Get Your Group On...
by Yvonne DiVita We're reviving this blog! Are you as excited as I am? Watch for design changes and more content. This particular post, today, is part of a paid program for Groupon. You know them... they've been around for quite awhile and while I am receiving compensation for this, all writing is original and my own. I only work with companies that understand the need for authenticity. In all honesty, I wanted to write this post because I'm a closet shopper. Yes, there you have it. It's out in the open. I receive dozens of catalogs weekly - from furniture offerings, to food, to clothes and shoes. I devour each and every one. By devour I mean... I read them, mark them up, and throw them away. I seldom buy anything. Because, for the most part I use coupons when I shop. Don't you? Interestingly, Groupon just launched Groupon Coupons. They feature over 77,000 coupons from more than 8,900 stores - so their note informed me. And provided me with links... Kohls, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Macy's Recently, I shopped online for new clothes to wear to BlogPaws. You remember BlogPaws, my pet community, right? Our 7th conference was in May and I bought a few new things online, to wear to the Red Carpet Nose to Nose Awards. Gosh, I wish I'd had these Groupon coupons then! Not to worry, I have another conference to attend. Women in the Pet Industry is having their conference in Portland, OR in August and I am a Finalist for Woman of the Year. That surely calls for a new outfit. And new shoes. And jewelry. The coupons from Groupon may come in handy, indeed. We ladies, we like to shop online, don't we? Admit it. You're like me. You go online and search for that perfect outfit, desk chair, new phone, and shoes... oh yes, shoes... almost every day. Maybe, like me, you window shop without buying. Or, maybe you buy. Either way, it helps to have options. It helps to know there is a "deal" out there, just waiting for you. And when you're planning a trip, for business or pleasure, having access to the right coupons, in the right stores, is game changing. So, check out Groupon's new coupon feature. How can you lose?
Your Power is in Your Voice #womenofpower
by Yvonne DiVita "It's great reconnecting," she said. Her voice boomed through the phone with a power that penetrated my entire body. It dominated her presence. I could see her speaking to me, through the miles between us, the phone line, the very air separating us. "I agree," I said, without anywhere near as much impact, I am sure. We talked business. We talked personal lives. We laughed. We shared a few stories. We took the frayed edges of our lost connection and began to repair them. The color of our lives improved. We went from gray to red... and variations between. I find it encouraging to talk to women on the phone when their very presence is demonstrated by the power in their voice. One of the areas I feel most strongly about is in the use of one's voice to accomplish goals and achieve more results. Women tend to be quieter. We tend to be gentle, if we need to push the other person in our direction. We shy away from the booming, startling voice of authority... the voice men use, mostly, when they talk business. This is not about why men get more done or why people listen to them more or why they command a higher presence in business. It's about how women can improve their position in business, no matter where they are, by using the power of their voice. Sound can be a weapon. A weapon need not devastate. Sometimes a weapon is a means to an end. Sometimes the end does justify the means. Picture yourself in a crowded room, people are sitting, fidgeting, gathered around tables or standing in the back of the room. They're clearly anxious. The lights are turned down low. The rustle of paper programs can be heard among the whispers. waiting for the speaker - is it you? At the front of the room is a stage, with a lectern. All these fussy people are waiting for ... you. You are behind the curtain. You are speaking to this group of anxious people, men and women, from businesses across the nation. You are keynoting a conference. How will this turn out? Much advice revolves around how well you know your topic and whether you've practiced enough. That goes without saying, doesn't it? My advice is this - get a voice coach. Improve your speaking voice. Be confident and demonstrate power by dominating that room...as soon as you open your mouth. Create the outcome you want by owning the experience. Your voice is more than a way to share your story, it's a tool of immense power that should resonate in the ears and minds of every person in that audience, long after you're gone. I am still struck by the phone conversation I had two weeks ago, with this powerful woman I am so glad to be reconnected with. Who is she? You will learn in weeks to come. For now, I wanted to share the story of a powerful voice, rather than the people who have powerful voices. It doesn't matter how tall you are, how much you weigh, what you look like, or the color of your hair. It doesn't matter where you grew up or how many times you've been published. What matters is... how confident are you? Your voice will tell your audience (audience of one or one thousand, it doesn't matter) that you know who you are and they will leave knowing who you are. In the process of discovering who you are, they will learn more about your passion and your mission and you will gain followers. Learn to speak out loud. #womenofpower
Conversation with A Friend #friendshipendures
Dr Lorie Huston and Yvonne at WIPIN by Yvonne DiVita #friendshipendures “This is an amazing event,” she said as we met in the narrow hall of the exhibit area for BlogPaws Denver, 2010. Her blue eyes sparkled like a sunny afternoon in June. I have to admit, I was pleased with all the praise coming our way. The event was the second BlogPaws, here in Denver, back in our launch year. I remember the conversation so well because having someone of the stature of Dr. Lorie Huston compliment you is not something you forget. “Thank you,” I said. We shook hands. We talked a bit more about why BlogPaws was created and how it could serve the veterinary world. We had a Vet track at the conference and Dr. Lorie was especially interested in that. That was the start of an enduring friendship, and she accepted an invitation to join our unofficial board, which met mostly by phone each month. I came to rely on her insight and expertise. I came to appreciate her knowledge not only of blogging (wow, a veterinarian who blogs!), and using blogs effectively for a veterinary practice, but for many other things; for business, for life, for the good health of my pets, even for inspiration. Dr. Lorie inspired me to be more than I am, better than I am, and kinder to others. During our friendship I never heard a harsh word about anyone, from her. That’s a cliché, I know. However, with Dr. Lorie as we all called her, it was true. She epitomized the kind and gentle veterinary professional – as good with her patients’ humans as she was with her patients, themselves. I remember last year being so upset about a certain incident, really hurt by it, and Dr. Lorie sitting across from me at a separate event we were both attending, looking at me with sympathy. There was a sincerity there, and calmness, that I badly needed at that moment. “I don’t think they meant it that way,” she said, in her quiet husky voice. She understood, but wanted to help me overcome the feelings of anger clearly evident in my scowl, my hard sighs, even my gaze, no doubt. “I know them pretty well and I bet they were just confused.” “Perhaps,” I said. I could feel my heart calm. “I just don’t get it… why would they do that?” “Everyone makes mistakes.” The look on her face said, “Try to forgive.” And so, I did. And, I discovered the issue was as much my fault as anyone’s. So, I reached out, I talked it through, and I made amends. Because Dr. Lorie was so right – every story has two ways of telling, and yours might be partly right, while the other person’s is also partly right. Together, you need to let go of acrimony and agree to move on. When I told Dr. Lorie what I’d done, she gave me that amazing smile and I felt reborn. reborn “If you were here now, Dr. Lorie,” I say to her this morning, in the silence we have embraced, the little bit of space we are taking to say the goodbyes we did not get to say to her, on that horrible day this week that we learned of her passing, “I’d tell you how much I appreciated the time you gave me; time to vent, time to laugh, time to share and learn together. I’d tell you how much I valued our friendship. I’d remember the times we had at BlogPaws and WIPIN, where you looked so beautiful, with your hair all done up and your smile as bright as all the stars in the sky, and I’d listen to your stories from your vet conferences or the times you were at AAHA with Tom. “I’d tell you how much I admire you because you bring such grace and honor to all that you do. I’d ask about your cats – how is it I never asked about your cats? I’d tell you stories about Emily and Olive and Molly. And I’d cry with you over the loss of my beautiful Chester. “If you were here, I’d ask about the learning center we’re building and get your advice on what to include and I’d thank you for sharing so much with me, over these few years we knew each other. “If you were here, I’d hug you again and take a picture with you and I’d make sure the whole world knew what a treasure you are to the veterinary world, the pet community, and to me… in my silly, eventful life…often full of drama and a bit of spectacle... offered by the company I keep. None of whom hold a candle to you. “If you were here, I’d focus on our plans for next year – how we decided to conquer the world together, laughing, joking, but serious in our own way. I’d write down my thoughts and you’d write yours down, and we’d put them in order and we’d make them happen. We’d create that landscape where pets and people and veterinarians and brands that serve us would all get along and make life better for each animal and the world would understand that the human-animal bond is as vital a part of our lives as human beings as breathing or sleeping or loving one another. And, I’d be glad to have you at my side. “If you were here…” But you are not. You are somewhere else. Somewhere I cannot reach you now. You were taken too soon and too quickly and I cannot understand why that is. I will miss you forever. #friendshipendures
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