Networking. Strategic Planning. Business & Career Success.

Vickie Austin

A Blog About the Power of "Your Circles of Gold ℠"
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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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Is Anyone Out There?

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A few months ago we were in New York to celebrate our daughter’s graduation, and while we were there, we saw Garrison Keillor at a little bookstore in Brooklyn. Mr. Keillor (“May I call you Garrison?”) was there allegedly to do a reading of his newest book, The Keillor Reader, but he never cracked the […]

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“Mise en Place” at Work

Mise en place

One of my beloved clients, Jill Foucré, proprietress of Marcel’s Culinary Experience in Glen Ellyn, IL, was just featured in the Wall Street Journal in “A Little Spice After a Career in Health Insurance: Former Executive Answered Call of the Food Business.” How proud I am of Jill and all she has accomplished–and I have to admit […]

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Paying Your Dues

Time-For-Dues

Whether you’re building a business or moving up the ladder (or, for some, the “lattice”) of your career, you’ve probably heard that term: “You’ve gotta pay your dues.” Literally, it means allocating the money to be part of your professional association, trade union or any other organization that supports you in your endeavors. Maybe it’s […]

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