Archive for the ‘Why I Love What I Do’ Category

Every day I log into my phone station, I recite the mantra, “Locked and Loaded.”  It makes my coworkers laugh.

A writer’s world consists of what the writer must do to create the world they want you to experience.  Sometimes this includes holding down day-jobs so we can gather fodder to mesmerize your mind.  This can go very well or very tediously.  What I’m getting at is, these masterpieces have to come from somewhere.

Lauren Mack, Blogger / Writer

Lauren Mack, Blogger / Writer

What is it that I do when I’m not writing?  I’m in a cubicle, working customer service.  I am just a voice on the other end of your magazine subscription.  Sometimes you are overjoyed with the discount I just gave you.  Other times you are angry I cannot answer the question you should be directing to your post office.  Most times I am just as happy or as mad as you have been towards me.  We experience a roller coaster ride of emotion, together, in a phone call that typically lasts three minutes and fifteen seconds, but I will do my best to get you out of there by two, sharp.  I am ready for the most complicated, irate, impatient, overly happy, polite, begging individuals I didn’t even realize could exist.

The best moments come when I have to explain the unwarranted subscription was included in your eHarmony membership and you suddenly hang up.  Even better is when I have to explain this to a spouse. “I don’t know why he would sign up for eHarmony, ma’am.”  A personal favorite is the man who asked me, “What is the Internet?“  Then I sometimes have to endure the cancellations due to death. The true test for me was being able to take the next call right after the man who explained he lost his leg due to illness and couldn’t afford the magazine and his medical bills. It’s true, what they say about everyone having a story.

You may be asking yourself what all this could do for my writing abilities.  If I’ve learned anything, it’s how to accurately elicit a desired reaction.  I have gained an understanding of even something as small as a monthly publication making a difference in someone’s life.  As a writer, I can only hope I would make a difference in someone’s lifetime…

Why do I love what I do? No matter what I have to do during the day, writing enables me to take any isolated moment and turn it into something we can all share. My goal as a writer is to pull together a story where everyone can find a common chord in my perspective.  If I can do that, then I can share life with all of you…

Lauren Mack's Blog | Lauren Mack on Twitter

My balcony doors are open and the warm tropical breeze is making the curtains flutter as the waves of the Caribbean sea crash against the sandy beach in a soothing pattern just 50 yards away.

Ramon Peralta, Conceptualizing
Ramon Peralta, Conceptualizing

I’m in my Ponce, Puerto Rico office, my ocean front hotel room actually, in between rounds of golf, putting the finishing touches on a coming soon splash page for a client’s new online travel website which launches today.  Before I head back for a lunch buffet and another 18 holes, I have to remember to reformat a PowerPoint template for a client who kept calling me during my first tee-time.  Its moment’s like this when I truly feel blessed and love what I do.

Now this isn’t a typical week…  My normal office environment is in the ‘burbs, the woods actually, of Huntington, CT, and instead of waves crashing, I’m usually wearing a fleece and eating oatmeal while working to the sounds of my French bulldog’s not-so-soothing snoring pattern.

This is a special week, it’s the 3rd year I join my client, a large Connecticut mega-church, on their annual Men’s Ministry golf trip.  It was on this very trip three years ago, that I met the Arch-Bishop, and shared with him some ideas on how best to reach the ‘young-people’ with text messaging, blogs, and social media.  He was impressed with my marketing insights and invited me up to meet with his Marketing and Communications Director, and I have been developing brand identities for many of the church’s various ministries, and most recently began working on a direct mail campaign to help expand the reach of his television broadcasts and increase ratings.

It takes a special kind of discipline to play golf all week, field calls on the course, and get the work done in the evening and early morning hours while the rest of the golfers are lounging about the resort and partaking in the local fare.  Having several clients on retainer requires me to manage my time wisely and ensure that all my deadlines are met.

While at the airport, I was developing logo concepts for an upcoming travel startup. On the airplane, I worked on some icon illustrations for a client in Chicago.  I have to admit though; startups are my true passion, and having spent 10 years as Jay Walker’s creative director has a lot to do with it.

I began working with Jay back in ’98 when we were working on a ‘name your price’ concept of selling excess inventory and unsold airplane seats called priceline.com. Having come from a direct marketing background, both Jay and I new that at the core of any business was direct-response. This concept was a win-win for both the airlines and the consumer – we just had to convince them in the boardrooms as well as out in the marketplace. I learned quickly that the over-the-shoulder advertising the consumer was going to see and hear in print, tv and radio was just as important as the charts, graphs, sales decks, and marketing material the executives were going to see in the boardroom. Holy Sh*% Batman was always the desired response.

For 10 years, I worked directly with Jay, and led a team of ‘Creative’s in bringing select patents out of his extensive portfolio to life.  We became experts at ‘stand-alone vaporware’.

Ramon Peralta
Ramon Peralta

I became an expert at making a company, product or business solution look not only like it was real, but like it had a strong positioning in the marketplace.  It was through effective marketing collateral, strong logo design and well thought-out, convincing presentation materials that we were able get investors to sign checks.

Mr. Walker’s salesmanship had something to do with it as well.  My biggest accomplishment post-priceline-era, was rolling out the creative materials across nine casino properties in Las Vegas for a product called “Guaranteed Play” — which was a new way to buy video poker action.  I was responsible for all things graphic from the website to slot machine toppers, t-shirt designs, indoor/outdoor signage, game graphics and direct mail marketing materials.

These days, I offer my design and marketing skills to a wide variety of clients. I tend to attract and prefer clients of an entrepreneurial nature: Startups and new businesses particularly as they always offer the potential for revenue share or equity.

If I could cash in all the equity I’ve received over the years, I’d be on a permanent golf trip, but alas, the nature of the startup world is high-risk/high reward.  And that’s part of what attracts me the most.  The potential for a large windfall is probably what gives me the initial rush, but I also have a knack for ‘drinking the kool-aid’.

I genuinely love hearing about a person’s new idea for a business, and getting them more excited about it than they were before we met.  I love seeing the ‘big picture’ in my head, and then heading back to my studio to sketch out a layout for a website, or begin sketching out logo concepts.

Getting the client’s approval on a final logo is always the culmination of many conference calls about serif or sans serif fonts and about the psychology of colors.  You ever see anyone rush into a conference room to talk about numbers or budgets?  No, of course not.  But when the topic of conversation is the new company logo, everyone has an opinion.  That’s because it’s the fun stuff.  And who doesn’t like fun?

What makes me happy, however is the freedom to create my own schedule, and to work on a wide variety of clients with a wide variety of people.  Currently my clients include a music/lifestyle web portal, a kid’s idea incubator, a legal publisher, a travel start-up, a collegiate athletic conference, a science foundation, a foster care service provider, a mega-church and a software company.  I also provide ‘ghost’ design services for many local boutique agencies.  Much more satisfying than sitting in a cubicle churning out the same subject matter day in and day out, but I don’t knock it. To each his own.  Being an entrepreneur of any kind is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of faith to keep pushing forward believing that the work will continue to come pouring in.

Peralta_FanPageThe other great satisfaction I get from running my own design firm is that I get to form impromptu teams of “super-friends” when the projects call for it.  For example, if it’s a startup in need of corporate identity, or a software company in need of some icons, or an iPhone application or software developer in need of illustrations, I can handle the job single-handedly.

There are many occasions however, where I need to pull in a few extra navy seals to do the job.  For instance, I have a client that wants us to build a 10-12 page microsite to see if he can generate any income with AdSense and Google AdWords and affiliate marketing/lead generation.  For this project, I pulled in a copywriter/marketing specialist and a web developer.  I will handle the user interface design, but I had to form a team of ninjas to pull the job off.  I love having the flexibility and resources to pull a team together, and then disband it until the next opportunity to ‘fight crime’ arises.  It keeps my overhead low, and chances are good that one of those ‘ninjas’ will pull me into a job when they come across one that requires senior level creative design.  In effect I always have extra sets of eyes and ears out in the field looking for the next design or business project.

Relationship building is huge for any business, whether you are self-employed like myself, or work for a huge corporation.  How you treat people plays a critical role in the longevity of your business.  Skills and talent are crucial, but can you put your own reputation on the line for someone that you have pulled in as an additional resource?

When you create this virtual team of business partners, will the chemistry come across in a positive way to your client?  Will your client feel confident that you can pull off that next design challenge or business project?  Synergy is often hard to come by, but I believe in the laws of attraction.  I make a conscious effort to maintain a positive attitude no matter what.  In doing so, I believe I attract other positive minded people by gravitating towards them.  At the core of any good business is the sincere desire use your God-given talents and abilities to help others.  If you can make a good living while doing so, and get some golf in somewhere in the Caribbean, then consider yourself blessed.

____________________________
on the web: www.PeraltADesign.com
on facebook: Peralta-Design
on twitter: @Peralta_Design

Jonathan Stanley | PC Specialists - Palm Coast, Ocala, St. Augustine

Jonathan Stanley | PC Specialists - Palm Coast, Ocala, St. Augustine

by Jonathan Stanley – PC Specialists

I love fixing computers, it’s my passion.  But I’m not a geek.  Okay, I guess that depends on your definition: Yes, I love technology and seem to think on the same level as the machines.  But I believe most people think of a “geek” as the college age “kid” with a pocket protector and thick framed glasses standing at the counter in a retail electronics store. Maybe that’s the way it’s been for the last 5 years, but my story starts a while before that…

I co-founded PC Specialists, a computer service business, all the way back in 1990 in Ocala.  In computer years that’s a long time ago!  I have personally been servicing computers on a daily basis since then.  Back then most computers ran DOS, a text based system usually without icons or even a mouse.  I provided custom programming services to many area businesses.  At that time, there were no retail stores with shelves lined with hundreds of different computer programs.  Instead, I would go to a business, consult regarding their needs, and develop custom applications.  That’s how it all started, but things sure have changed!

Over the past 20 years I have lived through the changes in the world of computers day by day, watching the speeds and capacities multiply exponentially, servicing all the different versions of Microsoft Windows, being there when the Internet exploded onto the scene and changed the world.  Looking back, it seems like it all happened so fast, but for me it has been a gradual progression and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.  In 2005 I moved with my family to Palm Coast and have been providing daily computer repair and service throughout Flagler county.

My work is rewarding because I can take the technological experience I have gained and use it to solve problems for people.  I have been told so many times when I arrive: “We are about to throw this computer out the window!”

I totally understand that kind of frustration, we all rely on computers so much now.  It’s like when you think about cell phones and wonder how you ever got along without one.  A short time later the computer is working properly again, much to the amazement of it’s owners.  In many ways I am like a doctor.  While the sick patient is actually the computer, it is unable to express that it is happy to be working again.  But the smiles and thanks of it’s human owners sure do let me know.  And while I love computers and technology, helping other people to be happy is the real reward.

Jonathan on twitter: @PC_Specialists | On the Web: PCRepair911.com

Note from Business Life Stories: Jonathan has a very cool ad in the form of a comic strip, and we had to insert it here…

PC Specialists Comic Strip

PC Specialists Comic Strip

A guest post by Chanty Lang-Vermaas (aka @Chantified on twitter)

Motivational Keynote Speaker, Mindset Coach, Team Builder, Performance Leadership, Workshop Facilitator, Counselor

From an early age I was asked to lead, to contribute in some way to others. I always wondered why, and as the years passed and I gained more self confidence I found the courage to ask. I was always told ‘because you can; because people will listen to you’.

I wasn’t really aware that I could actually affect profound change until, freshly separated and needing to feed my two children, I was asked to lead a failing sales team, to which I would later be head-hunted in two countries because that sales team excelled at what I had taught them. That was the beginning of a career in motivational speaking and training on “Mindset Awareness” for me.

It is best to describe why I love what I do by first stating what I believe and know for sure in the journey I have undertaken to understand and deliver excellence.  Firstly: Success is never about you; it’s about what you do to empower others. Secondly: Leadership doesn’t just happen; it’s a deliberate act of will.

Chanty Lang-Vermaas

Chanty Lang-Vermaas

Any success achieved in life starts out with a ‘can do’ mindset, therefore the fear is a betrayal of that. And so, that’s where I start.

You can’t play the whole game at once; you play it one step at a time.

I absolutely know these two things about business:

1) You won’t know if you are qualified to do something until you’re doing what it is you wish to qualify in and,

2) there are two kinds of players in life, those who strive to play their game with skill, focus, control, desire and strive for excellence with the nerve and audacity to win; and those who do not. I work and play with those who do.

I learned long ago that if you wish to win, you must first start by knowing the rules of the game and then go out and play it.  Playing it safe doesn’t always deliver the best possible game plan; you must be prepared to take some risks to win.  Sitting back doesn’t get you in the game, playing does!  This is where I come in.

I am paid to push, prod and produce results, to develop changes within the company and to encourage and deepen the ‘step up mentality’.  I get the job done and so do those I work with.  I truly believe you can achieve your goals well before you arrive at the envisaged destination.  With a ‘can do‘ mindset anything is possible in life.

Business is like a game of golf; you need to know the rules of the game before you can play well.  You need a team who are on the same green, knowing all the rules and focused, armed with a great tee off and direction to deliver their best shot.  This is foremost on my mind when working with clients.  I am both the coach and the caddy, allowing them to play the game to their ultimate ability, supporting their vision, looking for the best moves and getting them all aiming in the right direction.

Business is like a game of golf; you need to know the rules of the game before you can play well. ~ Chanty Lang-Vermaas

I enjoy working with professionals whose aim is usually further then their reach; these are the hungry ones, the forward thinkers and players.  I love leaving my clients with motivated executives/teams with a more profoundly aware mindset in their tool bag.  Watching others step up to their potential is what keeps me excited and still stepping up in my own game.  When I’m bringing out the best in others I know I’m really bringing out the best in me too.

Just like golf, to succeed you must be flexible, do what it takes to change and get the results you want.  I play with my right hand and putt with my left.  I found it hard to putt with my right so I changed hands.  Business is like that; sometimes you must adjust to unorthodox methods to get your best shot played.  I observe my clients, how they approach their game, their mindset, how they focus, their skills, and, their motivation; from there I can see what their potential is and how to assist them in obtaining excellence.  When you step up, others will step up too.

There’s a defining moment in everyone’s life when fear takes a step backwards and self-belief steps forward. This is called courage, and it arrives when you hear yourself say I’m unsure; but you step up anyway. Those moments empower us all. I am privileged enough to induce and witness courage daily.

Chanty Lang-Vermaas: "Chantified"

Chanty Lang-Vermaas: "Chantified"

I will bend, coheres, unleash, confront and encourage companies, teams and individuals to lead, embrace and achieve their greatest version of themselves.  Whilst everyone is fearful of the unknown and change, everyone is equally empowered by the known and embraced.  When I see that light go on in the eyes of my clients knowing they ‘get it’, it engulfs me with great satisfaction.  I know things will never be the same for them.  They have awakened the master within.

Winning is also about loosing. Loosing shifts your focus and allows you to let go of what holds you back or no longer serves you or your business.  Knowing when to let go allows you the right to claim future successes.  If something no longer serves you, it will no longer nourish, enrich or create growth, therefore why cling to it?  I assist companies in knowing its ok to change and create fresher newer opportunities and to widen their field.  You don’t necessarily need to stay with the tried and true to succeed; in fact it can be a hindrance.

My company, Business-Spirit does not use nor endorse the generic program mentality. I know that “one size DOES NOT fit all!”   None of my clients’ problems are off the shelf, so why expect the solutions to be!  All my clients are individually accessed for their unique requirements to enable, enrich and empower positive change and progress.  My business focus is on the client’s direction and is the main emphasis in individualizing every program.  I have made sure these programs are built around structures best suited to encourage optimum outcomes; and are best ‘tailor made‘ to the uniqueness of the individuals and are therefore NOToff the shelf‘ products.

My training program Finite Visioning Strategic Management Program (or Finite Visioning for short), was the flagship program I created for my first sales team over 30 yrs ago now and the one that had them producing those earlier excellent results.  I still use that format today, the only difference being the needs of my clients.  This 4-day program incorporates presentation skills, listening techniques, sales mentality and leadership awareness, each person leaving with the skills needed to communicate clearly, concisely and with a lot of fun to get deals done.

My business has led me in helping companies and individuals worldwide to reach their highest potential, thus boosting performance leadership and inspiring team spirit. I enjoy applying my ability to intuitively know what lies within others and to draw it out. I call it casting shadows into light.

My clients tell me I leave them Chantified with ‘hot teams‘ who are more motivated and focused and hungry to play at the top of their game.  That’s a nice compliment, however, it helps to have great clients to begin with to produce those results.

It is said that to win you only need to show up.  That may be true if you only wish to be a spectator.  However to win; you must play.

And play I do….. and that is why I love what I do.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Chanty's Website: Business‐Spirit.com.au | Blog: Chantified.com | on Twitter: @Chantified

A guest post by Chanty Lang-Vermaas (aka @Chantified on twitter)

Motivational Keynote Speaker, Mindset Coach, Team Builder, Performance Leadership, Workshop Facilitator, Counselor

From an early age I was asked to lead, to contribute in some way to others. I always wondered why, and as the years passed and I gained more self confidence I found the courage to ask. I was always told ‘because you can; because people will listen to you’.

I wasn’t really aware that I could actually affect profound change until, freshly separated and needing to feed my two children, I was asked to lead a failing sales team, to which I would later be head-hunted in two countries because that sales team excelled at what I had taught them. That was the beginning of a career in motivational speaking and training on “Mindset Awareness” for me.

It is best to describe why I love what I do by first stating what I believe and know for sure in the journey I have undertaken to understand and deliver excellence.  Firstly: Success is never about you; it’s about what you do to empower others. Secondly: Leadership doesn’t just happen; it’s a deliberate act of will.

Chanty Lang-Vermaas

Chanty Lang-Vermaas

Any success achieved in life starts out with a ‘can do’ mindset, therefore the fear is a betrayal of that. And so, that’s where I start.

You can’t play the whole game at once; you play it one step at a time.

I absolutely know these two things about business:

1) You won’t know if you are qualified to do something until you’re doing what it is you wish to qualify in and,

2) there are two kinds of players in life, those who strive to play their game with skill, focus, control, desire and strive for excellence with the nerve and audacity to win; and those who do not. I work and play with those who do.

I learned long ago that if you wish to win, you must first start by knowing the rules of the game and then go out and play it.  Playing it safe doesn’t always deliver the best possible game plan; you must be prepared to take some risks to win.  Sitting back doesn’t get you in the game, playing does!  This is where I come in.

I am paid to push, prod and produce results, to develop changes within the company and to encourage and deepen the ‘step up mentality’.  I get the job done and so do those I work with.  I truly believe you can achieve your goals well before you arrive at the envisaged destination.  With a ‘can do‘ mindset anything is possible in life.

Business is like a game of golf; you need to know the rules of the game before you can play well.  You need a team who are on the same green, knowing all the rules and focused, armed with a great tee off and direction to deliver their best shot.  This is foremost on my mind when working with clients.  I am both the coach and the caddy, allowing them to play the game to their ultimate ability, supporting their vision, looking for the best moves and getting them all aiming in the right direction.

Business is like a game of golf; you need to know the rules of the game before you can play well. ~ Chanty Lang-Vermaas

I enjoy working with professionals whose aim is usually further then their reach; these are the hungry ones, the forward thinkers and players.  I love leaving my clients with motivated executives/teams with a more profoundly aware mindset in their tool bag.  Watching others step up to their potential is what keeps me excited and still stepping up in my own game.  When I’m bringing out the best in others I know I’m really bringing out the best in me too.

Just like golf, to succeed you must be flexible, do what it takes to change and get the results you want.  I play with my right hand and putt with my left.  I found it hard to putt with my right so I changed hands.  Business is like that; sometimes you must adjust to unorthodox methods to get your best shot played.  I observe my clients, how they approach their game, their mindset, how they focus, their skills, and, their motivation; from there I can see what their potential is and how to assist them in obtaining excellence.  When you step up, others will step up too.

There’s a defining moment in everyone’s life when fear takes a step backwards and self-belief steps forward. This is called courage, and it arrives when you hear yourself say I’m unsure; but you step up anyway. Those moments empower us all. I am privileged enough to induce and witness courage daily.

Chanty Lang-Vermaas: "Chantified"

Chanty Lang-Vermaas: "Chantified"

I will bend, coheres, unleash, confront and encourage companies, teams and individuals to lead, embrace and achieve their greatest version of themselves.  Whilst everyone is fearful of the unknown and change, everyone is equally empowered by the known and embraced.  When I see that light go on in the eyes of my clients knowing they ‘get it’, it engulfs me with great satisfaction.  I know things will never be the same for them.  They have awakened the master within.

Winning is also about loosing. Loosing shifts your focus and allows you to let go of what holds you back or no longer serves you or your business.  Knowing when to let go allows you the right to claim future successes.  If something no longer serves you, it will no longer nourish, enrich or create growth, therefore why cling to it?  I assist companies in knowing its ok to change and create fresher newer opportunities and to widen their field.  You don’t necessarily need to stay with the tried and true to succeed; in fact it can be a hindrance.

My company, Business-Spirit does not use nor endorse the generic program mentality. I know that “one size DOES NOT fit all!”   None of my clients’ problems are off the shelf, so why expect the solutions to be!  All my clients are individually accessed for their unique requirements to enable, enrich and empower positive change and progress.  My business focus is on the client’s direction and is the main emphasis in individualizing every program.  I have made sure these programs are built around structures best suited to encourage optimum outcomes; and are best ‘tailor made‘ to the uniqueness of the individuals and are therefore NOToff the shelf‘ products.

My training program Finite Visioning Strategic Management Program (or Finite Visioning for short), was the flagship program I created for my first sales team over 30 yrs ago now and the one that had them producing those earlier excellent results.  I still use that format today, the only difference being the needs of my clients.  This 4-day program incorporates presentation skills, listening techniques, sales mentality and leadership awareness, each person leaving with the skills needed to communicate clearly, concisely and with a lot of fun to get deals done.

My business has led me in helping companies and individuals worldwide to reach their highest potential, thus boosting performance leadership and inspiring team spirit. I enjoy applying my ability to intuitively know what lies within others and to draw it out. I call it casting shadows into light.

My clients tell me I leave them Chantified with ‘hot teams‘ who are more motivated and focused and hungry to play at the top of their game.  That’s a nice compliment, however, it helps to have great clients to begin with to produce those results.

It is said that to win you only need to show up.  That may be true if you only wish to be a spectator.  However to win; you must play.

And play I do….. and that is why I love what I do.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Chanty's Website: Business‐Spirit.com.au | Blog: Chantified.com | on Twitter: @Chantified

a guest blog post by Connie Rice, Daytona Food Examiner

I have held one job or another since I turned fifteen and got my eager hands on a work permit.  Since then every position I have had, every boss I have worked for, every task I have undertaken, every company I have represented – ultimately they have helped me grow and led me to where I am today.  In true 21st century fashion, I am a netizen wearing many hats on any given day.

I am the internet marketing arm of an established web design firm (www.creativepages.net) as well as a writer of fiction, visual artist, mother, and my most recent venture:  writing for Examiner.com as the designated Daytona Food Examiner.  My position as Daytona Food Examiner is a new adventure in creativity and marketing that I have found to be extremely interesting and rewarding.

Why do I love writing for Examiner.com?  I post articles according to my topic while incorporating a local slant.  We are paid according to page views, based on a formula which takes into account subscriptions and session length.  It is an outlet for some of my established pleasures (writing, cooking) as well as a way to educate myself in my current career (social media, search engine optimization).

Connie Rice

Connie Rice

On top of this I am able to incorporate my latest artistic pursuit: macro photography.  My previous affinity for painting has given way to a fascination with taking pictures of objects as close up and magnified as possible – and what other subject matter has the intricacy and mystery of food.  I believe that the unification of so many of my skills, interests, and strengths into one job is why I like Examiner.com.

Other reasons I enjoy working as an Examiner:  as a writer for the Food and Drink Channel,  I am given very little restrictions and no micromanagement.  This is heaven for an indepedent self-starter.  That being said, if help is needed it is not difficult to obtain.  There is a sense of community with the other writers and I have made at least one friend that I think will be with me for the long term.

As a whole I feel I am part of a fresh, dynamic, evolving segment of the Internet that promises to teach me more and take me into who knows what direction in the future.  It is reminiscient of having been swept up into the wild days of the dot com boom.   I like the feeling of embracing the unknown and of being part of what’s next.

I would like thank the Office Divvy Team for being so gracious as to let me pen a guest post for Business Life Stories.  I would also like to thank them for tweeting one of my favorite articles,  Top 10 Reasons Why Bacon is the New Black, on their phenomenally successful Twitter feed.

Connie Rice can be found on Twitter as @DaytonaFood
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A Guest Post by Joan Koerber-Walker, Founder of CorePurpose, Inc.

Joan-Koerber-Walker -- Founder, CorePurpose, Inc.

Joan-Koerber-Walker -- Founder, CorePurpose, Inc.

When my friends at Office Divvy offered me the opportunity to share ideas here on the Business Life Stories Blog, I thought “How great!”  When I actually sat down to write it, I learned that sharing why you do what you do is not as easy as it sounds.

You see, I get to do a lot of different things across a wide spectrum of activities.  The more involved and engaged I am, the happier I am.  And since I like to be happy – I have many projects all running at once.  You can see some on the things I am or have been involved in on my Google and LinkedIn Profiles.

At that root of it all, the best way I can describe myself is as an innovator.  Everything I do is tied to my own personal definition of innovation which is:

Innovation is doing something in a new way to make life better for the PEOPLE who matter.” – Joan Koerber-Walker

At Home, the people who matter to me are my family.  Making life better means listening to them, being interested and involved in what is important to them, and trying to make our lives better by encouraging and supporting them in realizing their goals and dreams. Making their life better, makes my life better.

At Work, whether it is at CorePurpose, the company I founded in 2002,  at RiboMed Biotechnologies where I serve as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors, or at Callaman Ventures, where I serve as an Executive in Residence, my driving need to innovate helps me to look at both challenges and opportunities in a new way to find solutions that enable growth, create return on investment, and make life better for the people who matter in the business world – our employees, our partners, our customers, and our investors.

Some days you’ll find me at the computer, tweeting or writing articles and blog posts that share ideas on how we can make our business or personal lives better.  Other days, I climb in my car or board a plane and travel to a different place.  It may be to meet privately with the executive team of a client or partner to explore solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing their company or it may be to take to the stage and share ideas with a larger audience.  But either way, I get to apply what I have learned along the journey – what worked and what didn’t – to new solutions that create new opportunities.

All Smiles - making a difference makes me smile - Celebrating with the OTEF team at the close of a successful AZEC09. (Left to Right:  Merlin Ward, JKW, Francine Hardaway, Steven Groves.  (Photo by Mark Goldstein)
All Smiles – making a difference makes me smile – Celebrating with the OTEF team at the close of a successful AZEC09. (Left to Right: Merlin Ward, Joan Koerber-Walker, Francine Hardaway, Steven Groves.    (Photo by Mark Goldstein)

In My Community, I love to do what I do. That means rolling up my sleeves and getting involved as a volunteer on many different projects.  It might be working on solutions for small business health care, garnering support for OTEF’s work in helping at-risk populations find economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship, spreading the word as an Ambassador for SCORE® on how small businesses can access expert resources that help them grow their businesses, or simply meeting with local business owners to exchange ideas or share contacts while I sip my Diet Coke. (I never did acquire a taste for coffee.)

All of these activities let me put my inner innovator to work PLUS the added benefit of getting to meet and work with really great people.  Who wouldn’t want to do that!

So – Why Do I Do What I Do? Probably the simplest answer is “Because I can – and I love to do it.”  But in whatever I do – be it at home, at work, or in my community – I hope I make life a little bit better than it was before.  After all – that’s what innovation is all about.

Thanks to Ky, Lisa and all of the Office Divvy Team for challenging me to answer the question – Why do you do what you do? – and for allowing me to share my musings with you.

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan's Blog is a recommended/featured blog by Business Life Stories.

A Guest Post by Joan Koerber-Walker, Founder of CorePurpose, Inc.

Joan-Koerber-Walker -- Founder, CorePurpose, Inc.

Joan-Koerber-Walker -- Founder, CorePurpose, Inc.

When my friends at Office Divvy offered me the opportunity to share ideas here on the Business Life Stories Blog, I thought “How great!”  When I actually sat down to write it, I learned that sharing why you do what you do is not as easy as it sounds.

You see, I get to do a lot of different things across a wide spectrum of activities.  The more involved and engaged I am, the happier I am.  And since I like to be happy – I have many projects all running at once.  You can see some on the things I am or have been involved in on my Google and LinkedIn Profiles.

At that root of it all, the best way I can describe myself is as an innovator.  Everything I do is tied to my own personal definition of innovation which is:

Innovation is doing something in a new way to make life better for the PEOPLE who matter.” – Joan Koerber-Walker

At Home, the people who matter to me are my family.  Making life better means listening to them, being interested and involved in what is important to them, and trying to make our lives better by encouraging and supporting them in realizing their goals and dreams. Making their life better, makes my life better.

At Work, whether it is at CorePurpose, the company I founded in 2002,  at RiboMed Biotechnologies where I serve as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors, or at Callaman Ventures, where I serve as an Executive in Residence, my driving need to innovate helps me to look at both challenges and opportunities in a new way to find solutions that enable growth, create return on investment, and make life better for the people who matter in the business world – our employees, our partners, our customers, and our investors.

Some days you’ll find me at the computer, tweeting or writing articles and blog posts that share ideas on how we can make our business or personal lives better.  Other days, I climb in my car or board a plane and travel to a different place.  It may be to meet privately with the executive team of a client or partner to explore solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing their company or it may be to take to the stage and share ideas with a larger audience.  But either way, I get to apply what I have learned along the journey – what worked and what didn’t – to new solutions that create new opportunities.

All Smiles - making a difference makes me smile - Celebrating with the OTEF team at the close of a successful AZEC09. (Left to Right:  Merlin Ward, JKW, Francine Hardaway, Steven Groves.  (Photo by Mark Goldstein)
All Smiles – making a difference makes me smile – Celebrating with the OTEF team at the close of a successful AZEC09. (Left to Right: Merlin Ward, Joan Koerber-Walker, Francine Hardaway, Steven Groves.    (Photo by Mark Goldstein)

In My Community, I love to do what I do. That means rolling up my sleeves and getting involved as a volunteer on many different projects.  It might be working on solutions for small business health care, garnering support for OTEF’s work in helping at-risk populations find economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship, spreading the word as an Ambassador for SCORE® on how small businesses can access expert resources that help them grow their businesses, or simply meeting with local business owners to exchange ideas or share contacts while I sip my Diet Coke. (I never did acquire a taste for coffee.)

All of these activities let me put my inner innovator to work PLUS the added benefit of getting to meet and work with really great people.  Who wouldn’t want to do that!

So – Why Do I Do What I Do? Probably the simplest answer is “Because I can – and I love to do it.”  But in whatever I do – be it at home, at work, or in my community – I hope I make life a little bit better than it was before.  After all – that’s what innovation is all about.

Thanks to Ky, Lisa and all of the Office Divvy Team for challenging me to answer the question – Why do you do what you do? – and for allowing me to share my musings with you.

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan's Blog is a recommended/featured blog by Business Life Stories.

Melissa Cousley, Director of Vivid Scope Early Childhood Education in Palm Coast

A Guest Post by Melissa Cousley, Director of Vivid Scope Early Childhood Education in Palm Coast

I am a pre-kindergarten program director and I love what I do!..

Difficult scientific concepts such as buoyancy are taught through “float or sink” experiments at the water table.  Reading and writing is practiced as a child writes an order at the pizzeria in the dramatic play area.  From observing the decomposition of an orange on the playground to constructing symmetrical buildings in the block area, young children learn academic concepts through play.

However, teaching through play is a skillful art.  Teachers plan lessons disguised in play. In addition to planned activities, the teacher must have the ability to recognize an unplanned teachable moment and utilize it.  The children play and do not realize that they are learning!

At Vivid Scope Early Childhood Center in Palm Coast, FL, the classroom is designed for learning through play.  Teachers are professional early childhood educators and have a passion for what they do.

Melissa Cousley - Director of Vivid Scope Early Childhood Center in Palm Coast

Melissa Cousley - Director of Vivid Scope Early Childhood Center in Palm Coast, Florida

I enjoy easing the transition from preschool to “big school.”  Why?..  The transition from preschool to elementary school can be scary for a child (and many parents).  In fact, most 10th grade high school dropouts really dropped out in first grade.  Dropping out of high school is a process that begins in early childhood.  Young children are often thrusted into the school-aged environment without the right preparation from their pre-kindergarten program.

A quality pre-kindergarten program is the bridge to higher education.  When I am working with a child in what may seem to be a “play” activity, it is so much more than that.  This may be where it all begins for them; a love of science, art, literature and information.  It is profound to be with them in that moment of honest discovery.  I am a pre-kindergarten program director and I love what I do!

Melissa Cousley
Director – Vivid Scope

______________________________
on the web: www.VividScopeKids.com
on twitter: @VividScope
on facebook: Vivid Scope Early Childhood Center, Inc.

My life as a “business match-maker” started well before I formally understood the concepts of brokering, or networking.  I believe I started to understand core business ideas as early as my first paper route.  But I couldn’t put words to what I was learning at the time.

I am a Digital Media Professional.  In this role, I’ve lead or contributed to many teams in the production of numerous media projects, that have ranged from Rich Media Applications; Web Development; Video; Print; Database Integration; Content Management; Multi-Channel Marketing Programs; Scent Marketing, Immersive Spaces, and now Social Media. Within those projects are rich stories about the people, the technology, the creative, the conditions, the outcomes, and then of course, when all is said and done the ongoing relationships.

My partners (Sim Taing and Ky Ekinci) and I were all working from our home offices and traveling to clients, and our client’s client locations, when we thought there would be value to a co-working space, where we lived in Palm Coast (in North-East Florida).  Recognizing that this business idea may be wrong or right, we decided to forge on and start Office Divvy.  We found ourselves meeting business people that for a variety of reasons did not want to carry the overhead of a full-time office.  We started our venture out of the kinship we were feeling with entrepreneurs and business owners like us.  We gained from being with each other and appreciated the periodic reprieve from our independent focused tasks, which seemed to bring a fresh perspective with it.

As we would meet prospective Office Divvy Members, they would see us as peers and quite naturally tell us their Business Life Story.  There was a lot of common ground and many areas to relate on.  Ideas, referrals and other forms of valuable input were welcome.  Member stories would include how they started, what matters to them, and often times accidental paths and self discovery at the most unexpected times that lead them one way or another in business. But the most common thread was why people love what they do.

In my consulting life, in digital media, I’ve had terrific success matching people and businesses.  It has always been a strong suit and an area I take great pride in.  As people tell us about their businesses, we cannot help but organically match them to a prospective buyers, like professionals or potential partners. It is sometimes something seemingly simple, like an extra ticket to a luncheon; something completely new like a member considering markets outside of the US;  or perhaps the birth of an entirely new product, whatever it may be, we’ve earned the role of trusted partner and advisor.

An example of a basic routine goal within our organization:  Introduce 2 people in our network who may benefit from knowing each other.  As we grow and add new members to our Office Divvy Team, we’ve had to create goals that are shareable and easy for people to make their own.

I love what I do.  I’ve had the most unbelievable good fortune, family and friends, business and life experience.  Working with diverse clients from Fortune 500 companies to sole practitioners has given me a truly well rounded view that aids me every day.  Because I am learning about new people, places, products, and ideas constantly, it forces me to have to look at things differently. I love what I do because I am in the world drawing connections constantly. Social media and the wave of what’s coming, positions me to be able to leverage the collective and share it, making the possibilities of who can be connected, through what ideas, over what time period – endless.  Just Fantastic. What’s not to love?

follow Lisa on twitter: @LisaFLA | @OfficeDivvy
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Routinely introduce people in your network who may benefit from knowing each other

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