Be Known as an Expert in Your Field

Nancy_Juetten016

Nancy Juetten, Publicity Expert
Wednesday, January 6th | 12pm-1pm | thinkspace

Nancy Juetten (rhymes with “button”) is a passionate and engaging publicity trainer who shows business owners across America how to get seen, heard, and celebrated in their own backyards … and beyond.  I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak on two seperate occasions in 2009 and have found what she has to say to be very useful and easy to apply. Her advice is engaging and practical and when applied, the results can be seen almost immediately.

Nancy’s essential advice? “It’s your story. Tell it well.” Nancy is fiercely committed to helping business owners everywhere quickly get up-to-speed on the best ways to use do-it-yourself publicity to share their messages in the traditional, online, and social media. Guiding you to achieve winning results for your products, services, ideas or cause with time-tested, proven, and easy-to-learn tips is her passion and commitment. Nancy is a work-in-the-trenches publicist, “Media Savvy” newspaper columnist, DIY publicity blogger, an inspiring speaker, and the creator of the popular Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide that has earned raves from business owners and publicity experts from all around the USA.  She is also a Publici-Tea™ workshop trainer who inspires business owners to take control of their media opportunities through consistent, winning actions every day.

Nancy will be speaking at our January Brown Bag event on “How to be Known as an Expert in Your Field.” You can check out more about Nancy at http://www.mainstreetmediasavvy.com if you’d like and also read some of the testimonial stories from people that Nancy has helped guide.

Please RSVP with Alyssa[at]thinkspace[dot]com if you would like to attend this event.

Best Industries from 2000 to 2009

There is a post by Paul Kedrosky titled “Best and Worst Industries of Decade, or, Why Children’s Clothes Makers Need to Get Into VoIP“. I found it interesting so I thought I would post the top 10 over here. If you want to see the bottom 10, I recommend you check out Paul’s post. It will also explain why he titled the post the way he did.

For me, I like to reflect back on the last decade and see what industries really made a lot of noise. Technology is listed in the top 3 spots. No big surprise there. I would hope to see Tank & Armored Vehicle Manufacturing get replaced by something else like Green Vehicles or Alternate Sources of Energy.

Trends are interesting. If I were starting a new business, I would not start up something in those areas. Traditional and mature business models are ripe for innovating and applying technology to. Plus there’s something to be said about those mature models which have a known track record for generating revenue.

What do you think will be trending in the next decade?

The Best Ad in the Last Decade

As we close out the another decade, this is hands down my favorite ad and could very well be my favorite of all time. What’s your favorite over the last decade?

pressblockquote-blueWhat would the world be like if everything had to be rational, would there be room for a dreamer? Would there be room for a company of dreamers?”

,

Crush it! Living Your Passion or Earning a Living?

I just finished reading Crush it! a book written by Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) creator of Wine Library TV and built a $60M business. He’s got three rules. Rule #1: Love your family. I look at these three rules and I can’t disagree with his list. One of the guiding principles that I’ve put in place for thinkspace is “We respect our associates’ responsibility for putting family first”. That to me is similar to his first rule. We feel a happy home means a person can focus at work and be productive. Rule #2: work superhard. Every successful entrepreneur that I know that has built a million + dollar business eats, sleeps, and breathes their business because it does take that much energy to get it to that point. Rule #3: Live your passion. I’ve always believed this, whether I was working for someone else or building my business. Early in my corporate career, I took a job that was in line with my passion which was working on databases and sports. In fact, I took a significant pay cut in order to work there, I started out at $38,000 per year. I worked 50-60 hour weeks, was on-call on Christmas day, but absolutely loved what I was doing. In fact, everyday I couldn’t believe that I was getting paid to perform that job. I think that because of my passion, plus hard work, not to mention an awesome boss, my salary quickly increased and then it was three steps forward.

Fast forward to now. I’m passionate. Always have been. I’ve shaped by business to focus on the things that I’m passionate about. One life lesson that I can share is is that I’ve made compromises in the past. Rather than take a job offer from Microsoft, I stayed with Washington Mutual because they offered me a big pay increase. After one year, I came to recognize that I stayed for the wrong reason — money. I will never do that again. Through that situation, I’ve also come to recognize the one thing that sucks more life and energy out of me are the people that complain about how they are unhappy with their job, hate their boss, don’t make enough money, or unhappy with their situation. Get up and change your situation, quit and do something else. If you’re just earning a living, then you deserve what you get. For me today, it’s critical to surround myself with people that know what they want, know what success is, and won’t compromise their happiness for money. Those are the things that help keep me energized and stay charged up.

@garyvee shares that he’s seen many businesses close. One of the most important thing is to “know how to tell your story”. The other day I was talking with Nicole Donnelly, entrepreneur and founder of BabyLegs about a new business idea that I’m considering to pursue. One of the things that she said to me is what is your story? Just like @garyvee, Nicole, understands that in order for a business to differentiate itself, there’s got to be a really great story behind it and you have have to be a good story teller too. The one thing that @garyvee emphasizes is that you also must know what your medium is in order to convey that story. “Know yourself. Choose the right medium, choose the right topic, create awesome content, and you can make a lot of money being happy”. The key thing is to infuse it with personality and everything that makes you unique.

One of the best things about this book is his discussion on creating community and ensuring authenticity in your approach. Once you figure out what your passion is, you focus on creating a community around. For me, thinkspace is my passion, but, I’m also focused on creating a community. In fact, a main focus of my business is building up my community both inside thinkspace as well as the community outside (physically and online). I even created a position in my business called “Community Manager” to focus on this with me. @garyvee says it perfectly, “Making connections, creating and continuing meaningful interaction with other people, whether in person or in the digital domain, is the only reason we’re here”.

So, when I look around at the members of thinkspace, I would have to say that most people here are definitely living their passion. Everyday I get inspired working side-by-side other entrepreneurs. You can find office space anywhere to run your business, however, it’s invaluable to surround yourself with people that “crush it” every day.

,

Seattle Twitter Community Comes Together in Different Ways

Who will win?

kotwitterProfilePhoto_biggerBackground about Kenji:
Kenji’s a huge sports fan. You can tell by looking at his Twitter avatar with his Seahawks logo etched into his photo. He’s also an avid Fantasy Football League player, as this is one of his five leagues that he’s in.

twitphoto_biggerBackground about Peter:
In the past, I worked for a company called Starwave. I know a thing or two about Fantasy Football as I used to manage the SQL Server databases for ESPN’s Fantasy Games applications.

Back in September, Kenji Onozawa @kenji_o tweeted out to the Twitterverse, “Is anyone interested in joining a Seattle Twitter Fantasy Football League?” I was pretty excited to get an invitation because this was the first season in quite a while that I was not in a league. Pretty cool, I am in a league with 11 others that I don’t really know. Only one person, Julia (@clickeats) that I know, happened to join this league too.

One of the best things about joining this league, is not that I have beat Kenji TWICE during the regular season, it’s really about meeting the new people in the Seattle Twitter Community at SMC events or other meetups. I feel like I know Taylor Peterson @taylor_tweets just after being in a league with her and following her on Twitter. I guess it was also blind luck that I sat next to her at Ignite Seattle. I quite easily could have sat next to anyone else in a crowd of 700+! It was also fun to introduce myself to Kevin Urie @kevinurie at the last SMC Event with Veronica Belmont. The introduction went something like “Hi Kevin, I’m @thinkspace, in your Twitter Fantasy Football League”. Something similar happened with Jaremy Rich @jaremy. Fun times. I’m still looking forward to meeting the others: @shaunkirch @johnnykelso @chefwaj @incrediblechef @coolguygreg!

The finals of the Seattle Twitter Fantasy Football League #SeaTwiFF have come and after the dust has settled, it’s fun that Kenji and I are facing each other. Thanks to Taylor beating Kevin in the final regular season game, I managed to get a playoff spot. Kenji on the other hand dominated the last part of the season and rolled in on a white horse. Now comes the question for the Seattle Twitter Community, who will win? Kenji or Peter? Vote below or comment and tell us your thoughts on how something like Twitter could bring together a group of people that might never have come to know each other!

thinkspace’s thinktank Just Got Smarter – Please Welcome Angie Thain!

angie-blog-photoWe are expanding our services to our thinkspace members and our local Redmond community by launching our new Business Services code named “thinkspace OS”. Angie Thain is our new team member and her role is Business Services Director. I like to draw an analogy to our thinkspace OS services as being similar to a computer’s operating system. It’s a core piece of what makes a computer function.  Without an OS, a computer is just a box. Without our back office services that we provide members, office space is just walls. Our services are core to having a successfully functioning business. Angie will be communicating out more details about those services soon.

We are incredibly excited to have Angie join the team. Please give her a warm welcome and read more about her:

Angie Thain has recently moved back to the Seattle area from Australia and is excited to be a part of the thinkspace team.  Angie has over five years of business administration work experience, which started while in the Air Force.  When not flying onboard the E3 AWACS, she earned an Information Systems degree from the Community College of the Air Force and utilized that after her enlistment with a local start-up IT company.  She loved the fast-paced world of a start-up and ‘wearing multiple hats’; she enjoyed everything from bookkeeping to bug testing software.  Angie likes to spend her free time playing volleyball and being outdoors- especially hiking, snowboarding and plant and animal photography; her love of animals has enabled her to be a foster home and place over 30 dogs for local rescues.  Her love of multi-tasking will allow you to take advantage of her skill sets so that you can better focus on building your business.  Just ask her if you need any bookkeeping or technology services and let your business take off!

Follow Angie on Twitter.

,

thinkspace Holiday Party 2009

holiday-party-2009 084

Invitations were sent out weeks ago to thinkspace members for this year’s Holiday Party, and while a few people couldn’t make it due to previous commitments and the general holiday bustle, we ended up having a ton of members show up to join in on the fun!

The only stipulation we made for those wishing to attend was that they bring in at least one non-perishable food item to donate to Northwest Harvest. NW Harvest’s mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. thinkspace members went above and beyond and brought in quite a bit of food to donate to this noble cause. Thanks so much to all who participated!

Just thinking about the food is making my stomach rumble! Baked rigatoni, foccacia bread and ceasar salad were served as the meal with vegetarian options available as well. The food was delicious and catered in by, well, The Catering Company of course (yes, this is really their name). The Catering Company is a local business, based out of Redmond with some great tasting food, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. thinkspace actually holds an account with them, so if anythinkspace members would like to order from The Catering Company while in the space, we are able to take care of the hassle for you. Check in with the frontdesk for more information on this and other catering options.

holiday-party-2009 091

Our party didn’t quite end there. We also had a Cookie and Recipe Exchange among members. From pistachio bread to peppermint bark to traditional sugar cookies; we had a great variety of sweet treats for party guests to sample. Each participant also brought in copies of their recipes so that others could attempt to replicate their favorite decadent desserts for their own friends and family.

All in all, it was a great Holiday Party; the perfect way to see out a great year!

holiday-party-2009 101

, ,

CEO & Co-Founder of Avidian Talks Business

James Wong came in and told us all at the December Brown Bag event a little bit about starting up a company.  James Wong  is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of three successful companies and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Avidian Technologies, the world leader in Outlook based CRM software. Under Mr. Wong’s leadership, Avidian was a winner of the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Award, honored for excellence in marketing, management, employee relations and community involvement. Avidian was also honored in 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Washington CEO magazine as one of the “Best Companies to Work For” in Washington State. Mr. Wong is a sought after speaker, writer and leading expert on CRM, SFA, contact management and groupware applications.

James was able to share with us a few lessons he’s learned while starting up 3 successful companies. He touched on 3 lessons learned from each of the first 3 stages of growing your own company. I will outline what he shared below:

Formulation Stage:

  1. Know Thyself (Socrates)
  2. There is never a perfect time.  You just have to do it.
  3. What is your commitment to this venture or life? (Time & Money)

 Building the Company Stage:

  1. Know Your Values / Guiding Principles
  2. Building a great company that pays well.    -What can we be the best in the world at?
  3. Be clear about what you want, what the company will look like, what your ideal customers look like.

Running the Business Stage:

  1. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business
  2. Startups work in step up trends vs. rounding trends
  3. Slow to hire and quick to fire.

Those were just some of the things that James covered in his talk for December. If you would like to know more abut our Brown Bag events, please email alyssa[at]thinkspace[dot]com.

,

thinkspace Donates Office Space to The Redmond Foundation

This fall, Peter Chee, CEO of thinkspace, decided to start donating office space to The Redmond Foundation, which is being founded in honor of Redmond’s upcoming centennial in 2012. The Redmond Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a healthy, vibrant and engaged community in the city of Redmond.

I asked Peter a couple of questions as to why he chose to donate his space to The Redmond Foundation and he stated that their goals align with his. “The thing that resonated with me is the fact that our goals are similar. I am trying to build a vibrant community inside thinkspace. But, I feel that the Foundation will have the ability to reach a broader group,” said Peter Chee, CEO of thinkspace. “This is my way of supporting another organization that can reach out to more people in the Redmond area and getting them engaged.”

When I asked Jeni Craswell, at The Redmond Foundation, a couple of questions about The Redmond Foundation, she had some great things to say. “We are still in formation and working up to our launch. The thinkspace community is an example of why we exist, small businesses are really the backbone of Redmond-that’s what makes the Redmond community unique. It’s the entrepreneurial spirit-what makes us special.”

I really wanted to know ways that people in the Redmond Community or members of thinkspace could help get The Redmond Foundation on its way to its goal of continuing to build a engaged community in the city of Redmond. Jeni responded with an open invitation, “It’s important for us to know what people need and what people want. I would love to know what people would like to see improve in Redmond. In fact, have them email me their ideas at jeni@theredmondfoundation.org.”

There you have it, folks. We’ve got an organization that is coming up on their opening committed to creating a healthy, vibrant and engaged community in Redmond. A healthy and engaged community can only mean one thing to the business owners of the Redmond Community; more business.