I thought I'd take a few minutes to share with y'all a few gems I discovered that have made the holidays infinitely easier this year:
1) In November, go to ofoto.com or snapfish.com, choose your favorite digital pic of the year, and order your holiday/thank-you cards online. It takes about three minutes, and they arrive in less than a week. I ordered both my business and personal cards this way, and boy, am I glad I did!
2) Consider sending a digital greeting card instead of a traditional paper one. I just received a digital card in Adobe PDF format, complete with drawings that my friend's children created. It's wonderful, and I'm sure the busy mom who sent it is glad not to have had to wait in line at the post office.
3) At the drug store, pick up an extra picture frame or box of chocolates. They make great last-minute $5 gifts, and are nice contributions for holiday parties as well.
4) Start taking vitamin C every day! There are so many colds and things going around, and I myself am particularly vulnerable, what with the rheumatoid arthritis and all. I started taking a C pill on December 1st, and I seem to have avoided (so far!) that nasty cough/cold that's been going around.
5) Drink lots of clear fluids. No, coffee and Cokes don't count.
And on that note, happy holidays to you all!
I want to give a special wave today to the readers in Australia. In particular, a new reader Patrick shared some very insightful words regarding the November 4th blog entry, in which I described being in a bad mood and stated that my emotions/mood were my own choice.
Patrick very eloquently made quite a few points on that topic, all of which I agree with. Matter of fact, he made them much more succintly than I ever did, so I hope he won't mind if I repeat them here:
"I guess the viewpoint I'm putting forward is that uncomfortable emotions – which are obviously the emotions that are at play when a bad mood strikes – cannot usually be wholly alleviated by adopting a different mindset. But that approach can be helpful, particularly if it’s not something mega-important that produced the negative mood in the first place."
And I'll insert here that, in most cases, it usually isn't something mega-important that produces the mood. It's a traffic ticket, a fight with a daughter, an unpaid bill, a long line at the post office, a friend's inconsiderate behavior.
And he expanded on that point:
"In my opinion our behaviors, however heavily they are influenced by external factors, are almost-wholly determined by conscious choice. Or, in your case re Halloween dance, the absence of factors that would motivate you to change your behavior (For example being approached at the party by a prospective client who is interested in engaging your professional services. I'm sure your ‘snippiness’ would have temporarily abated in that scenario)."
Excellent point, Patrick. And yes, I'm quite sure that if someone offered me a job there, my bad mood would've abated pretty quickly. As one of my friends frequently points out when someone says that she is in an incurably bad mood because of X, Y, or Z, she'll say, "Well, I bet that if I gave you five million dollars right now to get out of that mood, you could do it pretty damn quickly." Not that money cures all ills, of course, but you see the point. If one external factor can "cause" a bad mood, another external factor could change it.
Of course, I like to live for the Zen ideal of being much less influenced by external situations. Like in that Zen proverb--the one in which a master is plummeting to his death off a cliff. On the way down, he sees a strawberry. His thoughts in this moment before death? "My, what a perfectly beautiful strawberry!"
Ahh, yes! Yesterday was a wonderful day. More specifically, lunch was a little bit of Heidi heaven. It was my first meeting of the French-American Chamber of Commerce (remember my goal about presenting at international shows?), and the picture was like this: a sleek restaurant at the very suave Hotel Sofitel, all designed with burgundy walls accented by sleek, shiny chrome chairs and tables and black-and-white framed art. Twenty Frenchies/francophiles, all dodging back and forth between English and French. A menu set to please the gods/goddesses: roasted butternut squash sout with pistachio cream; pan-seared scallops and lobster polenta served with lobster and infused truffles; petit filet of beef (OK, I substitued a fish in a divine cream sauce for that part); holiday saint honore with strawberries, berry coulis and creme Anglaise. And a Canyon Road Chardonnay to go with the soup and a cab sauv to accompany the entree and of course champagne to compliment the divine dessert.
Is it wrong to join a networking group just for the food?
In other news... the Chicago Success Team had our last meeting of the year last night. When I think of where we all were just six months ago... Laura is following her goal of creating a green housing resource by leaps and bounds; every meeting she comes in with a list of all she's been able to accomplish--and that's with a full-time job, too! And I think we're all proud of Caroline--last month, she met with her boss and quit the job she hated to pursue her dream full-time. This is a really gutsy woman, folks! And I, of course, am brimming over with gratitude at how rich my life is now--great client relationships and more pouring in, promises of international shows, and a booking to give my very first seminar at TS2 next year! It's not that I didn't expect to meet my goals, but I frankly haven't been prepared for all the overwhelming emotions of getting exactly what I wanted!
So really, if anyone has doubts about the value of success programs such at Your Best Year Yet or Barbara Sher's Success Teams, email me. I'll set ya straight.
And one last thought: never underestimate the power of having a Web Design God in your Palm. Really.
... and so RSNA has drawn to a close. I'll definitely miss these Foresight guys. What senses of humor! See, it turns out that they all plotted against me last night: they sat down and tried to figure out how to make me stumble during a presentation. So, on the last presentation of the last day, as I was on a roll about converting analog medical modalities to the digital DICOM system, I turned back to the plasma screen to gesture at the four offered configurations, only to see instead of the configurations my very own website, Heidi Miller Presentations, there up in front of everyone!
So I paused, grinned, said something to the effect of, "Hey, Al, where are those configurations, anyway?" and kept right on with the talk. Oh, yes, it'll take more than that to make me lose it during a talk! But I have to admit that I really admire that kind of attitude--their presentation still went swimmingly well, of course, but I really like people that don't take themselves too terribly seriously.
Anyway, I'm very sad to see them go, but I do hope we'll work together in the future. And who knows? There is that radiology show in Vienna in March, and, as all my regular readers know, working shows in Europe is definitely my big goal this year!
More good news: Just got the confirmation email from TSEA (Trade Show Educators Association): they've accepted me as a presenter for TS2 next year! Yes, I'm terribly nervous, but I will be presenting the seminar form of last year's popular article, "How to Make the Most of Your Two Minutes: Anatomy of a Trade Show Interaction." I'm very excited about this first official seminar, and I hope that it will be the first of many!
Such a wonderful life this little gal from Texas should not be allowed to live! I have a new favorite client (and I'm not just sayin' that 'cuz I know they read this blog). Tony, Al, the Joes, Pam, Clive, and everyone at Foresight Imaging has been absolutely wonderful to me this week. Not only were they supportive with great, positive attitudes, but they have fun at shows! And not just on the show floor. Last night we all went out to a cool little Taylor Street haunt, Francesca's, and downed mounds of hearty Italian food, wine and some truly vile concoction called grappa, which smells a bit like the dregs off a bottle of kerosine and undoubtedly tastes like moonshine!
Their product, which has a great little niche in the radiology field, has been incredibly well-received at this year's RSNA show as well. It seems that every major company has come by the booth and caught a presentation, wanting to partner with this small but innovative Foresight group.
At any rate, I'm having a fabulous time, and I'll be sorry when it's all over tomorrow. I've enjoyed every single software demonstration so far, and these guys, as well as the lovely and skilled Tracey, have made the whole experience a breeze for me. Thanks, and may I be so lucky that all my clients are like this!