September 2009
In this issue
Message from Shyra
Monthly Expert
Featured Product
Inspirational Article
Upcoming Events
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Message from Shyra

Where has the time gone???

Is this what you're asking yourself when you feel you aren't getting anything completed? Here's a routine I've found to be very helpful in accomplishing my tasks. I sit down on Sunday evening and make out a list of all of the things which are priority and definitely need to be completed THIS WEEK. After listing those items, I then begin to jot down items that I would like to get to if time permits. Now, when Monday morning rolls around, I get my workout in and some breakfast and then I begin to tackle my list. As I complete an item, I'll just check it off and I realize, by Wednesday that a majority of the items on that list have already been completed and I've been able to also throw in a couple of extra items as well. By the time Friday comes along, there's a great sense of satisfaction because I realize how productive my week was. I wear many hats, I've learned that by creating this weekly list, I'm able to get so much more done and it's amazing how much energy I have and time I have to do other things I really enjoy doing. I'm no longer wasting time wondering what to do next or when I will find the time to get to something. You've got 24 hours in a day, how many of these hours are you wasting or letting get away? Stay focused and don't let distractions interfere. This is your time to use to take the necessary steps to accomplish your dreams. Don't waste any more of it.

Until next time.


Monthly Expert
Coopetition - A Fantastic Way to Boost Your Business
By Lisa Montanaro

By now, you have probably heard the term "Coopetition." Coopetition is a contraction of the words cooperation and competition, meaning essentially cooperative competition. In the business world, coopetition means collaborating or partnering with your competitors in an innovative way so that both parties benefit. The most successful entrepreneurs realize early on that the old military adage, "To know your enemy, you must become your enemy ... Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" applies just as well to the business world. Of course, we all know that your competitors are not truly your enemies (at least I hope they aren't!), but the idea of keeping them close is the point. A creative collaboration with your biggest competitor in the same industry may be the best opportunity for boosting your business.

Many of you are already familiar with the idea of collaborating with your competitors through membership in an industry specific professional association. For example, I am a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers(NAPO), the premiere association for my industry. I attend the annual conference every year as a participant or presenter, belong to a local organizers' neighborhood (an informal chapter), frequently engage in discussion on the organizers' email list, and serve as a mentor and business coach to new organizers and organizers-to-be. I have partnered with other organizers in various ways, as well as share referrals back and forth. This coopetition with other organizers has enriched my business in ways that are immeasurable. I've benefited greatly from these relationships and from keeping an open mind in my approach to dealing with my competitors.

It is smart business to capitalize on the positive aspects of a competitive situation. However, for coopetition to work effectively, both parties need to clearly define their roles, making sure not to overstep boundaries. The goal is to find a way to partner with your competitor (read: colleague!) so that both parties can substantially benefit from the collaboration. Look around at your competition, and identify competitors that share the same zest for business and success that you do. You want to make sure that you align yourself with a competitor that you respect and admire, and that exudes the same sense of professionalism and level of expertise.

What are some ways that you can engage in coopetition that will boost your business? Here are some examples of strategic alliances between competitors that are innovative, creative, and effective:

  • Develop a joint venture project together. Some of the best business ideas are born out of competitors joining together. For example, in my industry, organizers are collaborating together to offer certification prep courses, train new organizers, design organizing products, etc.
  • Share a booth at an expo, tradeshow or business showcase. Not only will this help each party keep costs down, but as we all know, two minds are often better than one. You may come up with great new ideas to market your industry and businesses, offer more products, and gain more attention from participants and the media.
  • Co-present with a competitor. Co-presenting is a wonderful tool when done well. I have had the opportunity to present with colleagues to offer workshops that I may not have been able to do on my own. The participants benefit from hearing two different presenters, which helps keep the workshop fresh and interesting. Each presenter only has to do half the work, which makes your job easier overall.
  • Advertise with a competitor. Advertising is expensive. Sharing that expense with a colleague or competitor to promote types of service, your industry, or an event you are doing together is a great way to maximize advertising costs.
  • Refer leads to each other. This is probably the most common form of coopetition. But don't lose sight of how powerful it is! What you give out almost always comes back. If you cannot service a prospective client, find a colleague or competitor that can. The potential client will view you as a true professional and resource-provider, and the competitor will be grateful and will usually reciprocate in the future.
  • Co-author an article or book together. Writing does not come easy to many people. Consider sharing writing responsibility by co-authoring an article or book with a competitor. This may be the most effective way to get published in your industry. For example, if you teamed up with 9 competitors in your industry and all wrote one chapter, voila, a 10-chapter book is born!
  • Offer a teleclass or webinar together. You've probably seen this many times where two business experts team up to offer a teleclass or webinar together. Many times they are in complementary industries, such as an interior designer (or life coach, or wardrobe consultant, etc.) and professional organizer, or a financial planner and accountant. Again, two minds are better than one, work is shared among the presenters, and the participants get to hear from two experts. It's a win-win situation for all involved.
Think broadly, keep an open mind, and seek out collaborative opportunities to boost your business with coopetition. Used wisely, it is a fantastic tool to add to your business.

Copyright 2009. Lisa Montanaro, "The Solutions Expert," is Principal of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, a professional services firm created in 2002 that offers professional organizing, business and life coaching, and motivational speaking to individuals and organizations. Lisa publishes the monthly "DECIDE to be Organized" e-zine for the general public, and "Next Level Business Success" e-zine for professional organizers and entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at Lisa also publishes the DECIDE to be Organized blog at Through LMOS, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how LMOS can improve your home or work environment, or help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at

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Inspirational Article

Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Dreams
By Jasmin Anderson

I was listening to a speaker tell the story about Joseph from the first book of the Bible, Genesis. The speaker mentioned about how spoiled Joseph was, and mainly due to the fact that he was born from his father's beloved wife who died, and so he favored Joseph over the other 12 older brothers. Something no parent should ever do, but none the less this was the situation. But as the speaker continued to speak, he talked about how Joseph grew to become a very important young man through a series of unfortunate events, but it all started with a dream.

See if you know the story of Joseph, you would know that Joseph never did any real crime except accept the treatment his father gave him. And so his brothers hated him. They hated him so much that they plotted to kill him, but decided to sell their brother to a traveling caravan instead. Joseph had endured so much from being a slave, a prisoner, being away from his family, his father especially, but one thing he always held onto was his dreams.

Even before he was sold into slavery, Joseph dreamed such high standard of dreams. Which brings me to my point of what the speaker of this story was sharing. When we dream, the dream has to be bigger than who we are today. Because the real purpose behind the dream is to get us to grow. If your dream does not require change on your part, then your dream is not big enough.

When you have a dream you must protect it and don't let anyone steal it, because people will try, even if its not intentional. Lets look back at the story of Joseph for a moment again. Joseph dreamed once that he was the sun. You know the sun that powers this earth. And the moon bowed to him, and twelve stars all bowed to him. Joseph's dreamed signified as if his father was the moon, and his twelve brothers were the stars and they would all bow down to him. As much as Joseph's father loved him, even he cut down on Joseph's dream pretty much telling him to forget about that happening. And you know what, that's exactly what ended up happening, later years in life.

You ever have a family member or loved one tell you "Well, we just don't want you to get your hopes up." My question to them would be, Why not? I want to get my hopes up, because hope leads to faith and until you have faith in exactly what it is you are doing, or that dream, that hope keeps you going.

I hear lots of people say "Well I'm just not a leader." Well neither was Joseph. He was a spoiled brat, who ended up becoming the second in command, and saved his people through a 7year famine. There is no such thing as a born leader, maybe a born manipulator. Manipulators get people to do things for their own benefit, but leaders get people to do things for their own benefit.

Jasmin Anderson is a Marketing Coach who loves to help people realize and achieve their goals in life.

Learn the marketing secrets and knowledge at

For more information about me, check out my blog at

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