Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Enjoy A Stress-Free Marriage

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If you're like many married couples, you might find it difficult to find time for your marriage. And that lack of time to enjoy your relationship can actually cause you stress. All the stuff on your plate -- career, parenthood, chores -- isn't easy.

So, how do you keep stress from affecting your marriage? Here are some tips from Joanie Winberg, the CEO of National Association of Divorce for Women and Children:

Practice good self-care. Do something for yourself and as a couple daily, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Winburg suggests that couples take 10 minutes before going to sleep to share how much they appreciate each other and be thankful for what was achieved throughout the day instead of focusing on what wasn't.

Plan ahead. Create a schedule together to get all the important things done. Ask yourself this: Does this really need to be done today? Would anyone be affected if we didn't do it? If your answer is "yes" to either question, it's a priority. Focus on your priority to-dos first, then do other less important things.

Forget perfection. Relax and concentrate on what brings more ease into your life. Keep it simple.

For two more tips, check out 5 Tips To Enjoy A Stress-Free Marriage.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ways to Save Money While Planning A Corporate Event

With the economy still picking back up, you might find that you have a smaller budget than expected when planning your next event. But, instead of getting frustrated and trying to create a big budget event with limited resources, reverse your strategy and embrace the budget you have. You can have an effective and memorable event, even with limited funds. Here's how:

(1) Know Your Budget. You wouldn't start making a cake without a list of ingredients, right? So how can you prepare for a major event without understand what you have to work with? Talk to your co-workers and superiors to determine exactly what your budget is. Find out how much money you can spend on a venue, speakers, catering, awards, decorations, entertainment and incidentals. Creating baseline limits for each category will help you keep costs in line.

(2) Use Sponsors. Companies are eager to get their name out to the public without paying high advertising or PR fees, so take advantage of that. Find an up-and-coming company looking to make a name for itself and trade exposure for money.

You can use your industry connections to see who's out there, and to increase your odds of landing sponsorship, decide on a company or organization that's closely related to your business. Once you find them, present a road map for a reciprocal relationship in the future, and find the right person to present your offer to. You might be surprised by the outcome.

For three more tips, check out 5 Ways to Save Money While Planning Your Next Event.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get the Most Out of a Business Event...Part 2: During and After

By Ali Brown

Attending a business event soon? I hope you checked out my article about how to get ready for a conference before you attend, but if you missed it, here's the link. This article is about how to make the most of an event while you're there and after. Attending an out-of-town event is an investment, but it pays for itself if you attend with goals in mind, make connections, get training and gain skills you need to catapult your business (or hit the ground running if you are just starting out).

Enjoy these strategies for getting the most out of a live event:

  • Sign in early. Avoid the early morning rush, and pick up your conference materials the night before. Peruse the materials and make a strategy for opening day. Remind yourself of your conference goals. Leave some time for enjoying your surroundings, checking in with some friends, or making some new ones, and getting a good night's rest for the big day.
  • Bring your biz cards. Be sure to have those business cards handy and any other marketing materials that you brought. Remember that it's best not to force them on people, but if they ask, you want to be able to get them out quickly and easily.
  • Attend on time. Arrive at the conference a few minutes early to get a great seat. Although it's tempting to monogram your chair and stake your claim, consider moving around the room for different sessions to meet more people. 
  • Introduce yourself. Take the first step and introduce yourself to your seatmates. Engage them, and really listen, and show interest in them by asking questions, and they'll be more apt to do the same for you.
  • Take notes. Taking notes at a conference is sort of like taking pictures on a memorable vacation. You want to bring your camera, but not have the trip be about the camera. So with that in mind, jot down the major points, but don't let the note taking overtake listening well and enjoying the experience. More importantly, record your "ah-ha" ideas for later follow-up.
  • Socialize. Take advantage of all social opportunities (networking, coffee, tweet ups, parties, VIP oppportunities) available. If you're shy, open conversations by asking questions such as what people like best about the conference. Keep an eye out for potential strategic alliances.
  • Create good Karma. You remember the first day of school and how someone helped you out? Some attendees will be feeling like that, and you can help them along by showing them the ropes. Also be on the lookout for someone who is further along than you are in the process, and see if she can help you out a little. Be a mentor, and find a mentor -- it's good Karma.
  • Mingle. Check out all of the tables you'll see around the conference site. Some of them may be product tables just to fill the gap that you have in your business education. And don't forget the sponsor booths. Let them tell you what they offer -- there may be a goody in it for you. 
  • Fill out surveys. You'll never know how much went on behind the scenes to bring you to the event (unless you've hosted one yourself). Take a minute to fill out the survey so your hosts will know how to make the experience even bigger and better next time.
  • Take care. It may be difficult, but you'll want to find some downtime here and there to catch a break from all the action. Be sure and stay hydrated with water as well. Make time for exercise, even if it's just walking around the hotel to get some fresh air. Try to get a full night's sleep, too.
  • Have FUN!

You prepared well before you left for your out-of-town event, and then you made the most of every second that you were there, learned a lot and had a great time. Don't stop there! You're energized, and excited, and you're overflowing with momentum. You just have a few tasks left to make the most of your experience:

  • Review. Take the time to look over your notes, organize them, and prioritize them into a one to two page itemized list. Try and do this when everything is fresh, such as on the plane ride home. This will turn into your "action item" list that is pivotal to your following through.
  • Reconnect. You've made a lot of fabulous contacts: potential clients, strategic partners, joint venture partners, potential vendors and friends. Get them into your contact database at the least, and ideally write them hand-written notes for greatest impact. Airplanes and airports are great places to do that.
  • Make it happen. Lastly, and most importantly, take your new vision of yourself and your "action item" list, and make it happen. Move past the resistance, grow past the fear, and one action item at a time, make your vision become a reality.

Self-made millionaire entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. She was named one of 2010s Enterprising Women of the Year and was recently included in the Ernst & Young 2010 Class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women. She was ranked on as the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. Get her FREE weekly articles and advice at

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ways to Make Your Wedding Unforgettable

Want to give your wedding a unique edge? Here are some tips from wedding planners Paige Appel and Kelly Harris, of Bash, Please and authors of The New Fashioned Wedding:
  • Keep it simple, whether that means a more modern take or “vintage sensibility.”
  • Consider a natural and open venue.
  • Hire a videographer that will make your wedding moments more passionate and artistic.
  • Have a diverse musical selection, for example, a jazz singer for the cocktail hour and an 80s cover band for dancing.

For more tips and to read the article in its entirety, click here

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Business Networking Events -- How to Decide Which Networking Event or Group Works Best for You?

By Sue Clement

Do you sometimes feel like you're networking too much -- bopping from one event to another, hoping to make that "right" connection...or a sale? Well, successful networking is more than attending a dozen events every month. Instead, just pick a few that you can commit to and then invest your time to leverage it fully. The question, of course, is how to pick the right networking groups and events.

Here's the key to picking the kinds of events that will help you with your goals:


Remember that networking is about building relationships. You need to be visible and make connections to get the best result from your time. If you join a networking group, you need to be able to attend their meetings consistently enough to build quality relationships. Attending just once or twice a year won't work!

And that means that you have to be very selective in the networking groups you get involved with. You want to be able to be a regular in a few select groups, not someone who's hardly even remembered in a lot of different groups.

So how do you go about selecting the right networking group to join or the right event to attend?

Here are some key criteria to consider:

A) The Mix of Attendees
The most important question you should ask yourself is whether the people who attend the meetings are a good fit for you. Specifically, ask yourself the following questions:
-- Are they people you connect with?
-- Do they share or service your target market?
-- Can you comfortably pass referrals to them?
-- Do you have anything in common with enough of the other members?
 -- Does the group fit your style - professional, casual, educational, fun, etc.?

B) Convenience
The second most important criterion is whether the meeting times and locations are convenient -- because if they aren't, you're unlikely to attend regularly enough to reap the benefits. Consider these questions:
-- Is the location is easy to get to?
-- Is the day or time one that allows you to attend consistently?

If you come up with answers you like, consider joining. If it seems that a group is a poor fit, don't waste your time. You'll be better off spending it networking with a group of people who you can truly connect with.

And to make the most of your meetings, make a personal commitment to follow up with everyone you have a conversation with and then pick one person to have coffee with. It's a great way to expand your network and grow referrals. You'll gain increased visibility, have stronger connections, leverage your time AND get more business.

If you would like to boost your business results even more in the new year, join Sue Clement at her FREE webinar with powerful strategies to get a headstart on your competition and take your business to the next level. To sign up, click here.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Release Your Power Workshop/Luncheon

The Release Your Power workshop is designed to teach people how to live their lives to their fullest potential and become their "greatest self." Using eight strategies, created by once homeless and destitute Coach Lilisa better known as "Mrs. Release Your Power," she shows attendees how to transform the impossible into great possibilities. Lilisa is the bestselling author of Release Your Power and is a motivational speaker, coach, trainer and business woman who is an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs, motivational speakers and students.

Her transformative style presenting is founded on her own personal experiences, academic research, positive thinking, motivation and a serious spiritual belief system. Below is a summary of what participants will learn:

8 Strategies to Release Your Power
Secrets to Unlocking Motivation
How to Tap Untapped Energy
How to Achieve Your Dreams

To register for this event, visit For more information about becoming a vendor, contact Vernessa Blackwell at 240.274.5549 or anointedaffairs (at) gmail . com.