Brian Kurth


It’s been a wonderfully crazy week….most especially on Thursday when NBC’s TODAY Show featured VocationVacations and how it’s a tool for career transition and life reinvention!

CLICK HERE FOR THE TODAY SHOW VIDEO!

I hope you enjoy it.  Share with your friends and family members.

OK, one last bit of shameless self promotion — $100 VocationVacations gift certificates are 10% off through December 31, 2009!

Cheers,
Brian

VocationVacations (www.vocationvacations.com) is a one-of-a-kind company providing 1-3 day career mentorship experiences for individuals and small groups.  Brian Kurth + Company (www.briankurth.com) is a career consultancy and outplacement firm revolutionizing career transition and reinvention by guiding clients through an 8-step process including creating their own mentorship experience(s).

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Ever read a quote and just love it?  And then feel compelled to share it with friends and family?  Yeah, me too.  I’m also one of those folks who saves newspaper articles and piles them up in the office til I blitz out notes to family and friends saying, “Thought you’d enjoy this article  — even if it is from 2005!” (Note to folks who cringe at the thought of newsprint:  yes, I still love holding a newspaper in my hands while on the bike or elliptical at the gym most mornings — call me a Luddite, but I think there’s value in still having a newspaper in addition to the days’ news online — but I digress, as I often do).

I have never read the following quote from Teddy Roosevelt before.  I love it.  It resonates to so many folks these days, I think.  We’re in the worst economy in 75 years.  People are scared.  People are wondering, “What’s next?”.  I shared it with my brother who’s a successful entrepreneur and he said it has been on his top 10 fave quote list for quite some time.  I can see why.

So, if you’ve been laid off….struggling in a relationship….are a wannabe entrepreneur…creating a life/work reinvention for yourself….or you’re simply wanting to challenge yourself by trying something new, this quote will speak to you:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

So, are you daring greatly?  If so, in what ways?  If not, why not?

Best!
Brian

VocationVacations (www.vocationvacations.com) is a one-of-a-kind company providing 1-3 day career mentorship experiences for individuals and small groups.  Brian Kurth + Company (www.briankurth.com) is a career consultancy and outplacement firm revolutionizing career transition and reinvention by guiding clients through an 8-step process including creating their own mentorship experience(s).

Hey there!  Did you miss me?  Well, I missed you.  I was away from blogging for a bit due to being so darn busy career consulting to individuals and organizations and providing career mentorship experiences through VocationVacations.  I’m not complaining, however.  I truly love what I do.  And who wouldn’t?  I get to work with experts who love what they do and are willing to share their expertise and time with my Brian Kurth + Company and VocationVacation clients.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

With that being said, I am thrilled to announce…our new….drumroll, please….FASHION Retailer/Boutique Owner career mentors, Tom and Karen Rochelle of ROCHELLE’s in St. Augustine, Florida!  We are honored to have Tom and Karen on board the VocationVacations team of experts.  Here’s a bit more about them….

Karen describes herself when she was growing up as an “experimental dresser”. “I was trendsetting in my choice of clothes and sewed my own clothing.” However, she never considered her eye for fashion would go any further then her own closet.

But that changed after she and her husband Tom decided they wanted to own a business together. Karen’s fashion sense and Tom’s strong sense of style would ultimately serve them well when they landed on the idea of opening a women’s retail clothing store. “We both had earned degrees in business, and between the two of us we had little or no experience in this field,” laughs Karen. But that didn’t stop them.

Karen and Tom figured they would get “chewed up” in the big city, so they chose a smaller community, St. Augustine, to open their boutique. They had a little money, were able to get a bank loan and opened Rochelle’s in a strip mall in 1984. Their goal was to offer a wide mix of youthful, moderately-priced, high-quality stylish clothing that would appeal to all ages. “The first seven years were challenging, but we were committed to do whatever it took,” explains Karen. “We loved the creativity of owning our own business.”

Locals and visitors to this small tourist town began to take notice of the unique mix of clothes and accessories sold at Rochelle’s. “We learned about customer buying patterns, the psychology of working with customers and what sells,” Karen says. Customers from New York and Los Angeles became regulars when visiting St. Augustine and enjoyed selecting items from lines like Ella Moss, Susana Monaco, 7 For All Mankind, Tarina Tarantino and many more.

Karen knew they were on the right tract when a $5,000 sale to an out of town customer became a regular occurrence. In 1999, Karen and Tom moved Rochelle’s to an old warehouse which had been home to a sign studio since 1950. They renovated the building but maintained its character and charm, keeping some of the neon and painted signage as décor and for displays.

With the help of one permanent, full-time staff, Tom and Karen have successfully grown their business and gained recognition for the boutique’s unique style and product offerings that make it special. Rochelle’s has been featured in a segment of the TLC television program, “Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah”, and has a long history of being named by the local newspaper as the number one boutique in St. Augustine.

Karen loves her job, but, of course, there are always challenges. “You really have to stay on top of things. The new era of the Internet and the advent of social networking offer new opportunities and challenges and you have to understand how to work with them,” cautions Karen. There are many pieces to the puzzle of owning and operating a profitable boutique. Karen and Tom have successfully learned how to fit all those pieces together and can help you decide if the world of fashion retail is also the right fit for you.

While on your Fashion Retailer/Boutique Owner VocationVacation career mentorship with Karen and Tom Rochelle at Rochelle’s, activities will include some or all of the following:

  • Assist in selecting merchandise (color, size run, ship date) from samples during a buying session with a sales representative in store
  • Coordinate and participate in informal modeling event at local restaurant
  • Develop marketing emails and send to customers
  • Write up sales, collect payment, and package purchases for customers
  • Write radio advertisement
  • Design and arrange accessory displays
  • Call customers on special orders received or on merchandise they have expressed an interest in
  • Review clothing/accessory line sheets/catalogs and write and place order
  • Engage customers and provide assistance with their clothing and accessory purchases
  • Rearrange clothing on racks by line, color or style so that they are visually appealing
  • Receive inventory and hang, price and merchandise in store

Ready for your career mentorship?  Or know of someone who could use some mentorship under the tutelage of Karen and Tom, please send them along to the following link to submit for their very own VocationVacation career mentorship:

http://www.vocationvacations.com/DreamJobHolidays/rochelles.php

If being a Fashion Retailer/Boutique Owner isn’t your thing, what’s YOUR dream job?  See our currently available list of VocationVacations.  Do we offer your dream job as a mentorship?  If so, great!  We look forward to your patronage.  If not, please tell me what your dream job is as we’re always bringing on more amazing mentors across 180 career types — and growing.  Hopefully with one for you soon!

Best,
Brian

President of Brian Kurth + Company Career Consulting and VocationVacations

Author of Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love — Hachette, 2008

Speaker represented by George Greenfield at CreativeWell.

I have to share a great story about a wonderful dinner I had this week.  Here’s the scene:

A former career consulting client of mine, his wife and kids are on vacation in Oregon this week. My partner, Wade, and I had dinner with them and some other friends on Tuesday PM.  In between beers, pizza and mac & cheese (for the kids), we got to talking about how we react when things just don’t go our way.  I’m not sure how we got on the topic…but we did.

We can all “lose it” at times.  On the job.  At home.  Heck, it can even be on vacation.  You know what I mean.

Well, my former client’s wife suddenly said that she is “soup” and that her husband is a “TV Dinner”.  UH!?   WHAT!?

She went on.  She said that when something doesn’t go right for her, EVERYTHING gets mixed together and now EVERYTHING has gone wrong in her mind.  She mixes work, family, vacation…whatever….all together into one concoction once one thing goes wrong.  She is soup when things don’t go her way (no offense to the soup lovers out there).  In her mind, everything in her life is falling apart at that very moment.

Meanwhile, she went on, her husband is able to separate whatever is going wrong in life.  He isolates it.  Almost like the parts of a  TV dinner.  Things are compartmentalized and separated by aluminum foil.  His tasty (is that possible?) turkey dinner isn’t going to be impacted by the fact his “peas” went awry and burned beyond belief.  He enjoys his turkey dinner and the dessert surprise.  He is a TV dinner.

After Wade and I stopped laughing, we began to assess ourselves.  Are we soup or TV dinners? As much as I’d love to say I’m a TV dinner, I’m soup.  But I’m proud to say that I’m soup for only a short period of time before morphing into a TV dinner.

For example, last Saturday, Wade and I went to see Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (NOTE:  Great movie by the way.  Yes, out of disclosure, I’m biased as we are doing a wonderful VocationVacations promotion with them in conjunction with the movie’s release — sign-up to win a free career mentorship before August 17!). There’s a great scene where things are not going well for Julie in the kitchen and she has a meltdown.  She was soup.  Her husband, Eric, was a TV dinner and tried to support her in saying not all was lost on what she was making.

Well the next night, I was making dinner.  I had gone to the farmer’s market on Saturday AM with my friend Roey and was very proud of what I had brought home.  I was prepared to make cilantro pesto chicken, tomoto/cucumber salad and fingerling, multi-colored potatoes.  All was going well until I used the Cuisinart to make the salad dressing.  It exploded all over me.

Yes, the F-bomb was said (shouted?) several times.

With that, I became soup for about 10 minutes.  The world was coming to an end.  Why did we have such a small kitchen?  Why did I bother going to the farmer’s market anyway?  Why can’t Democrats and Republicans agree on a healthcare initiative?  You get my point.  I ran the gamut for 10 minutes.

Wade, on the other hand, became an instant TV Dinner and compartmentalized it and reminded me that, yes, oil & vinegar salad dressing may be difficult to get out of my shorts and t-shirt but they’re only a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  “Right, Stan Sunshine”, I thought to myself. I was still in soup mode.

After 10 minutes, I then decided that it wasn’t all that bad….and I finished cooking dinner.   In my underwear…after taking off my vinegar and oil soiled t-shirt and shorts.  That “vision in the kitchen” was Wade’s dessert in his TV dinner.  And it was my way of turning my soup into a TV dinner.  With laughter.

So.  Are you SOUP or a TV DINNER?

Cheers!
Brian

Need mentorship-based career consultation?  Check out my proven 8-Steps To A Successful Career Change!  I’d love to help you through the process.

This is a quick blog post today as I’m having a great time working with some career consulting clients’ biographies with our phenomenal new bio writers at Brian Kurth + Company.

I was walking down the street yesterday after (finally!) getting my haircut during lunch and walked past Plaza Cleaners in the Pearl District here in Portland.  And I saw a sign in the window saying:

IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED AND NEED AN OUTFIT CLEAN FOR AN INTERVIEW, WE WILL CLEAN IT FOR FREE!

I love it.  OK…so it’s not a free lunch….but who ever said there’s no such thing as free dry cleaning!?  Kudos to Plaza owners, Anne and Steve Young.  Way to help out folks during this Great Recession.

Just had to share.  Now it’s back to having fun working through the 8-Steps of a Successful Career Transition with my clients…

Cheers!
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Job: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love – Hachette, 2008