Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Networking Cafe

Our fall Entrepreneur's Networking Cafe meetings have been diverse and productive. The September meeting had a small turnout, but it was great to meet as always. Whether sharing information, business ideas, or just catching up, the networking meetings are always enjoyable. The downtown coffee shop is a nice environment for meeting, but it wasn't the most convenient location. The November networking meeting had better attendance with entrepreneurs sharing and selling their products and services. The personal setting provided a great opportunity for networking.

In October I moved my home office from Sacramento to Elk Grove with all of the disorganization that goes with a move. I find that even with the best planning, sometimes life events cause me a sense of chaos temporarily. November brought a visit from family with two small children. The fun, the noise, the laughter, and the exercise reminds me that we all experience different joys and challenges to running a business or finding balance with our careers. While the new energy in our home gives birth to chaos and creativity, it also brings challenges to organization and productivity. It gives me the opportunity to put myself in someone else's shoes. So many of us are experiencing changes so quickly we may find it hard to start a business or career planning when we are in the middle of unexpected changes. With all of the transitions we experience by the day or week rather than by the decade as was more common in the past, it is more important than ever to have a "LifeWork Success Plan." 

I developed "LifeWork Planning Guides" to help us feel more confident about the quick decisions we often have to make. Even when life seems a bit crazy and chaotic, knowing your strengths and values helps you stay on track with the things that are important to you. Try the "Introduction to LifeWork Planning Guides" delivered to your email box each month. We will not contact you unless you request it and you can cancel at anytime. You are busy and so are we. No one wants information they don't need, but a brief spam free email can help you stay on track and prepare for the next exciting stage in your life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September Networking Cafe

The September Entrepreneur's Networking Cafe will be held at:

Butch & Nellies Coffee Shop
Downtown Sacramento
Saturday, September 20th
9:00 - 11:00 AM

Drop by, say hello, and let us know what you are doing. Entrepreneurs benefit from networking with other entrepreneurs, small business, and other professionals. What makes you a professional?  If you are passionate about what you do, you are willing to share your expertise, and continue learning.

The small group networking has been amazing in River Park. We hope to find a few people who are willing to go downtown for some great coffee, tea, and conversation.

Networking really is more than a business card!  But feel free to share cards so we will remember your name & business.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Knowing what you want

When I tell people that I am a career counselor, I often hear responses like, "I'm not looking for a job right now."  As a career development professional, I know that there is so much more to a career than just looking for a job, although a results oriented job search is very demanding.  I like calling myself a LifeWork Coach because the name gives people a better sense of what I do. 

In the last couple of weeks I've found my life and family having a major impact on my work.  I am my own boss, so I am usually good to myself although I can be quite demanding, but I have been thinking about people who have jobs with little flexibility.  When unexpected events happen in life, a person's work and lifestyle can be greatly affected.

My mother went to the hospital for a routine back surgery a couple of weeks ago.  Although it was considered major surgery, the operation went well.  On the other hand the patient didn't respond well to all of the medications, anesthesia, and stress of surgery.  Major surgery is harder on people as they get older, but hospitalization and surgery can be stressful for many of us.  In fact, if a person is well and able to take care of themselves, hospitalization can still be stressful.  If you don't feel well, you definitely need family (or a close friend) to help take care of you.

I have heard many times that when a family member goes to the hospital, they need someone there or nearby to help.  It was more true than I realized.  Modern science and medicine have come so far that we are curing cancers, heart disease, and so many diseases that were considered terminal.  With all of the "miracles" of modern medicine, the patient is often forgotten.  There is a real person behind the patient, and family/friends need to make sure the person is taken care of.  But how?  

Most of us are so busy that we have a hard time keeping up with ourselves, our work, and our immediate families.  What happens when we are needed full time or part time to help a family member?  For people who have little flexibility at work the result can be disastrous for the job or the family member.  What can we do?

Planning and preparing for unexpected events will help when a crisis comes up.  The goal of "LifeWork Design" is to know who you are and what you want so that you will be prepared. Knowing what your values are, and evaluating how you want to spend your time and your money are the subject of this month's "LifeWork Planning Guides."  The subject was so important to me in deciding what I would make the time for, and what I could either not do or put off until later.  I decided the math class that I had just signed up for could wait.  I could afford to let my work get behind a little bit, because I knew it could wait, and I could catch up.  It wasn't what I wanted to do at the time, but I knew what was most important to me.  I was ready to make decisions based on my values. 

Taking care of family is a high value for me.  Sometimes there is a high cost to having close relationships, but the cost of neglecting relationships is even higher.  I am thankful that with the help of the family, my mother is doing much better.  I am back to work full time and enjoying every minute of it!

Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, finding balance in your life and work can be challenging.   What challenges are you facing in your career?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August Networking Cafe

We were sorry to learn that Javalicious Cafe, our neighborhood coffee shop closed its doors. We will have an Open House Networking Meeting in August.

August 16, 2008

Contact Nancy for details. Stay connected to stay resilient in a changing business environment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

August 23rd Entrepreneur's Networking Cafe

Place & possibly time will be changed
More information soon!

Javalicious Café

August 23, 2008
9:00 – 10:00 A.M.

“Show & Tell”
Bring a sample of your product, brochure, etc.
Briefly tell what makes you or your product unique.

Participating Businesses:
Pacific Pointe Insurance Agency
Sandra J. Hertkorn, Medical Billing Systems
Center for LifeWork Design
The Urban Flower
Flowering Leaf Jewelry

Share & Collaborate
Networking is more than a business card!

Contact Nancy: for more information

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Americans House Big Dreams

Is bigger always better?

We've been looking for a home in the California housing market. Prices are down, but it is a crazy complicated time to buy. It's difficult, but possible for the average person to get a good price on a home in this market, but things are never what they seem. Because Americans dream about big homes, and banks lust after big loans, buying a home has taken on a whole new meaning. For most Americans, a home represents so many different things:

  • a right
  • a showcase
  • a possession
  • an investment
  • an entertainment center
  • a place of beauty and refuge
  • a place to store all of your stuff
  • a welcome place for guests to visit
In many places in the world (and for some Americans), a home is a place to live, share relationships, prepare food, and have a family. Some people feel blessed if they even have a home. But for so many Americans, home is a status symbol and bigger is always better. According to Fast Company Magazine's article on the housing industry and greenhouse emissions, building and maintaining large energy guzzling American homes creates more greenhouse emissions than transportation in this country.

We've been looking for a smaller home to downsize and be more energy efficient. But the temptation to go large is very great, especially if the price is similar. Concerns about where to put all of the stuff, where will family stay when they visit, how to have a sense of privacy and of course, "Where's the family room?" We certainly wouldn't want to live in the living room.

Another important consideration is the appraisal. As an investment, the square footage is the first consideration in appraising a property. Getting the right home at the right time and price can be as lucrative as winning the lottery or at least a game show prize. The temptation to look for the prize creeps its ugly head into many real estate deals in California. Have we lost sight of looking for health and happiness through healthy eating and healthy relationships? I talk about it a lot, and facilitate workshops and presentations on health and happiness, because that's what it takes to keep me on track with my vision and values.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July Networking Cafe

Entrepreneur's Networking Cafe

9:00 - 10:00 AM

July 19, 2008

If you are an entrepreneur
Coach Entrepreneurs
Or think like an entrepreneur

Join us at
Javalicious Cafe
(Carlson Dr. Sacramento)
Delicious coffee and pastries

Practice your brief introduction to your product, service or skills
in a fun friendly environment
(This is not speed networking)

Share & collaborate
Networking is more than a business card!

For more information
Contact Nancy
Center for LifeWork Design

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The Entrepreneur’s Networking Café, June 7, was a great success. It was a small informal networking group in contrast to the “Speed Networking” event I attended last evening hosted by the Business Chapter, Sacramento State University Alumni Association. “Speed Networking” is a great exercise and an opportunity to get your business card out to a number of businesses in a short period of time. It is also a good opportunity to practice your “elevator” speech. I met some interesting people and made some contacts.

In the cozy informal setting of Javalicious Café, the June Entrepreneur’s Networking Café had a small group of entrepreneurs discussing "what you do and why you do it." Janet Hignight, Vice President of Pacific Pointe Insurance Agency said their business is all about relationships and helping people understand the insurance business. They will be hosting an insurance education workshop July 24th. Enjoy a fun informational evening. Call for details. The unexpected common interests were amazing! Some of us made an appointment to tour the new Techskills facility, which led to further connections and relationships.

Whether you own your business or work for someone else, understanding what you do and why you do it, will help you periodically re-evaluate your goals, stay motivated and have "an attitude of gratitude" in all of the work you do. We're looking forward to the next Entrepreneur's Networking Cafe July 19th,
9:00 AM, at Javalicious.

Center for Fathers and Families

I recently attended the Center for Fathers and Families, 6th Annual Salute to Fatherhood Banquet at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento. With the goal of strengthening families and building communities, the center has made an impact on youth and parents in the Sacramento area. I was very moved by the success story of a teen who had gone through the AWARE (Adolescents Willing to Act Responsibly Everyday) Life skills for teen males program and graduated from college with a goal of making a difference in his community. I applaud Rick Jennings for all of the work he has done to provide opportunities for youth and families to succeed through the many programs at the Center for Fathers and Families.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Feelings of Gratitude

As I sit in my office on this cool spring morning, I can hear birds, planes, and the chug of my computer so easily grinding thoughts into words. I can sit back and feel the pleasure and comfort of my big office chair. There have been so many mornings where I dashed out without breakfast to take a brisk walk to the bus, then felt hot and tired on the walk home. This morning I pause to enjoy the gratitude of feeling comfort, safety and satisfaction in what I am doing. Not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this kind of pleasure on a daily basis, but I know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it today if I hadn’t taken a few moments to indulge in feelings of gratitude.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Entrepreneur's Networking

Entrepreneur’s Networking Cafe

If you are an entrepreneur

Coach entrepreneurs or

Think like an entrepreneur

Join Us

at Javalicious Café

(Follow Carlson Drive from Sac State to

The little Shopping Center in River Park)

June 7, 2008

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Share ideas, resources, and network with entrepreneurs

First meeting, “What you do and why you do it”
Share & Collaborate

Networking is more than a business card!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Urban Gatherer

Confessions of an Urban Gatherer

Gather, accumulate, collect, amass. The “urban gatherer” saves for the next storm or disaster. Mainly they save for fear of losing what they have. I have found myself living like an “urban gatherer” storing up for whatever future uncertainty might come my way. Rather than giving, recycling and feeling blessed for all that I have, I find myself holding on.

It's not hard to find myself wanting just another snack or a trip to the mall. I feel like I need an energy boost. I should go have an orange. So I go into the kitchen and see a wonderful array of snacks. I could have some chips or cheese and then have the orange. One snack leads to another and pretty soon I've had too much. I go to the mall to just to get out, walk around and hear some music. I get there and decide that I really need that little $12 shirt at the department store. When I get in the store I see so many things that I would like to have and they are all on sale. The $12 top has turned into a $75 dollar purchase. I'm happy!

I get home and have another snack because I'm really hungry after the shopping trip. Now I'm feeling a little too full and hoping I fit into the jeans I bought on sale. I open my closet to put the new clothes away and find there's very little room. Maybe I need a bigger closet. Or better yet a bigger house. I sit down and turn on the TV. I definitely need a bigger house for the large screen TV I need. My kids are getting large screen TV's, so I'm sure we should have one. There's no point in getting the Wii we want if we have a small television. The possibilities are endless. I realize that I need to get up and go put some things away. But where? There's no room. I need to spend some time organizing, but how will I have time? My computer crashed yesterday and it will take me hours or days to set up all of my accounts and programs.

I have to ask myself, "Am I really suffering from having too little?” Maybe I have so much stuff that I am having trouble managing it. I know that I can't let go of things that I don't need anymore because I may need them later. There's talk of inflation going up or possible recession. I'm not sure when I'm going to get that dream job, and my husband is planning to retire in a year. I picked up some old shoes out of my closet this morning and realized that I probably don't need them anymore. I have two other old pair and would like to purchase something newer. I started to throw the shoes away and then wondered what I would do if I needed them later. There was a time when I couldn't afford to buy new shoes when I wanted them. I remember when I ate food I didn't really like because I was actually hungry. I also think back to just being tired and hungry from long days in graduate school when I got home too late to fix dinner.

Now I seem to have plenty of food that I like. I have clothes, a television, two computers, a smart phone and an iPod. Remembering to keep everything charged and in the proper bag or pocket so that I have it with me is a challenge. I ponder over which breakfast bar I like best so I always have a snack with me in case a meeting or class runs late. I try to keep up-to-date on all of my business magazines, news, politics and the state of the economy because it is an important part of being a personal/career coach. But when I look at the hundreds of emails in my inbox, I just want to turn it off. I have self-study courses, ezines, telecourses and advertisements. My office is cluttered with more books and information than I can ever process much less read. Where is this insatiable appetite for stuff and information coming from? What am I trying to fill?
As I think about it, I realize that I get some sense of security from feeling like I'm smart and I know things. If I keep filling my closet then surely I can make an impression at the next networking meeting or presentation. I can feel assured that I won't starve when we have the next disaster because I started keeping a good supply of canned food, a windup flash light and a windup radio on hand after Y2K. But somehow all of these things don't make me feel satisfied. In fact, I can't always find the things that I really need. I know that it is time for me to quit behaving like a hunter-gatherer always storing up for winter. I want to live in the moment and savor all that my life has to offer.

The only way to be truly resilient and prepared for disaster is not through gathering and storing things. There is no security in having stuff that can be swept away in an instant. I am ready now to leave a life of the fear of uncertainty and begin filling my life with meaningful relationships, health and spirituality. Come back and join me in finding a truly fulfilling life. I enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback.

For comments, please send me an email, and I will post it to the website with your permission. I am no longer using comments because of the occasional inappropriate use of the Internet. I want to keep this site friendly for everyone who wants to visit. You are welcome to send me an email that you don’t want posted. Send comments to: