Newsworthy: From the St Patrick’s Day Issue of the Irish Gazette

| March 11th, 2014

   Buckley named president and CEO of MicroGrants Special to the Irish Gazette MicroGrants, a Minnesota non- profit committed to spur economic self-sufficiency by giving strategic grants to low income people of potential through partner agencies, announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Betsy Buckley, the founder and owner of St. Paul based What Matters, as the organization’s President and CEO.  “I’m honored, and grateful to the MicroGrants board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization,” said Buckley. “Since 2006, Micro Grants has given more than 3,000 grants to people who used the funds to secure jobs and expand micro businesses. Economic development matters, and, making modest (typically, $1,000) grants to people ready for growth and contribution triggers the multiplier effect for the broader community. Grantees are identified by partner agencies like the Wilder Foundation, Summit Academy OIC, PPL, Women Venture, Jeremiah Program, the African Development Center

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It’s the holidays. Are you giving friends and family what you think they want?

| December 1st, 2013
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Until I was nearly 40, few in my immediate family asked what I wanted for our holiday gift exchange. Instead, I ended up with well wrapped packages. How about a plaid, pleated skirt? I didn’t like it and “it didn’t like me”— have you ever seen a 5’4” woman with curves in one? Not pretty. I annually opened unasked-for books about 12th century architecture and acted grateful, when what I really craved was biographies, mysteries and non-fiction. And then, in the stocking are oddly wrapped “treats” of nuts, raisins and oranges when all I wanted was a candy-cane. Just one. Here’s a clue about applying this principle to your business life. STOP creating marketing tools because you think “they want them.” Ask them. I must have been a professional for at least 10 years before it ever occurred to me that we might not need a brochure. Naively, I assumed:

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Purpose is What Drives Me…and, I Feel Like I’m About to Get on the AutoBahn!

| November 7th, 2013
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This is a story— about me. And, I hope it may be one that resonates for many of you, my wonderful friends and readers.  Do you remember the big challenge I took on this summer, when I agreed to become the Interim President and CEO at the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District (MDC-DID)? The interim is nearing a close, as Steve Cramer officially assumes those duties at MDC-DID on December 2 following a careful search. I’ll be consulting with them through the balance of 2013. Working with their Executive Committee Board members and staff presented complex issues that kept my brain on full steam. I’ve been honored to contribute to their forward momentum. All my life, experiences like that have pushed me to think deeper, something I spent many long nights and weekends doing during this past summer. The breadth and depth of the work at MDC-DID made it

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Is Your Networking NOT Working?

| October 23rd, 2013
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Do you feel obligated to “network” as part of your business development? While virtually every professional I coach seems to believe they must network, fewer than half of them seem to enjoy it. Survey after survey shows that an even smaller percentage feel that they get meaningful results from this time investment. Think about the word itself. It’s not netmeeting, or neteating, or even netconnecting. It’s networking — and, it is work. If your networking isn’t working the way you’d like it to, maybe it’s time for a change. Which of these changes could help make your networking work better? CHANGE IN MINDSET: If you prepare for networking events by creating a new and improved elevator pitch, reading today’s sports page, getting a new suit or coming up with an even better set of clever questions, your focus is, at best, a “sound-good, look-good” band-aid. Instead of concentrating on yourself,

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Want More Growth for Your Business? Mind Your P’s and Q’s

| October 14th, 2013
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My Aunt Rose was one stern taskmaster. As my father’s oldest sister, she raised him, the youngest, along with five other siblings, after both their parents died before turning 30. By the time I came along, my dad had become a well respected pediatrician, and attributed much of his sense of personal discipline and commitment to excellence to his sister’s high expectations and relentless admonitions. One of her favorite sayings was “mind your Ps and Qs.” I heard this as be a good girl, follow the rules, work hard and always remember to say ‘please and thank you.’ While that counsel served me well, that’s not what I’m encouraging today. Instead, today’s P and Q focus deals with a business approach involving P, for presence (vs. presentation) and Q, for quest (vs. questions). Presence, not presentations. For many years, when I prepared to share ideas about the possibilities of doing more

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Lessons on Resistance from the Master.

| October 7th, 2013
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Several years ago, someone sent me a cartoon with a guy in a suit and tie, sitting at a desk, on the phone. He must have been asked: “What’s the legal structure of your business?”, because his answer was: “We’re a limited partnership. Limited by Mary’s whining, John’s refusal to prepare for meetings and Peter’s low emotional intelligence.” Now there’s resistance come to life! A few years back I was privileged to study with Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance, as a part of my annual advanced coach learning at the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara. The most fundamental lesson Maurer teaches starts with awareness. He suggests there are three levels to all resistance, and that they’re interlocking. · Level one. “I don’t get it.”· Level two. “I don’t like it.”· Level three. “I don’t like you.” What are you resisting in your workplace? At which level? Visit

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Price: Right, Wrong, or Real?

| September 16th, 2013
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My childhood home was a one story, traditional rambler, with my bedroom directly across from the den where the one and only TV held center court. Good grades were expected at our house. Yet, all too often, when I could have been doing some extra credit long division, the allure of The Price is Right was just irresistible. To this day, I still can get sidetracked when the price is right…except now it’s not the TV game show. Price, when it comes to growth strategies, is one of the most emotional— and, the most potentially derailing— issues a professional can face. Perception is subjective reality. When someone is making a buying decision, whatever they see is their reality. So, whether they sense the price is right or wrong, high or low, it’s what they think that should be fueling how we think, talk and take action. So, as those involved

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Radical Thinking: Stop One Thing

| September 9th, 2013
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What’s on your to-do list today?  Years ago, as an entrepreneur, I decided there were four cornerstones to our business: Client Service— the ultimate measure of success Business Development— keeps the new revenue flowing in Business Operations— ensuring the computers are working and the bills are paid, all while fueling ever increasing efficiency Product Development— transforming intellectual property into online offerings as a way of broadening clients’ choices in working with us Allocating our to-dos into these four cornerstones has helped our company become balanced, focused on the business as a whole and mindfully aware of when we need to add support and in which areas. It’s worked. And, there is never a shortage of additions. So, I’m advocating a new daily practice called Stop One Thing. In the spirit of moving things forward, the question of each day becomes: What is one thing each of us at What Matters can stop

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FLO Fridays: A Practical Process to Use LinkedIn to Grow

| September 5th, 2013
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When social media started becoming a prominent force of communication in the What Matters office, we set aside every Friday afternoon to explore ways we could increase our online presence. Think of my level of social media expertise as that of a second year piano student. I know most of the key’s names, I can play scales (even with both hands) and my repertoire has now probably reached the level of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” That said, there’s no better way (at least for me) to learn than to do. And, designating Friday afternoons to social media feels like the perfect time to open new possibilities. (Sometimes, there’s even a glass of wine to provide some additional motivation). So this week, when we got a prospect from something I tweeted three days earlier, I thought— inquiring minds, especially those who might have been treading lightly into this new frontier, might

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BACK TO SCHOOL… for business sake!

| September 3rd, 2013
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It’s that time again. Getting back into the swing of rushing the kids out the door and onto the bus? How about a little learning for yourself?   Architects and social workers, engineers and attorneys, dentists, hygienists, doctors and nurses, CPAs and Financial Planners all are required to take continuing education. Minnesota’s CPAs have to amass 120 hours every three years. Minnesota attorneys need 45 hours over a 3-year period. Originally, the legislature established requirements for professional education to insure that technical learning was always current. Today, learning opportunities are broader, at least in part with recognition that every professional is both a skilled expert and a business person.  Even for those of us who don’t have the pressure of annual credits looming over our heads, the business world we live in has moved from nice-to-have training programs (usually cut first when economic times got tough) to learning organizations, where everyone

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