Overcoming Challenges…Getting back Up

April 17, 2009

Have you fallen lately?  Been knocked off your feet?  Are you facing a challenge through no fault of your own?  Is it tempting to feel sorry for yourself, to think that times are too hard, to just give up? 

My old friend and mentor Don Sweet sent me this video last week.  It really struck a chord and got me thinking.

After you’ve watched this video – its hard to be negative or give up.  Few face challenges on a daily basis that are anything like this.  If Nick Vujicic can get back up and finish strong – how can we ever stop trying with the challenges we face.

We’ve seen this week that dreams can come true.  Just look at how the world has embraced Susan Boyle, a woman who lives in a little Scottish village, definitely does not look like the typical ‘superstar’ and unlike Madonna – Susan’s never even been kissed.  But she pursued her dream of being a singer.  Her dream took her to Britain’s Got Talent…that took her to You Tube where close to 20 MILLION people have watched her WOW the judges and touch our hearts with her incredible voice, and now she takes the next steps and gets ready to take her place on a larger stage.  See the newest videos on Today for more. 

As a make my way around the community, I meet with lots of Arizonans.  People who are looking for new jobs, who are struggling to meet payroll, or are facing other challenges in their lives or in their businesses.    But what gives me hope is the resilience and determination I hear when we sit down and talk.  Whether it’s over the phone for in a local coffee shop, I hear stories of people working together to make a difference, sharing ideas, asking questions, and finding answers and solutions to challenges.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Allan Starr started a new discussion forum on Linked In called Marketing Partners Memos.  An established business leader and marketing expert, Allan asked his friends questions about things like SEO and reaching customers – you’ll find of tips and advice from a number of folks in the Valley –  great ideas.
  • I am NOT a Social Media expert.  But I have friends that are.  They have helped me understand how to effectively use social Media as a tool for starting conversations.  When I put out a post on it this week, it spread like wild fire.  If you missed it and need some tips – see the ones I got from the experts and examples you can use as models at A Busy Person’s Tool Kit for Social Media.
  • For fun, I shared a quote from Albert Einstein on Facebook – “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. ”   This quote sparked such a great discussion about the power or asking questions and the importance of collaboration and partnering that I moved it to the blog so that people can keep the conversation going in an open forum.  You can join the conversation too at Question of the Day – How can I  help you?
  • Tax Day – A crowd gathered at the Capitol to share their feelings on the state of the economy, government and taxation.  I chose to skip that particular gathering.  🙂  But if you want a flavor for the issues and answers around the question at the state level see the posts  Opportunity Springs Up and Doing the Right Things in Arizona.
  • Jeremiah Trnka’s new Arizona Edition of The Performance Magazine launches next week.  Wednesday night he introduced me to some of his friends at CEO Space and we got a sneak peak.  Keep an eye out for this new publication full of great business ideas from leaders from around the country and Valley experts too.
  • Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners sent me a note with and introduction to Jo Ellen McNamara, Executive Director of the West Mesa Community Development Corporation.  We met for breakfast at Chompie’s yesterday to share ideas.  What a great addition to our Economic Development community.  Jo Ellen is very experienced and is doing exciting things in the East Valley.  We could have exchanged ideas all morning!  I look forward to working with her in the future.

So, the next time life knock you down, pick yourself up.  Think of the inspiration of a Nick Vujicic or a Susan Boyle.  Find a dream – and some friends and colleagues to partner with – and go for it!

Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

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Being in the right place…

February 24, 2009

250px-Bob_Hope_in_The_Ghost_Breakers_trailerOne of my favorite quotes is from entertainment icon Bob Hope.

The quote is simple: 

“I’ve always been in the right place at the right time..of course I steered myself there.”

Whether you are looking for a new job, building a business, or looking for financing for the business you own, being in the right place can make all the difference.  The right place can be a frame of mind, a networking event, or a new business opportunity.  Steering yourself there starts when you open yourself up to new things, take sage advice when it is offered, leverage your personal relationships, and always extend a helping hand to others.

It has been so rewarding to be out in our community and see so many examples of Arizonans ‘steering themselves there‘.  Friends, old and new, making introductions – offering advice – making time for others – and most of all creating new opportunities. 

The photo in this blog (courtesy of www.wikipedia.org) shows a young Bob Hope in 1940.  That’s right Hope in the Great Depression.  Recently I have heard so many (from the President on down) compare our current economic times to that period in history.  Yes, there are some similarities, but there are also many differences.  In many ways we have contributed to steering ourselves into this mess. And we can steer our way out of it again.   American ingenuity, innovation, our determination to overcome adversity, and our willingness to lend a hand have served us well in pulling through each historical downturn.  There have been a number of booms and busts. Remember the S&L debacle and the Internet bubble bursting.  I sure do!  We recovered then, and we’ll recover now.  So start steering yourself there.  All it takes is a little Hope.