Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CPR by Donation is back!

After a summer/fall hiatus CPR by Donation is back!

Things got really busy this summer with my kids.  We planned our first serious family vacation around a college touring schedule for my eldest daughter.  I also volunteered and worked at 2 different summer camps.  This was my first paid camp position and I had a super fun time!

The school year started off with a bang and a lot of on-site class bookings.  With so many classes it just was impossible to add more to my calendar!

But as the dust of a busy Fall settles, I'm thrilled to be able bring CPR by Donation back later this month!  The program will still run roughly every other month beginning in 2016.

For information on the program and to register for the next course on November 21st please visit my CPR by Donation webpage.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Would you steal a sticker off someone's bulletin board?

Saturday evening when I was leaving my class I found a thumbtack on the stairs.  I thought it odd since I don't have anything on the walls in the stairwell.

Today I discovered where the thumbtack came from.

I have a bulletin board in the hallway in our studio.  I post stickers, business cards and postcards from different business I have taught at.  There are also some lovely notes posted there that folks have sent me.

I went to add a card to the board and discovered that a sticker I had tacked to the board was gone.

Who would steal a sticker from a bulletin board in someone's office?

It had to have disappeared on Saturday as there was no tack on the stairs when I arrived that morning to teach and I had tucked a business card behind the sticker that morning.  I found the business card on the floor.

So to whomever from one of my Saturday Heartsaver courses that took my Portsmouth Kayak Adventures sticker, I hope you're enjoying it.  I will pick up another as not only did I teach a class for them; I brought my Girl Scout troop there and we had a wonderful evening kayaking adventure.  The staff at Portsmouth Kayak Adventures are well trained and were great to work with.  My troop had a wonderful time and I can't wait to visit them again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


So seriously, we have so many numbers running through our heads on a daily basis.... how can we keep track of all of them?

I had someone come up to me the other day and ask my hourly rate for proofreading.  (sigh)  I supposed I looked rather unorganized or clueless, but off the top of my head I just don't remember.  It's not a number I have memorized or that I'm asked on a regular basis.

In case you're wondering, I looked it up.  And now that I've got a number in my head the chances of anyone asking me today have decreased exponentially.

Shameless plug:  If you are in need of a proofreader, editor or content/ghost writer please visit my alter ego at

Monday, October 5, 2015

When it rains it pours

Last year I was hired as a substitute teacher for a local school district.  Technically I was hired at the end of the previous school year, but didn't get any calls.

In fact my phone really didn't ring at all.  For months.  However things picked up and I started subbing a bit more last spring.

Why did I become a sub?

My primary business is a feast or famine business.  I'm either really busy or I'm listening to crickets.  My secondary business is also very, very small.  Since it is primarily short-term & occasional projects, it is not a steady source of income.  I also left my steady, but low-paying, part-time job last winter.  Subbing was a way to bring in some income without limiting my availability for booking classes.

I was really surprised to start getting calls on the second day of school this year.  I figured it would be several weeks before teachers were out sick or needing to take a day off.  Wow, was I surprised!  But September was pretty booked with classes so guiltily I had to decline the offers to sub that month.

This week I am attending & working at a 3-day business conference that I have had the opportunity to work at for the past 3 years.  While several of thing that will be discussed do not match my business model I always learn new things and it gets me really thinking about my business.  Which is good with the changes that will be happening in just over a week.

So of course, I had not one, but two calls to sub.  Today.  Day 1 of the conference. (sigh)  Like my feast or famine business; either no one calls me for weeks or everyone calls on the day I have something scheduled.

Fortunately I already have a sub shift lined up for later this week.

I'm excited to be learning and focusing on my business for the next three days. This is my annual opportunity to review where I am at, what direction I want to move in, and begin to make strategies to do it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sales spam

I think every business owner gets lots of unsolicited emails from companies trying to sell products and services to them.  I usually ignore them.  They usually send 2 emails.  The second outlining why I need them.  The second usually more informal, like a friend catching up, using comments like... "I haven't heard back from you".  Yup, right... you didn't hear back from me because I deleted your email.

So today I get a third email from this company, it was kinda entertaining.  Identifying information on the company removed.  I might find this amusing, but they might not like being the subject of a blog post.


I have been trying to connect with you over the past two weeks, to learn about your programs and who the best person to speak with on this subject. Being that I haven't heard from you, this leads me to a few possible circumstances:

1) You’re all set with suppliers at Coastal CPR and First Aid LLC, and if that is the case please let me know so I stop bothering you.

2) You are interested in what XXXX can do, but just very busy right now. If this is the case, please let me know when we can pick up the conversation.

3) You got attacked by a Lemur,
and need me to call for help....
Brown Lemur in Andasibe.jpg
Please let me know which it is, as I am beginning to worry......

Look forward to hearing from you!



So I begin to think about this.  Despite a crazy busy day preparing for tomorrow's race.  Yes, tomorrow is the 14th annual Fox Point Sunset 5 Mile Road Race.  We'll be doing race day registration beginning at 3pm if you want to come run or walk the best 8K on the Seacoast!  But the race is not the topic of my post.  I got home from early bib pick up and saw the email still sitting in my inbox, and well..... felt I need to reply.  If only to assure a total stranger that I was not in danger from Lemurs.  

My reply:

Dear Joe,

Thank you for your kind concern for my well-being.  I have not been attacked by lemurs, I live in NH so I have a greater chance of being attacked by a moose, or a coyote or fisher cat.  Although I do spend time in the evening watching deer, which are much more docile.

I have not replied as I get a lot of unsolicited email from folks like you trying to sell me services and products that I don't need.  Mostly I ignore all these emails. I get that you're trying to make a sale, and want to follow up.  Pretty much everyone sends me a second email writing something like "I haven't heard back from you"; which is accurate since I never replied to the first email.  I have to admit your third email was a bit unique, although might appear stalker-ish if you are concerned for my welfare when you really don't know me.  And perhaps subtly appealing to old fashioned manners that would necessitate a reply to your inquiry.

I teach CPR and First Aid, I use national programs published by groups like the American Heart Association.  I don't make up my own stuff, I use their stuff.  It makes my job easier and ensures I'm meeting national guidelines.  And they require that I use their stuff and buy it from their vendors.  That is how they earn income that they use to fund scientific studies in cardiac resuscitation and how to improve training methods so we can save more lives with reduced neurological deficit.  This is truly exciting stuff.  The new Guidelines for CPR & ECC will be released next month and the studies being published now are really interesting.  The AHA has a great blog with more info at

national responsibility

If I was going to write my own stuff, it would really just be borrowed stuff.  I'll share one of my favorite books on this topic with you:

I have also been really busy as I volunteer a lot.  I co-direct a road race which is a fundraiser for my kids school.  It's been a really busy week as we get ready for this weekends race.

So therefore you have no need to be concerned about my well-being.  I'm healthy, busy, teaching and volunteering.  There is no need for you to fill my inbox with your concerns which I'm sure are really just about making a sale.  I think my lack of response to your first 2 emails should have been indicative of my lack of interest, or need, for your company's services.  I am replying solely because from the tone of your third email I'm led to think you might keep emailing and I'd like to save us both a lot of time.  I politely ask that you remove me from your list and do not continue to email me.

Take care,


The questions now are:....   Will Joe reply?  Will he read exciting news on the AHA's CPR Blog?  Might he check out my book recommendation or will he just delete my email like I did to his first two?  Should I update him and tell him he's the subject of a blog post?  Is his name really Joe?  I'll update if there are any new developments.