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Saying Good-Bye To A Customer Must Be Done Right

June 18, 2018

Inspiration and Monday Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners

As a cruise ship pulls away from a dock loaded with passengers setting off on a voyage, friends and family wave good-bye and cheer them on. When loved ones are departing from an airport, well wishes abound as family send them off on their journey. Even at funerals, a respectful adieu is bid by those who once knew the person who passed away. Ending any relationship with the proper words and demonstrations of good will are necessary for both parties in every situation in life.

In business, we must think about ending good – and even not so good – customer relationships with respect. A couple years ago after 19 years of giving my business to a private e-mail service, they decided they were getting out of the business, I was turned down for assistance in the last forty eight hours when a major issue appeared as I tried to create a new email for my existing business. I was very disappointed this 19 year old business relationship ended this way.

It produced some business wisdom and customer service thoughts to share with my readers:

* Remember a client is a client until the final moment a contract, service agreement or relationship ends. No matter how soon you might want to get out of a connection to a customer, you should respect the business and the agreement and offer assistance until the moment the contract expires.

* With emotions set aside, review the work and money you collected from the customer analyzing the positive influence the business relationship had on your company and bottom line. Don’t let emotions influence the business association you had by ending the relationship or work for the client too early. One wrong decision can negatively influence this customer’s testimonies to others.

* Not every business affiliation works out perfectly. Every entrepreneur faces criticism and harsh judgment over their career. Make sure to always walk away from any good or bad relationship with lessons learned and ways to improve or change future business bonds with other customers or vendors.

It’s important to make sure when you say “good bye” to a customer you treat them with the same enthusiastic fanfare as the crowds near the cruise ship wishing them safe passage into their future. It’s the best thing to do for not only them, but you too.


Glow From New Female Business Sessions and Lessons

June 14, 2018

Inspiration, wisdom and Thursday Thoughts for Women Entrepreneurs, Females and Women Facing Health Issues

I sat down this afternoon at my son’s favorite Thai restaurant where we gathered for a quick dinner when he was a Syracuse University student. Seeing his face over a bowl of coconut milk, tofu, peas and basil warmed my heart and his belly. Although we lived in the same town where he went to college, I made a pledge I would not intrude on his college life by dropping in for a visit. I think that was most important to him his freshman and sophomore year but as he “aged” and understood the boundaries were established and lived well we would have impromptu mother/son lunches.

Today was an average Thursday afternoon with a longing to see, my now New York City working son who traveled to Europe with me a couple weeks ago, so I ventured to a place with memories. Perhaps Anthony Bourdain’s example of loving what you eat also rested in my soul after watching some of his memorable travel food shows after he laid his soul to rest. It was comfort I was seeking over a warm bowl of Thai soup.

I was dressed in my bright pink Women TIES “Women Supporting Women” shirt, matching pink hat to hide my alopecia, and pink glasses along with pink nail polish and pink lipstick. I sound like a prima donna writing this description but it was my brand I was wearing with pride. An older waitress came up to me and said after taking my order, “You are glowing!” She mentioned how my colors coordinated and how blissful I seemed. I smiled at her gift of words and thought how ironic she said that because I wore all my pink to cover up my health condition and I was missing my son.

As I waited for my tea and meal, I revisited the two hour Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis session I had just come from with Women TIES member Val Cook in a beautiful office in a Whole Mental Wellness Center in the South of Syracuse. I had been to the building before but only in the upstairs level where my endocrinologist’s office was years ago trying to help treat the same issue. Coming from an uncle, cousins and son in the traditional medical fields, I always seek support in traditional medicine first but also allow myself to supplement with different holistic treatments.

Val’s office setting was so comforting and her beautiful soft peaceful voice calmed me as she introduced me to her background, work and our two hour session we would be doing together. As the leader of women entrepreneurs, it is hard to be vulnerable to a member when seeking treatment because of professional relationships; but I promised myself during my medical health journey with alopecia and autoimmune issues I would be open to all modalities. I followed Val’s voice and found myself two hours later feeling very rested, healed from past emotions and I suppose “glowing” from the discoveries. I’m not sure I have ever been called glowing before by a stranger but if words speak the truth, Val’s session produced that affect on me.

Today’s Thursday Thought is one of profound positive energy from my glowing spirit to yours. Sometimes we need to be open to different ways to heal, improve or support our logical, strong minded opinion and let others show us other ways to think, see or experience our lives. It takes trusting in people we meet and taking the first step to try the services they offer in whatever aspect of life or business we are struggling with. I personally believe women are the best people to do business with especially if you are a woman because we have so much in common and feel similar emotions. I think they understand us and can serve us best.

Remember by opening your mind to doing business with other women you have met, might just open the door to a healthier, more glowing way of living your life. Give yourself the gift of being in the company of other healing, smart and experienced women whenever you need it.

NOTE: You can contact Val Cook, a personal growth specialist, BCH, NLP & TLT and her Val Cook Coaching & More, Solutions, LLC at or by calling 315-505-8577. Val is offering a Hypnosis For You Women TIES Member Discount through July 27th!

Wednesday Wisdom: Failure Leads to Success

June 13, 2018

Inspiration and Wednesday Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs and Females

“If you don’t try you can’t fail and if you fail, get back up and try again,” has been my personal motto for the past four decades. If anything is worth trying in the first place, then it is worth attempting again if defeated in the quest for success.

This quote has been alive in my mind and spirit when I sought leadership roles in high school, when I sent in resumes for professional jobs, every day as a woman entrepreneur and in easy and hard running races. I can comfortably tell you I have fallen many times but I have always gotten back up again even if it took me longer than other times to try again.

I have never regretted putting my support behind women running their own businesses or for political offices or buying from International women owned companies or lemonade from girls selling on country roads. Last November I attended two fantastic events. The first was the annual state NOW (National Organization of Women) conference in Rochester and the second was the last event for the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State. I listened to panels at each event of women who had succeeded in running for political office. They each spoke about their passion to try again when their first run failed. Many have been in office many years now.

Fast forward to Syracuse in January 2018 at the Women TIES CNY Women Rising Weekend 2018: Women’s Business Networking and Empowerment Event entitled “Fall Forward in the New Year” to mark the one year anniversary of the Women’s March in Washington DC. After our speakers concluded, I sat down with Juanita Perez Williams, a woman I supported for Syracuse Mayor in 2017 who lost the bid, to ask her how she was doing. As you can imagine, working 24-7 every day for months to win a political office and make a difference in your community can be exhausting so Juanita’s response was totally acceptable – she wasn’t sure if she would run again or not. She needed more time to think about it.

I told her about the elected women I listened to on two panels who said they wouldn’t be in government today if they stopped after running and losing in their first race. I hoped it would put a positive thought in her mind to run again someday because I truly believe she is qualified to do the work with her long personal and professional resume. I have also seen her interact at events with volunteers and the community and like what I see. All I can say, is I am proud she is running again just like I would be proud of any woman I know trying again once they failed especially if they are qualified and passionate.

Women need to support women running for office so more women’s issues can be forefront and supported to help all women. If you are a democrat living in Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne, and Southwestern Oswego County, make sure you cast your right to vote on June 26th for Juanita Perez Williams for Congress. If she wins, she will run against John Katko in November.

I hope this Wednesday Wisdom inspires you to think back on your own personal or professional failures and how you chose to raise up and try again. Whether you failed or succeeded doesn’t matter; what matters is you tried! I also hope you think about the passion you have in your life, the ideas you support, and the issues your care most about and continue to fight for.

Remember one person can make a difference and that person just might be you! Never underestimate your tenacity and ability to try again.

When “Trying” Is Good Enough

June 11, 2018

Inspiration and Wisdom for women entrepreneurs and female business owners

When I hear someone say they are “trying” to accomplish something the word speaks more softly in my ears than the official definition.

The Merriam-Webster definition of “trying” is “severely straining the powers of endurance,” and in the Oxford Dictionary “trying” is “difficult or annoying; hard to endure.” The toughness of these definitions make me think about trying to accomplish the Boston Marathon more than trying to write 500 words a day. I’m not sure the sweat and tears approach to the definition fits in every instance.

So when I heard myself tell my new dermatologist I have been “trying to grow my hair” to repair the alopecia areata damage on my scalp by eating super healthy, exercising, sleeping more, and doing less stressful activities, I didn’t feel I have been severely straining to take care of myself. What I’ve been trying to do is be gentler with my body so it can repair itself and let me get back to work and life the way it used to be.

I admit it gets harder and harder to look in the mirror and notice the lack of hair. Luckily for me my balding white head is turning a beautiful color tan like the summer wheat that turns as it ages in the sunlight. I am thankful for my Italian and French heritages that give me golden skin when the sun shines – especially this summer when I run and swim without a wig on because it is too hot.

When I appeared at a special dinner before the International All Women’s Marathon in England a couple weeks ago, I wore my wig and no one knew it was not my hair until I told them I would only have an itsy-bitsy ponytail the following day since I couldn’t run with the wig on. I wanted to be honest and bold with them and myself. I had come to run and I was not going to let being mostly bald stop me.

To be honest with you, I wear the wig for other people not for myself. As a sporty girl, I’m very comfortable wearing my bright pink baseball hat or Boston Marathon hat when I go out. I would rather appear to be myself than hide what is happening to my appearance. I’m “trying” to accept what I’ve been given knowing I’m blessed not to be diagnosed with anything that could shorten my life – only my hair.

So although the dictionary believes to “try” is annoying, I don’t. I think its positive action built around hope and dreams. I hope you think of that description next time you are “trying” to accomplish anything in your business or personal life.

Step Into a New Light By Networking

June 7, 2018

Inspiration for women entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and small businesses

Melissa Gardiner with Dave Matthews. The Syracuse trombonist played with the Dave Matthews Band Tuesday night. (provided photo found on

Tuesday night I was reminded of the power of networking as a business tool for new and existing entrepreneurs in all aspects of their career including attending conferences and industry programs. How was I inspired on this topic Tuesday night?

It was when female trombonist, Melissa Gardiner of Liverpool, New York appeared on the St. Joseph’s Hospital Amphitheater in Syracuse, New York with the Dave Matthews Band. Melissa met DMB trumpet player Rashawn Ross at a jazz education conference and another industry program and became friends. Her connection with Ross gave her access to perform on the stage doing a stellar job as Dave Matthews himself smiled widely and seemed impressed along with the audience. Gardiner is one of the only female instrumentalists to play onstage with the Dave Matthews Band, if not the first. You rocked Melissa!

The truth is you never know who you are going to meet anywhere you go to open doors for your professional career or business. I heard of a woman business owner who sat next to a publisher on a plane home from a personal trip only to land a business card and access to his professional network to get her book published. It started with a simple airplane seat conversation and ended up opening the door to her publishing career.

Networking can get a bad rap when you think of attending an event where everyone walks up to you, says their name and hands you a card and then walks away with asking you a thing about you or your profession. They don’t spend enough time asking questions to find out more about you or how they could help you with access, a solution to a problem or introductions to their network. The best networking happens when two people converse, get to know each other more than just one time and follow-up after the chance meeting. Fate can also be essential to success in networking.

One day as I was looking for a keynote speaker for my annual fall conference, I typed in the word “fearless” only to see an article written about Kathrine Switzer by a Denver acquaintance I had only met one time. She connected me to Kathrine after I asked and from the moment Kathrine and I spoke we connected and a door was open for me to join a new global organization called 261 Fearless which has been a part of my professional and personal life for the past three years. I have more global friends that I can count and my life has expanded in many ways because fate and Google had a hand in the introduction.

So the next time you are invited to a business networking event, industry conference or personal invitation, instead of thinking it will be a waste of time or boring, think of Melissa playing with one of the most popular bands of the past two decades on a stage in her community opening her talent for the world to see and hopefully a talent agent to do something about advancing her career. You just never know who you’ll meet where and what that connection (or as I like to call it ‘tie’) will do for you someday. Say YES to networking and explore the next stage of your career.

Wednesday Wisdom: One Sweet World

June 6, 2018

Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners

It all began one day when my 18 year old sister was traveling west by van with her boyfriend after high school graduation. Being the oldest of her sisters, I worried as you can imagine as she set out for California. Off she drove into the sunset one afternoon to return a couple months later after the adventure was over. One of her stories involved seeing a new rock band named the “Dave Matthews Band” while in San Francisco. Next thing I knew Woodstock 1999 was happening in my hometown of Rome, New York and the Dave Matthews Band was one of the groups performing. I wanted to be a really cool older sister (we are 15 years apart in age) so I bought tickets to Woodstock and headed out for an epic day.

The moment I heard DMB, as they are known to their fans, perform I fell in love with their sound. It was a hot July day bopping to tunes with 400,000+ hippies and joyous people. At that event, I became a passionate Dave Matthews Band groupie just because I was trying to be a chill sister. Last night as DMB performed in Syracuse, I attended my 25th concert with great VIP seats and a much closer view than I had the first time I saw the band play. I was as happy listening to them last night as I was when I was 33.

(circa 2012) Through the years as my sons grew, my husband and I brought them to the concerts. We even celebrated my son’s 21st birthday at the Boston Garden in the Pit standing for hours. I would also take one of them individually with me as a special treat. Their passion for the band has grown too. I definitely exceeded the love for Dave Matthews past my sister who only listens to them periodically and never saw them perform live again in concert. At the moment, I am listening to a live concert of theirs and I’ll run to their music in my ears later today. They just simply make me happy. I can’t imagine my life without their music. I used to joke with my husband saying I’m “taking Dave” on the trip with me to Boston to pick up our son. I take “Dave” everywhere.

My passion for being an event planner and starting my first business was born in 1995 about the same time as my passion for running started. I not only created a second human but a business and a love for fitness. I never thought I would be a runner or run a business but the passion arose from years of watching others do those things. I suppose the message in today’s writing is whether you are consciously thinking about something new that’s starting to burst in your heart might have existed there for awhile just waiting for the right time to appear?

Many of the Women TIES members are women in their second stages of life as emptynesters, grandparents, or recovering from menopause with a new lease on life (and maybe a few more pounds and energy to burn). Perhaps our current passion continues as we move forward but maybe new passions start tugging at the heart strings. I have learned it is okay to embrace the deep knowing of your heart and let what lies within it grow anew.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is a contemplative one. Are you still passionate about your life and business? Do you have new desires fueling your heart? Has your life changed enough that it warrants re-looking at your personal and business plans? Do you need to surround yourself with women experiencing similar experiences and common passions?

One of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs is “One Sweet World” which Dave actually played last night in concert. I believe we create for our own lives if we constantly listen to our passions, take ‘notes’ from those around us and allow our spirits to grow as we do. circa 2011

Monday Motivation: Real Truths About Women, Running, Traveling and Life

June 4, 2018

Inspiration for women entrepreneurs, female business owners, women runners and women in sports

There I was standing in an English field with deep green fresh grass, humid sea air and a hilly terrain in front of me. I was shoulder to shoulder with mostly women I had never met or ever run with in an all women’s marathon in a country I never visited before. In fact for two decades I had been nervous to fly over the ocean after the Pan Am 103 bombing that almost took the life of a best friend. My sons urged me to let them fly to Europe as their friends started traveling abroad to which I always answered “no” in fear of their safety. Logically I knew traveling would be safe but I just couldn’t get the image of the Lockerbie, Scotland plane photo with a young man’s leg dangling from his airplane seat out of my mind. I wish I never saw that photo.

But there I was having traveled safe across the pond with my youngest son Adam to open horizons for my sake and his future dreams of traveling. I knew if I could be fearless and fly over the ocean with him, I could let him fly on his own one day not gripped with fear. Sometimes we just have to live a fearful experience to be free from it. As my son hugged me good luck on my 7 mile leg of the marathon relay team, I was proud of my decision to take yet one more risk and travel to run in an unfamiliar place at a new distance with women I didn’t know but who joined me in the experience. The organization 261 Fearless has an influential way of inspiring women to join a community of other women across the globe and in their own communities through the love and fitness of running. I am so grateful to them for that gift.

As I took off on the first leg of the relay, I was hugged by my international teammates – Tanja Butcher of Switzerland, Jo Moseley of Northern England and Melissa Stringer from Kansas City in the USA who joined us when Josie Cessar of Malta had to back out due to a family emergency. Running mostly by a river through knee high grassy trails, pass cows in pastures, lambs dotting distant hills and muddy inclines and descents, I took in every moment I could running. I wanted to stop and take photos but heard myself say, “Take in the images with your eyes and soul so they stay with you forever.”

The 7 miles by far were not my fastest run because trail running is so different than anything I had run before but it was glorious in so many ways. My asthma was kicking in throughout the run but I just kept going until I saw my son and two teammates waiting for me at a quaint bridge where I would pass the race onto my new friend Jo. Teammate Tanja and my son Adam joined me in the last bit of mileage over the bridge. It was a memory I won’t forget especially since my son ran with me for a short bit.

At the finish line tent, I waited with 261 Fearless friends enjoying homemade English tarts, gluten free brownies, and tea! The English love their tea even if they just finished running a full marathon. As each of my teammates finished their legs, they joined me in the tent until we our last runner was approaching the finish line where we joined her running hand in hand to the finish line! The entire 261 Fearless running team then sat down in the spring sunshine to enjoy a celebratory glass of Prosecco, an Italian wine my English teammates love. My son joined us since he volunteered while I ran and deserved a glass of bubbly himself. Then him and I headed off to the coast to dip our feet in the English Channel in Sidmouth.

I discovered some real truths while traveling abroad and running in this race to inspire you today:

* Women are wonderful no matter where you go. We warm up to each other quickly creating instant friendship. Women love other women’s spirits. Make sure to meet as many new women as you can.

* Any fear can be erased from your mind if you have the bravery to face what scares you. Only in tackling our fright, can we be free to live.

* When you are diagnosed with a health situation you can’t solve, don’t let it keep you from believing you can still participate in life.

* To truly enjoy life, you must live new experiences. If you can’t face a new experience alone, invite someone to join you. It makes it easier and more pleasurable.

* The world is a fascinating place with a million vistas to see. Make sure you travel enough in your lifetime to witness new destinations.

* Anything you experience in personal life is applicable to our professional life. Meet more women to open your business horizons, conquer entrepreneurial fear by trying something that makes you nervous, say “yes” to more opportunities, and visit more places to meet more people to connect with globally at conferences, events and even races.

I hope you have time soon to take up a run on a muddy trail past animals, streams and hilly vistas enjoying every moment and allowing the experience to change you forever in the most positive light.

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