Networking. Strategic Planning. Business & Career Success.

Vickie Austin

A Blog About the Power of "Your Circles of Gold ℠"
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Rest, In Good Conscience

Blue Sky Celtic Cross 2

Thirteen years ago I quit my “day job” as vice president of marketing for a local hospital in order to launch my coaching practice full-time. During the first week I had a conversation with God. (Before you call me crazy, know the conversation was, or at the time seemed to me to be, one-sided.) I […]

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Does This Plane Make My Butt Look Big?

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Recently I’ve begun to travel more, thanks to a new contract with a consulting and training firm. This wonderful opportunity often requires me to get on a plane, meeting a colleague from the firm in another city where we then serve clients. I love it–serving the clients, that is. The travel is something else again.

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“No” is a Complete Sentence

Clocks in Louvre

If there’s a soundtrack to our lives, I favor Broadway hits. And one of the songs that I grew up singing was “I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No” from the musical “Oklahoma!” With its charming twang and its double entrendres, this is a song that seems to summarize the plight of us card-carrying […]

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A Seat at the Table

Boardroom 2 VAA

Years ago I was a cub reporter for a daily newspaper in Oklahoma, covering the health care beat. As part of my responsibilities I attended the board meetings of the local United Way, a group comprised of business leaders from around town. These experienced and mature business folks would meet monthly in a large board […]

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What Shapes Us

Jackie by Warhol 4

Recently I attended a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce luncheon that featured my good friend and client Rob O’Dell from Wheaton Wealth Partners. Rob shared his presentation, “Bridging the Generational Gap,” emphasizing the nuances of communicating with–and selling to–people of different generations. Using his firm’s innovative Mind-Mapping visuals, Rob shared the profile and values of the […]

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Thou Shalt Not “Should” on Thyself

Water lily

Some people look to their business or career coach for the kind of conditioning they might receive from a drill sergeant: “Drop and give me 20!” That isn’t my style: I’m a kinder, gentler coach. However, I do have one hard and fast rule when working with my clients. I insist they follow this commandment: […]

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MacArthur “Genius Grants” Favor the Mobile

Kramer genius

Well, it’s official. The MacArthur Foundation announced the 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows who received the so-called “Genius Grants” and I was not among them. Drat. The cast of Fellows this year range from a social psychologist who studied racial bias and how it affects criminals’ sentencing to a poet, a playwright and a saxophonist. […]

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C’mon in, the Water’s Fine

Olympic pool

No one could ever accuse me of being athletic. My idea of a sport is speed-reading. And perhaps because I read too much, I had to wear glasses by the time I was ten. Around that same time I joined the swim team, nudged by my parents who no doubt wanted me to do something […]

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Create Your Own Sabbatical

Le Jardin de Luxembourg

This month I celebrate the four-year anniversary of fulfilling a life-long dream that I’ve come to think of as my sabbatical: I lived in Paris during the month of August 2010. As the daughter of a university professor, I understood early that the word “sabbatical” means time off granted to tenured professors in order for […]

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Selling Synchronized Service

Female butler holding a silver tray isolated on white.

Last week while speaking to an association chapter of healthcare finance professionals, I had the pleasure of staying at a Ritz-Carlton. While I like to think of myself as a seasoned business traveler, the level of service I received at the Ritz reduced me to a country bumpkin. From the courtesy of each staff person […]

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