Archive for the 'Learning and Growing' Category

My 3 Minute Pro-Track Intro

Speaking CareerToday I start my journey with the National Speaker’s Association Northern California’s Pro-Track program. This is a year-long intense program where¬† you learn everything possible about creating a profitable and rewarding business around professional speaking. I am really looking forward to honing my skills and most of all, learning how I can make more of a difference by reaching more people. For this first session today we need to prepare a 3 minute presentation for the group. For today’s blog, I thought I’d share mine with you! Now crossing fingers that I remember it all and stick to 3 minutes when it’s my turn! Wish me luck!

Introduction of yourself and business.

My name is Karen Clark and through my company, My Business Presence, I educate, inspire and empower independent business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals to expand their reach online.

I do this through large and small group presentations on the topic of ethical online marketing through social media, blogging and search engine optimization.

Having spent the last 12 years successfully selling a product online both through a traditional website as well as relationship based, referral and direct sales marketing, I’ve tried just about everything online and can share with my audiences just where, when, why and how to spend their precious time online sharing their message, service or product with their target market.

In addition to live presentations, I also conduct teleclasses, webinars and hands-on “bring your own laptop” workshops where my clients immediately apply what they learn and get instant results. I am a co-author of 2 books and have additional products in the forms of audio and video recordings.

For those who prefer one-on-one “hold my hand” mentoring I also offer personalized training by phone or in person where I can truly meet my clients where they are – figuratively and literally – and together we develop their comprehensive online presence.

Main interest in professional speaking.

My interest in professional speaking stems from a long history of being an educator.

From playing school as a kid to teaching dance classes in high school, from teaching preschool through college and then beyond that teaching elementary school, teaching has always been a part of my life.

When I began my career in direct sales 12 years ago I assumed a leadership position and developed my speaking and training skills as the director of consultant development for the organization I represented, as I also built my Internet skills while the world wide web was growing up.

Now on my own I am able to help many many small and home-based businesses grow their customer base through my trainings, and I find that richly rewarding!

I know I have skills that they need and appreciate, and I have a gift for presenting my ‘high tech’ material in an understandable and accessible manner that leaves my clients feeling truly empowered to take on technology.

As I’ve developed my business I have seen that I can help far more people in group settings than one on one and I know that by expanding my speaking business I can make even more of a difference in people’s success.

One thing you would like to get out of Pro-Track.

I registered for Pro-Track because although I have a very rich library of content, and sharing it comes easily, I do not have the experience in building a truly comprehensive speaking business that will sustain me for years to come.

I hope to learn how to grow my business both wide and deep by developing smart business systems so I can quickly rise to the top and cut the learning curve in half.

I’ve been playing at this speaking thing for a year, and it’s time to get serious!

Until next time...
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Tell Her She’s Beautiful

All my life I felt like I was not attractive at all. I mean at all. Why? I never had any reason to. No one told me. Not my family. Sure I had friends, had boyfriends, even husbands, but they didn’t tell me much. I guess I should assume I’m at least not unattractive but that isn’t how my brain works. I knew I was pretty smart, but I never felt like I was on the good-looking side of the scorecard.

Some might say I should just know. Hmmm. What if I don’t? At the risk of sounding the opposite (conceited) what if I need evidence? What if I need to be told? Maybe the last 44 years spent without much, if any, obvious affirmation from those I love has made it so I just don’t see it.

In the past I’ve talked about it with my family of origin and was told that no one wants it to ‘go to my head’ so they don’t pay compliments, and it’s not just me. I think with my ex-husband there was fear that if I knew, I’d leave. The truth is, I might have. Because as awful as he was to me, it took me 20 years and hitting a painful bottom to feel like I deserved better in that marriage.¬† Looks aren’t everything, but maybe if I had a clue that I could do better, I would have left sooner.

Something happened last night with my wonderful husband Greg that changed my perspective, opened my eyes. I’m starting to see it now.

If you have a daughter, girlfriend, wife, sister or friend, tell her she’s beautiful. Today. Now. Over and over. Don’t keep it from her. Especially the young girls in your lives who really have no idea. We don’t know unless we’re told. I didn’t. Looking around (gathering evidence) now I think I’m getting a clue (tho it is still hard sometimes to believe) and I wonder what a difference it could have made for me if someone had just told me.

PS: For those that have told me, thank you. And I am sorry for not believing you.

Until next time...
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Are Entrepreneurs In It for the Money or to Help People?

I went to a Meetup last week where Christine Comaford spoke of many different things, primarily how to achieve a 7 figure income. It was a very inspiring talk. I had not yet begun to reach that far ahead in my dreams but now I feel I am! When I was sharing some of what was talked about with a friend, one thing became a point of argument. Christine started her talk asking, “How many of you want to help lots and lots of people?” Many people raised their hands – probably the majority of those sitting there. Then she asked, “And how many of you would like to make lots and lots of money while helping lots of people?” And of course hands were raised even higher!

The argument with my friend is that they think no entrepreneurs primary goal is to help people. And that it was a mistake for Christine to start her whole talk off with that question. This really got to me. Is the true definition of entrepreneur to make money and build business first, and helping people is a nice side effect? Have I (and apparently Christine and about 100 people in that room) got it all wrong?

What bothers me is that I would not be doing all of what I do if it weren’t for helping people! I live to help people! All of my life, from the very first dollar I made when I was a preteen babysitting, to being a dance teacher, then an elementary teacher, then leading a team in direct sales, and now my speaking/training business – is ALL about helping people! Sharing ideas, teaching, inspiring and serving are what I do best!! How could this be contradictory to what it means to be an entrepreneur?

Does anyone out there know what my friend might mean? We’ve agreed to disagree but I would be very curious if others have an opinion on this. Maybe I am not seeing something. Or maybe I am guilty of one of the 3 biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make – according to Christina – caring too much. I don’t think so since what I care about are the people, not the business. The people, not the numbers. Some of those people I help are my own children, my husband and yes, myself. But it isn’t about the money on a personal level, it’s about the freedom, security and flexibility I have that results from helping people get what they need.

I’m confused and would enjoy a discussion about this. What are your thoughts? Please comment.

Until next time...
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This poem was shared with some of the Story Time Felts leaders on our weekly phone call by our Founder/CEO Lori Whiting. I love it! Thought you might, too!


Outside my window, a new day I see,
And only I can determine, what kind it will be.
It can be busy and sunny, laughing or gay,
Or boring and cold, unhappy and grey.
My own state of mind is the determining key,
For I am only the person I let myself be.
I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
Or be selfish and think of only myself.
I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,
Or gripe and complain, make it hard on someone!
I can be patient with those who may not understand,
Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.
But I have faith in myself, and I believe what I say,
I personally intend to make the best of each day.

Until next time...
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DSWA Celebration 2009 Keynotes

Lisa Nichols (after some technical difficulty, she starts about 4 minutes in):

Nicki Keohouho:

Sandra Yancy

Until next time...
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