A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being
interviewed by the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s techV!BE radio program
on Pittsburgh Renaissance Radio, 1360AM. Audrey Russo and Jonathan
Kersting do a great job with the program, whose goal is to explore Pittsburgh’s
technology market. I hope you will take a few minutes to listen, here is
a link to the broadcast: http://www.iq-inc.com/TechVibe.html
Last Thursday did not start as one of my better days. I had spent
the entire morning in a long stream of meetings…most not very
pleasant. But, there was one bright light that I was looking forward
to…meeting the newest addition to the IQ Team…four day old Riley
Dobson. So, you can image my surprise when into the conference room
walked two total strangers, bearing balloons and flowers and asking for
“Barbara VanKirk”. I am not sure what was going through my
mind, but I looked at the woman and said very emphatically (heart pounding)
“YES?” as she presented me with the flowers. I quickly told
her that I was not the one that just had the baby! Obviously my
“advanced” professional appearance hadn’t clued her in! Imagine
my surprise when she congratulated me on being named the 2009 ATHENA Award Winner!
For those unaware, the ATHENA Award is presented to an individual who
devotes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others; mentors
other women to reach their full leadership potential and demonstrates
excellence, creativity and initiative in business or their profession. I was
so taken by surprise that it took me several days to even comprehend that I was
selected as the actual award winner! I guess you could say my reaction
was “priceless”, the tears came and I looked at every face in the
room and said “I was expecting a baby…does this mean no baby is
coming?” While Riley did not make an appearance that day, she did
visit us today, a bright ray of sunshine on this rainy day!
Writing “THE PLAN”….Writing a business
plan, sounds so daunting! But, it’s really no different than
setting career objectives. You can find many templates and reading
materials on building a business plan. To be successful the first
step in writing the plan is deciding what you want your business to be… whether
you are providing a service or a product. What are you trying to do?
Is the plan to duplicate a service that is already being provided or is it a
new and innovative idea? Determine what it is you want to do then organize
your thoughts, set the objectives and start to write a very detailed plan,
including a budget!
In my previous position I sold consulting services to local
businesses, which provided me with a jump start on the planning of IQ. I
spent a lot of time researching my competitors, and set out to create a
distinguishing factor, something that would really set IQ apart from all other
consulting companies! I didn’t want IQ to be like all the
others…I wanted to be “personally” involved with my clients
and candidates. Writing the plan was not so hard, but making that
first “offer” to an employee and signing the first
“contract” with a customer….well, that’s another story…
Thursday, 12 March 2009 14:56 by BarbaraV
Flexible hours! It wasn’t like I was looking to
“reduce” my work schedule; I just needed the ability to adjust my
hours to accommodate my family’s needs. The hardest call I had to
make was to my husband to tell him that I had “quit” my job.
Actually, the call was not that hard to make, he was very supportive and said,
“Well you better get that business plan started!” Yikes,
business plan, I didn’t know how to build a business plan!
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 13:12 by BarbaraV
When I resigned my sales position in 1994, I was so nervous, I couldn’t believe my employer was willing to let me walk out the door. I was the number one producer at the time and loved my customers and the employees that worked for me! It really did not take me long to realize that I was to work on my employers terms, and who was I to think I was special and could break the rules?! Flexible hours….