Bike Week in Arizona: Honoring Isaiah Mays, a Buffalo Soldier

Here’s a side of me many people don’t know.

My husband, Dr. Karl Anthony Huff, rides a motorcycle and is a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. As a rider, I’m in the Buffalo Soldiers MC Social Club.

Karl & Loretta for Buffalo Soldier Isaiah Mays
Karl & Loretta for Buffalo Soldier Isaiah Mays

Here we are Friday, March 27 at the kickoff of Arizona Bike Week at Chester’s Harley Davidson shop in Mesa.  Charlie Daniels Band was the headline act.  About 15 other Buffalo Soldiers MC club members were present as well staffing our booth to raise awareness and funds for Isaiah Mays.

In 2001, Isaiah Mays was finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Until recently, however his remains were buried near a hospital’s historic grave site, “All Souls Cemetery” but alone, close to a trash dumpster locked behind a chain link fence.

Mays and Sergeant Benjamin Brown, of the 24th Infantry, were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1890 for “gallantry and meritorious conduct” while defending an Army pay wagon against masked bandits near Tucson.

In a fierce battle with the robbers, several soldiers were seriously wounded. Mays, shot in both legs, walked and crawled two miles to a nearby ranch to sound the alarm.

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Marketing Tips from the Las Vegas Strip

People flock to Las Vegas from all over the world.  While travel to that desert hot spot has dropped with the stock market in recent months, overall, marketing efforts for the town are generally quite effective.

Las Vegas is a town of illusion and fantasy (at least on The Strip.)

Here’s a pic from our 5th anniversary celebration in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago.

This one is with “Barbara Streisand” – ok, not the real Barbara Streisand, but a pretty decent impersonator who put on a great show with a very young “Frank Sinatra”.

A great time was had by all that night!

When we arrived Friday afternoon we were actually shocked  at the dearth of people along the Strip.  It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon yet hardly anyone was walking and there wasn’t even much traffic on the street! By Saturday, however, the longer-distance travelers (I presume) arrived and the crowd began to swell.

It was a brilliant marketing strategy that actually got us to Las Vegas.  Faced with drastically lower room rentals, hotels and airlines teamed up to create unbelievably great deals to drive traffic back to Tinsel Town.

It got us back and seemed to pull in other opportunists as well.

You may not think there are similarities between Vegas and your business, but I’ve come up with a few that I hope will entertain you.

So what lessons can we glean from the marketing strategies that keep Vegas a destination of choice?  How can you use those lessons to make you the supplier of choice?

1.  Be clear about the experience you want to create for your clients.

Before you open you mouth, ask yourself what you want them to think, feel and do as a result of being in your presence.  Create that ideal client experience in your mind.  Being clear on your intentions will guide what you say and how you behave with your clients.  And they will step into an environment of your choosing.

2. Put your money where your brain is.

Las Vegas is obviously one of the major gambling and shopping spots of the world.  You could fritter away hundreds or thousands of pennies, nickles, quarters or dollars in a flash.  In your business, make sure you are thoughtful about where you money flows.

Invest only in items that will generate positive cash flow with higher potential payoffs rather than hoping on the roll of the dice. Set limits and stick to them.  I invested $5 of my gambling budget and won $6 so I doubled my (tiny bit) of money. But it doesn’t always work out like that. Don’t through money into investments without either a clear return or a clear purpose (like having fun).

3.  Put your best face forward.
People are drawn to success.  Even if you don’t always feel successful, act the part anyway.  Believe in yourself. Reach down deep, find something you feel confident in about yourself and stand firmly on that confidence.  Keep your eye on the prize and let the Law of Attraction create your desired future now.

Peacocks, Power & Prosperity

It’s critical in this economy to find attractive ways to communicate the value you bring to your organization and what your organization brings to its clients (internal and external). We should always be in marketing mode and this is especially true when times are tough.

Prosperity arises when people find what we have to offer attractive enough to either part with their money or give us resources we need.

This beautiful peacock sculpture from the lobby of the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas symbolizes the importance of packaging.  During mating season, the male peacock struts in front of his target female, fanning shaking his beautifully colored tail plume.  If you’ve ever seen this courtship dance, you’ll know how dramatic it can be.

Some of you might be loathe to be so shameless in your self-promotion, but it’s a big mistake to assume that if you just do good work, that you’ll get the promotion, contract  or deal you’re hungering for.

You must communicate your value and make it attractive to your audience.  Here are some ways you can (not so obnoxiously) do that.

1.  At the end of a successful project, write a synopsis of what was accomplished, what was learned and how the project benefitted your department, company or client.
Quantify it if possible articulating cost/time savings or revenue dollars earned.

2.  Ask your clients (internal or external) what they most value about your service or product and use what they say the next time you need to ask for more budget or headcount.

3.  Similarly, ask your clients for testimonials that you can use. If nothing else, you can have them ‘recommend’ you on LinkedIn or other social networking sites.

4. Buddy up with someone and make a pact to promote each other whenever you’re not together. Getting good press from someone else will add more credibility than you patting yourself on the back.

5.  Make sure you know what other people value, are concerned about and are motivated by. When you talk about what you do, couch it in terms that they are already thinking about.  Your message will be more easily heard and received.

By taking on a peacock mentality and implementing these tips, you’ll build confidence, get out of your head and into the worlds of the people you’re attempting to influence.  They’ll respond more favorably and you’ll enjoy more power and prosperity.

Nely Galan, Media Mogul speaks to Phoenix women business owners

Nely Galan shared some amazing stories of her rise to becoming a mega media mogul and business woman extraordinaire with attendees at the March luncheon of the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Approximately 200 women (and a few men) gathered to network and hear Nely’s story of launching Telemundo, creating the reality show “The Swan” and appearing on Donald Trump’s “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

One of her stories revealed how, at the age of ten, she became the youngest Avon lady in New Jersey, secretly dealing tinted lip gloss for her aunt during school lunch break raising enough money to pay the tuition for the private Catholic school her parents wanted her to attend but could not afford.

Nely encouraged the audience to “make fear your ally” since fear is a natural part of the human condition.  She suggested that the presence of fear is an indication that either there is a ‘thing’ that must be done or a lesson that must be learned.

She called the NAWBO Phoenix audience “feisty” and said it made her keynote really fun.  The atmosphere was absolutely electric as we were uplifted, inspired and empowered by her message.

NAWBO Phoenix was named the “Best Place to Network” by Arizona Magazine.  The monthly luncheons are held on the second Wednesdays of each month at the Orange Tree Resort. The group also holds monthly evening networking events.

The process of transformation

It might feel like you’re in a cocoon at the moment, waiting for the economic news to take a more positive turn.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”   I think that’s quite true today.  All of us should be learning some important messages about how to market and thrive in a tough economy and those lessons should fuel dramatic growth when the economy rebounds.

This butterfly statue is from the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas.  It’s the little sister to the over-the-top and quite extravagant Wynn Hotel that opened a few years ago.

I love the concept of butterflies because I’m all about transformation and these little creatures symbolize that process beautifully.

I’m reminded of a story about a man who found a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon.  He watched intermittently for hours as the poor butterfly pushed, turned and periodically paused from apparent exhaustion.  Eventually, he took pity on the butterfly, found some scissors and snipped the butterfly free.

He was appalled about what happened next. The butterfly stumbled out with a swollen body and tiny, shriveled wings.  What was initially an act of mercy, turned out to be a kiss of doom relegating the butterfly a life of walking, not flying, unable to fulfill its destiny.

The lesson here? Don’t take the easy way out.  Stay focused on doing the right activities, even if it’s a struggle right now so that when things improve, you’ll be well positioned to take off and fly when we rebound.