Our best thoughts come from others.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Praise the bridge that carried you over. ~ George Colman
Bridges and autumn are linked together in my mind. Bridges allow us to follow a road to somewhere. Autumn with its wonderful colors, crisp scents, brings a slowing down after the hustle of summer, opening the next chapter in our lives.
Let the inspiration lead you across the bridge of change.
There are times when life is so busy that we do not allow ourselves any quiet moments to ponder, to appreciate, to be lazy, to rekindle our passions for our work. It is absolutely necessary to give ourselves permission to take those moments, refresh our minds, fill our souls with the surroundings that are our daily inspirations.
This month has been exceptionally mild, allowing us in the northeast to absorb the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, basking in the outdoors, shaking off the cobwebs from winter and preparing ourselves for the tasks ahead. With spring just beginning, the flowering trees are in full bloom, the colors are fantastic, the warmth of the light amazing.
What do you find as inspiration in this season of transition? Whatever it is, be sure to take those moments, wrap your souls around them and save the memories for times when inspiration may not be so forthcoming.
We hope that 2011 has been a great year for you.
We are very excited at the prospect of bringing you new and exciting design tips and concepts in 2012 to aid in your creativity and in your business ventures.
We want to thank our readers for your continuing support of Designed by Dianna. We wish you and your family a season of joy and much happiness in 2012.
The Designed by Dianna Team
Our Creativity is YOUR Power!
Everyone in every organization is now part of the sales force AND part of customer service, but there are no customers without sales. Sales and customer service go hand-in-hand, but sales always come first. No matter if you’re the newest administrative employee or the CEO, your job is sales and then customer service, and if you don’t think it is, your business’s health is probably just as questionable as the rest of the companies out there. A business cannot survive without both. Customer service is now as important to those hired to actually sell as it is to the members of the production team and the people who answer the phones.
The really good sales professionals I know sell other people’s products just as readily as the ones they earn money selling. Successful sales people don’t push a product; they listen for people’s needs. Develop the habit of listening first. Find people’s needs – even when you are not working. Really listen. Hear more than what is coming out of their mouths. Find the way to be helpful and the habit will continue to pay you forever.
Customer service begins with empathy but cannot be exceptional unless paired with action. Sometimes, empathy is all you can offer. Take a delivery delay – that is out of your control, but first deal with the situation with empathy – be personal with all your interactions, and respond from the other side of the fence.
Empathy plus action is what makes really great customer service. Practice this as often as possible, do it at home. See the situation from the other person’s point of view as often as possible. Look for potential ways to help. And remember, really listening makes someone feel heard which is just as important an action as any other.
When someone asks if you are in sales, are you reluctant to admit that? What feels comfortable? What seems to need work?
Valentine’s Day is named in honour of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers who, it is believed, was murdered on February 14 AD 270. The Roman emperor Claudius II cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome, as he believed married men, being emotionally attached to their wives and families, did not make good soldiers.
Valentine secretly married couples until he was caught. One legend suggests he left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter before his death which said “Love from your Valentine,” the first Valentine’s card.
It was the pope who set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine in AD 496. However, the day was not often celebrated until the Middle Ages. Gift giving and exchanging of hand-made cards became common in England around the 18th century, while in the 1840s the holiday caught on in the US.
But while the day is about love, cards, chocolates and flowers in the US and Canada, the day is celebrated differently around the world. For example, in Finland the day marks the honoring of friends, not lovers.
So on this day, remember to honor your friends as well as your lovers!
And as a designer, don’t forget to add that bright spot of color in the midst of your winter designs.
Creativity is important on both personal and social levels. With life becoming more complex, many people continue to search for understanding about their own creativity. Even businesses and organizations today must constantly reinvent themselves to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace of changes in their client base, in world politics, and especially in technology.
Creative people in the arts must develop a deep sensitivity to their surroundings — colors, sounds, and emotions…
I suppose being more sensitive to one’s surroundings can be a trigger for emotional mood swings. When the creativity is high, depression can be lurking in the wings, awaiting a lull in the creative process to rear its ugly head!
A major study showed a great many people suffer at least a few minor symptoms of “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). As an individual that suffers from SAD, I am not sure how I feel about creativity being linked with madness. This time of year I try to get at least 15 minutes of exposure to daylight…walking outside in the bitter cold is not my favorite pastime, but it helps keep the “SADness” at bay, at least until the dreaded month of February!
Experts say mental illness does not necessarily cause creativity, nor does creativity necessarily contribute to mental illness, but a certain ruminating personality type may contribute to both mental health issues and art.
Whether your creative nature is slight or extensive, personality characteristics are similar: contrariness, drive for dominion, capacity for solitude, production of personally identified works, and perhaps a tendency toward psychological “unease”. More than two thousand years ago, the great philosopher Aristotle proclaimed, “No great genius has ever been without some divine madness.” There are many examples of great artists, musicians, poets and novelists who exhibit the classic signs of major mood disorders…years from now we may well be identifying creative genius in technology, web design and a multitude of graphic pursuits. Well, if that is the case, may we all be welcomed into the ranks of greatness! (Even if we are all a bit “mad“!)
One of my favorite newsletters that arrived yesterday focuses on resolutions as they relate to job hunting, but most of these recommendations can also be applied to expanding a business, increasing sales, even solidifying professional relationships…the key is keeping them in focus throughout the year.
At the beginning of a new year we’re full of resolutions — but what are your job hunting resolutions? TheLadders asked experts to recommend 10 promises that, if kept, will pay off in 2011.
- Grow Your Network
- Set Up Informational Interviews
- Be a Joiner
- Polish Your Personal Brand
- Get Smart(er)
- Ask for Help
- Get Physical
- Follow Through on Following Up
- Increase Your Profile
- Be More Open
Thinking outside the box in terms of how you can apply your skills and experience may be the promise kept that leads to new job promises in 2011.
I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. Anais Nin
And what are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions??? A search today shows these:
- Spend more time with family & friends
- Get fit
- Tame the bulge
- Quit smoking
- Enjoy life more
- Quit drinking
- Get out of debt
- Learn something new
- Help others
- Get organized
What are the top three on your list? Regardless of resolutions, may your 2011 be filled with lots of love, laughter, caring and sharing! Wishing you great wealth, health and joyous experiences. Happy New Year!
We often have difficulty deciding what to give as holiday gifts to those near and dear to us. A friend shared this list with me and I feel compelled to share it with you!
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
…To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
Merry Christmas to all!
Best wishes for a glorious 2011!