help one another in our endeavors.

True to his word, he picked up the lunch tab making up for his error a couple of months ago when he didn’t show up. As I walked out, I smiled. What a great luncheon. We had learned, we had laughed and this classy man knew how to make me feel special. Needless to say, I am looking forward to doing business with him in the future.

LESSON LEARNED: When you make an error admit it and then think of a classy way to make up for it.

Friday, June 25, 2010


A couple of nights ago I decided to Google my name to see where my articles and comments are showing up with search engines. I had delved back into pages four or five pages in a long time because I figured most people wouldn’t go there anyway. Yet, it was good resource for me to see who was publishing my free articles.

About page five, there was website where I had commented on a well-known networker’s site. She had outlined great steps for networking at an event. However, I commented that she had missed the last step. Thus I stated I felt it was to call the person up and set up a face-to-face meeting, perhaps over a cup of coffee.

Here reply, “Kathy, good observation, however I feel that is a ‘waste of time’ now we use social media for the next step.” It was late at night and I knew I was irritated so decided to let it go. Obviously, I haven’t since I am writing this blog.

For the next two days I was out and about at meetings that I had set up solely for the purpose of networking. At each stop, now keep in mind these were all different age groups, I asked the question, “How important do you think face-to-face first meetings are to build rapport with a person? Can the same thing be accomplished with social media without meeting in person?”

What was fascinating was the look on their faces? Since they knew I taught networking, they looked at me like that was one of the craziest things I have ever asked. The answer, 100 percent, was “No, sitting down with a person is where you really learn about a person.”

My hunch was right in my small survey. Social media is too superficial and you cannot hear the tone of their voice or see their body language. You only have words. Yes, I know video is being used to a great extent in social media, however, as we all know, that can be edited at any given point.

As a professional, I guard my recommendations closely. I need to know if the person is really who they say they are. A recent article in a Wharton School of Business newsletter illustrates how people are providing untruths in their resumes and social media profiles.

This week, I had two lunches and coffee with people that were set up for the expressed purpose of getting to know the individuals better. Ideas flowed and we figured out ways we can help each other. Interestingly, we have been connected on social media and occasionally write on each other’s LinkedIn wall http://www.linkedin/.com or comment on Face Book

However, it wasn’t until we sat down in a relaxed atmosphere were we able to share our recent experiences, challenge each other and truly connect. Just for the record, any of these people I met with this week, I would be happy to recommend. I am convinced they love what they do. Their body language was congruent with what they were saying. Nothing better than recommending a person that truly enjoys his/her life’s work.

What is your opinion of in-person versus social media networking? I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Just had one of the most frustrating afternoons in regard to customer service.

1. Went to a mobile phone store. Had an unopened car charger purchased about four months ago. Wanted to trade it in for a charger for my new Droid Incredible. I was told, we don’t return anything after 30 days. I said, “That’s fine, I just want store credit.”

Reply, sorry we don’t do that. Upon further questioning, it became apparent that the salesperson was in no position to satisfy me and she had no authority to do anything but follow the rules.
I went out of the store muttering to myself.

2. Second stop. A bank kiosk that touts the ease of depositing checks, no envelopes needed. Used my debit card, pressed the appropriate buttons for a deposit. Notice comes up,” This station is unable to accept deposits”.

Yup, you guessed it, no envelopes available either so I could not make a deposit.

3. Next stop office supply store. Returning a $64 set of ink cartridges for a printer. No problem returning except for the fact that I would only get $43 back in cash because the rest of it had been purchased with their own rewards store coupons.

Even stranger is that I had purchased at the same time a cooler for my laptop so one could easily assume the reward coupons could apply to the $35 purchase of the cooler. Nope….coupons had to be divided between the two products.

Then the final insult….three paper coupons of varying prices were handed to me to make up the difference---$21. I asked, “Would you please put this dollar amount on one of your cards so I do not have to carry them around?” The reply was “Sorry, the computer doesn’t allow us to do that.”

Have to say, I just stood there in total amazement. I said “Do you have a customer survey form available?” Two managers showed up, both of them apologizing profusely and said “Sorry, we don’t have one, but here’s the corporate number.”

Yup, I went out of the store muttering again. What an amazing one-hour experience. I decided it was best that I head home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


While we get hundreds of unsolicited emails that we delete immediately, one caught my eye. Upon opening I learned that Portland, Oregon, immediately across the Columbia River of my hometown Vancouver, Washington was the selected cities that this website focuses.

Each day a special coupon arrives in my email. This particular day the coupon was a two- for-one ticket to seats at the annual Portland Rose Parade. Since these are daily special, I grabbed two of them feeling confident that I could find someone to go on this adventure with me.

Sure enough, my friend, Molly, said “Sure, I’d like to go.” Though she did groan a bit when I told her we had to meet in Vancouver at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to connect in time with the mass transit if we wanted to see the crowning of the Rose Queen. Never had seen the crowning before, even though through the years I have had the opportunity to meet the princesses at my Rotary Club.

Saturday morning, our day went perfectly. Soon we found ourselves seated in nice seats in the Coliseum. With fresh coffee and coco in our hands we settled in and let everything unfold right before us.

The pageantry of the Queen Crowning was special. I noted that Victoria that had spent the last three months being introduced last because of her name, now became first. Kinda special when you think about.

With announcers inside the Coliseum, we had no problem seeing/hearing what was happening. Before we knew it the parade entered from the right. If there was some kind of special performance or song that was going to be performed before the grandstand outside, it was also performed directly in front of us. Then the entries exited through the left.

Interesting to learn, we were advised there would be occasionally a stoppage of parade. That was done in order for the television stations to go to commercial breaks. By doing that, it was assured all entries in the parade made it to television broadcast.

We knew we were going to go downtown Portland after the parade, yet were not sure what we would do. At one point, Molly leans over and said “Kath, let’s go to Portland Saturday Market”. Brilliant idea.

Near the end of the parade we decided to start our journey downtown again on mass transit. We got off and walked about four blocks and found ourselves at Waterfront park and the new location of the market. It was amazing to see the cleanliness and organization of the booths. Since artists and their work happens to be a very special part of my life, I was thrilled to see what was being created by them.

Lunch consisted of a meal of authentic Himalayan cuisine. Hmmm….glad I tried it and now I can say I have and let me leave it at that. Down the walkway we found amazing cupcakes…red velvet and coconut.

After exploring, the market and the temperature finally starting to rise, we headed to downtown and did some shopping and ended up at Departures http:// a restaurant with bar with an outstanding view of the City.

Refreshed we headed home. We stopped in Vancouver to meet a couple of friends. As Molly as I said “Good night to each other, we realized we had been together for 12 straight hours” and what a fun 12 hours it was for both

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Looking back, my family truly was the great adventurers. By the time graduation came, I had visited 45 of the states in America. Each year my Dad would announce at the dinner table which area of the country he and Mom had decided to travel for two weeks for our summer vacation.

My Dad worked long hours in a manufacturing plant that made plastic bags. Then after work, he would come home to spray the ten acres of apples to assure a crop free of bugs in the fall. Yet, somehow the money was there for a family of five to travel long distances for two weeks each summer.

When we started our summers, we had a handcrafted trailer that had a pullout side that accommodated a bed for my sister and me. It served us well. Though that may be debated since my sister and I still talk about the time, we ran for the narrow door when we saw black bears in the Yellowstone Campsite.

We progressed to a nice regular 16ft metal trailer. I had earned my Dad’s trust so much helping with the driving, he allowed me to take five women to a lake to celebrate my high school graduation without either him or mom accompanying us.

Apparently, it was during childhood the seeds were planted for me to seek out new adventures. Now I have traveled to all the states except for Alaska. My international map is dotted with colored rhinestones to illustrate to myself where I have actually travelled.

As I drove to Long Beach, Washington last weekend, I marveled at the things I have seen and done. I arrived at my friend Rosie’s beach house and was greeted by Rosie and her friend Stef. Later, as we sat looking out the window at the ocean as the waves attacked the beach in force, we discussed life experiences.

During the discussion, I said, “People often say to me, ‘You do so many interesting things’.” I said, “I just don’t get it, there are things to see and learn everywhere.” To which, Rosie replied, “Well I believe you have to create experiences”.

There was my “aha” for the weekend…..create experiences. Of course, that was it, that was exactly what we had done when we all decided we were going to spend time at the beach. Others were asked and chose not to go for various reasons.

We on the other hand listened to Rosie’s plans for our meals. We gladly accepted our assignment for meals, and special treats we were to bring. Each of us brought “surprise” foods for after all we were on vacation and tossed any semblance of diet to the winds.

The trip to the beach had resulted in a stop at a garage sale. There in the “free box” was 1000 piece puzzle. No way of knowing if all the pieces were there or if either one of the women enjoyed putting puzzles together.

Once settled in, I brought out the puzzle. Both women had a big smile and said, “Let’s do it”. During the next three days, the puzzle proved to become a challenge for us—we were going to get it done before we left to go home.

The last night, the final piece of the puzzle was put into the picture. You would have thought we had run a marathon. There were cheers and high fives all around. We conquered the puzzle.

As I think about it, we watched two excellent movies, we talked, we shared outstanding food and learned about each other. Yup, the three of us created this perfect experience or should I say adventure?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

For eight months, I lived in a different state where I worked on a major project. My goal was to see if my networking skills could be transferred to a city where I knew only one person. The event was a success so the skills obviously worked. Now readjusting to life in my hometown.
A fascinating trend has been revealed. People who have interacted with me over the years greet me with huge smiles. The conversation than continues on to how they missed my positive attitude and ideas. Hmmmm…..
While watching Good Morning America the question was asked, “Who inspired you?” That was easy, my elementary school teacher of six years. Yes, I went to a one-room schoolhouse with 27 students, three of whom were in my class. By the way, it was located eleven miles outside the town of Tomah, Wisconsin.
Imagine teaching eight grades, 27 students on all subjects needed to make students proficient in high school. Needless to say, I was one fortunate student to have Mrs. Jensen for six years. Most of the time she smiled broadly and she always encouraged us to do more than necessary. She stretched me and often had me work with other classes to run through their exercises to reinforce her teachings in the classes.
Mrs. Jensen believed in me. She admired the fact that I wanted to read everything in our small library and my penmanship. (Of course, anyone who knows me now cannot image I actually got As in penmanship. I blame the bad handwriting now on medicine I use to take for migraine headaches that affected my right hand. Hey, it works for me)
Each day, I learned in an environment that looked at the good in things. When tragedy would strike one of the families of the students, Mrs. Jensen was there to help all of us work through the issues. She revealed how she thought we could help.
When a student excelled, she showed us how to celebrate! So now as my acquaintance comment on my positive attitude, I smile and say that I had a great upbringing. A teacher who believed me and parents that supported growth and learning.
PS  About three years ago, I visited Mrs. Jensen at the age of 90. When she greeted me at the door, she had the same big smile. How grateful I am that I took the time to seek her out and thank her for what she did for my positive attitude.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This week I had the opportunity to go a Chapter Meeting of the Oregon National Speakers Association It was of particular interest since Rebecca L. Morgan was the speaker. 

I admired Rebecca from afar because of her newsletter SpeakerNet News The newsletter requests readers to send in their helpful hints and Rebecca and her business partner sort through them and send the newsletter out each Friday. More than once, an “aha” surfaced that would solve an issue that had been bothering me.

What is interesting, that my preconceived idea of Rebecca was that she was home in her jammies producing the newsletter. The interesting fact is that her theme for the night was “How to make money in your Jammies. While Rebecca talked about working from home, she talked about working from Dubai, places in Asia and Hawaii.  Hmmmm…now why hadn’t I thought of that?

As I sat there, I realized I had many products that could just be packed and printed in hard copy or transferred to EBooks. I have written my Ezine “Weekly Wisdom” for about seven years. How many more people have to tell me they would be delighted to buy a copy of book containing Weekly Wisdom? 

Then there is my blog. Surely, I can go through them and put them into a series of articles that pertain to communication. Now let’s see, do I make an EBook first or print the hardcopy first?

The issue of posting one’s articles on sites that accept articles with the understanding others could use the them for free. Now how come I never thought--to contact the place that posted my article and asked if I could be a regular contributing author? (If you go to and put in Kathy Condon you can read my articles posted there)

Finally, there was the point….write something every day. Hmmm…that is easy enough for me and since I write swiftly, imagine what I could be producing in a short time?

Oh yes, if you want to sign up for “Weekly Wisdom” go to my website    (For those of you are surprised to see my old website….keep the faith—a major glitch occurred and for the time being my old website is up. To tell you the truth……I’d rather talk to you in person anyway. (360) 695-4313.)

Monday, May 10, 2010


After years of no tennis, I decided to go back to taking lessons. I have always enjoyed the sport and realized that I had a knack for it. Took action and signed up for lessons two weeks before the first class.

Eagerly awaited the class and dug my tennis racket out of the back of the closet. At the appointed time, I showed up for“Beginners and Intermediate Class”. Twelve other people were in the class so two courts were used.

It soon became apparent that I was the new kid on the block. Others knew the drill, where to start, when they were expected to pick up the balls, when they were to moved to the next court. With no direction, whatsoever, I found myself working to figure out the procedures-often going in the wrong direction.

We were hitting balls when the instructor came up to me and said “Kathy, how would feel about going into the Beginners Class”. I stood there in amazement; we were only fifteen minutes into the 1.25 hour class.

I said, “These folks have been together all season correct?” She replied “Yes.” She said they are going to run all over you. To which, I replied, “You haven’t even given me a chance”. (I knew I have always been killer at Serving and we hadn’t done a drill with that component.)

Humiliated, I found myself walking off the court. Went to my car and cried all the way home. Then got a grip once I entered my home. Called the club back and said “I just got kicked out of the “Beginners and Intermediate Class”, when are you beginners classes? He said, “I have one tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m. I said, “Great, sign me up.” He said, “I don’t think you are going to get bored because this Beginners Class has been going all winter.

The following night went through the same procedure. Arrived and there were only six people in the class….four of them had been playing all year. The instructor explained the process, smiled and said “I’m mean with a huge smile”, and said, “Let’s get started”.

Before long, I noted how much fun I was having. At one point, the man across the net said after I served well upon each attempt, he said, “She’s good.”
The time flew and I could tell that I had gotten a terrific workout. I walked to the car and thought to myself “What if I had given up last night?”

This lesson in my life needed to be shared. There are times when we want to give up—the interesting fact is that we never know when such a challenge will appear to help us grown.

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Friday, April 30, 2010


Some professionals reading this they are going to say, “She has to be kidding”. However, before you pass judgment let me explain why this works for me.

About a year ago, I wrote down 17 things that are important to me to do in order to live the kind of life that brings me joy and success.

Some of the categories:

Write in grateful Journal
Write an article (For my new book, blog or to be posted as free article online)
Read an article or book
Work on finances
Send out two proposals per week
Receive a new coaching
Send thank you or congratulation notes
Learn a new word in French
Take a whole day off without phone or emails just to play

Since these areas are important to me I, decided I needed a way to see if I was accomplishing items in these categories on a regular basis. How would I do that?

In a conversation, a coach mentioned that when she exercises she put a sticker on her day timer page. (Yes, some of us still use them. Quicker to check dates and we have room to write ourselves notes quickly without wasting time opening our Smart Phones). Her sticker idea immediately sparked a creative cord with me.

What would happen if I bought a 30-day wall calendar with large blocks that would hold stickers? Went to the office supply store and found one with great scenes on it. Then I headed to the sticker department and bought sticks of various colors.

Next project. Hung the calendar is an area where I would constantly see it. Then proceeded to make a table of contents with the things I wanted to accomplish, and affixed a certain color sticker right after it. The key was developed.

I had been out of my own home for eight months while working on a special project. As result, I didn’t have my calendar or my stickers. Now I am back in the swing of things and all I have to do is look up at my calendar and I can see where I falling down on achieving my goals or taking care of my happiness factory.

Feels like I am back on track with my life. By the way, the sticker for my “Day Off” is a happy looking monkey—he makes me smile and reminds me how important that day off is to my well-being and my success.

How do you keep track to make sure you are on path with your goals?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My sister, who is presently teaching English as a second language in Beijing, and I had an interesting conversation on Skye the other night. What would we grab if there were an earthquake or a fire?
Janet’s response:  “My computer--- the only back up I have been able to get here is my external hard drive, so the information is not stored any place on the web. Because she is in China, she does not have access to many sites, including “YouTube”.
My reply: “I have a folder labeled important papers, so I would grab that and my purse.”
We continued our conversation and realized that pictures wouldn’t be an issue, because she had downloaded all the family pictures on the web before she left. They are protected.
The more we talked, the more we realized that we were probably among the few people who had really given this question any serious thought.
My question:  What would you grab if you had to get the door quickly?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Once again, reading the newspaper revealed a unique opportunity in my community. The Sunday paper talked about a film that was being shown at a theatre known for its’ art presentations in Portland, Oregon for one viewing only.

I knew it would be a special movie and immediately put it on my calendar for the following day. At the appointed time, I put the address into my GPS and headed to a district of Portland that I had never visited—Clinton Street.

Arriving early, I parked the car and walked the area…fascinating. Looks like an excellent place for me to put on my schedule to have breakfast sometime in the near future…quaint, little specialty places.

Walked into the Clinton Street Theatre bought my ticket, a box of popcorn with real butter and my customary Dr. Pepper. This is always my splurge when I go to a movie. Not good for me, but hey, I do it so infrequently.

The film began with an introductory by Michael Johnathon, a Folksinger, who explained that he had written the play to make sure that new generations understand the impact of Thoreau’s work so many years ago.

During the next hour, the play (on film) revealed aspects of Thoreau’s life the last two days of his stay in the cabin alone at Walden’s Pond. Thoreau stayed at the cabin alone for two years,two months and two days.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had given Thoreau the land to build his cabin and would stop in to check on Thoreau during the course of the two years. Emerson at first gave him a bad time because he was talking to his peas…then picked up one of the journals and realized there were many good thoughts written down.

Emerson warned Thoreau that there would be people that would not understand his writings, yet, Emerson knew there was great value in the findings.

After Thoreau’s death fourteen years later, it was Emerson who made sure the journals where published. Thoreau never experienced success during his lifetime.

At the end of the film, Michael Johnathon talks about how Thoreau saw the need to take care of our land and suggests that we don’t worry about saving the world. Just as Thoreau said, “Take care of what is around you”. Michael suggested that we “Pick up the bottles, go for a walk in nature, and appreciate what we have near you”.
I may not have a Walden Pond in my backyard, but I have wonderful pond out my window. Just because it isn’t Walden Pond, it doesn’t make it any less important……time to cherish and appreciate the world that is right in our backyard.

You can see an excerpt of it here:

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Three times in three days I experienced and heard how relying on technology has caused missed appoints and disruption in communication. Upon experiencing this, it has made me even more committed to keep training and speaking on how to improve business communications.

I just returned from an extended absence in my community. The road trip home helped me decide how I want to design my life and with whom I want to spend time.

My two main criterion:

1. Person is positive.
2. Person is engaged in life.

The first coffee appointment was set up. I arrived a bit early, as I normally do, full of enthusiasm and looking forward to an interesting exchange about our careers.

Time went by and my normal 15 minutes of waiting time was up---I was out of there. Went home and send an email. Missed you. Reply came back “I’m so sorry. My Blackberry did not back up correctly with my computer and our coffee date didn’t show up on my calendar. How can I make it up to you?”

The second coffee date (by the way it was the next day) and I arrived a bit early. Fifteen minutes went by and he didn’t show up. Went home, sent an email “Missed you.” Reply, “So sorry we made that appointment through Facebook and I didn’t put it into my calendar”.

The third coffee date, the CEO related how a staff member had sent him a note through Facebook about how he was going to miss the meeting that was scheduled. CEO hadn’t gotten the message and staff member was ticked because CEO hadn’t read his Facebook.

Once I stepped back and thought about these three incidents, it made me think about how technology is affecting our time and relationships. In all three cases, it was the very devices that are supposed to help expand our ability to communicate broke down human interaction.

My final reaction……Going to keep making coffee dates, but going to use the telephone to confirm in person that the meeting is actually going to take place.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


In order to keep up with change that is occurring in our world, it is important one keep an open mind about technology. Gadgets abound that can, perhaps, make our life easier. Yet, in most cases, there is a learning curve. The issue is too many of us do not take the time to learn how to use these gadgets or use them to only a portion of their abilities.

Yesterday I wrote down the goal of learning something new about technology every day of my life. It sounds like a big goal.

My first technology lesson to me was figuring out how to connect with my sister in Beijing. After about 20 minutes I thought I had it figured it out and tested Skype with a friend locally. It worked!

Last night we had a great conversation from her living room in China while I comfortably talked to her from my den. She certainly did not seem far away and it was good seeing her smile again.

Today, I got my wireless printer hooked up. Abet the wireless part isn’t quite figured out yet, but hey it prints perfectly and I’m on my way.

It is my belief one needs to have some kind of plan to learn about technology. If not she will be left so far behind in a very short time with her ability to communicate with the younger generations.

I am going to keep a list of what technology I learn every day. This Executive Coach and Speaker teaches improving communication skills….I better keep up to date on the tools that are available.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Since I am self-employed, is pretty easy for me to get the dates I want using miles. That is until now.

The family is looking with great excitement to our granddaughter being born in Belgium. She is scheduled to arrive July 26th, however, if my daughter takes after me, the baby will be coming about ten days late. I know a mother’s worse nightmare.

I had been finishing a major project in Palm Springs and then prepared for my move back to Vancouver, Washington….complete with a car full and a road trip with a girlfriend. Home, at last, I had time to focus on the tickets.

The partner airline with Alaska was American and on America’s website showed many tickets in first class for the entire month of August. There was one small problem, I was using Alaska Miles, they are allotted by America a certain number of tickets, and they were pretty much gone.

I stayed calm and worked with the operator to go through various scenarios that would enable me to go to Belgium and see this very special granddaughter. Alas, I could not get a flight out until August 18.

I rationalized that this would work just fine, only to get an email from my daughter expressing her disappointment I could not come earlier. My saving grace is that her husband’s mother will be more than willing to help until I get there.

So what did I learn?

If you have miles on another airline, make sure you check with them to see how many seats are available from their partner airline….you will be amazed how few there are.

Just as soon as you know a date, book your flight if you are using miles.

Listen to your daughter when she urges you to get your flight book!

PS, don’t feel too sorry for me….I’m flying there round-trip First Class using miles.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


People ask me why would I leave my home for six months in Vancouver, Washington and move to Palm Springs to help bring back a rodeo. Let’s get the obvious behind us. Yes, winter in Palm Springs is terrific. During the day, we are averaging about 70 degrees—though one of my major surprises was how quickly it gets quite cool once the sun sets behind the mountains. You wouldn’t think of leaving in the evening without taking at least a heavy sweater.

Now why did I really take this position? By the way, I have been promoted from Director of Fundraising to Vice President of Operations. No question the new title more accurately describes my position. As my CEO says, “Kathy is our boots on the ground.”

Twenty-two years ago, the rodeo was an integral part of the fall activities of this community. Cowboys ruled and the Smoke Tree Stable served as one of the real social centers of the Coachella Valley. Frank Bogert, a cowboy, appreciated and loved for his outspoken personality became a real friend of the stars that made Palm Springs their home. His popularity, but even more importantly his belief and commitment to Palm Springs propelled him into the position of Mayor of Palm Springs. In front of City Hall in Palm Springs, is a bronze statue with him riding a horse. Frank Bogert passed on at the end of March 2009 – at the age of 991/2. I only wish I would end my life with such a legacy-one that always elicits smiles and positive comments when his name is mentioned.

With all of that being said, I am a person who enjoys starting projects from scratch. Normally, I worked on the projects in my home of Vancouver, Washington where I was really part of the community and know leaders personally. This time, I looked at as an opportunity to see if my networking skills would carry over to a community in which no one knows me.

My belief that I would have many stories to enhance my networking skills and my forthcoming networking book has certainly come true. I have more than enough stories to fill two more books for I learned networking-building relationships, take the same slow and steady patience everywhere. Strong relationships are not made in one meeting.

Am I out of my element? Sometimes, yet, honestly there has been few surprises. Throughout my life I have been honored to have met fascinating, important people and visiting magnificent homes. That is why when I was invited to have a one-on-one meeting with a sponsor in his $10 million home, my mouth did not fall open when I was given a tour and viewed the valley below from just about every room in home.

Now we are two months away from the opening date of the Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo. We have formed a committee with his friends and family that will help honor this outstanding cowboy, yet more importantly the man. Therefore, the ball the night before will honor Frank Bogert and then for three days March 12, 13 and 14, 2010 we celebrate a way of life that exists for many cowboys that follow the professional circuit.

I am proud to be part of a project that stretches my colleagues and me. More importantly, allows people in the Coachella Valley to see a sport that remains popular in thousands of towns throughout the United States. Won’t you join us?

Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo and Palm Springs WestFest, March 12, 13,14, 2010, Palm Springs, California. When you come, be sure to find me.


What do you want to accomplish in 2010? If you don't have the answer to this question, you cannot develop the steps to get there.