Monday, November 17, 2008

I love the smell of Jet Fuel In the Morning

So here we go again....great flight to Dublin, no issues and the city is beautiful. I was with Pam Jordan last week training in LA (which we are never together) and she mentioned this quote to me about smelling jet fuel in the is so true. When you live on the road, and at airports it is not the coffee you wake up to but the "jet fuel." So the traveling continues...

MCA just completed their first training in Nigeria, Africa and the client just emailed the results....a fabulous response to our sales and service training. MCA has made it into Africa in the most lucrative market there - we are so excited and IK from our team did an outstanding job.

I have received many comments from travelers regarding my blog on the flight attendants...many agree that the service from US based flight attendants needed work. I mentioned before that since my last blog about service United and American Airlines have upped the ante. The service I had on this flight to Dublin on American was fantastic. So my hats off to you - US based flight attendants that want to be known for spectacular service once again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Where has the Year Gone?

So it is November and I can't believe it. I just returned from Mexico City - great many great people and of course great food. On my way to Nashville, Wisconsin and then Dublin. I guess by the time Thanksgiving rolls around I will have spent more time out of the states than in them. So what about the future? Every one is looking at the economy and wondering - what is next? Here is my take on this. It always has been about hard work and doing the right things. Today it is no different. All of us who have money in the stock market remember past years when this happened as well. You could say - "oh not this bad." But there are plenty of facts to show, that yes this too has happened and this too will pass. The problem is that it won't be for a while and it will not be easy. That is the biggest problem. It will not be easy. So let's buckle down. Last month I talked about the United Flight Attendants from Asia that were laid off and how disappointed I was that the U.S. based flight attendants never treated us as well. Well I take it back. I flew back to LAX from Japan with an entire U.S. based crew and they were lovely. They talked about how bad they felt about the current layovers and they did everything in their power to make our journey wonderful. So, remember "you gotta do what you gotta do" well these ladies show they know how to do it. Congrats to United Airlines for getting it right.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

United Flight From Hong Kong to Singapore!

Planes, trains, buses, automobiles and boats led us from Macau to Hong Kong International Airport. Again I will remind you how I love this airport. Miki and I shopped, went to a spa, went to the Red Carpet Club and killed 3 hours without missing a beat.

But this is not the story. We boarded our 747 to our upper deck business class seats (yeah!) and nestled down for our 8:00pm flight to Singapore. A lovely evening flight with dinner and the service of a Singapore based flight crew. Right after take off the purser introduced herself, the pilots and the flight crew. She then in a very "teary" voice let us know that this was their last flight from Hong Kong to Singapore as a flight crew ( the flight attendants only), they were being laid off due to the financial problems of United and from this point on the flights would have American based flight attendants. The pilot came on and asked each of us to thank them for their years of service with United. Needless to say the 4 hour flight was filled with tears from not only the flight attendants but from passengers including Miki and me. Corporate business travelers got together and we all had pictures taken on the upper deck and many executives were giving the ladies their cards and saying "keep in touch."

Now the rest of the story - I know that alot of people are getting laid off and as an American I want to keep our country working and our people employed. But let's make sure we want the jobs. There are some great US based flight attendants - but as a serious frequent flyer there are many that could care less about us - the road warrior. Just 2 weeks ago on a flight between Chicago and LAX in first class I simply asked the flight attendant who was picking up the already read newspapers if I could see the USA Today she had in her hand. She looked at me as if I were the enemy and stated very clearly, "when I am done reading it you can have it." Well to her surprise the passenger who she had just taken the paper from looked up and said, "no way - give it to her first and when she is DONE you can have it." This would have never happened with Singapore flight attendants - I know that for sure. I have flown throughout Asia for over 20 years and have never experienced that rudeness. So guess what - bring the jobs home to the USA, but let's not forget why we work - for the customers.

When I askd the ladies if they had interviewed with Singapore Airlines they said that in the past they had even worked for Singapore Airlines but they loved the culture of United. They explained that United lets their flight attendants interact with the customer, enjoy their job and they make you part of a family. They told us they would wait for business to get better and for United to ask them to come home!

Let's all work together to get out of this economic harder, be strong, stay calm and beyond everything - have a positive outlook of the future.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do!

Welcome to the last week of October. I am posting this on Monday in Hong Kong, where has this month gone?! I just arrived in Hong Kong but final destination Macau! Since I missed the 7pm ferry to Macau I had to wait for 3 hours for the 10pm ferry. What could have been a long wait after a 15 hour flight became another amazing experience. Airports have become so user friendly. The shopping and dining at Hong Kong International Airport is simply remarkable, even with the US dollar. As I always do, I put myself out there to meet new people and this trip was no different.

On my flight I met this amazing woman - a Managing Partner Attorney of a large San Francisco based anti trust firm. Full of energy, life, great conversation and before long we found we had so much in common. She works hard, has one child, has been married to the same man for a long time and yet she still faces the negative comments about her life from her "so called" friends.

She referred to these comments as the "you gotta do what you gotta do" syndrome. Each time one of her neighbors or parents of her daughters friends ask her to join them for a cocktail party, any social event or something at the school when she couldn't make it, the friends would say the same thing - "there is always one" or "too bad you work so hard, but you gotta do what you gotta do." This is so frustrating. The comments are so lame - after all, she worked so hard to become a lawyer, build a practice, and still have a family - she did all of this because she wanted to, not that she "had" to.

Why are so many women enemies of so many women. Yes, ladies I mean "us." We can be each others worst enemies. Instead of being excited for your friend who is successful in their career while balancing their family, we act like they are being punished for what they enjoy. Just because someone has chosen to stay home and raise their children does not mean that those of us who chose to work should be made to feel bad. Everyone has choices in happy for each other! I do get a bit worked up, when I hear some feedback on my story, my style of living, working and loving life. The other day I gave a speech to over 500 people....99% of the feedback was great - they loved my message, got motivated, inspired and wanted more...but there were a few people and I mean 3 that said I needed to get over myself - enough Novotny! Well I am over those people. Just because I am real and say it like it is - some people don't want to hear the truth - "they can't handle the truth." You get out of life what you put into it. Just because I love living on the road with little or no balance doesn't mean that I don't live a "balanced" life. I have a wonderful marriage, a fantastic relationship with my daughter and am very close to my parents and sister. How many people that live in the same city as their own family can say that? So for all of you that think "we the working women of today" do what we "gotta do" are right - we gotta live this life since we only get one chance. Enjoy it now so you have no regrets for tomorrow.... from Hong Kong my best wishes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Authentic Life

So September is over - Jessica has moved to College Station, TX to attend the home campus of Texas A&M and I jumped back into work and life. I left Texas after helping my family and flew to London to work with a wonderful client. Trains, planes and automobiles...I trained in a different city every day for 5 days - traveling by train, planes and cars throughout England. It was great and although it was hard work I was back in the saddle again where I do my best - training, speaking and enjoying every city I go to. Again, the train rides were fun, and the dinners and desserts fab! While I was there we met with another great client and he introduced us to one of his former associates that was moving to Dubai to work for a great company. During dinner we were laughing, sipping wine and discussing all the woes of the world! At one point I do what I always do and ask a lot of questions about people....I started by asking how she got in the business she is in - customer service, finance and leadership when the story began to unfold. She was actually a nuclear physicist - a real "rocket scientist"! Then everything for me came into perspective. I had dealt with so much anxiety with the hurricane - the economy was falling apart - the media was driving me crazy with such negativity and now I am laughing and sipping wine with a "rocket scientist" and she is normal, nice, smart and FUN! I deal with so much feedback in my career - one group loves me and then there are a few people who are "over" me and have no problem letting me know....well I am authentic! I am Cindy Novotny - I walk it, I talk it, I live it and I deliver on my promises. I meet so many great people who are also very talented and authentic and then there are always the few that aren't. You know who you are - if you are reading my blog chances are you are curious and get it - but are you truly authentic?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hurricane IKE!

I will never again be able to look at a natural disaster and not think of what my family has been through the last few weeks. September 13th brought "IKE" into Galveston where my daughter lives a few blocks from the beach. It not only destroyed the island, it left my daughter nothing to salvage but some of her clothes and pictures. She lost everything else in her apartment - but she is safe and that is what counts. My parents and sister in Houston went for 13 days without electricity. I spent a week and a half helping everyone out and the toughest part was when we were given clearance to get on Galveston Island - words will never describe what we saw when we entered Jessica's apartment. We are among so many that suffer during hurricanes, tornados, floods, fires, earthquakes and much more. Nothing is more important than family and friends - stuff is just stuff that can be replaced. Don't take for granted anything you hold dear - enjoy each day and reach out to your loved ones!

Monday, September 1, 2008

This has been a great summer! I just returned from Alaska touring the interior. I never met more incredible women. They homestead, they race in the Iditarod, fly small planes over the "mountain" and many of these women are single or widowed. They decided to move to Alaska for their love of land and animals and they amazed me. What really caught my attention was the simplicity in their lives and the lack of stress. They get up everyday ready to enjoy "hard work." What they don't have to endure is gossip, face time, office politics, and the game playing in business. But don't misunderstand me - they are in business. They run the restaurants, the shops, the tours, the boats, etc. What they have no time for is the "b.s." I took walks up mountains (not Denali - as they natives refer to it as) but smaller mountains, and actually had grizzles's within only a few feet from me. I soon learned how to stand still, ring my "bear bell" and learn to listen to the land and the land would give me the answers. For those of you who know me, you must think I have lost my mind. Not to worry - I am not giving up life on the road staying in fabulous hotels to move to Alaska. What I am doing is starting to take more time to pay attention to the little things in life, and yes, get outside and walk more! So today, the first of September I start my new goal of getting outside to enjoy the sun, rain, warmth or cold of the day - wherever I am I will go for a walk! Enjoy the season of Autumn - a great time to prepare for the end of the year..... Cindy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cindy Novotny - The Reality Show of Business!

So here we are almost through August - sorry I haven't posted anything for a few weeks. Traveling, vacation, family and of course "work." Speaking of work I have decided to add a new element to our current programs. "Working Hard" - a reality show of life by Cindy Novotny. So many people want the new and exciting form of education, but what is really needed is simply good old fashion hard work - pull yourself up by the boot straps and get out there - reality at it's finest. I call this "show business."

Recently I was speaking to a large group about prospecting for new business and the response is always the same. "I just don't like to prospect." So knowing that the biggest craze in the media are reality shows, I put them into their own script. Teams were made up, names were created, T Shirts were designed, deadlines and quotas given and the race began. It was amazing to see the energy, excitement and passion around the "work." If that is what it takes, let's get racing to the finish line.

I am overwhelmed by so many people focusing so much on this "younger generation." The X'ers, the Y's and so forth - can't wait for the new name to come out! I too was a X'er once - a 30 year old that thought I knew everything and that my boss was too old to know what was "cool." Well several years later, and more experience under my belt - I now know that I learned a great deal over the years and the "older" bosses did know what they were talking about.

The reality here is that successful people and companies will always be about "A " performers out performing others on the team. It is what it is! Again - Reality! We can blog, podcast, email, facebook, play virtual reality games all we want, but the customers want to do business face to face, with the "A" performer. Are you one?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fly the Friendly Skies

So here we are at the end of July (almost) and what a time we have all had traveling. I have slept at O'hare, missed flights, lost my luggage and even then - I love this life. I showed up in Dallas for a session with no suitcase, made a quick trip to the local Walmart - and voila - a new look for me at least.

The reason I am writing about this is the attitudes I encountered during some of my issues this week on the road. On Wednesday evening - July 23rd O'hare had a lot of problems - a majority of flights were cancelled on all airlines due to bad storms on the East Coast and Hurricane Dolly in Texas. Oh well...we move on. Well not for everyone - I went to The Red Carpet Club and witnessed the most awful behavior from the well travel executives. Grown men yelling at the Red Carpet Associates - demanding things way beyond their control. Are you kidding me? So I did what I do best - made friends with the ladies at the counter and not only got my self a room (which they don't give for weather issues) but upgraded on my next flight.

Please understand me - I too get tired and cranky sometimes. But taking it out on the people that work for the airlines is crazy. Let's stop the airline bashing and recognize that without them, we don't travel!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July in London

Summer is here and I am in London working - raining, cold and not even close to the summer weather I left in California. I started to complain about it and then looked around at the people on the train yesterday in Central London. All wrapped up in their coats, rain boots and umbrella's and still laughing, eating ice cream and not even noticing the rain. What is it about happy people that can turn anything around?

I thought about this as I rode back toward my hotel. Then it dawned on me. People in general are really very nice - it is just hard sometimes to see everyone that way.

So today, I want you to stop and see the world through different eyes. Smile at the grumpiest person you meet today - whether at work, the bank, the store or on the airplane. Try it! Don't think that I am crazy. I have tried this the past few days, and I have gotten 100% compliance. Each grumpy person I look at and smile, ends up smiling back at me. Now I want you to be honest with yourself - you may have to look in the mirror and smile at yourself before you can try this on others.

You and I both know that the attitude you put into life reflects in the attitude you get from life. So today is the start of something special - YOU! Focus on yourself for a while. What makes you happy? What can you do differently at work? How can you face someone at work who is negative and let them know that you don't appreciate it? How can you change something at home to be more positive? And finally - when will you finally realize that it is all about YOU? You personally have the ability to make these changes. No one can make them for you. Start smiling, start laughing, start living and start today!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life on Windmill Farms

I can't believe it is June already. As I sit in Philadelphia thinking about my travels, I focus on how I started this month. It was really an example of how I live life with no balance and love it. Lefty's parents celebrated their 60th anniversary and we hosted it at our farm - "Windmill Farms" in Iowa with a fantastic pig roast. It was so fun to have my entire family there as well since they had never stayed with us on our farm. We had such great weather (which has been hard to have in the midwest this year), great food, over 70 people, music, dancing and a whole lot of fun!

I think that sometimes people who know me think of this fast paced woman who travels all over the world, jetting in and out of cities, dining in fine restaurants and shopping at great boutiques. Well if that is how you picture me, you have never seen me in my cowboy boots, hat, and jeans sitting on top of our tractor. This is the life I chose, therefore I accept it everyday with a full heart.

How about you? Are you living your "right" life? Are you enjoying everyday, even through the tough times? Are you living someone's life? Are you afraid to make a decision to do it your way, because you think someone will stop you?

It is June - halfway through 2008 and it is time to live it fully. I believe so much in the potential of people. We all have the ability to do anything we want, regardless of our situation. So think about the next 6 months. What do you want to change? What do you want to improve? Set a plan, and stick with it and say no to anything that takes you off course. There are so many people in your life that will let you off the "hook." Don't let yourself off the "hook." Go for it with everything you've got, and you will be amazed at the results.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Live it to the fullest!

Welcome to May - we are almost half way through 2008 and yet so many people are still "gearing up." The media is having a "hay day" with trying to convince us that we are headed toward a recession. Call me too positive, but I will go with a bit of a slow down, but I absolutely will not say the "R" word.

If you are an aggressive business professional you are still very busy. Business happens when people make it happen! Are you making anything happen? If you are in sales, there has never been a more critical time to prospect for new business. In fact, let me take a few minutes and talk about the word "prospecting." I recently had a business associate say to me that he didn't like the word "prospecting." It made it seem too hard core salesmanship (ish) - I say forget that - without hunting for new business you will see a slow down faster than you can imagine.

Make no mistake about it - we have to look for new business. Call it what you want - but keep your eyes and ears open. I am in Toronto this week - beautiful spring weather in Canada - the trees are blooming, the flowers are just popping out and it is a perfect time for a fresh start. I am so excited about all the new opportunities out there - our business is growing, clients are asking for more every day - and there is not one challenge about any of this I can't handle.

Remember, this is the life we chose - therefore we must accept it. Enjoy each day and you will find so many people to enjoy it with. Have a great spring and make it a goal to live it to the fullest. You owe it to yourself, your company, your clients, your family and everyone around you. Thanks so much for reading!

Monday, March 24, 2008

So here I am sitting once again at the airport waiting on a flight. On my way to London and then after a week working there on to Cairo again. I am spending more time out of the US this year it seems. Had a great weekend though at home and the weather was spectacular. I must admit that I had the feeling of winter this year even as a California girl. I spent so much time in NYC, Boston, DC and other cold spots that sunshine was very welcome. Jessie was home for the weekend and we had so much fun - life couldn't get any better when she is home! But work calls and we (Lefty and I) are off and flying.

I spent the week before Easter working with a great group of people from so many different backgrounds, and again it reminded me that regardless of culture, age or background - selling is selling and it makes no difference who you are or who you are selling to - know the details and focus on the customer. I think too many sales people continue to forget who really pays their is the customer and without that customer there is no future.

We are entering the 2nd quarter of 2008 - boy time flies, but don't let the time fly by so fast that you forget to remember who is "king." The Client is and always will be!

Enjoy your week - focus - challenge yourself - prospect for new business - and never ever forget why you chose your life - Ignite your Fire....Cindy

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Get a Life!

Get A Life!
Jan 1, 2008 12:00 PM, With Editor Barbara Scofidio

Who said that just because travel is a big part of life in this industry, it has to be so … painful?

Why can't we enjoy our business trips, make the most of our time away, and still stay connected to the ones we love? These were some of the questions posed by road warrior and speaker Cindy Novotny of Master Connection Associates, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., during a session at the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives' International Conference in Monterey, Calif., last month.

Not only is Cindy passionate about loving life on the road, but she can also hold her own against the best stand-up comedians out there. As we ring in 2008, it seems the perfect time to examine life on the road. I'm sure some of Cindy's ideas will inspire you, as they did me:

  • Home is where you plug in your phone at the end of the day. No matter how short your stay, unpack everything, bring some items to make your hotel room cozy, and always check in with the people you love.

  • Look for the humor in travel delays. Cindy was held up for hours at the airport on the way to the SITE meeting and had people in the lounge singing Christmas carols by the time she got on the plane! Check it Out

  • Always see the sights when you visit a city, even if it's just a short cab ride. Taking the opportunity to check out a different place will keep your excitement about travel alive.
    Bring your kids when you can. Traveling offers life lessons richer than any textbook. I took my 11-year-old daughter to the SITE meeting, and she was able to experience a part of the country that she had never seen and to catch a glimpse of my work life that she'll never forget.

  • Stop beating up on yourself by thinking you're an inferior parent if you have to be away from your children. Cindy did an absolutely hilarious schtick about FedEx'ing cookies to her daughter's school from five-star hotels around the world. The fact is, some moms can make the cookies, and some have to buy them — and it really doesn't matter.

  • Find a way to unload the household tasks you dislike so that when you are home, you can relax. You don't necessarily need money for that, as Cindy pointed out: She once bartered with a neighbor to clean her house, and in return she cooked that neighbor a meal each weekend.

Every once in a while, try to picture your life without your work. Do you really want that? And if you are unhappy, stop complaining and find another job! What will always resonate with me from Cindy's talk was that we only have one life, and the time to live it to the utmost is now!
I wish you a truly fulfilling 2008.
Cindy's book, Living Without Balance and Loving It, can be ordered online at and

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where is Your Game?

This past weekend I had a great time with my 20 year old daughter Jessica in NYC....we shopped, ate in the best restaurants, and went to great shows! What really stood out was some of the conversations we had - politics, service ideas, working hard and the differences between the generations. One thing that stood out was her ideas about how too many people don't care in business today. Rude sales clerks in stores, servers in restaurants that don't listen and mess up the order and even drivers of limos that put you in total danger as you blast through the city. She made it very clear that they are not in the "game." So we discussed "the game." If you are in business, in school or even just dating - you need "game." A passion for everything you do. If you don't like what you are doing- it shows. The sales manager who could care less about the customer who just called them, the manager who doesn't put any effort into developing their people, and servers who are more interested in their tip than the service they provide. We are almost to the 2nd quarter of the year....let's get back in the game. If you need answers or just some good reality check - ask me. I am here to help you "re-ignite the fire." Have a great March.....Cindy

Monday, February 18, 2008

February and I take on the Middle East

Well it is already February 18th and I have been to Cairo, London, Vegas, NYC and even the beautiful mountains of Breckenridge. How can anyone say you have to settle down...I am loving this life. I am sure all of you have been hit by some sort of flu bug and yes, it even got to me. My only regret is being sick in NYC and missing seeing the Ducks play at Madison Square Gardens...I didn't miss work though! Everyone is busy and pushing on beyond the "bug." I am traveling more than usual this year, but that only gives me more opportunity to visit so many incredible places. The pyramids in Cairo - although a small entrance were beyond my imagination. I just kept thinking how so many people in the world will never actually see this. I have begun to keep a journal of all the great restaurants and "off tourist" sites I see. Remember - this is the life I chose therefore I will always accept it. I am thrilled to be able to touch the hearts and minds of so many people that I work with around the globe. Everyone has a keen desire to learn and I am so happy to help. I have never had so many people asking me how to build their business, grow their account base and become more independent in their drive for business. There has never been a better time to show your value. Everyone needs business, and each of you have the ability to grow that business and be a leader in your industry. Have fun this month and enjoy each and every moment. Cindy

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cindy Novotny Travels the World January 2008

Well it is time to begin to post my travels and my thoughts as I move across this wonderful world of ours. I took some time off over the holidays and spent it with family, but now it is up and running....things really are great...and as you all know - I love this life. I attended PCMA early this month and WOW what a great event. My session was sold out and even had overflow rooms. I spoke about my book - Living with no balance and loving it. I am amazed at all the positive feedback...too many people out there are struggling with how to be happy. I am struggling with that issue...I am very happy and I want to help anyone who isn't....if you are not happy in your job...have a crucial conversation with some one and perhaps it is time to move on. If it is your personal life, then please have a conversation. Don't just give up. This is the beginning of a new year so let's start talking. I am open as a blogger.....let me know how I can help you...there is always a new and better way. Have a great week...Cindy