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 http://www.sohosolutionist.com/ She replied with a big smile and said, “You have to use Kate Singh of Aevum Images http://www.aevumimages.com —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 http://www.vancwa.com/ 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?