Posted in Blog, Inspirational Moments, Leadership Inspiration, Personal Inspiration

Arizona Hiking

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year with the cooler temperatures.  Cooler weather for me means it is hiking season.  Hiking is a great way to relieve stress.  I enjoy hiking in Arizona because it is so diverse in vegetation and elevations.  You can hike throughout the year depending on where you go within the state.  Let me tell you a little bit about hiking and the benefits of getting outdoors in nature.

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Hiking Etiquette:

  1.  Follow and stay on the trails.  The paths are designed to preserve the natural vegetation, keep the area beautiful and for hikers to know their way.
  2. Keep to the right on the path so other hikers can pass.
  3. Pass on the left and announce yourself with “hello”.  When passing stay on the path.  Bikers yield to Hikers.  Hikers and Bikers yield to Horses.  When in a hiking group hike single file.
  4.  Hikers going uphill are given the right away over hikers going downhill.
  5. Pack in and pack out.  Carry your litter out.  Bring a plastic bag to carry your litter inside your back pack.

What to take on a day hike:

  1. Back pack
  2. Bring plenty of bottle water or hydration pack filled with water
  3. Small first-aid kit
  4. Small bottle of sun screen
  5. Small packages of snacks and lunch items
  6. Thin lite weight Pancho in case it rains
  7. A charged cell phone and a compass.  Most smart phones have a compass.
  8. Small flashlight and extra batteries
  9. Small survival knife
  10. Small hand sanitizer
  11.  Matches or lighter
  12. Map of the trail

What to wear:

  1.  Hiking boots
  2. Thick socks
  3. Layered clothes depending on the weather and climate changes
  4. Sun glasses
  5. Hat

Plan your hiking route ahead of time and always tell someone else, where you are going in case of a emergency.  It is a good idea to hike with a partner for safety reasons.

Small Steps

Here is a list of some of my favorite places for a day hike:

Hiking at Butcher Jones 11-12 013

The benefits of taking a hike:

Hiking gets your blood pumping, the body moving and being outdoors with nature has a calming influence on the mind and spirit.

Take away:

Hiking outdoors has lots of benefits.  Beautiful locations, the sceneries, fresh air, wildlife, birds chirping, and water rushing.  It is relaxing and calms the soul.  Gives you time to enjoy what is around you and forget about everything else.  On each trail, path and hike you see the beauty and feel at peace.  In today’s world we all need to see the beauty around us, have some calm peaceful moments and spend more time appreciating nature as well as each other.  Just think, what a difference life would be if we each took a little more time enjoying what wonders are around us and go for a hike!

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

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Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration, Events, Leadership Inspiration

Halloween at the Office… Tips, Ideas and How Not to Get Carried Away [GUEST BLOGGER]

Halloween, fZombie worker. Vector flat cartoon illustrationor some, is the most wonderful time of the year without question.  For those of us who become giddy at the sight of October on the calendar, know that we can get a bit carried away with decorations, treats and of course, costumes.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to set guidelines prior to the big day to lessen the chance of insensitivity, outrageousness, and inappropriateness.  I encourage all companies, large or small, to send out a memo outlining expectations, celebration announcements and most of all, costume guidelines. While this season is sure to bring a slew of Harley Quinn’s out of the woodwork for the big night, we want to be sure she doesn’t show up at work.  In the same token, during a presidential election year, it isn’t quite right to bring those politics into the workspace. Halloween can be fun in the office if planned well.

(CLICK HERE FOR A HALLOWEEN MEMO TEMPLATE)

When it comes to costumes and fun, contests are always a big hit, especially with your competitive sales teams.  Offer prizes that relate to work incentives;  prime parking space for a month, free lunch, items from the promotional closet, day off, half-day Fridays for a month, sleep in Mondays for a month, special plaque or statue award…. possibilities are endless. Create categories for winners; Best Overall Costume, Most Creative Costume, Best Ironic Costume etc.  You can also offer a theme for the day; favorite television or movie character, characters from The Office, Parks & Rec or other office genre show; favorite candy or cereals are fun (it may be best not to choose favorite superheroes…masks and makeup should not be worn covering the entire face at work).

Offer costume ideas if you are so inclined.  Click  here to visit my Office Costume Pinterest board.  You may find some pretty cool, appropriate costume ideas…. 

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Remember that not everyone celebrates Halloween for various reasons.  Questioning why someone is not in costume or their reasons for not celebrating is discriminatory and should not be done.  

If you really want to boost morale in the office, host a Halloween Pet Parade and invite staff to bring their (well trained, non-exotic) pets to work for the afternoon or even better, host an evening family party and set up a trick or treat trail for the kids.  Both of these take a bit more work and effort but if you can find an overzealous Halloween fan, they are most likely willing to spearhead the project.

Wishing you a fun & Happy Halloween!

By Guest Blogger, Kharma Finley-Wallace

 

Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration

My Amazing Experience at the Blended Blogging Conference 2016 Recap

Barn at the Windmill Winery

In September of 2016 I attended the 2 days Blended Conference; an Arizona’s Premier Blogging Conference.  This was my first time ever attending a blogging conference. I didn’t know what to except; but it was an amazing experience. The conference took place at the Windmill Winery in Florence, Arizona.  What a beautiful venue.  The red barn was where most of the conference was held. Inside the barn the table settings had beautiful flowers and the lighting throughout the barn was absolutely breath taking.

 

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Even outside of the barn it was decorated beautifully.

Some of the Food and Drinks at the Conference:

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The food and beverages were delicious at the conference.

What I learned from the Conference Speakers:

The conference speakers shared their expertise and gave us a wealth of information to take back to put into action.  I took loads of hand written notes during the two days.  I learned so much about blogging, pricing, affiliate marketing, printables, and being a upstander.  The definition of upstander at the conference was “be a person you would like to work with”.

During breaks between sessions we had time to walk around the beautiful garden paths taking photos and participating in the scavenger hunt.

Here are some photos of the scavenger hunt items:

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Farm Tractor                                             Stained Glass Window

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Chess Board                                             Fire Pit

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Selfie in the garden                                 Windmill

The scavenger hunt was a blast looking for the different items on the list around the winery.

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Another exciting thing is I won this beautiful bracelet from Origami Owl ~ http://www.origamiowl.com.  This really made the conference even more special.  Inside the bracelet there is a Typewriter, the outline of the State of Arizona and the word Blog.

The Wine Tasting Adventure:

One of the activities I chose to do was the wine tasting.  The wine tasting was a lot of fun.  My favorite wine is called Pomegranate Wine.

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Mac and Harold from the Windmill Winery and me.

The Windmill Winery

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The best part of the conference was making new friends!

Kim Hanna (Left) Ann Odle (middle) me (right)

Kim & Ann’s website blogs

http://www.campingforfoodies.com (Kim) &  www.annodle.com (Ann)

And a special thank you to Wendy O’Neal @ Around My Family Table for putting together the wonderful blogging conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration, Leadership Inspiration, Personal Inspiration, Podcasts

Customer Service Week: Appreciating Employees

[Audio Available Below]happy-employees

This week is Customer Service Week.  How will you be showing appreciation towards your employees which are the face of your business?  As a leader it is important to show appreciation toward your employees and not just during “Customer Service Week” but throughout the year.

Here are some good reasons why to reflect gratitude and appreciation towards staff:

  • They have the most interaction with the customers.
  • If employees have a bad attitude and treat customers horribly.  Customers will not purchase your product, services or even come back.
  • Employees are the face of the company and reflect company values.
  • How staff interact with customers is the key for a successful business.

Here is a Scenario of Great Customer Service:

Regular customers like coming into a restaurant not just because of the delicious food.  Customers come back most of the time because of the excellent customer service and how they were treated.  When a customer feels welcome, acknowledge and treated special they will continually come back.  They will choose your restaurant because it makes them feel satisfied and valued.

The same goes for an employees.  When they feel valued and are treated well. The employees will continue to want to come into work, share their talents and make suggestions on how to make the business better.  The staff will belong to the organization.

Take Away:

Treat your employees as what they are doing is making a difference.  When employees feel valued they will give their best effort towards the job.  Being a good leader is a reflection of excellent staff.

I would love to see your comments about what you did to show your appreciation towards staff and what was their reaction.

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

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Quiz – Is Your Job Too Stressful?