Busy vs. Productive: 5 things to think about

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner, Put Another Way, LLC

The Capital Region Chamber developed BusinessU to serve as a central source to help businesses with their ongoing professional development needs. BusinessU provides a comprehensive approach to employee development and training that will continually adapt to the needs of our region.

Sharon Phillips, Founder and Chief Relationship Officer (CRO) of Said & Done Solutions LLC led a spectacular class on “Prioritizing- When Everything is a Priority.”

The class touched on points of what ownership of work/life integration and prioritizing responsibilities looks like and why it’s critical. Sharon introduced tools to help us stay focused and on track. All culminating in understanding what is necessary to sustain the path and commitment to success.

Busy vs. Productive- 5 things to think about.

Throughout the course of the class, Sharon talked about busy vs. productive and what each one looks like. Here are 5 take-a-ways from her class:

  1. Are you really too busy or is it not a priority? How often we are asked to do something, and we almost automatically respond with, “I am too busy!”  Take the time to think about what is being asked and respond accordingly. Perhaps, “I would love to do that, but I do not have time in my schedule until after this project is done.”
  2. What does busy look like? This is the million dollar question. Are you trying to do it all? Do you overthink things taking more time than needed to complete the tasks.
  3. What does productive look like? How do you manage your tasks? Do your lists have lists? Results driven productivity can show progress towards completing major goals and moving on to new projects. Check that box!
  4. Are there barriers stopping you from turning busy into productive? Do you need assistance in planning out time for projects? Are you easily knocked off track by interruptions from the office talker, excessive emails, or a jam packed, unrealistic calendar?
  5. Rank what is urgent or important and understand the difference. Time is your friend if used properly. Find a tool that works for you to rank order urgent and important matters and to-do’s. Whether it is an old fashioned paper planner or a high tech automated program, you do you and commit to using whatever it is you have selected.

Our work and our lives intertwine each and every day. This is not a dress rehearsal. Some days, work is the winner and other days, life is the winner. Balancing them is the trick. You do not have to do it alone. Use the resources available to you. Visit Business U on the Capital Region Chamber website to learn more.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Just Made Two Big Steps That Prove Its Women’s Business Is a Top Priority

Dick's Sporting Goods in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA, 28 February 2018. The company announced on 28 February 2018, two weeks after the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that they would no longer sell assault rifles and will raise the minimum age requirement to 21 for all gun purchases.Dick's Sporting Goods no longer sell assault rifles, Danvers, USA - 28 Feb 2018

For decades, there has been a struggle in the sporting industry that women’s sports do not get the same recognition, funding and respect that men’s sports do, even though they achieve the same if not more, success on the field.

Dick’s Sporting Good, one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, recently made an announcement that pledges their support in promoting women’s sports that can change the industry.

Read about their recent commitment here.

WBC Member Spotlight: Rita Cox, Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC

Meet Rita Cox, Founder of Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC! Founded in 2017, Cox Marketing Solutions helps businesses make sense of today’s complicated marketing options with strategic plans, detailed execution, and most importantly – measurable results. https://www.coxmarketingsolutions.com

Read about what inspires her, how she spends her free time and what she has gained from being a member of the Capital Region Chamber’s Women Business Council.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Walking our two rescued pit bulls. They never get enough attention and it’s a great break for all of us!

What do you love most about what you do? 

I absolutely love working with a wide range of clients and finding new ways to grow their businesses.  The greatest reward is a client who says that their business is up!

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13? 

I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t doing a lot of listening at 13, but I wish I had understood that doing homework was important.  

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

My dad always said two things “If you’re going to do it, do it 100%” and “Things don’t get done by themselves.”  He’s still one of the smartest guys I know.

What does it mean to elevate each other?

From the desk of Susan Zongrone, Chair of the Women’s Business Council and Relationship Manager, VP Key Private Bank

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What does it mean to Elevate each other?

Happy New Year! 

First, I would like to start out by saying I am honored to be the 2020 Chair for the Women’s Business Council.  This organization has been part of my professional growth for well over nine years.  I have developed life long friendships over the years.  These women are the ones I can count on if I needed anything both personally and professionally.  When my co-chair, Emily Light, and I sat down to plan for 2020, we decided to come up with a theme.  The theme chosen is simply called Elevate.

This is what Elevate means to me and why it’s important to me.  In 2019, I went through a tremendous, personal loss, a loss that will be with me forever, my mom.   This was a very difficult time for me and my family.  I paused for quite some time.  As I reflected back during the two months of my mother being ill and then to her final resting place; I thought about what got me through this.  What got me through is how my friends and colleagues elevated me on a daily basis.  Without the kindness, words of encouragement, daily check ins, etc. I would not have been able to take the time to grieve.  These people were my bright light.  Everyone can be a bright light, make the commitment, consciously or not, to everyone you encounter.

This is why I chose Elevate for the Women’s Business Council 2020 theme. 

I love to read books, not one particular genre, all types.  Here are some things that I have learned from reading that truly embrace the theme to Elevate each other.

  • Lift while you climb.  It’s important to bring people along with you on your career journey and to ask them to do the same.
  • Be a good listener. Listening is more than the act of not speaking.
  • I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou)
  • We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.(J.K. Rowling)
  • Believe, believe, and believe…….in yourself!

No matter where you are in the organization, you influence the culture.  Even if it’s just one person you find who you can regularly speak kindly about, peer coach, help each other get better at your jobs… Whatever it is, whatever form the elevating is going to take, you create the possibility in that organization that this can happen.

The most important role that I have is being a mother.  It’s ironic that I opened this blog about the loss of my mom and closing with being a mother.  I have two beautiful, grown daughters that I want to be the best role model for. I encourage them to elevate each other, their friends and colleagues!  They are my bright light.

Thank you, I look forward to working with all of you throughout the year!

WBC Member Spotlight: Caroline Bardwell, Schenectady Trading Company

From the desk of Lauren Axford, Executive Director, Pine Hollow Arboretum

Image result for schenectady trading company caroline bardwell

Photo By: Daily Gazette

Meet Caroline Bardwell, Proprietor of the Schenectady Trading Company! The Schenectady Trading Company is a store that “residents and visitors can find affordable goods that are created locally and also find items that are inspired by the area and its history – architecture, invention, electricity, locomotives, Erie Canal heritage, Dutch and indigenous origins, and the Mohawk River.”

Read about what inspires her, how she spends her free time and what she has gained from being a member of the Capital Region Chamber’s Women Business Council.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

This is a rare occasion, but I expect the heart of the question is to gauge where my interests lie. I might try to get out in nature, work on poetry or song lyrics, read some of a book, or try to organize my thoughts to prioritize my time. As a single mom of younger children and a new business owner, I am preoccupied with those demands. So right now, those 30 minutes might be spent scrolling through social media listening to original music from local bands whose albums I might want to carry in my store. Still enjoyable, but with an end goal in mind.

What do you love most about what you do?

Talking to people! I love the sense of community I am fostering here. When you distill the creative economy down to this level of focus – the immediate geography – it is a way to organize the chaos and noise into a more manageable group, where you can then start to see patterns and ultimately, the potential that may otherwise go overlooked. People crave a more personal and authentic experience and I think that is rooted in a sense of place. I have created a space where people can freely celebrate their love for this special city, whether they are born here, relocated here, or are just passing through. I believe that only good things can come out of that environment.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

1) That my value is not determined by the acceptance and approval of others; 2) That I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders; 3) That I don’t have to choose between being a scientist and being an artist; and 4) do not pick up that cigarette; it will take everything you have to quit.

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

I am inspired and encouraged when I read about or meet other women with a can-do attitude who have the guts to take a chance on themselves and their ideas. Women are unique creatures and wired to be in community. We learn from and build on each other’s experiences.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Pray about it and don’t put limits on what God can accomplish through you.

Support Your WBC Heroes Hunger Team

2020 is a milestone year for Capital Region CANstruction!  CANstruction is an annual exhibit and design competition/food and fund drive that connects talented architecture, engineering, and contracting (AEC) professionals who build colossal structures out of canned food items, all of which are then used to feed our neighbors struggling with hunger and food insecurity.  Help us celebrate the 10th year of Capital Region CANstruction by supporting your Women’s Business Council Hunger Heroes team. 

We appreciate all donations, but monetary donations make a larger impact.  Every dollar donated will count as 6 pounds of food for the competition.  You can see how the WBC team is performing in the regional competition by clicking on this link: http://www.thefoodpantries.org/hunger-heroes.html.  And, you can solicit support for your team by sharing this donation page: https://thefoodpantries.z2systems.com/np/clients/thefoodpantries/donation.jsp?campaign=61.