Without sales we wouldn’t be in business. And who brings us business? Customers of course! It might be easier for big businesses to spend more freely in buying customer happiness, but you don’t have to be a Fortune 100 brand to show you care. Small businesses can love even more tenderly!

In 13 Ways to Show Customers You Love Them Frias Kittaneh from Entrepreneur.com shares the love with his collection of customer loyalty secrets. A few suggestions?  Break the Rules. Extend Promo Code deadlines. Celebrate an odd holiday with your clients. Or, simply hang out with them at new restaurant in town. (I love that one).  In the mood for love?  Read more ideas here.

Check out this article too from Helpscout.net 25 Ways to Thank Your Customers. You’ll find some fun and quirky ways to thank your customers and create stronger connections with prospects too. We all can be reminded on how to show appreciation, no matter what stage in business or life we’re in. Give a Good Read with your own book if you’re an author or select a book your client might like.  Don’t forget to include a personalized bookmark too! You can also throw a party or hold an in-store event after hours. You’ll have plenty to choose from!

Me? I love love anytime of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking for 100 Ways to Say I Love You without having to say “I Love You”, check out these phrases for your friends, family or favorite fans.

Remember them for your own Personal PR.

“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Looking to up your game? Schedule a complimentary Discovery Call with me to see how you can score more PR and Small Business Marketing Success. You can also ask me in person. I’m speaking at Constant Contact Headquarters on March 1 with other social media, email marketing and SEO experts, on How to Develop and Manage Your Online Brand. It’s FREE. Join Heather Jackson, Christina Inge, Jeannette O’Neil and me from 10am – 2pm.  Space is limited – Register now!

Dear New Year, Bring it On!

I’m always excited about possibility and my senses are keenly aware of the expansion that’s forthcoming in 2015.  Not just for me and my business, but for my friends and family, and fellowpreneurs I don’t even know yet.

Every year I like to look at highlights of my life in a visual timetable. I’ve borrowed this concept from one of my speech coaches because I’m nervous of forgetting important topics on stage.  We’re not presenting (except to ourselves) so I love this exercise to identify life events and business accomplishments.

Here’s a portion of my timeline for 2014 – want to draw one for yourself?

(Click to View Larger)

(Click to View Larger)

January – Lived in a ski house, seaside furnished apartment and Puerto Rico.

February – Worked from the slopes. Triple time on weekends.

March – Moved in to my farmhouse – I love it! A bittersweet time in my life.

April – Traveled to Prague and Budapest. Got pampered. Really fell in love.

May – Grateful for 3 new clients and writing projects.

June – Wonderful recruiting project.

July – Finished my first children’s book. Family time. Working at the island and Rye Beach.

August – Super busy with client work.

September – Woo Hoo!  The team is cranking! Speaking gigs, articles and panels.

October – Expo talk, trips to NY, birthday love, VIP days.

November – Hiring to fill positions – VIP days.

December – Big expansion plans  Great referrals Family time  Holiday surprises.

Late December – Booking new work, webinars and FUN for 2015!

Remember, you can add whatever events or accomplishments you like to your own timetable.  They can be words or images. Simple or complicated. Pictures or photos. If you create a digital version, it can have links or music or…

In reality, this is a visual map you’ve created for yourself, much like a PR or Promotions Business Building Map we create with clients (with your goals in mind)!

It’s no surprise that I love to schedule my life around my business and am blessed with a talented team to help me get there. I’ve never been a 9 to 5 er, but I can work like the dickens!

When you buy your new calendar, fill in your vacations first, even if it’s just an idea. Then plan your work around it. Writing your dreams on paper is the first step toward making it happen. Then, keep writing.  

Wishing You Happiness, Health and Prosperity in 2015.

PS –Thoughts really can turn into reality. And, it’s all possible. Share your big hopes for 2015 below.

I’ve been so fortunate to spend a good amount of time with my daughters and nieces this holiday season. I don’t always see them as much as I like, since they’re busy with school, consulting, travel and just ‘plain living large’, but I’m aware of how they grow and measure it in a few ways;

By what we talk about – content, the way they look and carry themselves – presentation, their emotional space – attitude, and of course, their communication to not only me, but others around them and the world at large. Year to year, there’s growth – not what I’ve chosen, but what they and life have delivered to their doorstep.


A photo shows how we might change visually year to year, but what about how we grow year to year, on the inside?

Here are 6 Things You Might Look at in Your Own Life to See How Much You’ve Grown:

1)      Have you chosen to be ‘different’ than who you were last year, because it’s not who you are?

2)      Did you consciously make a stand on what’s important in your life, and say NO to the BS?

3)      Have you noticed the more you give the more you get, and seen the results first hand?

4)      Do you have toxic people in your daily life and if that’s a yes, have you set healthy boundaries?

5)      In the scheme of things, are you happier now, or last year? And if happiness is a choice, why aren’t you happy now?

6)      Have you made a decision to make 2014 the best year ever, and every day commit to it?


Resolutions are words that we put on a piece of paper. Verbal promises to ourselves and others can be broken.  A real decision is just that –hardcore, no turning back.

What are you scared to death to do that will change your life for the better?

If you believed that freedom lies in bold action, what bold action would you take to set yourself free?

What items have you crossed off your bucket list, and are they crazy enough to make living worthwhile?

Questions for thought…as we begin the New Year.

Here’s to your health, wealth and happiness in 2014…

I Love Lucy

Have you ever had a favorite pet that was your BFF and constant traveling companion?

I can say yes, and let you know that such was the case with Lucy, my sweet Sheltie who passed yesterday after a long spirited life.

 lucy in woods

In honor of Lucy, I’d like to pay tribute to some of the lessons she taught me about life, business and the pursuit of happiness:

  • Celebrate Life. Lucy made no bones about it; she was all-in and ready to travel. Much like her Mom, she was a midnight rider, a good listener and could nap anywhere.
  • Travel with Style. It really didn’t matter whether Lucy traveled in a convertible, in the back of a boat, or front seat of a pick-up truck. Lucy had wanderlust — and a leash was optional.
  • Be Pampered. Lucy lived a life filled with kindness, kisses, sweet talk and TLC. She loved attention — and was a pro — at giving it, and getting it.
  • Be Loved. Lucy showed me time and time again, what unconditional love looked like. It was a daily lesson and a reminder that love is the most important thing on Earth.
  • Take the High Road. If Lucy didn’t get her way, she took the high road. Tomorrow there’d be another chance to get that cookie, go for a walk on the beach or smell other dogs. She looked forward to those simple pleasures.
  • Know When it’s Time to Rest. Sleeping was one of Lucy’s favorite pastimes, though I’m not sure if she just closed her eyes during all those phone calls, or the snoring was meant to fool me.
  • Remember to keep a secret. Let’s just say, I’m sure she heard more than a few short and long tales. What a confidante!

Though my heart may break with sadness, my heart is also filled with joy for the love we shared.

If you had a favorite pet, you know what I mean.

Here’s to you Lucy, and the giant parade with Milkbones that welcomed you.

The Goodness Factor

I am always delighted, and wonderfully grateful for the goodness factor that is inherently part of us – no matter where we may live, visit or travel.  It’s a human trait I believe, to be kind when fear isn’t involved, or lack isn’t present.  When we just are, who we are.

During our wonderful and warm week on vacation, we discovered my daughter had lost her wallet, perhaps at a TCBY yogurt shop some twenty miles from our hotel.  A bit frantic, we searched the room, sandy towels, and everything in between to see if we could find it. No such luck.  And, no luck when we called the shop.

I believe without a doubt that Karma rules. This is the second time, thousands of miles from home that a stranger showered kindness and went out of their way to return items left behind.

The first, in the bustling capital of Panama with a camera, and the second, returning a wallet full of cash and ID’s in the Cayman Islands.  The world is a good place, my friends, and if you share that energy, it will be good to you.

Lucy Bodden, who works at a bank in the Cayman Islands, found the wallet on the ground at TCBY, but couldn’t find us.  She called her friend in immigration to help, but she didn’t pick up.  She found the hotel key in the wallet, and called, but my daughter wasn’t listed in the computer system. She then drove 20 miles or more, to the hotel and asked the front desk who the key belonged to, and they called the room.  We were there.

We met Lucy, gave her a hug, and thanked her for her honesty and going out of her way to find us. She didn’t want a reward, just told us that if it happened to her, she would want someone to do the same.

Karma is a beautiful thing. People are inherently good, and Lucy Bodden is one of the millions of unsung heroes who helps others every day.

As John Randolph Price said, “The good of the whole does begin with each individual.”

Life is good, pay it forward, and a special thank you Lucy Bodden .

Enjoying life, business and the pursuit of happiness, back in Boston

What Makes You Happy?

As many of you know, besides my business at Let’s Make You Shine, I have a promotions and events business called Partner Promotions Inc.

For the last ten years, we have promoted products and services in a very big way. We have wonderful brand ambassadors and reps who go into the marketplace and showcase the clients we represent, and also create and execute and events, according to a clients’ needs – and again – bring out their best! In case you’ve never knew that, take a look here.

The reason I bring this up is because one of my staff, Sharlene, is taking her dream job to be on what I call, “The Love Boat.” This past week, we had a small farewell get-together for her, and she came with some new “couch surfing” friends from here and abroad, some of whom were staying at her house. This young group, all in their young to late twenties, opened my eyes to what we may be missing in our own lives, by being totally focused on work, and not paying attention to making time for “fun.”

There were six of us, and I asked the question: “What does happiness mean to you?”

In no particular order, here’s what they said.

“Money and the ability it affords me to travel, and have freedom. Alignment with who you are. Friendship and support and nice weather in the Caribbean on the east side of an Espanola island. Freedom and travel. Doing your own thing to be yourself, to do what you want to do.”

Then, my colleague made this statement. “Happiness is different at different parts of your life. In your 20’s it’s one way, your 30’s and 40’s and so on. Each decade is different, but only you can decide.”

After that thought settled in, another friend and Couch Surfer told us one of his favorite quotes: “Happiness is only real when shared.” (Christopher McCandless)

On that, we raised our glasses, wished Sharlene a safe Bon Voyage, and celebrated our new friendships.

Share some happiness today.

Expect to Succeed

There’s no doubt in my mind that when I start a new project or work with a client —  that I’m not going to succeed.

Success has a different meaning for all of us.  To me, it means learning something (perhaps a giant lesson, a new skill, or a new way to approach a situation). Or making something better. (In our business, life, or the pursuit of happiness). Or helping someone see something more clearly, so that they in turn can use that bit of information to move forward. (Like concentrate on the big rocks, and the pebbles will take care of themselves).

As I write this, from my MakeMoneyMonday coffee shop (and stop), I see success as moving forward, and getting closer to what my goals are, in business and life. Both include freedom, flexibility, choice and opportunity.

I’m not Mighty Mouse, (though I am under 5’2) and sure, there are moments when I second guess myself.  But, ultimately, I know I have the confidence, persistence, and smarts to reach my goals. I also have a vast resource of colleagues, friends – and get this—strangers, who will help, if I ask.

I Expect to Succeed, but I also Expect the Best. Both philosophies have served me well.

My world, my business, my life are all changing.  Just like yours.

Same book, different chapter.

A page turner. The ending, we never know.

How exciting.