Monday, February 5, 2007

National Networking Week


International Networking Week*

I attended a seminar and had the great pleasure of hearing Brian Tracy speak. I was quite happy to hear him say that everyone in business needs to spend 80% of their time prospecting. As I attend numerous networking meetings, I had sometimes wondered if it was a good use of my time. I also had the privilege of hearing John Maxwell speak in and had a definite 'aha' moment. He said that just because we are busy does not mean we are being effective. So what does all this mean? Going to networking meetings will certainly keep us busy, however it's what we do when we're there and the follow-up that is the real value.

Is networking effective? You betcha! When I took early retirement from my corporate job and decided to work my part-time passion full time, I did an analysis of my current client list to see from where my clients had evolved. I found that 80% of them had come from the one networking group that I had been a member of for eight years. That told me that networking does work!

There is value in networking, however it's like taking a bath, 'you can't just attend just one meeting and expect to receive a pile of leads.' Networking works if you work it. Most people do business with someone they trust. Someone they have built a relationship with. Most people are not going to give you their business or a referral the first time they meet you. You have to build trust and a relationship by showing up again and again. That says that you are a hardworking, reliable, trust-worthy person. Participating actively and adding value helps to also build the relationship.

Here are some tips to further accelerate the networking process:
  • Present the right image. Be dressed professional or what is appropriate for the group, i.e. if you know most of the people will be business casual, then business casual is appropriate.
  • Always wear a name tag and wear it on your right shoulder
  • Have plenty of business cards that are distinctive, colorful, and legible
  • Approach people you already know so that they can introduce you to others. This is a good strategy for you also. Introduce those that could benefit from each other's services. (i.e. Like a real estate person and a mortgage person)
  • Ask questions about their business so that you are clear on good leads for them. Listen carefully. Remember, you are NOT there to sell, but meet others and establish relationships.
  • Mingle, Mingle, Mingle - Step out of your comfort zone. Look for the person who looks lost (usually first timers) introduce yourself and ask questions.
  • Position yourself in the room near the food and/or drinks in order to be more visible and meet more people
  • Always remember WIIFM (What's In It For Me) - This is what most people are thinking about. So be able to describe your business or product in terms of the benefit to the potential client. Does your product or service save time and/or money? Also, be able to describe your perfect client.
  • Offer to get together for coffee or lunch with those that could be good business alliances Follow up with a note or phone call and if possible offer something of value like another networking group or meeting that might be of interest to them. Or perhaps send a promotional item the person would keep and use. 
  • Keep your name in front of them. If you have a newsletter or ezine you publish, ask if you may add them to your distribution list
  • Send Congratulatory cards and letters. If you see their name in the paper for an accomplishment and/or promotion, call or send a note.
  • Pass well qualified referrals and ask that they use your name.
  • When you get a referral, even if you don't get the sale, Always thank the person who gave you the lead.
  • Donate door prizes others will want and remember
  • Be involved with 4 networking groups 1 closed, 2 open, and 1 volunteer.
  • Take advantage of daily opportunities to meet people.
  • Treat everyone you meet with equal consideration. When you're networking your way to the top, it pays to stay in everyone's good graces. Apply the Golden Rule to all of your networking relationships. Brain Tracy also said 'Good comes from Everything.'
Happy Networking!
Virtual Assistant Specializing in Relationship Marketing
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Thursday, February 1, 2007

No One Needs to Give Me a Reason to Wear Redd

No one needs to give me a reason to wear Red. I love the color. My nickname is Redd. My car is red. My vanity plates says REDDS. But for those that may need a reason, here is a very good one.

´National Wear Red Day´
Friday, February 2nd
Everyone (including men!) can support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red on National Wear Red Day — this Friday, February 2nd.
It's a simple yet powerful way to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. By wearing red, you'll help The American Heart Association ( support ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.

On Friday, February 2, you'll be a "Fashion DO" -- as long as you're wearing RED. Women are urged to wear red on Friday, February 2nd for "National Wear Red Day," an initiative spearheaded the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the American Heart Association (AHA), and WomenHeart, to raise awareness of the number one killer of American women: heart disease.

GLAMOUR recently named women's heart health as the magazine's official cause since more women die each day of cardiovascular conditions than any other disease -- yet many women are unaware of this danger In October 2003, GLAMOUR partnered with the groundbreaking "Red Dress Project," an on-going health initiative led by First Lady Laura Bush and the NHLBI. Co-sponsors of the campaign are the AHA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and WomenHeart, the only national group for women with heart disease. "The Red Dress" is the new symbol for women and heart disease. Like the pink ribbon of breast cancer, this icon was created to call attention to this deadly yet often preventable illness.

Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women. Every woman can take steps to lower her risk of developing heart disease. It's never too early or too late to improve heart health—even for those who have already had a heart attack. Whatever a woman's age, she needs to take action to protect her heart health.

For more information log onto

Celebrate National Wear Red Day — this Friday, February 2nd

Whether you plan to wear red this Friday or would like some advice on how to wear red more effectively throughout the year, here are some quick tips to consider:
#1 Know Your Destination. No other color is charged with as much energy, emotion or passion as red. Its popularity in clothing is universal, spanning all ages, professions and cultures. Used wisely in business settings, it can enhance communication and create excitement for your ideas. Why do you think the red “power tie” is so popular. Yes, red is appropriate for the office when it is presented professionally.

#2 Choose Your Shoes Carefully. Black shoes are usually your best bet when wearing red clothing, especially in the winter months. We love red shoes too. However, they are best when used as an accent with base neutral colors in your wardrobe. See tip #4 below for more about red shoes.

#3 Put Your Best Leg Forward. Nine out of ten times, black stockings will appear too harsh when worn during the daytime with a solid red outfit. Sheer, nude hosiery will often create a softer daytime look. If you prefer to wear black stockings or black tights in the cooler months because of the extra coverage they provide for your legs, do so strategically. For instance, change the buttons on a red suit or sweater to black so they connect nicely to black hosiery and shoes while working to lessen the severity of the combination. A black turtleneck worn with a red wool skirt, black tights and black suede pumps or dress boots can also help you achieve a well-balanced and figure flattering appearance.
#4 Use Red as an Accent. Adding five red pieces to your wardrobe in the same hue can punch up your wardrobe, giving you endless options with many of the base neutral colors (i.e. black, gray, navy, chocolate and camel) already in your wardrobe. Once you have decided on the shade that best compliments your skin tone and personality, versatile pieces to add include a red top, a red bag, red shoes, red shawl or scarf and red jewelry. Remember; don’t wear these pieces all at the same time unless you are looking for a citation from the fashion police!

#5 Spring Forward. Nautical looks are everywhere for spring 2007, with navy, red and white combinations taking center stage. Many of the red accents that work in the winter months can easily translate for spring. Red silk shells, red leather belts and red shoes purchased on the winter clearance racks now will be an easy way to update your spring wardrobe when the weather changes.

#6 Anyone Can Wear Red. Yes – even Natural Redheads. It depends on the hue of the red. Not all “reds” are the same. Cool blue reds look best on most of the population. Tomato reds look great on a Natural Redhead.

Excerpts from Dressing Well Tip of the Week

For more tips on image for business, log onto "Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Until the next time I feel inspired.

The Painted Lady known to some as "Redd"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Very Worthy Cause

The dreaded "C" word has taken many of my family and loved ones, so I am more than willing to do my part to help even in a small way and I truly admire those who go beyond what is expected to help to find a cure. Case in point, my lovely daughter in law. A few blogs ago I told you about my grandson who recently took his last Chemo treatment and our celebration.
If you would like to see what my daughter in law is doing to help the cause, log onto She is currently in training for the Team in Training ING Marathon in my grandson's honor. TNT is a collection of athletes, trainers, and mentors who are dedicated to raising funds to further the research to fine a cure for blood related cancers. If you are looking for a worthy cause, I would put this at the top of the list.
I will be there March 25 with my cow bell to cheer her on!!

Until next time -
The Painted Lady

Monday, January 22, 2007

Handwriting Analysis

National Handwriting Analysis Week

January 23 is John Hancock’s Birthday and also is National Handwriting Analysis Week

What does Your John Hancock say about You?


Handwriting analysis began with cave men writing pictures, or symbols, for communication. It is a time tested evaluation tool with research validating back to the early 1600’s. It does not invade a person’s right to privacy and it is non discriminatory. It is also categorized in the Library of Congress as a credible science. Handwriting analysis is applied to investigations, historical profiles, employees and teams, job applicants, and for personal profiling. For information and products on learning how to amaze your friends check out my website for Handwriting materials

A sample of handwriting can reveal over 150 personality traits. Each stroke, mark, slant, letter formation, letter spacing, word spacing and pen pressure tells what is going on inside that person’s mind……what makes them tick! The next time you put your pen to paper - just remember - someone nearby just might be watching how you dot your 'i's and cross your 't's. Or just for fun, give yourself a self-test of your handwriting. Look on my website for a free self-test on your handwriting.

According to proper etiquette, when we write personal notes such as thank you notes, etc., we should respond with a handwritten note. With modern technology and everyone into email, text messaging, etc., the rules of old fashioned manners and etiquette have somewhat gone by the way side.

However, a relatively new company, Send Out Cards™, has matched modern technology with old fashioned etiquette. With their very innovative card system, you can now personalize a card with your own handwriting from your computer. Their service allows for you to have your handwriting scanned, then uploaded to your personal account. From your computer, then when you type your message, it will appear in the card in your own personal handwriting. The company then prints your card, puts it in an envelope, puts a stamp on it, and mails it for you through the U.S. mail. Now that’s what I call a Great Idea! It is such a great idea that SOC will be featured on CNBC and the E channel on an upcoming show called America's Best Products.

To learn more about this great service contact distributor, Annette Walden, by sending email to . If you would like to send a free greeting card and see how this fascinating system works, log onto

Send a free Valentines Day Card

Monday, January 8, 2007

Today Should Be a National Holiday!

Today should be declared a National Holiday!

Why you ask? It’s Elvis Presley’s birthday among other things. Yes, I am an Elvis fan and proud of it. Not a fanatic, but definitely a fan. I was probably about 10 or 11 when he first started making it big. Always liked his music. Saw all his movies. Went to his concerts. Bought a lot of his records and albums. I liked his first movies. I think he had what it took to be a good actor, but Colonel Parker had different ideas. I like almost all kinds of music, but especially good old rock and roll or rockabilly as some call it. Never really did get into the Beatles. They came on the scene when I was in high school. I have also made the pilgrimage to Tupelo to see his birthplace and on to Memphis for a tour of Graceland. My mother and I went in the early 80s. I have lots of pictures, somewhere.

I remember the day he died, August 16, 1977 I saw the announcement on TV and screamed. My daughter came running in the room wanting to know what was wrong. I was devastated. 1977 was a very eventful year for me anyway. I was divorced, wrecked my car, Elvis died, and I turned 30! All within about 4 months!

But there is another reason January 8th is significant to me. I met my late husband for the first time, on a blind date, January 8, 1978. It was a miserable rainy day. I had been out the night before, had gone to my mother’s to pick up the kids, stopped and got dinner on the way home. I remember I was listening to the radio. Since it had only been a few months since Elvis had died, that’s about all they were playing on the radio. Anyway, the phone rang and it was him (the man I was to marry). He wanted me to come and meet him for dinner. He had called a few days before. He said that a mutual friend of ours had given him my phone number. He said he would like to meet me and would call back in a few days. I called my friend and asked her who this guy was. She just chuckled and said that she had been telling him about me for months, but that the timing had not been right yet for us to be introduced. She then went on to tell me not to get serious about him, he was not the marring kind, but he was nice, would show me a good time. And so the story went……

Getting back to that fateful rainy January 8th. After some persistence and him offering to pay for a baby sitter I agreed to meet him for a drink. I arrived early, as I am somewhat of a compulsive punctual, and went on in the restaurant. The place was almost empty. Remember it was a miserable rainy Sunday night. Not many people out. Anyway, he finally walked in. I figured it had to be him, so I stood up and he looked at me with a somewhat puzzled look on his face. It would be months before he told me the story as to why he looked so surprised. We introduced ourselves. He slipped his arm around my waist and turned to the hostess and said we would have a table for two for dinner. They sat us by the fireplace. It turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening. Even though he was a little older than me, 12 years, we had a lot in common. He was in sales, successful, married before, had children, etc. I found him to be someone I could talk to and could relate to. That was to be just the beginning. Four years later, after we were married, he surprised me by taking me to that same restaurant and had the hostess sit us at the same table. The manager was so impressed that he sent a bottle of champagne to our table. He could be quite the romantic guy. Always wanting to surprise me with something.

He called the next week and we went out that next Friday evening. To make a long story short after 3 ½ years we did get married and were married almost 16 years. He passed away of cancer on September 2, 1997. He was in good company. Princess Di had passed away that Saturday night before and Mother Teresa the Thursday after.

Our marriage was something else. He was my soul mate. I loved him dearly. I’ve often described our marriage as “We loved hard, we played hard, and we fought hard.” Those who knew him would understand that comment. He even had a song written about him. And in the song was a line that says, “All know how to die, but few know how to live.” I had that put on his marker. He taught me how to live everyday. To have fun and enjoy life for there might not be a tomorrow. I miss him, especially when significant days like this come around.

I found this poem which best describes him: (author unknown)

If I close my eyes
and quietly listen…
I can almost hear you near.
Your big and joyous laughter,
Ringing in my ears.
Of all the things about you,
I think it’s this laughter
I miss the most.
The way your eyes would sparkle,
with your newest, biggest boast.
Remembering the ways you are special,
keeps you in our days.
Your laughter lives on in our hearts,
These memories will never go away!

Cherish Your Loved Ones Now for tomorrow they may not be around.

Thank You, Ah Thank You Very Much!
The Painted Lady

P.S. Ladies and Gentlemen....Elvis has left the building.


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