Monday, February 16, 2015

Small world



I meet all sorts of really great people in my classes.  At last weekend's CPR by Donation class I met Cindy.  Turns out we have mutual friends and enjoy the same nutritional products!  She took a picture of me with my protein bar.

Thanks so much for your kind words!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Speak up, show up, or shut up

In the past few months I've attend a few public meetings in which some members of the audience have been outraged over the actions or spending of an elected town board.

Complaining after the fact is like repairing a dam after the slowly building crack has dumped so much water that there is no need for the dam.  Odd analogy, but I couldn't think of another one off the top of my head.  Or waiting to tell someone that there is a leak in a can of paint or cup of coffee until after all the paint or coffee has spilled all over the floor.  Okay, enough obsessing over analogies, you get the idea.  Too little too late is not useful for anyone.

Because here's the thing...  Being an armchair quarterback might make you feel better for venting, but your words would have far more meaning and impact if you actually got out of the audience and got involved in the process.  Don't complain about decisions being made when you chose not be involved in the decision making process.  Your neighbors will only see you as the after-the-fact complainer and not a pro-active participant in making decisions that could affect everyone.

Municipal government, especially in a small town, is a perfect example of government by the people and for the people.  We're all volunteers.  Meetings and work sessions are open for anyone to attend.  Make your thoughts and concerns heard!  If you don't like the way a town board is run, run for office during the next election.  If you don't want to run for office, attend a few meetings to voice your concerns or speak to your elected officials.

If you don't like the way things are being run speak up, show up and get involved.  One of the people you can blame when you think things are not going the right way is yourself.  You have the opportunity to make a difference.  Otherwise shut up and save your venting for yourself.

Today's post isn't brought about by today's public hearing.  But it got me thinking about what I meant to write after a meeting last fall and I'm just now getting to it.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weather is not my friend

Last week it snowed.  A lot.  The meteorologist on TV suggested taking 3 measurements in different areas and average them to determine how much snow we received.  In  my yard it ranged from 22" to 27".  No matter how you average it, that's a lot of snow.
This is a yardstick stuck in the snow in my yard.

This creates an insane amount of havoc on my class schedule.  Last Tuesday I had a class scheduled, which meant I had to reschedule.  One person I tested alone, one switched to a class this upcoming week, the others I have not heard back from.  This is a healthcare provider renewal, so if they need it they'll call or email.  I don't chase people down.

This week we're getting snow.  Again.  On Monday.  When I have 3 classes scheduled.

{sigh}

I just spent 20 minutes figuring out how to fit more classes in over the upcoming week to reschedule all these students.  Normally I can squeeze it in.  But for the last month, and in this month I am working more hours at my part-time job. I always thought I'd like more hours, but not I'm seeing the downside as it is making scheduling so much more difficult.  Add in a few medical or dental appointments for myself or my kids, and my calendar is booked solid.  If anyone can figure out how to get more than 24 hours in a day please let me know.

So the weather is not my friend.  It would be so much easier if it would snow on a day I'm not teaching, but I have no control over that.  Please be considerate when I'm trying to reschedule.  I'm doing my best to accommodate everyone and their certification needs.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Self promotion

I've been at 2 things this past week where I was expected to talk about myself.  {sigh}

I'm primarily an educator.  I can stand in front of a class and discuss and teach on a variety of topics.  But talking about myself is different.  Its ... , well, ... personal.  It's that awkward I-want-to-share-everything-but-don't-want-to-annoy-everyone-sell-overpromote-myself.  I don't want to come across as pretentious and I don't often talk about myself.

What's worse is when it's a networking event.  And I'm sitting waiting my turn.  As everyone talks I think of what I'm going to say, and that just makes me nervous.

If I was giving advice to someone I would suggest they write down what they are going to say and practice it.  I've tried it ... but it makes me nervous or I forget the carefully crafted words.  I'm also a writer, and I like to write, review, write, review and then post/publish/submit.

So Wednesday I started with what I wrote above in the second paragraph.  And rocked my intro.  Explained both my businesses, what I'm looking to accomplish and how I'm looking to grow.

On Thursday it was more personal, and I'm thinking I didn't do as well.  Because when it's about me; the personal me -not the business me, it's a lot harder.  {sigh}  I can think of so many things I should have said, but thinking of them while driving home in the car isn't helpful.  Second guessing, ugh.

So earlier today I was out shopping with my daughters and I saw one of my favorite quotes on a bracelet charm that sums it up well.  "It is what it is".  We can't change what has been, just look at how to continue to improve moving forward.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Collaboration or Competition?

I attended an AHA Training Center forum a few weeks ago.  I'm always learning something new and the vendors usually have great stuff to share.  :)  I had joined in on a conversation with a few instructors and we realized a few minutes into our discussion that one of them is a local instructor affiliated with a different training center than mine.  She said to me "You're my competitor".

Um... what?

My first instinct was to say "No, we're colleagues. Not competitors."

But it got me thinking afterwards.  Why do instructors, and maybe business owners in general, look at others in their field as competitors?  I've been teaching CPR and First Aid for almost 15 years, 8 of those as a small business.  I've only run across one training center that has been somewhat competitive, undercutting and a little aggressive at times.  I won't name them, that's not fair, but I've had folks in my classes who previously took a class with them and didn't want to go back when they needed to renew their certification.

I'm fortunate to be a a very collaborative training center where we refer businesses and students to each other.  If someone contacts me for a class, but I can't fit them in my schedule, I have several instructors I'm happy to refer them to.  When I get a call for a class that is further than I'm willing to drive, I refer them to another instructor.  And those instructors do the same for me.  We have a great collaborative relationship which I think strengthens our businesses and ensures that people looking for a CPR or First Aid class are able to find one.

I don't see myself in competition with other instructors.  I do see myself as doing the best I can to provide fun and informative classes.  That is what I hopes makes people want to take my classes.  But I'm not competitive; you either want to attend my class or someone else's.  I'm not going to chase down business.  I'm a small part-time woman-owned business run by a full-time mom and I'm happy with that.  I love to collaborate and meet other instructors, I don't want to compete with them.