Friday, May 18, 2012

It’s My Anniversary

Twenty years ago, I had my first day at my job. I honestly thought I’d be here for a year and then move out to California and write for the soap operas. Yes I was a naive 25 year old of grand dreams of being a writer.

Fast forward to now and I will say that I don’t have any regrets of staying in St. Louis and working here. If you’re going to have a job you work at for 20 years, this is the job to be at. I have wonderful co-workers and we have become a family.

Now I dream of retirement, however I’m not old enough to retire so that’s a few years away. I’m OK with that because I know this job is always an adventure. I look forward to the next twenty years.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

THE BUSINESS JOURNEY: Networking Tips from LaShanda Henry

When networking online or off line ask yourself these questions:

Why am I here?

What can I share?

Who do I want to meet?

Are you hoping to share your solutions and areas of expertise with others in need?

Monday, May 07, 2012

10 Things Learned At Romance Slam Jam 2012 - Part 2

6. Give out business cards and get their business card

Most of the people I met were readers, so I didn’t take my own advice and have them sign my notebook. However I did give out a lot of business cards and asked for theirs in return. I know next time, that I will carry a journal with me so I can capture more names and emails. Don’t forget when you return home to put those names into your mailing list.

7. Sit at different tables 

I will admit I learned this little tip when I did Mary Kay. Mary Kay said to meet people you have to get out of your comfort zone and sit with people you don’t know, not with who you know. You never meet people that way.

Every day I sat at a different table. I tried to meet everyone that was at the conference. I enjoyed the conversations I had with the different people I met.

8. Get out your comfort zone 

I do a lot of things online, so most of my interaction is through the internet. It’s easy to hide behind the computer sometimes, so this year I decided I would do more face to face workshops to get out of my comfort zone. When I was asked to present a workshop at Slam, I was a nervous wreck, but I moved passed the fear and decided to accept the position.

When I stepped into the room, I prayed and calmness came over me. I knew the Lord was guiding my tongue and everything would be fine.

9. Be prepared for changes 

I woke at 4 in the morning thinking what if my workshop is filled with writers instead of readers. I know promotion, so this would be their chance to ask me questions. Instead of going back to sleep I got up and wrote down some notes, just in case my audience changed.

Thank God I did, because my audience wanted to know about promotion. We talked about promotion and I was ready.

10. Have fun 

This past year has been HELL, so I was in dire need of some fun. I knew the Slam would provide fun and more fun. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. I enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.

Sometimes we get so caught up in attending all the workshops, we forget to take time to have fun. So miss a few workshops and enjoy hanging with your friends and have some fun.

If you attended the Slam, what did you learn, please share your experiences.

Friday, May 04, 2012

10 Things Learned At Romance Slam Jam 2012 - Part 1

1. Checklist should include everything you need for trip 

I’m one of those people who need lists to get things done. I always make a trip check list to make sure I have everything I need for the trip. Since most of my trips are personal, I didn’t realize I was leaving vital information off my checklist (promotional items for SORMAG).

This was a working trip and I forgot all my promotional items on my table in the hallway. I’d planned on putting them in the side pocket of my luggage. Never happen, so I will be updating the checklist for future work trips.

2. Roommates can make or break a conference.   I have been blessed to have some great roommates when I attend Romance Slam Jam. This year was no different. The two ladies I bunked with were the perfect roommates. One – Eboni (Kiana Alexander) and I have been roommates before and Kathy ( Regina Bryant) a new roomie for us both. We were like best friends in the room. We didn’t drive each other crazy and we even shared clothes.

Make sure you have the right roommate when you schedule a conference or you could have the roommate from hell who snores like a freight train.

 3. Pick the workshops you want to attend the night before.

The last thing you want to do is run around looking for your class only to find out its full because you weren’t ready the next day.

Also going over the schedule will let you know what workshops have changed or what workshops have been added.

4. Be a prepared presenter 

Always be professional when you are being a presenter. Have your notes ready. Have your presentation ready. Don’t wing it; believe me it will show and the last thing you want is to lose your audience because you’re not ready.

If you have notes and no copies, offer to send copies to those in attendance. This is also a great way to add those in attendance to your mailing list.

5. Have a way to stay in contact with those you meet. 

If you’re a presenter, have a notebook/journal or sheet of paper to capture those in attendance of your workshop. Let them know you will add them to your mailing list if they give you their name and email.

I met a few writers who didn’t think about this small but important part about coming to a conference, networking with those in attendance and building relationships.

If you attended the Slam, what did you learn, please share your experiences.