Introducing Siren Song California … for a Sound Life

Founders Captain Charles Buckner and his very scrappy First Mate, Dr Diane Pennica (inventor of Genentech’s Heart Attack and Stroke drug t-PA, have together launched Siren Song California, a Community Outreach Program in Southern California. Visit their website at http://sirensongca.org/.

Siren Song California’s mission is to leverage the extensive boating network in Southern California to provide a free day of sailing on the ocean (Sound Life Event) to health-challenged individuals, their families and caregivers, and youth development organizations (Siren Song’s VIPs).  Sponsors help provide the boats and meals needed for the VIP Sound Life events.

Captain Charles & First Mate Diane

VIP organizations include Southern California hospitals, veterans groups, human services and local youth development groups.  Sound Life Events are scheduled to start in April, 2017, and support VIPs from Olive Crest olivecrest.org and the Marine Corps League – Southcoast Detachment.

The First Annual Siren Song Regatta will be held off Dana Point Harbor, with four VIP Sound Life Boats included in the race, followed by a VIP awards/recognition ceremony and dinner for all racers and Siren Song sponsors at the Dana Point Yacht Club.

Additional Sound Life events are being scheduled throughout the year.  These events will culminate with a Year-In-Review Banquet to share VIPs’ experiences and highlight planned events for the coming year.  The banquet will include the Founder’s Award presentation to recognize Siren Song’s most active and generous contributor(s).

Siren Song California … for a Sound Life

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Shirley Wiefling, an Inspirational Early Women Entrepreneur!!

 “I’m particularly thrilled to see Shirley’s story here because . . . she’s my inspiration, my closest friend, and  . . . I’m very fortunate to say that I’m her daughter.  I’m so proud of you, Mom!” – Kimberly Wiefling, Author, Scrappy Project Management and Scrappy Women in Business

Mother by Day, Entrepreneur by Night: Shirley Wiefling Shares Her Inspirational Experience as a Woman at the Forefront of Business.

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Stand up and Sing: Pamela Rose Shares Her Story of Celebrating Women in Early Jazz and Blues by Shannon Galiotto

BiD-Women award 2014 pic Pamela RosePamela Rose presents Wild Women of Song is a captivating showpiece celebrating the lives, times and music of the Women songwriters of the Tin Pan Alley era. With dramatic projected images, and superb storytelling, Rose artfully delivers a cultural retrospective while treating the audience to a wonderful live jazz and blues concert.

I had the wonderful chance to interview Pamela on the phone.  Let us hear her story.
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Men “Versus” Women…NOT! By Pat Obuchowski

PatObuchowski“Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you’re driving at another.”
– George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) “Pygmalion” (1913)

I spent many years of my career climbing the proverbial ladder in Corporate America. I did what I think is typical of so many women who want to succeed in their careers and be promoted into leadership positions. I looked at who was above me, modeled them, was mentored by them, and got promoted by them. The only problem was that these were always men. I was constantly trying to act less than myself and more like men, even if I would never admit this. Men were my only role models.

As a woman in business, I am always fascinated with the behavior between men and women in the work place. I picked up the latest book by Annis and Gray “Work with Me” in which they define 8 blind spots between men and women in business.

As they state, “There is a conventional wisdom that women and men are no different from each other, have the same aspirations, and are expected to achieve their goals in the same fashion.This is precisely why we are experiencing cultural breakdown today instead of the equality breakthroughs we expected by now.”

“Men and women belong to different species, and communication between them is a science still in its infancy.”
– Bill Cosby

As I do my work in many different organizations, I see that in chastising men for behaving as men, and trying to fix women to act less than themselves and more like men, we are perpetuating a cycle of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

We are not being authentic or honest to each other and more so, to ourselves. Annis and Grey bring an objective (as much as one can be objective) viewpoint into gender intelligence. They find women are not as content in today’s workplace as men are and that women feel valued differently then men. Women feel dismissed for their ideas and excluded from events and opportunities for advancement.

On the other hand, men are generally comfortable in corporate cultures. Their blind spot is not being aware of how their behavior in this primarily male-designed environment affects women. Women’s blind spot is in assuming men’s behaviors are intentional.

In a 2005-2011 Gender Survey by Barbara Annis & Associates they found some very interesting statistics:

  • 82 percent of women say they feel some form of exclusion – whether in business social events and casual meetings, in conversations, or in receiving direct feedback.
  • 92 percent of men don’t believe they’re excluding women.
  • 79 percent of men feel they have to be careful and indirect when providing women critical and timely feedback.
  • 82 percent of women say they want to receive direct feedback from men.
  • 79 percent of men feel appreciated at work while only 48 percent of women feel the same.
  • 82 percent of women want to be recognized for their effort in achieving the results.
  • 89 percent of men want to be recognized for their results.
  • 72 percent of men state that women ask too many questions.
  • 80 percent of women say they prefer to ask questions even when they know the answer.
  • 95 percent of men and women consider trust to be the foundation of a working relationship.
  • 92 percent of women say men earn their trust through caring and concern.
  • 89 percent of men say women earn their trust by showing credibility and competence.

WOW! These are not small percentage differences in culture.

I don’t offer any magical formula to fix this. I just know this needs to change as it is causing a lot of stress and unmanageability in the workplace which overflows into personal lives.

What I do offer is that it doesn’t have to be one side ‘versus’ the other. There are many ways to find the common ground and bridge these gender differences. We simply need to understand where the other gender places his or her greatest value and importance, and why.

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pat Obuchowski is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of inVisionaria. inVisionaria is a company devoted to  helping people and organizations find and achieve their vision and their voice. She works with individuals and organizations that are looking for structure, focus and accountability to set and achieve their goals. She also works with people who are ready to make big changes in the their businesses and their lives and step into the leaders they’ve been yearning to be. People who are ready, willing and able to begin playing their “bigger Game” No kidding. Right now.

The approach to achieve this and create this alliance is individually based and is designed between Pat and each of her clients. She is also a contributing author to “Scrappy Women in Business: Living Proof the bending the Rules Isn’t Breaking the Law.”

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My 3 Biggest Business Mistakes by DeAnna Burghart

DeAnna-close cropStarting a business isn’t easy. I’ve done it three times now – twice as a sole proprietor, and once as a founding member of the ProjectConnections team. The process is fraught with tension, loaded with exciting opportunities, and rife with chances to make mistakes. Thank goodness! How else would we ever learn what works and what doesn’t?

I can’t claim these are the only three mistakes I’ve made in business. (I’ve made more than that since my first cup of coffee this morning!) But these are the three biggest mistakes I think I’ve made in any of those business start-ups. How many of them are you guilty of?

Mistake #1: Analysis Paralysis. I’m good at research. Really, really good. I actually research things for fun. That makes research a very safe place to run away to when I’m not quite sure what to do next. You get conflicting opinions, really smart people are telling you to make a variety of different choices, and you aren’t quite sure which one feels right. Research it!

To. Death.

Sometimes, we feel so insecure in our own judgment and experience that we spend weeks or even months longer than we should on “getting a little more market intelligence” or whatever we want to call our stalling. It’s the start-up equivalent of forming a committee to investigate options. Used properly, research is absolutely essential to success. Used excessively it will yield even more confusion and insecurity, not to mention lost opportunities because your competitors were out there doing things you were just reading about.

Lesson: When your research stops turning up new insights and information, stop! Adding one more voice to the “me too” stack isn’t going to tell you how you feel about the information you’ve uncovered. You won’t be able to take successful steps forward until you understand that critical piece of information, and you won’t find it in anyone else’s books or blogs. You’ll only find it by being honest with yourself about what you’ve uncovered.

Mistake #2: Not Speaking Up. In my adventures in the business world, I’ve frequently enjoyed the luxury of being in a room full of really smart people. I know just how fortunate this makes me, and I revel in it. But there’s a danger as well. When you’re in a room with that many smart people on a regular basis, it’s easy to be a little intimidated by them. And from there, it’s a small step to suppress your own misgivings when everyone else seems so sure of themselves. There’s a powerful temptation to “go along,” and by doing so to seem wise and well informed. This is understandable.

It is also a mistake. Stifling that little voice, or that feeling in my gut, has cost me precious time, money, effort, and opportunities. No one can see everything, so if one person is holding back, the group is missing valuable information – even if the person holding back is you.

Lesson: That little voice in your ear, or that feeling in your gut, knows more than you give it credit for. I’ve learned to listen and to speak up when it’s bugging me. I’m not always right, of course. Sometimes I just need to hear others address my concerns, and the feeling goes away. But it pays to speak up, even when you don’t have the final say.

Mistake #3: Not Listening. This is the flip side of #2, and it’s an easy and dangerous trap. I usually find myself falling into this mode when I’ve finished a few rounds of “I told you so” in my head. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud. Stopping to really listen – to my CEO, my colleagues, my customers, my competitor’s customers – has opened doors that would have remained forever closed if I’d focused on speaking (or worse, on selling).

Lesson: Listen when people talk to you. Don’t spend the time running a script in your head of what you’re going to say in response – you’re throwing away valuable input and connections with others when you shut off like that. Open up, sit back, and really listen to what’s being said. Listen like your business depends on it. It probably does. And note that this is probably a good step to take both before and after speaking your mind.

You may have noticed that all three of these items – communication, intuition, connection – all relate to the so-called “soft skills” (they aren’t necessarily) that women are supposedly so good at (we aren’t necessarily). But as dicey as generalizations can be, I think women who end up in entrepreneurial spaces are often more driven and perfectionistic – and thus more inclined to these particular flaws. Or maybe these flaws are just more visible and damaging in the entrepreneurial space. Either way, they’re mistakes worth looking out for. I continually remind myself to listen to others, speak up about my doubts, and above all to do something! No one was ever successful in business by doing nothing at all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DeAnna Burghart is content editor at ProjectConnections.com. Prior to joining the founding team in 1999, she was a successful software training consultant, and helped launch a web design and SEO firm.

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The Pain of Losing is Only Temporary, However, Quitting is Forever By Dr. Bette Daoust, Ph.D.

I really came from a humble beginning growing up in Burnaby, British Columbia and in San Francisco California. My father passed away at an early age and left my mother with two small children. I had just turned six and my brother was one. It was at this juncture that my mother decided to move in with her mother in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of attending elementary school there within a short walk of Panhandle Park. Those were fond memories and San Francisco always felt like my second home.

Soon thereafter, when I was 9 we moved back to Canada where I remained until turning 50. I was overjoyed to be headhunted and return to the Bay Area on a more permanent basis. I loved being reconnected with family and making new friends. It was difficult leaving behind my children and their families but in reality I saw them more often and the visits were longer.

My journey to where I am today may be pretty typical for some. I was the child that was always picked last for any team, my academics were excellent when I liked the subject and very dismal if I did not. I was not slated to accomplish much in my life by all those that taught me. I basically just floated through my teen years without too much caring about the future.

I applied to university and with my rotten marks I was not too hopeful and neither was anyone around me. I did manage to get in and soon was on my way to another dismal academic year. I dropped out! It was not long after that I knew I wanted to be a teacher but would have a lot of fences to mend academically before I would be permitted back into the university system. I decided to go to Community College and see if there was anything that would spark my interest. I decided to try the Teaching Assistant program. This was the best choice I had ever made in my life. I ended up with a 100% scholarship to any university of my choice! This program introduced me to skills I never knew I had…writing, teaching, and helping others succeed. My path was now clear.

I did become a teacher and moved beyond the classroom to developing programs for the entire Province of British Columbia, I completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and put it to good use. I wrote training guides, books, and taught outside the classroom (other teachers, business people and more in the field of technology). I managed to start my own training company and actually got more clients than one of the larger companies in the area. Lucky me! Actually it was hard work doing the marketing, but I dug in and won.

As my reputation for writing books increased, so did my contracts and that is when I decided to leave teaching and go into the world of business. That move led me to be hired back in the Bay Area as technical writer, instructional designer, and document expert. Ahhh…..the good life!

My book series was spurred on by my work in high tech and working with budding entrepreneurs – how could I stop helping others succeed. As an active Rotarian, I helped in other ways ; I had the chance to work with entrepreneurs in building their businesses. It all sounds rosy, but trust me, I had my share of failures as well. The biggest contributor to my success was to realize that the pain of failure or bad results was only temporary but quitting was forever. I am not a quitter!

Now back in Canada, by choice, my skills as a networker and writer has led me to an ideal life. A life where I can choose what I do. I choose to help others succeed at the same time working for another high tech company guiding them through the world of documentation which in turn will push their technology to the world! There is nothing like a new challenge in life.

My advice to anyone wanting to succeed is to plan your way through the rough spots and go by the seat of the pants with the successes by doing what works. You have to be organized, detailed yet agile and flexible at all times. Today I work with several businesses (two of them are MLM – each has not hit critical mass, therefore I am in it for the money and it gives me the ability to help others gain some good income at the same time). I am back to writing and am helping my daughter Carina Grace market her trilogy (Chronicles of Myriad – first book is called Child of the Soul Stone – now available through Amazon and Chapters) and I am getting back to my love of writing as well. I am in the process of putting together a program called Create My Own Cash (website is up and the Facebook page is taking shape). This program is for those that want to make money on the side and want to do it right without spending more than what is available. If you want to know more, call me, Skype is always open bette.daoust is my handle or send a message via Facebook, I am always happy to hear from others.

https://www.facebook.com/DrBetteDaoust

http://LinkedIn.com/in/bette.daoust

http://Twitter.com/DrBette

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bette Daoust,Ph.D. :  Instructional Design, Speaker,  Writer, Author, Technical Writer at TechnoQuan, LLC,  LifeVantage Distributor

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