Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Do you know about Google Alerts?

Do you know about the feature in Google, called “Google Alert”?

You query a topic and ask Google to send you “alerts” any time this topic is discussed in the news, or on the web. These alerts are sent to your email inbox based on the frequency you wish to review them.

Why would I do this?

You might ask, and my response would be, to become better informed about topics that interest you.

As an inventor, it has been important to me to take notice of topics relevant to my business demographic.  It is also useful to see who has discovered you and what is being said.  Often times you may find your own promotion showing up.  This as well can be useful.  You see first hand how well you are presenting your products or business in a sentence or two.  Is you message intriguing enough that others will open and read more about you, your products, or services? 

See what your competitors are doing by setting your Google Alerts to learn how they are being promoted.  The ability to become better informed is endless.


It will take a little practice to get the Google Alert set to your liking. When I first used this feature I found my inbox bombarded with emails. I would clear the clutter and refine my search criteria. I also found that reducing the frequency of these updates made it a more useful tool rather than an annoyance.  I would get fewer emails with more content.  Honing in on your own preference is well worth the effort.

You can learn more about Google Alerts by accessing this feature through the attacked link. Setting a Google Alert

If you are currently using Google Alerts and are willing to share how you use this tool, please share comments; it is always good to get more than one perspective.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What is a Trademark

This article has been provided by Jeff Jacobson, JD, LLM (Parmenter O'Toole, Muskegon).  If you have any questions related to this topic, a link to their website has been included below.  Jeff has given 3 Degrees Connect™ Women's network permission to publish this article.  Stay tune to more "expert" articles of this nature in the future.

What is a Trademark?

Trademarks and service marks can consist of names, logos, phrases, colors, sounds, packaging, and even building designs. These items are trademarks if they tend to designate the source of the goods or services sold. However, trademarks can not merely describe the good or service sold. For example, if you sell pens, you can not have a trademark for the name “Pen Company”. The protection provided by a trademark gives you the right to limit the use of marks that are likely to confuse customers as to the source of the goods or services. This means that you can limit the use of a mark that is similar to your mark.

Trademarks are created by use of the mark, and not by registration. This means that you must be using the mark in the sale of goods or services in order to claim rights to a trademark. The first to use the mark has superior rights to such mark. There are advantages for registered trademarks, and you may get superior rights by applying for registration before you start using the mark.

What are the Advantages to Registering a Trademark?

The legal advantages of registration are as follows:

  • Constructive notice to the public of your claim of ownership of the mark. In other words, the public is deemed to be on notice of your claim to the right to use of the trademark and exclude others from use;
  • Once the mark is registered, you are presumed to be the owner of the mark, and that you have the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide in connection with the goods and services listed in the trademark registration. This means that if your right to use the mark is challenged, a court will require the party challenging you to prove that you are not the rightful owner;
  • Triple damages for intentional infringement and attorney fees for clear intentional violations;
  • The ability to bring file a lawsuit concerning the trademark in federal court;
  • Superior rights to a domain name or similar domain names; and
  • The mark will become incontestable (i.e. no one can challenge your right to the mark) after it is registered for 5 years.

The business advantages are as follows:

  • People associate a registration with value in a mark;
  • People respond better to a demand letter to stop using the mark when the mark is registered;
  • It deters people from using your mark or something similar; and
  • It can help with marketing your brand (people recognize the ® symbol, and it makes the goods or services associated with the registered mark seem special or better than a competitors goods or services not using a registered mark).

This article was written by Jeff Jacobson, JD, LLM of Parmenter O'Toole
Jeff handles a broad range of matters related to business law, e-commerce, and intellectual property law including all facets of trademark registration and protection and registering copyrights.

Parmenter O'Toole
601 Terrace Street

Muskegon, MI 49440

Jeff Jacobson, JD, LLM

Monday, October 26, 2009

Membership - 3 Degrees Connected

If you live in West Michigan, are a woman, and own or operate a business, or have a business objective where making connections is important to you . . . we would love to have you become an integral part of our women’s network. Since women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing demographics within our new economy, we are interested in meeting you.

The 3 Degrees-Connected™ blog site was established to help you become familiar with us as well as provide relevant business information to you. If you would like to stay abreast of all of our postings, please become a “fan” or link to our updates using an “RSS” feed. Our blog; however, can not be the only resource you use to create a deeper network connection. If that is what you are looking for, membership in our network is probably the answer; please read on . . .

If you are interested in an interactive forum to make more relevant business connections when face-to-face contact is not always practical, we have created a NING networking for members only. For $36.00 a year our membership includes:

• Three “Face-to-Face” Events a year (Jan., May, Oct)

• Interactive Forum Discussions about Topics Relevant to Business (Internet – Invitation Only)

• Personal Stories about Women (Behind the Business) to help us become better acquainted

• A Badge for your website or blog indicating that you are a member of 3 Degrees- Connected™ Women’s Network

• A 3 Degrees-Connected™ cling decal for your car window so you can easily be identified in the community

• Links to your Websites

• Inclusion in our Women-Owned, Women-Operated Business Directory

• Information about local events or organizations that support business development

If you are interested in Membership, please write on a piece of paper the information noted in the application form found in the left sidebar of this blog.  We are working on a downloadable application, sorry for the inconvenience.

Send your check, made payable to, 3 Degrees-Connected™ Women’s Network. Bundle both application and check into an envelop and mail to the address below:

 3 Degrees-Connected™
P.O. Box 495
  Spring Lake, MI 49456

We have also added a Pay Pal button on the upper left column of this blog to make this easier for you. If you select this form of payment, please note that we have included a small fee to cover processing costs.

It is important that we receive your application along with your payment.  If using Pay Pal, please use the comments box to enter enough information that we may contact you.    

Since we are living in the 21st Century, the most valuable resources our members can hope to acquire is using electronic means; if you are not Internet savvy, or have an email address, you probably wouldn’t have found our site to begin with. These are key elements to our membership. If needed, we will try to create a future event that helps to ease you into this type of electronic interaction.

If you have any questions, please feel free to forward them to or

You can also leave a message on our toll free number  866-587-2963.

Best wishes,

Rhonda W. Geneva
3 Degrees-Connected™ Women’s Network

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Connections

A business venture isn’t always about how much money is to be made, but sometimes it is about having a passion for what you do. Kari Paul, is an International Student Exchange representative has the responsibility to match school systems, families and students together. She is working for I.S.E., International Student Exchange, a non-profit organization. She has defined her area as, and she has currently been in touch with schools in Spring Lake, Grand Haven, Allendale, Coopersville, Fruitport, West Olive, Holland, and Muskegon.

Several years ago, Kari traveled, by train to Chicago with her two daughters and her mother-in-law and this is when she first learned about this program. She met a coordinator who was escorting students on a field trip; by asking questions, Kari learned what hosting a child was all about. In the 2008-09 school year her family hosted a girl from Spain. This young lady became an integral part of their family for ten months and when the time arrived for her to return home, the entire family and extended family shared a tearful goodbye. Kari said “I love being a mom, that’s what I do, and this child was as significant to me as one of my own.” Her philosophy is “If you’re not bring a child into your home for the right reasons, then don’t do it.” “Hosting a child has been the one of the most rewarding experience in our lives”, she said between tears as she thinks back on her first experience a year ago. Now she is hosting her second student.

When asked to be a representative to the Mid-Central region, Kari said that she didn’t hesitate to say yes when she learned that three people have held this position in the past two years. What makes this position right for her is that she is eager to get out and shake hands and get to know people both in her community as well as those adjoining Spring Lake school district. She said last week I called or emailed ten Principals in various school districts and of those ten she has already made appointments with three. Thirty percent response rate is incredible. What is difficult for her is getting to know families within the various school districts. Matching students from 55 different countries with families outside of her immediate school district has been the challenge. Already this school year 48 countries have allowed students into the U.S. and between Kent and Ottawa counties, 46 students have been placed.

Students between the ages of 14 and 18 are allowed to come to the U.S. through this program, to pursue their education. This however, is not only about education, but it is also important to give students the experience of what it is like to be an American teenager. It is not all about cracking the books, but experiencing life with activities like going to sporting events, school dances, live concerts, you name it. Kari said they try not to place students in schools where they might easily integrate with students that speak their own language such as placing a Spanish student in schools with a large Hispanic population. It is about integrating them into schools, exchanging customs, and perfecting their English. Some countries will validate the education that is received here in the states and others may not; a student may find that they have to go to school an additional year in their home country to graduate, but the experience is worth it to them. Once their ten months is up, they are required to return home. If the student chooses to come back for a visit, they have to go through normal channels like anyone else traveling abroad, including obtaining a visa, and making their own travel arrangements.

Exchange students are held to a very high standards, if they are caught doing something unlawful and even associated with activities that are outside of the guidelines provided by I.S.E., they can be sent back home and not allowed to complete their exchange student experience. Some students will arrive in January rather than late summer to start their educational program, but this works best with schools that operate on a semester basis. Many schools in our area run on trimesters which require a student to start at the beginning of a school year.

As Kari makes contact with a family who might be willing to become a host family, she will show them limited information about the student, but she waits until an application has been completed, a background check has occurred, and a home study interview has taken place. One policy that Kari shared is that it’s okay if the exchange student shares a room with another family member, but that they must have their own bed. Kari indicated that once a family has been through the review process that she is able to share more details about a specific student with them. This may include family information, student interests, family photos, etc. She says it is important for everyone concerned that the placement is a success. She gave an example of a pet owner expressing an interest in a specific student who has pet allergies; she could never make a match in an environment that would not be suitable to the student involved. She also serves as mediator, if needed for families who find matters that my come up once placement has occurred. She is an active part of the student and family during the exchange students stay in the United States.

Kari is excited about meeting school administrators, and finding schools willing to take exchange students. Every school is different; some schools are willing to take as many students as she can find host families for; whereas other school districts limit the number they will take. Some schools may take more than one student from the same country; whereas other schools want to create greater diversity. Kari is challenged by thinking of creative ways to meet and greet families from other school districts. She understands the importance of keeping family information close at hand as most schools do, so she has been requesting opportunities to speak at parent meetings, or through booster clubs. She will also consider speaking to churches to find families willing to host. If you are reading this post and have any interest in helping Kari make these connections or know of opportunities where she may speak, please contact her at 616-296-0121 or through email at

I found it very inspiring to speak with Kari, who also happens to be my neighbor; she truly has a passion for what she is doing, and I would love to see the impact she can make in our community taking on this new role. She says “I hope to place 14 students in and around our community by next school year.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time Magazine Reports: The Unfinished Revolution

Today is October 19, 2009, and I'm reading a Time Magazine article that was mailed to me by my moter-in-law with a published on October 26, 2009.  Now I'm confused by the dates and how something could travel through snail mail and arrive in my mailbox 7 days before it was published, but what I'm not confused by is the message.  In "The Unfinished Revolution" written by Maria Shriver, she says:  "My mother raised me to believe women had a unique power to change the language, tempo and character of the world . . ." 

The article goes on to say that more and more women say if they could they would like to leave companies that are unresponsive and start their own businesses.  We've met many of those women right here in West Michigan where the unemployment rate has created not only the preference, but the need.  Maria quotes statistics from 2003 which indicates that 35% of all self-employed people are women . . . today's statistic is more like 41% of all new business startups are created by women.  

I've attached a link to Maria's article in case you would like to read about the progressive thinking of her monther Eunice Kennedy.  The Unfinished Revolution

History of this Network

Making the decision to stay at home at age 45 when we adopted our daughter in 2005 wasn't a tough decision. After pursuing a 25 year career in the field of Accounting and Software Implementation, I had waited my entire adult life to become a mother and I was determined to experience as much of my daughters childhood as possible. Two years into this new venture I realized that I was missing a golden opportunity to teach my daughter as a role model rather than focusing all my attention on her physical development, social skills, and scholastic needs. Kindergarten was just around the corner, and soon my daughter would be influenced more by her piers and teachers. I didn’t want to give up the opportunity to teach her how to pursue a dream. I’ve never changed my belief about motherhood, but I did change my mind on how to teach life lessons.

The focus of Geneva Girls Designs is four-fold: (1) teaching my daughter how to pursue a dream, (2) showing her the importance of learning new skills (trying something you’ve never done before), (3) paying for her future educational needs, and (4) serving the needs of others.

In 2007 I designed the Style ‘n Wrap™, a heat-resistant hairstyling tool organizer. When designing this product I learned about what was available in the market place, how to researching market demographics, what options were available to me through patents, trademarks and copyrights, how to write a business plan, how to set up my business structure, what to consider when designing a website, how to build a brand, how to set up product pricing (wholesale and retail), how to use social media, how to attract business through search engine optimization, where to sell on the Internet, who could manufacture my products, and so much more.

In 2009 I looked back and realized that I had been doing a fantastic job with the first two focal points of my business. I was pursuing my dream of operating my own business, and I had accumulated a lot of knowledge in the process.  I also realized that there are many obstacles along this path that I had never considered and wished there had been someone to guide me around them.  As a former Accountant, I also realized that I was spending resources that could have been used to fund my daughter’s college education and my return on investment was lower than I had anticipated.  Women own their own businesses for various reasons, but I’m certain none of us want our businesses to be viewed as a hobby. We want to be taken seriously and we want to be profitable.

Most of my acquaintances knew that I had created a product to help women with hot hairstyling tools, many of them had supported my business through purchases, but I was not branching further outside my immediate connections so my business was not growing.  I realized that it is a common problem faced by women who have created home-based businesses. Economic conditions aside, without networking, it is impossible to grow a business.

3 Degrees-Connected™, a networking organization created to bring exposure to women-owned, women-operated businesses, was conceived. The foundation for this network is about serving the needs of others who may be pursuing the same business aspirations, sharing lessons learned and supporting each other through making business connections. Many women have already expressed with relief, that this network was exactly what they were looking for.  This organization is still in its infancy, and we will be learning by listening to the needs expressed by our members.  We do not wish to re-create existing services, but we hope to share our experience.  By guiding other women into services that already exist, talking about potential pitfalls, and offering support and encouragement we hope to help them avoid unnecessary costs and increase their revenue.  We do not care whether you operate a franchised business where the infrastructure has already been laid for you, or whether you are starting from the ground up.

If this story resembles you or your business, we would love to have you join us.  We’ve held two very successful events, and are starting our membership drive which will allow us to expand our services and create greater connections. If you have any questions, please contact me at, or

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tell A Great Story

I sell products on ETSY, every now and then I happen acrossed a great article that I believe is worth sharing.  Here I would like to share a post by the author Seth Godin about "telling a great story". 

Let me know if these types of links are relevant or useful to you by adding comments at the bottom of this post.

Learn More about Cost Saving Strategies as a Small Business Entrepreneur

Mark Buikema, Trispective, LLC, shared ideas with 3 Degrees Connected Women's network on Thursday evening, October 15th. His advice was to keep things simple and build your Information Technology system as your business grows. He noted that he has worked with clients who felt it was necessary to spend large sums of money on fancy computer technology systems, but who had failed to build their customer base with the same gusto.

Mark has worked with small business entrepreneurs from 1 to 5 employees as well as clients who have 75 to 100 employees. He said that each client is unique in their needs and one size does not fit all. As he was giving advice on how to set up a system that works for your company, he indicated that it would be necessary to look at your specific needs rather than try to recommend a universal system based solely on the size of your company or number of employees. In this discussion he also talked about clients who felt that they had outgrown their current communication (phone) system only to be relieved when he shared the news that their current system could be modified to more closely match with their current needs. He has saved clients as much as $500 a month.

As small businesses, we are often constrained by income. We must closely evaluate what we spend our money on. Mark's message echoed that same philosophy having experience operating his own business for the past 15 years. One thing he recommended is that we periodically look at what we are spending our money on to determine if it is matching with the current needs of our businesses. We should call our cable, Internet, and telephone provider and renegotiate the terms of service, and often times due to competition, the provider will give you a better price. He recommends that we do this as often as every six months.

Mark talked about using a virtual phone system. We need to think outside of traditional means of communication through a phone system which may also include a fax machine. Many services are available over the Internet and many are reasonably priced. Mark talked about his own phone service; for as little as $30 a month, he can run his business without being constrained to an office. Whether he is at Starbucks talking with a client, or driving his car, his customer calls can be forwarded to him without knowledge of his whereabouts. He can also forward calls to several other employees who allow them to work without a specified schedule or location restrictions. Fax machines may also be an option that you can live without. Using a virtual phone system will allow a PDF file to be forwarded through email, the same as a traditional fax machine would have been delivered in printable form to your office. Even a hardcopy document can be scanned into your computer system and sent via email or through your 800-number service.

Women, or really any small business entrepreneur who might be working from home, may find it difficult to shut their business down at the end of the day. Mark indicated that the typical 8 to 5 job that once existed is no longer the norm for businesses today. Using a virtual phone system which you program according to your specific needs can allow you the flexibility of communicating with your customers after normal business hours. When you decide to end your normal workday, your customers can be routed to "live" operators to take your calls. These are all very important things to consider as a small entrepreneur so that your work does not create an unstoppable work environment which doesn't allow you to enjoy an evening with your family.

Thank you to Mark who provided valuable information to us all. Mark can be reached either by phone at 888 825-2001, or through his website which is found on the attached link: Trispective, LLC

Try out his "click to call" method found on his website to learn about one of the available features he has created through a virtual phone system. Mark is married to his wife, Sonya, and a father to two children who have taught him to "keep things simple and have fun."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Branding Discussion - 3 Degrees Connected

Thank you to everyone who participated in our second 3 Degrees-Connected Event held at the beautiful Spring Lake District Library.  I'm humbled by the enthusiasm and the expression of gratitude that I have received as women are uncovering the potential for this organization. Although this organization has only been in existence for a short time, the women with whom I've become acquainted have truly been inspiring and a personal blessing to me.
This organization is bound to make some great connections for our business endeavors, but we also hope that it will help women avoid some costly mistakes when embarking on new business ventures and learning new skills. The advice given within this organization will be the expressed opinion of the individual giving you information; please use each an every piece of advice with wisdom and not as though it was written in stone. It is still important to evaluate what works best for you and your company.

Last evening we asked Sarah Kallio, co-author of the Stocked Kitchen to speak about Branding. Her prior experience in Purchasing and Marketing has provided her with a wealth of insight into this topic, but her diligence and hard work along side her business partner, Stacey Krastin has given them a formula for success. As stated Sarah’s current business is not focused on “branding” products or services; but her wisdom after having developed a brand and then revising it based on accumulated knowledge makes her input a valuable resource to all of us.

Sarah talked about how she and her business partner developed their product and business brand. Although she told a very simple story, a fifteen minute talk could not reveal all the effort it took to develop their strategy. Stacey could tell you about how they uncovered the confusion over their initial product name which made people turn the word “host” into “toast”, so to avoid further confusion they changed their name to “Stocked Kitchen” which involved changing logos, business cards, email addresses, Facebook pages and the list probably goes on and on.

Just picturing Sarah and Stacey sitting cross-legged on the floor of Barnes and Nobles looking at book covers and talking about what they liked and didn’t like, what attracted or repelled their attention, and what they thought would be useful information made me realize how brilliant these gals actually are. The hours they spent writing words, and phrases that came to mind as they discussed their market demographic showed their diligence in getting to the right solution. Sarah indicated that building a brand is not looking at "what colors and fonts" you like, but thinking about your market demographic and what is appealing to them. Sarah talked about large industries and their approach to spending billions of dollars on advertising and promotion. By looking at what these companies have developed, we have a wide array of free information available to us as we develop our brands. Sarah indicated that it is okay to copy someone else, that it only makes sense to leverage your small business off the success of large corporations.

Sarah indicated that as they developed their product line that they chose a broad social-economic approach to defining their demographic. They didn’t want to appeal only to the affluent household, but also to the household that had to consider each and every dollar invested in groceries. They tried to find examples of other companies who appealed to the same demographic. By using the example of “Crate and Barrel”, Sarah was able to show how their marketing strategy matched the ideal they had for their own product line. Not only do you see “Crate and Barrel” products in college dormitories, in expensive lofts in New York City, but also in the average residential households.

Sarah indicated that the approach you take to marketing your own products should not be about "being cleaver" with your taglines, but to be clear with your message. Their tagline, “one grocery list . . . endless recipes”, tells you everything you need to know about their product in under two seconds which is the average attention span of today’s consumer. Sarah and Stacey’s message is clear, but these gals are also cleaver; both Sarah and Stacey’s initials are S.K. which matches the initials of “The Stocked Kitchen”. It makes you think that they are destine to run this business and be a great success.

Sarah and Stacey are both wonderfully talented ladies, and they could tell you as much about publishing a book, or operating a partnership-based business, as they can tell you about branding. The great message here is that these ladies want to share what has worked and not worked for them. They strongly believe in not paying for services that you don’t need and to look within for some of the answers you may be inclined to pay others to muddle up for you. The more informed consumer you are as you approach each facet of your business the closer you will come to the vision you have locked somewhere inside of you.

Thank you Sarah (and Stacey) for speaking about your business endeavors with hopes to help others achieve their own success.

Sarah and Stacey are the co-owners of Stocked, LLC.  To learn more about their products visit their website at

Can Google Stay on Top of the Web?

A fascinating article was posted in Business Week , October 12th issue, by Robert D. Hof indicating that although Google is the giant leading the search engine business that they are investing significant resources in order to come up with "smarter answers" to tackle  the issue of losing market share. 

This article reported that there are 2.5 billion searches made on Google each and every day.  That 720 million people a month are relying on this giant for links to information worldwide.  I don't know about you, but I can hardly fathom those numbers.  Just think about what traffic like that could do for an Internet-based business. 

Google made $22 billion in revenue last year from click-ads which is nearly its entire source of revenue.  This indicates to me, that this type of advertising must produce results; otherwise it would not provide enough security to this Internet giant to use it as its soul income source.  This article also reported that spending on search advertising has soared in recent years because it provides a great return on investment. 

New to the mix is Bing, a competitive search engine which has picked up 9.5% of the market share (August 2009), but who also invested $100 million in marketing to accomplish such a feat.  Needless to say, if you watch any television at all, you have seen their marketing campaign where someone has obviously spent too much time using a search engine and they begin to spit out all kinds of trivial facts based on someone using a "keyword". 

Google is competing for your attention with Twitter (55 million monthly visitors), Facebook (300 million) and a new "knowledge based" search engine called Wolfram Alpha.  What Google has found is that people are learning about current events much faster when using other tools.  Google is also aware that the Internet which was once dominated by AOL and Yahoo has fallen significantly from their original ranking.  One of the keys to Twitter and Facebook success is their approach to helping people "connect" through technology.  Not only are you finding old friends using these tools, but you're also getting recommendations on what products to buy.

While reading this article I stopped for a moment to consider a slogan that the head of the anti-spam unit at Google had inscribed above his door which read "What could possibly go wrong?"    This approach to solving a declining market share is helping Google to think about new features and options to provide their users to stay ahead of the game.  I had to consider how often I take this approach when trying to solve a business related puzzle.  Not only should I be striving to do things "right", but I should also look at the opposite side of the coin and ask myself to evaluate "what could possibly go wrong" when making business related decision. 

Another useful source of information supplied in this article revealed that the 20th century was about conquering nature, but the 21st century will be about understanding people.  According to Google, this is not about just listening with our ears, but looking at people's behavior for meaning.   

This post provides the highlights of this article, but if you would like to read it for yourself, I have included a link below:

Business Week Article by Robert D. Hof

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Setting Goals for Success

Goal setting may seem like an abstract idea, but according to Mary Kay Ash, the founder of MaryKay Cosmetics, it is essential:

"People with goals succeed and those without goals fail.  It's as easy as that.  You must first choose your goals and then write them down.  Set a time limit.  Don't be a dreamer; be a doer.  Once you have set your goals, I suggest that you break your goals into workable parts.  To protect your goal, tell everybody what it is and what your deadline is." 

Aaron W. Smith, motivational speaker and author of "In the Black, live faithfully, prosper financially", provides the following guidance:  

  • Ask God for support.  Progress can be divinely inspired through prayer and discernment.  Talk to God about your goals and ask for guidance. 

  • Break down goals.  Once you've identified your goals, write down starting and continuing points.  Plan around your goals.

  • Visualize what you want.  Cut out photographs that provide an array of beauty.  Find images of family, home, car, whatever fits within the context of your goals.  Paste pictures on a poster or attach with magnets to your refrigerator so that you can continue to visualize where you're heading.


  • Change your belief system.  Write affirmations that empower you in your pursuit of your goals.  Keep words positive and direct.  Repeat your affirmations aloud several times a day.

  • Make success feel real.  Write a letter congratulating yourself for achieving your goal.  Mail it to yourself.  When you reach the goal, open it and the letter aloud.

  • Party!  Host an inexpensive potluck or picnic to celebrate reaching your goal.

  • Let music inspire you.  Listen to an inspirational song or belt it out during difficult times.  Record songs that boost your spirits.

  • Practice gratitude.  Thank God for every success and every new day.  Study your plan regularly.
Goals can serve as crucial psychological triggers that will help spur you into action.  The past is the past.  You cannot turn back the clock, but you can start again.  Write down your plan, you have already increased your likelihood of following through.

This post was provided by Yvonne K. Viera,  MaryKay Cosmetics.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Come and bring a friend - networking opportunity

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Branding, and
Communication Systems

Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Location: Spring Lake District Library

Cost: Free Admission

Congratulations Jan Rohrs Inventor of the PooDunki

Jan Rohrs of Norton Shores was a feature story in the Muskegon Chronicle, Sunday, October 11th.  She invented the PooDunki which is a discrete carrier for doggie doo.  Here is a link to this article.

 If you have a story that you would like us to highlight on our Women's network blog, please send an email to

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Home Based Business Success Story

Whether you are an entrepreneur who owns their own retail store, hair salon, travel agency, childcare facility, or a woman who runs a home-based consulting business.  We all need to make connections to get our businesses to grow.  Educating ourselves and seeking opportunities to grow our businesses is what makes our businesses successful. 

Women in business have varying degrees of experience which supports their business goals; some have Harvard degrees, some community college, and some just old fashion hard work and dedication to making themselves a success. 

The video I'm sharing below is a home-based business success in the beauty consulting industry.  This woman had a Harvard degree and decided to create more flexibility in her life she would use her skills to build a business for herself and boy did she.  As you view this video, I hope it inspires you to follow your dreams . . . you never know how big they can become with dedication, determination, and drive . . .

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kim Lavine on Take Five Grand Rapids

If you didn't catch the newscast yesterday, October 1, 2009, you can watch Kim Lavine talk about her new book, Mommy Manifesto available in stores now, and hear her encourage women to start businesses in this "new economy". She also shares with viewers information about her online community and new online store called "BUY MOM".

When shopping for Christmas gifts, please visit her online store and support women-owned businesses.

Entrepreneur Launches . . . Networking Group

3 Degrees - Connected event is posted in the Grand Haven Tribune. Contact information at the bottom of the article should read

Access the article by clicking the link below:

Entrepreneur launches business women's networking group

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We thought you might be interested in this local event

In case we do not have your email address or this was caught in your spam folder, we are posting this again here:

We thought you might be interested in this local event . . .

Because women are the fastest growing demographic
Because women control the majority of discretionary spending
Because eleven billion women are starting businesses in the United States (making up 40% of the new business ventures)
Because these trends will continue for the next twenty years
Because many women have products or services targeted at this demographic
Because women have the ability to turn our economy around by making connections . . .

3 Degrees-Connected™, a new women’s network has been formed to encourage women to make connections that support business growth and which will stimulate our local economy.

You are receiving this email to invite you to the upcoming 3 Degrees-Connected™ network event (women empowering women), which will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at the Spring Lake District Library from 7 – 8:30 PM. This event is free to the public.

Two keynote speakers, Sarah Kallio, (Stocked, LLC) will discuss Developing Your Brand, and
Mark Buikema, (Trispective, LLC) will talk about Communication Technology for the small business. After their discussions there will be a brief question and answer period, followed by networking opportunities.

We have attached an event flyer with hopes that you will share this with women you know who may be interested in making connections and learning more about these business topics.

Within the next week, you will receive a second email requesting your RSVP.

Best Wishes,

3 Degrees-Connected™
Our Blog:

Rhonda W. Geneva, President

Yvonne K. Viera, Vice-President

More Questions? Phone 866 587-2963