Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This week I have been reminded of the fragility of life. None of us really knows what tomorrow will bring.

Certainly that is true for two people I know. One has just learned that her son - a young twenty-something, has an aggressive form of leukemia. With a young family of his own, he has a tough battle ahead of him. And as a parent, my thoughts are with his parents, because we just never want anything bad to happen to our kids.

Then yesterday I woke to a call from a girlfriend whose sister had just been contacted and informed that they had a kidney for her. In other words, they were offering her a new lease on life if she was willing to grab it. And she did. They scurried through all the prep work and last night, she received a new kidney. Exciting and scary at the same time. The next few days will be crucial but what a brave, life-changing decision she made.

So as you go about your day, be grateful and say a few prayers for those whose lives have changed - for the better or worse, in the blink of a second.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I have been following with interest the blog on the Business Challenge - especially since Judy Steed asked me to submit something - which I did. -

In writing up my piece, I checked to see who else had submitted comments and was horrified for Susan to see that someone (a disgruntled customer) had used this opportunity to complain about the service she'd received. A business owner's worst nightmare. It is one thing to deal with an angry client one-on-one, or even in a group - but to have to handle the situation in the public domain is another matter.

One hopes that common sense will prevail and that readers will realize that you can't please everyone. I know there are times when I wonder if women have attended the same event when I review the evaluation cards, in that some LOVED the speaker, while others thought she shouldn't give up her day job.

Part of it is people's expectations. In Susan's defence - this woman clearly expected to meet the man of her dreams through Dinnerworks, but he wasn't someone who was ten years older. But when we narrow our expectations and have rigid ideas of who is right for us - we run the risk of not meeting some interesting people, and who knows - someone who was a perfect match (if he exists - but that's a whole other topic!)

At Company of Women, I have members who almost seem to expect big business orders within seconds of handing out their business card and meeting someone for the first time. It ain't going to happen. People do business with people they know and trust, and that takes time. You have to build the relationship.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The law of attraction... everyone is talking about it. Have you seen The Secret? people ask.

As someone who has always been the eternal optimist, I find it exciting to hear that others are now finding merit in not only being positive, but in sending out to the universe what you want out of life. Much has been written about how when we focus on what's wrong; not working, what we don't want - we just get more of the same. So changing your attitude, changes the outcome.

I've often been told that I am lucky... and yes, I am. But you know what... part of that luck comes from taking risks and putting myself out there.

Case in point, there was an interesting article in The Toronto Star two weeks ago about ten entrepreneurs who had been selected from hundreds to be blessed with a coach and business advisor for four months. As I read about the entrepreneurs, I found myself truly identifying with one of the winners - Susan Kates, who runs a successful business - Dinnerworks, a networking group for singles.

Like Company of Women, Dinnerworks was attracting lots of people and from all appearances seemed like a growing concern. However, like Company of Women, it's labour intensive and hard to eke out a profit. So I was interested to learn how Susan plans to turn this around.

I am always encouraging people to connect, so I took my own advice and contacted Susan. Within a couple of days we'd met, brainstormed and shared ideas, with a promise to stay in touch. It was good to talk to someone who faced similar challenges and issues, but who also loved what she was doing.

This week when the Toronto Star reports back on what has been happening with Susan... lo and behold, Company of Women is mentioned, with our website and date of next dinner and the reporter now wants to connect with me.

So the moral of my story is... when your intuition tells you to connect with someone... do. You just never know where it will lead, and what's the worst that can happen - they don't return your call. Hey, then they don't know what they are missing.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year, new start - that's certainly how it feels. By the end of 2006, I was feeling a bit depleted after a hectic fall. So it was good to take a break, visit with friends and family and get a fresh perspective over the holiday season.

It is usually hard for me to switch off ... but I was more than ready to do so when December 21st rolled round. Can highly recommend it, as I am back at my desk after that 10 day break, full of energy and enthusiasm again.

Yesterday I received a lovely email from a woman in New York who has just started her business and advised me that Company of Women had inspired her to do so! We all should get such positive feedback. It served to remind me that while we don't hear back from everyone whose lives we've touched... we are making a difference.