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Watch Where You're Going

June 2008
In This Issue
My Fall From Grace
Luck Be a Lady
Around Town
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My Fall From Grace
Have you ever heard that saying, "No good deed goes unpunished"?  I couldn't help thinking of that when I tripped on a sidewalk and fell, quite literally, on my face, while on a fund-raising walk last month.  Thanks to our many generous friends at church, I had raised more than $700 for one of our missions, the CROP Walk.  I also ended up in Central DuPage Hospital's emergency room.  After treatment and an MRI, the handsome ER doc determined nothing was broken and he sent me home with a recommendation to stock up on Neosporin. 
caution signMy face and hands are healing nicely, thank you, and after a week in seclusion, I emerged with some new insights that are both humbling and liberating, insights that apply to everyday life as well as business.  Here are just a few:
  1. The world can get by without me for one full week.  Due to the gruesome nature of my injuries, I felt it was best to cancel all public appearances.  Amazingly, life went on.
  2. People are so very kind.  I've always believed in the inherent goodness of people, yet it was a not-so-gentle reminder.  Thanks to all of you who supported me with calls, cards and an outpouring of comfort and understanding.  Special thanks to Yoga Diva Lesley Ronson Brown for the hat with the black veil.  I also was grateful for all the concern at the scene of the crime (nothing like a good wipe-out to draw a crowd) as well as during and after my confinement.
  3. Perhaps the most important revelation I received was the reminder to watch where I'm going.  I admit I was distracted, deep in conversation with my friend and fellow CROP Walker Betsy Boyd, and missed seeing the three-inch rift in the sidewalk that proved to be my undoing.  My week-long exile gave me some time to ponder how this new mantra, "Watch where you're going," can apply in so many areas of life, including growing a business.  Being present, watchful and cautious brings a new dimension to life as an entrepreneur.  And while any entrepreneur worth her salt understands the importance of tolerating risk, it was also a good reminder to keep my eyes on the road.  This is a lesson I'll remember long after my scars have healed.   
How to Make LuckLuck Be a Lady
Following my mishap, I pulled out a paperback book I'd read years ago entitled How to Make Luck: 7 Secrets Lucky People Use to Succeed.  Marc Myers, the author, was an executive editor for Bottom Line/Personal, and this book is packed with amazing insights and prudent advice.  This seemed like an opportune time to review Mr. Myers' recommendations, which includes developing a "Good-Luck Personality," the 7 Secrets and finally, how to limit "bad luck."
If you're interested in becoming a luck magnet, here are just a few tips from Mr. Myers:
  • Good luck is something you make.  Our behavior controls the quality of our luck and switching from wishing to doing has a profound effect on our outcomes.
  • Do favors without making people feel as if they owe you anything.   By giving things away, we exhibit enormous self-confidence and build an aura of good luck. 
  • Work smart and plead innocent.  "Micromanage the forces that can steer good luck your way--then act like an innocent victim when good fortune leaps into your arms," Mr. Myers advises.  Avoid negativity and bragging which both lead to failure.

This book is full of wisdom that can guide anyone, even a clumsy fund-raising walker, to rediscover the strategies in currying the favors of Lady Luck.  And I was even luckier to connect with the author!  Thanks to the magic of Google and the Internet, I was able to find an email address for Mr. Myers.  He responded with appreciation and wants us to know that he's in business at, helping clients through the power of words.  Mr. Myers also has one of the Web's most popular blogs on jazz music: aficianados can learn all there is to know about jazz and more at

Around Town


Empowering Women NetworkJudy Beaver (left) of the OfficePro ( and Georgia Dudley (right) of Empowering Women Network ( joined me after my presentation to EWN in May at RR Donnelly in downtown Chicago... I had the distinct pleasure of presenting "Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!" to an amazing group of women and one brave gentleman, Mr. Thomas Carroll, executive vice president, chief human resource officer of RR Donnelly and host of the evening.  If you'd like to hear the presentation, you can visit the EWN Web site and click on "podcasts," thanks to Heidi Miller, Podcasting Princess.  
Tinley Park ChamberRebecca Palumbo of Rollins Palumbo
was my host for a "lunch-and- learn" during which I presented "Your Golden Rolodex" for some terrific people from the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce ( in June.  Rebecca shares with me the distinction of being this year's chairman of the board of her Chamber of Commerce and we've had fun comparing notes on the joys and challenges of that leadership role.
Other terrific opportunities included:
  • A leadership workshop for the clients and colleagues of First Choice Bank (thank you, Stacy Pearcy for the invitation and thank you Lori Miller of Investment Centers of America for the introduction to Stacy)
  • A luncheon presentation on "The Brand Called YOU" for the Wheaton Lions Club at the gracious invitation of Don Fischer, chairman of the board of Community Bank of Wheaton-Glen Ellyn
  • An early morning presentation of "Your Golden Rolodex" to the WTS Advancing Women in thanks to Cathy Benjamin-Ostrander for the invitation

And coming up:

  • "Selling Your Ideas to the Partners" for the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Accounting Marketing, compliments of Mary Doherty of Grant Thornton
  • A keynote presentation on ethics and professional behavior at the national conference of the American Student Dental Association--my thanks to the ASDA leadership committee and executive director Nancy Honeycutt for inviting me to speak to their members
  • I'll be presenting "Leadership & Legacies" at the CPAs in Industry Fall Conference of the Wisconsin CPA Society (thanks to Victoria Italiano for the invitation and Wendy Sech of the Illinois CPA Society for the introduction)

If I can be a resource to you and your association or organization, please let me know.

Copies of my first eBook,  "Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!"  are flying off the virtual bookshelf.  This 50+ page treatise on networking is based on my seminar, and it's my gift to you in exchange for your own networking story. 

Vickie AustinIf you write me at and tell me your best networking story, I'll send you a free copy of my eBook.  Originally I said it was a $10 value but my friend Barb Dwyer convinced me to up the ante.  Barb, who will be leaving her post at Benedictine University to work full-time with her new venture called Inspire Ministry, said the eBook is worth at least $89.  (I was flattered but will probably pick a number somewhere in between $10 and $89.)  Send me your story before the price goes up.  I'll keep this offer open until July 15 and look forward to hearing your story.
Golden Rolodex     Tell me your favorite "Golden Rolodex" networking story!
and receive a free copy of my eBook,
"Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!"
Offer Expires: July 15, 2008
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