The Bravest Of Reporters

•March 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Bravest Of Reporters.

Why don’t you take ACTION

•October 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

An Evil, Comfortable Malady

•October 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve told a story about a man walking by a house with a dog howling on the porch. He asks the owner sitting nearby why the dog is howling. “Sat on a nail.” is the reply. Why is he still howling, asks the confused man, “Must not hurt enough.”

I’ve had a nail that I’ve been sitting on myself. It’s called procrastination. You can call it something elegant and technical like Inefficient Time Management, but it’s pure and simply putting things off until later and when later arrives having to either work like mad to get the desired result or making excuses for a sub-par result.

Presently, my income-producing mechanism has been Mystery Shopping. I’m not getting rich but it brings in money. My wife presently has been looking for work since she was laid off from her position at Ft. Lewis. She’s been looking north and as far south as Southern Oregon and if something like that went through then she would get an apartment there and we’d meet 1/month or so. She’s been willing to make that sacrifice for our financial well being. What can I say I’ve done? I have the capabilities to be a professional speaker based on my time and experience with Toastmasters and other venues. I’ve also become proficient at recording and producing video on assorted live events and she’s been gracious in letting me accumulate some equipment I had talked with her about.

I referenced the Ghostbusters’ pricing motto previously; no job is too small, no fee is too big. My obstacle is I’ve not charged much of a fee at all. I, like many beginning self employed people, gave away quite a bit of time that although wouldn’t have netted a mortgage payment, might have paid for gas or some other cost we had. In the speaking and film business it is acknowledged that you will give away and/or deeply discount your work at first to reflect your level of experience and also to get some listings for your portfolio. There comes a time though when you have to decide if it’s a business that you really want to make money at or is it a hobby that you mess around with – the latter the IRS pays close attention to if you try to take tax deductions on.
Putting off charging for my work, putting off seeking work hasn’t been fair with the effort my wife has been putting into our family.

I started this blog with the focus of ACTION – some time ago you may note. It’s time now to get off the nail and talk about and do some ACTION

What is ACTION? Look at the word and you see the elements I, ACT, ON. That is what we, and especially myself, need to do. What do you Act On? Is is the need to be healthier? To have a better relationship with your family? Are you an underearner? (That’s a term they use in Spenders Anonymous for people who chronically don’t perform to their fullest potential and thus earn less than they potentially could – not to be confused with when the burger flipping job is all there is, but if the market is available for you to be making six figures and you’re flipping burgers).
I’ll go into more details in the next post – soon, I promise, about the details and importance of each element of ACTION, but for now, think about what it means to you. Are you going to be the dog on the nail? Does it hurt enough? Or are you content to howl about it to all who will listen.

Stop howling. Take ACTION.

“Who Ya Gonna Call?”

•July 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

Used without permission, Copyright Columbia Pictures - all rights are theirs..

This group of paranormally minded misfits burst onto the film scene in 1984. It has a number of interesting concepts to it, one of which is Entrepreneurial drive. Ok, they decided to go into business for themselves after the college kicked them out, but rather than sit and mope they used what they had and opened their own business.

They took ACTION.

Their motto, and the tagline of the movie was Who Ya Gonna Call? When things aren’t going they way you think. When there are spooky lights flickering in your refrigerator. When the walls are bleeding in the fire station. There was an company prepared for dealing with what went bump in the night and they had a great moment with a client (the snooty hotel manager) who refused to pay their bill.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Now, Let’s talk seriously, now. For the entrapment, we’re gonna have to ask you for four big ones. Four thousand dollars for that. But we are having a special this week on proton charging and storage of the beast, and that’s only going to come to one thousand dollars, fortunately.
Hotel Manager: Five thousand dollars? I had no idea it would be so much. I won’t pay it.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Oh, that’s okay we can just put it right back in there.
Dr Ray Stantz: We most certainly can, Dr. Venkman
Hotel Manager: [Stops Ray] No, no NO! Anything.
[Peter hands the manager a bill]
Dr Ray Stantz: Thank you. We hope that we can help you again.
Not exactly textbook customer satisfaction but it reinforced that the customer had a problem, they solved it and if they hadn’t solved it, it wouldn’t be pretty. How are you educating your customers that you have something they need? Do they know they have a need or a problem? I hope it doesn’t involve as much property damage as the guys caused but perhaps the thought of the repair work involved might be what’s keeping the customer from engaging.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

“That person has worked here for years.” or “We’ve had that client for years.”

It’s about ACTION. Next post you’ll find out what the emphasis on ACTION is and how it applies, or should apply to you.

And remember, don’t cross the streams..

“And so it begins..”

•July 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ok, so a certain Vorlon came up with that line but I still like it. It’s the introduction to the business aspect of Vocal Varieties. It’s the business owned, managed, cuddled, disciplined (or vice-versa) by Dave Clark, known to a few as DarkwingDave.

What I’d like to have you think about as I prepare more missives to share is..

What is your ACTION reason? Why is that capitalized? Because it’s more than just a word, a noun or a verb; it’s a personal statement about you. You’ll learn why in the days to come. Just keep that in mind that it’s about you.

Vocal Varieties is based in Centralia, WA and provides coaching for communication skills, professional speaking including Master of Ceremony duties, keynote, inspirational and training presentations.

New to our repertoire is live event video recording.¬† If you have a special event you’d like preserved with custom editing then let us provide you with a quote for that project.

Looking forward to seeing and talking with you in the future and remember the words of the great Jim Rohn,

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.”