Tag Archives: entreprenuer

Back to School

What happened to summer?! My oldest daughter started school last week. My younger two started school today. Back to school this year was quite bitter sweet for so many reasons. Although summers for me as a mother and entrepreneur are rough to say the least. A constant juggle between taking good care of my girls, having fun and getting my work done. The constant scheduling and focus on time management is truly worth it because our family time is precious. Not just to me and my husband, but to our my girls too. We truly love to be together. I thank God everyday and will do everything I can do make it happen and ensure that lasts. 

However school time is great too! Stella, entering third grade was the most excited of all of my girls to go back. Sofia, who is a gift of a child, also happens to be teenager, so there’s that. And my little Cece who seemed excited to go back and see her friends, held my leg for a few seconds too long this morning. Long enough to indicate she was scared and long enough for tears to produce…in my eyes, not hers. She was okay a few minutes later, giving me a big hug and a tap on the nose and cheeks (that’s what I do to her) before I left. 

For the most part I’m happy to start the school year. I know, well I hope, I’m sending my girls with the tools they need to succeed and I’m excited for all of the new experiences they’re going to have. 

This summer we talked a lot about being kind and working hard. Empathy and Motivation. I think you’ll go very far in life if you have those characteristics. 

I try to set a good example for my children not just tell them, but show them. I think that’s the best way to teach. They see me setting goals and accomplishing them. This summer even my youngest mentioned that I had set goals like new clients for Straightforward Consulting and pan camp for Barrels to Beethoven and accomplished both. There’s nothing like hearing “I’m proud of you mommy” from your kids. That alone is a great motivator. #FanClub

They also see me constantly helping others. I tell them even if you have nothing at all, you can still give someone your time. When I see them excited to do something kind for a family member, friend, or stranger, it really warms my heart. It’s such a blessing to see your child being kind and helping others. I hope that quality stays with them, always.

So I’m sending my girls back to school with with confidence, empathy, determination to do well and pride. I’m praying they do their best, are treated well, treat others well and truly enjoy themselves. And, I’m taking a moment (literally just a moment) to change course, adjust to my new daily routine and make a plan to achieve my new goals. 

Here’s to a great school year! 

It’s Time For A Little Spring Cleaning…For Your Business!

As we get our minds and bodies used to the change in time and ready for spring. Most of us start thinking about change. Cleaning out closets, preparing the yard for spring, and planning for summer. That same way of thinking should be in the minds of business owners and leaders. What needs to change? How can I prepare my business, my team for Q2? Here’s where you can start. 

1.) Review your goals and mission statement.
Before you start making changes. Look back at the mission of your organization and goals set for 2016. Are you on track? It’s really important that every decision you make correlate to the goals you’ve set to achieve.

2.) Analyze your team.
This is the time to look at performance. You may love your team but do they work for you? Do their strengths and priorities align with you mission? Determine what behaviors and traits are helping your organization to succeed and what needs to change. Prepare performance reviews, schedule individual conversations and check in. This is also a good time to determine who needs to go, and that’s ok too. 

3.) Clean up.
Winter brings more than cold temps and snow, it brings dirt and grime. I’ve visited several restaurants, boutiques and offices that could use a big clean up and scrub down. And don’t forget the bathroom, you can tell a lot about a business or organization by how well that area is kept.

4.) Get organized.
Spend a day reorganizing. If you need more than a day, you may need some new systems or processes. Nothing says spring like reorganizing. Just like your home, it’s important to keep your office and workspaces well organized. This will certainly increase productivity.

5.) Set new short terms goals.
You have your Mission Statement and you’ve set your goals for 2016. Now break it down even more. What does Q2 look like? What are your revenue goals? Customer outreach goals? Performance goals? Etc. 

Once you’ve reviewed your mission and goals for 2016, analyzed your team, cleaned up, organized, and set new goals…it’s time to implement. And keep in mind a critical element for success…the daily work must reflect the goal. In other words, what you do, how you do it and what you focus on daily must align with the goals and expectations of your organization. 

Top Events of 2015

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already know its been a very busy year. 2015 was not only about recruiting, training and business development for my clients, it was also about community engagement and The Arts. In addition to Straightforward work, I also focused on building my organization, Barrels to Beethoven, combined my skills and love of both business and the arts, partnered with Zeffiro Art, and created some really cool events that celebrated  art and music and provided the opportunity for the community to engage in a more interactive way. Creative event development took the forefront for my business and making a difference, making an impact and having my guests leave feeling good about the experience, was the reward. Here’s what’s at the top of my list…

 

The Engagement Party


This panel discussion in partnership with the Open Engagement Conference, featured several local women in various fields of The Arts. The panel was asked a series of questions and their responses brought out head nods, laughter and incite into the experience of women in the arts, particularly in Pittsburgh. My goal and the inspiration behind creating this event was to provide a much needed platform for women to share their knowledge, perspective and experiences.

 

Makers and Music


  
Throughout the summer we hosted these events in correlation with UnBlurred on Penn Ave. Makers and Music provided space for local artisans to showcase their goods while local musicians performed. Makers included; Knotzland, Ruhling Woven, Zeffiro Art and Born to Be. With music provided by; Two Tall Twins, Chris Catone, Comancheria, Brett Staggs, David Pugliano aka DJ illeso, Aaron Pfeiffer, JackLucy and my band, Rhythm ‘n’ Steel. These inspiring events were so well received. Smiles on every face. Makers and Music will definitely be back in 2016 with some really cool locations and amazing artists.

 

Moving Language -Opening Reception


Take an amazing artist, an exceptional exhibition of work, and the love and support of family, friends and community and you’ll get the opening night of Moving Language. It was an absolute pleasure to work on this show and event. The exhibit ran through the summer of 2015 and the beautiful artwork created the backdrop to events like Art with the Artist, Brunch En Blanc and “The Compilation” – designer preview party and mixer. Stay tuned for more great work and exceptional events from the artist, Sarah Zeffiro.

Pop up Yoga


This event turned out to be as rewarding for me as it was for the guests. My first experience doing yoga could not have been more impactful and amazing. Led by instructor Cara Bessko and set amongst the art of Sarah Zeffiro this class left me feeling great the entire weekend. Next up with Cara? Yoga and The Pan 1/23 @ Alloy Studios.

Let’s Play Pan 21+


  
 This interactive workshop for adult students, featured Caribbean cuisine, cocktails and lots of music and laughter. Each session, we started a band! Taking non-musicians, teaching them steelpan technique and turning them into musicians. By the end of the evening we were playing songs like, Viva la Vida, Hey Jude and Watermelon Man. These events were beyond awesome. My eyes might have teared up at some point in the evening during each session. I love teaching Steelpan but I am so grateful to all who attended. Funds from these events help to support the Pittsburgh Youth Steel Orchestra.  More events to come in very cool locations!

 

Gather and Give



This event could not have come at a better time. Right before Christmas my friends, family, supporters and collaborators all gathered at The Goldmark in Lawrenceville for a happy hour event to celebrate the season and give back. Every guest brought a sweater or two, or ten to donate to our sweater drive. We enjoyed cocktails and danced the early evening away to great music provided by DJ illeso. On Christmas Eve my family and I delivered the sweaters to The Salvation Army Family Caring Center. Because I will always do for others, and the interest of some other organizations in need, this event will hopefully occur quarterly. I’m really looking forward to that. Special thanks to The Goldmark for hosting us and being such an awesome venue.

 

Favorite Events, Attended

Luckily I didn’t have to creative my own events to learn, be inspired and have a good time. There were some really cool events that I was honored to attend..

Six X Ate

Fuse: Beethoven + Coldplay

Startup Weekend Education

Style Week Pittsburgh

Speak Freely with Luis von Ahn

Maker Faire Pittsburgh (attended and participated)

Stay tuned for more arts focused, engaging, uplifting and interactive events. 2016 will yield great moments built by collaboration and focused on community. Happy New Year!