Fun Summer Holidays in 2017

Did you know that today, August 26, 2017, is National Uncle and Aunt Day?  There are a lot of super fun summer holidays to celebrate just about anything.  My daughter is excited about August 11, 12 and 13 because they celebrate her family.  She’s a daughter, I’m a middle child, and her dad is left-handed.

July 26 – Uncle and Aunt Day
July 27 – Take your Pants for a Walk Day
July 28 – Milk Chocolate Day
July 29 – Lasagne Day
July 30 – National Cheesecake Day

Let Your BFF know how much she means to you on Girlfriends Day.

Let Your BFF know how much she means to you on August 1st, Girlfriends Day.

August 1 – Girlfriends Day
August 2 – Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3 – Watermelon Day
August 4 – International Beer Day
August 5 – Work Like a Dog Day
August 6 – Fresh Breath Day

Send a card to celebrate Lighthouse Day.

Send a card to celebrate Lighthouse Day on August 7th.

August 7 – Lighthouse Day
August 8 – Happiness Happens Day
August 9 – Book Lovers Day
August 10 – Lazy Day
August 11 – Son and Daughter Day
August 12 – Middle Child Day
August 13 – Left-Handers Day

Strawberry Cheesecake, Creamsicle, Cookies 'N Cream, and Blueberry Cheesecake Fudge

Send some Gourmet Novelty Strawberry Cheesecake, Creamsicle, Cookies ‘N Cream, and Blueberry Cheesecake Fudge on August 14th.

August 14 – Creamsicle Day
August 15 – Pythagorean Theorem Day

Which days make YOU feel like celebrating?

Source

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Today Was A Good Day

Happy New Year 2017!

I spent the morning with my dear friend, Anise, and her two boys.  Anise is the author of There Are Seven Houses on My Street: A Child’s View on Religions, you should totally check it out.

There is something quite magical about spending time with babies and toddlers.  They are curious, push boundaries, and rarely accept no for an answer.  Grown ups can learn a lot from young children.  Being curious, pushing boundaries, that is how new discoveries are found.

2017 Will Be a Good Year

Some folks couldn’t wait for 2016 to end.   (Insert complete glossing over of the U.S. Presidential election here.)  It seemed like every week an icon passed away.  I still find it difficult to discuss the passing of one of my heroes, Carrie Fisher.

This sense of loss that folks are feeling is the reason I choose to appreciate and enjoy every single day as a gift.

2017 New Year Resolutions

I didn’t make any resolutions this year.

I made a plan.

What about you?

Tell me about it in the comments.

Peggy Vincent | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Peggy Vincent is the founder of Comfy Cozy, Inc. in East Fallowfield, Pennsylvania.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
I create designs that are whimsical and inspirational which are printed on Pillowcases. In addition, I work with clients to create exclusive, custom designs for events, business, personal, teams, etc. My passion is taking an idea, theme or image and designing fun & functional products that serve as keepsakes or marketing materials.

How did you get started in your business?
My first Glow in the Dark pillowcases were created in 1989 as Christmas Gifts for my nieces and nephews. The idea came to me as a fun gift that they would use over and over again. From there, after requests to hand paint more pillowcases for friends and family members I decided the idea was worthy of developing and starting a business.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
There wasn’t just one “biggest hurdle”. Initially finding funding to start the business. Once we had gotten started, marketing was always the biggest obstacle to growing the business. Another was maintaining confidence in the product and myself.

How has this hurdle made you better?
Finding funding helped create a solid mission statement and objectives for starting the business. In addition to being fiscally responsible. Finding inexpensive and cost effective marketing options helped me step out of my comfort zone and try new techniques. Maintaining confidence still is somewhat of a hurdle, but facing it every day helps remind me of who i was when I decided to start a business and keep working.

Top books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means understanding and appreciating the value in people, words and actions. Being thankful for the big and mostly the little things that happen in my life, accepting that life isn’t always perfect but more often than not, what we think is important really isn’t at all.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
My family – immediate, extended, distant and deceased, for giving me life, love and a beautiful sense of belonging. My friends – those that truly know me, guide me and hold me up. My dog – for the undeniable sense that all that I am is all that he needs.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
An important aspect of starting a business that I had never considered was the possibility of ending or changing a business. I’ve learned that facing that question BEFORE I reached that point would have been a very wise thing to have done. Setting some goals and guidelines beforehand allows you to make a decision with some clarity and maybe, a little less emotion. Allowing yourself to change your product, your customer base, your overall business isn’t a sign of failure but a sign of growth. That’s difficult to do when you’re standing mid stream and don’t know if you should turn back to what you know or push to the other side to follow a new path.

Follow Peggy Vincent

Peggy Vincent | Comfy Cozy inc.

Peggy Vincent | Comfy Cozy inc.

Matthew McConaughey Got It Right | How to Get More Testimonials and Happy Clients

If you are a long time follower of this blog, you know that my husband and I own a custom furniture business called ShaKa Studios.

We launched our website in 1998 and sell high-end niche furniture.

We do NOT have a SHOWROOM. NOR can our clients EVEN SEE the furniture before they buy!

You are probably asking yourself how that is possible.

The answer is simple. I ask for testimonials.

A Simple Way to Get More Testimonials

I use SendOutCards to send every client a thank you card and in it I simply write, “we’d love to see a photo of your new furniture in your home.”  I attach sea salt caramels and click send.  About 40% of our clients will email or text photos to us after they receive their card and caramels.

sea-salt-caramels

Sea Salt Caramels from SendOutCards

At this point you are probably wondering what Matthew McConaughey has to do with customer testimonials?  I’ll get to that in a minute.

This past summer,  I received a series of photos of a white cannonball bed in a home on Long Island, Bahamas with a note that simply said:

“And thank you for the awesome caramels…they’re gone now!!!!”

Here is one of the bed photos:

1830 Cannonball Bed by ShaKa Studios

1830 Cannonball Bed by ShaKa Studios

The caramels cost about $10 with shipping and now I have gorgeous photos of one of our handmade beds in a beach house on Long Island Bahamas. I can use these photos on our website, blog, and print advertisement. I’d say my return on investment is AWESOME!

The Magic is in the Cookies

I send a thank you card and gift using SendOutCards to each of our Shaka Studios clients. I do it because we truly appreciate our clients and want them to know so.

2 Dozen Cookies from SendOutCards

2 Dozen Cookies from SendOutCards

Received a note the other morning from a world-renowned interior design firm in Boston.  They ordered two custom red cannonball beds, so I sent them 2 dozen cookies:

Hi Shane and Kandas,

Thank you so much for the cookies and the sweet thank you card. It was a very nice surprise this morning. Hope you had a wonderful 4th and your summer is magical.
Thanks again,
Sarah and the W&S team

Sea Salt Caramel Tweet

Not only did Jamie Deaton leave a rave review about her custom bed, she also tweeted about her card and gift:

Speaking of Etsy

Here is an Etsy message from Mark, who ordered a custom TV console.  Notice his PS.

mark-90-inch-girtz-etsy-conv

Brownie Points

SendOutCards works for all sorts of businesses. I showed Bryan, a member of my Tuesday networking group, how to send cards and gifts to his insurance clients. He posted this to my Facebook wall:

bryan-testimonial

Gratitude Reciprocates

I promised I’d get to it…  In his Oscar acceptance speech, Matthew McConaughey said it best:

"It's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates." - Matthew McConaughey

“It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” – Matthew McConaughey

Appreciate your customers and they will appreciate you back with more testimonials, repeat business and referrals.

Rhonda Dallas | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Rhonda Dallas is the founder of R2EWD:  Reaching To Empower Women Daily, in Houston, Texas.

Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
R2EWD is a non-profit organization whose mission is to mentor women who are facing everyday challenges through coaching, and consulting. I also mentor children in combating obesity. I coach, teach, and train people to turn their dreams into reality

How did you get started in your business?
I started by building partnerships within my community and seeing there was a need for small women business owners to brand and grow themselves and or their business so I started hosting coaching classes.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Myself and not being fearful but being faithful.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I am a stronger and more confident woman.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Being Thankful to God for where I am and how far He has brought me. Having a healthy family, friends, and ministry.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
My mom for life and support, my husband for unwavering love and support, my children for their love and support and my friends who tell me the truth.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
I am a certified Life Coach, A certified nutritional counselor.

Follow Rhonda Dallas

  • Website:  rhondadallascoaching.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/dallasjrus
Rhonda Dallas

Rhonda Dallas

 

Sales Trainer Tom Hopkins Explains Why He Sends Thanksgiving Cards

Tom Hopkins is a world-renowned sales trainer. He built his real estate business by sending 6 hand written greeting cards per year to his clients, and potential clients.  By doing so, he became the top producing real estate agent in the state of California.

Today, Mr. Hopkins uses SendOutCards to automate his greeting card system with the same personal touch as a handwritten card.

The Power of a Thanksgiving Card

In the following video, Tom Hopkins explains why he sends Thanksgiving cards instead of Christmas cards:

 

In case you don’t want to watch the video the short answer is:  Everyone else is sending Christmas cards.

Here is the simple message he included in his cards:

“During the season of Thanksgiving, let me thank you for being a valued client.  I look forward to serving you for many years.”

Simple message. Powerful results.

Those who keep in touch will never have to prospect. - Tom Hopkins Click To Tweet
Click to Send Thanksgiving Cards

Click to Send Thanksgiving Cards

Sir Ian McKellen Reads Bruno Mars

Todays’ moment of gratitude is for Sir Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian McKellen is best known for his role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. You might also recognize him as Magneto in the X-Men movies.

If I am being perfectly honest, my favorite McKellen role is Freddie in the BBC Sitcom Vicious.

Regardless of whether he is performing as a meddling wizard, evil supervillain with mutant powers, or washed up aging gay actor, Sir Ian McKellen never disappoints.

Sir Ian McKellen Reads Bruno Mars & Taylor Swift

Here is a little sunshine to make you smile this beautiful Sunday morning, Sir Ian McKellan reciting the lyrics from Taylor Swifts’ Bad Blood and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk.

Don’t believe me? Just watch:

Can’t view the video? Try this link.

Namaste

Namaste

Today’s moment of gratitude is for Lisa, my first yoga instructor.

Lisa explained that namaste, in sanskrit, means “the divinity in me salutes the divinity in you.”

Yoga and meditation have now gone mainstream in the western hemisphere.  True to form, Westerners have urbanized the greeting, and now it has many meanings and translations.

Yoga and meditation practitioners choose the definition that is most comfortable within their own belief system.

Choose the meaning that best reflects your intention and celebrate one another.

Thank you to Be the Breath for the awesome graphic!

Thank you to Be the Breath for the awesome graphic!

Your Turn to Type

  • What does namaste mean to you?
  • How do you celebrate the people in your life?
  • What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Namaste!