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I smiled when I saw this message in my inbox this morning. It brought me right back to my time at Mount Holyoke College when, on one bright and sunny fall day, the chapel bells would ring out signaling the cancellation of classes for a once-a-year tradition: Mountain Day.
The message today included this challenge: “Although you may not be able to join President Pasquerella, and the MHC community for a noon ice cream celebration, you can still evoke the unexpected freedom of Mountain Day: give yourself an unscheduled day off, open your windows, get out of the house or your office for a walk, eat ice cream for lunch, or call a classmate to reminisce.“
I’ve already opened my windows and will get out of my office for a walk. What unexpected freedom can you reward yourself with today?
Pierce Ball Gallery hosted the Second Annual Artsy Girls Show – A Common Thread with an opening on Saturday that drew a steady stream of patrons plus a slew of Artsy Girls. I’m sitting on a bench in this jewel of a gallery space along with Naiad Einsel, illustrator, Meredith Gray, fashion stylist, and Laurie Klein, photographer.
The exhibit features original art in a variety of media from a couple of dozen of our members, including yours truly. Liz mounted my decorated eggs and jewelry in a way I wished I had back in the day.
I was touched to see a photograph from our youngest Artsy Girls member, Nicole, who has been an apprentice with Laurie Klein for several years. Below is an image of Nicole visiting the exhibit with her family.
Liz Ball curated the show, hosted it, created all of the press around it and also exhibited her extraordinary photographs. The Artsy Girls owe her a debt of gratitude for putting us on the map in such an elegant manner.
I practically flew home from 341 Studios’ Fresh Intelligence Roundtable Series this morning. Offered to clients and prospects of this energized and energizing marketing & design company, today’s talk was on email marketing trends featuring Bradly Serlin. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more timely talk to present to business owners, so it was a capacity crowd.
The entire event was first rate. I’m going to tell you exactly what 341 did right and challenge you to try to imitate them. They made it look easy, but I know how much work it took to pull together all the disparate elements of a successful event and make it appear effortless as this company did.
- First of all, they used email marketing brilliantly to fill the room. They successfully demonstrated what the workshop was focused on.
- The signage leading attendees into the boardroom where the session was held was crisp, accurate and helpful. Having never been in this particular building before, I found it a simple, but caring detail to have every twist and turn labeled with a printed and colorful sign bearing the logo associated with the event.
- The printed name tags of all the attendees were lined up on a table at the entrance indicating that we were expected.
- There was plenty of time for networking over a sumptuous breakfast spread.
- Four members of the 341 team were there greeting each arrival and graciously offering coffee and goodies.
- I felt totally welcomed and honored to be present.
- We were cordially ushered to our seats in a timely way and allowed a brief commercial in the form of self-introductions before Bradly began.
- There was a well-designed promotional kit at each audience member’s place as well as a pad for note taking and a branded 341 Studios sharpened pencil.
- The promo kit included an elegant brochure about 341, info about the speaker, a survey to give valuable feedback and news about an upcoming event in two weeks.
I could go on and on about the content of the talk, the quality of the attendees and the positive energy of the experience, but I’ve already gushed enough.
341 Studios did something every business owner should do. They set themselves apart as industry leaders, took the initiative to come up with a series of talks and made it happen in a first-class way.
When I asked Principal Felicia Rubinstein how effective these roundtables were for her company, she shared that they had made a 200% return on investment at their last program. That says it all.
At the age of 11 Li Cunxin was plucked from his remote village in China to be groomed for the Beijing Dance Academy. As the 7th son in a family with minimal education and no worldly exposure, Li had no aspirations to study ballet. But after enduring grueling 16-hour days of practice and training, he viewed a videotape of Baryshnikov performing and was transformed. Although ballet had never been on his radar, once he was exposed to a transcendent vision, everything changed for him–at least in the cinematic version of his life entitled Mao’s Last Dancer.
From that moment on he did everything he could to fly like Mikhail. This included weighing down his legs with heavy sandbags attached and leaping up a flight of stairs 2-3 at a time with his hands tied behind his back. That heroic effort of forcing himself to endure tremendous pain and strain was the image that stayed with me after seeing the film last weekend. Once the sandbags were removed, thrusting his entire body into the air would feel effortless, but he had to practice day after day to get those muscles strengthened.
When I read biographies of famous people whom I admire, I get to see what they have gone through in order to achieve greatness in their lives. The sandbags for me are believing enough in myself and my message to put it out multiple times. I know I’m not alone in feeling reticent about overexposure and spamming. But the successful people I see are constantly putting themselves in the public eye in order to be seen and heard. I tell my clients all the time, one postcard mailing is not enough.
I believe that the new edition of my book Soul Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur will help seasoned and aspiring business owners alike. I encourage you to read a copy, buy one for a friend if you’re a fan and spread the word as to how it’s been beneficial to you.
No one I know is looking to take on additional homework assignments. When I created my Soul Proprietor Book Club, it was with the intention of bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together to talk about what’s real in their businesses, what touches their souls. Not to tackle a reading list. There are many other opportunities to do that, right Oprah?!
The Soul Proprietor Book Club is an exclusive group of women who opt in to my particular community. There are no barriers to membership, beyond taking the time to self-select and sign up to receive my offers. I want to create a safe place to share fears, self-doubt as well as success. If you’re out there at the bat swinging, I guarantee that fear and self-doubt arrive with every pitch.
The first exclusive offer is a free tele-seminar with me focusing on my 3 favorite lessons:Tuesday, October 5 at 8PM EDT. It will be presented to the first 50 members of my Soul Proprietor Book Club who dial in. Click on my home page and ‘join’ by adding your name on the lower left under the Member of Jane Pollak’s Soul Proprietor Book Club icon. Once you’re a member, you will receive all the announcements for upcoming events. Only members will receive these offers. Will you please join me?
Jim Blasingame is the founder of Small Business Advocate whose mission is helping your small business. I’ve been a member of his Brain Trust for several years now on the generous referral of Barbara Weltman. This morning Jim and I talked on his blog radio program about self-promotion, especially these days. You can listen to that interview by clicking Interview with Jim Blasingame.
I love the saying “If you don’t toot your own horn, there’s no music” which underscores the necessity of all entrepreneurs to be sure your audience keeps you top-of-mind. Whether you create your own marketing program that mixes networking, news releases, social media, newsletters and direct mail or rely on a service to help you with this important business strategy, this vital communications effort cannot be overlooked.
This season my focus in my business is promoting the new edition of my book Soul Proprietor. Here’s a bullet-pointed list of the actions that I’m taking in order to get the word out and stay top-of-mind:
- Newly re-published edition offered in May 2010
- Recorded and edited audio version of Soul Proprietor – available soon on iTunes
- Created a community of reader - Soul Proprietor Book Club (Please join; it’s free!)
- Offering a free tele-seminar (10/5) to Soul Proprietor community
- Offering a special event discussion-over-dinner for members only (11/30 in Norwalk)
- Offering a members only Mastermind Group (via phone starting in January 2011)
As I wrote in my blog last week and mentioned to Jim on the interview this morning, Jacqueline Susann drove all over the country visiting bookstores and radio stations on behalf of her book Valley of the Dolls. My effort gives you a 2010 strategy by an author who prefers to use technology to drive sales.
I’d also like to hear what you’re doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to entice customers to your business. It’s always about taking action and seeing what the response is.
How shocking to receive the news of a dear friend’s death on the screen of one’s BlackBerry, but that’s what happened this afternoon as I was retrieving messages after a haircut. I knew Pauline had been ill and had recently spoken to her sister Lucie. But I thought that trying new treatments was an optimistic move and that there was still hope. The message explained how shocked they all were at the suddenness of her death, so I was not alone.
I had been planning to write a letter to Pauline for her to read as she was going through her treatments. I wanted to let her know how much she had meant to me over the years. I’ll share some of it to let you know what an extraordinary woman Pauline was, but also to encourage you (and, note to self here) not to wait until it’s too late to share gratitude and love.
I started seeing Pauline for shiatsu treatments over 20 years ago when I was in tremendous physical pain and nothing else seemed to be working. She came highly recommended and I soon began to see improvements after experiencing her touch.
“At my second or third session I had overbooked my day and asked you if you could do the session in a compressed amount of time. Of course, this was way before I knew what an influence you would come to have on me. You simply and politely informed me that you did not vary your treatments, and I would need to schedule accordingly. I never asked for that special consideration again and began to be more mindful in my own planning behavior.
“When I first came to you I was in intolerable pain. Those early sessions were excruciating because you were working to get energy to flow in meridians that were blocked by years of stress, poor nutrition, willfulness and lack of self-care. Slowly, deliberately and with your special skill and sensitivity, you released the blockages and restored me not only to full health, but to a better state of being than I had ever experienced.”
Pauline and I became friends over the years. The last half dozen or so we would enjoy an annual December dinner together at a restaurant. Pauline gave her long-time clients a complimentary session as a gift each holiday season. For years I’d give her a piece of my handmade jewelry, but once I let go of my art form, I began to take her out for an annual celebration instead. I loved being in her company and received more than I gave.
I cherished each appointment I ever had with Pauline. When I would pull into her driveway I could feel my body relax and begin the process of her healing. It was an hour I knew I’d be fully taken care of, and I was.
I love Pauline. Always will. It’s a huge loss for all of us.
Just looking at the thorns in this picture made me believe my client’s recent description of how she pruned the rose bushes in her yard. She said she got rid of all the discolored blossoms as well as the branches that had grown astray over the season. Even though the rosebush seemed to be thriving, she knew it was better for the plant to cut it back to allow new growth to take place.
It wasn’t much of a leap in the conversation from roses to clients. This business owner had recently cut out a significant crop of government-sponsored customers for her services. They represented a large, albeit underpaying portion of her population. There was also a longer collection cycle which hindered her cash flow.
Although letting go of this reliable but unsatisfying account was a painful process, my client knew that in order to grow her company the way she envisioned it, it was a necessary step to take.
Business advisers often recommend letting go of the bottom 10% of your business annually in order to make room for new, higher-paying clientele. It can be a distressing and unpleasant activity, but the beauty on the other side of the pain is glorious.
Ronnie Ann Ryan, aka The Dating Coach, came to my Remarkable Women’s Network event last Tuesday night well prepared. (Ronnie is in the light turquoise on the right end of row 2.) She has put together a 5-day virtual expo called Dating for Keeps which she brilliantly used my event to promote.
Many people attend networking functions with no intention in mind. That’s fine, but their results often match their intentions. Nothing comes of their having attended. Because Ronnie came so well prepared, she was able to be specific in what outcomes she was looking for. One of those was to get other people to help her promote this event. I raised my hand immediately as did others in the group.
What’s also important to note here is how Ronnie took charge and created an opportunity. She put together an event, gathered other entrepreneurs in her market niche and is harnessing all that energy and excitement with an offering to the public. Even if you’re not interested in the Simple Secrets for Success in Love for Midlife Single Women, you can take inspiration from what Ronnie has created as a model of creativity and marketing.
If you are in that demographic, click here for the details of Ronnie’s upcoming expo.
My daughter Lindsey had two reasons to celebrate on Sunday, September 5. First, it was her birthday, an event we’ve always taken very seriously. As a young child it meant being allowed to pick a favorite brand of cereal (i.e. Cap’n Crunch vs. Cheerios) on that special occasion.This year it was selecting a restaurant in Manhattan along with a matinee.
This past Sunday was extra special for another reason. Lindsey, an expert in the next generation career arena, had responded to the NYTimes Magazine cover article entitled What Is It About 20-Somethings? Her letter to the editor was the lead entry in Sunday’s paper. In a large font and with her name spelled correctly. True happiness. I’m so proud! Check it out:
As I read Robin Marantz Henig’s discussion of 20-somethings, I was struck by the sense that the new life stage she was ascribing to this generation could actually be something that adults of all ages experience today: feeling unstable, struggling with ferocious competition for jobs, wondering if our relationships and finances can go the distance.
I consider it progress that every young person doesn’t feel the need to complete school, leave home, marry and have a child by a certain deadline. There is no “one size fits all” adulthood…
Read the rest of the letter here.