Happy Holidays everyone!
It's been awhile since the last newsletter, and the only excuse I can offer is just being too busy to write it! As most of you will know, this newsletter is all about what we feel is valuable and timely information for our clients, colleagues and friends. In this issue we are definitely caught up in the "spirit of the season". We include an article on How to Build a Community. During the past three years, ConnectUs has been participating in a local initiative that has completely revitalized a depressed community in Oakville. The organization documented the steps and the results and through our offices, we offer our readers the opportunity to have their community assessed and revitalized. The system that has been put in place is called a "Community Improvement Alliance" (CIA) and it offers a step by step process to rebuild communities that are in need of revitalization. The Oakville model has seen residential properties increase by 35%, retail and commercial properties increase by a minimum of $4.00 a sq. ft. All storefronts are rented, graffiti is gone and there is a new attitude of pride in the community.
We are proud to announce that we have finalized our agreement with Dr. John-Paul Hatala and FloWork will be officially launched in January. Anyone wishing to be part of the initial program should contact the office and book your space. We will be offering the program with a coaching session, so that everyone can maximize their networking abilities. FloWork is a networking system that takes everyone from an Opportunity to a Solution, effectively and ethically.
We continue to press our colleagues and clients to "Pay it Forward" . To recognize that networking is not just a buy/sell, it is not just a way to achieve your goals, it is a rapport building exercise where each side must benefit from the time spent together. We include an article on The RISE and FLOW of networking - adding value to our new system.
We subscribe to Stats Canada and are happy to share some of the timely and relevant information we've found that might be useful for you in your business growth. There are articles on "The Sandwich Generation" this is for those people who must juggle their children, their parents and their life - it's a stressful and often almost impossible way of life. Take a look at the stats and if you need help, let us know - we just might have someone in our data base that can help solve that balancing act problem.
We have included an article on youth, on Post Secondary Education - Who leaves and why? We work with many colleges and universities and we felt that this material is valuable, particularly when so many young people are having difficulty deciding what's next when they leave high school. Apprenticeship? A professional designation? What do today's youth want and need? The article provides a wealth of statistics that might be valuable to you, if education and youth are your target market.
Another article we chose from Stats Canada is on IT professionals entitled, "Relative Wage Patterns among the Highly Educated in a Knowledge-based Economy"
We have been working with the industry and felt that the statistics offered would be valuable to all of you who are working within this field. If you find the information contained within this newsletter valuable, pay it forward, and share it with your colleagues.
The final article from Stats Canada is on Non-profit and voluntary organizations. Statistics show that Non-profit and voluntary organizations are an integral part of society, serving as vehicles for engaging the efforts of millions of Canadians to address needs in their communities. According to the study, Canadians took out 139 million memberships in non-profit and voluntary organizations, an average of four per person. We are working with many of these groups and felt that the survey done and the results tabulated would be a valuable tool for everyone. Our article on Social Capital in a previous issue of the newsletter points out the measurable results you attain by being actively involved in your community through volunteering.
We are also offering you an article called "How much does it cost to say no?" this is an introspective journey for me, it all happened in the middle of the night, and the writer in me just had to put it into an article. We all know how hard it is to say "no", but do we know what it really costs to say "yes"? Read the article - it's really the launch of a new portion of our website - it's called ASK Donna, yes, it's another acronym which stands for Answers, Solutions, and Knowledge - as of January 1st , 2005, all questions will be responded to by an auto responder directing the questions to ASK Donna. I will happily share my knowledge online with everyone. I will be live online once a week - you can join me and ask away. How much does it cost to say no, has turned into a new initiative that will enable me to say yes, and do it efficiently. I look forward to an exciting 2005.
My final piece for this editorial is directed towards an incredible networking success story. It is another way to "Pay it Forward" - This is the story of the positive power of connecting - it's about people helping people. I was at a Dementia Conference a few months ago and I was introduced to Sara Westbrook and her mother Linda. This is the story of Brenda Hounam, a mother of two …. Brenda has Alzheimer Disease.
One More Memory is her story told in one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. If you have someone suffering from dementia, you need to hear One More Memory.
For 2005 promise yourself the gift of time, time to reflect on what is important to you and your family. For me, I am going to write more, I'm going to share the stories of all those wonderful people who have crossed my path. Are they award winners, heros? I think so!
Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the time you spend with friends and family - they are your future, your past and the present you give to yourself!