Polina’s Promise announces launch-Press release

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I’m very honored to be a member of the Polina’s Promise board and we are hosting a launch event Nov. 16, 2013 in Rogers.

The following press release talks about the event and what Polina’s Promise stands for.

The goals of Polina’s Promise are simple:

  • We hope to keep special needs children with their biological families whenever possible.
  • For those children who do become orphans, we aim to provide them with more adequate care while finding them families.
  • We aim to accomplish the above through education of the public and orphanage workers, training for local therapists, interventionists, foster and adoptive families, and providing the equipment and funding needed to reach these goals through partnering agencies across the globe.

 

Please read the Polina’s Promise press release to learn more about this amazing non-profit!

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Recycling our skillsets in a changing world: my take on a Seth Godin blog

Seth Godin writes great blogs (and books) that inspire and guide business leaders.

Seth Godin writes great blogs (and books) that inspire and guide business leaders.

Do you ever read something and think “that person knows my story, they are telling my story?”I recently read a blog by Seth Godin that I really appreciated because it felt like it was telling my story as a professional. Read More…

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What we can learn about small business from Duck Dynasty

Photo from Wikipedia

Photo from Wikipedia

So this phenomenon called Duck Dynasty has been going on for several seasons now but I admit that I just recently tuned in. My husband and I are about to start season 2 (no spoilers, please!) and I’m pleasantly surprised at how funny and genuine the stories are each episode.

While I’ll admit that the frog skinning scenes still gross out this citified girl, I can’t help but notice that wisdom exudes throughout the show for both life and business.

Much of it, if you really think about it, is just good ol’ fashioned common sense but I felt like sharing something that I feel small business owners like myself can take from watching Duck Dynasty.

Cross train, but do what you know best

I agree that it’s wise to cross train employees to some degree, but in my experience having employees performing jobs that are not in their realm of expertise is a recipe for disaster. Or at least, a big jumbled, inefficient mess. This also includes bosses, whether we want to admit it or not. If it’s not your area of expertise, I suggest you let the experts handle it! Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you must have your hands in everything.

This issue came up in Season 1, episode 2 of Duck Dynasty where Jase became CEO for a day as part of a bet. Now for those who don’t want the show, the older brother Willie is the CEO and is the more “responsible” and “business-minded” person in the family. Jase is far from being the family clown, however! He’s the innovative one who comes up with new ideas and new ways of doing old ideas. He’s the creative, he’s the doer. Willie is the more serious planner.

The company obviously didn’t fall apart in a day, but it wasn’t run like it should have been. The focus of the show seemed to be how Jase didn’t care for some details that Willie wouldn’t have overlooked, but to me there was more to it than that. Jase was so busy trying to do Willie’s job that he wasn’t able to perform his own form of brilliance.

I’m just now starting Season 2, so tell me what other lessons have you learned from Duck Dynasty?

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Exciting growth at Jamie’s Notebook: Introducing Laurie Marshall

There’s some exciting news at Jamie’s Notebook that I believe will make this business even better equipped to serve existing clients and to serve more clients. With the business’ rapid growth in the last six months, I decided it was time to reach out to another writer to help carry the load.

I’m incredibly excited to introduce everyone to Laurie Marshall, a friend, a professional writer and in general just a fun person to be around. As an entrepreneur, it’s wonderful to know that I’ve found someone I can trust to work with my clients and who will create top-notch copy.

It seemed silly to write about another writer, so I thought I’d let Laurie introduce herself in her own voice.

Meet Laurie Marshall

headshot beachI’ve been writing since high school when I was creating romantic, angst-ridden poetry in my journal. In my teens, I thought I’d get a degree in Theatre, in my 20s I toyed with Graphic Art, then took a side-street and got married and had two daughters.

While I was being a wife and mother, I was still writing—filling journals, creating a regular newsletter for the graduate law program at the University of Arkansas, and compiling bios of the incoming LLM students for the admission review committee. I even won an online essay contest that gave me six months of free health club membership in exchange for weekly missives about the journey to get fit.

Growing a skill, developing a passion

All this writing was happening, but I never realized that I had a skill that I should be working to grow. I guess I was growing it without knowing it. Additional employment experience taught me to write in other “voices” as I created correspondence and communication for my employer focused on different audiences.

headshot writerFinally, I found myself in the perfect position to get back to college and complete a degree. As the advisor and I looked over the years of classes I took here and there when I could, it became clear that the degree I was closest to was in English. Not terribly exciting, except there was that “creative writing emphasis” bit.

That was it. That was where I needed to be.

I didn’t want to just learn to write a good research paper—I wanted to learn to write words that moved people. Words that charmed and convinced and made the reader smile, or cry… any emotion would be fine.

Paid for words

After completing my degree, I started looking for a job in the nonprofit sector, based on the experience I had at the U of A during their billion-dollar campaign. I knew that I could raise money, I could speak on behalf of causes I loved, and I could create persuasive words to help me communicate the mission and vision of the organization.

I found a job that was perfect for me, and for my family, and over the next five years, built their social media presence and created a blog that I am very proud of. This year, I left that non-profit to start writing for myself.

970980_130444260491597_814405945_nI still want to help local businesses and organizations, and to teach and persuade and create emotional responses—but I want to do it for many, not just one. And I want to spend more time expanding on the fiction that is bouncing around in my notebooks. So many words, so little time.

I remarried back there during the degree-earning years, and have three kids now, and a grand-daughter. I spend my days writing, managing my side-gig, Junque Rethunque, and picking up the Legos that I have determined are replicating themselves as we sleep.

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4 tips for making sure your professional bio is top notch

So your company has a website and it wants to feature (as it should) short bios of its leadership team. Or, you’ve been invited to speak at a luncheon and the event planner asks for a bio to help introduce you in the program. Or what about that simple presentation at work that needs a professional headshot and a short bio so that people from all participating teams know a little bit about you?

There’s many reasons that you will need a bio for your professional career. 

I’ll be the first one to tell you that writing about yourself is daunting. I’m an experienced professional writer and writing my own blogs, bio and website is the hardest task I have! This is why I suggest hiring a professional writer to compose your bio, at least the initial copy. Either you or a writer can alter it over time to reflect changes in your history or in how the bio is used.

Whether you write your own bio or have someone write it for you, you should know what you’re looking for in a solid professional bio. Read More…

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