CEO Roundtable

Date: July 20th, 2012

Location: Kirkland Public Library 3308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland WA

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Meets Monthly)

Registration: www.ideal-companies.com

This is a roundtable discussion of business issues faced by business owners, CEO’s and motivated entrepreneurs, including solo entrepreneurs and small business professionals. Each attendee will have the opportunity to highlight an issue they face in growing their business. Other attendees will offer their input based on their own knowledge and experience. This event is a very dynamic form of the mastermind. Please come and participate in this learn and share event.

Authoring the Future Economy

An Seattle Times article described a community event that they described as being about resumes and job hunting. Instantly, I thought of the wise words of Phill Briscoe, Gerald Grinter, and John C Erdman.

What if there were an evening at Town Hall in Seattle with these three writers (who are also architects and designers of the economy of the future)?

What if such an evening also included Deborah Drake’s collaborative book “Burn Your Resume?”

What if it were not an evening, but a half-day conference at a place like the Albers School of Business at Seattle University?  That may seem like a fantasy right now, but all the writers linked here should hear from me that the content they share at TwD and in writing is, in my opinion, what university students and the public could be offered at a half-day conference at a place that is a laboratory and greenhouse for the new economy.

The Dance

Welcome to the dance! Many of the networking groups available today have a technique called the dance. The dance is when two members of the networking group get together and spend about an hour getting to know each other. Each person takes about half of the time and talks about who they are and what they need as far as referrals. This generally gives the participants a good insight into the other person and they are able to refer them to much higher level.

I like to take the concept of the dance a little further than just a networking technique. Over the years I have met and danced with the number of people. A lot of those people became good friends and the rest good acquaintances. I believe this technique is something that most people should do on a regular basis. Invite somebody that you want to get to know better have a cup coffee, and interview them, get to know them, and share a little of yourself with them.

This last Saturday, I had a dance Liz Tidyman. We set about an hour, at Tully’s, to share a cup of coffee and a few stories. As they say time passes when having fun, so three hours later Liz and I were still chatting. It was a delightful time, we talked about the three forbidden topics – sex, politics and religion. We also talked about our time in scouting, schooling, business and life in general. During our discussion, I got to know Liz an entirely different level than our time in Tuesday’s with Deborah. She is a wonderful, intellectual and caring person. I’m glad we had the dance!

My recommendation to all of you is welcome to the dance. Pick a person who you’d like to get to know better, set a time for cup coffee, and enjoy the dance.

CEO Roundtable March 16th

Date: March 16th, 2012

Location: Kirkland Public Library 3308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland WA

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Meets Monthly)

Registration: www.ideal-companies.com

This is a roundtable discussion of business issues faced by business owners, CEO’s and motivated entrepreneurs, including solo entrepreneurs and small business professionals. Each attendee will have the opportunity to highlight an issue they face in growing their business. Other attendees will offer their input based on their own knowledge and experience. This event is a very dynamic form of the mastermind. Please come and participate in this learn and share event.

CEO Roundtable February 17th

This is a roundtable discussion of business issues faced by business owners, CEO’s and motivated entrepreneurs, including solo entrepreneurs and small business professionals. Each attendee will have the opportunity to highlight an issue they face in growing their business. Other attendees will offer their input based on their own knowledge and experience. This event is a very dynamic form of the mastermind. Please come and participate in this learn and share event.

This is a monthly event and generally meets on the third Friday of the month.  We meet at the Kirkland Library, 308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA.  Time is 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Register at www.ideal-companies.com.

Bite Size Strategy: To Stay On Track Working Your Marketing Plan

It is so easy these days to get distracted and as a friend of mine often says, chase bright shiny objects.  And we all can be heard trying to justify our wandering.  Just last week I heard someone say, “If I hadn’t been searching online I wouldn’t have found this seminar and even though it is a lot like the one I went to last week, it was free!”  Okay.  Nuff said.

Here is the hard part.  Once you break your marketing plan tactics into chunks, pieces and bits and are honest with yourself about your horizon – your comfort zone for future thinking, you need to stay on track, but how?

Continue reading “Bite Size Strategy: To Stay On Track Working Your Marketing Plan” »

Bite Size Strategies: Stretching Your Horizon

Okay, the reality is that each one of us has a looking forward time-frame that makes sense just to us.  Sure we can all stretch a bit here and there at different times.  For instance – some of us can envision our Hawaii vacation happening in October right now.  Others would say Hawaii vacation, October?  I can’t even think about tomorrow – I just barely made it through today. You have to acknowledge where you fit on that spectrum when it comes to business and your marketing planning because everything about it is in the future. And unless you are I Dream Of Jeannie or Bewitched you can’t just blink or twitch your nose and poof, there it is.  That, and I hate to break the spell for you after all of these years – it was just TV magic.  Sorry.  more stretching your horizon

Bite Size Strategies To Integrate Social Marketing

Ideally, we all should have a thoughtfully researched, comprehensive marketing plan that includes a social strategy.  However, if you do not have the money, time or resources to pull it together you’ll need to find ways to focus on what is most important.  You have to do more than hope it all works out and sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.  However, before you jump in head first, here is a quick set of bite size strategies and questions to help you begin to integrate social into your business day and hopefully, into your long term business development and marketing plans.

http://www.bizdevbiz.com/?p=451

Cherish Conversation

Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of talking with many ‘local’ business owners, people who serve the ‘local’ market and those trying to figure out how to reach the ‘local’ marketplace.  Along the way, I re-discovered my own need to engage and connect, and was happy (grateful even) to take a few exits off the ‘information highway’ to rest, get inspired and talk for a while.  I had coffee, I broke bread, I laughed, I learned, I pushed ‘silent’ often, I ran into an old friend and I connected, truly connected with some amazing teachers.

Although, I work daily in the online world and continue to be fascinated by the digital tools we have available right now (and the ones coming our way daily) this experience reminded me to slow down, breathe, listen and really cherish a good conversation. All this online stuff is great, but I deeply hope that nothing will replace the good old face to face or voice to voice conversation.  I move on in my journey even more encouraged to continue my quest to understand how I can help local companies build bridges between where they are today and where they want to go through the ever illusive art of conversation (and a few cool tools as well!)

From these conversations, three key themes emerged across all of these conversations.  They show up as both concerns and keen insights.  I know looking at them from both angles will help me as I continue to explore how best to help my customers be found, be known and be heard.  My hope is that you find them useful, too.

1. Be Found – Tails and Tales:
Keywords have long tails, and that is good…search engines like them. Use them freely.  Stories sell, use words/text as links. Use them often site to site, page to page.

2. Be Known – Self:
Put your “self” forward, it is more powerful than just a product or being all business all the time.

3. Be Heard – And Don’t Disappear: 
Shhhh, I am listening actively and I will be here for you.

I know I said three, but here are six really good extras…

1. Time:
Find me time…to keep my social pages up to date without affecting the important time with customers who are actually in my store.

2. If:
If it is relevant to me I will come, if it is personal to me I will stay, if it is meaningful to me I will come back.

3. Be Social: 
It is not about ‘doing social’, it is about being social.

4. About Them: 
It is NOT about me, it is about them.

5. Simplify: 
Make it simple for your audience to relate to, to do, to understand, to engage.

6. Baby Steps: 
Crawl, walk, run.

Until next time, take an exit off the information highway, slow down, grab some coffee, find a teacher, listen, learn, enjoy the art and the heart of each conversation.  After all, doesn’t everyone want to be found and known and heard?  I know I do.

Joni Kovarik
BizDev Consulting www.bizdevbiz.com
& Powering RelyLocal

Wonder On

I wake up wondering.  Always have.  I wonder where I will end up.  I wonder who I will meet.  I wonder what connections and possibilities will unfold throughout my day.  The life of a curious person can be all at once comforting and filled with fright.  In order to hold wonder in your heart, you have to give up a bit of control.  Each moment, every conversation, every glance and smile you encounter holds possibility and has the power to pull you in. To pull you off track, off plan and into a netherworld.

Today, for instance I woke up wondering about Mondays.  I used to hate Mondays.  Most people do.  Songs are written about hating Mondays.  Today, however I woke up wondering what I would find in this Monday.  I am a planner, a to-do-lister an outlook addict – so I already had two scheduled meetings.  But I had no idea where those conversations would go and started my day thrilled for the adventure.  I didn’t really know either of these people and hoped to learn something new about them and from them.

Both relate to building my business – one a conversation to explore partnering, one a conversation for understanding. My understanding, my learning.  One meeting done at the time of this writing and a world of possibility unfolding. Open windows, open doors, open hearts.

This gift of wonder I value now as a part of my superpowers.  Without it, I go nowhere, fast.  I sit, I dwell, and I die a little inside.  So, I am willing to let go, in order to make space, let in and grow.

My son woke up next to me wondering which superhero was on the backside of his new underwear.  He flipped over and asked me, “Mom, is Superman or Batman on my bottom?”  I said, “Batman.”  He said, “Good because I was just dreaming about him.”

Wonder on, my little teacher.  Wonder on.

Do you allow a little wonder-time in your personal and professional life?