Thursday, January 31, 2013

Little Effort. Big Impression.

My husband has been working hard.  Really hard.  So I agreed to attend a career fair this weekend in hopes of recruiting some relief.  In preparation for this career fair, I created a full bleed tri-fold brochure. 

Since my background is corporate, I've never had to worry about getting things printed.  They just were.  So on Friday, I dropped off my first full-bleed brochure to a print company.  I let Michael, the man behind the counter, know I needed 500 copies no later than close of business Friday. 

Michael could get 100 brochures done for $500.
His quote was high, but Michael was willing to help.  He admitted what I needed wasn't their speciality.  Their equipment was meant to copy, not trim and fold.

Michael could have said he couldn't help.  He could have told me to take it or leave it.  Instead, he suggested I look into alternatives with other print shops.  He said he would still be glad to help if I couldn't find a better deal.
I’m grateful to Michael.  The effort was small on his part, and although he didn't win my work, he was honest.  He was patient.  He impressed me by giving me the opportunity to evaluate other options, knowing full well I would probably do business elsewhere.

I did find a print shop that could print 500 brochures for a reasonable price.  I saved money, but also learned a bit about print and copy shops.  More importantly, I learned to keep Michael in mind the next time I need something his business can help me with. 

Kudos, Michael!  It's nice having someone look out for your best interest.

Let customer service help solidify your client relationships.  Putting customers first always makes a great impression.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Be Inspired

While participating in a yoga teacher training, my friend, Michelle, who brought the class to Corpus Christi, gave some great advice.  She wisely suggested we take a trip, attend a workshop, and learn from teachers who inspire us most when we need new ideas and motivation.

As a new yoga teacher, I have kept this in mind.  I continue to study, read, and learn so I can stay motivated, and in turn, better help my students.

Recently, I realized that Michelle's advice transfers to other areas of life as well.  This is especially so in business.

Near the end of last year, I found myself burning out from taking on too much and trying to support too many causes.  I stepped back and tried to do less.  Surprisingly, I found myself becoming lazy and unmotivated.  I had difficulty gearing up and being ready for the opportunities and challenges of a new year.

All this quickly changed as I affiliated with new causes, such as the South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts.  I became inspired and rejuvenated by passionate staff members and volunteers.  I attended a professional workshop where I reignited my passion for learning and small business.

During my yoga teacher training, our teacher, Christina, commented to me that "if your class is boring, it is because you are boring."  There is much wisdom in these words, which also transfer easily to business.

As leaders, we must remain energized.  We must stay motivated and informed so we can inspire our team, our subordinates, and our clients to do the same.

My challenge to you (and myself): Keep motivated.  Inspire yourself.  In so doing, encourage those around you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


When I was in college, one of my favorite business professors reminded us, "Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."

A few days ago, the news reported that a Corpus Christi woman was killed in a three-car collision.  The news was tragic, but I later learned that victim wasn't just a Corpus Christi woman.  She was a former co-worker and friend.

Lauren passed away at only 29 years of age.  Her death is especially sad and tragic, as it happened just after Christmas.  Her fiancee was driving in front of her at the time of the accident.

Lauren was engaged to be married.  She had recently become a professional engineer.  She had worked hard, and it had paid off.  Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly.

I've been thinking a lot about Lauren, although I hadn't seen her in a while.  I can't believe she's gone.  I don't understand what gives some of us the opportunity to experience a new year, while others of us don't get that chance.

2013 is a time for starting over.  It's a time for hope and reaching towards unmet goals. 

I know, that I, personally, took the new year for granted.  I assumed I'd be here and have the chance to try again, improve, and take on new things.  Not all of us were so fortunate.

The reality is that "now" is the only thing we're guaranteed.  If you've been meaning to do something, if you've been reassessing priorities, now is the time to take action.

I'm so sad that Lauren is gone.  My heart breaks for her fiancee, her family, and her loved ones.  I can't make sense of her tragedy.  I can only be reminded to give thanks for the new year and new start I and so many of us were given.

May God bless you and forever keep you, Lauren.