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Showing posts from 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'…

Is it silly or is it really raising awareness?

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I kept noticing this post by several friends on Facebook:

I know nobody will read my status but sometimes, when I'm bored, I get wrapped up in a sleeping bag and lather butter all over myself and slide around the kitchen floor pretending I'm a slug.

So of course I comment something like "ha ha" or "um.... okay?"

Is this some private joke?

A little while later I receive the following private message:

"Dear fellow slug victim. I'm sorry, I have lost at this game and now so have you! You liked or commented on my status so you must now post the following message as your status to continue the game for breast cancer awareness month (unless you have lost your sense of humor). I know nobody will read my status but sometimes, when I'm bored, I get wrapped up in a sleeping bag and lather butter all over myself and slide around the kitchen floor pretending I'm a slug. Thanks!"

So my first question is ... what does this have to do with Breast Can…

Squirrel Project kind of day

My facebook status today:

Today is turning into one of those squirrel project kind of days. Went to put away laundry, ended up cleaning out an overflowing drawer, kids needed a charging cable, which I didn't find but the entire basket of cables is organized neatly - and the laundry I wanted to start a half hour ago is still waiting and I'm replying to emails on the computer that I noticed on my phone while looking for the charging cable.

So I will admit. I just made up the term Squirrel Project.  Because I was trying to describe what felt like sudden onset of adult ADD.  But then a friend posted that she was having the same kind of day and didn't realize there was a name for it.

Now there is.

I'll trademark it.  Squirrel Project Day (tm).  There, now it's official.

Oh, and 4 hours later after hiking Mt. Agamenticus with the Cub Scouts I finally did the laundry.  I have not done the other 9 things on my to do list for today.

In other news....

This is my first post on…

The downside of good SEO

When I first set up my website I put a lot of effort into search engine optimization and marketing.  I was coding then, writing my own html, so I was meta tagging and manually entering my site into search engines.

And it worked!

A number of my students were contacting me for a class through direct referrals from my previous students.  When I first began teaching about 70% of my students were referred to me.

As I've become busier that number is changing.  I'm still getting quite a few referrals, but now I'm getting calls and emails directly from search engine hits on my website.  When you're looking for a class on the NH Seacoast I'm on page 1 of the rankings.

It's a good thing.

It's also a bad thing.

I get a lot of emails from folks looking for classes who are not geographically anywhere near me, like California.  (Although if you pay air fare and hotel I'll teach you! I've never seen the Pacific Ocean.)  I'm not quite sure of how, but when I ch…

One of my overbooked days

I have a bad habit of overbooking myself. Take Friday for example...
Up at 5am, showered, get big kids up for school and making lunches at 5:30am.Lunches made, start laundry.Start making a double batch of macaroni and cheese for Town Meeting Cafe on Saturday since I won't have a chance to make it on Saturday. Big kids get on bus, continue working on mac 'n cheese Get little kids breakfast, send them to get dressed, get myself dressed.Scan CPR cards I picked up Thursday night and email them to the students.Put little kids on bus.Finish mac 'n cheesePut clothes in the dryer.Drive to gas station, put gas in car..Go to Target to buy chairs for my new classroom since I don't have enough for tonight's full class. Pick up 8 chairs, see some awesome 4' folding tables I can use and fit those in the cart too.Not sure if I have the correct offer in my Cartwheel app, turns out I do! Save just over $27 on the tables and chairs. Score! We love the Cartwheel app!Rush home to …

I'm moving! And I'm super excited about it.

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I’m moving! And I’m really super excited about it.

Last year I moved my business into a permanent home at Cornerstone Commons in Greenland. I was sharing the space with a colleague who is an athletic trainer. The rooms were small, I had to offer small sized classes. But it was a huge step forward for me from renting occasional spaces for courses to having a permanent classroom space.

But as you may have seen in one of my previous posts, I suddenly found myself with a small space and a large rent when my office partner had to downsize his business and move out.

Big decision time… move forwards or move backwards, because I couldn’t stay there without a partner and I did not want to charge more for my classes.

So as you can guess from the title of the post, I’m moving forward!

Enter a good friend, and now new business partner, Zabel. Together we scoured the Seacoast looking for a new business home. And we found one!

As of March 1st we’ll be at 44N Dover Point Road in Dover, NH. This stu…

I did not send you that obscene letter

Earlier this month I received a really vile sexually explicit letter in the mail. The return address was the American Safety and Health Institute in Oregon, but the letter was postmarked from New York.

ASHI did not send me that letter.

It’s part of an ongoing obscene chain letter. ASHI wrote about it on their blog here and here.

I contacted ASHI and sent them the letter I received. I thought this was the end of it. Until yesterday.

Yesterday I received a phone call very a very nice woman in a medical office in Nashua. Their office received this letter, and it had MY name and MY business name on it.

I began hyperventilating.

Later that afternoon I received a phone call from Newmarket PD. A childcare provider in their town received this obscene letter with my information on it.

I was hyperventilating, angry, freaked out and upset all rolled into one.

I did not send these letters. These obscene letters are not from me. The return address on those letters is my classroom in Greenland, NH. …

NH's new child safety seat law

On January 1st New Hampshire’s new child safety seat law took effect.

You can read the details at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/265/265-107-a.htm.

Scroll down to part 1b. As of my posting this on 1/4/14 there are 2 paragraph 1b’s. The second is the updated section. I’m sure they will update this soon, probably after we shovel out from all the snow we go on January 2nd.

The new law is:
I-b. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 7 years of age unless such passenger is properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system which is in accordance with the safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation in 49 C.F.R. section 571.213. If the passenger is 57 inches or more in height, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply. 

There is more to this section, but this snippet covers the big changes. Which are – If your child is under the age of 7 they must be in a child safety se…

Goals & Resolutions

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Happy 2014!  Do you start the year off with all sorts of goals and resolutions?  Do you actually keep them?


I'm terribly at keeping resolutions. So I don't make them anymore. Instead I look at making small attainable goals and creating good habits.

So instead of saying I'm going to lose 40 lbs I'm going to work towards losing 10.  So if I step on the scale tomorrow and see I've gained a pound (or more with all the Chinese food I've been consuming) I'm not freaked out that I've shot my 40 lb goal.  I'm shooting for 10 and looser fitting clothing.  So I'm looking at losing 11 lbs instead of 41.  See where I'm going with this?  Smaller more attainable goals. So when I meet that goal at some point I'm excited and can make a new attainable goal if I decide I should continue to work on losing weight.  This works for any goal, not just weight loss.

They say (except I really don't know who "they" are) that it takes 28 days to make…