Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Julija Zukova

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Julija Zukova

Ask Julija Zukova of Zukova Boutique about Entrepreneurial Spirit and you will definitely know she is not the type to give up once she starts something.

“Be ready for change every second. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Never give up. Never stop creating,” These are all evident as you walk into her business. Perhaps anyone takes a risk by opening a women’s clothing store. For Julija that risk involved turning her life upside down, putting all her money in her business, moving to a new city, quitting a well paying job.

Was it worth it? “Yes!” For Julija her passion is fashion, image, and style. To be able to open a store where she can be surrounded by all three on a daily basis makes it all worthwhile. Add in her passion with helping people and you have an entrepreneur who loves what she does.

“Seeing people smile after I talked to them is important to me. When customers stop by a week later just to tell me how many compliments they got makes me smile. To see how people change since the first time I helped them at my store and how much more confident and happier they are makes it all a great day.”

So how does a business grow in this economy…especially when you are totally responsible for everything? According to Julija, her unique inventory is just a start. “Customers spread the word about my excellent service and attention to detail for each of my clients. They love me and I love them. I do this because I love it. I went to school to study style, fashion and image. And I went to another school to study business and economics. I love fashion, business and make people happy about themselves.”

Talk about passion…it shows in her face, in her store, and in the way she talks about fashion.

Is she successful as an entrepreneur? Judging by the people who visit her store, I would say she is. Does Julija think so? “Yes…people have told me they want me to stay in business. I think that means I’m successful.”

For anyone who wants to start out in business Julija tells them…“Profit is also important. I need some to survive and to stay in business! But it’s not everything. And don’t be afraid of challenges. Be prepared to change all the time. Never give up.”

Strong business sense and intuitive fashion sense has helped this entrepreneur. She doesn’t think she’s an expert. After visiting with her and seeing what it took to open a store like hers…I think she fits in the expert category.

As for an Entrepreneurial Spirit…Julija has that “do what it takes” attitude. She’s well on her way.

Visit Julija to learn more about her boutique at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Jessica Locke

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Jessica Locke

Entrepreneurial Spirits are driven…

Listen to Jessica Locke of Wines 4 Cures and you will know she is a driven individual. Why? When asked what Entrepreneurial Spirit means to her, Jessica immediately said “Wines 4 Cures”. She works with creating quality wines at a fair price…but so much more. “We have a goal of raising awareness and funds for our partner charities.”

Why this business? “Our niece Kyleigh Locke has Cystic Fibrosis. We're all actively trying to help raise funds to find a cure. Personally, we felt our financial impact was not enough, and we wanted to do more. So my husband, who is a former executive of a large wine distributor, was able to get in touch with people in the wine industry, pitched the idea, and get some quality industry partners to rally behind the mission.

We have been blessed in our lives and having Kyleigh in our lives is one of our greatest blessings. She has inspired us to do more. We want our brands to make people aware of how simple giving back can be. This type of giving is supplemental to the donations people already give. We know there is tremendous need and hundreds of great causes. Our foundation partners hit home for us and we wanted to make an impact to them specifically. So folks who may not give to charities like Make a Wish directly but enjoy wine, can now give to Make a Wish indirectly, and hopefully in the near future also give to them directly.”

Their business is organic in nature, according to Jessica. “Not just the grapes. We need the word of mouth and organic growth of fans who feel compelled to help tell our story. Everyone who drinks our wine, we hope will become a huge advocate for the project. Good wines and Good Causes. We hope that is a story people like to tell others.”

There’s that passion again…

This time they are doing for others, helping others. “As I said before, we are very blessed. It's such a wonderful thing to give back. Our daughters mean the world to us and this has been a great life lesson for them as well. We try to make a difference every day. One more day....We are lucky enough to get one, so we use it to try to help and make an impact.”

After all they are doing this for their kids and their niece.

This business is no different than others and is not without its risks. But they do not dwell on the risks. “This company is about doing good. We have love and support on our side. There have several unpleasant bumps we did not expect, some difficult challenges, but we know we have to do this. We are more afraid of doing nothing. We did have to use our own money and it's not like we had a ton a free time. With kids and another business already running, we had to figure out how to balance things to not hurt an existing business and the employees there who also depend on that company, as well as make sure we kept our own lives in balance. But our vision is very strong and there are so many people willing to help the mission and keep us on track as well as assist where ever they can. We really could not do it without the support of a great supporting cast that grows all the time.”

And advice to those who want to start a business? “We learn as we go, so every mistake we make is an opportunity to learn and grow. Some very successful wine industry veterans told us there would be four or five things we cannot anticipate that will make getting the initial product to market. Timing is very important in the wine business and some things are simply out of our control. But all in all, I think we managed pretty well and would not want "do overs" because several other things could have gone wrong. We'll take what we have been dealt since at least we survived them.”

And how is success defined to Jessica? “As long as what we are doing makes us happy, we feel successful. And, by being in the wine industry and helping some incredible foundations, we are extremely happy.” That doesn’t mean they have found success in all aspects of the business, though.

“We have found success in the happiness aspects - yes. But the ultimate success is finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, Parkinson's, and Breast Cancer, as well as helping the granting of wishes to children with life threatening illness or helping to provide housing for wounded warriors. So, success sort of implies we are done. And we are nowhere near done!” And they have had some experts along the way help. In some aspects they are now experts themselves…” We have a lot to learn and it's fun to learn from our expert friends. So, maybe we are experts at finding the right expert in one of the dozens of components required to make quality wine at affordable prices as well as get them to market.”

One would assume profit plays an important part in this business…giving to charities can only happen with profits. “We want to give our charities as much money as we can. As far as our personal benefit, only enough to keep the business going. Everyone else in the chain needs to be profitable to be sustainable. So, we built this such that the farmers, distributors, and retailers all make a good margin in order to rally behind this mission. This is truly a win-win-wine.” That’s not a typo…she means that.

Jessica knows what an entrepreneur is about. “Be passionate and stay positive. Be prepared for doing work - nothing comes easy. You may get more no's (or not right now) than yes, but you just have to keep going! And to get a "win" every day you can feel good about. Those wins don't have to be World Series wins, but it's a grind and the everyday wins are what help you get to the big game.”

"Since we have the mission and vision so engrained in our daily lives already, I believe that's the only way this new company going…by an entrepreneurial spirit. I think we could so this inside a large wine producer, but it feels much better to do this on our own for now.”

Definitely…there is an Entrepreneurial Spirit with Jessica. You can feel it.

Learn more about Jessica and Wines 4 Cures at or

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Laura Pierce

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Laura Pierce

Entrepreneurs work with many types of businesses. Some create things from scratch; some develop their passion along the way.

Laura Pierce of Touching Hearts at Home defines an Entrepreneurial Spirit as someone who has the drive or spirit to independently pursue what they’re passionate about, risking more than the average person to achieve their goals.

“Touching Hearts at Home's mission is to help seniors and people with disabilities preserve their quality of life and remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. We do this by providing non-medical companionship, care giving and homemaking services. Through sharing, caring, and helping, we strive to give peace of mind to both our clients and their families. Our services are provided from just a few hours per visit, up to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays.”

How does this translate into being an entrepreneur for Laura? Her personality is to succeed and the rewards of success are only part of it for Laura.

Success plays a role in what she does. “Success is achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.”

Has she succeeded? She tells me…”not quite”. Laura is constantly learning. In fact she says there is always more to learn. She has had to learn to market this business, utilizing marketing professionals, word of mouth, print ads, websites, etc.

Her advice for those just starting out? “Don’t focus so heavily on operations starting out. Market and grow your organization the first year, then smooth out operations thereafter. Recognize your weaknesses and outsource them. Continue to educate yourself. Learn from your mistakes. What you originally thought you were good at may not be the case and that’s ok, just switch to what you are good out and outsource the other.”

How about risks? “I’m afraid of risk. After all I started five months pregnant, quit a paying job, and emptied my savings all to start this business.” And profit is important…”money makes things easier.” Well said.

Would she do anything differently? “Yes…set out more expectations for employees and more structure, reconsider franchising.”

So why has she come this far? Passion…

She is truly passionate about helping people remain in their homes with the care that is necessary. Why? “My grandmother died driving herself to the hospital which drives me to help people. Giving people the care they need to remain safe in the environment they choose is so important. Matching good caregivers to people in need is the part I can do to help.”

Laura and her business have both grown significantly. That’s more than just passion. That’s the Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Learn more about Laura at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

UTMS Announces California Work Trucks, Inc. As Our Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Upward Trend is pleased to announce that California Work Trucks of Union City, CA has become the latest Trend Setter Package client. California Work Trucks is located at 930 Whipple Road, Union City, CA. Their phone number is 510-477-8425. Ron Mitchell is CEO of California Work Trucks. California Work Trucks has also just been announced as a Knapheide Distributor.

Upward Trend will be doing the entire Trend Setter Package including a website, blog, all social media including facebook, twitter and linked-in, along with YouTube, video, SEO Optimization and a monthly HTML newsletter. You will be hearing much more about California Work Trucks as we move forward.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Quincie Hamby

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series
Quincie Hamby

Do all entrepreneurs love what they do? Not sure.
I do know Quincie Hamby, jewelry designer and retail jewelry gallery owner, loves what she does. All of it. She loves the design, making her own clasps, finding the right stones, crystals, shells, pearls, botanical products and gems, and shopping for all the products that go into her designs. “I dream color and therefore color combinations.”
Talk about her passion. It’s in color.
Quincie shows her jewelry in her retail jewelry gallery in Tallahassee, Florida, in her on line web business, in selected galleries in Hawaii and Florida, and travels the United States doing private shows. She continually works on growing her business with her dedication of beautiful and excellently crafted products. “I compete with the current market values and I also excel at my reputation for customer service.”
Quincie tells me she received degrees in anthropology and archeology. “I love the people I encounter during my travels, especially the ones that trade the product I incorporate into my designs. The jewelry industry is more than just the stories about DeBeers diamonds and South Africa. I thrill at receiving the African Batik beads and knowing the meaning of the motifs on the beads, the carved beads from the Mali coast, handmade free-trade products coming from Ecuador and the Philippines. I buy this clam shell from Hong Kong which is processed there, but it actually grown in the Mississippi River. I have to buy an import/export license to bring them back into the country. I find that process fascinating!   I guess what I’m saying my passion is culture and culture’s responses to trade and business and the players involved.”
There’s that passion again when she talks about jewelry, designs, and the part she gets to play.
Her passion drives her…in fact it’s a driving force of energy that knows no bounds, according to Quincie. She can sit down, lose track of time and space while working, and experience great moments of joy. “Granted sometimes my energy is not up to par, but when I’m in the creating zone…nothing is impossible.”
Her zest for working is Quincie’s basic driving force…at times coupled with the desire to make money and pay her bills. But first and foremost that driving force is the need to create.
Is she afraid of risk? “No, that’s not one of my problems. I act and love a fast moving pace. I opened a small shop without a business plan and a financial buffer. Now, tell me how many people would do that and still have survived.” That was 20 years ago.
Would she have done something different in the beginning? “I wouldn’t have dispersed my energy in so many directions. I would have concentrated on what my successes were and worked towards improving them.”
Quincie does feel she has achieved success. After all, her business is still growing…even in this economy. She makes a living doing what she loves. And she realizes the small things are important. “You wake up one day and say to yourself…I’ve created something wonderful.” And that equates to success for Quincie. Success is also happiness. “Happy in what you do for a livelihood. I can say that because I’m happy with the niche that I’ve found. I see so many people struggling with what they’re going to do with their lives, but they don’t take the necessary risk to succeed. They worry only about the failure. Or, they refuse to put necessary energy into their work in order to persevere.”
Even after all she has achieved, Quincie does not see herself as an expert in all aspects. She says she has a lot to learn. But she also says she sees herself as an expert in certain aspects of her craft. “But there’s so much I would still like to accomplish with my craft.”
Profit is important…it creates growth. “Without profit I’m not able to stretch my craft and try new things.” And what would she tell people just starting out?
“I don’t know. I think that you either have a tenacity to work hard, or have a delusion that it will all work out. Remember, working for your self is much more difficult than working for someone else.  Also, you have to have a passion for what you do because sometimes, that’s the only saving grace at the end of the day. Just thinking a business is going to be lucrative isn’t enough to sustain the soul.”
Soul. Does it equate to the Entrepreneurial Spirit for Quincie? She certainly enjoys creating a business. That part is very clear. “I wish that I could do everything for myself, but my business has become too large, so I have to hire out jobs that I’m not good at; web designing, accounting, etc. Even though I love all those jobs, too. I see myself as the whirling dervish.”
Entrepreneurial Spirit or whirling dervish? For Quincie I think they go hand in hand.
Learn more about Quincie and her jewelry business at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Jackie VanHatten

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Jackie VanHatten

How do entrepreneurs view themselves? That’s what I’m trying to find out. Have they always “wanted to be an entrepreneur”? Probably. Do those entrepreneurs possess the ability to look at things differently? Most definitely.

For instance, listen to what Jackie VanHatten, owner of VanHatten Photography, has to say.

Ask Jackie what the Entrepreneurial Spirit means to her and she immediately says “risk taker…but in a good way”. Furthermore she understands that risks are an important part of being an entrepreneur. “Not everyone is willing to take risks. And not everyone can handle risks.”

Even more than that, Jackie says that person must have a passion for finding their own way.

Ahhh…I am hearing the word “passion” again.

Perhaps it’s that passion that drives those with the Entrepreneurial Spirit. It’s definitely what drives Jackie. Her photography business is her passion. Why? Because she loves people and loves to make them happy. How can she do that? “Who doesn’t like looking at great photos…your wedding, your kids, your pets, breathtaking landscapes, flowers in bloom?”

She defines her photos as “beauty”. And it doesn’t matter if it’s landscapes, dogs, babies, or weddings. They all provide a beauty to her clients.

Where does this passion come from in Jackie? “I’ve always loved photography. And I’ve been good at seeing things with a photographer’s eye.” Having a wonderful experience with her own wedding photographers propelled her into thinking further of photography as a career. Combine that love of taking photos and her already in-place talent. Toss in a strong desire to provide that same experience to others and a business was born.

How does she keep her passion for that beauty and for her clients? “I listen to my clients…really listen. I take time to understand what they want. Then I provide that for them.” Why? It’s important to her. After all, Jackie took a risk when she left a regular job and a regular paycheck. Was she afraid? You bet, she says. “Afraid of failure. But I had that desire…that passion.”

Is she afraid of risk? “Yes…everyday. But I found I can provide beauty for people and that makes it all worthwhile. She likes looking in the mirror and seeing herself as “boss”.

So what is success to Jackie? “Knowing I’ve gone above the client’s expectations is important…it’s ultimately the reason I feel I’m successful in this business. Making a profit goes hand in hand with success, as well.” Is it the most important part? “No…but it does matter.”

As an expert in the field of photography, Jackie strives to grow her business every day. Images drive her to do better and better for her clients. Her photos are not just “her photos”…those images are bigger than just her. They belong to the people or the cause. She views herself as only a part of the whole picture.

Jackie’s advice for those just starting their career or just discovering their entrepreneurial side…” be true to who you are. Don’t let risks hold you down. If you do…you won’t get anywhere. And I don’t think that’s what you want.”

Does Jackie think she possesses the Entrepreneurial Spirit? “Yes…because I’m willing to go on my own…try something different than what I had always done…and make success my way. After all, it’s all up to me to make it work.”
So what do I think? That passion came through loud and clear in her voice…the Entrepreneurial Spirit is like that.

Find out more about Jackie and her photography business at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Sue Pierce

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Sue Pierce

In this series of interviews you may hear similar ideas, passions, wants, or needs repeatedly. Why do suppose that is?

Perhaps it’s because these people all truly have that Entrepreneurial Spirit. Take Sue Pierce, an energy behavior management consultant.

To Sue the Entrepreneurial Spirit means one word. Hope! As an entrepreneur, Sue always believes that here in America she can use all of the talents God has given her to take an idea she has and with that idea…create a business.

“If I have a vision, work hard, and am passionate about what I do, the possibilities are endless. I came from Iowa to the big metropolis of Phoenix as an unknown. I came from being a big fish in a small pond to the big pond.” Could she create a reputation in Phoenix that would be as visible and respected as the one she had in Iowa? This is where hope comes in. She wasn’t sure but she was hopeful! Now four years later it is happening! What did it take? An Entrepreneurial Spirit and faith!

Sue’s business is as an energy behavior management consultant to commercial entities with a specialty in education. What does that mean? It means she works with people within a facility on changing habits and embracing a culture of conservation. Things like turning off lights, shutting down computers, keeping thermostats within a given temperature range, unplugging chargers and other items when not in use are all items Sue addresses with schools and corporations.

In addition, she works with facilities to recycle and identify ways to not use disposable items in the first place. “Do I need to print this letter or can I read it electronically?” “Do I need to use a plastic baggie or could I store leftover food in a permanent container?” Wow! Sue tells me that we are so programmed to waste. Her company works with staff and students to change these habits. Ultimately changing these habits impacts the bottom line and means money for the facility.

As an entrepreneur, Sue must grow her business. To do that she needs to create amazing results to demonstrate her energy behavior model really works. Thus, reputation (documented by significant results), word of mouth and speaking engagements are the best ways for her to grow her business. After creating amazing results with her first client, Sue published a book about it and has been asked to speak and educate others on how to duplicate what she created at Washington Elementary School District (WESD). This first client has created over $4,000,000 in avoided electric energy costs through her program and dollars saved speak loudly! Now Energy Star (EPA) and other national entities ask her to do their national training webinars.

So why does she do what she does?

“If I want to be totally honest, I work for money. If I did not need money I would be traveling around the world right now! Setting money aside, I love what I do. I can help struggling school districts save money which in turn means saving teachers jobs in an economic time when money is tight. As a CPA I have this sick passion for helping organizations squeeze savings out of operations. I do not know where this passion came from. However, I get tremendous satisfaction from implementing my programs and monitoring the bottom line.”

Ahhh…passion. Now we see the Entrepreneurial Spirit emerge.

Sue says her passion is purpose. She wants to be on purpose. “Have you ever read Wayne Dyer’s books? He insists that we all were brought into the world to do something that we were chosen into before we were born. What an interesting thought. Before I was born, I was having a conversation with God and he was asking me what I wanted to do on earth. I told him I wanted to help society by working with organizations to help them save money and be more efficient. I went on to say that I was especially sensitive to struggling school districts. If I could save them money, more teachers could work with our children. We are inspired to play a role in this world. This is my destiny and in the end, I want to make a difference.”

Wow. That’s passion.

Sue goes on to tell me she has thought about passion and what it means. Looking up the official definition, this is what she found. Definition of passion: 1) any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate. 2) strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor. 3) strong sexual desire; lust.

For Sue she knows her love language is service to others. This passion evolves from a desire within to serve others. She loves to serve others by creating amazing results. She loves to accept the risk of attempting what others have not attempted. She loves to be able to quantify those results. Successes are very satisfying for Sue…thus her passion.

When asked what drives Sue, she tells me…right now, money is a huge motivator. “I am fortunate to be physically healthy and to have high energy. I get bored easily and am always looking for new challenges and mountains to climb. I thrive on achievement and results. I am a bit competitive and likely to take on a dare if it serves me or my purpose. Let me give you an example. In Phoenix, Arizona the utility companies insisted that geothermal technologies would not work because of the hot temperatures. Whereas through the United States, geothermal heating and cooling systems were becoming more and more commonplace, Arizona thought they would not work. As a transplant from the Mid-West who had built a geothermal home and several geothermal schools, I challenged the utility companies in Arizona. I worked with a team of people from Texas to install a geothermal pilot project at Desert View Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ. The system went live in January, 2011. And guess what. It is working. The governor’s office and the entire state of Arizona are monitoring the results. I am streaming data from our sub-metering system and geothermal is creating a 50% reduction in electric use in our school to date. These opportunities drive me.”

Does risk come into play or are you afraid of risk? Sue has always taken on risks in the work place. And she tells me she always will. “Sometimes it takes someone with a big vision and belief to make it happen. I know that if I believe when others do not and keep taking a step forward, miracles can happen. Let me tell you a story. I approached the superintendent of the Washington Elementary School District in spring of 2008 and asked her if I could design and implement an energy behavior management program. I told her I thought we could save 10% in our electric usage budget. She gave me the green light. I went to the school board with an energy policy and the same goal of saving 10% in electric use. They approved the policy and goal but told me they thought it could not be done. Twelve months later the district had reduced energy usage by 15%. And now in year three, the district has reduced energy usage by 31%. This has been an avoided electric energy cost of over $4,000,000. How did this happen? It happened because I had a big vision and was willing to risk failing to find out if we could do it.”
So did she take a risk when she started her business? Yes…but. She tried to minimize risks when first starting. She had been approached by many potential clients to do work for them in her “off” time. When the requests became significant enough, she quit her job and launched her own business. “I figure at the time I had enough work to support myself for 6 months.”

Would she do anything different if she could? She tells me she made mistakes. The biggest one was trying to do everything herself. That is a cautious strategy, according to Sue. “If I had taken the risk to hire staff to do the minutia (small stuff) and focused on marketing and visioning with my time, I could be a much wealthier person right now. However, I was penny wise and pound foolish.”

Is Sue successful?

She tells me success is happiness, peace, joy, quality relationships, personal growth, faith in a God who is so great and powerful, a loving family who really enjoys spending time together. She also says money is important but her definition of success is essential to a life of fulfillment and purpose. “In a world where we see so many people who are relationship poor, I am blessed with a great loving spouse who I have been married to for 37 years, a devoted family who I spend lots of time with, friends, work and purpose. These are the non-negotiable parts in life. I can lose money and find money. However, those who have not invested in loving healthy relationships over the course of time, end up very lonely and desperate.”

Sue also sees herself as an expert in various areas. That expertise comes from her experience and a bit of trial and error over the years. “For example, I am an expert in raising boys. As the mother of four very different and unique boys, I acquired a lot of expertise. I am an expert T-ball coach. I became an expert soccer cheer leader and car pool driver. I learned how to become an expert advocate for boys in trouble with teachers. I am an expert volunteer at church and school. I am an expert weight loss coach. I am even a bit of an expert in supporting schools in developing energy behavior management programs.”

To me…that equates to success.

Does she have any advice for those just starting out in business? She would like to tell people to take something you love, think about it every day for at least an hour, and create an idea for a business. You will never regret it.

When asked if she sees herself as having Entrepreneurial Spirit, Sue soundly says “Yes…perhaps out of necessity. I realized early on that I was a mis-fit! I really did not fit into the corporate mold. It was easier for me to take my own ideas and create my own companies. And it has worked ever since.”

What do you think? Does she have that Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Definitely…I could hear it in her voice.

If you want to learn more about Sue and her business please check out

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Andretta Greer

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Andretta Greer

By now we know Entrepreneurial Spirits come from all walks of life. Some even know they were born to be an entrepreneur.

Take Andretta Greer, an author. She tells me her business is being an author and an entrepreneur. How’s that for knowing what you are?

When asked, Andretta says someone with an Entrepreneurial Spirit is an individual, one who can identify a need and provide the best services possible. This person has knowledge, is consistent and honest and continuously strives toward perfection.

As an author Andretta knows she needs to keep people informed about her newest book, always staying in front of the market. How does she do this? “My business grows when I use a variety of marketing and advertising strategies. The first way is good old fashion word of mouth. In addition I use all forms of Social Media, attend and participate in workshops, arrange for book signings, and talk to book clubs. Plus, one of the most effective tools thus far has been Internet marketing.”

Her love of life is contagious. But why does she write books? “I do what I do simply for the love of it, I love every minute of it and I’m blessed beyond words. My passion is writing and reading. Maybe more importantly, my greatest passion is learning. I love the fact that if we are conscious of it we are learning something all the time. I love that fact. I love helping others discover that in themselves.”

It’s easy to see why she loves life and writing…they both fit into her passion. She goes on to say “my passion is best defined by my loyalty and dedication to my work. I love writing and educating others in the genre of self help and personal development…learning as much as I can along the way.”

Andretta strongly believes she is driven by faith. Faith offers her a purpose and a calling to do a job…and that job is to be of service to others.

Is she afraid of risk or is it part of the whole? She tells me she is not afraid of risk. However, she chooses her “risks” wisely. “I’m usually pretty well connected to my instincts.” But did she take risks to start her business? “Of course. Several, in fact.”

“The biggest risk was actually stepping away from my original plan to write in the genre of contemporary fiction and drama. I followed my heart and began writing in self-help and personal development. The risk was personal. I wasn’t too sure how those that knew me would accept that type of writing from me. Turned out better than I could’ve ever imagined.”

So would Andretta do things differently if she had it do over? “Probably. In fact, I’d reach out to my resources sooner, preventing a lot of unnecessary spending and headache. And I wouldn’t attempt to cut costs at all expense.

And now does she feel she is successful? “Success means what you make of it. Success to me is when you can look back and feel great about your work and lives you’ve changed and people you’ve served…all on a continuous basis. I believe we should always stay in the moment of it, success that is.” Having defined success, Andretta does feel she is continually achieving success. She will always be in that moment of achieving success.

Andretta also believes she is an expert…one that is always striving to perfect her craft which fuels her expertise even more. And she carries that thought with her as she gives advice to those who want to start a career as an entrepreneur. “I’d say first and foremost don’t ever sleep on your talent, SET GOALS, practice patience (you’re going to need it), recognize your resources and opportunities and by all means use them. Everybody needs somebody. Research and do more research, and always stay humble…”

“My Entrepreneurial Spirit keeps driving me and driving me…I love it.”

I didn’t even have to ask if she sees herself as having Entrepreneurial Spirit…she already told me.

Learn more about Andretta Greer and her books at

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series: Angel Tuccy, Experience Pros Radio Show

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series

Angel Tuccy, Experience Pros Radio Show

Speaking with Angel Tuccy, host of the Experience Pros Radio Show in Denver, Colorado, mother of three teenagers, and best-selling author provides me with yet another entrepreneur. Does Angel see herself as an entrepreneur? Better yet…does she have that Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Angel tells me she believes entrepreneurs have a unique passion and drive that can’t be contained in a 9-5 job. They pursue creativity, vision and challenges, and they’re willing to work for it. They work really hard for it.

She should know. She’s the host of a positive business talk radio show. “Being positive means that we offer something very unique on the dial. I am also an author.” Not just any author, mind you. Angel has several books published and probably working on more.

So how does she keep herself focused and get her business to grow? She focuses on building relationships, networking and asking others “How can I help you grow your business.” “I find that when I help others, I manage to help myself.”

She loves what she does. Some days, she says she has so much fun and gets to meet so many wonderful people that she can’t believe she gets paid for it. “Even though it’s long hours and hard work, it’s so rewarding to connect with people and help them make a difference in their own lives.”

Oh yeah she has a passion, too. “I want to encourage people. We have been gifted with abundant resources and talents. Sometimes, we just need someone to believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. And I define my passion through my actions. You can see it. You can feel it.”

Driven by her connections with other people is how she strives for excellence. But it’s not without risk. She is afraid of risk on one hand. But more than that, she is afraid of regret. “If I don’t try it, I will regret it.” After all she did take plenty of risks to start her business.

“In the beginning, there was no income and I didn’t have any public speaking experience. All I had was faith that I had something to offer. There were challenges that I discovered the hard way. One of our first rejections taught me to listen more and talk less. Another rejection taught me to that I had to identify my target market. Some of the lessons were tough to swallow, but necessary to help me develop and grow. Also, I wouldn’t have thrown my husband into the fountain at one of my speaking events.”

Does Angel view herself as successful? According to her, success is defined by creating the lifestyle she loves. “We work to create a better quality of life for me and my family. I love to work. I love to be with my family. Success is getting to do both every single day.”

That success keeps coming. “My career has hit several “success” milestones. We’ve interviewed celebrities. We’ve been invited to be keynote speakers. Our radio show is syndicating into the national market. I think we are just beginning to see the success of the last three years of effort.”

Angel understands how profit fits into a successful business, as well. She reminds others not to short change yourself and your business. She’s not motivated by profit but is smart about generating revenue at the same time. “After all, my contact list doesn’t pay the bills.”

What does it take and how do you get there? Angel says she has had to become an expert in customer service, networking, marketing, and life balance by surrounding herself in these topics and experiences.

And her advice for entrepreneurs or those just starting out in business…”Don’t give up. Surround yourself with big thinkers and dreamers who believe in you. Pay yourself first.”

Great advice, if you ask me.

When asked if she sees herself as having the Entrepreneurial Spirit…her answer of “Absolutely” comes through loud and clear.

I know what I think…I agree with her.

Find out more about Angel Tuccy at or

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Series of Articles Starts Today: The Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Series


What exactly is the Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Does it mean going out and starting your own business? Or is it more like owning your own career path? Maybe it’s being responsible for your professional development. Does it require money…scads and scads of money? Who can have that spirit? Where do you get it or are you born with it? Maybe it can be developed. Or does it choose you?

At any rate, it’s a term we are hearing more and more. History tells us the word “entrepreneur” is of French origin. If interpreted literally it means “between jobs”. Do you suppose that meant “unemployed” back when it was first coined? Interesting…

Entrepreneurs don’t think of themselves as unemployed. Many work harder than if they had an 8 to 5 job. Do all entrepreneurs have the Entrepreneurial Spirit though?

Research has shown me that entrepreneurs, ones with the true spirit of it, love what they do. They have a real passion for their work. And that’s the secret to their success. Passion. Entrepreneurs have fun at what they do. That takes passion. Think of Richard Branson, founder of the “Virgin” mega brand. His passion extends from business into his personal life. So, once again…are you born with it or not?

People with that Entrepreneurial Spirit seem to be curious all the time. It’s easy for them to observe what’s happening, where the world is moving, where the opportunities exist, what the potential is for their ideas and how they can capitalize on that market niche. Maybe it’s an idea no one has thought of yet. Or maybe it’s a way to do something in a better way. How many times have you said something could work better if done differently? Did you do anything about it or just muse to yourself?

How do you view challenges? Do you think positively and view obstacles or challenges as just another opportunity for growth? When things change, do you see that as new possibilities? Adapting to whatever is thrown in your path is just one more trait entrepreneurs possess.

Is taking a risk an impossible issue for you or are you willing to put yourself out there? I’m not talking about being reckless or a day dreamer. But can you risk trying something and failing? Or can you persevere when others may think you are a little crazy for trying something new? Do you have a vision, one that creates some value? Or do you think you should stay at your day job…because it’s safer?

As this series develops I will interview entrepreneurs, searching for those with the “Entrepreneurial Spirit”.

They may be social entrepreneurs…those who are motivated by a desire to help, improve and transform social, environmental, educational, and economic conditions. Those people do not accept the world as it is. Or maybe I’ll find serial entrepreneurs…ones who continuously come up with new ideas and start one new business after another. Or possibly I’ll find lifestyle entrepreneurs…those who place passion before profit when they launch a new business. Typically they combine personal interests and talent with the ability to earn a living.

What am I looking for? What do they have in common?

Not sure…stay tuned.

This series of articles was commissioned by Upward Trend and written by Wendy VanHatten, a nationally published author, editor, and writing coach.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nicole Arabia & Jodi McGuire Announced As Membership Directors For the Dixon Chamber of Commerce

"The Dixon Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Nicole Arabia and Jodi McGuire of the Queen of Marketing will be the Chamber's new Membership Directors.

Nicole and Jodi bring with them a wealth of knowledge on not only building the Chamber's membership, but ways to help existing members market and network their business.

We look forward to working with them as the Dixon Chamber continues to grow."

(Excerpt from the Dixon Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Weekly July 12 - July 19, 2011.)

For more about the Dixon Chamber of Commerce, go to

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Repurchase After A Short Sale - Solano Mortgage


We at Solano Mortgage feel strongly that good people that have had to do a short sale should be able to repurchase a house. The key question that everyone is asking is:: How long do I have to wait ??? We have the answers.

We have a program that will allow you to repurchase immediately following a shortsale as long as your credit rating is excellent and your income is sufficient. We also can help you get prepared to purchase as soon as your waiting period passes if you have some derogatory credit and your income is sufficient.

Start the process NOW! Get your credit scores in order NOW. To find out all of the facts and get started on your strategy for either repurchasing or doing a shortsale today call our 30 year veteran branch manager JIM PORTER at 707-449-4777 or email REALTORS are also welcome to call with questions.

Solano Mortgage is a 21 person net branch of First Priority Financial which is a direct mortgage banker and one of the largest mortgage brokers in the United States . We have a great reputation and can effectively do loans in all of Northern California .

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What A Deal: Moss Rock Basket

Dixon Landscape Materials is having a sale on their 8" to 12" Moss Rock selection. For the sale, it is limited to a full basket as shown in the photo on a palet. This is a very effective way to buy them and use them around your garden, building a stone wall and other decorative uses. For a limited time, each Moss Rock basket is only $175 plus tax. That's approximately 3,000 lbs of head size moss rock for the bargain price of only $175. Please mention this post in order to get the price.

By the way. . . they deliver! Call us at 707-678-8200.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Secret Weapon of Great Leaders

Melba Duncan, author of the HBR article "The Case for Executive Assistants," explains why technology can't replace personal support

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wise Leadership

Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, authors of the HBR article "The Wise Leader," explain how the best executives strive for the common good.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days

Is there something you've always meant to do, wanted to do, but just ... haven't? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Special Auto Business Recommendation: Bill Cross

I've personally known Bill Cross who has been with Vacaville Buick-GMC for many years. I met Bill in 1982 as I recall and in 1983 I became a sales manager at the then Woodard Chevrolet in Fairfield where Bill was a long time employee. I had the pleasure of working with Bill until I left the auto business in 1997 and sometime later he moved to Vacaville Buick-GMC in Vacaville.

Having been in the auto business for over 30 years, I realize that it is sometimes difficult for people to feel like they trust their "car salesman." There's a lot of reasons for that lack of trust in many dealerships, but I know this for a fact: you can trust Bill Cross. Bill will take the best care of your needs and will help you patiently to find the perfect vehicle for you.

So, if you have need of a new Buick, GMC or fine used car or truck, give Bill Cross an opportunity and I think you will find perfect agreement with me that you've found your last car salesperson. Call Bill at 866-593-1568. Vacaville Buick-GMC is located at 350 Orange Ave in Vacaville CA.

-- Terry Minion, Upward Trend

Monday, July 4, 2011

Words From History: Declaration of Independence

A look at this historical U.S. document. A Suzanne Williams Photography presentation.

Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Platinum Services Event Rentals Candy Buffet

Charles LaFleur of Platinum Services Event Rentals shows us their fun and delicious Candy Buffet. This one is in a summer beach theme, but they can do this as formal or as off the wall as you might like. Sure is better than some of those boring buffet's!

Platinum Services Event Rentals is in Vacaville CA at 637 Merchant Ave and you can reach them at 707-365-7981. Their website is

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Your Ideal Client by Wendy VanHatten of VanHatten Writing Services

Recently I read a post by Antoinette Skyes, about defining your ideal client. This made me think about my business.

As a freelance writer and editor I started out by taking anyone and everyone on as a client. In hindsight, was that smart? You could argue it either way. I needed business. I needed clients. I thought I could help them somehow. Did they all work out for me? Nope. Were some better than others? Yes they were.

Thinking back, I did have ideal clients. I just didn't define them as such. And I have moved to accepting those types of clients over the years. What about the rest? They usually do not make the cut. How did I get there? And how can you get there?

It doesn't just have to be writing or editing related. You have ideal clients in any business. If you are a business owner, it's important for you to know your ideal client. Everyone wins.

When I find clients I love to work with, everything runs better and smoother. I do better work. The give and take between my work and what the client expects is seamless. Issues are not really issues. Those clients end up being pleased with my work and in turn refer me to similar clients. My business grows as a result.

And this doesn't just have to be for new business owners. After having been in business for several years, I still review my clients. Actually I have removed clients from my list. In turn this is good for my business. I end up with more ideal clients, my work is more productive, and I can move my business forward.

Think about your business and your ideal clients. Are you serving them to the best of your ability? Are you working too hard and getting nowhere? Can you put your finger on those clients you love to work with? Do you have clients you dread or are frustrated with on a daily basis?

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate your clients.

Note by Terry Minion, Upward Trend: Wendy VanHatten is a writer, published author, editor, writer helper. She can be reached at 707-685-9478 and her website is Wendy's writing services has been a great help to me with a book I'm writing as well as articles, assistance with company manuals, and more. Wendy is wonderful to work with, worth far more than she charges, and I think would be a great asset for anyone looking for a bit of writing help to a full-on editor or ghost writer. All of us at Upward Trend highly recommend Wendy and VanHatten Writing Services.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Vacaville Buick-GMC As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Upward Trend is pleased to announce that Eleanor Felsbaum, dealer principal of Vacaville Buick-GMC has become our latest Trend Setter Package client. We have already begun building their blog, social media and much more. Vacaville Buick-GMC's blog is in process at You can see the social media from there. The dealership website will remain as is with some added links. Their website is The dealership is located at 350 Orange Drive in Vacaville, CA.

You will be seeing much more about Vacaville Buick-GMC in the coming weeks.