My friend, Martha Retallick, of Western Sky Communications, recently returned from her third trip to part of the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I asked her a few questions: With your third visit to help the International Relief Teams (IRT) re-build homes for Katrina victims, what did you come away with? That asked, what did you come away with in year one and year two? My first post-Katrina reconstruction trip was in November 2006. I was an emotional wreck. My own life wasn't going too well, and to be surrounded by so much devastation (of property and lives) was hard to take. But I had borrowed a digital camera from you, and that camera turned out to be a sanity-saver. It also motivated me to revive my childhood passion for photography. Trip #2 was in July 2007. This time, life was going better, and I also had my own camera along. Having just purchased it, I had to struggle to get good photos. I also had to balance the photography with the construction work, and this was quite a challenge. Trip #3 was in July 2008. It was with the smallest of the three groups I'd been part of, and a couple of the others were not interested in being photographed. So, the camera was relegated to nature photography sessions that happened before and after the workdays and during our lunch breaks. By the time this trip was over, I realized that I'm much more interested in photographing construction than actually doing it. So, this is one of the areas that I will pursue in my emerging career as a professional photographer. How have your building skills improved each year? They're somewhat better, but I still rank myself down at the "Humble Apprentice's Lowly Assistant" level. How have your photography skills improved each year? Much better, but I've been practicing them more than I have the construction skills. What would you say to people considering joining groups like IRT in helping out hurricane victims? You will be going into an area that was the scene of a major disaster. Three years later, there's still a lot of cleanup and rebuilding work to do. That's what you're there for. There's nothing wrong with taking a break to chat with the homeowners you're working for, but don't get carried away. You're there to do a job. And they're first on the list of people who want it done quickly so they can move back into their houses. For your after-hours time, it's important to keep doing the things you enjoy. Some of my fellow team members discovered that our host church had a great basketball court -- and they used it. Ditto for the pool and foosball tables and the big-screen TV. There also were several guys who made it a point to hit the local bars. It's also important to bring something along that is comforting to you. Remember, you're doing disaster relief work. It can be stressful. Some of the IRT-ers brought along religious literature to study. Others brought long novels. For me, the comfort items were the camera and laptop computer. And did I mention that the host church had really snappy WiFi? Nothing like editing the day's photos while listening to KXCI from Tucson.
Archives for August 2008
Beginning August 27th, Remote Professionals, an organization I belong to and highly endorse, will launch its first Mentor Program series. This 12-week program will meet for one hour per week to offer essential information to those new to providing services remotely. This series has recruited some of the most experienced names in independent outsourcing to offer the information you need to get your business running smoothly and quickly. The Mentor program offers the information that the "old hands" wish they had known when they first started. Our goal is to help you shorten the learning curve, start out making more money and endure fewer costly mistakes. There will be three classes each on the topics of getting started, business identity, managing your business, and marketing your business (eg, getting those first -- and subsequent -- clients)! Our classes include: * Orientation * Importance of Contracts * Financial Planning * Niche Selection * Branding * Web Presence * Scheduling and Organizing your Time * Data Security and Client Confidentiality * Tax/Corporate Structure * Social Networking * Marketing Yourself Online * Selling and Subcontracting Each segment will provide a presentation and the opportunity to ask questions and make valuable, personal contacts with peers entering and already established in the outsourcing industry. To learn more about the program, and see the full descriptions, visit http://www.remoteprofessionals.com/events/mentorprogram08272008. If you want to learn more about the mentors, visit: http://www.remoteprofessionals.com/events/mentoring-program/meet-the-mentors. Sincerely, Angela & Jodi www.RemoteProfessionals.com The Elite Outsource Network T/F: 888-890-8226
Last Thanksgiving was a time of mixed blessings. We lost Bear, our Alpha cat. Shadow and I were devastated, and stayed pretty close for a couple of weeks. But then I realized that our lives needed more dimension. Had I but known (I still would have done it!)! Here are a few pictures of how Bear 2.0 (L'il Bear) started out, and how he and Shadow interacted. These days, they spend a lot of time hiding from each other, jumping out, and then chasing each other around the house until they are ready for a cat nap.
Webgrammar (well, really me) has a new site on the excellent social networking site, Ning. How come? It's been clear for some time that social networking is here to stay. Technology and communications change almost in the blink of an eye. And everything moves forward. I want to stay in the mainstream so I can give my best to my two ezine subscribers and to my clients. I decided to focus for now on Twitter and Ning. I'm also participating in a third social networking site that will be open to the public in October. It's for people who pre-bought Seth Godin's latest book. He's the Permission Marketing/Purple Cow guy. Amazing. Anyway, I happen to know all of my ezine subscribers are remarkable in one way or another, and some of them love to network ideas, projects, etc. Sure enough, I no sooner started the place when author/educator/marketer Hal Alpiar joined. You've got to read about his project, Tales on Wheels. And Helen Harris, a brilliant watercolorist, joined and graciously shared some of her exquisite work. We'll also be hearing about a startup nonprofit in the Pacific Northwest called Mossyrock Area Education Foundation, a comprehensive after-school project that finally took wing. Grammar. Sooner or later we'll touch on that, but for now, we're focusing on Tales on Wheels and the Mossyrock Area Education Foundation. Please consider joining us.