Monday, January 12, 2009

Visioning energizes actions, attitudes and opportunities

I had the opportunity to work with a group of dynamic women this weekend, facilitating their journey to update their vision for 2009. WOW! Every year I am surprised by the power of this simple ritual.

(Tia Ribary, Kate Thornton, Sherrie Harries, Kathie Nelson, Carol Gunn)

I was introduced to Visioning or Treasure Mapping, as some call it, in the mid '90's in my last career. I began to see the value of this tool when I started my own business in 2002.

Barbara MacKay, NorthStar Facilitators

What is a treasure map? John Kalench, founder of Millionaires in Motion, defines it as "a collage of pictures that stimulates your visualization process. It's made up of pictures of what you want to have, do and be! A gallery of carefully chosen pictures that represent to you chosen outcomes you want to create in your life. It contains pictures specifically of those outcomes and others that strongly suggest the feeling or essence you want as well. It can be any size."

Check out some of the Treasure Maps we created! Watch for more as our participants submit their final products.

Ana Matiella, ACMA Social Marketing

Here is mine...not quite finished but has some of the key components! I am stepping OUT!

Want to create your own treasure map? Email us for our "how-to" workbook. The workbook includes a bonus that connects your annual goals to your vision to create quarterly initiatives to move your vision forward!
I believe outrageous success is possible for you in 2009....regardless of the economy! The trick is in how quickly you adapt, dig in to your niche and serve your core market.
To your success! Kathie

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fresh Start & New Beginnings 2009

What IS possible in the upcoming months? This is the BIG question on many minds. I know you've been thinking about what you will do differently in 2009. If you are anything like me, you have been acting on some of those thoughts. I've been thinking what IS possible in the new year...not only for Connectworks but my clients as well.

I thought I'd share my focus with you for the new year.

  1. I want to get on top of the social networking phenomenon. This medium is advancing so quickly staying on top of how to use it can be impossible for busy people like you and I. Here are a couple of things I am doing to save time and increase effectiveness. Depending on your business, you may want to do the same.
    a.) Use a blog aggregator. I finally started using the Google Reader a few weeks ago and have been thrilled to get all my favorite blogs coming into one place for quick review. I'd been hearing about this service for a few years but had no idea how to get started. I decided to figure it out. Go to Google. Create an account if you don't already have one. It's fre*e. Pull down the menu and select Reader. It is fairly self directed from there. This is a great way to keep up with what's new without having to take the time to cruise the web. Visit my blog for some other great resources.
    b.) Find one or two social networking sites you feel like you can participate in. If you've been waiting to dip your toe in this medium, get started with LinkedIn. Develop your profile and network. Use the Q & A. Submit articles. Schedule time each day (and stick to it) to browse those sites and build relationships. Networking on line is still about the relationship but has the added benefit of increasing your visibility on the web.
    I want to do what works. Like you, I find the time for trial and error is past.
  2. I joined a new marketing mastermind team last month with Bernadette Doyle of Client Magnets. In her monthly call last week I was reminded of some key principles in creating change. Read the core principles in my blog.
    a.) Over the holiday I've invested in sales training, workshop & teleseminar development and internet marketing. Looking ahead these are areas of mastery that will serve me in 2009. What about you? What would serve you to master or work with a mentor the upcoming months?
  3. I want work to be easier. When what I do loses its appeal it boils down to one thing. Inefficient systems have created a backlog of task that are not my favorites but have to be done. You know what I'm talking about. I've already started investing in infrastructure and support to create systems to keep in touch, better serve, and deliver more value to clients in 2009. Any systems of your own you need to tune up?
  4. I want to serve others better. This is what gets me out of bed every day. I intend to make choices in 2009 which allow me to do more and with greater impact. What about you? Do you know what motivates you? Are you in a market niche that allows you do tap into that energy? If not, look for opportunities to engage that vital part of your inner driver.

Close the door on 2008 and look ahead to the unknown 2009 and understand...the basic principles of business still apply. Stop doing things that don't get you results and take you out of your core strength areas. Your unique selling proposition will always be in what you do well because you are you. Open the doors to what is possible in 2009 by bringing your best self forward.

Here is to more YOU in 2009!

Happy Networking.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's In and What's Out in 2009 - Forecasts from the trenches

That Nancy Juetten with Main Street Media Savvy is always thinking about information that would be valuable to her readers. She invited me to contribute to her forecast of what is going to be "in" for 2009 wanted to share her list with you. If you have some predictions of your own, PLEASE share!

Here is my take on what is out and what is in for 2009

  • Trail and error - Proven processes and systems
  • Multi tasking - Strengths and focus
  • Re-creating the wheel - Duplicating what works
  • Going it alone - Working with mentors or a mastermind group
  • Pride/arrogance - Humility

Trend prediction contributor experts:

Lori Richardson, Score More Sales
Whitney Keyes, Marketing, Social Networking & PR
Betsy Talbot, Mentor & Trainer

Complete list here. Thanks Nancy for putting this together!

I look forward to your contributions. Happy Networking

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Social Networking for Busy People - It's a crazy world out there!

I've been talking about social networking for busy people for many months now...the problem is this: I, like you, have a crazy full calendar already and adding time to keep up with all the sites and new mediums can be overwhelming.

After hosting a panel for the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce in December I was encouraged again to invest time researching how to help my readership of busy people use these outlets for business development, branding, and increased visibility. Watch the video - we really get started about 3 minutes in

Even though I had a million things to do in December...I actually took the time over the holidays to figure out how to decide where to show up from those who know and implement tools (recommended by those who know) that make keeping up online easier for those of us time challenged. Do I have your interest yet?

  • Twitter - Is it "tweeting" really the hot new thing? Take a few minutes a read these interesting perspectives.
    Biznik-ite Joe Hage's observations on his Twitter experiment and why YOU should Tweet.
    talks about Twitter
    Barry Hurd, gives the best review of
    Twitter How-To's
    You can follow me on Twitter
  • Keeping up with blogs. Hey, I know keeping up with my own blog takes time so how am I supposed to keep up with others I want to follow? It truly is a great way to keep up with trends in thoughts and ideas. I'd been hearing about aggregators for the last year or so but never had the time to figure them out...I decided to do so over the holiday. I am using Google Reader since I use Google more and more but others have been recommended as well.
    Biznik-ite Elge Premeau wrote an excellent article on How to Blog without Having a Blog and recommends her favorite, Bloglines.
  • Keeping up with Social Networks (or even choosing what to add with all the invitations you get). I jumped into social networking many months ago to test and report back where and how to best use the medium for business development. I was expecting a very straightforward process with easy to report results. Guess was not straightforward due to the nature of the medium. The audience (us) is constantly morphing the medium by our use and new providers join the race all the time. It can be a little maddening for those of us who like to learn things once and move on!
    Article on
    Social Networking Strategy
    Excellent Article on
    What You Need to Know Today about Social Media by Barry Hurd, 123 Social Media
    Article on
    Ways to Get Involved with Social Media in 2009 for those just jumping in

Hey, I am a slow adapter of technology or tools until proven they are a good investment of time. I think Social Networking and all that it entails is here to stay. It can be crazy but start by managing the time and how to best use to meet your goal to make the difference for you.

  • For Social Networking Newbies - I encourage you to browse around. Ask your peers how they use their social networks. Best case, find a blog you like that provides truly helpful information and subscribe!

  • For those of you who are Portland, OR based I am anchoring a series for the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce of "How-to" classes on the 2nd Wednesday monthly. In addition to learning social networking strategy you will hear from experts on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, & Plaxo in a computer classroom setting. I hope to see you there! Easy registration here.

If you have favorite Social Networking blogs, sites, or articles please share with us!

Happy Networking!

Don't change for change sake! Do what works.

I joined a new marketing mastermind team last month. I found Bernadette Doyle of Client Magnets by referral from Jenny Hamby,

I find it interesting the gems of wisdom that show up when I reach out beyond my own backyard. In Bernadette's monthly call last week I was reminded of some key principles in creating change.

As I listened to Bernadette share her nine key strategies to her best year ever in 2008 I reflected on my own results. While my business revenue increased overall I sure had a roller coaster year recovering from my adventures in 2007. (Don't know about what happened to me in 2007? Read my
blog posts.)

What I learned is that I didn't even know what I didn't know when it came to recovering from a major accident. Reflecting back and wrapping up 2008, I intend to create a different kind of change in the upcoming months. I am not talking about change for change sake...I don't want change just so I have something different because this year was rough. I am talking about following proven practices and pursuing change in areas that WORK. I've already made and plan to continue implementing incremental changes that will create a BIG difference in my life and results in the upcoming months.

What about you? Want to take charge of "being the change you want to see in the world?" (Ghandi) Again, not talking about change for change sake but change on purpose with results!

Unleash some of these common truth principles to create uncommon change:

  1. For something to change...some things have to change. We live full lives doing things that produce the results we see today. The truth is basic...if we want something different, something has go. What are you ready and willing to give up to make a change in 2009? What am I changing? I am giving up some of my volunteer work and a few of my networking organizations. Curious? Watch for upcoming teleseminars on how to choose where to show up.

  2. If you don't know where you are going...anywhere will do. Without a clear goal, short or long term. It is easy in this unique period in our business economy to become distracted by fear, the media, our peers, our name it. Wham. Our eye is off goal. The basic truth is that we will be doomed to mediocrity and will not excel without clear compelling goals. What am I changing? I plan to work with my mastermind group and continue re-connecting with my vision to energize, accelerate, and pull me forward.

  3. 80% of your best business comes from 20% of your clients, network, and efforts. Conversely 80% of our time is spent creating 20% of our results. The Pareto Principle clearly illustrates the basic truth that not all efforts produce equal effect. What am I changing? I plan to launch 2009 focusing on the highest payoff activities, clients, and network to make best use of time and energy.

It seems like I am always preaching about getting back to basics but the basics are what any economy!

Do you have some basic truths or principles you use to drive your business? If so, please share!

Many things possible in 2009 and a renewed focus on time and energy seem in order. I am moving forward with an eye open for potential and opportunties and looking for others who are doing the same!

Happy New Year...Happy Networking!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attitude is Everything. Are you "Open for Business"?

I know you are probably as sick as I am of the news, negativity, and general hand-wringing. Here is what I know. Attitude is everything.

I spoke for a small group of focused individuals at the Portland Business Forum yesterday on the topic, "Networking Strategies to Recession Proof your Business". As I was preparing for this short 25 minute talk, I was reminded of the power and simplicity imbedded in smart business practices and a focused mindset. The content was so well received I wanted to share it with you.
If you haven't noticed, talk of recession creates constriction. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically. That constriction subconciously causes us to withdraw. If you are in business or sales, you can't afford to withdraw at this critical time! Being seen and trusted is essential.

Here are 3 keys to get grounded, stay connected and move forward in challenging times.
  • First, find your faith. It is easy to lose confidence in yourself, your service, or product anytime there is a shift in the market. Compound that with the media and peer conversations and you are left with a huge load of self doubt and fear. Go back to what you know. Your customers need a voice of reason during this volatile season. You have a passion, talent, or product that serves a market segment. What is it? Find the positives in your industry. Communicate that hope with confidence and understanding. Don't lose sight of what you do well.

  • Next, get focused. Focus applies to the three key areas that affect your profit and sales.
    1. Stick to your core expertise. If you choose to expand your scope, look at strategic partnering, joint ventures, sub-contracting, or refer. You can't afford to be distracted doing things you don't do well and can't be profitable. This may require repackaging your core expertise to appeal to the buyers mindset but stay true to your offering. Don't chase dollars.
    2. Stick with your bull's eye. Target prospects and customers who value your service and product and have need for what you do in the near future. Don't know who that is anymore? Go back to basics.
    3. Don't waste energy. Watch who you hang out with, where you spend your time, and what you read. Be selective. You can't afford to the roller coaster of emotions and maintain your position as a leader. Focus on finding like minded people who are not participating in the recession mindset, who are moving forward, and who are adapting.

  • Lastly, follow up. Your customers need to hear from you. Not just to sell them something but with sincere interest to see how they are doing. Your professional network needs the same type of contact. The follow up is where you will learn key information on buying trends, needs, and opportunities.

I am not promoting the ostrich approach! This is not about putting your head in the sand and ignoring what is going on. There is a basis of truth in the negative reports and some industries are hit harder than others. But opportunties still abound.

Bottom line, business is still being done. It is being done by those who are reaching out, engaging in conversations, and filling the gap with a voice of reason. That can be you. Decide to be "Open for Business".

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who you hang out with matters! More reasons to get out of your own backyard.

I feel like I jumped on the fast track since attending the eWomen Network conference in Dallas in late July. You can read my earlier blog post about my small world experience meeting Nancy Juetten because of her signature jacket. Since then I've been been jolted out of my comfort zone on many an occassion but none with more joy than the "Gathering of Great Gals" at Nancy's home in Bellevue, Washington a few weeks ago.

Kathie Nelson, Kristen Schuerlein, Betsy Talbot, Susan Harrow

What a privilege to be invited to make the 4 hour journey from Portland to Bellevue to hang out with Nancy and some of her favorite people. This gathering of million dollar women (and those of us on their way) connected quickly coming from a shared focus to serve our clients through packaging our passion. Let me share some powerful moments....

Betsy Talbot, Business Coach to Women Entrepreneurs, inspired me when she shared her excitement about her latest project. Newly married, she is writing a book, "Married with Luggage", about she and her husband travels as they explore the world. More about this project on her blog.

Wow'd by Kristen Schuerlein, savvy business woman and founder of Affirmagy, we raised our glasses to toast her upcoming co-host appearance on QVC Shopping network.

Jean Thompson, Seattle Chocolates, who recently appeared in O Magazine as one of Oprah's "favorite things" how she uses her Extreme Dark Chocolate and the Survivor Chick chocolate bar to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

Susan Harrow, Jean Thompson, Nancy Juetten

Working with Power (it's easier) founder, Michele Lisenbury Christensen, took a break from her new baby to hang out with us. Gals, visit her website to be inspired to new heights! I know I was. I can't wait to get better acquainted.

Phyllis Heppenstall, owner of the very successful Lover's Package retail chain, regaled us with stories of her early days of building her business in a highly dominated male arena.

Meeting Nancy's guest of honor, Susan Harrow, media coach and author of "How to Get Booked on Oprah" was indeed a special treat. Not only full of fun, Susan is generous and brings a practical wisdom to everything she does.
This was just one event that is serving me to catapult me into the next phase of growth.

What about you? What is your next big thing? Could a "Great Gals Gathering" be in your future? Better yet, get out of your comfort zone and connect with someone who inspires you...and intimidates you as well! Great things can happen from small steps.

Susan Harrow, Phyllis Heppenstall, Nancy Juetten