Archive for June, 2013
Being an entrepreneur is like hitching a ride on the wind. You never know if you will have a hundred mile an hour gust, a sustained intense wind, a gentle breeze or a dead calm. Perhaps within the span of a calendar year, you will encounter all of the above.
Ride the Wind
The novel Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson is the story of a wild adventure. A beautiful nine year old blond girl with piercing blue eyes was kidnapped by the Comanche Indians in 1836. Cynthia Ann Parker’s story of bravery growing up as a child and becoming one with the Comanche people depicts fear, joy, and acceptance of the unknown. She became one with the Comanche and married Wanderer, who became a great Comanche chief. Her son, Quanah, was the last free war chief of the Comanche.
What does this have to do with being an entrepreneur? The similarity is mind-boggling. Cynthia entered into a world of new adventures, a totally unfamiliar new culture. When an entrepreneur launches a new idea and conceives a new business for the first time, all of the experiences of ownership, total responsibility, and a myriad of new challenges envelop him or her all at once. It is a new venture; there probably are not any pre-scripted “do this and don’t do that” instructions. The entrepreneur with a revolutionary new idea is charting a new path. It becomes a learn-as-you-go process much as Cynthia Ann Parker’s new life with the Indians became a learn-as-you-go process.
You can do market research, but knowing exactly what marketing message will strike a chord with the potential customer with sufficient force to create a buying frenzy, is another matter. You research your market and determine the best possible fit for your product or service within the marketplace. Will the timing be right? Will the potential customer be motivated to purchase from you at this time for the current asking price? It is at best an educated guess.
Learning to become a leader is another new adventure. The entire experience of advertising, interviewing and hiring new employees is unchartered territory. Even if you have experience selecting employees for a former boss, it is different when you need to decide what skills you need and the affordability of that talent. Now the money is coming from your own pocket. Somehow the decision feels more significant when it is your own money, training time and result on the line.
Once you hire several employees, you have the additional task of coordinating all of the duties and personalities; this task alone can be time-consuming and gray hair generating.
Product development and customer service
These are both totally separate and yet interconnected.
The entire business becomes an ever-changing, evolving and surprising experience. All of this can be exciting, scary and uncertain all at once. Beginning to see the similarity to Cynthia Ann Parker’s experience? She embraced her new situation, learned everything she could and succeeded in becoming a revered and respected member of the Comanche people. You can become a revered and respected member of the business community.
Totally different experiences and yet so similar in the approach and desired outcome.
What are you doing each and every day to learn-as-you-go, grow personally and professionally, and enhance your probability of success?
Having questions finding your true passion and niche in life? Let me help. Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.Elaine4Success.net. Hire Elaine Love as your coach and as the keynote speaker or workshop leader for your next event. Whether you are seeking to improve your career situation, gain more expertise as a public speaker or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you. Time is slipping away, find your niche and live the life you are destined to live.
June 20, 2013 was the celebration of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines.
. . .
You have achieved amazing feats this year. Pat yourselves on the back.
This year was the first time in the history of the club that the Rotary Club of Castle Pines received the Presidential Citation. Congratulate yourselves. It took the entire club membership to accomplish this honor.
The key requirement for the Presidential Citation starts with a Peace project.
- Strengthen our club – 3 year strategic plan for strengthening the club – 3 goals required – Castle Pines achieved 4
- Increase our service – sustainable service project in one area of focus (club, community, vocational, international, new generations (youth)) – 3 goals required – Castle Pines achieved 5 goals
- Enhance public image – Communicate what Rotary represents – 3 goals required – Castle Pines achieved 6 of the 8 options
These accomplishments are remarkable for any club. To achieve these results with a club of less than twenty members is outstanding. It is even more impressive when you consider that the majority of the members still have full time careers and other community involvements.
The food for tonight represents all of the countries we have helped this year:
Haiti, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Nepal, China and United States. Patricia Fiske contributed the selections for Haiti and China, Jeff Mantz for Zimbabwe, Karen Becker for Nepal, Jon and Liz Clarke for Thailand and Lisa Bartmann for the United States.
The club accomplishments on the District 5450 and multi club level:
District Conference – 4 attendees and a display at the House of Friendship – Patricia Fiske, Ivan Kalotov, Karen Becker and Elaine Love
Rotary Leadership Institute – Howard
Grants Seminar – Karen Becker, Patricia Fiske, Jeff Mantz and Elaine Love
Literacy Seminar – Elaine Love
Peace Forum in Hawaii – Patricia Fiske
Rotary Youth Event – Patricia Fiske, Karen Becker, Ivan Kalotov, Gary and Lisa Bartmann, Jeff Mantz, Vern Nelson, Ron West, Howard Rosch and Elaine Love
Douglas County Rotarians at Work – Patricia
The combined clubs built three houses for Homes for Our Troops (All appliances and counters are wheelchair accessible.)
Villa Park project was Patricia’s from Denver Mile High club – Villa Park is a poor neighborhood in downtown Denver. There was free food available for all and craft tables everywhere. The kids could make out a Christmas card for each parent or grandmother or whoever is raising them. The kids came in to a special room (no parents allowed) and the kids picked out a gift for each parent. Gifts were wrapped and their card attached. The kids had a present to put under the tree to give to their parents. Everything was donated by Rotarians. It was the neatest experience. Imagine the pride and joy for the children and their parents. Patricia, Karen and Elaine were participating.
Group Study Exchange – Hosted, drove, entertained and honored our Chinese doctors – Patricia Fiske, Karen Becker, Ivan Kalotov, Jeff Mantz, Vern Nelson, Ron West and Elaine Love. The doctors attended a health fair, visited hospitals, the Wildlife Experience (extra kudos to Vern), had a lovely reception at Patricia’s house and even a farewell reception in Parker before departure. Special credit for hosting and driving: Karen Becker and Ivan Kalotov, Jeff Mantz, Ron West and Vern Nelson.
Project Sanctuary – Veterans and families reuniting and growing back together as a family
Toys for Gods Kids –
Library project for books for school children – Denver Mile High grant
Women’s Crisis Center grant – Parker club
Nepal water project
Haiti children’s health project
Thailand library project
Ducky Derby – largest amount we have earned on any fund raising project since our inception – over $10,000. Everyone in the club sold tickets including Susan and Darrell Johnson before they were even members. Several members continued to sell helping others long after they had sold their own tickets. The club sold 90.5% of all tickets issued to the club. This is a Ducky Derby ticket record percentage. (Combined effort of 2 Castle Rock clubs and Castle Pines)
Rotary Club of Castle Pines:
5 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) sponsorships
Chartered a new Interact club (Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18) – Renee Palmer started the process. Gary and Lisa Bartmann picked it up and ran with it.
Toys for Tots – Ron and Kay West, Ted and Betty Ziemann, Patricia Fiske, Karen Becker and Elaine Love. We sold so many raffle tickets that they had to keep giving us a bigger container.
Linus Project – Blankets for victims of natural disasters – Opportunity to present Rotary to DTC-CBW and contribute the postage to send the blankets. 100% of our $100 went straight to the charity. Interact kids helped make the blankets.
Women’s Crisis Center as beneficiary of Chili Cook-off – Once again 100% of the profit went straight to Women’s Crisis Center and by doing it through Colorado Shares day there was an opportunity for even more benefit for Women’s Crisis Center. The entire club pitched in and worked all day to make this happen despite the fact that we encountered rain, snow and cold winds. Special recognition to Charlotte Mattox, Pete Bell, Gary and Lisa Bartmann, Karen Becker, Patricia Fiske and Elaine Love. The entire club participated. Kudos to all of you.
District Grant for Family Health Fair – Patricia. Karen also went on the walk through. Castle Pines is also contributing to the park bench for the community garden at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital (our host for the health fair).
International – Jeff Mantz traveled to Zimbabwe, spent weeks of his valuable time, money out of his own personal funds to drill wells. Why? He honored and followed through on a project for a friend, a member of his church and a fellow Rotarian. He has attended Rotary trainings and district assembly and visited numerous other clubs to further his knowledge of Rotary.
He is writing the first International grant for Rotary Club of Castle Pines to continue the water project in Zimbabwe.
Read the plaque – “Water is the living force in nature.” Leonardo Da Vinci
Gary and Lisa Bartmann – Thank you for hosting tonight and last month. Thank you to my special computer guru for helping me when the projector and the laptop were not playing nicely together. Thanks for everything you both did for Ducky Derby – sales posters, hats, tutu, and so much more; you made selling not only more fun but more productive as well.
New Generations – You took a handful of youth and formed a backpack toiletry drive for homeless youth. You furnished food for the kids every meeting, educated them about service, educated them about Rotary and chartered the club. You are constantly involved with kids – your own and your new extended Interact kids. You taught them the 4 way test values. Our youth are the foundation for a strong tomorrow. Your continual unselfish contribution to the club and to youth has earned our heartfelt gratitude. Gary and Lisa Bartmann – Read the plaque – “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ron West and Ted Ziemann – Programs are key to attracting and retaining members. You have delivered top quality speakers week after week. Your excellent follow through with confirmations and directions has made it so much easier for all of our speakers. Congratulations
Charlotte Mattox spearheaded the Chili Cook-off – Karen Becker, Pete Bell, Gary and Lisa Bartmann, Patricia Fiske, Howard Rosch, Elaine Love and so many others pitched in and made the event a success despite the inclement weather. Kudos for a job well done.
I know it is not proper to give yourself an award, but it is my distinct pleasure to recognize my right hand. Well actually, probably my entire right arm. She has been my constant supporter, my “go to person” for everything from the district house of friendship, club meetings, projects, fund raisers, putting up and taking down tents and loaning me ice bags and a pillow. You know her as our club secretary. She takes it up above and beyond. A tribute to my dear friend, Karen Becker.
Rotarian of the Year
This individual is a stalwart supporter of our club at all times and in all situations. She is an active participant in every club activity – fund raiser, project, meeting and plan. Always has a smile and a cheery greeting. Active on the district level as well as club level. She is mentor, supporter and if appropriate instructor.
She championed the GSE program and the upcoming Family Health Fair. She participated in the Peace Forum in Hawaii, DCRAW (Douglas County Rotarians at Work), HFOT (Homes for Our Troops), Rotary Youth Event, rapid-fire recording of Ducky Derby winners and served as District Secretary as well as personal nurse to Terry while simultaneously providing food service to a shut-in. She is our consummate source of knowledge of all facts Rotarian and our own personal guardian angel. She is the winner of the District 5450 Service Above Self award and a Major Donor to Rotary. I could go on for another 30 minutes. We are here to celebrate a fabulous year and who better to honor as Rotarian of the Year than Patricia Fiske.
This is a time of new beginnings and thus it is my honor to present the President’s pin and gavel to your new leader. Please welcome Howard Rosch.
. . .
The Rotary Club of Castle Pines is a “fun club with a service problem.” Come join us and help us promote service and the 4 way test as the ethical standard for all conduct.
Life is not about what happens to us. The quality of our life is measured by what we think, feel and do regardless of the events of our life. I hear the protests from some of you, “You don’t
know what has happened to me.” “You don’t understand.” “Life has not been fair to me.” Yes, that may be true. History is filled with high achievers who were faced with unfortunate circumstances. What made the difference between the negative And positive events of their lives was their attitude and actions.
Emotional Ice Water was written to help make my long road to a positive attitude and success become your short-cut. “It’s not about what they say or do. It’s about what you think, feel and do.”
We have a choice every time something happens to us. We choose how we wish to feel about the event – good or
Right now the wild fires are getting close to my home. My area is permeated with pine trees; prime fire material. I
am so grateful that I am one mile from the fire station. I am grateful for wonderful friends contacting me to be certain I am fine. I am grateful for offers of places to stay if the fire gets too close. I am grateful for insurance coverage even though it could never replace the lovely memories and sentimental treasures within my walls or my beautiful house plants.
Healthy Mindset and Healthy Body
With a healthy mindset, positive attitude, and the energy available through a healthy body, you can accomplish so much more. Our energy level is derived from our attitude, nutrition, exercise and enthusiasm for what we are doing.
Regardless of what you are doing, your energy and enthusiasm play a major role. John Wesley said it best, “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” Face it; do you want to work with a grumpy bear or an enthusiastic, Energetic Eddy? People are drawn to genuinely happy people. Glance around a room. Where are the groups of people congregating? In the center of the group is usually someone who is smiling and passionate about their topic of conversation. Leaders, innovators and high achievers are not dour.
Can you imagine a CEO or a venture capitalist being a sad sack or spreading doom and gloom? They would not be likely to encourage supporters to join them with a negative attitude.
Energy, enthusiasm and engagement inspire action.
Personally, exercise generates energy for me. If you are not as eager to exercise, find something you do enjoy doing. Perhaps it is taking a walk, taking a child to the zoo or the park, or playing fetch with the dog. Find something you enjoy doing. Start with twenty minute sessions three times a week and gradually work up the accumulated time per week. Sorry, bending your elbow at the bar does not count unless you have an exercise weight in your hand.
Pay attention to your food and beverage intake and make one healthy substitution each day.
What can you accomplish when you have more energy?
A healthy mind and a healthy body open the door to endless possibilities. You may even find that it improves aspects in your personal relationships. Is it worth a try? It is for me.
Do you have questions about finding your true passion, energy and positive attitude? Let me help. Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net. Hire Elaine Love as your coach, keynote speaker or workshop leader for your next event. Whether you are seeking to improve your career situation, gain more expertise as a public speaker or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you. Time is slipping away, find your healthy mindset and energy; live the life you are destined to live.
The “good ole boys” would say, “You never learn anything new when you are doing all the talking.”
Customers and prospects will tell us everything we need to know to assist them. The quality of our questions will determine the quality of their answers. When we listen, ask clarifying questions and encourage them to tell us more, they will. When a prospect truly wants to solve a problem, they are willing and eager to provide the information necessary to obtain the ideal solution. We like knowing that someone is listening to us and truly cares about what we are thinking, feeling and requesting. Why would we expect something different from them?
Forbes magazine listed the top qualities of outstanding customer service representatives. Number one on their list was “listen, ask and clarify.”
Are you Really Listening?
Far too frequently people are not listening to what is being said but rather listening for a break in which they can begin speaking. The more we truly focus on not only what the speaker is saying but also the body language associated with the speech, the more we connect with the speaker and the meaning they are intending to convey. Body language includes gestures, eye movements, hand clasping, and facial expressions. Non-verbal communication can convey as much or more than words.
The human mind is easily distracted by the myriad of thoughts which dart through our brain. It requires a measure of concentration to block external influences and focus on the speaker.
Put the Speaker at Ease
The more they feel that you are really listening to them and care about what they are saying, the more relaxed they will become and the more freely they will express themselves.
Stop Fidgeting and Focus
Shuffling papers, typing, reading emails, or cleaning your desk while you are on a telephone call gives the impression that you are not truly listening – which of course, you are not if your attention is divided.
Relate to Them
If you genuinely empathize, let them know. If not, then be gentle but honest and seek to understand why they believe as they do. You just might learn a new point of view. If you have a different opinion, express it respectfully without blame or animosity.
Pauses are not Opportunities to Pounce
Pauses can be for emphasis or for collecting thoughts before expressing feelings. A pause does not mean to immediately break the silence and jump into the conversation.
More than Words
The tone, rate of speech, volume and fluctuation of all of these convey meaning. Listen to the emotions conveyed in the delivery as well as the words expressed. Listening is more than just hearing words.
Freedom to Express Themselves
An effective interview technique is to encourage the candidate to speak continuously for a long period of time. They may be able to maintain a prepared persona for a short period of time; however if they continue speaking for an extended period of time, the true views and attitudes emerge. Allow someone to warm up enough to hit their stride and truly express their point of view.
Listening is more than hearing a few words, anticipating what they mean and formulating your reply.
The key to connecting rather than just communicating is focused listening.
Effective communication plays a major role in personal and professional success. For more keys to successful communication, contact Elaine Love at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com or www.Elaine4Success.com. If you want to take your communication from Now to WOW, implement this simple key to connection. Want more keys to success for yourself and your company? Hire Elaine Love as your coach, corporate trainer or keynote speaker.
Effective communication will enhance your professional and your personal success. Elaine4Success.net.
Would you like to have a more successful business, a more successful career?
The outrageously successful companies in America are obsessed with outstanding customer service. Regardless of the industry, the product or cool new idea, the common denominator is people. Successful businesses all know that first and foremost, they are in the people business.
When Harley Davidson, the American icon for motorcycles, needed to rebrand in order to survive, they asked three important questions.
Who are we?
Who are our customers?
What do they expect from us?
These three questions apply to every one of our businesses as well.
Who are we?
Until we know who we are and what we represent, our customers cannot possibly be clear. What does the confused or overwhelmed mind do? Nothing. Can you imagine someone saying, “I have no idea what you do or what you stand for, but here is twenty thousand dollars.” Not likely.
Statistics have proven that teenagers who made up their mind not to take drugs before the temptation arose were far more likely to resist the temptation when the situation arose. They were clear about who they were and their values.
As business professionals, we also decide who we are as an individual and as a company.
Who are our customers?
Until you know exactly who your ideal customer is, how can you possibly write a marketing message which will appeal to exactly that particular company or individual? Customers are attracted to you because you offer them a benefit – you solve a problem for them. Since different benefits appeal to different market segments, it becomes essential to know the benefit you offer, the problem you solve and which customer needs to solve that specific problem.
Young parents are likely to be more interested in planning for a college fund for the children than in their Medicare benefits. You write a different message to someone in their early thirties than to someone in their early sixties. Identify and market to your ideal customer
What do they expect from us?
Of all three questions, this one receives the majority of the press attention. It receives more ink; more words are written about customer expectations. Unless we know what our customers expect from us, how can we design our customer service to meet and exceed those expectations?
Customers have a right and an expectation that we will be there for them after the sale.
In the case of Harley Davidson, the customers expected a reliable bike which would have the distinctive sound of a Harley. “Nothing purrs like a Harley.” Customers expected a certain feel to the ride; they want just enough vibration. They expected the value to hold; European bikes at that time had a very short life span before replacement; a Harley Davidson bike maintained its value for decades. Harley was American made; this fact also appealed to their ideal customer.
One of the most memorable slides in the Harley Davidson rebranding presentation is a picture of a rough motorcycle gang. The caption to the slide is, “Would you sell an unreliable bike to these guys?” Harley developed a reputation of being consistently reliable for a long time span.
The more you know about who you are as a company and as an individual, the profile of your specific customer, and what your customer expects from you, the more likely you are to succeed; the more likely you are to have a successful business. Why more likely? Knowing the answers to those questions is extremely important, doing something positive to meet and exceed those customer expectations is essential.
Your customers are people. You are in the people business. Your main focus must be meeting and exceeding customer expectations – customer service. Braggadocios customer service.