Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weathering Business Storms

Chicago Weather Similar to Business Storms...

The storms that rolled through the city and surrounding neighborhoods today remind me of the turmoil that can suddenly and randomly hit small companies. As you build and operate your business you may experience some ups and downs much like the storm. You can see them coming but there is nothing you can do about it except weather it and clean up whatever mess it leaves in its wake.

Having “cleaned up” many storm aftermaths I can tell you it starts with one step, assessing the damage. After you have assessed the damage, the next step is to prioritize the clean-up. Third, gather any assistance or professional support you need, and last jump in with both feet. Now obviously if it is your flooded basement, make sure there are no live wires in the basement. Equally, make sure you have cleared any and all live wires in your business storm somewhere in the assessing the damage stage.

Good luck and happy cleaning.

Windy City Diva

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Comraderie on CTA

I had one of those experiences today that reminds me why it is so great to live in a large city with public transportation. Have you ever experienced that moment with a stranger where you know you are thinking the exact same thing in that moment? Or that you are reacting to something that just occurred or was said, and when you meet the eyes of someone nearby you share that feeling? Frequently, when riding the public transportation system in a large city, riders are either trying not to meet someone’s gaze or trying to hide the fact that they were staring. But occasionally, you welcome that moment of connection.

I was riding the train (CTA) and a man made one of those disgusting sounds that only men can make with their throats. It was disturbing to hear since you were within breathing distance of whatever air & liquid came out with that very “productive” hack. The train was fairly full but only four of us seemed to notice this disgusting display. We were all women. Individually, we all tuned our faces up in disgust and even noticeably shrugged in our shoulders as if to shield ourselves from whatever germ matter may have come our way somehow through the recycled air system on the train. It was the point where we all noticed each other that made that moment. That moment where you meet someone’s eyes and know exactly what they are thinking and share it silently. We simultaneously looked from one to the other and now our disgust was amusement that we had all reacted the same way, and that the others around us, men including my son, seemed oblivious to the hack. We silently chuckled, randomly meeting each other’s eyes from one to the other, each of us occasionally glancing in the offenders’ direction. I guess we were looking to see if he noticed that we were grossed out by him, or that we were laughing or for me, did he grab a handkerchief to catch whatever small animal came out the next time. Nothing. He continued to lean on the window, resting, never noticing that he had fully grossed out four women but created a moment of camaraderie. The four of us represented an assortment of racial backgrounds but in that moment we were just women. The CTA is the best public transportation system and I love Chicago for having it. This is just one of the reasons why.

Windy City Diva

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chicago's Weather & Event Planning

The wind conditions of yesterday remind me of one of the major items with event planning - timing.  When considering any event the planner should always consider the climate of the destination.  Spring/Summer in Chicago is beautiful, windy, rainy, warm, cool... all of the temperatures can flow through Chicago sometimes on the same day. 

However, if you are planning an event where people need to either fly in or drive in, you may want to make sure there is a day or evening prior and after for your guests to arrive and leave safely.  This is also a great reason to have your event near the most common (preferably pre-selected) accommodations.  Chicago has everything to offer guests, excellent cuisine options, live music of every genre, accommodations for groups, individuals, families, corporations and even pet friendly. 

There are events and activities throughout the year to plan your event around, but again, I caution you to consider any out of town guests and even those who have to drive in from the suburbs. If you can arrange discount or group accommodations, especially during the more inclement seasons in Chicago, your guests will not only appreciate it, but are more likely to attend.

Thank you for reading and contact me for any planning assistance I can help you with.

Windy City Diva