Saturday, February 27, 2010
This Inspirational Business Luncheon featured dynamic speaker, David Behr of Competitive Edge Seminars. In his high-energy and very entertaining presentation-such an enviable skill- David advised us to take just one idea home with us. But I cheated, and took them all.
Just as teachers use homework to reiterate and reinforce what they teach in class, I’m going to reiterate what I learned and hope that it reinforces those lessons in my own head; who knows, you might benefit too...
#1 change one thing in your business practice (or any other practice for that matter) and it will cause a domino effect. By changing one thing, we can be more, have more, and become more. I like that.
#2 put a number to your goal. If we’re talking about money, how much do we want to earn this year. How many sales will it take to meet that goal. Then how many people do we need to talk to every day? Put it in writing. And if you want to make more, either talk to more people or improve your technique, so that it doesn’t take you 20 meetings to achieve one sale. Makes sense.
#3 the Pareto Principle. 20% of customers lead to 80% of revenue. Since 20% of things we do make 80% of the difference, then we need to know what those 20% of things are and we need to do them really well!
I'm constantly debating the question: who are my customers? Are they our members…or the companies and organizations that we need to serve so that they will advertise on the site? Well, in my mind, the members are my customers…and I have to hope that by serving them well, ultimately, I will serve the organizations that want to reach them. If that is the case, then the things that we need to do very well are: ensure that members feel valued, provide them with information, and enable them to connect with each other.
Back to David.
#4 the value that you provide to customers has to be higher than what it costs them to get it.
#5 “Go for No”. It's a concept that reminds me a bit of the glass that's half full. The idea is to figure out how many nos there are for every yes. Then every time you get a no answer, you feel good because you’re that much closer to getting a yes. Nice.
#6 Or turn a “no” into “know”. By educating a prospective customer (or in our case, member), we can overcome her objections, and turn the no into a yes!
#7 Another way to get to yes is to turn the tables, and ask the questions. (This reiterates what I learned in last week’s self-defense class). The one asking the questions is the one who is in control. Find out what the prospective client (member) is doing now, what they enjoy about it, what they would alter, whether they’re the decision-maker (make sure the person that you’re meeting is a decision-maker, in other words, don’t take NO from someone who can’t say YES), and what solution would address the question of what they would alter. Think the acronym NEADS.
#8 & #9 two more quickies… People are more likely to make a decision that takes away pain, than one that gets pleasure. And help those that want it, not just those who need it.
In closing, I emphasize what David said in opening. If something is easy to do, just do it!
These are not new ideas, but they're all great reminders... and motivators.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I wonder to myself if it’s the same thing with mental and emotional balance. Can it be improved if I actually practice it? If I begin to make it a priority, something that I pay attention to at the end of every day, the same way that Lisa has us practice balance at the end of every class, do you think that I can actually create a balanced life?
Hmmm. Frankly, I have decided that anyone who says that her life is in balance must be either 1) full of bologna, 2) boring beyond words or 3) probably a little selfish. Which begs the question, is being boring, full of bologna or a bit selfish worth it if it allows you to claim balance?
What if I did meditate daily, declined all evening invitations, gave up caffeine, and decided that my dance card was full enough? Would I enjoy life more? Could I still make a difference in the world?
Believe me, I realize that my “hard drive is full” (memory must go right after balance). But maybe, I can keep fooling my brain for a while longer. Maybe like the printer or a tired sharpie, by giving it a short rest, it will muster enough ink for another doc.
I declare Sunday my day of rest…which means I sit on the chaise to type instead of at my desk. And I don’t leave the house except for a pedicure or a meal or a walk. Instead of looking for balance at the end (or beginning) of every day, I will make it a weekly practice. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I have started this post so many times, and every time I head off on a different tangent. I finally realized that there are a lot of different things to say about money. And they can’t all be said at once. I want to think about, write about and talk about them all… but will do it one thought and post at a time.
My latest observation came about at a fancy-shmancy kick-off event (for a fancy-shmancy spring event) that I attended the other day to promote MidChix. I had barely made it downtown after my second day in a row of back-to-back meetings & appointments, not to mention picking up kids, overseeing homework, paying the bass teacher, unearthing the inhaler, preparing the bookmarks & biscotti, and finding parking.
Although I was dressed in my “dress” jeans (they sport a crease!), a new scarf, and my very Denver-ish boots (from Nordstrom no less), I was nowhere near attired as nicely as I could’ve/should’ve been. But I had done my best, given the day. And as my mother-in-law often quips “it didn’t make me a bad person”.
Yet it was fascinating to see how quickly people judge…and frightening to see how some women act when they are out strutting their stuff. Even though I was a sponsor of the event, and had promised to do at least as much as anyone else in terms of promoting the future real fancy-shmancy event, I was asked more than once if I was an employee of the shop, as well as queried on who had invited me.
Believe me, I plead guilty to being impressed at times by the appearance of money. But what impresses me most are the folks that have lots of jack, but no sign of ass.
My mother always taught me that the most important job for a hostess was making her guests feel at home. I will try to always remember that, even if MidChix makes millions.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Searching for a slogan is not as easy as one would think. But it sure is fun! We ran through quite a few options before throwing caution to the wind and giving Facebook the bird (see photo of our billboard)!
Maybe that’s what being a Midchick is about. Getting to that place where you decide it’s okay to throw caution to the wind. Let’s face it, most of us have been pretty cautious in many ways for many years. Cautious to not make the teacher mad, break our new toy, whisper in church, to not spill on our new dress, or let the boys see our underpants on the swings, to not let the other girls know our feelings were hurt, or get caught smoking, to not be considered a prude, not get pregnant, to not dent the fender of Dad’s car, fail the algebra test, wear the wrong shoes, or let our disappointment show when we were stood up on our first date, to not get in with the wrong crowd, be considered too eager, or drink too much, talk too much, eat too much, cry too much, to not laugh too hard, to not gossip or be the gossip topic, to not flirt with our friend's crush, to not blow the callback interview. We’ve been cautious not to marry the wrong guy, say the wrong thing, eat the wrong food, resent the baby, resent the husband, resent our mother, admit that we’re gay, neurotic, bored, sad or angry.
I am reminded of the Winnie the Pooh poem “Now We Are Six”… I remember such a big deal being made about that magic age. I thought it meant that at 6, I had made it. Little did I know it would take me another 42 years to really make it to this wonderful place where I can be me with no apology.
So we at MidChix say: If you’ve got hooters, then we’ve got wings for you, don’t be chicken, join us for some fowl play, we promise you cheep flights because 40 means free the birds, we are ladies launchin’ and you can be too, amaze yourself with web feats…you can be assured that peckers are prohibited because we don’t allow cocks in the henhouse-
Smile to yourself, throw caution to the wind, give Facebook the bird, and join MidChix.com, for birds of a feather.
P.S. It’s just a slogan, I love Facebook…you can be my friend there too if you like!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
PS. Remember, it was a bad day. I don't want anyone playing devil's advocate. That's what my hubby is for...
1) Bikers/runners/bladers/boarders/dogwalkers who go the wrong way down a one way street.
2) Toilets that flush while you are still sitting.
3) Phone answering system limbo.
4) Forms that ask for the same information more than once.
5) Public restrooms with toiletpaper rolls too heavy for the one-ply paper and therefore rips after every square.
6) People that splash when they pee and don’t wipe up.
7) People that splash when they wash and don’t wipe up.
9) People who don’t recycle, even when it’s easy.
10) Car alarms.
12) People who let little kids run around in restaurants.
13) Men who stare at boobs.
14) Men who make catcalls.
15) Police officers who point speed radar guns at cars.
16) Laundry that has been taken off inside out.
17) Voicemail messages that are so long, you have to switch ears.
18) Cashiers that don’t say hello.
19) Customers that don’t say hello.
20) Children that don’t talk to adults.
21) The sound of landscapers blowing nature to kingdom come.
22) Folks that don't return emails/calls.
23) Debbie Downers (don't even think about calling me one-its just a blog post for god's sake).
24) Gratuitous violence in media.
25) The cAPS LOCK BUTTOn
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
At midnight (East Coast time) I will be celebrating my oldest child's 21st birthday at a small local bar in the Philadelphia burbs. (Fortunately, back in my day, we didn't have to wait so long to get a drink!)
Twenty-one is the same age I was when I met her dad. The night had begun in a resort bingo hall, progressed to an unplanned double date, and ended on a blanket on the beach with a 6-pack of beer...where we primly sat and discussed the weather, while our two best friends made racket behind the next dune. I knew that night, that Phil was a keeper.
Believe me, he wasn't all perfection. On our second date (can a table shared in the dormitory cafeteria be called a date?), while carefully cutting the gristle off his Salisbury steak, he noted, "If there's one thing I hate, it's fat on my meat and fat on my women." I practically choked on my sour cream and cheese-topped potato. Next thing you know, I had designed my own rapid weight-loss plan; it consisted of tuna, grapefruit juice, and vodka. (Try it sometime; it worked wonders!)
But the fact that he—a healthy, horny college kid—did not try to take advantage of a blanket on a beach with a blonde full of beer, told me something about him that he never would have been able to put into words. And I don't think it was just some priest from high school haunting him. As I look back now, I wonder if the respect he demonstrated that night, came from a place deep within his DNA, and if that is from where his evolution, as both a man and a human being, has emanated.
Phil has always had very high standards: for himself, for me, for our children, for his employees, for his friends. He is conservative and traditional; a comfort-loving, perfection-addicted, Budweiser-guzzling, obsessive-compulsive sports fanatic. A guy's guy. He is also sentimental to the point of crying at Father of the Bride—even if it's his seventh viewing. And he loves our family in a way that is visceral.
While for many people, love is about their own experience of it, for Phil, his love is about our experience of it. In other words, he cares enough about each of us, that he is willing to put our feelings ahead of his own. Or at least that is the essence of his evolution. He'd blanch to hear me compare him to JFK. But as I contemplate what it is that sets Phil apart from the majority of men that I know, it is his rare willingness to ask not what we can do for him, but what he can do for us. That, I think, is the definition of unconditional love.
My husband loves me enough to not just listen, but to hear. He loves his children enough to reconsider his opinions, to accept their differences, and to educate others about doing the same. He loves us in a way that is about us, not about him.
Maybe it is from that place deep within his DNA that this ability springs. It makes me wonder if we all possess the ability to love without condition. If so, then why do we so rarely see it in men; even more to the point, what is it that motivated my spouse to turn those sleepy cells on by tackling the hard work of self-analysis and the putting on of another's shoes?
I wish I knew, so that I could bottle this gift and give it away to my friends, my enemies, their children, and my children. Just imagine what the world would be like if we all embraced each other the way that he has embraced us. I am in awe of the man that he has become. (Of course, he still pisses me off sometimes...but that's another blog!)