The Corey Story

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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

How does your bank rate? Plus an Event this Saturday!

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 20, 2010

MOVE YOUR MONEY PORTLAND – COME PARTY WITH US!

Local Banking for a Vibrant Local Economy – Rally and Celebration

Saturday May 22nd, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 1-4pm

Live music, meet local banks and credit unions, and learn how banking local is vital for our community.

Criteria for Local Banks

Portland rankings and justifications

Posted in Business, Finance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Money Knot – What If It Really Isn’t About The Money?

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 12, 2010

Our next teleclass is about our Money Trap Doors. This is a phrase I have coined for those money related beliefs that seem to magically open up beneath our feet, causing us to fall away. There are many of them. Some we have created for ourselves, others are cultural. There is one in particular that I thought deserved some extra special, individual attention, sort of like the kid that is acting out in school.

Let’s call this one Masquerading as Money. Let me give you a couple of examples and see if you can recognize it for yourself. A while back, I had a call with an attorney. He was seriously considering further discounting his fees based on an interaction he had with a potential client. He said he already was charging less than the going rate, and had made sure that the potential client knew that. The client had committed to work with him on some family oriented legal work that the attorney specialized in. The next morning the client called and canceled, saying that her brother had decided they should go with their general family attorney. Our attorney asked if money was a factor, and the potential client said yes, but it was mostly about using the family attorney. Our attorney felt this was a signal to further lower his fees. I felt it was much more about that the family was nervous about an unknown, and wanted to go with the person they knew and trusted, even if it wasn’t their specialty. Both our attorney and the client tried to make it about money, but I just don’t think so.

It’s true that money is part of the decision, but it’s not all of it. Perhaps a great way to identify this Money Trap Door is to ask this question:

“If this issue wasn’t about money, would the result still be the same?”

To be even clearer, if we took money out of the equation, would the client still have chosen the family attorney? If the answer is yes, then money isn’t really the deciding factor, is it?

So why would someone take a non-money problem and try to blame it on the money? It’s often easier to make things about money. It’s less emotional in some ways. We get less tangled up. I found myself confused once by something I was trying to make about money, when I knew it wasn’t. I’d been having regular massages by a particular masseuse (yes, lucky me!) I consider these massages as being necessary to my good health. Suddenly, one morning, I woke up and thought “I can’t afford those massages anymore.” I literally looked around to see who said that. I was actually astonished. I knew that nothing in my financial position had changed. I could afford the massages just as well this month as I had the prior six months. What was going on? As I sat and pondered this, I realized that I just didn’t like her technique any more. Somehow it wasn’t doing it for me. The real problem had nothing to do with money. Yet what were the first words out of my mouth?

We aren’t accustomed to being able to just change our minds about something. We have perhaps a cultural pressure to have a “good reason” for a change. It seems strange to just change our mind. We need to be angry, or have had bad service, or no longer be able to afford whatever it is. That last reason seems to be the easiest to put over, the easiest for people to accept. No one talks about money. So no one is going to question that excuse.

There is this magic thing, if you make it about money, no one asks any questions. Try it. Next time you don’t want to do something, just say “I can’t afford it.” It’s like magic. People will disappear. Talking about money on that level is so taboo, it’s a true conversation stopper. It can be a great excuse, if you are conscious of it as one.

However, if you use money as the excuse, or the Masquerader, without being conscious of it, you’ll just fall through a Money Trap Door, and find yourself somewhere you may not have wanted to go.

It’s good to sort it out and know what part is really about money, and what part really isn’t. I’ve got a client that did just that. Her ex-husband wanted to take their son on a vacation, and he wanted his ex-wife to give him money for the extra cost of feeding his son during the trip. She realized that this wasn’t really about money. It was about a bunch of other things, things like fairness and power and putting the son in the middle. The tangle that was building over the son being told that he wouldn’t be able to go on the trip unless him mom paid for his food wasn’t about money. It would have been easy in some ways to let it be about money, wouldn’t it? But the tangle of power and fairness is the real problem. Often the choices around these issues don’t have a nice and neat happy solution.

People make it about money to avoid pain or embarrassment. We make it about money to minimize pain, to eliminate scrutiny. We make it about money because we know that most of the time people won’t look beyond money for the cause. It’s easy to make it about money.

If the problem is not about money, then it costs us to make it seem so. It costs us by reinforcing the idea that money “makes” things happen. When you make money the “bad guy”, you end up hiding the actual cause, and thus make it impossible to stop or change.

What other costs can you see? Now that you know what happens when an issue Masquerades as Money, you have a choice. You can look to see what else is creating the issue, or you can continue to fall through the trap. Choices are like that.

If you are interested in identifying other Money Trap Doors you may fall through, join us on this month’s call.

Upcoming Teleclasses:

We have two events to talk about in this Money Knot. One is for April, and a special one for early May, for those of us with artistic and creative leanings.

Teleclass: What’s Your Money Trap?

Here’s how Money Trap Doors work. You are walking through life and suddenly this money place takes over. It’s like we just fall through a trap door. We are surrounded by Money Trap Doors all the time. Some we have created for ourselves and some are imposed by our culture and history. Identifying and exploring these trap doors will create both clarity and choice about whether or not you want to keep falling through them.

We’ll explore at least five Money Trap Doors. While exploring them, we will look both at their impact on you when you fall through one, and also how to avoid being drug into any trap doors that other people may try and pull you into.

Learn how to walk around, jump over, or at least climb back out of those money traps.

Date: Wednesday, April 21st

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: http://www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

___________________________________________________

Our second teleclass is a joint venture between Shell and Rebecca Coleman.

Teleclass: Can Artists Be Friends With Money?

As creatives, you just want to be creative! You are passionate about your art, and you want to spend all of your time doing that. You do not want to spend time thinking about how to pay the rent, how to market yourself, and how to create more income. If you want to survive, thrive, and even prosper as an artist, you need to get clear about your relationship with money.

$ Does it feel like money is some mysterious thing that no one ever really explained to you?

$ Do you sometimes wish that you never had to think about money again?

$ Does crunching numbers sound about as fun as a root canal?

Money coach Shell Tain will be with us to point out the money related road blocks that keep us stuck in the mindset of being starving artists. Shell has a no-number-crunching approach to money that helps us see it in new ways. You’ll leave this call with some new perspectives and ideas about you, money and about your relationship with it.

Rebecca Coleman a freelance theatre publicist in Vancouver, BC, Canada, will co-host the call, stirring up questions and ideas. She is passionate about helping artists to become better business people, and writes about the subject frequently on her blog, The Art of the Business, found at http://www.artofthebiz.com

Together, these two will lead you towards untangling some of the money thinking that keeps road blocking you on your way to being both a creative and a prosperous artist.

Date: Tuesday, May 4th

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: http://www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

Shell Tain, pcc, cpcc

$ensible Coaching

503.258.1630

shell@sensiblecoaching.com

www.sensiblecoaching.com

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How Creating A Free Poweful Support Team Can Help You In Your Business

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 1, 2010

As a small business owner, finding good help can be a challenge. Qualified candidates are more likely to be attracted to large companies than small businesses because of their high profile and better pay.

If you are very small or just getting started, you probably can’t afford to hire someone even part-time but, having office help would free you from the busywork and tasks that get in the way of the stuff that needs to get done to bring in the revenue.

One way that you can get good help is by creating your own free powerful support team by capitalizing on the power of academic internships.

Who Are They?

Most interns are college students (though there are some high school students looking for internships) who need more school credits for graduation, or simply want to get work experience. But some are past students or displaced workers who would like to either build skills and experience or try to break into a new field. Both of these groups can be a key asset to your business. And they are often open to working for little or no pay, so they are less costly than bringing on a regular employee.

Interns Can Help With Everyday Tasks

Most interns have little or no actual experience in their field, so they’re best suited to small tasks initially. But, don’t relegate them to the role of gopher. They’ll just need to work their way up to the more complicated tasks.

Interns can start out doing the busywork and paperwork you dislike Or maybe it’s the administrative and clerical work you may put off or ignore. Once they’ve mastered that, they can grow into tasks that are more complicated. The timing will depend on the intern’s skill level and your needs.

Here’s just a short list of what my interns do for me:

***They manage my email and answer my phones

***Keep my calendar organized and confirm my appointments

***Update my website and manage my social networking

***Help me publish my ezine and post articles to my blog

***Keep my database and email list updated and growing

***Develop processes for running my business smarter

Oh, yeah, and did I mention they do it for free? They need and want experience, skill building, and knowledge for the next stage of their career. I get help. They get another resume entry, everyone wins!

Interns Can Help With Short-Term Projects

If you have a short-term project that you need extra help on, or if your company gets seasonal boosts of business, having interns is a super way to acquire the support you need at a low or no cost. They are often willing to put in extra effort to get a good reference or letter of recommendation from you. And because you don’t have an employment agreement, they can stay on with you only as long as you need them.

Here are some projects an intern could help with:

***Preparing receipts and records for tax time

***Organizing a file cabinet or creating filing system

***Scanning important documents or photos

***Direct mail campaigns

***Moving or organizing your office

Interns are great for businesses, and small businesses, including solo-business owners, can benefit from hiring them. Whether you need a temporary extra hand around the office or someone to help with a small project, hiring an intern could be just the solution you’re looking for. It’s a cost-effective way to help others in your community get much-needed career experience and you get the help you need to stay focused on what’s most important in your business.

Deanna Maio , Business Coach & Consultant, teaches women business owners how to attract more clients, make more sales, stop wasting time, and create a business that acts as a vehicle for living the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to increase your income and client base in your business, visit http://www.savvygals.com/


Posted in Business, Coaching, Savvy Strategies | Leave a Comment »

Office Space at Q Center for Rent!

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 29, 2010

Posted in Business, LGBT, q center | Leave a Comment »

What does your bank believe in?

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 25, 2010

Sound like a bank you would like to support?

Call Jeff Hurder (503) 445-2157

Posted in Business, LGBT, Money, PABA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Alone But In Great Company

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 9, 2010

Last week I unexpectedly found myself with some free time after an early morning meeting so I decided to treat myself to breakfast at a small local cafe. I knew the place wasn’t fancy but the food was good and that was what mattered.

As I walked in the door, I was greeted with a “Go ahead and sit anywhere, hon” and a big smile from the woman I could see through the kitchen pass-through; the two servers were busy with customers so she took it upon herself to greet me. She immediately followed up by leaving the kitchen, where she was obviously cooking, and brought me a menu and some water.

The server came over to take my order and in just a few minutes I was comfortably settled with my breakfast and the morning newspaper, relaxed and thoroughly enjoying myself. At the same time, I was aware that it was more than just my immediate personal circumstances that were putting me in such a happy frame of mind … it was the atmosphere surrounding me.

I could hear the interaction of the servers and the other patrons as they settled themselves. It was obvious that many of them were “regulars” as they were known by name, and that “Henry” liked extra whipped cream in his hot chocolate, and that “Sarah” was going to have her usual. Not only did the servers know the preferences of their customers, but the customers recognized — by their comments — how nice it was to be taken care of in just such a manner. “She knows just what I like!”

The friendliness and mutual respect for each other was obvious and spilled over onto customers like myself, a non-regular. I received smiles and friendly comments from both employees and patrons when I arrived and when I left.

It was a lovely way to start my day!

Remember…

Do you remember the TV show Cheers … the place “where everybody knows your name?” It may be cheesy but it really does make a difference. How do you feel when you are greeted with a friendly smile and a “good morning” or “hello” when you walk into an establishment?

Give it a try — even if you are a customer, not the proprietor. Help build atmosphere!

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Make Your Business Flourish Despite Life’s Distractions

Posted by Corey Kaster on February 11, 2010

I know the things I could be doing for my business to keep it growing and successful — the programs I can’t wait to share with my clients, or the affordable products I want to develop. Very exciting stuff, I agree. I can even see the end result in my mind, the money I want to earn, and the number of people I want to reach.

But, boy, does it get hard sometimes. For example, I can get bogged down by daily demands that don’t really get me to my goals. Or, I get discouraged because I’m not where I want to be. Sometimes it seems so far off, doesn’t it?

So, what do I do in these dark and distracting times? — Two simple you know already, dear reader! Yes, they are called Self-Discipline and Persistence. Today we’ll examine them to help refresh your memory and remind you of what you already know, and I hope, spark you to take some new action to integrate them more fully into your business.

Self-Discipline: Do You Want to Control Your Destiny?

Building self-discipline takes practice, especially with long-term goals. I know I’m impatient. I want what I want and I wanted it yesterday. Yet things must run their course and some things just take time to develop. Yet, I have to make my plans stay on track and that is directly connected to what I choose to do each day to make it all happen. That’s the essence of self-discipline, to make a conscious decision in how I want to control my destiny.

Pause here for a moment:

  • Think about how you want to make your own destiny. Go through the business goals you have for yourself, especially for this new year.
  • Imagine the choices you’ll make from now on as you encounter obstacles, distractions, and temptations.
  • Break up your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable mini-goals that you can celebrate each time you achieve every one.

But how do you keep going and going when you start getting tired and are losing your wind? It seems no end is in sight. Things don’t seem to be changing even with the conscious choices you’ve made. This is when you must persevere!

Persistence = One Sexy Tortoise

Persistence is a mental game with yourself. You have to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing even though it’s not fun or downright anxiety-inducing. Dangle the carrot of good things coming to you because of what you’re putting in. Don’t forget to give kudos where kudos is due — great job!

Feeling stuck? Are you sure you’re stuck, or are you simply not allowing your actions time to bear fruit? If you see a certain action is not working after all, it’s okay to change tactics, to try something new. As a famous general said, “We’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction.”

Some Closing Thoughts

When you know you have to wait for the results from all your effort, it can be an agony. It can be an uncertain period, and this is where hanging onto your goals becomes so important so that they can make your vision for your business a reality. Then, you can continue on for another day. Let me leave you with another inspiring quote from a wise Chinese saying, “If there is no dark and dogged will, there will be no shining accomplishment; if there is no dull and determined effort, there will be no brilliant achievement.”

©2010 Deanna Maio, Savvy Gals LLC

Deanna Maio

Certified Professional Business & Career Coach

SavvyGals Coaching & Consulting, LLC

Office:503-922-2688

deanna@savvygals.com

www.savvygals.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Reach Out With A Thought

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 19, 2010

You may buy a pre-printed greeting card for all types of occasions. There are the usual birthday, going away, anniversary, holiday, loss of a loved one, engagement, new baby and get well types of sentiments, as well as some less than expected, such as congratulations on your divorce, hear he/she dumped you, etc.

But there are times when a pre-printed message doesn’t express your sentiments adequately, or there simply isn’t a card to cover the situation, such as “I’m sorry you ran you car over the curb during the recent snow and are now facing a $2,200 repair bill.”

It’s even more difficult when you don’t know how to — or feel comfortable — expressing your concern or empathy. So often times, you may simply let the occasion slide by, feeling slightly guilty but tell yourself that your voice won’t be missed.

And perhaps it won’t be missed but it certainly might have been welcomed.

When you learn that a friend or colleague has had a bit of misfortune, reach out and send a good thought their direction. You can do this via a telephone call, email, a handwritten note card, even a posting on facebook. The point is to make the connection. If you don’t know what to say, it’s ok to say that! The point of reaching out is to let the person know that you are thinking of him and whatever the situation might be, from a car problem to a death in the family, you wish him well.

While your action will not change the situation, your thoughtfulness and consideration will be appreciated.

Remember…

Mother Theresa once said “People might not remember what you said, they might not remember what you did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”

Classes Offered In February

Want to feel more comfortable with “how” you are doing things so you can focus on the business at hand? Join me for a series of four evening classes pertaining to Business Etiquette for only $109.00 February 1 – 10, M & W, 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

  • Distinguish Yourself From The Competition
  • Communication That Matters
  • Networking With Distinction
  • Presenting A Professional Appearance

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Customer Service: An Attitude, Not A Department …

Consumers have a multitude of choices available to them every day and they are looking for the outstanding differences: courtesy, image, service and reliability. Are you doing all you can to draw customers to your business … and retain them? Join me for this three hour class and learn how attention to details really do make the difference. February 17, 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Cost: $69.00

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Let Me Make It Convenient For … Me

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 13, 2010

Customer Service, as defined by Wikipedia, is providing service to customers before, during and after their purchase to enhance their level of satisfaction.

But at whose convenience?

  • The grocery store employee, who retrieves the carts from the parking lots but piles them up so they block the doorway rather than distributing them evenly between the two entrances.
  • The account billing staff, where the voicemail greeting is friendly and courteous and promises a return call within 48 hours.
  • The store clerk on the other end of the phone, who asks the customer to hold why she chats with her fellow employee about her after-work plans.

The key word is CUSTOMER, as in customer takes priority. It is the customer that can make or break a business. The customer has a multitude of choices out there and is looking for the outstanding differences, which is not necessarily price point.

Courtesy, Service, Reliability

Do you return calls promptly, as in the same day? In 48 hours I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, but I’m sure I won’t be in a position to talk about my simple billing inquiry — that’s why I called now! I understand that you may have to get back to me with answers to my question, but at least take the time to find out what it is first!

Are you friendly? Do you make it easy and welcoming for me to do business with you? Or do I literally have to shove things aside to get in your door? (Or figure out how to contact you from your website.)

Do you follow through on what you say you will do, and in a timely manner? Will you not get sidetracked by other conversations or details when you are dealing with me? Can I count on you and know I will walk away from our transaction feeling good about our association?

As your customer, I need to know I come first.

Remember…

The large red Easy Button. Probably everyone has seen the commercials put out by Staples. “That was easy.” They are referring to getting what you require, when you need it, without any hassle. They are referring to excellent customer service. It’s a great idea.

Do you have one? More importantly, do your customers think you have one?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Sincerity Counts

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 15, 2009

Sending holiday greeting cards is a way for us to connect with friends and family or extend a thank you to our business clients and contacts for their support.

Last week I received a card from someone I met at a networking event. Normally I would consider this a very thoughtful gesture, but this person and I really didn’t “meet” and we definitely didn’t share a conversation of any sort. Rather, this individual walked up to me as I was speaking with a colleague, said hello, asked for one of my business cards and then stepped away. That was the sum total of our interaction.

What made this card stand out to me — and not in a good way — was that there was a small, crookedly trimmed piece of paper — a generic, photocopied message — included inside the card, thanking me for my loyalty to the company, along with a few lines telling me about their holiday referral program. Loyalty to their company? I had never had any type of interaction with it, so there was no loyalty … and therefore, it was a bit soon to be talking about referrals!

Businesses, and business people, may send cards because they want to stay in front of their clients; it’s another way to touch base and say “Please don’t forget I’m still around, ready to help you!” But it is also an opportunity to say “Thank You! I appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you and wish you well.” The second reason should always outshine the first. If you are going to send cards, be genuine in your good wishes; anything less is obvious.

I know of a company that is sending out electronic cards this year. They decided to forgo mailing their regular holiday greetings and instead, are donating the money they would normally spend to a local program that helps to feed the homeless and hungry. Due to a challenge grant, this program will be able to have their donated funds matched one and a half times. This small company is going to be feeding 2,600 people!

That is a holiday card I look forward to receiving, as it comes from a company that truly wishes others well this holiday season.

Remember…

Holiday cards do not have to be sent out RIGHT NOW!

While Thanksgiving has already passed us by, keep it in mind for next year … are you thankful for your clients? Your family? Your friends? Start 2010 off right by sending New Year’s wishes … what would you like to see in the coming months? Even Groundhog’s Day … we might be in for a few more weeks of winter, but we know spring is around the corner!

Cards are to tell the recipient “I am thinking of you — I appreciate you — and I wish you the best.” Who says there has to be a specific date on them?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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