Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Christian Women - Western WA Upcoming Events

If you are a Christian woman in Western Washington, watch this 4 min video about some upcoming events you'll want to know about! These are not KBWomen events per say, but we do support them, and I will be attending (Krista).

Also, on June 26th from 11-2, in Puyallup, WA there is a women's ministry event at the local YMCA. This event is brought to you by the Women of Destiny organization, and will also serve as an informational intro for the new KBWomen Puyallup chapter.

May 21st Lynnwood - www.womensleadershipadvantage.com
May 26-28th Tacoma - www.christlifecenterchurch.org
August 14th Breast Cancer Benefit Concert with Chonda Pierce - www.BCRbenefit.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to Identify a God Opportunity

There are those opportunities, choices and decisions in life that are really big. You know, the kind that keep you awake at night and may cause a couple new gray hairs! Right now, we just experienced one of those situations here in my family. My husband was offered a job with a different company. Normally, that would be an easy decision for many people who are looking to advance or otherwise move on, but he has truly enjoyed his job and has been highly respected. This was not an easy, or straightforward choice.

The pros and cons lists were out. Options, salaries, benefits, duties, etc., were being compared. Prayers for wisdom were being said, and wise counsel was being sought. Beyond all those natural factors that weighing choices involves, believers have an added layer to consider with our decision-making. Amidst our process, we seek God's will to be done and truly desire to align ourselves, our direction and decisions to God's will and purposes.

It was kind of like this; Imagine standing in a hallway with two doors, both open. They both seem similar and equally good, but God is waiting just inside one of the doors and not the other. As believers, our hearts cry is, "Take me to the place where you are Father!" When it comes right down to it, really there is just one question to be answered in these situations -

Is this an opportunity that is being presented by God, or is it just a distraction?

It could be choices about who to marry, jobs, to relocate, to start or close a business, health-related decisions, education paths, going into the ministry, etc. Everything else aside, what we really want to know is - Is it a God-thing? A God-idea? A God-opportunity? If not, no matter how good it looks, it's not the right choice.

Once we have this question in focus, then we need to know how to identify whether or not it is a God-opportunity! Here are some thoughts on getting "big decision" clarity:
  • Is it the desire of your heart? (Not just a path of least resistance)
  • Does it match your gifts?
  • Does the opportunity allow other people to "win" and benefit, not just yourself?
  • Is it a natural progression towards your ultimate goals (even if you don't think you're 100% ready)?
  • Which decision/option has peace with it?
  • In the future, would there be regrets if you didn't do it?
  • Have you heard directly from God about it?
A funny thing is, that the decision isn't always completely logical, meaning it may not always make sense on paper. Additionally, here is one important caution - don't always make decisions based on money. Just because the opportunity for more money exists in one option vs. the other, where the most money is, isn't necessarily where the right decision is.

I hope this story and information helps you. These, "is it a God-opportunity" situations are something we all face in life and business. If you are reading this and have additional thoughts about how you get clarity during this process of identifying God opportunities, please share.

By the way, my husband took the job. His first day was Monday of this week :-).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best Business Women's Tips

I love it when we can collaborate and contribute wisdom for the mutual benefit of all. This blog post is one of those times. Last week, our *BLING* newsletter put the call out for business women of faith to contribute their best tips based on their area of expertise. Read below for some great ideas, thoughts and strategies from this group of blessed women:

"Many companies budget for advertising. Consider factoring in customer service to that budget. Doing so will make it easier for you to feel good about offering an extra discount when an order is unexpectedly delayed or sending a free product as a "thank you for waiting" if the first order has an error and needs to be resent. I believe you will find that taking extra steps like this will work in much the same was as advertising in the long run but on a more personal level."
-by Heather Ledeboer, owner of http://www.mom4life.com/

"Make room in your budget to use a professional graphic designer. It wouldn't cross our minds to attempt our own plumbing or mechanical work, so it is also advisable to seek professional help with something as important as business identity (which is presented to the world). Schedule an initial consultation with a designer who comes highly recommended, and bring the following information with you: Mission statement, values, target audience, and 3 descriptive adjectives about your business. Make sure you feel heard and that costs are communicated clearly and agreed upon. If your gut tells you to find another designer, then do it."
-by Trisha Ferguson, owner of http://www.ircprintanddesign.com/

"The Lord speaks hundreds of times in scripture about the use of our mouths, tongues and lips. In Proverbs alone there are many quotes about how our lips and mouths show our wisdom or betray our ignorance. Communication is vital for business owners, but not only for marketing and interviews. Effective communication skills are necessary for leadership, building relationships and getting our ideas across. The more effective we are at communicating our vision, the more favorable terms we get from our suppliers, the more our customers find us, the more productive our employees or downline and the more we represent the Lord in all we do."
-by JoJo Tabares, owner of http://www.artofeloquence.com/

"Women in creative arts businesses are often characterized as unorganized or chaotic. At some time, each of us probably experiences some chaos. Although chaos plays an important role in the creative process, and is fun for children, it hinders business effectiveness. Follow five steps and harness that chaos! Strategize by brainstorming ideas; Organize into S.M.A.R.T. goals; Arrange into an action plan; Harmonize with your existing business; Create accountability systems. This five-step process not only spells chaos in reverse but also turns it around and increases your positive influence as a business leader."
-by Marie M. Loeffler, Business Strategy Coach & President of The Organized Studio http://www.theorganizedstudio.com/

"Shakespeare was right: all the world IS a stage and we are but players on it. First impressions carry a lot of weight, especially when you are networking. If you want to attract business, dress the part. If you show up in sweats or a cocktail dress (unless they are your business uniforms), you don't look very serious about your own career and you don't look like a likely partner for other business people in the room. Bring business cards, real business cards, on heavy stock paper with a logo, your business name and as much contact information as appropriate. Your smile and hand shake will last a few moments, but that business card will either be saved for later reference or be tossed at the end of the evening with the rest of the waste paper. Food, drinks, and handouts are props to help people interact. If the only people you talk to at the event are your best friends, you have gained nothing more than a free meal on someone else's budget. Bottom line: be a good steward of the talents you have and the time that others are sharing with you."
-by Carol Ann Davis, Financial Advisor, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., carol.a.davis@ampf.com

"When starting an organization that you would like to make a difference and help others, find like minded individuals and also ones who have the same drive as yourself. It can be frustrating if you can sense God's anointing on your vision and others are wanting to sit idle. Find those who encourage you and inspire you and others to be a visionary to change this hurting world."
-by Roberta M Cykon Founder/Executive Director of Integrity Beauty International "Healing Hearts and Inspiring Lives" http://www.msintegritybeauty.com/

"I want to encourage women to know they have permission to love themselves. Many women do not believe they can because of some past story in their life. Yet God says you can, because He made you valuable. He made you a 10/10 at conception. The stories of your life cannot take this truth away. Your stories are life-growth experiences, not self-value based experiences. Give yourself permission to genuinely love yourself, in spite of your life experiences. God does."
-by Karen Wells, M.Div., Karis Counselling Services http://www.mybestlifepossible.com/ - For women wanting hope, acceptance, and change today!

"Imagine your business is like a coin. There are two sides to this coin which requires your attention so you can create both a thriving life and prosperous business. One side represents discovering who you are authentically, including your values, purpose, mission and personal definition of success. The other side is about applying this insight into your daily life by establishing practical systems, like how to work with clients, ways to market your services and a schedule that leverages your time. When you address both sides, including the spiritual and the practical, you will achieve authentic success."
-by Shannon Bruce, PCC, Inner Wisdom Coaching Services, http://www.yourgreaterpurpose.com/ and http://www.shannonbruce.com/

"When your in business for your self it is very important to maintain your priorities, and stick to them, I built my company around my morals; God first, Family second, career third. I never let business get in the way of family, and I always honor God for everything, including the bad. I start each day with a prayer and ask God to bless my journey in business as well as in life. If you stick to your priorities and stick to your work schedule that you created, it will all work together in harmony. Always honor God first and fore most with all. Always love your family then you career will fall into place..."
-by Brenda Kessler, President/CEO - Secret Shoppers Network LLC http://www.yoursurpriseshoppers.com/

"To stand out from the competition, regularly mail out notes of appreciation. Mary Kay Ash, Tom Hopkins and Joe Girard knew the value of this. Mary Kay of Mary Kay Cosmetics sent out hand-written notes every day and taught her sales team to do the same. Joe Girard, famous for selling the most automobiles in a twelve year period, sent out thousands of cards a month for any reason. We’ve lost the “art of card sending.” An email or e-card is not like receiving a warm, heart-felt card in the mail. Others will APPRECIATE YOU for REMEMBERING THEM!"
-by Patti Grunkemeier, Independent Distributor - Send Out Cards www.sendoutcards.com/66325

"As we grow our business, there will always be ideas, goals, mistakes and different directions. Number one stumbling block for many business owners is not lack of money, lack of time or organizational issue. It is the moment when the fear overrides clarity. Give your mind a chance to clear and focus by combining physical activity that feels good to you (i.e. dance to one song) with mental reminder (i.e. read something that nourishes your passion as an entrepreneur). Use both sides of your brain."
-by Helena-Summer Medena, "Liv Delicious" www.LivDelicious.com/blog

"As a personal wardrobe stylist I see multiple "orphans" in my clients' closets. You can avoid bringing home another orphan that will never be worn. When you are shopping and see a "bargain" that's just too good to pass up, ask yourself the question "would I pay full price for this?" If the answer is "NO" walk away."
-by Debby Sutherland, Distinct Style Solutions, distinctstylesolutions@comcast.net

“For the past 8 years, I have done great housekeeping for residential customers and one commercial business through my Pride 'n' Polish housekeeping business. Hopefully some of my strategies will give you some ideas. When I arrive for a usual house cleaning, I always begin with the kitchen and the counterspaces, including the nearby eating areas. I intend to use the clean, unused towels and scrubbies first in the eating areas, and where we more frequently visit. I always show precedence for any food preparation or consumption areas, as these are directly effecting our health. My preferred product is "409 With Bleach" around the counterspaces and food prep areas. After making my way around the house, I conclude my jobs by vacuuming my "way out the door," so as to leave little or no footprints on the floors I would have already cleaned and/or spot-mopped.”
-by Deborah Lautt, owner of Pride ‘n’ Polish, willingvessel56@yahoo.com

"Step one of building a website for your business is to decide on its purpose. Will it be used as an online brochure, as a sales letter, a place for people to interact, a gallery of images, to directly sell something, be like a directory or resources list, etc? Also, what is it exactly that you’d like your website visitors to do? That is called the “call to action.” By defining the site’s overall purpose and the call to action, those two will help to answer most of the questions from there on."
-by Krista Dunk, Koinonia Business Women http://www.kbwomen.com/

"I am from the central region of Uganda in East Africa, and for those who would wish to have useful literature from English to Luganda please save by contacting me. Also, the best way to be at peace if you have irritating colleagues in your business is to know that what you do not like about them is the unknown you. So, work on what you do not know about yourself and life will go on. "
-by Sarah Mujabi, Good Shepherd Mission sarahmujabi@yahoo.co.uk

"Four quick tips to propel you to the top of the heap: 1. Lay a strong foundation in prayer before embarking on any business venture: Proverbs 3:4-5. 2. Give the LORD His due portion: Malachai 3:10. 3. Show sincere appreciation to all of your business contacts, including employees, and give thanks to the LORD daily for His provision: Ephesians 5:20-21. 4. Resond to all emails and phone calls ASAP."
-by Noreen Jacks, author and speaker www.NoreenJacks.com

Thank you business women - we appreciate your wisdom and contribution! You are blessed and highly favored.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New KBWA International Member - Karen Wells

Here at Koinonia Business Women, we have a 6-week old. No, not a baby bundle of joy; our KBWA association! The Koinonia Business Women's Association (KBWA) opened March 1st with the goal to bring business women of faith together online and through virtual learning opportunities.

We'd like to welcome Karen Wells of Karis Counselling Services (Saskatchewan Canada) as our first International Member of KBWA! View her informative website now at: http://www.mybestlifepossible.com/.

Karen does amazing work, and I had the opportunity to interview her on KBWomen Radio last week. We talked about her great, unique business model, as well as her expertise in counseling women find freedom from their pasts. With an emphasis on past sexual abuse, post abortion stress and relational abuse, Karen counsels women on how to become "unhooked" from the pain, self-sabotage and anger that these life events have caused.

Listen to this radio interview now at www.blogtalkradio.com/CWA-Radio in the KBWomen on-demand episode section (April 6th show date).

If you are a business woman of faith who would like to join a community of like-minded women, collaborate and grow in business skills, please visit us now at http://kbwa.memberlodge.com/. Full Membership is just $129 per year, and has fabulous benefits. We even offer a free "Intro Member" level, which gives you a listing in our online membership directory.

Welcome Karen Wells, and we hope to welcome you next! Blessings,
Krista Dunk

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Please Contribute Your Wisdom & Expertise

It's no secret. We know that you know stuff. In fact, we'd love to know what you know. Will you please share?

That's the beauty of being a part of a community of business women of faith; collaboration and contribution. We can share our wisdom and make a difference in each others' lives. The information, skills and gifts that you have can make a big impact for someone else, and the opportunity for that to happen is being created next week.

Here is how you can help: What is your best tip for other business women, based on your area of expertise? It could literally be about anything you have extensive experience in, from parenting to sales tips, recycling to email etiquette, event planning to business branding, or from color, image and style to author coaching. Next Thursday, your best tip will be featured as part of an article on the KBWomen blog. Not only will you be sharing valuable knowledge with others, but your business will be getting online exposure at the same time. Win-win!

Here is an example of what we'd like to see (and how you will be credited):

Make room in your budget to use a professional graphic designer. It wouldn't cross our minds to attempt our own plumbing or mechanical work, so it is also advisable to seek professional help with something as important as business identity (which is presented to the world). Schedule an initial consultation with a designer who comes highly recommended, and bring the following information with you: Mission statement, values, target audience, and 3 descriptive adjectives about your business. Make sure you feel heard and that costs are communicated clearly and agreed upon. If your gut tells you to find another designer, then do it. -Trisha Ferguson, Owner of http://www.ircprintanddesign.com/

Please keep your tip to approx. 100 words or less. After the article is compiled and posted, you will get a quick email with the link. I encourage you to share it anywhere you can, including via email, on Twitter, Facebook, and post the link on your blog. When there is a good amount of traffic to the post, we all "win" again. Google may even pick it up and give the post a high ranking on their list it when someone types in "business women's tips" and other similar search terms!

Please, send in your tip now via email to questions@kbwomen.com. Please use the subject line "My Best Tip." Wednesday the 14th is the submission deadline, but receiving them sooner is preferable. Thank you all! This is just another way we can collaborate for the success of all.

Thank you ladies! ~Krista

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday - From Confusion to Revelation

“I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.” –Jeremiah 31:13

Today is Good Friday, 2010. It's funny, because when I think about this day being called "Good," I can just imagine it from one of Jesus’ disciples point of view. 2010 years ago, they certainly did not think this was a good Friday at all. This was the day of His crucifixion.

They saw devastating circumstances happening around them. They couldn't stop it – they didn't understand it. To those disciples, all they saw was the death of their Lord, which left them feeling disillusioned and distraught. The words that Jesus uttered as He breathed His last breath on the cross were, “It is finished.” To them, those words probably cut them to the core, not yet realizing the deeper meaning to come on Sunday.

Like these disciples, sometimes what we see is only the beginning or middle of the story. Thankfully God sees the beginning and the end at the same time, and the events of that Friday certainly did not signify the end.

In comparison, there are many in this country now who feel disillusioned and distraught too by government policies and actions. We also see senseless violence, bad behavior being celebrated and precious core values being deteriorated in our country. People are searching for employment, and some may be struggling with health issues or marriage breakdown. Thank God that He is still on the throne! Leaders will come and go, tribulations of various kinds pop up from time-to-time and we may be saddened by circumstances, but God is always in control.

Between Good Friday and resurrection Sunday, I bet God had a burning desire to shout out His fabulous plan to encourage the faithful ones - “Do you not see what I am about to do?! My power will be shown in all the earth, throughout all generations! Trust in Me!” I believe He would say a very similar message to us even now, during these tumultuous times. “Keep praying and trusting in Me. I will complete all the work I have started! I have prepared a place of peace for you!”

Just as the disciples saw Jesus being crucified on the cross, and then rising again on the third day (Easter Sunday), we too can learn a valuable lesson. God can resurrect anything! With God involved, situations can go from death to life, from despair to joy, from scattered to complete, and from empty to full.

There is a song I like to sing that says, “Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.” Although there may be sadness and sorrow in what we see now, don’t lose heart! God is on the throne. His wisdom confounds the “wise” (or those who see themselves as wise in worldly wisdom). Problems, challenges, struggles, pain, and failure can be given to Him for redemption. Remember, the enemies of God thought they had won and had the final say. After all, Jesus was dead, right? Wrong!

Enjoy this Easter season, knowing God is in control and that He always has the final word.

~Krista Dunk