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Living Optimistically

June 20, 2019

Inspiration for women entrepreneurs, women in business, women in sports

As the rain continues to plague our region, even coming down in buckets today, I can’t help but feel cheerful about challenging this weather related darkness into bright inspiration. The color green has never been as deep as it is right now; making me think this is how the rain forests must radiate all the time. The only thing different from the rain forests of Brazil and New York State is their very hot and humid temperatures.

A smart event planner is always an optimistic person but proceeds cautiously with back-up plans in case of weather related emergencies. They insist outside events have alternative locations if the heavens pour, lightening strikes or grounds puddle. Any customer with a weak stomach or nervous attitude about planning and hosting events must plan for inside locales.

Weather is the one factor event planners don’t have control over. We can plan around the weather but can’t forecast it months in advance when plans are finalized and marketing is set. Just like marathon runners training for six months before a large race, they prepare in every weather element to be ready. They say some prayers for race day conditions and acknowledge they are equipped as they can be controlling only the elements they have power over – themselves. Preparation never goes to waste, just like marketing for a wash-out event is never squandered.

The whiff of inspiration that made me feel today’s special event to benefit Women TIES would be a success, whether it rains or not, came from 71 year old running icon Kathrine Switzer’s newspaper article in the Albuquerque Journal sports section announcing her attempt to win tomorrow’s 5K Senior Games race. Kathrine rose to fame running in the 1967 rainy, cold Boston Marathon when women weren’t allowed to run in it. K.V. Switzer completed the 26.2 miles only to be disqualified because she was a woman. 50 years later she runs on in the Senior Games and I bet she wins that 5K race!

Today when the weather has you feeling blue, think of how much you have to gain mentally and spiritually by accepting the “rainy conditions” of your life, business or even today’s weather and get in the game. We can sit on the couch discussing poor conditions and wallowing in pity or we can put on our sneakers, rain gear and optimistic attitude and keep living on living or running. It’s all based on your perspective and will.

Joyful Collaborative Partnerships

June 19, 2019

Inspiration, Wednesday Wisdom, Advice for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Small Businesses

Deep pink petunias, red maple tree saplings and stone bird baths adorned the grass walk way under the wooden trellis past the carved stone outside cooking counters in the thirty year old landscaping business purchased seven years ago by a young couple. Pelican water fountains and nostalgic bird baths welcome both humans and creatures into their midst when summer heat is scorching. Strawberry plants dangle with fresh fruit and wild beach grasses sway in the gentle wind waiting to inhabit someone else’s home. As the owners and I walked through this vista talking about their business, I was enveloped in beauty.

Collaboration in a competitive marketplace might not be the first thing a business owner contemplates when trying to improve their traffic flow. Every business wants a big piece of the sales pie. Opening avenues with other businesses isn’t for the faint of heart if paranoia and competition is an entrepreneur’s mindset especially in a smaller market. Just like salmon swimming up river in the height of the river’s forceful downward flow, there can be success in going against the norm.

I’ve always believed the more open you are in sharing another’s business with your own customers, the more benefits you receive back. This attitude requires a trusting, giving and reciprocating outlook. Strong business relationships need trust as the first building block and a willingness to both give and receive. Cross promotion of two businesses services, products, and special events are an excellent way to collaborate in today’s economy lending valuable marketing exposure to both companies.

Monday the owners of Evergreen Landscaping and Design Center gave me a tour of their beautiful business grounds, showcasing their lovely vista for a simple free “party in the garden” for my members and other women entrepreneurs and women in business tomorrow at their business. As they salute the strawberry season in food and drink provided by Diamond Catering with live music for all of us, they reminded me that business owners can work in joyful harmony providing valuable resources to each other.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you cross promotion and collaboration with another business is an excellent way to share contacts, marketing expenses and promotion for mutual benefit. Small businesses will find powerful results when they connect and co-share events and advertising to similar, but different audiences, to attract more customers and sales revenue. Ease your worries and start working together with like-minded entrepreneurs to share the wealth.

As the relaxed days of summer start this week, remember you can relax your worries about competitive businesses by embracing collaboration and cross promotion.

P.S. Come to the “Party in the Garden” tomorrow too!

Increasing Creativity Influences Women in Business

June 12, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom and Success Strategies for Women in Business, Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports

A popular country band was headlining at the St. Joseph’s Amphitheater, on the shores of Onondaga Lake Sunday night, so I decided to paddle towards the venue in my bright pink kayak, wondering how fun it would be to listen to the band later that night by kayak. I thought to myself, “I could actually create an Uber-like water taxi to take someone with me.”

As I shouted the idea to my husband, we hitched our kayaks next to each other in the middle of the lake jokingly discussing the concept. Joy filled my spirit. We sat for awhile in great conversation about his work and my business in yellow sunlight with calm breezes blowing us gently back and forth. I wondered out loud how I could share this two hour experience with women entrepreneurs without access to kayaks and lakeside conversations.

Remembering I was trying to share my beautiful pool house and pool with women this summer, I thought why not add kayaking chats to the new business service lineup? For two hours a woman entrepreneur could join me in on the lake, taking in the serenity and fitness, while chatting about her business and life from time-to-time as we drifted, while I offer an ear or advice based on my 24 years as a woman entrepreneur. Boom!

Boom!? Yes, Boom!

Sometimes that is how women entrepreneurs use their creativity to dream up new or expanded business services and products. It can come as easily as a serene moment on a lake when peace envelops us allowing insights to surface, just like fish coming to a lake’s upper level. Ideas can also be generated by sitting behind a desk in an office but most times it is a restricted flow because social media bings, telephone calls and noise takes over our mental airwaves.

Am I serious about this offer, well yes I am! How would it work? How will I get customers? What insurance do I need? What is the price? Well, that’s the excitement of being a small business owner, I have time to create a small business plan and add it to my existing website and start promoting it on social media. Isn’t that one thing we love about being women entrepreneurs; the freedom to innovate, create, sell and service new ideas whenever we want?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom hopefully inspires you to either join me for a two hour kayak trip to stir up your own longings or to motivate you to find a different, peaceful environment to allow deep ideas to surface. You might be thinking you just need to come up for air instead of adding something new; well that’s okay because you can! Permitting yourself time to enjoy and relish a new environment might be the catalyst to spur on your next business idea or even give you time to relax to get your workload done.

You know where you can find me if you need advice or help – poolside or kayaking – ready to listen, converse and help you think about new offerings for your business.

A Three Down Load Day

June 11, 2019

Inspiration, Motivation and Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

In the midst of a phone call with a dear friend experiencing similar occurrences in life, she interrupted me in the middle of a sentence to say, “Hold on a minute, I’m having an enlightened download to share with you.” I paused to receive the gifted insight I had been searching for through meditation and reading. “This happens to me all the time and I wanted you to hear the message,” she said. Wise enough to know when something special is being said; I listened and accepted the meaning.

While on the phone call with this friend, one of my sisters called who typically doesn’t ring because she is busy being a successful realtor, mother and grandmother. “Tracy, I had to share something with you that hit me today about your health,” she said. I listened as she shared information about a health practice I used to do that I stopped. She sensed the practice would help my alopecia. Wise enough to know when something educational is being shared; I listened and agreed with her.

As I drove to have lunch with a long time advisor and friend retiring from her job where I first met her when I was 20 years old, I felt the day was already special with its unique perceptions. Two hours later, returning home I didn’t turn on the radio, but rather listened silently to the ‘pearls of wisdom’ shared from this friend. I didn’t need to download a CD of music to guide me home but rather listened gently to our conversation again downloading the special words.

So often women entrepreneurs work solo, keeping them buoyed up with positivity to handle work load, clients and proposals on their own. Some have a team of associates, mentors or advisors in their pocket to help when needed with the physical tasks of running a business; but many don’t seek the “downloads” of advice from individuals, who know them well, to guide them through a day, week or month. Confident and independent they rely on their selves too much and too long before realizing others have the wisdom they need.

Today be inspired to pause and ask yourself if you are too self-reliant and missing the value of inspirational ‘downloads’ from others. Women don’t always like to ask for help because we don’t want to burden others with our problems; when instead other women are happy to lend the advice we need to see a way through a murky situation helping us gain clarity.

In today’s technological world, we easily download music, computer programs and new apps but we don’t easily download inspiration from others when we need it most. Let’s change that and allow ourselves time to share and listen for unique downloads from people who care about us most.

Global Connections alongside Community Efforts

June 10, 2019

Inspiration,Monday Motivation for women, women entrepreneurs,and women in sports

Across the pond in England, one of my Women Can Marathon running partners Jo Moseley, another mid-fifties aged woman, finds daily joy in SUP (standing up paddle boarding) on the ocean. Through Twitter, I see four daily shots of her before or after her daily adventure wishing I could wake up and teleport to the northern English seashore to join her. I feel our chance meeting wasn’t chance, but one of those divine moments when you meet a soul who speaks to yours.

Besides paddle boarding Jo also performs the act of a #twominutebeachcleanup seaside, trying to help the beautiful oceans remain free from debris. When she isn’t paddle boarding, she dedicates time to #plogging – picking up litter as she jogs.

The plight of pollution in our oceans is becoming a well-known issue especially when discussed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, film star, who created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. One of his six main program areas is Oceans Conservation.

With my bright pink kayak by my side both Saturday and Sunday, I had both Jo and Leonardo in mind as we launched our boats at a dirty grass area next to the water’s edge of once polluted Onondaga Lake Park. The lake is still in the progress of clean up. You can tell the community doesn’t trust the waters yet as we, a handful of fisherman, and one other kayaker was on the entire water on a picture perfect sunny day.

I searched for plastic on top the water as my husband when scouting for fish but I saw none. The only items dotting the water’s surface were white cottonwood blooms floating in air and landing gently on the lake. They sparkled in the sunlight like tinsel on a Christmas tree. There was no floating debris in the water – a good sign.

Upon reaching shore, I took two minutes to pick up a plastic bag left by past fisherman and filled it with a couple soda cans buried in the sand next to the shore, candy wrappers and old bait containers and their tops. It took less than two minutes to stop and look and take action. As I walked to the nearby garbage can, easily accessible for anyone to see, I was happy I contributed in this small way to our environment.

As I tweeted a photo my husband took of me and shared it on Twitter, I received the following retweet from Jo Moseley‏(@Healthyhappy50) “Wow! How wonderful; thank you @WomenTIES! Tracy, from Central New York, is doing her #2minutelitterpick after kayaking! The @2minbeachclean family is truly global! #plogging #shepaddles #2minutebeachclean.” Her retweet has been shared by many new global friends who also take care of the envirnoment. It feels cool to be connected accross the world with like-minded people.

Might you join us and even start following these efforts or other twitter hashtag efforts you are interested in partaking in? Twitter isn’t just for tweeting social or business news but also community wide efforts and global happenings. Get yourself and your company involved!

Follow 2 Minute Beach Clean at https://twitter.com/2minbeachclean
Follow Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and their work at: https://twitter.com/dicapriofdn

Monday Motivation: Succumb to Difficult Elements to Succeed

June 3, 2019

Inspiration, Monday Motivation and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports, Women in Business

A couple years ago I learned a really important lesson about committing to sports and the elements as I trained for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Training for my first marathon began in the crisp beautiful running weather of the Northeast autumn after hot, humid summer breezes and chilly, dry winter’s coat. I had six months to advance from being a two mile daily runner to a 26.2 mile runner. The beginning of the longer runs came in the peak of winter when one had to embrace the elements to get in a training run. It was a vital lesson.

With hands frozen and my body draped in layers of clothes to brace for the cold, I was sweating from the increase in metabolism generated from putting in a nine mile run. I wanted to quit running but told myself I had to endure the elements to be ready for Boston in April. I remember a woman saying to me as I stopped to get water, “You must be training for some big race to be out here in these conditions,” she remarked. “Yes, I am training for the Boston Marathon,” I said in reply. “Good luck! Keep running I know you can do it.” I could tell she was a coach or PE teacher by her attitude. Steely resolve overcomes a marathoner. It has to in order to finish the race.

Yoga was another mental and physical exercise that helped me train for Boston. In Yoga, one has to hold still in poses as legs burn and the mind wanders. Only through deep focus and fortitude can one complete a difficult yoga routine walking away more peaceful, prepared and focused on work ahead. Resolute determination is the other gift of marathon training.

When people ask me “How did you ever run the Boston Marathon,” I simply reply, “I put in the miles and hours needed to know I could do it; if I never trained through hot, cold, rainy, and sunny conditions, I couldn’t have accomplished it because I wouldn’t have believed I could.” Yesterday, as my husband and I stood out in a heavy rain storm for to finish blasting the top coat of our deck because the machine had to be returned this morning, I simply “gave into the elements” just like in marathon training, and seriously enjoyed the feeling of once again accomplishing something most people wouldn’t do in those circumstances. “It makes me mentally stronger,” I acknowledged to my husband. I’m willing to get my hands dirty if I need to – another personal and business motto of mine.

As you face another Monday, why not give in to the elements that are forcing you to conduct work to hit a big money or corporate goal? Just like in marathon training, only by handling and finishing difficult tasks can success come closer. Nothing in life is accomplished only on sunny, perfect days; instead our life is rewarded internally when pushed beyond limits and succeeding in one’s actions and goals.

Succesfully Straddling Both Technology and Human Interaction in Business Today

May 30, 2019

Inspiration, Thursday Thoughts, Thursday Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Small Business

Sitting comfortably in my Boston Marathon jacket, hat and shirt, I turned on my computer to listen to 3 back to back online programs. The first video was created by Jennifer Rust, a Women TIES member, who shared her knowledge about creating larger profits for retailers. She also used the presentation to practice for a live speaking event in a couple weeks. I thought the idea was brilliant in terms of working out the kinks in the presentation and experiencing a new way of sharing her expertise.

The second video was given by Deepak Chopra who I typically absorb by listening to his podcasts and not through a video presentation. He had a special guest with him so the cross promotion is excellent for this other person who is not as well known as Deepak. It also allows Deepak’s audience, who might prefer learning through watching videos rather than listening, a better experience. I ended up in a quick peaceful meditation where a deep golden glow entered my body. I had therapy sitting at my desk for free – an unexpected surprise.

The final online program was a two hour educational seminar on using Facebook. Although, I’m very experienced in Facebook, I watched the online seminar to glimpse new strategies and witness how the presentation actually works. The New York Women’s Business Center coordinated the free presentation as they implement more online programs since event attendance everywhere is dropping as people access online technology for learning.

Technology is fascinating and offers certain services current business services can’t present; but I still miss the human interaction with other individuals that can only happen at “live events” where people gather. Like everything, we need to straddle old ways of doing business with new ways to stay both relevant and satisfied.

I was grateful for the wisdom gleaned watching the online presentations but also look forward to my next event where I can hug, speak and interact with women in person to keep the human experience alive and well.

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