Brainstorming with a Respected Friend

This morning I met with my friend and colleague Tassie Christopher for breakfast at a new Bakery that opened in Mercer Island. We meet quarterly to share with each other what’s been happening in our lives and talk about innovative ideas that we have in our heads.

I asked Tassie, “Are you enjoying the summer season with more daytime hours, sunshine and playtime?”. She replied, “Yes, but time is flying by so fast. Soon September will be here. It’s time to focus and get serious about our entrepreneurial ventures”.

“Well, we need to boost our energy quickly to do that,” I replied with a light hearted laugh.

Getting back to my point…

If you haven’t downloaded all the free training on easy ways to boost energy, more time to nurture creativity and quick relief from overwhelm, exhaustion and feeling stuck, do it now. Today is the last day of the free give-aways.

You owe it to yourself to see the  gifts my colleagues and I have created for you.

it really is a 15- minute cure for overwhelm and exhaustion. It’s FREE.

There are 8 creative gifts you will find at the Transform Your Life Giveaway. I hope you will download my gift I made for you titled: How to Build a Business You Love, The Kaizen Way. I share with you what I learned from 40 years of building and running a business I love that continues to keep giving back to my employees, customers and the world.

 

Head on over there now. Today is the perfect day to explore some new ideas. FYI: It ends tonight at midnight!

 

Transform Your Life Giveaway

 

Have a great weekend!

 

How to Approach Fearful Situations with Confidence

Have you ever heard of oracle cards? For years I’ve used them to help make decisions or unblock fears that are getting in my way. Oracle cards come in all shapes and sizes but they’re usually a small deck of cards with various inspirational words or phrases on them. I recently decided it was time to create my own set starting with a paper tiger.

Why start with a tiger? As I explain in the video above, my dear business mentor once explained to me that our fears are like tigers but we must realize that they are only made of papers and paper tigers are easily defeated with the right frame of mind.
Eventually I’d like to offer a full deck of inspirational oracle cards with my original artwork on each card. For now, I invite you to CLICK HERE for a free download about overcoming your fears and facing every situation with confidence. I hope you find it helpful and I wish you a wonderful day!

Why Celebrate Local Businesses?

In honor of National Small Business Week, I’d like to encourage everyone to shop local! As a Small Business Administration’s SCORE Mentor, I’m more enthused than ever to support entrepreneurs. Let’s all help business owners to succeed in building unique businesses that help to build healthy communities.

It has been disturbing for me to see so many of my favorite local small businesses shut down.  We all know that high vacancy rates in our communities invite crime and general deterioration of the area, which devalues our housing prices along with diminished community image.

My favorite shopping places are scrapbooking and stamping stores. Two of my favorites were located in Issaquah, just a few miles east of where I live. One of the stores, Lasting Impressions has already closed its doors. I seriously went into depression about this! I sent an email to Shirley, the store’s owner and expressed how much I will miss shopping there. My dog Max and I spent many hours in this store, browsing through its numerous aisles which were filled with stamps of all kinds. It was a good feeling to have the staff call me by my first name and they even remembered Max’s name! Every time Max and I visited the store, staff came over and played with Max.  One staff member even brought over a Jack Russell Terrier rubber stamp which looked exactly like Max. Of course I purchase the stamp.

My other favorite store in Issaquah was the Mad Scrapper. The store’s owner, Deanna, owned this store for seventeen years and she worked hard to keep her shelves stocked with the latest papers and embellishments. Keeping a full inventory is not an easy task during difficult economic times. Deanna held on-going workshops for her customers. The classes were free as long as we purchased our supplies from her store. There was no doubt that she put in extremely long hours every day to keep the store’s doors open from morning until late.

One evening, I was working madly to make a cute mini-scrapbook in one of Deanna’s classes. There were ten women in this class. One of the students did not have a particular tool which she needed and was about to get up to purchase one from the store. The woman who was sitting next to her whispered, “Don’t buy it here. You can get this same tool at Michael’s for only half the price using one of their weekly coupons.”

I was so disturbed by what I heard, I couldn’t help but to tell everyone what could happen if we all thought this way. All small, local businesses will be gone, leaving us with only the large chains. Can we get this kind of personalized service from anyone other than the small business owners who struggle every day to stay in business for the simple reason that they are passionate about what they do?  If stores like the Mad Scrapper are forced to go out of business (which, I’m sad to say, is exactly what happened), it will be a sad day for all of us who love the specialty stores and their amenities.

So my advice to all is, please look beyond the price and look at the big picture. Do you like what the small local store do for its customers and the community? If your answer is yes, you owe it to yourself to patronize the small businesses and do your part to keep them growing and thriving. In the end, you may end up spending a little more but you and the community will be better off with a vibrant and healthier economic growth. Happy shopping!

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How to Create a Passionate Business and Life, The Kaizen Way

What is Kaizen? Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy and work plan strategy where employees at all levels of a company are encouraged to work together to achieve incremental improvements benefitting the business, employees, customers and the larger world. It combines the collective talents within a company (or family) to create a powerful engine for life-long learning in small incremental steps. I hope you will embrace the Kaizen way in your business and personal life. I believe that it will help you to change the way you think and open up boundless opportunities in your life.

Click HERE for a free printable, “The Kaizen Way, 5 Steps to Awaken Your Passion for Work and Life.”

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Memories, Old and New, in Japan

My recent trip to the southern islands of Japan, Okninawa, Shigata and Kiyushu Islands was soulful and nostalgic for me. My Father and Grandmother’s graves rest in Fukuoka, Kiyushu. Things have changed so much in that area that I didn’t recognize anything as how I remembered it.

The most memorable thing I learned was… Read more

What Does a Homeless Donkey Have in Common With a Hair Salon?

Wow, it’s been a busy summer for us…same for you? Now that summer is nearing an end, I wanted to take a few minutes and show you what my salon, Studio 904 Hair Design has been up to. Enjoy the video as we go off for a weekend picnic on the grounds of  Pasado’s Safe Haven to spend time with Ole and Jacques, our newly adopted Donkeys. We will post photos and videos after our visit so you will get to see our precious moments with the animals!

          

What Does a Homeless Donkey Have in Common with a Hair Salon? At first glance, not a whole lot. Read more

Skill or Attitude, Which is More Important to Succeed in Work and Life?

As I wrote in my book, Sheer Determination it became clear to me that our society often places too much emphasis on talent to determine whether a person succeeds in life and career. I’ve employed many people who had a “natural talent” for cutting and designing hair. I looked for talented stylists because I believed they would help my business provide high quality hair design services to our customers.
Wrong!  In the end, many of them were a disappointment and often left the salon after only a few months. In contrast, I have trained stylists who started out with only a minimal amount of creative flair for hair design, but had a passion for what they were doing, stuck it out for the long term, and won our clients’ hearts. What was the one thing this latter group of stylists had in common? The answer is they approached life with a positive attitude.

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Reflecting on 2016

Happy New Year!

If you are like me, you’ve probably spent some time reflecting on the past year. I’m sure that among the good and the disappointments you’ve experienced there are some events that you remember fondly with a smile. I encourage you to reflect on your past year and focus on the most uplifting events. Today I want to share a video of an event that always brings tears of joy and a smile to my face. Read more