January 19, 2012
I've been fortunate to teach one class at FHSU for several semesters: Marketing Principles 301. This morning, I shared my
standard "Networking" presentation with the class: this presentation as well as the class is an excellent experience to
help students apply basic marketing principles in the job search process. The concept of marketing yourself as a product is
a unique concept to many, and not just college-aged young people. There are many ways to promote yourself, including creating
a quality resume and well-written cover letter. Networking is just another tool.
10:53 pm cst
So how often do you network
with others? When was the last time you invited a peer, business professional or someone you admire, simply for the sake of
getting to know each other? A lunch where there was no other agenda, but basic genuine interest in another person? When was
the last time you attended an event (perhaps a Chamber event) and you only spoke to one of your coworkers (someone you already
We all know networking is important for us professionally and personally. However, doing so takes
us out of our comfort zones, making us feel less confident, awkward and capable. My recommendation is to give yourself a professional
"audit" - if you aren't marketing (or networking) yourself now, you may regret it later.
January 18, 2012
A Time to Blossom
When I first began my Chamber position, I received some wonderful gifts to celebrate. Two of the gifts were Peace Lily plants,
which looked so beautiful, green and shiny, thanks to the loving care of a local florist. Last week, I celebrated my
one-year anniversary. While the plants may not look as healthy as they once did, I'm pleased to share my non-green thumb
hasn't destroyed them (yet).
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While walking by one of the plants I took home, I noticed a new sprout. Upon
closer examination, I realized the plant is about to flower - the first time it's done so since I've had the plant.
I like the symbolism - after a year of experience under my belt, I think I, too, am ready to blossom.
January 17, 2012
5:37 pm cst
Our eight-year-old son has a job. And he doesn't like it - or so he tells us.
Before you cry foul and call the
police, let me explain the "job" at hand. Garrett is now taking piano lessons (I'm sure Garrett would beg you to
call the police now.) For 15 minutes every day (unless I'm feeling particularly ornery and set the timer to 20), Garrett is
required to practice the piano. We loving parents gently remind him when he begins to complain, that all of
us have a job around the house. His job is to practice the piano.
When I wonder why I added this battle into our
daily routine, I remind myself of the important skills he is learning from this experience: self discipline, goal setting,
persistence, time management, as well as, music appreciation. It's wonderful to see his self pride when he completes a song
Sometimes, making your child do something "bad" is the best thing a parent can do.
January 16, 2012
As many others this time of year, I have resolved to exercise more this year. Most of the year, my treadmill sits lonely in
my basement, loved annually for only about two months. I have found I can stick to a fitness schedule if I
can watch a DVD. Movies, I have discovered, are too long and not paced consistently; sitcoms are too short and my mind tends
to wander on how out-of-shape I am. Drama television series, however, are the perfect length and keep my focus and energy
level high, especially if they are action packed and contain some heart-healthy suspense.
9:56 pm cst
Last year, I was
extremely motivated by the series "Prison Break," but I have a new motivation this year: the Showtime Series "Dexter."
I've only completed the first season, but the gist of the series is about a man named Dexter who is a serial killer who only
kills other serial killers. Pretty morbid, I know, but boy does this show keep my blood pumping! (Pun intended!)
Sometimes, motivation comes in odd packages - when it comes to exercise though, I'll take my motivation where I can find
January 15, 2012
This week, I volunteered in my son's second grade classroom - my job was to lead one of the reading groups. With wiggling
small bodies surrounding me and innocent eyes boring into mine, we all took turns reading a page from the book.
4:13 pm cst
Midway through the book, we discovered a flock of sheep ("Hey! Just like a flock of birds, Ms. Tammy!") that were
obsessed with knitting - this worried the farmers about the potential loss of money because of not having any wool
to sell. (You see, the sheep were using their own wool as yarn!) I posed the question "What should the farmers do to
solve their problem?"
A variety of possible solutions for the farmers came quickly tumbling forward: take
away the knitting needles; take away their yarn; sell the sheep; sell the sweaters. The farmers chose to sell the sweaters
and they all lived happily ever after. The end.
This example can relate to the business world: often, business
leaders need to resolve an issue and the answer isn't always obvious or it could dictate a direction that isn't in-line with
the business's overall mission. Sometimes, we become so focused on the problem (the obsessive knitting) that we miss
an opportunity (selling a new product line).