This day in this life

John Strande, author of the Business Evolutionist, has a meme going today, and as a fairly new blogger (tomorrow, 2/21 Talking Story will be exactly 6-months old) I was fascinated reading it this evening — truth be told it helped me finally figure out what a meme is ” this is Jon’s Intro:

A day in your life…
All too often, the focus of business is on the business… not on the people who work there. So, I’d like to start this little meme about the people who do the work.”

A good thought.

At first I wasn’t going to jump into it myself, but then the more I read about some of the other business bloggers whose writing I’ve enjoyed for months now, the more I thought about it. I began to see that if I expected you to read what I write here on Talking Story with any regularity, you have a right to know a bit more about me too. My goodness I’ve come a long way from my internet shyness ”.

Recently there has been a wonderful increase in Talking Story subscribers too (for which you have my sincere mahalo, my appreciation) with the generous nominations we were given in the 2005 Business Blogging Awards, and I also began to see this as an opportunity to welcome all newcomers sincerely in an open and honest way, catching you up on some things that do influence me as the writer here.

Then again, if all this doesn’t matter to you, you can just skip this post completely, for I’ll have another one for you in the morning :-)

My first title for this was Sunday Night Diversion,” but once you start answering these questions it takes much more thought. In fact it might be something you consider just doing for yourself if you haven’t a blog you wish to publish it on ” might be nice to put it away for your grandchildren to read one day ”

Here goes ” first things first: My name is Rosa Say, I’m the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, and the author of Managing with Aloha, and these are my work-day answers to Jon’s questions:

What do you do?
I’m a management coach, writer, and self-employed business owner.

Right now I’m the only author of Talking Story, though I’ve recently sought to feature the writers of our Ho‘ohana Online Community. I’m fortunate in that writing for Talking Story is part of my normal work day — this blog is part of my business — and I don’t have to squeeze it in between my “real job” like other bloggers do. (They’ll see the light soon.)

What are the challenges?
As a long time operations person, my challenges are usually in the sales and marketing side of things. The other constant challenge is simply not enough time in the day to do all I set out to do: I’m always way too ambitious with my task lists.

How do you overcome them?
Right now I’m doing more of the sales and marketing myself versus delegating it so I can learn it better, and learn to enjoy it, but I am getting some additional help soon. My past experience was largely in big corporations where others did the sales and marketing for me: in a small business you quickly realize that everyone needs to be a marketer.

What is a typical day like?
Up by 5am and out the door for a 3-mile morning run. Cool down in my garden, then a 10-hour workday. I love my work and would do it longer, and I literally force myself to stop when it’s family time. Read in the evenings, sleep early. I’m a day person and pretty useless at night. Traveling is a whole different story: as full and busy as I can manage it, to be away from my home as short a time as possible.

How do you manage information (Email, Blogs etc)?
Recently I’ve been working on converting my old domain email to GMail and my web hosting to TypePad as completely as I’m able to because those web-based programs work so much better for me, especially in light of my traveling. I get a lot of email, and I have to deal with it soon as I read it or it’ll get overwhelming quickly. I use to be more private about my cell phone number, but no more, for I rather deal with things in real time than wade through email backlogs and voicemail. However all that said, I’m a more visual person and not an auditory one, and I love email. Writing responses is not a chore for me; I enjoy it.

Recently wrote here about my ISP trauma, and here about using BlogLines. Where I’m always backed up is with newspapers, magazines, and newsletters: they’re just not the priority. On the other hand, I’m never without a book.

What are your 3 or 5 favorite books?
This week? Business books only? Seriously, very hard to answer that one, that’s why my Recommended Reading Lists on Talking Story are so long — and constantly getting added to. However if I had to choose it would probably be the books I most recommend to the people I coach right now:

First, Break All the Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths
Love is the Killer App
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Voices of Wisdom
Abounding Grace

And of course, Managing with Aloha IS my coaching curriculum.

What are your favorite web sites/blogs?
I honestly cannot answer that one: I read a lot of them, and I love a lot of them, reading more than two dozen on a daily basis. I have a high degree of admiration and respect for the bloggers I have in my Ho‘ohana Online Community and they have been chosen very carefully, based on what I feel my Talking Story subscribers expect and are interested in, and yes, they are among my favorites too.

I do Google searches constantly to check out business websites because I’m pretty fascinated with website marketing as a whole right now: thanks to Matt Sunshine, I spent my morning studying the Jim Collins site.

You can see the full blogroll of what I personally read via BlogLines right here on the Talking Story home page: Once this post drops from sight, you’ll always be able to find it near the bottom of the left column. The link says, Ever-changing list of the blogs I read-study-savor. There are currently 112 blogs included.

What tools/technology do you use?
I have a very old Toshiba notebook that I’ll keep using until it dies: when it does I’ve got to go wireless. I’ve been a creature of habit with Microsoft Outlook and Windows XP, love Excel spreadsheets. Tried Mac and hated it ” will admit that was a long time ago.

Other than my writing journals, I’m a paperless convert, and all my files — both for my business and my personal finances — are electronic or fit in my 4-drawer desk. Managing with Aloha was written on my laptop.

Love using del.icio.us these days, and you can see my other Tech Tools” at the bottom of the left column. Other than my laptop and cell phone, no other electronic toys, no desire for them. I’m more interested in learning a whole host of software programs, for instance I’d love to produce my own pdf files and learn more graphics stuff.

What is your favorite quote?
I find that different ones have appealed to me at different times in my life, and I’ve always collected them in a Word.doc file that could easily be printed in book form right now, today. Quotes — and the written word in general — are motivational for me, and I’ve found they are great coaching tools: that’s why Abounding Grace is on my book list.

Perhaps the most constant ones you could call my favorites have been those by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), the German writer, scientist and philosopher. I’ve always gravitated back to this one; you’ve likely seen it, but in shorter form:

“Are you earnest? Seize this very minute!
What you can do, or dream you can – begin it!
Courage has genius, power and magic in it.
Only engage, and the mind grows heated.
Begin it, and the work will be completed.”

I’ve had this one by Sarah Bernhardt up on my desk’s bulletin board for almost three years now:

“Life engenders life.
Energy creates energy.
It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”

What is your secret to success?
I have loved being a manager, and I like to think it is the living of this quote every day:

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”

It is another Goethe quote; the one I chose for the epitaph in Managing with Aloha. I believe it is downright foolish, and very unrewarding, to go it alone.

What are your greatest accomplishments?
Personal? Professional?

Personally, my children. There is no doubt in my mind they will live their lives happily and successfully.

Professionally, learning all I could in the corporate world and succeeding there so I could now be self-employed and mentoring others to achieve the same things for themselves. The most visible accomplishment within my ho‘ohana, my passion for purpose-filled work, is my book, Managing with Aloha, but there are others: They are walking around on both feet, working with passion, and living with aloha.

What are your hobbies, or, how do you break the monotony and stay energized?
Cultivating friendships is important to me right now: I regret that I didn’t make time for them when I was a corporate “success” and I’m doing all I can to make up for lost time.

Writing is good for my soul, and will always stem any monotony with anything — I never have writer’s block. Lately I’m sending out more hand-written cards and notes. Reading, of course, books are a passion of mine. Love gardening and just about any kind of handicraft work. I listen to Hawaiian music and country music.

I get an incredible amount of energy from my work, my family, and my friends, and I consider myself extremely blessed.

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You know, that was kind of cleansing in a way. You should try it. Mahalo nui Jon.