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Bring Your Dog to Work Day
 December 2012
In This Issue
(Wo)man's Best Friend
Client Spotlight
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He Oughta Know...
In honor of his recent passing, here are some words of wisdom from the incomparable Zig Ziglar, a star among stars in the speaking world and a fellow member of the National Speakers Association:
"People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing-that's why we recommend it daily."
 "You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."
"If you can dream it, you can achieve it."  
Rest in peace, Zig.

We Get Ink!

Daily Herald Business Ledger


Thanks to Kerry O'Brien, newly promoted executive director of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce, my business was profiled in a special "Focus on Wheaton" section of the Daily Herald/Business Ledger. 


Kim Mikus, business editor, asked me to share about the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship. In the article I forgot to mention that bringing Peanut to work is one of the best perquisites of the job!


Click here to read "Wheaton business owner thrives on marketing..."



National Speakers Association 


Looking for a speaker?


I'm eager to be of service! 

If you're planning a conference, a workshop or an executive retreat and need a speaker or facilitator, let's talk. 


My most-requested topics include: 

  • "Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!"
  • "Just Enough Hours in the Day: Time Management with a Twist"
  • And for women in business, "Everyday Diva: Having it All Without Losing Ourselves"

To see some of my sample audiences and topics, please click here. 

Contact Us
Vickie Austin
615 W. Front Street
Suite 201
Wheaton, IL  60187
630-510-1900 (ofc)
312-213-1795 (mobile)
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Peanut at work
Peanut avoids filing
One of the joys of self-employment is the ability to bring my dog, Peanut, with me to work. Not everyone loves dogs so I only bring her with me on a day when I'm not seeing clients. Just having her with me while I'm busy writing, filing or doing paperwork at the office gives me a sense of happiness and well-being.
Turns out there's scientific evidence to back that up. In an article on WebMD, I read that there are all kinds of health benefits to owning a dog, including lowering blood pressure, reducing depression and boosting our immunity. And in a wonderful documentary my husband and I recently watched, "Dogs Decoded," I learned that the love between a dog and its owner generates the same hormone, oxytocin, that creates bonding between a mother and a new-born baby. 
I'm not the only one who feels this way: there's an official "Take Your Dog to Work Day" sponsored by Pet Sitters International and typically celebrated on a Friday in June. Next year's TYDTWD is scheduled for June 21 (mark your calendars). The program was developed to encourage pet adoption and enroll employers in the cause.   
On a day when I'm in the office alone, Peanut at the door having Peanut with me keeps me from feeling isolated. When we get to the office she races to the top of the steps and waits for me to unlock the door. Then she tears upstairs and again, waits patiently for me to open the door into the office. Granted, she's not much help to me--she doesn't even know how to file--but she likes to settle at my feet, under my desk or in a corner. She keeps me company.
Sometimes I miss working for a larger organization.  I often feel wistful about what I left behind: being part of a team, the regular paycheck, the matching 401K. Then I remember, entrepreneurship has its privileges. And sometimes those privileges come with fur and a tail.
Client Spotlight

Dr. Ray Benedetto  

Dr. Ray Benedetto, partner with Steve Fallek of GuideStar, Inc., recently celebrated the launch of his new book It's My Company, Too, co-authored with Kenneth Thompson, professor at DePaul University, Tom Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering, and Molly Meyer, creative director at Nuphoric. This book coins the phrase "entangled organization," setting a new standard for generating extraordinary results with employee engagement. 


Mary Gammel, owner of Quality Web Site Testing, Inc., was honored as Ambassador of the Year at the annual volunteer recognition luncheon of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce. As outgoing chairman of the Ambassadors Club, I was honored to present Mary with this well-deserved award. 


Team MMC & Co

The folks from Mathieson, Moyski, Celer & Co., LLP, accounts and advisors, recently sponsored the inaugural Lions Club Reindeer Run, a 5K race held in downtown Wheaton. The whole team showed up to participate in the race and newly hired accountant Matt Lupo, CPA, ran away with first place in his age category. Proceeds benefited the Lions Club. 

Calling Aspiring Speakers in Chicago Area

As one of the deans of the newly dubbed "NSA-IL Speakers Academy," I'm delighted to invite those in the Chicago area to attend our first Chicago cohort, beginning January 10, 2013. NSA-IL Speakers Academy is a program designed to help people build and develop a professional speaking business. The curriculum focuses on the "business of the business of speaking."

The program is a 10-module curriculum being held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings for six sessions (Jan. 10 & 24, February 7 & 21 and March 7 & 21) at National Louis University, 122 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. This is the first time we've offered a downtown location and Steve Beck, my "co-dean," and I are excited about making this available to people who work or live downtown.
Cyndi Maxey, Speaker U Faculty
Cyndi Maxey, CSP, addresses class at Speaker  U

If you or someone you know has been say "Someday I'd love to be a professional speaker," now is the time to sign up! From marketing a speaking business to building the systems to sustain one, our stellar faculty of NSA members provide insights and information to launch your speaking business or take it to the next level.

Many thanks to the board of NSA-IL for their support and to Glenda Sharp, our new and amazing association manager, as we launch our Chicago program. Click here for more information and to register.  

VickieAs the year comes to a close, I'm reminded that the biggest "perq" of being self-employed (besides bringing Peanut to work) is the opportunity to work with so many extraordinary people. From my clients to my colleagues, from my "posse" to my fellow members of NSA and NSA-IL, I have the privilege of doing work I'm passionate about helping people make a difference. Thank you for the chance to stay connected and for being in my Golden Rolodex!


And best wishes for a joyous holiday season.



Vickie Austin 

CHOICES Worldwide

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