You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2011.
Lennie Rose, the founder of Big Ooga in Chicago, let me know that she would be in NYC over the Thanksgiving holiday. She and I have been corresponding for a few years now thanks to our connection through our blogs.
We both thrive on getting fabulous entrepreneurs together in community. I’m also a big fan of her sincere, funny and deeply personal blog writing style. I was very excited to meet her in person.
I chose Hangawi, an intimate, quiet and vegetarian Korean restaurant on 32nd Street in Manhattan. We ordered the tasting menu, so that food would simply appear as we gabbed. We covered business, family, travel, visions, you name it.
Before you knew it, dessert was being served, my train back to CT was beckoning and a deeper relationship had been forged. How nice to be able to put a real person with an online personality. It was a real treat!
I finished reading my first book on a Nook last week–the weighty 642-page biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. (I want to re-thank Tessa McGovern for inviting me to her echook event at Barnes & Noble a few months back. It was there that I won the raffle for a color Nook.) I was riveted to every word about this genius–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me tell you, there was plenty of ugly. But that’s for another blog post.
One of the neat things about the Nook is that you can write notes and highlight sections. I didn’t use that capability until I hit page 464 where Tim Cook, whom Jobs tapped to replace him at Apple, stated “There is no one better at turning off the noise that is going on around him…That allows him to focus on a few things and say no to many things. Few people are really good at that.”
With the you-know-what approaching (that “h” word), I’m noticing increasing frenzy and a lack of focus wherever I go. Some of the questions I get from clients and webinar participants are based around too many goals and choices. These are good questions, and I’m sympathetic. I, too, can put way too much on my plate.
But, I’m with Steve Jobs on this one. Pick one or two projects to put all of your focus on, knowing that good ideas will be there when you’re ready for them.
At a writing workshop I attended years ago, one participant told the instructor that she had hundreds of ideas for book titles. I felt jealousy surge up in me as I sat next to this prolific idea person. The teacher’s response surprised and satisfied me. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something like, “It’s a cop-out to keep thinking of ideas. The hard work is to sit down with just ONE and commit to it. Writing is about writing, not about thinking of titles.” Ouch, and aha!
My advice for when you’re feeling scattered? Choose one thing to focus on for a few hours until it’s complete. Turn off the phone. Don’t look at email or social media, and commit your time to the work in front of you. Complete that one thing, whether it’s wrapping gifts, planning your goals for 2012 or re-writing your homepage. It’s better to complete one thing than to get 1/2 way through a dozen things.
I had invited a friend from NYC to have dinner with me one evening several months ago. We spoke earlier in the day to nail down her arrival time at the Westport train station. She said, “I’m not really accomplishing anything now because I’m already in ‘leaving’ energy.” I loved that!
Sometimes the energy of an upcoming experience or holiday shapes our current moments and renders us happily useless to accomplish other tasks. I say, give in to that energy and let it wash over you.
As I shopped Whole Foods this afternoon for salad ingredients for my Thanksgiving contribution tomorrow, I knew that I was not going to get back to my desk to work on my next webinar module. I was going to relax, enjoy a call with my coach, meditate and have a light dinner. I also bought a ticket to see the 3-D version of Hugo, the new Martin Scorsese movie.
May the joy of Thanksgiving and the energy you feel around this special holiday fill you and carry you throughout the weekend.
I received an email from my alma mater, Mount Holyoke College, thanking me (and every other alum who has contributed) for my/our support. I believe in tithing and attribute much of my success in life to the education I received there. Even my tagline: Leading Remarkable Women to Uncommon Success tips it’s hat to our founder’s, Mary Lyon’s, description of us as uncommon women. I’m happy and honored to be able to give back.
This video acknowledgment brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. It’s extremely hopeful. Do you agree?
Cookie and I go way back–to Camp Chinqueka in the 50′s–but it was at our adjacent easels in the Art Department of Mount Holyoke College where her talent began to shine.
I predict that Cookie will be one of those overnight sensations who has put in 30 years of perseverance, hard work and maturation of talent behind the scenes. Getting written up in the New York Times is a BIG DEAL.
Her new book is called I Will Come Back For You and received high praise from the journalist whose article reviewed three biographical picture books portraying children living through challenging circumstances. This is what she said:
“I Will Come Back for You,” by Marisabina Russo (“A Very Big Bunny”), is the most exciting of the three books…
Cookie told me that her amazon.com numbers were already showing a rise after the piece appeared on Sunday. There’s nothing like that third party endorsement, especially when it comes from the New York Times.
On my drive from Tucson, where the retreat was held en route to the airport in Phoenix, I saw a spectacular rainbow–in Arizona! Over the desert. Not what you’d expect. That pretty much sums up my fabulous experience at Miraval with 100+ MORE readers plus the magazine’s editorial staff and publisher. To say it exceeded my expectations would be an understatement.
The facility is magnificent–a resort built at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains–with lavish accommodations and multiple athletic, spa and spiritual offerings to please any patron. But the true value of my experience began during the Meet the Editors welcome the first evening there. I sat in the front row and was immediately extended a warm welcome by the woman seated to my right, Natalie Caine.
Within two minutes it was clear that I was in the right place. I’m going to speak at Rancho La Puerta next month, and Natalie had just returned from her own speaking engagement there. Now, really. What are the chances of that serendipitous alignment of stars?! We became fast friends and had breakfast together daily.
The highlight of Day 2 was participating in the Equine Experience where I was well instructed on how to groom a horse including getting him to lift his hooves for me to clean. After that I was taught how to have my horse go from a walk to a trot and change directions in the ring simply by directing my energy core towards his and setting my intention. I’ve got the pictures to prove that I was able to accomplish this amazing feat. Amazing to me, anyway.
Throughout these experiences and meals I kept meeting remarkable women from all over the US. Conversations were spontaneous and quickly intimate, which I loved.
When I got back to the ‘main campus’ after the horse experience, one of the women I’d met in that group spotted a jeweler, Marybeth Johnson, she’d previously encountered who was exhibiting her work in the Miraval shop.I was immediately drawn not only to the beauty and spirituality of this woman’s pieces, but also to her gentle and loving energy. We had a couple of wonderful conversations, as I had already walked the path she was currently on and could lend some thoughts and advice for her journey. She was a receptive audience, and we became fast friends.
My original intention for going to this long weekend event was to meet Barbara Bigford whom I’d written about after she’d been featured in MORE. Her story is truly inspirational, and what I admired most about Barbara, who shared her story at lunch on Friday–”From Idea to Barcode”– is her willingness to go to any lengths for her business in a low-key, tenacious and graceful way. She shared her wild success, but also her steep learning curve and mistakes made along the way. Employed as a dental hygienist before becoming a business mogul, you can imagine how inspiring her story was.
The day after her talk, Barbara and I met up for a morning walk and talk about retirement co-sponsored by MORE and Wells Fargo. We hiked the grounds of the resort, then assembled by a bonfire to hear about financial planning and share our concerns with the Deputy Editor of MORE whose focus is personal finance and work–Jennifer Braunschweiger.
I could go on… It was filling, inspiring, nurturing, fun and important. Join me next year!
When I signed up for the Meet the Editors event at Miraval Spa in Tucson last June, I had no idea how well-timed this getaway retreat would be. These last few weeks have been intensely full and productive with my recent free webinar and subsequent sell-out of the actual 8-session course starting next week.
I’ve wrapped up all the trimmings for the first session on 11/17, so feel really good about taking a long weekend of rest, renewal and some pretty cool networking.
My coach asked me what my ‘high dream’ would be around the event. What would be the best outcome? I don’t know how this came out of my mouth, but ‘a column’ was what I responded. I’ve got copies of my book to distribute–I shipped them ahead to avoid shlepping them on the plane. And I believe I walk the talk of a Soul Proprietor. A monthly column geared toward women-owned businesses would work beautifully in that publication.
Earl Nightingale said that “Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.” Wish me luck!
Yesterday was a glorious day in CT, especially compared to last Sunday when we were all cleaning up from that freaky fall blizzard and subsequent power outages. This day was sunny, blue skies and the perfect temperature for taking in a multitude of offerings.
I chose to attend Crafts on Stage at SUNY Purchase for which my dear friend and colleague Terry Capuana has served as Chair. I was also attracted to this event because I saw that Micki Ravitz (in photo with me) was among the exhibitors.
I’d recently mentioned Micki in the talk I gave at the Saybrook Point Inn when relating the lesson I nickname, Graduating from Wannabe, in my book Soul Proprietor. When I first began exhibiting my decorated eggs in the late ’70′s, I had a tiny booth across the aisle from Micki’s large and luxe ultrasuede boutique which was dripping with her elegant handmade necklaces. Her booth was constantly populated with loving fans waiting for a moment with this talented woman who would select exactly the perfect piece of jewelry for them, write up their order, then send them off with her warm and sincere smile and a hug. I wanted what she had.
The lesson I learned in observing those attributes–gorgeous booth/display, return clientele, a warm and generous spirit–was that I could attain them by imitating the master. I worked long and hard to afford someone who could design a new booth for me. I started a mailing list and conscientiously sent out postcard reminders to let my fans know when I’d next be exhibiting. I worked on my attitude and brought along a new and positive one to my weekends of public exposure.
There’s great information in those feelings of envy and jealousy that can be mined for success.
When I told this story in Old Saybrook, an audience member raised her hand and enthusiastically said, “I know Micki, and it’s all true!” I wanted to share that story with Micki when I saw her at her booth on Sunday. She greeted me as warmly as any of her ‘old’ customers with a huge smile and a hug. She had actually already been told about the story, so we shared a good laugh. I reminded her of how much I admired her style, especially her lavish booth. “It’s over 35 years old!” she exclaimed. I loved that, too, because when you invest in yourself, it pays you back.
Although I’ve bought pieces of Micki’s jewelry in the past, yesterday I chose to buy a beautiful bracelet from another exhibitor. After the purchase, I asked if I might take a photo of the artisan in her booth. She had a well integrated look that supported her craft beautifully and professionally. I wanted to share that with you. Notice the large photo images and name branding, the proprietor elegantly wearing her own designs, the simplicity of the booth (even this small slice of it that you see) and the edited selection of pieces offered. Customers can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work on display. Wendy narrowed the choices making it easy for me to select one of the designs similar to what she was wearing on her own wrists.
After leaving the fair in NY, I followed the advice of my dentist who has often mentioned the energy medicine doctor he’s been seeing and now swears by. Dr. Jeffrey Zimmerman held an opening of his new wellness company in downtown Westport on Sunday afternoon. I was able to arrive in time to hear his lecture on energy medicine after my trip to Westchester.
I was inspired enough by his personal story and information to sign up for an upcoming class on self-healing and wellness. I left his talk and went home for a well-deserved and nurturing nap.
One of the recipients, Birgit Anich, took the time to send me not only a beautifully composed thank you note, but also an attractively packaged gift of cookies. I’d met her several times at EWN events, but her generous gratitude for the CD has now made her indelibly sealed in my positive memory bank.
In particular I wanted to thank you and express my gratitude for your CD. I cannot stop listening to it over and over again. I have been featured a few times on local TV, newspaper, online communities. However, my goal is to get on HGTV and I know that getting on national TV is a completely different ball game and persistence. Your CD give me great ideas on how to get further prepared for this. Thank you!!!!
Want someone to remember you? Take a moment today to say ‘thanks’ in a meaningful way.