Five Family Events in Wild Wylie

Two lane road on rainy day in Wylie

A Wet Day in Wylie, Texas

When I started my research about Wylie, Texas to share its attributes as a destination, I faced the challenge of too much information. I needed to focus. History? Shopping? Awards? What would my readers want to know, especially the local readers, who visited Wylie before it blossomed?

Wylie gained over 8000 new residents between 2008 and 2016 with its population moving towards 50,000. Located east of Plano, Texas, a city numbering almost 300,000, the residential and business market attract people who appreciate the small-town atmosphere.

Wylie’s western theme creates atmosphere for events that cover “something for everyone.”  Grab your 2018 calendar to consider five or more dates for family fun. Whether you like music or shopping, eating or art, visiting Wylie is easy to reach by car. You won’t want to miss any of the fun.

Events on Ballard Street

The Ballard Street Merchants Association, along with other civic groups, organizes events throughout the year. Ballard Street is two lanes with quaint and clever retail stores and restaurants.

Upcoming events include:

April 30, 2018

Taste of Wylie-$10-$12 tickets with more than 20 restaurants participating

May 6, 2018

Pedal Car Races-for children ages 2-5, $10 entrance fee the day of the race. Be sure to see the online photos.

June 30, 2018

Bluegrass on Ballard-arts, crafts, car show, music-music-music with people in lawn chairs in the middle of the street by the stage, food trucks, and fun for all to start your Fourth of July fun.

October 25, 2018

Boo on Ballard-kids in costumes visit the stores in hopes of treats. A safe place for parents and kids to increase dentists’ income. No charge, except what you pay for the bargains in the unique retails stores. Four authors from the Sachse/Wylie Authors Group at the Wylie Art Gallery presented a special program for writers.

December 2, 2018

Art Shop and Christmas Tree Lighting-Many arts and crafts vendors at Baptist Community Center with programs for adults and kids at the Wylie Art Gallery across the street. Holiday parade and Christmas tree lighting in the evening. Great fun! Another special program by members of the Sachse/Wylie Authors Group.

Directions:

  1. Follow George Bush Highway to Highway 78 north of Garland. You’ll pass Firewheel Mall on your right. Drive through
    Wylie Art Gallery

    Wylie Art Gallery
                        Wylie, Texas

    Sachse.

  2. Five more miles north turn left onto Ballard Street.
  3. Find a good parking place and grab a bite to eat.
  4. Investigate the cool shops. You can find everything from fine jewelry to antiques to coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops, and clothing.

I had the pleasure of participating in the two events in 2017, both at the Wylie Art Gallery, a must-see venue with enormous variety of mediums.

Pick an event and y’all come! Wylie is growing and fast becoming a prime venue for entertainment.

 

Charlotte and the Chimpanzees

Thirteen teenagers may hit the “best seller” list with their cookbook

dog and cookbook

Fargo and Ruth reading the new cookbook.

May Day, 2014, I found myself in a theater in Portland, Oregon with 13 little girls, my son and another parent. The girls wanted to see a movie about chimpanzees and Jane Goodall.

My son and his family live Portland with 14-year-old Charlotte and 11-year-old Lane. I visit a couple times a year. I’ve watched some of the 13 girls grow up since their moms played with them in the nearby park with tubs of Cheerios for the kids to stir, throw at each other, and eat with gusto as young toddlers. The moms called them “Sensory Tubs,” I think.

I have cheered them on the soccer fields, in plays, and at birthday parties. I know a few of the parents and visited with several of their grandparents. By invitation, I attended one girl’s Bat Mitzvah. Last time I visited I learned about Ultimate Frisbee at Charlotte’s game.

That movie convinced the girls to raise money for the animals. They decided they would collect recipes from famous cooks and chefs and include a few of their family recipes for a cookbook. They wrote letters to renowned chefs and celebrities. Most Friday nights they met at various houses where they would prepare and taste the recipes before writing evaluations for those selected for the cookbook. The girls started Roots and Shoots of Portland, established worldwide by Jane Goodall for young people to help preserve ecology. The girls titled the book Saving Pan, updating their website with each step.

When I visited last spring, a professional food photographer had volunteered to shoot the food photos for their book. Charlotte and her mom met with the photographer for her photo while I was there. Parents with connections found a reasonable publisher and public relations professionals.

My son notified me that the cookbook launched in early December 2017 and sent an article from the Portland Business Journal about the successful unveiling. Would I like a copy of the cookbook for $25? It arrived, as attractive as any dazzling Betty Crocker cookbook. They learned about people, the ecology, the publishing process, and ate healthy, vegetarian food. Michelle Obama and Jane Goodall submitted recipes along with many others.

I called my granddaughter. “Charlotte, I am so proud of you. Your cookbook is gorgeous. What was the most difficult part of sticking with the project? It took such a long time.”

She said, “Staying focused. It was lotsa fun! I’m so excited about it.”

“What was best about it?”

“I had a lot of fun cooking, and it was really cool trying out a variety of techniques for each different recipe. It was really amazing so many people contributed, and so many cared about the cause and willing to contribute was absolutely unbelievable.”

Although she’s a very picky vegetarian, she tasted food she would never have touched or tried. Mostly, she likes macaroni and cheese. The thirteen girls attend different high schools now, but continue their neighborhood friendships.

When the parents sold 400 books in one week with minimal advertising in a few restaurants they added a “purchase” button on the girls’ website http://www.savingpan.com/. It’s a great gift for anyone. All profits go to the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. Order now  before it hits the New York Times, best seller list.

The Flapper and the Music Man

 

poster

McMichael Band from 1930s

The story of a young, entrepreneurial couple in the 1930s who collaborated to teach music to the townspeople and their children.

“Who’s the gorgeous woman with the brown hair and finger wave?” Bill murmured to a new friend at a singles party in the 1930s. “I’m not sure. I’ve seen her here a few times. Great style, don’t you think?”

Early Years 

Florence borrowed a dress to wear to the party as her meager earnings prevented costly, stylish clothes. At age 26 her attire was classy, not spinster-like. Her pearl white, satin dress shimmered like glistening snow, accessorized with a little brown hat and clunky, brown tie shoes. She worries about finding a good man. Maybe her finger wave hairdo and friendly demeanor would attract attention.

The remnants of the Depression lingered in Central Ohio. After Bill attended college in Columbus, preparing to teach music, he settled 30 miles from his alma mater. With limited growth opportunities in Coitsville (his hometown), near Youngstown, he risked moving to Newark to investigate employment. Newark, a city of 30,500 offered better opportunities. He stayed the rest of his life.

Unemployment reached the catastrophic statistic of 25% about the time of his arrival. Finding work proved perplexing as few jobs existed in public schools. This young, inexperienced musician decided to teach private lessons. After a year of floundering, he found space for a music studio, in a big house on Hudson Avenue, along tree-lined curbs beside fancy, old homes. With plenty of space for private lessons, Bill’s friendly reputation for teaching the guitar, banjo, bass and mandolin traveled fast. His popularity around the town increased when showing off his students’ skills at club meetings and in churches.

Florence flounced by Bill with pearl earrings dancing from her earlobes at the party. As she moved towards him for a lingering, flirty handshake, she said to him, “Hi, I’m Florence. Are you enjoying the party?” His heart beat faster and faster! Her cologne lingered in the air, suggesting he should learn more about this lady.  Tall, gaunt and gracious, his attraction to Florence seemed mutual.

Florence needed a job. Bill needed someone to schedule appointments for the students and manage the accounting. He paid her a small salary and gave her mandolin lessons rather than extra money. He taught her, in her words, “Everything I know.” They married in 1934.

Growing the Business

Her musical talent blossomed, adding the piano, accordion, and guitar to her skills. Bill taught her the basics of music, which led to her teaching career. She increased his earnings by suggesting he should sell stringed instruments. Word of mouth traveled fast with moms bringing their children to learn from “the new guy in town.”

Flo & bass

Florence with her Bass

She played string bass with his 90-piece banjo band they took to contests throughout the United States, often winning top prizes. When their stringed orchestra played at the World’s Fair in Chicago, they won many awards and recognition. Imagine transporting 90 students, parents, friends and instruments cross country! He became the biggest customer in the U.S. of Gibson products during that decade. Florence suggested marketing ideas while finding locations for the student performances.

World War II

World War II raged within the first ten years of their marriage. Bill departed for the Army shortly after their daughter was born, leaving in early 1944 for the Army. How would she cope? Her tears flowed as she cringed, realizing how little she understood. How could she manage the store and teach while nurturing her baby?

Flo & baby Ruth

Note our hats.

“Whatever will I do?” she wailed. Bill’s response surprised her, “You’ll survive. I trust you.” She hired a nanny to care for the baby who helped with cooking and cleaning. She hired a sales clerk at their store, punching fear in the face. Roomers in the upstairs bedrooms added a little cash to her income while Bill continued his musical career in the service. Bill directed an Army band and played the bugle at Fort Lee, Virginia, never leaving the U.S. Failure was not an option.

Florence morphed into the predecessor of Super Woman, during his tour of duty. Her strong stamina, quick wit, and gift of gap, appealed to customers. She grasped profit and loss, bankers, and bills. Bill recognized Florence’s survival skills. When he returned after the war, she had stashed money in the bank and owned a thriving business.

The Business Roller Coaster

In the 1950s, the couple added phonographs, pianos, sheet music, records and radios. They added television, bringing more business growth. Florence worked in the store and taught music lessons. His first shop on Church Street grew. When they needed more space, they moved to South Third Street around the corner from the popular town square. They moved to another home with their young daughter. She brought her first grade class to see their new television at her house. In fact, their daughter thought all families owned a piano and implored her guests to buy a TV from her dad.

Debt for the pianos and organs caused major angst for Florence. “The bank owns us, Bill! Our names will appear in the newspaper when they come to take everything. We’ll end up in the poor house!” Bill rarely worried, leaving the troubles to her. Although the rise and fall of economic realities consumed their conversations like hail on their windows in a wind-storm, the risk of consigned pianos, organs and other products proved worthwhile.

Bill and Florence showed resilience throughout their marriage. In 1969 at age 61 Bill died of a sudden heart attack. Florence maintained the store until 1972 when she liquidated it. They both loved work. Florence taught private lessons for more than 50 years.  She worked until age 76 or 77 and died in the early 1990s.

Reality and Risk

Bill and Florence faced their struggles through reliance on each other, realistic goals and risk-taking. Although love did not necessarily solve their issues, they counted their blessings, in sync most of the time, despite their differences. Their love balanced each other’s idiosyncrasies while their self-employment enriched the community.

If you visit the natives of Newark over age 50, they probably took lessons from Florence or Bill. Their daughter remains grateful they refrained from naming her Melody, as in her words, “I didn’t want to be a walking advertisement for the music store.”

Today we see a resurgence of the entrepreneurial spirit in small towns. Entrepreneurs face the same challenges as long ago. Tenacity, respect, business savvy, and creative marketing play the same roles, which helped the Flapper and the Music Man.

Happy Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day with a special salute to my own parents.

 

 

 

Loving Others

Valentine

Smile. It’s contagious. Photo by R. Glover

 

February is the traditional month we think about love. Our new President scares the “snot” right out of some. We need to love and pray for our government and leaders. I don’t want to get preachy, but, doggonit, smiling is better than frowning. Wringing our hands is not fruitful. Nasty, rude comments solve nothing.

Christian religion says, “Give it to God.” Sometimes that seems the only or best answer. We cannot help the angry police officer who is wiping spit off his face from an accused predator.  We cannot help the jerk who cuts in front of us on a busy highway. We cannot help the pilot when the plane is late. But…we can try more thoughtfulness before responding in a heated conversation. Helping others soothes the soul but fear brings a raft of emotions.

Subways

statue of liberty

Statue of Liberty from the Harbor by R. Glover

Before I visited New York City last year I feared conquering the subways. Would someone accost me? Rip my backpack off? Would I become confused traveling to the theater? A friend assured me the New York City subways are safe, but I should not stay out late. I looked at the subway map and nausea enveloped me.

The doorman at the hotel, where we stayed near Washington Park, helped me understand the reality of “uptown” and “downtown,” along with suggestions for taking the A-line or B-line for best results. His kindness and raucous laughter assuaged my fear. Only later did a recall managing the subways in France when I was 21 years-old.

Success

Never got lost! Had a great time. Glad I overcame my fear.

Fear

The French suffer a reputation for caustic communication. I know France is struggling with fear of foreigners. Many French Jews are moving (again) because of fear. Israel’s geography may change as the borders become unsafe for their citizens. The world is in chaos. Certainly, not the first or last time.

Eiffel Tower

Under the Eiffel Tower-Photo by R. McMichael

Love One Another

What can we do? We must love one another. We must try to understand and cope when our values are diverse. Each day let’s concentrate on kindness to others. At the end of each day where did we deposit kindness? At the very least, show respect.

It’s February. Hug a friend. Send a note to a neglected relative. Love others. Respect diversity and value difference. It can only make the world a better place to live.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Peace Be with Us.

Dignity in Death

Genevieve-headshot

Genevieve Keeney-President of the National Museum of Funeral History
Photo Courtesy of the Museum

Little Genevieve Keeney’s curiosity focused frequently on death and dying. Her mother, a bit incredulous, encouraged her questions. Fearless at age seven, Genevieve never lost her fascination with how we care for our loved ones during death.

Genevieve thought about medical school but money for additional education was scarce. So, instead she joined the Army. While in the military she worked in the medical field managing life and death situations. Her basic medical training led to a career path as a Non-Commissioned Officer and Senior Medic.

When she left the Army after 12 years, she researched what offered decent pay, fit her skills, and matched her interests. Smart lady!  Her new, part time job at the Veterans Administration Medical Center steered her to become an expert in palliative care, helping patients and families during their final chapter in life.  Returning to college became reality. She completed a Masters in Science in Non-Profit Organizational Management in 2015. Long hours and hard work are a way of life for her.

Originally wanting to be a coroner, her studies and profound experience led her to become a funeral director. During her studies for the license, she volunteered at the nearby National Museum of Funeral History. The staff recognized her diligence and passion for helping with whatever needed to be accomplished.

Soon after she began her volunteer work, Museum leaders decided to build a small tribute to the passing of the Popes. The plan started small but when others saw Genevieve’s creative talent in helping with the project, they hired her full time, beginning in 2007. She has a gift for creating thought provoking exhibits that support the Museum’s mission and make an often difficult subject more tolerable for visitors. She has truly helped take the museum to the next level, helping grow awareness, change perception and increase attendance. Innovation and willingness to speak with diplomacy suggest the perfect match for her talents. Her quiet demeanor and empathy on the job soothes the souls of her listeners. Yet, when she needs to be direct, watch out!

Whether speaking to a group of children about death and dying or working with the issues that confront the Board of Directors, her communication skills aid in her countless duties. The newest special exhibit she created, in remembrance of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, offers memorial books signed by a grieving nation and pictures drawn and colored by children to honor those who perished that fateful day.

When I interviewed her, we talked some about Halloween. The main goal at the Museum is to honor the compassion and dedication of the funeral services industry, enlighten visitors on one of man’s oldest cultural rituals and celebrate the heritage of the funeral services industry. The museum takes great care to present information in a respectful and tasteful way. Genevieve is not a big fan of people who disrespect the customs of others. She assures the Halloween displays, like the annual family-friendly Haunted House, epitomize, not ridicule or mock, the unique ways others celebrate the end of life.

When you visit the museum, you may see her wandering throughout the facility, making sure the exhibits and displays are well-lit and shiny clean or talking with the gift shop manager, where all items are tastefully displayed; she might even be leading a tour or visiting with museum goers. She tries to circulate but much of her time is devoted to speaking and coordinating events. She also still holds her job at the local veterans’ hospital. I loved her comment, “I continue to work at the VA where I am honored when I hold the hand of a dying Veteran. I get to use all of my skills every day, both at the VA and the Museum. Who would have thought when I was young, I’d be a part of such an elegant, thoughtful career?”

I, too, am honored to meet and write about this gifted lady. Marathon runner, mother, new grandma, and lifelong learner—she understands the joy of life and preserves dignity in death.

A big thanks to Monica Rhoades and Genevieve Keeney for their assistance with this article.

 

 

 

From Bucket Challenge to Bucket List

Traveling with an Advocate for ALS

 

Ice Bucket

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014? Andrea Heaberg, my uncommon friend and former colleague, recalls her participation. She volunteered with the ALSA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association) with a sneaky suspicion she might have a neurological issue. The Ice Bucket Challenge began as a “grass roots” effort to raise money and awareness for ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Challenge rode the social media wave around the world for a number of months. Other philanthropies joined the melee to earn money and awareness, but ALSA realized $115 Million that year in donations, which helped fund several new research studies.

A Few Statistics

ALS is difficult to diagnose; it is a progressive, neuromuscular condition without a cure. Three doctors and a year of costly medical tests determined that Andrea Heaberg’s weak hands would never become strong again. She is gradually losing muscle control in her arms and legs and has a caregiver, her husband.

More men than women are afflicted by ALS. A new case is diagnosed every 90 minutes.

Military veterans are 50% more likely to develop ALS than the general population.

There are more than 50,000 people in the U.S. living with ALS; the average lifespan, from diagnosis to death, is 2 to 5 years. By comparison, the FDA drug approval process takes twice that amount of time.

Generally, the ALSA  budgets about $39 Million per year to fund research projects and provide grants for specialized equipment, among other support activities for ALS patients; their Board includes patients with ALS. The Muscular Dystrophy Association  is involved in similar activities, but ALS is a small part of their focus. When both groups lobby congress for resources, they compete with each other, except where proposed legislation benefits all patients. But…Andrea does her share to help improve the statistics.

The Conference

at the conference

Andrea with Penny, her fierce service dog, at the conference.

Last May, a major, world-wide ALS conference occurred in Washington, D.C. Andrea attended, along with more than 1000 others. One hundred and twenty-eight patients from around the world attended. Her husband flew with her or she could not have gone; she can no longer carry a bag or fasten a seat belt. She planned to meet legislators at the conference.

I asked her what she liked about the conference. Her response shows her heart. “I loved hearing about the ongoing drug trials. Seeing the new, marvelous equipment to help with my speech issues encouraged me. The drug trial results may not provide hope for me, but may for those in the future. All the patients we met were extremely positive in their outlook.”

The Advocate

Andrea defines herself as an Advocate for ALS in Texas, not as an ALS patient but as a Person with ALS. She expected to speak to the legislators during the conference, but she wound up visiting with their “specialists” whose roles revolve around improving laws for medical care. She met in the offices of six congressmen and one senator to seek support of three specific bills that would provide immediate or short term benefits to those whose lifespan might be measured in months. The legislative update can be found at alsa.org/advocacy/advocacy-day.

Andrea is eligible for Medicare, but because she will not get better, only worse, Medicare refuses to pay for physical therapy. She can pay for it herself or go without. She has learned many techniques to keep her muscles as flexible as possible at home. “Get on living or get on dying. While there is no bright future for me, I choose to find a new normal every day with something positive to keep me going through my journey,” she says. Her daily struggles include finding alternative ways to remain active without the use of her hands and arms.

Using the phone is a chore, because it is difficult to tap a key. She works from her home office for her ALS organization by contacting legislators and sharing the stories of others. She participates with the local ALS organization during fund-raising walking events (while she is still mobile) and support group activities. As technology improves, she will record her voice (in a voice bank) to use when she can no longer speak, and use her eyes to ‘type’ her communications.

Her personal ‘Bucket List’ includes filling The Ice Bucket. The Challenge is still around, but “we need other local events to find new methods to increase awareness and donors; there are ALS chapters in all 50 states where folks can volunteer.”

As she becomes weaker, her will to live is stronger with her willingness to advocate. If you are looking for a new way to serve others, please think about Andrea, who continues to make a difference in the world while traveling with her illness.

A huge thanks goes to Andrea and Jim Heaberg for their help with this article. More statistics are available at the ALS website.

 

 

 

 

Networking Pays Off, Not Only for Job Seekers

cowboy boots and hat

These boots are made for writing!

When I moved to a smaller town a little over a year ago, my life changed dramatically. Although the relocation entailed only a 20 mile ride to Plano, I changed my career, my address, my church, and needed to make new friends. I knew that networking pays off, not only for  job seekers.

I hightailed it to the Sachse, Texas (population about 20,000) Library.  If you know me at all, you know I adore books and words.  Wow! The library is dinky, compared to other suburban libraries, but getting a library card stood about third on my “to do” list. First, groceries, second, find a church. In fact, I may have had my library card before my husband and I joined a small, local congregation. But…I digress.

Accidentally I found a mystery, written by a local writer named Reavis Z. Wortham at the library. He grew up in East Texas. I researched his background and found him on LinkedIn. Hmmm! I’d like to hear how he became a writer. I loved the book. A humorous, easy read with a good plot. Timidly I asked him to connect, and he accepted. I thanked him and told him that I was starting a writers group in Sachse through the library, promising to stay in touch.

I joined the “Friends of the Library,” an arm of their volunteers which offers programs to help the library with “extras,” not in the budget. The library needs plenty of extra money as the librarians still complete little cards by hand to put in a pocket in the front of the books showing due date.

I contacted Reavis to see if he would speak for a special event to raise money for the library. As it happened, he released the fourth book in his Red River Mystery series in August. His customized presentation talks about his latest book, titled Vengence Is Mine, plus he’ll talk about how he left a successful Communications Director position with the Garland ISD to write full time. So please join us for Reavis Writes Again. I’m eager to hear him speak, make a little money from donations at the presentation and network with others.  (See details below.)

SPECIAL EVENT-SPECIAL EVENT-SPECIAL EVENT

Reavis Writes Again

Reavis
Reavis Z. Wortham

Date:               Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Time:              7:00 p.m.

Place:             Sachse Public Library, 3815 Sachse Road, Sachse, TX  75048

Between Garland and Wylie, east of Highway 78

Open to the public.  No admission charge or reservations necessary.  Refreshments and doorprizes.

Reavis Writes Again

Sachse Public Library-Special Event

 Footsteps to Mysteries

Reavis

Reavis Z. Wortham

Reavis Z. Wortham knew he wanted to be a writer from the time he was 10, living in East Texas, where he hunted and fished for fun in the woods.  He’ll talk about the footsteps he took on the road from a 30+year career in public education to becoming the critically acclaimed author of the Red River Mystery Series.  A few years ago he retired as the Director of Communications at the Garland Public Schools with no hesitation in moving forward with his passion for writing.  His awards and recommendations from noted authors and producers keep him writing thoroughly enjoyable, realistic southwest mysteries. Through personal stories and anecdotes, Wortham will discuss his own journey,  through the process of writing and publishing that book we all have inside.  He’ll preview his latest book Vengence is Mine: A Red River Mystery.  You can read details about his latest book at http://reaviszwortham.com/

Other Reavis Wortham Books:

The Rock Hole: A Red River Mystery

Burrows: A Red River Mystery

The Right Side of Wrong: A Red River Mystery

Doreen’s 24 Hr Eat Gas Now Cafe 

He’ll share where he finds his characters and why his latest mystery has a touch of Las Vegas added to his East Texas cronies.  He knows how to tell a good story, both online, on paper and in person.  You won’t want to miss meeting him.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear how he works with the Poison Pen Publishing Company for the next book to amuse and entertain his readers.

cowboy boots and hat

These boots are made for writing!

Date:               October 7, 2014

Time:               7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location:         3815 Sachse Road, Sachse, TX

 

Come early.  Bring a friend  and your neighbors.

Door prizes and refreshments will be available.

You do NOT need to live in Sachse to attend this free presentation.

 

 

 

 

MORE than a Paycheck

 Who are your role models?

 

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders,

but they have never failed to imitate them.”

 James Baldwin

 Who are your role models?  Have you thought about that?  Was it a parent, a teacher or rock star whom you wanted to emulate?  Did your dad take you to work with him periodically?  Do you know who influenced your career most significantly?  Do you remember your very first paycheck?

Are you a role model for your children?  Is Mommy so overworked she can’t make it to her son’s band concert or is Dad so overwhelmed he never comes home until 8:00 p.m.?  What message does that send to your kids?

As a recruiter and outplacement consultant, I saw many people unwilling to let go of anger when laid off, scared they would not find another similar job.  I wrote MORE than a Paycheck to provide role models, 20 short stories, to be exact, to help people see they don’t necessarily need to change careers to find the next opportunity.

Let’s look at the first chapter, or story, in the book.  Carl’s story moves his career from sales to marketing and publishing.  When he got bored or unexpectedly laid off, he demonstrates flexibility to find the next step in his career.  Instead of competing with the same people for the same jobs, he moved his family a few times to achieve MORE than a paycheck.  Wasn’t easy, but it paid off!

I wrote for people who could use a few swift kicks to move their careers forward.  I want you to see you, too, can earn MORE than a paycheck.

You need to read MORE than a Paycheck!

You need to read MORE than a Paycheck!

Today MORE than a Paycheck became available in e-book formats for all devices.  You can purchase it at IBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from other distributors.  It’s far less expensive than the print copy.  Just search online for MORE than a Paycheck by Ruth Glover.  The complete title is MORE than a Paycheck: Inspiration and Tools for Career Change.

MORE than a Paycheck

 Now available in all e-book formats!

 

 

Help! I Can’t Do Sales!

A firm handshake

You can learn to sell!

 

People proclaim lustily that they can’t do sales.  Not true!  We can learn sales techniques.  All of us need to persuade others at times.  If we hide behind a computer, we will fail to convince someone we are the right person for a position, product or project.  Let’s think about this.

Extroverts vs. Introverts

Introverts are often better than the extroverts in sales, as they are good listeners.  They don’t monopolize the discussion, but ask great questions.  The extrovert may talk way too much.

Researcher Adam Grant of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania studies the psychology of workers and managers.  His research shows that the best sales people move toward the middle to become ambiverts, who ask great questions and do not overwhelm the customer with an overabundance of enthusiasm.   

Dr. Grant recently published a fascinating business book titled, Give and Take, where he provides worthwhile insight into Givers, Takers and Matchers.  You’ll need to read the book to discover your natural style.  “That’s just the way I am,” doesn’t work well in many business situations.  Learning to adapt your style increases your potential for success.  The video clip of him on the Today show is well worth watching.

Networking Know-How

In a recent conversation with a CEO “in transition,” he shared with me that he never strikes up a conversation with anyone at a club, church function or group meeting, unless someone speaks to him first.  What a waste!  He’s brilliant, articulate, with a professional demeanor…what’s wrong with this picture?   He’s negotiated vast amounts of money in the past.  He’s been self-employed most of his life.  When I questioned him about this idiosyncrasy, he indicated he goes to meetings for the information, not to get to know others.  Now he’s looking for a job in a space where 80% of people find work through networking.

Mr. CEO needs to write a script to gain more than a yes/no answer.  He needs to be sincerely interested in other people, not just protecting his “secrets.”  And we all have secrets.  He needs to realize that with his arrogant attitude, it will take him a long time to find another start-up where he can be appreciated.  No one will knock on his door to offer a job!

In a wonderful article, titled “How to Launch a Consulting Business,” by Liz Ryan. she cites five ways to start talking as a consultant: 1) pain spotting,  2) looking at the perspective of the client,  3) telling a relevant story, 4) “framing” or organizing the chaos you see, or 5) probing (asking great questions).  Try to remember these five ways to start a conversation that can actually help the other person in the dyad.  “What brings you here?” followed by a well-rehearsed story can engage the other person better than “I’m a project engineer, looking for a job” or “I’ve got this great product to tell you about.”

Your New Sales Pitch Is Not a Pitch

In presentations I almost always mention that the “phone is your friend” and LinkedIn is the most prevalent tool for finding new clients or jobs.  But the number one way to discover a sales opportunity is sitting next to the person, whether in a seminar, an interview or business meeting.  You never, ever know who the person knows, who may need your services.  You may connect with someone at Starbucks or the Dallas Symphony.  At a conference you may find a new friend whose sister works for the competition.

If sitting at your computer is not working, don’t tell me you can’t sell!  If, as an extrovert, being overly effusive isn’t working, you may need to slow down and provide more details.  Both introverts and extroverts need a smile, a firm handshake and listening skills.  As you use sales techniques, they become second nature.

Hear me well: if it’s not working for you, stop it!  Improve your sales.  It’s networking on steroids.  You CAN do it!

Ruth Glover writes about change, people and places.  She speaks to motivate people.  She trains people to move forward.