Another bright light extinguished

16 05 2012

I am so sorry to hear the news that Logan Square Kitchen (a shared use commercial kitchen facility here in Chicago) will be closing it’s doors June 28th. It’s a disgrace for our city to extinguish the bright, creative energy and talent that flows through this kitchen every week. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have carried this economy the last few years and we should be supporting more incubators like this, not shutting them down.





Practice what I preach.

29 03 2012

I had a meeting with a potential new client the other day.  I am always thrilled and delighted when my marketing dollars are working for me, which in this case is basically some very solid organic SEO built into my website which brings new inquiries regularly.

With this particular restaurant owner, we had engaged in a prior phone conversation in which we addressed some of the basics and I answered his questions on why I felt my company was best suited to help them grow their business and what set us apart as consultants.  I mentioned the usual characteristics … passion for the industry, experience, approachability and resources in the most self-deprecating manner I could. Then when we met in person, they asked again and commented on how I was the only one of several consultants they had reached out to, who actually responded to them and took the time to answer questions and establish a rapport, they wondered why?

My initial response was that I try very hard to practice what I preach.  I can’t tell my clients they need to jump all over their leads in the most timely fashion and then not do the same.  But, it got me thinking about the rest of the advice and guidance I dispense on a regular basis and I must admit, I need to follow more of my own advice!

I can’t believe this is my first blog entry in a while and I am woefully behind in my email marketing campaigns.  However, another message I always share with clients is that we cannot change the past we can only do for today and the days ahead.  So … today I am updating my facebook page, trying to befriend the new timeline and various apps, writing a blog post and creating my next email campaign, which now by the way will drive more business to my facebook page. Clearly, I need to take my own advice and practice more of what I preach … are there enough hours in the day …  will you do the same?

 





A New Year

1 01 2012

I look forward to 2012 in every possible way.  I am encouraged by the uptick in small business activity and thrilled for my clients that the giant slumber of the last three years has awakened new energy, new passion and new spending.  It’s a circle of awakening and a circle of spending.  We have all dug in deep these last few years, sifting through what works and what doesn’t.  We’ve looked at our businesses with conservation and conservatism at the forefront.

New year …  new eyes … new opportunities … but with the wisdom of the recent past as we look in the rear view mirror.  This wisdom will bring good things.  Informed choices, smarter spending and better earnings.  Bring it.





Spring Surge

26 03 2011

My brain hurts.  It happens every year at the first whiff of spring.  I start thinking about all the marketing ideas I had at the start of the new year and all the best laid plans which for one reason or another … I have yet to put into place.

Where does the time go?  I know the inordinate amount of time I devote to answering and instigating emails for all sorts of reasons definitely impacts the hours spent in any one day.  Time with clients, reading and staying current on trends and opportunities within the industry takes up another huge chunk of the day.  Executing all of the tasks I have undertaken on behalf of my clients is a huge and satisfying part of each and every day.  Educating myself via webinars, the internet, networking events and the like pretty much wraps up the rest of my waking hours, and then at night while I should be sleeping, my “board of directors” takes up residence in my head where there is never a “short” meeting.

So how shall I wrestle with this stranglehold of information and activity? 

I will have what I like to refer to as a “spring surge”.  While others may be vacationing or taking some time off,  I am devoting this weekend and next week to finishing all the projects I began at the turn of the new year.  I am going to finally update and optimize my website, create an email marketing campaign for my own company, and make sure my facebook posts, linkedin page and tweets are all as informative and engaging as they should be.

By the end of next week I’ll be ready for a vacation.  Margaritaville anyone?





Gratitude in Consulting

3 02 2011

As I watched the world from my windows today, I was reminded of a time when I was not so centered, not so calm.  I watched and waited as 20″ of fresh show fell on Chicago between yesterday and today and now it’s over.  Leaving in it’s wake mountains of snow and a wind chill of 25 degrees below zero tonight.  Mother Nature has indeed spoken and I ponder her message.

I think she is telling me to slow it down and be grateful for who I am, and where I am in the world.  I remember my 24 years as a catering business owner and I am beyond grateful that I no longer have to be responsible for a team of professionals getting everything, everywhere is was supposed to be … come rain or shine or “thundersnow”.  I was grateful to sleep last night knowing I didn’t have to worry about a power outtage at the kitchen which could have blown out the compressors on the walk-ins, leading to the spoilage of all of our prep food for a weekend’s worth of events … or shoveling out the vans or staff who wouldn’t be able to make it in to work … how would it all get done?  The worry, the planning, the back-up plans … oh my.

Breathe.  It feels good.  I am so grateful to be working on my own, helping others through many of the same things I have experienced myself.  This time I am better educated and more prepared through my life’s experience … the good, the bad and the ugly.  I’m strong, I’m ready … bring it!