Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If You Haven't Been to Houston Lately...You Don't Know Houston!

I am here in Houston, Texas working with the Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the George R. Brown Convention Center. In addition, I am speaking locally so spending several days in downtown Houston, Texas. Let me start off by saying that I am very familiar with Houston. My parents and sister live north of the city in Spring, I worked at The Woodlands Inn & Conference Center and my daughter goes to college at Texas A+M in Galveston. So, as you can see, I spend a lot of time in this part of the world. But....I haven't spent so many days and nights in downtown Houston working and enjoying it as a destination.

So what is new ~ everything! Let's start off with the facts that Houston is 2nd only to NYC in number of Fortune 500 Companies HQ, 2nd only to NYC in restaurants, and Houston is one of the most International Cities in America with over 100 different nationalities. Within walking distance of the Four Seasons Hotel, The Hilton of The Americas and The George R. Brown Convention Center are restaurants, clubs, museums, sport centers, shopping, parks, music halls and you can get around the entire city in a taxi for only $6.00US ~ "Six in the City," a program that the taxi drivers with the city put together to charge a flat fee in the city which makes it very user friendly.

The new renovations of buildings for lofts, restaurants and shops have given a new sparkle to a city that many only thought of for the oil and energy business. More companies are moving their headquarters into the city which makes for a great lifestyle that hasn't been seen in the city center for years.

So, was I hired to say all this? NO! I love LA, OC, NYC, CHICAGO, and all the other cities in between. You hear me talk about Prague, London, Budapest and Cairo all the time, but now it is time for HOUSTON! I felt so much pride and passion about this city as my daughter Jessica, her boyfriend Brandon and I walked the city streets after 5:00pm. It was clean, safe and by the way ~ in July the weather was wonderful.

Everyone needs a make over now and again. As we enter the fall fashion scene, we always look at what's in and what's out ~ well Houston has hit the "in" list. If you haven't been to Houston lately ~ you don't know Houston at all!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Do You Really Want a Change Agent?

Everyone is looking for a "golden bullet" to make things better. Well business is clearly picking up, it still will be a while before we are back in the "business booming" phase. So let's talk about change.

Change it up, make it different, come up with a new way to be successful. That is the mantra of today - everyone wants to throw out the old because business has been bad, and forget about what results we actually got from the "old."

Call me old fashion, call me too rigid, call me too simple. But don't call me unsuccessful. I am very successful both personally and professionally and it drives me crazy how so many people want that success without the hard work. I know, you think, oh here we go again with Cindy on her soap box. Well if you don't like my soap box don't read my blog, my facebook, my twitter or even my emails. I won't get off this soap box until those who want the quick, easy solution to our problems start to get to work - and I mean "work."

Take looking for new opportunities or new business. You can call it whatever you want to call it - but it is prospecting for new business. Why does everyone try and sugar coat it, call it something else? It is picking up the phone, trying to get prospective customers to talk to you about your ideas, your products or services. It is that simple, but not that easy!

My daughter Jessie, who is 21 and getting ready for her senior year at Texas A+M is so excited about all the opportunities out there. This week, she and a friend brainstormed ideas for new companies. I jumped right in. Every idea was great and the energy was fabulous. Now comes the heavy lifting - putting ideas to work means "work."

So let's go back to the change agent. What is funny to me is when everyone wants change, and we go in and start to call it like it is, no one wants the truth. It reminds me of the movie "A Few Good Men." "You Can't Handle the Truth." If you really want change, you may need to look inward first. Do you as the boss, the leader the business person really want all that comes with the change? If not - don't ask for it. Start to make sure that what should be going on in your business is actually happening. Is everyone working at the speed and accuracy you need? If not...start there before you call in the change agent!