All Posts By

Terry Rasner

An Abundance of Resources

By | Business Innovation, Planning for Success | No Comments

When you’re entering a new field, or even just looking to improve within your own, the resources available might seem small at first. You might ask “Where do I go to learn (specific thing in my field)?” The key to finding these resources is to not only look online and in local resource centers, but to create your own resource!

No matter what you embark to do, there’s always someone out there who’s done it before, or at least has knowledge of someone who has. The experiences they’ve had are an excellent way to learn before doing! So ask all the questions you have, and build a relationship with them to understand what will help you in the future. When the people you reached out to get to know you, they further understand your problems and how to help even more! So keep the conversation going, and connect with them more than just surface level.

Branch Out, Spread your Wings!

Another great way is to attend the conventions, seminars, and classes applicable to your field. These events have professionals just like you who look to get the education and resources these events bring. By networking here, you can get in touch with the motivated and passionate people who can share the things they’ve learned along the way. Don’t be overly selective of which events you attend. If it’s a seminar on a topic a little out of your scope, do some reading beforehand and get prepared! Extend yourself past your comfort zone and diversify.

Let us know the ways you advance your education and resources in the comments below!

Speaking From the Heart

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Entering a room of people you don’t know (or know really well) can be stressful. Especially if it involves public speaking. As a manager, a key skill is being able to influence an audience of diverse backgrounds, because in business, your influence is the driving force to your company’s success. Being a national public speaker myself, I know some great tips, and wanted to share them with you today.

Stand Tall – Posture and Presentation are EVERYTHING.

Would you take someone seriously who’s slouching back in a chair giving a motivational speech? No! So get up, shoulders back, and hands where they feel comfortable. Movement truly is the best method to keep your speech lively. Speak with your hands, your whole body even! Let that passion come out in the way you animate your words.

Speak Clearly – Plan, Prepare, and Practice!

The surefire way to avoid that nervous rush is to practice. Yes, in front of a mirror, multiple times! This will help you see what the audience will, and hear it too. If you write out an entire speech and don’t read it out loud, there’s sure to be some awkward phrasing because writing allows for a more processed train of thought. When giving your speech, the tone should be appropriate for the venue. Use words you’re comfortable with, and ideas you know. Research and practice will help you be calm on the big day and that calm confidence will show to the audience.

Connect With the Audience – Make an Impact

To really make an impact on the audience by the time you’re done, you have to get them involved in some way. Having effective communication requires effort on both sides, so get them talking! Open up the session for a Q&A, or take volunteers for demonstrations, ask THEM questions, and interact with them throughout. To truly convince someone, they must come to the conclusion on their own. Your task is not only to convey information, but to convince of it.

Know Your Purpose – Why are you there?

Always tailor your presentation to the reason you are there. If you’re there to provide training, make it fun, but don’t spend long rambling about your vacation to Bermuda. Anecdotes are helpful tools, but the audience probably doesn’t want your life story. This is where careful planning can really help an anecdote stick. When it’s relevant, engaging, and aids the point being made, then it’s perfect! And, sure to be remembered.

Being memorable isn’t always the main goal. As a starting point, you should outline the things you do want to be remembered. Maybe it’s a phrase, an emotion, or thought. Either way, always lend your words to aid that effort, and don’t deviate too far from the ultimate goal.

Glass Elevators Helping us Grow

By | Business Excellence, Business Innovation | 2 Comments

Goal Setting can be a treacherous effort for company executives, especially as they work to appease both the higher-ups and employees. Courtesy of the Harvard Business Review, their study information brought about some interesting conclusions. You can give it a read here!

Vale Zmeykov Via Unsplash

There’s really insightful information out there on the best way to set attainable goals and how to motivate your employees to achieve those goals, but here’s our take on it:

Why Start Small?

It’s a misconception that you need to set low, easily attainable goals just to satisfy employees. There are those who will appreciate the lax benchmarks, but that won’t make them improve! As an employer, manager, or even mentor, your goal should always be to help others grow, develop, and succeed! This can’t be done through just setting goals. You’ll need mentorship, check-ins, and a solid plan to show them the way.

Often employers see goals as rungs of a ladder. You wouldn’t take a giant leap up a ladder, which is why they think starting with smaller goals is best! They got the metaphor wrong, because goals are actually an ELEVATOR! The bigger the goal, the more floors you’re made to rise to.

I envision goals as elevators because once I meet the goal, I’m on the highest floor I’ve ever been! When I seek to attain new goals, the floor I start on is higher than before too. I’m more equipped with the tools to advance farther and farther, so the sky is the limit. Kind of like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as they ride the glass elevator up above the clouds.


Thrive With(in) Your Community

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Every time I see issues in the world, I also see the people who stand by and don’t do anything about it. Those who trailblaze and start movements are those who truly make changes in our community. They’re the ones who will make the world a better place, and the same ones who will make a future generation of “do-ers”. My favorite moments are when parents reach through to their kids to inspire that same mentality of actionable change. After all, if you never put forth the effort to make a change, nothing will change for you! This is why it’s so important to be a “do-er” in a world of watchers.

@rawpixel courtesy of Unsplash

By “watchers” I mean the ones who sit back and watch the world either get worse, or better. Either way, the change is without their aid! Their sense of pride comes entirely from internal focuses, like their own projects or personal gains. With a community minded focus, you’re sure to leave an impact that’s visible, lasting, and meaningful to much more than just you. Your community should be the thing you most value, and as a result, your efforts will improve it! It’s my humble thought that nationwide change (which is deeply needed) starts with our communities – and so starts with YOU.

Each interaction you have, and each person you connect with changes both of the lives involved. No matter how small the interaction, or how big, the impact is there. So let your passionate causes touch the lives of those in your area, and watch others flock to your cause! The more you do for your community, the more you’ll see the positive change in your life, business, and well-being.

Rivers and Flows of Stress and Your Best

By | Business Ethics, Business Excellence, Business Innovation | 2 Comments

Another day, another cancellation. Sometimes those days come up in our industries where it’s easiest to throw in the towel and go home. But there’s difference between those who fail in their first 10 years of business and those who persevere to make it to their 50th anniversary. Their passion.

When the situation is at its bleakest, when you’ve been working for free for weeks, maybe even months, what resources do you turn to? No matter what you first go towards, a rock in your business has got to be passion! Passion is the flowing river that will carry you over all the rocks, even when the water level is low. The water is your energy, and your passion is the flow of it. As long as you’re putting the energy and dedication into your river of success, your passion will ensure it keeps moving forward! This also means, that when your energy is at its lowest, barely covering the rocks that may lie on the riverbed floor, your passion will push along the bits of water you’re able to put out.

What if My River Already Dried Up?

To get a boost of energy, and an infusion of water to your river of success, I want you to try the following:

  • Take a long minute (or 5!) and just stop.
    • When you’re assuming the roles of a bunch of different people, such as business-owner, partner, manager, teammate, spouse, mother/father, daughter/son, etc., it can feel like you never get a break. Your emotions will feel like they’re overflowing, your head spinning from thinking of so many tasks, and your body physically exhausted by the stress. So take a long few minutes, sit somewhere quiet, and let the stress flow out of you. Mindfulness practices can totally change your mindset, you just have to truly stop what you’re doing. If you need to cry, let it out. Feel like screaming to the world? Do it! Whatever you feel like will allow your mind and body to not hold on to those negative emotions, do it.
    • What’s most important is that you take time to be quiet afterwards. Take deep breaths, and think on what you’re doing it all for. For family? For your personal growth? Whatever your reason, it’s valid, and you need to come back to it. Get back to your roots and truly let whatever you feel wash over you.

Let us know what helps you to overcome your feelings of overwhelming stress on our Social Media!

The Makeup of A Team

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Not Everyone is Made of the Same Materials –  and That’s Good!

It’s natural for us to expect others to do what we can with ease. In reality, that’s unfair! You can never expect someone to do a task the same way as you or with the same creative vision. When you go into group efforts, managing offices, and coordinating teams, it’s important to look at the individual’s qualities. A good team has diversity. Not only in characteristics, but in plans of action, ways of thinking, and dynamics of communication. A well rounded team is essential to making the best product you can, because it will be appealing to anyone that receives it!

When it comes to deadlines, all you can do is communicate in a way that will bring the other person to make the same effort as you. I always like to say, “I’m a gentle force, but a force nonetheless”. When you communicate with a team, some will be more receptive than others to the way you state your claims. Some will appreciate straight-forwardness, while others will like a more roundabout approach. While this can be ineffective, you just have to be clear and concise in what you’re saying. Keeping a discussion open is also important, so consistently ask your team’

Via Rawpixel on Unsplash

s thoughts, feelings, and expectations. I’ve seen how these methods make a better team, because communication is key!

Big projects can have multiple ways they can be completed, so always ask how your team might be able to make the process easier! Unique ideas come up at the most unexpected times and in unexpected ways, so keep your door always open! An open door policy is by far the best because as we’ve said before, it fosters communication and better teamwork.

Another thing often overlooked: Dedicated time to team building. While things can always be insanely busy, you have to make time for it. If you have a stronger team, you have a better team work ethic. This means everyone has more passion to contribute, and everyone wants to see the perfected final product.

Just some advice from a business owner who’s always thinking of her team.

Going With The Flow of a Changing Market

By | Business Ethics, Business Excellence, Uncategorized | No Comments


When you’re constantly working for your business, it can be discouraging if your efforts don’t come to fruition. Take it from a Real Estate agent who has experienced super highs, and some very low lows. If you’re in an industry like mine, you know how harsh changing markets can be. Many things can affect different industries, from school semesters to the seasons themselves, so there’s tons of factors to keep track of!

So how can you discover and learn from these external changes to keep your business thriving no matter the market?

  • Compete to Win

This could mean changing up sales tactics, going back to tried and true methods, or even entering a new market/creating a new products! You have to be able to go with the flow and change as the market does. If you’re company can’t adapt, it won’t last! To truly compete, you have to know the competition better than yourself. How?

Secret shopping is a sneaky way to get the inside scoop on other businesses. While this can’t be done in many industries, it can be perfect for retail, the food industry, and customer service. Be careful to not waste their time, and don’t create any odd situations just to see the result. Remember the golden rule here, Treat Others How You Want to Be Treated!

  • Switch up Marketing!

Marketing has and will always be an essential tool that can revolutionize how the community views your business. There’s a lot of psychology behind creating a brand that resonates, so think long and hard of how you want your business to be presented. You may even need to change up your marketing strategy overall! Mind the move of marketing to the digital arena, and do email campaigns, social media, and even instant messaging!

There’s an interesting new thing called Autoresponder Bots. They basically make conversations automatic, allowing you to focus on what matters: Innovation! You have to consistently keep your efforts on the front line of technology, so step to it!

Social Media for the Modern Business

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Getting a Social Media strategy nailed down is essential to having amazing marketing. It’s new to some, and old hat to others. So how can we all bring ourselves into the 21st Century and become Social Media Gurus?

It’s all about Timing, Consistency, and Connection!


Did you know the best time to post varies between sites? It’s true! The content that your audience consumes is accessed at different times in the day on different sites. Market research can be pivotal to understand what will work best and what won’t. The best way to ensure your Social Media marketing is effective is by measuring the impact and outreach. Most social media sites will give statistics for free, so pay attention to them! You have to be flexible in the Social Media space because of the ever changing dynamics of people!

Not only do statistics dramatically help your efforts, so does curated content! Spend ample time creating the content to ensure it’s accessible and impactful – this will allow your audience to absorb the content easier!


There are TONS of sites out there that can help you make a huge footprint online. Technology is so amazing these days, you can blast out posts to numerous sites within seconds! If you ever find yourself spending too many hours on any Social Media, stop it! Your time is valuable, so make use of sites like Hootsuite or Planable – they make it so easy to have presence! What’s great about sites like these is that they can pre-plan and automatically post content. In theory, you could knock out a few concepts and have it post without you lifting a finger! Not to be lazy, but so you can redirect your efforts to more important tasks and get back to creating and serving.


Depending on your industry, it can be pivotal to make deep and lasting connections with your audience and clients. This can be achieved in many ways. One that’s popular is doing a Shout-Out, or featuring a story they shared with you on your pages. Connections are becoming fewer and fewer these days as everything moves to technology and different virtual platforms. Having that personability even through social media makes a huge difference, and draws your audience in for more!


Reflect On Your Life

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Most often, older individuals have the unique gift of perspective. After many years on this earth it’s as if they’ve gained some insight that is lost on younger generations. It’s their complete joy, peace of mind, and satisfaction with their lives that goes beyond any tragedies they’ve been through. How can we have the same perspective, even at a considerably (or maybe not so) younger age? Might seem impossible, so let me be the first to say, you can be this way!

The first step in this mental/emotional growth equation is REFLECTION. And not just at Thanksgiving! It’s an everyday conscious thought you need to have. What are you grateful for? What makes a positive difference in your life? This train of thought should definitely not be just physical things. Think abstractly as well, such as, what positive qualities do I possess that another may not? For example, I couldn’t live without my sense of humor. Some don’t resonate with that believe it or not! So I’m grateful to always see the light in any situation.

With this reflection should first and foremost come inspiration. Once you see the long list of things you have to be grateful for, it should inspire you to give back. To those that give you gratitude, and to those who need it. By sharing the specific things that you’re grateful for (often and earnestly), others will get the urge do their own reflections. But why does it even matter?

Listen to How Others Respond to Your Gratitude

The responses you get from reflecting on your own gratitude will be quite telling. Others may say “I never gave much thought to how much I truly had”. THIS is perspective. Knowing you have anything at all, and that others may not have as much as you is truly heart changing. Adopt this perspective of “I’m so grateful to have ___ (A.K.A. everything) because I know someone might not”.

You’ll find that the joy you feel for having what you do is way more constructive than always wanting. If you keep this perspective in all things, your actions will be filled with humility. THIS is growth. 

Reflection (+ Inspiration) = Perspective = Growth

Thankfulness – A Two-Fold Gesture

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Being thankful and showing gratitude should be no small, off-handed “thanks”. For the people who make a positive difference in our lives, the gratitude you show should be all-encompassing! So apart from verbally saying “Thank You”, what and how can more be conveyed to express your thankfulness?

First off, why is it even needed? There should never be a question in your mind if the gesture of someone else warrants a gesture in return. In a perfect world, with perfectly grateful individuals, the favors would never stop! The way I think of it, the effort put in by someone else should always be returned two-fold by the other. Now, I’m not saying for every bit of help you get send a fruit basket, but there’s always more to be done and say than just thank you. Remember, the first person didn’t have to do that nice thing for you. Since they took the time to, take time to show them gratitude. They’ve earned it!

Make sure you know the boundaries of who you’re thanking. If they wouldn’t feel comfortable with you delivering something to their home, don’t do it! Be sure to ask if you’re unsure. There’s nothing more awkward than trying to show gratitude while making them uncomfortable.

Return the Favor

When you return the favor, you should aim to exceed expectations and the effort the initial giver put in. This can be shown in many ways! Did you know, or can you relate, to the fact that homemade surprises are always better? It’s true! Giving handmade things shows how much intention is behind your thank you. Actions really do speak louder than words! Especially ones that taste good!

Your time and energy is infinitely more valuable than a store bought card. Handwritten letters are way more sentimental and meaningful. You get to use a personal message – one straight from your heart – and it’s much more of a keepsake! If you’re anything like me, you love to hang on to these kinds of things – so make it memorable for them!