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Twenty intrepid Artsy Girls found their way to an inspired evening hosted by Malene B (bottom row, center) last night. Malene invited our group for its quarterly dinner party after being a cherished member for eight years. Fifteen of us drove through the puddles and rain to get from Fairfield County, CT to Brooklyn, NY. I can’t say for sure, but my hunch is that it may have been a first border crossing for some.
Touring Malene’s hand-crafted and personally supervised renovation was the highlight of the evening. We all removed our shoes and put on slippers to preserve the aqua- and lavendar-stained, wooden floors. We admired the wrought iron railings based on linear patterns created by Malene, the elegantly tiled bathrooms and kitchen and the inspiring office area with lucite bins holding gloriously colored wool samples she uses for her custom rug designs.
In addition to giving us a tour of her brownstone, Malene also regaled us with her plans to exhibit at the upcoming ICFF show (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) at Javits, her magazine coverage including mention of a piece planned for New York Magazine’s May issue and treated us to a sampling of her rug designs on hand.
We left, full of a delicious meal, the joy of being around so many accomplished women, and the inspiration of one woman’s journey shared.
My heart is set on getting an entrepreneurial superhero of mine to endorse my book (I won’t mention any names…yet). I delayed the deadline to accommodate her busy schedule, sent another package with information, highlighted lessons that I believe relevant to her beliefs, and enclosed another copy of the first edition. I will follow up on the day her assistant suggested and keep my fingers crossed for a positive response.
When I was valiantly trying to get Martha Stewart’s attention during my egg decorating heyday, someone made a suggestion about how to go about knocking Martha’s socks off. This was a PR person, and it was a more affluent time in our history, but I balked at her idea: to hire an actor to ride a horse to Martha’s home in nearby Westport and deliver a basket of my decorated eggs. I do believe it would have gotten her attention, but the concept made my stomach turn. Needless to say, I never pursued that suggestion.
With so many channels of media to get our prospect’s attention these days, how far are you willing to go to get attention? What’s worked for you? What was over the top, or just close enough to achieve the desired result?
After hearing rave reviews for Venus in Fur playing way off-Broadway (13th Street in NYC), my daughters and I got tickets for yesterday’s matinee performance, the last one of the run. I got there early to pick up the tickets my older daughter had ordered.
The box office attendant looked through the “will call” names, then asked me to spell ours. He went on the computer, found our order and said, “Your tickets were for Sunday, February 28, not today, Sunday, March 28.”
There is only one time each year where Sundays line up in that way–February and March. When we hadn’t shown up last month, those seats were re-distributed. He offered to put us on a rather long waiting list. I agreed, but wasn’t pleased.
We stood there while everyone happily entered with their tickets in hand. Then, like being on stand-by for a much desired flight, we waited hopefully. One by one they called the people ahead of us on the list. It was now past 2pm–showtime. A couple came rushing in for their “will call” tickets. A guy on a cell phone in the lobby was anxiously awaiting his date who was delayed on an inter-borough bridge. At 2:05 he handed his tickets back in for a refund. At 2:07 the manager said, “Let’s those three women into the last three seats.” which they did. We were separated, but it didn’t matter at all.
The show was riveting, hilarious and doubly appreciated because we had almost missed the opportunity. The lesson? Double-check anything you book in February and March for the date. Arrive early enough to make the list. Let go of the results. And be nice to the person at the box office.
A much smaller disappointment (without the thrilling alternative) came in the mail. I had signed up for an Investment Planning for Women course offered through Continuing Education in Norwalk, CT. I’m on a mission to become crystal clear on finances. My check was returned along with a form letter that said, “Due to a lack of enrollment, the class you registered for has been canceled.”
Really? In this time of economic crisis? I thought is would fill in the blink of an eye. I think I’ll check what shows have tickets for those nights…
I don’t come across someone fearless every week, so these Fearless Friday posts are special. When Sandy Weiner (seated, right) called me excitedly to tell me her news, I remembered back to our past Mastermind Sessions and her putting out this ‘reach’ goal. But I’ll let her tell the story…
This morning I finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book The Happiness Project recently recommended by a new friend, Cathline Marshall. I thoroughly enjoyed it, nodding at the pieces I have already undertaken, jotting down some new ones to test-drive.
At the end of her book, Gretchen offers an Afterword that includes a link to a one-minute Internet movie she created. I went right to my computer and plugged in the address: www.theyearsareshort.com. It’s a great reminder that the things we slog through today are actually the joyful memories of tomorrow. Who isn’t already bragging about making it through last week’s storm and exaggerating the number of days you went without Internet connections, heat and electricity? Ten miles to school in the snow barefoot, anyone?
Gretchen’s thesis is that the days are long, but the years are short. Every client I have, myself included, feels that what she’s trying too accomplish is taking forever, or at least too long. And just as easily admits, looking back a year or two later, that it all happened pretty quickly.
Watch this short film to underscore the reality of your life, be it personal or professional.
On that note, I want to share that the little boy I was diapering only 30-something years ago successfully completed the NY Half Marathon on Sunday in under two hours. Rob’s the one on the right in red shorts. The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy today–every minute of it. This is the ride.
My daughter Laura and I had scheduled a two day getaway to Kripalu (3/17-19) as her birthday celebration. We made the plans a good two months ago, well before last week’s storm prediction or its aftermath. As you know from reading my blog (or scrolling up through the last few entries) Fairfield County was hit hard–no power for 5 days. (I just heard from colleague Sheri Koones that Greenwich is STILL out! My sincerest sympathies!)
So, when Laura and I took off on Wednesday morning at 11am with still no sign of connectivity I knew that I could have cancelled and tried to play catch-up through various means.
Before our departure I conducted my final coaching call for the day in my car where I could keep my cell phone charged. It had been my lifeline since Saturday holding all my contacts and calendar. Then I noticed the dreaded Palm icon appear which signaled a complete re-boot. Only there was nothing left when it rebooted, none of my contacts, no calendar, no phone log, not even solitaire! What’s the message, God?
I chose to totally let go and trust that when I return later today I will be able to recoup and catch up. Disappointing Laura was not an option. It got me thinking about what others might do. Since I offer many events throughout the year I am on the receiving end of many cancellations. I’m sure they are legitimate, but at what point do you put yourself first no matter what? And when I say put yourself first, I don’t mean that in a selfish way. It’s the opposite of putting yourself last which I know legions of women do. What’s your comfort zone for self-care?
I recently read a great newsletter article by Trendmaster Robyn Waters about Coco Chanel. According to Robyn, Chanel’s “success was driven by her unwavering, unique and personal vision of what it meant to be a modern woman. All her life she zigged when everyone else zagged.”
I often feel like I’m zigging, and my personal vision is crystal clear.
Hurry up, Guys!
I’m getting out of Dodge today. We still have no power in my neighborhood due to the broken toothpick-looking utility pole featured in yesterday’s blog post. I’ve continued to ‘make do’ by hitting libraries and Starbucks for their wi-fi capability, coaching from my car to keep my cell phone battery alive, emptying the fridge and practicing gratitude for the warmer and longer days. Fortunately, I had promised to take my daughter–the one who celebrated her birthday last week–to Kripalu for two days of R & R. We leave late this morning.
We’ll be back home Friday afternoon at which point I hope to have power back. My plan is to spend the weekend attending to all the details and planning that fell by the wayside during the survival period. I’ve shown up for everything on my schedule, albeit not as coiffed as I would have hoped. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. As a business owner I get to choose which 12 hours a day (!) I will work. I actually can’t wait to get back to my desktop computer and landline. Ah, the things we take for granted…
Life without power continues to be a challenge. Here’s a photo of the bugaboo keeping my neighborhood in the dark.
Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, I’m finding a way–blogging this morning from Panera Bread where there is free wi-fi (before the public library opens), showering at my fitness center, putting on my makeup by daylight coming through the kitchen window for last night’s Remarkable Women’s Network event.
Also, today I let my clients know by text that they’d need to call my cell phone for our sessions. I sat in my car with the motor running (fortunately, I drive a hybrid, so it didn’t use up any gas) and coached from the driver’s seat. Appropriate, no?!
This is getting old. It may go on until Friday, we’re told. But here’s what I’m grateful for:
That I live in a country where I am completely assured that this will get resolved.
That it’s Daylight Savings Time and I can still see things in my house without the benefit of my battery-powered lantern until about 7:30pm.
That I have owned a MacBook since last June which retains its battery power for 4-5 hours, or about 3 hours longer than my Dell laptop held out.
That good friends offered me showers and a place to stay should I need it.
That 21 Remarkable Women showed up for last night’s event in spite of whatever was going on at home. One woman even saw an added benefit of the evening that she could charge her cell phone there while networking. I love being around positive, action-oriented people.
Plan A today was not to go to the Westport Library. It was to play catch up in my office after a busy couple of days out of it. However, Mother Nature had other plans. The severe storm yesterday took down not only the tree on my street, but also several power lines in my area, so there’s no current going through my house today.
I trekked over to the nearby library only to have the door held open by a 10-year old boy entering with his family. “Lose your power?” he asked, probably due to the backpack and tote I was sporting. “40% of Westport lost its electricity,” he announced. So, I wasn’t surprised to find the outlets full of computer plugs, nor to hear the announcement a few minutes later over the PA system saying, “We’ve done what we can to set up as may plugs as we can. The Senior Center also has its doors open if you need to go someplace after we close at 5pm.” Felt good to know the status, that they were paying attention and also offering solutions to the dilemma. Made me grateful that I live here, that power will be restored and that this is only a short-term challenge.
Today is my daughter Laura’s birthday. I got up super-early, finished my draft of acknowledgments for the new edition of my book, and will hop onto the 11:30am train to NYC to take her out for lunch. We’re going to Hangawi, a Korean vegetarian restaurant recommended by the Organic Coach, Gina Paterno Villalobos.
Tonight the entire family is going to see Laura’s selection of entertainment–Louis CK performing at Caroline’s Comedy Club.
Once again I am grateful for the lifestyle business I have created that allows me to take a Friday off at will to celebrate the most important people in my life.
BTW, tomorrow I’ll be facilitating a networking program for SCORE in Darien. It doesn’t even feel like work, although most people will be spending their Saturday doing non-work related activities.
This photo was taken a few months ago at Denyse Schmidt’s open house. Laura selected the quilt behind us for her holiday gift. It looks terrific on her iron-frame bed.