December 31, 2011
Cause Related Marketing
Today I mailed a generous check to LifeCenter Northwest based on 10% of sales at my shopping cart since November 1, 2011. I made my donation in the names of Brandon and Shirley Harney Taylor. Shirley will be a float rider on the Donate Life America Float on Jan. 2, 2012, bringing national attention to the importance of organ and tissue donation. Her son Brandon’s organs and tissues have given second life chances to 52 others since his death by bike accident in August of 2000.
Thank you to those of you who were moved to make a purchase from my “Engage!” page to get the help you need to prepare and share your stories so you can prosper in the spotlight. Whether you purchased your own copy of Bye-Bye Boring Bio, treated yourself to the next session of the Broadcast Your Brilliance Webinar Series, or engaged me to do your Extreme Bio Makeover, you have helped yourself with tools and training to support your future success, and — in doing so — you have also contributed to this organization’s life-saving good work.
If you haven’t yet seen the video I created to showcase this cause related initiative, you can view it here.
Here’s to more good work in the world as we make bold impact through our collective efforts in the New Year. And be sure to watch the Rose Parade on Monday, January 2, 2012!
December 30, 2011
In March of 2011, I created a vision board, and I’ve been walking by it and looking at it every day since then. My vision board for 2011 showcased five big ideas from Lisa Sasevich that really spoke to me. She advised:
- Find the balance that works for you and live by it.
- Invest in yourself.
- Hire a virtual staff.
- You can sell without being “salesy.”
- Find your unique blessing and share it with the world.
I made big progress on points 2-5, which goes to show that what you focus on comes to pass. And I will confess — and I am sure it comes as no surprise — that I worked way too hard and allowed far too little time for fun in 2011. I declare that 2012 will be different. To make that happen, I will:
- Stay in the “joy zone” as much as possible because when I am doing those things that I am really good at, the light just shines. That is a big part of authentic visibility, and I plan to keep my focus there every single day.
- Keep my focus on the “big rocks” that have the potential to make the biggest impact in my business.
- Practice “sustainable generosity.” That means that I’ll be setting tighter boundaries on my time. If you have become accustomed to me responding to email questions at all hours of the day and night, this change is going to be a big one. Clients enrolled in my group training programs, those who engage my services, and joint venture partners will get my highest priority attention, and everyone else will have to wait.
- Calm the noise. That means being mindful about keeping my attention on relationships, initiatives, and projects that matter and ignoring a lot of the rest. This also is going to be hard, but step by step, I’ll make progress.
What will you be focusing on in 2012? I’d love to hear.
December 28, 2011
Cause Related Marketing
When Auburn resident and 25-year BECU executive Shirley Harney Taylor takes her honored place in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2012 as a rider on the Donate Life America Float, she will be among a group of people who feel more keenly than anyone else a special blend of anguish and inspiration. The anguish was having had to face the choice to donate her 16-year-old son Brandons’s organs and tissues when his 16-year-old life had only just begun. The inspiration came soon after when 52 others were given second chances at life, thanks to Brandon’s gifts that fateful August day in 2000.
Shirley has been advocating for the importance of organ and tissue donation for LifeCenter Northwest since, giving an entirely new and inspired purpose to her life and the lives of many others. BECU has given Shirley the grace, schedule flexibility, and support to give back to this cause over the years, creating a bond of employee loyalty that is priceless beyond measure. This kind of quiet, steady support is a meaningful expression of the organization’s mission and commitment to grow the spirit of real community among its staff and its members. The support is not loud and proud like the drum beat of a parade, but steady and sure to inspire loyalty, trust, and goodwill. Actions always speak louder than words. And they speak powerful truth, while making a big difference.
In the parade, Shirley will be waving as she feels the pride of seeing a “floragraph” of Brandon’s face showcased on the Donate Life float with 71 other organ donors who created triumph from tragedy and the deep knowing that decisions she made in the depths of her loss and despair have made a profound difference for many.
There is Mary Ellen Decker of Windsor, NY, who, when her 21-year-old son Seth committed suicide on a beautiful September afternoon in 2005, had the fortitude to donate his organs; Janice Langbehn, Olympia, Washington, whose 39-year-old life partner, Lisa Marie Pond, died of an aneurysm but who was not allowed to see her in her final hours because of their non-married status, leading to a directive from President Obama permitting gay and lesbian family members access to their hospitalized partners; and Arnold Perez, a 46-year-old screen printer from Guatemala, living in Los Angeles, who says he had never heard of transplantation until he and his wife, Eva, were asked if they would donate the organs of their 6-year-old son, Hernán, who crashed into a tree when, excited by snow on the nearby mountains, he impatiently jumped on his sled before they could stop him. When they received a letter telling them about the recipients, they both cried, Arnold remembers. “We still keep it,” he adds.
Shirley has found another kind of kinship with the recipients on the float, seeing living proof of the difference their gifts have made. One of them, Dave Ebberson, of Ephrata, Washington, now lives a vibrant, active life free from the tethers of a dialysis machine, thanks to the pancreas that Brandon’s was his gift to the Ebberson family. “I feel like a young pup at 57,” he says, with gratitude for the additional time he enjoys with his wife Linda, their three boys, and their grandchildren.
Kara Thio, of Cary, North Carolina, was born without a bile duct and, agonizingly, her parents learned she would need to grow to 15 lbs. before the local hospital could operate, a weight she could never reach. But instead of giving up, they kept searching until the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco undertook to try and, after a 15-hour operation, transplanted a liver into the 8-month-old, 11 lb. baby. Now that baby is 19.
Another, Emily Fennell, received one of the first hand transplants in the United States earlier this year and, after a few months, is so used to it that she can scarcely remember when she had a hook where her right hand used to be.
The rapidly-developing techniques can surprise even those who know this field well. When Max Zapata donated a kidney to a stranger, her brother gave one of his to someone else, whose wife gave one of hers, continuing a chain until 10 people, from California to New York, became free of the dialysis machines that until then had ruled their life.
With the roller-coaster events that every one of these float riders has faced, all of them will have mixed emotions as they pass by the cheering crowds. In her case, Shirley says, “Just two weeks before Brandon’s accident, he was lamenting that he hadn’t accomplished very much with his life. Today, he can smile from the heavens with the deep knowledge that he accomplished far more than he ever thought possible and made a lot of dreams come true for others with his gift of life.”
For those who have not yet signed donor cards, let this message be the inspiration to begin the year with that intention stated clearly on driver licenses everywhere. Lives can be saved in the face of great tragedy, and that is inspiration for us all. Learn more by visiting www.lcnw.org.
December 27, 2011
It’s almost a brand new year. Make yours the best it can be by standing out and sharing your stories in the media that matter most for your message. If you would like to receive my free ebook of 32 newspaper articles to unleash the power of publicity to your expert advantage, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Free Ebook” in the subject line. I’ll send your gift to you personally. Enjoy the articles and act on what you learn to make magic happen every day in your business in 2012.
December 26, 2011
Sometimes, other pressing news stands in the way of your news earning media attention. Such was the case with a story pitch I made several times to a number of local community papers in my own backyard on behalf of my friends at the Chat with Women Radio Show. Pam Gray and Rochelle Alhadeff have demonstrated the courage to follow their dreams, while giving others a platform to be heard. I say “Amen” and “Hurray” to that.
And, because I believe their story of pursuing their big dream is well worth celebrating, I am sharing it with you today. May this story inspire you to take big, bold steps toward the big, bold future you envision for yourself and your business in the New Year to debut soon, no matter what the naysayers or dream squashers have to say.
Impossible things are happening everyday, so said the Fairy Godmother to Cinderella. The same message is as true for you as it is for me. What we do to take action to bring our dreams to life is what makes the most important difference. So, with that said, let’s celebrate a story of dreams coming true in perfect timing to make a big difference …
Chat with Radio Show Opens the Door for Big Dreams to Take Wing and Fly
On October 21, 2005, Bellevue resident Rochelle Alhadeff and Redmond resident Pam Gray launched a radio program on a local radio network called the Chat with Women Show. Marking their sixth broadcast anniversary is an occasion that offers them and their mid-life and beyond listeners proof positive that successful career and life reinvention can happen at any age and give dreams wings to take flight in ways never prior imagined.
“We wanted to create a community to serve women aged 40 and better, earn a place as a trusted resource for information about issues women care about, and give them a voice to be heard,” Gray said, adding. “We have done that and more.”
Never Too Old to Make Big Things Happen:
At launch, both women were 58 years of age. Broadcast industry experts told them that their idea for a radio talk show for women only didn’t have a chance. Others said they were too old to be relevant. Still others said that women don’t listen to talk radio. Did either have radio broadcasting experience? No.
“So many naysayers and dream squashers showed up to throw cold water on our idea, yet we persevered,” Alhadeff said.
This year, these veteran radio show hosts proudly celebrated the sixth anniversary of service to their growing listening audience with a long list of accomplishments to their credit.
A Mission Worth Fighting For and Much to Celebrate
Their idea at launch was to motivate, inspire, and educate with fun and love. They have achieved that and found ways to monetize the effort to the benefit of their balance sheet and beyond.
- Quality sponsors including Verity Credit Union, Chef by Request, Homewatch Caregivers sign on and stay because the programming reaches their ideal audience of women decision makers with sufficient impact to justify their long-term investment, Alhadeff says. These commitments and others generate advertising revenues well into the six-figures each year.
- Their enterprise is profitable and poised to make an even bigger impact as the newly upgraded site adds video, community-building live events, and an expanded expert line up.
- The Chat with Women Radio Network now boasts 10 radio hosts who are reaching out to women radio listeners in numbers estimated to be in the 14,000 – 45,000 range every week. There is a wait list for show times for new hosts, Gray reports.
- A-List radio guests including Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Whoopi Goldberg, and Suzanne Sommer have appeared on their program, along with scores and scores of subject matter experts with commentary to share of unique appeal to women.
Lessons Learned Along the Way:
Gray and Alhadeff have learned lessons along their journey to give birth to their dream.
- Choose partnerships wisely.
- Create an “inner circle” of trusted advisors who have genius beyond your own.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Create a flexible business model that offers the promise of multiple streams of income from the start.
- Get your family on board with your dream. Big dreams require the investment of time, money, and resources. “Everyone has to pitch in and take extra responsibility for what happens at home so the business can thrive.”
- Don’t hear “no.” Don’t say “no.” Never give up, and listen always.
- Believe that dreams can come true, and take action every day to make it so.
- Do the work.
- Laugh often and much.
- Take time to celebrate accomplishments to refuel for the ups and downs that are inevitable.
What is Next for the Chat with Women Show:
Gray and Alhadeff are putting their focus on the use of video on their newly upgraded site to give all the hosts and themselves an even more powerful way to connect with women, engage, and join the community.
About the Chat with Women Hosts:
Pam Gray and Rochelle Alhadeff are best friends, business partners, and women on a mission to bring women 40 years old and better together to live, laugh and love – even when life isn’t smooth and easy. Creating, growing, and improving the Chat with Women Radio Network to serve as the go-to source to reach mid-life women with the discretion and influence to make purchase decisions of consequence is their top priority. Learn more at www.chatwithwomen.com, join the conversation, and enjoy the tips shared by the Chat with Women team of experts who share their expertise via engaging and content-rich videos designed to inspire, teach, and empower.
December 22, 2011
Just for Fun
Imagine for a moment that you have achieved the level of success or celebrity in your life and business that you are one of the personalities profiled in People magazine. What would that feel like? And would that be a good thing for your life and business?
While working out at the gym the other day, I came upon a back issue of this magazine and turned to the last page to read a profile about Dana Delaney. One look at her great photo and her sassy sound bite — She said, “I’m pretty good about not lying these days. I’m hyper-honest. I’ve learned it’s the best way to go.” — and I was hooked to read the rest.
So, answer these questions for yourself, and have a little fun as you do:
5 Facts about You
- High School Crowd
- Something Surprising…
- Biggest Indulgence
- Weirdest Habit
- Workplace Perk
Sassy Sound Bite to Guide My New Year:
- “Impossible things are happening every day.” — The Fairy Godmother to Cinderella and to Me!
High School Crowd
- I was the bookish, hard-working editor of my high school newspaper who did a lot more reporting about others than making news of my own.
- Sometimes, people who meet me in person for the first time after consulting with me by phone tell me it is a big surprise to see how tall I am. One person said that she had this idea in her head that I was five foot two. She said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were the Jolly Green Giant?” I stand just under six feet tall in my bare feet.
- Driving my grocery cart down the aisles at Whole Foods and putting amazing and delicious things into my basket without looking at the price — a rare pleasure!
- Sometimes, I get so absorbed in my work that it is 3 p.m. and I haven’t yet had lunch. That’s why this “self care” thing needs to be a higher priority in 2012.
- Going to work wearing my pajamas and getting to play with my puppy between assignments.
OK, now it is your turn to create your personality profile. After all, People magazine or the perfect publication for your story may be calling in the New Year, and you want to be ready when opportunity knocks.
December 21, 2011
Ah yes, it is that time of year to reflect on steps taken to move forward and to look ahead to see what might be coming next.
So, with that said, here are some of my big lessons from 2011.
- Move the big rocks first. (Thanks Bill Baren for this simple, yet powerful idea.)
- Speak with authenticity to make a deep connection with those you are meant to serve, even though it is uncomfortable.
- Leverage packs a punch.
- Grow your list. Grow your wealth.
- Be a “rock star” joint venture partner . That means delivering on every promise and going the extra mile. One good contribution often leads to another, and good news travels fast to the right people.
- It pays off to be ready when opportunity knocks, and it turns heads in a good way.
- Practice “sustainable generosity.” (Thank you George Kao for this “aha” insight.) That means giving generously and over-delivering for those who invest wisely in your services.
- Less is more. Offer fewer products and services in winning bundles to make “getting to YES” easier for your clients.
- Invest wisely to get help in areas beyond your genius.
- Take consistent, tenacious action every day to advance toward your goals.
Prior to 2011, I was one of those “get it done myself” people. And, truth be told, I wasn’t achieving the success I was dreaming of by following this approach. That is why — even though it was VERY uncomfortable for me — I invested in coaching this year change the game for my life and business. Every day, I am uncomfortable. Every day, my business takes bigger and different steps forward than I could imagine taking before getting this extra measure of strategic support.
This journey isn’t easy. I am being challenged in ways that bring up all kinds of “inner game” stuff that is hard to address or talk about.
And, step by step, the results are flowing in the balance sheet and beyond.
And, for 2012, I am going to put more emphasis on the “and beyond” part of this equation. I’ve worked very hard, sometimes to the exclusion of taking good care of myself. I think the concept of “sustainable generosity” needs to be applied to my personal life. It’s a very big rock that needs attention. That means putting my fitness, health, and self-care at the top of the list so I can be present for my husband, son, and puppy and equally energized to do great work with my clients.
This is going to require some mindset shifts and behavior changes that are going to be uncomfortable for me. Borrowing a phrase from Oprah, “what I know for sure” is that If I apply the same level of discipline and focus to my personal life as I do to my business in the New Year, wonderful things are going to happen that will be priceless in their rewards. Those priceless rewards count for a lot. To me, they matter the most of all. So, I’ve got my eye on that prize, and I’m going to take step-by-step progress to see what shape it takes with high hopes and high expectations. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.
What are your biggest lessons from 2011? What will you do differently in the New Year. Please share, and let’s help keep each other accountable for making our dreams come true in 2012.
December 9, 2011
Be Heard, Good News, Video PR
Life really change change forever with the crash of a bike. In August of 2000, Brandon Harney was stuck by a car while riding his bike. The accident proved fatal for him, and life-giving for 52 others. Yesterday, Dave Ebberson — the recipient of Brandon’s pancreas — drove from Ephrata to Seattle to be part of a “floragraph” decorating event that took place a BECU Headquarters in Tukwila to honor Brandon’s gift of life.
Shirley Harney Taylor and Ebberson put the finishing touches on the art piece made from 100% natural materials that will soon be winging its way to be showcased on the Donate Life America Float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade. Brandon’s “floragraph” will be among 72 such images proudly on display to earn the attention of millions of viewers. The intent of the float is to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. Shirley has been ad advocate for the important work of LifeCenter Northwest since Brandon gave the gift of life to so many others when he passed away. She has worked for BECU for 25 years. You can watch the KOMO TV 4 coverage by visiting this link. Share generously.
December 5, 2011
Learn the latest in email marketing and list building with Dana Pethia and me as your guides. It’s a high value and free half-day of content, connections, and actions to take to build your influence, impact, and income. Register here.
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