Join the Social Media Club Des Moines at Madhouse Brewing Company Thursday, October 2 from 5:30-7pm for their Fall Kickoff Social for the 2014-2015 year!

A free drink ticket will be provided to the first 50 guests and they’ll also have complimentary chips and salsa from Tres Mentes Salsa!

Come mix and mingle with members, meet their newly elected board members and have fun!

FREE admission, but they do ask that you RSVP here.


Book Review: Hundred Percenters

As part of my continuing education as a Free Agent, I read at least six business books per year. Most recently, the Business Book Club read Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give It Their All, and They’ll Give You Even More by Mark Murphy.

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5 Tips to Becoming a Phone Call Pro!

Whether you’re in sales and making cold calls to drum up business or a graphic designer following-up with a client on a project, you’ll make a GREAT impression if you practice professional telephone etiquette:

Identify yourself – Don’t assume that the person you’re calling will recognize your voice.

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Book Review: Me 2.0 by Dan Schwabel

Now that the Meyvn Group’s Business Book Club is on its summer hiatus, I have the chance to read some of the business books I have laying around. I recently picked up Me 2.0 by Dan Schwabel.

Even though I read the October 2010 Revised edition, I felt that some of the points made were outdated. In his book, Dan Schwabel shows job seekers and professionals how to leverage the power of digital media to manage their personal brand. So you can see why the content can quickly become obsolete.

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Define Your ShIne: In Living Color

by "Get it Done Girl" on September 15, 2014 · 0 comments

in Free Agency,How To:,Networking,Workshops

I’d like to make you aware of an event that is like no other happening in Des Moines. The women who have put together “Define Your ShIne: In Living Color” have worked hard to identify what’s missing in our lives and to put together a day’s worth of workshop sessions to address those issues. Will I see you there?

The Schedule

October 16, 2014
8:30am – 3:00pm
Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge

8:15 – 8:30 Check in/registration (light breakfast will be available)

8:30 – 8:45 ​Gratitude exercise & welcome

8:45 – 9:45 Gentle yoga ​instructed by Sandi Hoover

​9:45 – 10:00 Morning break

10:00 – 10:25 Letting go ​visualization & meditation ​​guided by Kim Garin

10:25 – 10:45 Harness the power of intention led by Melanie Schmidt

10:45 – 12:15 Discover your core values ​facilitated by Tabby Hinderaker

12:15 – 12:45 Lunch provided by ​The Grateful Chef

12:45 – 12:50 ​Re-engagement activity

12:50 – 1:30 Self-care breakout sessions & afternoon break

1:30 – 2:00 So Hum (I Am) meditation ​guided by Kim Garin

2:00 – 2:30 Group activity

2:30 – 2:45 Gratitude exercise

2:45 – 3:00 Next steps

3:00 ​Closing ​meet & greet


Purchase tickets now!


Register before September 24th to receive $40 off the early bird rate and be entered to win one of two gifts from the sponsors! The first five people to take advantage of this special offer will receive a deluxe gift bag the day of the event. Take advantage of this limited time offer ​by entering promotional code SHINESPECIAL at checkout!

Get the Early Bird rate if you purchase your tickets before October 3, 2014.


What does it take to make you SHINE?

If you have ever felt disconnected or that what you truly wanted was just out of reach, it’s time to step through those limiting beliefs to create the life you want.

What is your SHINE?

As driven, capable, heart-centered women we are all searching for it. It is not easily defined. It cannot be found in the people, places, circumstances or things that fill up our lives. Everyone has it but no two are identical. Only you can define it. It is no one’s responsibility but yours. It cannot be created because it has always existed within you. It cannot be lost but you can lose touch with it. It is what it means to SHINE. It is YOU.

It’s not until we take the time to connect with the silence and truth within and consciously reflect on what matters most that we awaken to ourselves and tap into our true potential. When we are more grounded and connected, we make better decisions and we choose goals that will move us forward in the of our ideal life.  We invite you step away from the chaos of day to day and surrender yourself to an experience that will leave you feeling renewed and ready to re-engage with your life in a more fulfilling way.

This unique six hour ladies-only retreat focuses on slowing down and tuning into the mindfulness of present moment awareness. With the guiding theme In Living Color, the Fall 2014 Define Your ShIne experience will be immersed in the beauty of the autumn landscape at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge. A light breakfast will be available and a nourishing vegetarian lunch prepared by The Grateful Chef, Brandy Lueders will also be provided. We will start the morning reawakening our bodies with a rejuvenating yoga session guided by Sandi Hoover, co-owner of The Family Tree Yoga and Massage. Your ShIne guides, Kim Garin, Tabby Hinderaker and Melanie Schmidt are dedicated to providing an environment that will allow you to experiment with a variety of tools, techniques and approaches that will move you from constriction to expansion and empower your authenticity. During our time together, you can expect to be shifted toward:

  • Living your truth by discovering your true, core values
  • Quieting your mind with simple meditation techniques
  • Embracing insight through the use of guided visualization and journaling
  • Connecting more fully with your body with gentle yoga practice
  • Unleashing your creativity in group and individual activities
  • Experiencing abundant joy by learning to cultivate gratitude
  • Fostering self-understanding and transformative self-love
  • An expanded awareness of who you really are and what you really want
  • Actively being part of a supportive, close-knit community from this day forward


Startup Weekend Des Moines Debrief (March 2012)

Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to participate in Startup Weekend Des Moines. I’ve been told by several people that I should check it out – the stars aligned this year and I was able to go.

“Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.”

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Book Review: Steve Jobs

A few weeks ago at at the Business Book Club, we discussed Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

This book isn’t for those intimidated by an almost 600-page, hardcover behemoth. I’m honestly one of “those” people, so if it wasn’t on the reading list for the Business Book Club, I wouldn’t have even picked it up.

But I’m glad I did.

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Managing your Email Inbox

I work with several clients who are trapped by their email. By trapped, I mean that they spend more time staring at their Inbox than getting actual stuff done. Emails often get lost in their Inbox because it’s so full. Below are a few tips to help:


Check your email twice per day

This is a great tip I took away from Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week. Your productivity will improve immensely if you take this approach. Set up an auto-response letting the sender know when you’ll be checking email and if it’s an emergency, let them know they can call you.

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How to Unplug for Two Weeks

by "Get it Done Girl" on August 12, 2014 · 0 comments

in Free Agency,How To:

And by unplug, I mean absolutely no phone or email. Believe me, it can be done.

For example, this post is scheduled for my first day of vacation, August 12th. Most of the work I do for my business and for my Clients can be scheduled, i.e. blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets, e-newsletters, etc., which makes the continuity of content feasible. Here’s how I’m making this two week hiatus work:

Notify Clients ASAP

The biggest piece of advice I can give is notify Clients as soon as you know you’ll be unavailable. The day my airline ticket was procured, I emailed each Client to let them know I would be unavailable. I also included how their account would be handled while I was gone. Whether I would get the work done ahead of time, whether I would schedule their content to post while I was gone, options for rescheduling coaching sessions, etc…

Change your Email Signature

After I notified my Clients via email, I made sure that my general Contacts knew that I would be unavailable for two weeks. I changed my email signature to include the dates I would be gone and that I really, truly would be unavailable. Be sure to create your email signature in such a way that it stands out from the body of the email, i.e. different color, font style, background color.


One thing that caught me off guard was preparing for the three months after my return. I realized that there were three events that I produce that needed to be planned and marketed, i.e. DSM Sushi Roll, LinkedIn 301 Workshop at the Urbandale Chamber and Stammtisch Des Moines German Club‘s Oktoberfest at my house. Not to mention the three months ahead for each Client! To successfully unplug for two weeks, take a look at what you’ve got on your calendar and your Client’s calendars for the three months after your return and then get as much done as possible.

Notify Your Clients AGAIN

One week before I left, I emailed each Client individually AGAIN to remind them that I’ll be unavailable via phone and email during this two week period. I also shared with them the work I’ve completed on their account to give them piece of mind.

Set up Out of Office

Most Email Clients (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) allow users to create an automated reply that is sent to individuals that email you while you’re away (you can choose the start and end dates). Even though your existing Contacts and Clients have been seeing your email signature with the notification, you may receive emails from other individuals. Instead of their email going unanswered – for two weeks – this automated reply could include the dates of unavailability, the date of return, who the individual could get in contact with if their question can’t wait, etc. Don’t let emails go unanswered while you’re unplugged.

Change Your Voicemail

Yes, individuals still use their phones to make actual phone calls! I changed my voicemail to include the dates I’ll be unavailable as well as inviting the caller to send me an email if my voicemail inbox is full. The best thing you can do is give individuals options.

Prepare for a Smooth Return

I’ll be returning at 11pm on August 25th, and leaving for a family vacation over Labor Day weekend on Thursday, August 28th. Many individuals avoid long vacations because they dread the return to work. To ease this pain, I’ve addressed my Client’s needs as well as my business’ through this week (for the most part) as well.

This is the approach I’ve taken to unplugging for two weeks. I have every confidence that my Clients will continue to have the same amazing experience while I’m away because if our mutual preparation. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

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