Being Marge: June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Copy Ducks

If you’re like me, you probably don’t look forward to your dentist appointments. However, we all know the importance of being responsible for our dental health, so we make and keep those appointments. There is an absolutely wonderful feature about my current dentist’s office that helps me escape into a world of play, and that’s the duck pond, which patients can view directly through a wall size window right at the base of the dental chair.

As I watch the ducks interact with abandon, I realize they have a lot to teach us about the art of play. First of all, they’re uninhibited in their natural environment and are continuously sliding, jumping, chasing, gliding, diving, preening, and eating.

Imagine if, in your work day, you showed as much non-stop energy and enthusiasm in your work environment! Do you slide into your work space with boundless excitement, jump for joy when you have a win, chase your goals, glide through meetings with poise and professionalism, dive for that big account, preen before meeting with an important client, and eat well and with others who are supportive of your vision and mission? If not, maybe it’s time you took some lessons from the ducks in your nearest duck pond!

And by the way, I applaud my dentist for locating his practice on a duck pond where he and his staff obviously appreciate the duck playground on a daily basis and definitely do transfer some of that light hearted attitude to their important work and client interactions.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unorthodox Networking

In my experience, the most fun business networking events are a bit unpredictable, create connections faster, and raise the participants’ energy so they’re more engaged in the process. Here are a few examples of memorable networking scenarios I’ve enjoyed:

1. During an early morning networking meeting, we routinely played Frisbee inside the room to make sure everyone was awake, ready for action, and smiling at the early hour;

2. At a few local speed networking events, which are pattered on speed dating events, business people rotate around six tables where they make their 60-second presentations;

3. One networking group wrote numerous networking tips on a beach ball and threw it around the group as part of their networking education segment;

4. Another networking group wrote a song about themselves and their businesses, performed it together, and posted it on YouTube for more exposure;

5. A small music group that’s looking for more bookings routinely plays for free at networking meetings to demonstrate their talent.

6. A creative networking group runs their weekly meeting like a radio broadcast and each member broadcasts commercials and news about their business.

7. Each member of the networking group received a fortune cookie and had to incorporate their fortune in their 60-second presentation.

People lose interest when networking events become stale and predictable. Abundance comes through other people and most people like to have fun, so networking events are great places to start to play more and work less to help people connect faster through shared, entertaining experiences.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Are They Serious?

Sometimes, when you have a serious business problem, a playful solution is most effective.

When I first spotted the billboards with the “Do It Downtown” campaign for downtown Wilmington, NC, my reaction was, “Are they serious?” The business owners downtown were completely serious when they adopted this marketing slogan, but they were smart to adopt a flirty image for their desired results.

What I read into the slogan was “Downtown is a Place to Play”. The campaign was sponsored by many downtown retail stores, galleries, theaters, restaurants, and tourist attractions – a strong collective of venues for unlimited fun. St. Charles, IL is another city that has adopted the same slogan. You can read lists of Things to Do in Downtown “X”, but that sort of message appeals to the head, while “Do it Downtown” appeals to the heart, at least to my heart!

Just that small twist to convert an important marketing campaign into a playful message has had huge ramifications for Downtown Wilmington, As a result of pulling people into the movement with a spirit of play, numerous committees have formed to enhance the campaign with a Web site, marketing materials, Downtown Ambassadors, a speakers’ bureau, education programs for downtown employees, and frequent town hall style meetings.

I don’t live or work in Downtown Wilmington, but I have always liked to play there and have enjoyed the river walk, restaurants, theater, shops, and general tourist hubbub. I found myself swept into the positive energy of the Do It Downtown campaign by joining the speakers’ bureau to help spread the word about all that Downtown Wilmington has to offer. The campaign work is actually play, which just emphasizes the overall fun times I associate with Downtown Wilmington.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Will it Be Fish or Ducks?

Here's a tip for transforming your work into play!

If you have to travel on business, find a hotel with an entertaining twist. Here are two examples.

After a long flight to Salt Lake City from Charlotte, NC, we were relieved to arrive at the boutique downtown Hotel Monaco. The first thing we noticed was an oversized, bone-shaped chalk board on the registration desk that invited guests to enter their dog’s name so the staff could keep track of canine as well as human guests. Our first reaction was “Oh, Pepper would have loved it here! And of course, that made us miss her even more.” We discovered an unexpected consolation prize in our room. There was a card suggesting that we reserve our own, free goldfish delivered to our room for our entire stay! Of course we ordered it immediately and enjoyed having a borrowed pet for our four days in Salt Lake City.

The Peabody is another hotel has a unique selling proposition along these same lines. In its Memphis, Orlando, and Little Rock locations, you’ll find The Peabody Ducks, a group of five mallards who ceremoniously march from their penthouse enclosure at 11:00 a.m. each day to the fountain lobby via elevator, and then at 5:00 p.m. they repeat their march in reverse. Each hotel has a Duck Master who leads the ducks on their daily march to the strains of King Cotton March by John Phillip Sousa. This ritual, called the Peabody Duck March, has been in place since the 1930’s, or possibly even earlier.

I haven’t stayed at the Peabody, but would definitely choose to play with their ducks.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brunswick Forest Summer Concerts

Last Friday evening we returned to the scene of my favorite event in Brunswick Forest - the summer concert series. This is a fun, relaxing event, which is held about four times each summer. It draws music-lovers from in and around Leland to just chill in Annsdale Park, see old friends, and make new acquaintances. Bruce and I are obviously enjoying ourselves, and I also met up with Ellen Clifford and Joan Papp. I can't wait for the next Friday night concert!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day!

Today has a special significance for us. Both Bruce's and my parents were married on Flag Day in 1941, right before our Dads shipped out to serve in WWII. It was unusual that they shared this wedding day because it was a Sunday, but there were many exceptions made during that time. We're proud to share that both sets of our parents celebrated more than 50 years of marriage! We celebrate this day in honor of them - Roy and Ginni Brown, and John and Jean L'Estrange.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Dancing with the Brunswick Stars

Here's Bruce with his dance instructor, Kimberly Boggs. They're not meditating, but they'll do anything to try to throw people off about the actual dance routine they're performing in early August.

I've had a chance to watch Bruce go through his actual routine (and am sworn to secrecy), and I can tell you it's going to be a lot of fun!

If you want to vote for Bruce and Kimberly and/or check out how to get tickets to the event, go to for details.

The good news is that Bruce, Kimberly, and the others doing dance routines in the big event, will be raising thousands of dollars for Brunswick Community College.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Transform Your Work into Play

My next book is about blurring the lines between work and play. The goal is to create a life where your work is your play.

I'd love to hear any ideas from my subscribers as to what they would consider an example of their "work" actually being their "play"

Thanks for playing!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Have a Nice Summer!

These two beach bums are our daughter, Liz, and grandson, Seamus. They were enjoying a fun day at Wrightsville Beach last summer. This is a cover of a card we sent them to keep the memories alive during the cold New England winter.

Now that they live on the ocean beach in New England, they're more excited about spending time at the beautiful pool in the Brunswick Forest Wellness Center. They'll be here soon and we can't wait!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Passion Test One to One Consultation

I'm so proud of the work did to complete our Passion Test One to One Consultation Web page.

Check it out at:

We would be honored to help you or anyone you know with this powerful process!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Be Sure to Catch my Blog Radio Interview on Monday

Here's the link for the interview on Monday, June 7th.

You can also cut and paste the URL below into a browser:

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After Early Morning Swim

I'm back to my early morning swim routine at the beautiful Brunswick Forest Wellness Center. Love that pool! I also love the beautiful flowering bushes outside the Wellness Center.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Good Fairy of Special Customers

If you want to know what the Good Fairy of Special Customers is all about, then be sure to get a copy of Bruce's book, 31 Days to Greeting Card Mastery!

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thanks to Brunswick Forest for a Fun Event!

It was pouring rain last evening, but we enjoyed our time at the Brunswick Forest event under the tent!
Bruce and I are here with Wendy, the professional photographer for NBM and SBM Magazines.

And here I am with Ray Borges, who is celebrating the recent birth of his first child, a daughter! Congratulations!

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thanks, Rhonda!

Today I started the day with an inspirational e-mail from a friend who is reading my first book, 31 Days to Manifest Your Ideal Life.

Here is Rhonda's note:

Thought I would share a few thoughts with you that came to me as I read your book.
Please use them if you like to help others. Maybe this is for me alone...but too powerful to not share.

"Be there" while on the way there
"Be it" while on your journey to becoming it
"Believe it" on your way to knowing it.

Powerful thought provoking and deep....inside
As always, you are both such an inspiration and a blessing.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quote for Today

“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.” - Lao Tzu

Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote "Tao Te Ching" (also "The Book of the Way"). 600 BC-531 BC

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