Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Feel Like I'm Starting School

Today is the first session of Leadership Toledo. Because my son Greg had such a positive experience last year as he went through Leadership Ann Arbor, I decided that I would finally enroll in the program here in my area.

So, I feel like I'm back in first grade with my new lunch box getting ready for the first day of school.

A little apprehension, a little excitement, a little ?????

The dress code for the day is "very casual." Now if that doesn't strike fear in the heart of all women, I don't know what does. Business and very casual is probably the most difficult task to achieve for women, especially when the class picture and individual pictures will be taken today.

Okay, I'll get over it.

I look at this as an opportunity to learn more about my community, meet interesting new people and to also have a good time.

I'll be posting about my experiences.

What have you done lately that felt like the first day of school?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Recognition is the Reward

Thank you.

I have to remember this word. It is powerful.

I have worked on a project for several years. I feel that I only hear from the powers-that-be when they have a complaint.

What I need to remember in my own dealings with people is to say thank you and say it often. I want them to know how much I value them.

I am asking everyone in my network to hold me accountable for this. If you see me being negligent in this area, I want you to remind me of my commitment.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Friday was a banner day.

There were several reasons.

I taught a BNI Membership Success class of 22 people in Findlay and then right after that an additional class for the second half of MSP, which we in NW Ohio call Success Track II.

After that, I also delivered a preview for my business Certified Networker. It was a really good session.

But those were NOT the high points of my day.

You see, my wedding ring had been missing for two or three weeks.

When I get home at night, I usually take it off, so that I don't dig around in the garden getting it dirty.

Sometimes I forget and then later in the evening, I'll remove it and set it on the end table beside my chair. The stone sets up high and it tends to catch on the upholstery fabric.

So now you have the story. And I'm sure any married women (or man) understands that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing that I've lost something very symbolic of the marriage.

I was sure it was in the house, but it had found a good hiding place.

Friday morning, very early, I found it!!!!!!!!! Yep, I pulled out a necklace that I hadn't worn in awhile. I keep my "costume" jewelry in little plastic bags to help reduce the damage they'd get from rubbing into each other. Out from the bag dropped both the necklace and the ring.


My intuition was so strong about the ring being in the house, that I didn't even consider it lost or stolen. I'm pretty good with my intuition, not only with jewelry but also with people. Ever so often I'm wrong about people and then I'm glad that there are others out there who can open my mind. I'm glad I was right about my ring!


What's the worst thing that you've lost or misplaced?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Does Your Message Stick?

Within the last couple days I had to buy some bandaids. Since my kids are all grown I haven't had to restock in some time.


What I thought was going to be an easy purchase, turned mind-boggling.

Bandaids just aren't bandaids anymore.

I would hazard a guess that there are fourteen or fifteen different varieties of these little patches.

Do you want cloth, breathable, antibiotic infused, waterproof, shaped to surround, non-stickable, round, small, large, etc. And this doesn't take into consideration the "kids" bandaids with the most favored cartoon or movie character emblazoned on them.

I have to tell you that at first I tried to figure out which was the best version for me, but then my mind went on overload. I ended up buying the store generic brand (the cheapest) of a flexible variety.

As I walked out of the store after paying for my purchase, it occurred to me that none of the brands stood out. Each one was copying the other. And as a result my purchase became motivated by what was cheapest.

Do you stand out enough so that when a referral source talks about you and your uniqueness to a possible prospect, the immediate response is, "Yep, get'em in here. It sounds like she has just what we have been looking for."

If you were a bandaid, what would make you different from the rest?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Recommendation

Okay, this post is not truly about networking, but it is about word-of-mouth marketing. And it is my word!

Here's the confession. I have never been able to and truthfully never had an interest in understanding our investments. I just let Steve do it knowing that was probably not the best scenario. I don't mean that he's doing a bad job -- to the contrary, he does quite well. But I should really understand, too. Right?

Along comes Joy MacLeod, who recently invited me to join an investment group. I agreed figuring that the $50 a month dues will be the tuition for learning more. We're the Money Magnets!

I did some research online for investing and particularly women investing. As a result I happened on to a website called

All I can say is go there!

All I can say is sign up for the $29.95 online seminar.

All I can say is just do it.

The "chicks" as they call themselves make it so easy to unlock all the mystery surrounding the investment world.

Go visit the site and then tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Couldn't Have Planned It!

Serendipity just smacks me in the face sometimes. A business acquaintance (and friend) of mine introduced me to a networking friend of hers this week. For various reasons this friend wants to supplement her income.

I'll set the scene for you.

We met at a local Panera. Both were there when I arrived and were sitting at a table that I probably would never have chosen to sit at because it is in a noisy location. My hearing is not the best. As the friend was telling me about herself and what was happening in her work life and personal life, I happened to glance not twenty feet across the restaurant. Sitting at a table was another networking acquaintance. She represents The Traveling Vineyard, a multi-level marketing company that produces wine tastings in the home presentation format.

The new friend happens to be Italian and loves food and wine. Zing!

Before the coffee mugs were empty, the two had been introduced. They made arrangements for the friend to attend a wine presentation tonight to see what it is all about. Just like that.

I can tell you that the most I expected from this meeting was for me to get an idea of what the friend was thinking about and probably to get her resume.

But the stars were lined up just right.

Don't ya' just love that when it happens?

Monday, August 13, 2007

No Call, No Show

This morning I taught a training program for new BNI members. One topic that was mentioned was showing up for appointments. Or actually more accurately what was asked about was NOT showing up for appointments.

You see, two new members had scheduled separate appointments with a seasoned member to get to know him better. The experienced member "no called, no showed" for both appointments. Come to find out, that person had recently left the chapter. I guess he didn't think he had anything to gain, so he just left each member dangling at the appointed time.

Toledo is a VERY small city. Those two members will bump into the former member sometime in the future. In fact, I'll bet at sometime that person will want a favor from one of the two newbies. What do you bet that the favor will not be granted?

What could that person have been thinking?????

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Let Me Tell You About Me

Yesterday, I walked into Panera. I was twenty minutes early to meet a client, but was prepared with a book, Be the Elephant:Build a Bigger, Better Business, that I've been trying to read in bits and pieces. At the counter just as I was getting my cup of coffee, I was approached by someone who said, "Debby, hey, how are you?"

This person (who shall remain nameless) was a former member of a networking group that I used to belong to. He proceeded to tell me how well he was doing.

As I walked to the coffee urns to fill my cup, he followed, continuing his monologue.

After filling my cup, I thought that he'd probably leave as we were right near the door, but oh no, he said, "Well, why don't we sit down so I can tell you some more (about me)?"

Twenty minutes later, just before my client was to arrive, he left. But not before he finally said, "Oh, are you still doing the same thing?" (sales coaching). I explained that for the past five years I had been concentrating on Certified Networker, a course that helps people with word-of-mouth marketing.

What came out of his mouth next has given me the chuckles ever since!

His comment was, "Well, I use networking all the time, everyday. I make an effort to meet people and each person I meet, I tell them all about what I'm doing. I get the word out that way."

No lie. That's what he said.

Oh yeah, I forget his final salvo. As he slid out of the booth, he said, "So if you run into anybody who could use my services, please send them my way."

Many of you know that my goal is to change the way business is done in Ohio -- or further with this blog! I know that if I can get all business people to first think and then say, "How can I help you?" (and mean it) that it will help the economy of our region.

That is the idealist in me. I do realize that there will be some people who will not convert to this philosophy. Too bad!

What was the worst (or best) demonstration of someone's networking skills that you've witnessed recently?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The GIANT Butterfly

What do a butterfly and a hummingbird have in common?

Evidently from the hummingbird's point of view -- NOTHING!

The other day I was looking out my window watching the hummingbird bump around the joe pie weed flower heads. They are also loved by the Monarch butterflies and sure enough one soon came along. For awhile the hummer didn't seem to notice, but then all of a sudden it seemed to be startled. It flew backwards as if to get away from the pretty butterfly. The butterfly seemed oblivious to all this and continued to flit around. That seemed to scar the bird more. When you think about it, the hummingbird is smaller than a Monarch. It cracked me up because Hummers can be so territorial, fiercely territorial. And it was afraid of a little butterfly.

So I have two questions.

For the naturalists, "Do Monarch butterflies scare hummingbirds or was I reading something into the situation?

For the networkers, "Does some innocuous thing scare you away from doing what you need to do? Just like the hummingbird?

Monday, August 06, 2007


A couple weeks ago, I was invited to attend an event. At that event there were several sponsors who were rightly so, given the special spotlight when they were introduced. One promised that we were to be given a present from his company at the end of the event. I know that we all wondered what it would be -- a coffee mug, pen or other specialty item? Or maybe even a real present without the company's name on it.

Well, we were wrong on all counts. It was promotional material. Yep, you got it. Advertising. I felt tricked. Even though I have more coffee mugs than I'll ever need, a nice travel mug would have been great.

Or nothing.

I didn't expect anything going in, but the expectation had been set for a surprise gift.

That company traveled the wrong way on the relationship scale, losing credibility with me.

What do you think about the above story?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Tapestry

Today I attended a "coaching sample" presented by my friend, Tracee Swank, True Compass Coaching. I did so for a number of reasons, one being that I was bringing a guest to the session. Tracee targets people who have just started their business or are in the first two years of being in business. I took Marcia Fleitz with me, who has just started an organizing business called, You Times 2.

What is interesting about all this is the networking thread that runs through the whole scene. Tracee is a Certified Networker grad because another CN grad, Linda Kuns, State Farm Insurance, recommended that she take the course. Marcia Fleitz connected with me because 14 years ago I made a presentation to the company her husband works for. As a result, he kept my information all these years and connected Marcia with me when she started her business.

I invited Marcia to attend our most recent CN graduation which is a huge networking event. Sandy Blaser, a bookkeeper was there as a guest of Tracee. At the beginning our the "formal" part of our graduation we allow everyone in attendance to quickly introduce themselves.

Fast forward to this morning. Not only was Marcia at this sample session, but so was Sandy Blaser. And Marcia had remembered her as someone she wanted to meet. Both can help each other.

This was a great demonstration of "getting out of the cave." If you're not out there you can't meet people who can help you in the future. And you never know which way the networking thread is going to be woven.

What is your most convoluted networking contact?