Monday, September 29, 2008

Need Inspiration? Check out the GLOW Project

All across the United States women are sitting down in small groups to experience the GLOW Project movie. Locally we've met over lunch, after work, and even on a Sunday afternoon. Just us girls--sharing the experience of watching the GLOW Project movie together and then sharing our hopes, our dreams and our passions.

What is GLOW? GLOW is a uniquely female phenomenon. When women GLOW, they burn the candle of passion and compassion that ignites a force greater than oneself.

Have you ever met someone and were drawn to them for their strength, their presence? Not in an intimidating way...but in the way that a flower turns towards the sun for warmth...for its GLOW.

The GLOW Project movie is an exploration in the source of that GLOW expressed though the stories of fourteen powerful, successful, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. Each story reflects the hardships, the courage, the heartbreaks and challenges they faced and how they tapped into their GLOW to overcome; to survive; to succeed.

Reactions to the film vary, for it is an extremely personal experience. For s
ome, it is the rekindling of a desire to do or be more; for others is it is a realization that it's okay to be where I am right now in life--permission to be who I am; and for many it has empowered us to look inside to see what spark of inspiration is just waiting for that flame to ignite us.

On Wednesday, October 22, you can meet participate in a powerful event featuring three of the women
from the film when the GLOW Project tour comes to Voorhees, NJ at the Mansion on Main Street. To Register click here.

Sandra Yancey, producer and co-creator of the GLOW Project, is your personal guide as she leads and moderates an intimate discussion with two stars from the GLOW Project Movie.

  • Discover how to tap into your GLOW to achieve happiness and fulfillment
  • Learn how to overcome insurmountable challenges and reach for your dreams in spite of fear, lack of support and money
  • Learn how to work through feelings of guilt to fully enjoy your life experience
  • See clips from the movie and exclusive scenes not on the DVD
  • You participate -- Q & A session

No matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try, you can never achieve your full potential and happiness without GLOW. Learn how to embrace your essence and forever live in GLOW.

You will meet Marion Luna Brem, President and CEO of Love Chrysler, who's' story of survival when given only 4-5 months to live will inspire us all to fight back no matter what the odds. And Donna Orender, President of the Women's National Basketball Association--who is blazing a trail in a previously male dominated sport. Her strength and conviction to her own truth is a lesson we all need to learn.

The truth is I can't even begin to describe the power of this event. All I can tell you is you need to be part of it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dog(gy) Days of August

A funny thing happened on the way to the rest of my life--I actually got one. I never knew what I was missing until I moved in with Milt, his three teenage sons and two dogs.

Now, to be honest, I could live without the teenage sons, but I've come to absolutely love my furry new friends---allergies and all.

The little dog is a Jack Russell. Her name is Serenity. Unfortunately she got the short end of the twin thing and has shorten legs that make her hop like a bunny when she runs-- it's sad and oh so cute at the same time. Thankfully she also missed out on the crazy, loud, yippy, wild traits that most Jack Russells exhibit--except when she is outside and spots a rabbit, bird, bug or a ball with which she can play...and play...and play. It is a never ending game of fetch with Serenity.

She is also a lap dog and is happiest when sitting on Milt's chest or burrowed inside a bunch of covers.

The bigger dog is a boxer/lab and her name is Pippy. She has a wicked tail--don't get to close when she's happy, she'll leave scars! But what gets me is that she has the most soulful eyes--ya can't help but love her.

As the woman of the house I am, of course, the nurturer. This includes the making sure the dogs have food and water and, yes, I am the treat lady. So when Pippy looks up at me with those soulful eyes I turn to putty.

But is so worth it. I never understood, never experienced, and up to now, never missed the unrequited love that animals can provide. Pippy follows me all over the house and plops down in whatever room I happen to be in and when I go up the stairs, she waits at the bottom of the stairs for me.

When I open my door and look down I am filled with a sense of awe (or is that awww). I can't believe how attached we've become. In fact she is sitting right next to me as I write this blog. Yes, I know that ultimately she is here because the doggy treats are under my desk, but right now she's content to just "be with me" and that just melts my heart.

Plus I think we relate to each other. I can always tell when she wants to go out or needs food or water in her bowls. Than again, she's always hungry, so that's a no brainer.

I no longer care that I am allergic to her--that I sneeze when she sheds and that my hands break out when I touch her. Now I play with her, brush her hair and just love to have her around.

The dog days of August are here, and I'm doggone glad about it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2008 eWomenNetwork Conference Overview

One of the things that hits you when you attend the conference is that eWomenNetwork is such a powerful organization operating with the heart as its center and guiding force. With 2500+ women from all over the country and Canada in attendance the strength of the organization was dynamic. eWomenNetwork is so much more than a networking organization. We are a marketing and media powerhouse with tools and opportunities to help you promote your business to a larger audience. We are the “Big Idea” in the world of networking.

I am very proud to represent it here in South Jersey and hopefully in the years to come, central and north Jersey, too!

WOW...not only was that the theme of the conference, but it was the effect on all of us that were there. With one WOW moment after another, laughter and tears, smiles and hugs, positive energy and contagious confidence exuded from every room.

For me personally, it couldn't have come at a better time. My confidence and self esteem were loosing ground (you may not think that if you know or see me, but my negative inner voices were winning the battle inside me). I am sure you all know what I mean by inner voices, ya know the one that has to put a damper on all your "I can do it" thoughts.

Pretty tough to exude confidence, positiveness and leadership with all that "other" chatter going on in your head.

Speaker after speaker addressed these issues. Here's just a sampling:

  • Monica Wofford introduced us to the concept of "Contagious Confidence".
  • Robin Spizman asked us "Where's our Wow?"
  • Sandra Yancy lead us in a panel of "Fearless Women" who shared their stories of finding strength to stand tall and succeed in the face of failure.
  • And Alecia Huck reminded us that "Cinderella Doesn't Live Here Anymore" --that we need to take charge of our lives, give up perfecttion and get back to winning.
  • Marion Luna Brem share the "7 Greatest Truths about Successful Women"
  • Marci Shimoff implored us to get to the point where we can be "Happy for No Reason"
  • Janine Turner shared amazing stories of perseverance and resilience by daring to dream, healing with humor and never giving up before the miracle.
  • Sheila Stewart reminded us that women succeed "Backwards in High Heels" referencing Ginger Roger's famous line that women have additional challenges that we can and do overcome. FYI:-Sheila will be our featured speaker on February 4th, 2009.
  • The amazing Michael Gerber closed out the conference with "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within"

And then there is the Glow Project. This is an amazing documentary sharing the stories of 14 successful women and their search for passion...the flame that ignites the inner GLOW. Click on the link to see the trailer. The full length movie will be headed our way soon!

The International Femtor Awards should be sponsored by Kleenex because there was not a dry eye in the house. This event introduces us to the non-profit grant recipients that were selected by each chapter that raised $7,000 to sponsor the grant and announces the Emerging Leader recipient from each chapter that raised an additional $2,500 to sponsor a young woman between the ages of 22-29 who are already demonstrating excellence in the areas of academics, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. I have committed our chapter to sponsoring both for the 2009 conference.

We also recognize a Humanitarian of the Year. This year’s honoree is Joyce Sterkel. Joyce facilitates adoptions of children from orphanages in Russia. She has been involved in successful experiences with US based families for many years. In some cases families who had difficulties would contact her out of frustration or desperation and she began to try to be of assistance to them. She offered respite to the family struggling with a child who had adaptive challenges and took on the kids to help them ease into their new circumstances more easily.

She opened Ranch for Kids after recognizing the needs were greater than she personally had capacity for. She, her husband and older children became the staff and caregivers for children who, due to abusive or traumatic childhood histories, often accompanied by issues related to fetal alcohol syndrome, were violent and rebellious in their adoptive families.

The Managing Directors were so moved by Joyce’s story and by the story of two young girls that accompanied her that we decided to pledge $250 per chapter to raise money to help her continue doing such great work.

If you were unaware of the dedication and commitment of Sandra and Kym Yancy, the founders of eWomenNetwork, to the Foundation, the non-profits honored in the past and present, the Emerging Leaders and Rising Stars amongst us and the women who rise above to serve others, this event left no room for doubt. They walk the talk—give first/share always.

And finally, after the tears of compassion dried, we shared tears of laughter. We learned about the need to embrace change in our lives through Judson Laipply’s Evolution of Dance (ladies you MUST check this out…we were practically on the floor laughing). And later we learned about trust and teamwork with world renowned juggling team, The Passing Zone. (Yes, you must check this out too!)

We shopped, drank, eat and boogied at the blowout party Nordstom’s hosted for us Friday night after normal closing hours. It was, as I heard some of our younger members say, “Off the hook!” And before we could recover from that party, we were back out dancing and drinking chocolate martini’s at the Evening of Chocolate Decadence.

Like I said, it was a total WOW experience. I hope you can join me next year when we do it all over again!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Does Wearing Two Hats Look Funny?

So how many of you have more than one job or own more than one business? I do and I have to admit, sometimes the sailor hat (CruiseOne) and the networking hat--whatever that looks like to you (eWomenNetwork) don't always wear well together.

But, more often than not, they really do compliment each other.

When I first decided to purchase a CruiseOne franchise in 2005 I based my decision on two things: the growing trend towards cruise vacations and the idea of helping people have fun.

When I first decided to purchase the rights to start a new eWomenNetwork chapter in Southern Jersey in 2007 I did so with two things in mind: the growing trend of small women owned businesses and the idea of helping women build and enrich their personal and professional lives.

Clearly helping people is an important focus of both.

However balancing the two isn't always easy. Because both businesses require responding to people in a timely manner, I can't split my day and say that the morning is CruiseOne and the afternoon is eWomenNetwork.

Another dilemma is what business to market or promote. For the first six months on Blogger I listed myself as a travel professional in the cruise business. I decided to change it tonight (thus the focus of this blog) to highlight eWomenNetwork.

Clearly all eWomenNetwork members or prospects are also CruiseOne prospects, but not necessarily the other way around--many of my initial cruise contacts are male.

Those that receive e-mails from me can see from my signature that I run both business ...what they may not have noticed is that I flip flop the companies depending on the topic. In other words, if you've e-mailed me about a cruise, then I put the CruiseOne signature on top...but if you later e-mail about eWomenNetwork, then I flip that signature to the top (at least I try to remember to do that!)

But I guess my question still remains....does it look funny to see both signatures? More importantly, does it confuse you or lessen the importance of one over the other?

My view is that I try to be upfront and honest with everyone that both are my businesses and both are important to me.

So, I ask you, to quote one of my favorite shows..."How do I look?"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Clone me, please!

I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way I love to sleep in late in the weekends, but feel guilty for every minute past, say, 8:00 a.m. (Since I am generally up no later than 6:00 a.m. during the work week, I feel 8:00 am is a fair trade--but 10:00 a.m. sounds much better).

I've heard some of the most successful entrepreneurs don't need much sleep. They go as far as saying, "I'll sleep when I'm dead so while I'm alive I'll do as much as I can with every 24 hour day."

Sorry but that's just too much pressure for me. In fact, while I was making the bed this morning I was thinking how nice it will be to crawl back into it later tonight. Guess I'm not as High A type personality as I thought.

Not sure that's a bad thing.

I've recently undergone some major life changes including giving up my single life and my condo in Cherry Hill to live with my boyfriend, his three teenage sons and dare I say, not quite ex-wife (she lives in the in-law suite attached to the house). Also, within the past three years I walked away from a high paying, well, paying anyway, job to start two new businesses.

So now where one load of clothes was all I worried about in a week, now there are 2 loads a day, plus dinner, dishes, etc.

Isn't that pressure enough?

Then there are the multiple meetings I need to attend, the events I produce (eWomenNetwork), the educational seminars I need for industry accreditation (cruise business) and the clients that need attention for both.

I'm not knocking being busy. I love it! I just sometimes really want to be at two places at the same time. If only I could clone myself!

Sound familiar?

Well I do have some solutions. I've recently hired two very interesting companies to help me. One is BC Organizing (to help organize the office, the laundry room, etc) and Running Errand Services (website should be available soon), to help me be in two places at once! If you'd like more info on either, drop me a line.

These are just some of the services I have found to help me delegate the stuff I have to do and enjoy things I want to do.

Asking for help and delegating are not two of my strong suites, but then again, I haven't figured out how to actually clone myself either.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Consultative it appreciated?

Maybe I'll sound like a poor loser, but I need to get this off my chest.

Back in August of '07 I was contacted by the co-worker of a friend/client to help them plan their honeymoon. Referrals are great and I always treat them as though the clients are my friends, too.

So I put together a package of brochures for the couple to review, chatted with bride to be about her dream wedding, asked them their budget, did tons of research on their destination and proceeded to put the perfect package together.

This process, though, took several months. I stayed in touch, followed up, discussed different options, fully expecting to sit down with them when they were really ready to make a commitment to the planning. And then earlier this month, the bride said that her intended wanted to go somewhere else, spend less money, use some air miles and hotel awards.

No problem, I started the process over again...research, pricing, etc. Thinking that we are still going to sit down at some point and review all the options, I put together the "bells & whistles" package allowing them to cut back expenses by eliminating some of the options.

My thinking is that this is their honeymoon, not mine, so why should I pick and choose when we can review the options together and decide what fits their dreams and pocketbook best.

A couple days go by and I get an e-mail from the bride thanking me for all my efforts but her fiancee has a travel agent that he uses and they booked with him.

WHAT???? I didn't even realize I was in a competitive situation. After 6 months you'd think I'd know.

So, in an e-mail, I expressed my disappointment (months of research, follow up, etc), not to mention my surprise, but wished them the dream wedding and honeymoon and all the best in life.

The fiancee felt I was totally unprofessional and that I'll never get their business nor his company's business.

And, you what? I'm okay with that. I chose to go into business for myself so I could work with people I enjoy. I don't think I would enjoy working with him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time Flies when....

So I just noticed that it is a month to the day since my last blog and I have to wonder, where did the time go?

Actually, I do know. I just not willing to admit it!

For the sake of argument, let's say the holidays took a chunk of that time. Then there are the regular chores of life in a house of 4 men (father and three sons). As you can imagine that's a lot of clothes to clean, meals to prepare, dishes to wash...not to mention the endless trips to the supermarket for milk, cereal and snacks. And in this house, medicine.

Can I tell you? I have never seen so many meds in one place outside of a hospital or pharmacy. The kids each have their bi-polar meds, the middle son also has Asbergers meds and Milt has his various pain medications (a result of 23 surgeries over a 48 yr lifespan so far!). All I have is my daily allergy pill (we're a 2 dog house) and a medication for high blood pressure (did I mention the kids are bi-polar!!!!)

Let's see, I got my nails done, hair cut and colored, tanned and, well, I meant to work out....

Of course there were NFL playoff games and Bowl games that begged to be watched.

And yes, thank goodness, there were cruises to book and recently lots of event planning for eWomenNetwork.

But more important, American Idol is back on tonight...and I know where my next two hours will fly.