We're in the midst of building the Social Butterfly Club website, we like it to produce revenue indepedently. Please let us know what you'd like to see happen, we would really appreciate your feedback. I have in mind a members directory with simple first name, last name, tel, and email. If members have a business, pay a small fee to have a more extended business card with their logo and website link. If they pay more, we'll create a separate profile page for them, which they can put up their products and paypayl to process orders. All our member spotlights will be archived, so will the monthly newsletters going back to May 2004. There will be a spot for the events calendars for easy access. Some people suggested to me to have an exclusive members only section where VIP events and news or specials could be posted, where as the other information is open to the public. I'd love to get a new members package together (Staples gift certificates, 6 month BC Magazine subscription, 6 weeks Business In Vancouver subscriptions, etc...)
I had also envisioned forums, and chat rooms where members can communicate with each other. So Social Butterfly Club website will act as a hub of business resource for our members around the world. One of the things I'm trying to develop is have a digital map of the world on this new site, and have each members location as a dot, when one move their mouse over the dot, their contact info shows up. So if you're in Germany next time, you can find a Social Butterfly in Germany to connect. ( apparently this is several thousand dollars, so we won't have it for awhile) Other ideas kicking around is a printed members directory, and also having more experts to give advice like a Dear Abby, except with money, marketing, internet, financing, Real Estate, Investments, etc... but also fun stuff like travel, food, lifestyle, event planning tips etc.
If you don't have any suggestions for our new site, please let me know what you don't like to receive (ex: coupons, membership card, etc). We like to grow this club quickly in the next little while, and will continue to keep membership free. So tell your friends.
No Glass Ceiling Just Blue Sky, Book by Marcy Blochowiak
Kindness, as Mother Teresa so beautifully said, is the only language that we all understand. We’ve all heard the saying, “What goes around comes around,” and the following true story is a wonderful reminder of how simple acts of kindness can come back to us when we least expect it.
His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
“I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family home.
“Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.
“Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.
“I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.” And that he did. Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and, in time, graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog, was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved his life this time? Penicillin.
The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.
"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now...for I shall not pass this way again." –William Penn
40 Years of Caring Conference
May 22 - 27th was the joint conference for the Canadian Foster Parents Association and BC Federation of Foster Parents Association. It was the CFFA’s 27th Anniversary, while BCFFPA is celebrating the bigger milestone of being in business for 40 YEARS! And what a celebration it was, from the stirring piping from the Richmond Firefighter’s Bag Pipe Band, the flag parade with all the provinces represented, and the First Nations dancing performed by a dance group from the Cree Nation that ended with the Minister of Children and Family Development, Tom Christiansen, being dragged onto the dance floor and joining in. Foster parents gathered from all corners of Canada to brainstorm, learn, share, and celebrate. The closing ceremonies were a real eye opener for me as the loonie auction went from 10pm – 11:30pm and raised $1000. People were bidding for their favorite items or their favorite numbers giving the volunteers who were collecting the loonies a good run for their money.
We were very fortunate to have the support of Channel M Television and New Tang Dynasty TV. Their coverage of the conference brought some positive awareness towards the issue of foster parenting. The interviews were very moving. Pat Norman, for example, the Executive Director of CFFA , was a 70 years young inspiration, full of energy, and laughter, and zest for life. She was the first to ‘get down’ on the dance floor and one of the most vocal bidders in the loonie auction. Trained as a midwife in England and serving in that capacity for many years in Canada, she carries into her foster parenting the conviction that every birth of every child is a miracle. The years of service, the continuing love and support that she and the other foster parents continue to give under ever more heartbreaking circumstances is indeed amazing.
I’m taking many insights away from this conference, but one I won’t forget is how interconnected we all are in this world. The foster parents at this conference really got that. Unfortunately, one of the major issues with foster parenting is that there isn’t enough money provided to make it as viable a situation as it should be. Despite a great recruitment program and specific training to deal with the various health and emotional issues that arise, it’s often hard to keep foster parents on board. That means more children at risk and more miracles of birth lost. Foster parents are on the frontlines. We should be listening to them more!
To view event and conference photos and TV interview go to www.gracioushost.ca in the gallery section or see all the photos at HERE
The Art of Selling
Have you spent years in a retail or customer service oriented job ? Did you ever have the honor of becoming the top salesperson of your company?
I have had those experiences, yet when I started my event planning business, selling was difficult for me. I had no problem promoting my customers or their products, but when it came to me, it felt really awkward and weird to be promoting my own company. I also wanted to be an individual and refused to go to meetings in a corporate looking suit. In my mind, I wasn’t selling my appearance, I was selling my talent, skills and contacts, and what I could do for my clients.
After years of bumping my head against the wall, I have come to learn a few things about the corporate world. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if their judgment of you in the first 2 seconds does not match what they had in their mind, they won’t buy from you. Also, try not to give away the farm in your initial meet and greet meeting. A confused or overwhelmed buyer will always walk away. For service providers, my recommendations are to bring your past work, and reference letters, so you can prove to your potential client that you have the capabilities, manpower, and infrastructure to complete what they want, then LISTEN.
In my networking 101 workshop, I often ask my audience to pair up in couples, and have one person speak for several minutes while the other person listens without any speaking, then reverse the process. People have told me this is one of the most difficult things to do - to listen without budding in with a question or communicating that they had the same experience as the speaker. Improving your listening skills will help your sales rocket, only your clients know exactly what they want, so let them tell you. Don’t bombard them with questions.
The best business people listen for what the client’s problems are and try to find solutions to them. They’re not hiring you merely for your product or service, they usually have a desired outcome. Be it more clients, faster internet, higher gross revenue, more brand recognition, or a cleaner office. Most people buy because of an emotional state they want to get to: Calm, Relaxed, Safe, Secure, Happy, Excited, etc… So when you do your marketing, sell your clients on how your service can achieve their end result and that desired emotional state.
Regarding appearance, I’ve learned that wearing what is ‘downtown chic’ can get you more clients and more respect without working as hard. Isn’t it funny, when you dress the part, and show up as they expect, you get the job that much easier. So learn the hidden rules in your industry and play to win.
Member Feedback on Article of “The Future doesn’t look Pretty”
by Jamie Kozak, Chartered Financial Analyst, North Growth
I have to take extreme objection with that article. I have no qualms with people providing their opinions but the author makes claims which are completely baseless then goes on to present a view of the future as certainty when in reality it’s far from the case. First, the US economy is not a paper economy with no real value. The US is home to some of the world’s largest and most competent companies on the leading edge of technology. Intel, AMD, General Electric, Boeing, and the list goes on and on. Yes many US companies have resorted to outsource their manufacturing (I stress that this a process that enhances the wealth of both the country to which the manufacturing is outsourced and the company and its shareholders, also keep in mind not only American companies outsource) but not all have.
Take Intel for example, only recently have they announced a manufacturing facility in Asia (currently they are mostly in the US with a few in Israel and Ireland) and that isn’t for cost advantage it’s for easier distribution of product. Furthermore it’s not “outsourcing” because Intel will own the factory and employ the workers. Intel is both a technology and manufacturing leader. PACCAR, an American truck manufacturer that manufactures large semi trucks such as Peterbilt and Kenworth, has state of the art manufacturing in the US when all we hear about is the sad state of the Big 3 American car manufacturers.
Again the list goes on. In addition, BMW recently announced they will be moving manufacturing of the X3 from Austria to the US. Despite what’s in the media, American manufacturing is not dead. As for the banks, most banks are publicly traded companies owned collectively by individuals (be it through mutual funds or individual share ownership). Finally, the author speaks with certainty that the US will invade Iran and the world will evolve into a quagmire. An opinion is one thing but this is presented as certainty. It takes an extremely negative view of the future which I think is not necessarily the case. History has been rife with such predictions of the future and so far they’ve been wrong. We just saw an unprecedented meeting between American and Iranian politicians, the first such meeting since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, on how to fix Iraq. Certainly this doesn’t mean the problem is solved but it speaks of a desire of better and political communication which is a step towards progress. I’m not an optimist with my head buried in the sand; I’m a realist who thinks such opinions are not very credible due to blatant and factually incorrect economic statements. I’m not writing off the possibility of war but the future is dynamic and uncertain.
As trade evolves and countries become more economically linked they tend to increase economic co-operation for the betterment of the countries and their people. It’s not always smooth sailing but compare the number of wars fought in modern times to the number of wars in time periods before the 1900s; the days of the great colonial wars for control are gone. When did England and France last fight each other? They used to fight almost daily. For the record, the US at some point will no longer be the largest economy in the world - it will most likely transition to China or India as their economies develop and their citizens improve their standard of living.
By no means however does this spell the demise of the US. We saw the dominant economy transition from England to the US after the industrial revolution yet England is a strong and vibrant economy today and the British Pound is as strong as ever. Here’s to a better understanding of economics and a hope that we can find peace among nations and their peoples.
For further comments, you can email us or directly to Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org