Tag Archives: Jackie Dishner

The Blogathon Ends

Today marks the end of our blogathon. I have enjoyed getting to know my fellow National Speaker Association members better through their writing. It’s a fabulous way to help members of a professional association connect and support each other.

I have learned more about blogging from my buddies’ examples and through tips from our fearless leader Jackie Dishner. Because of our increased focus on blogging and connecting, it became natural to ask any blogger for ideas (thanks Paula Shoup for telling me about great pictures at flickr.com using advanced search selecting the “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” option).

Best of all, we have developed a more regular writing habit which will really help as we shift to writing more on our book on collaboration.

Several of our participants had major life events that got in the way of their participation and Jackie has said she will coordinate another event in a few months. I will definitely do this again!

Thanks Jackie and all of our blogathon buddies!


Compete or Collaborate?

I often suggest that entrepreneurs, coaches, writers and other “free agents” find ways to work together. It enables them to take advantage of the power of collaboration, reduces the loneliness of working solo, is more fun and frequently provides greater opportunities than one would have alone. It has certainly worked that way for me on many occasions.

Our fearless blogathon leader, Jackie Dishner, is once again setting a great example – she’s off collaborating today and tomorrow with two other writers!

FRIDAY/SATURDAY, JAN. 22-23. The Authors & Adventurers (Christine Bailey, Teresa Bitler and Jackie Dishner) will be in Sedona at Sedona Rouge, presenting a travel talk and signing books. Come help us celebrate the new year, while we offer you some new travel ideas. Details here http://tinyurl.com/yjo2xtb

I asked Jackie a few questions and included my thoughts (in italics) on lessons we can learn from her.

Debbie: Some people might think it odd for an author with a brand new book on travel in Arizona to seek out two other authors of Arizona travel books. Aren’t they competitors?

Jackie:  We don’t see ourselves as competitors. Each of our books has a different focus. We think they complement each other. And that makes the collaborative approach work so well. Because we each have different personalities, interests and skills, we work well together. We manage to break up the duties fairly easily. Who can do this? Or, who can do that? It just seems to work.

The power of collaboration is in bringing our different skill sets and perspectives to the task at hand.

Jackie: Now we’re even getting some press. The Arizona Republic is going to do a story on our team. That’s very cool. Watch for a story about us in the newspaper in early February.

Combining forces can lead to bigger opportunities.

Debbie: How did you meet each other?

Jackie:  We are all published by a small publishing house called Countryman Press, a subsidiary of W.W. Norton. I met one of the authors (Teresa Bitler) several years ago, when she was researching her book. I was thinking of starting a writers’ group, and she was interested in joining. It didn’t pan out, as I just got too busy.

Don’t give up if your first idea doesn’t fly.

Jackie: But then I met the other author (Christine Bailey) at a book fair in Scottsdale. They were both, at the time, working together to promote their books. But they didn’t know quite how to do it. Publishers do not offer much help on this end, I’m afraid. So they just showed up at a few signings together. They didn’t even have a blog then.

I bought their books at this festival and took their business cards. Soon after, I wrote about them on my travel blog The Phoenix Traveler. At the time, I was writing about things to do in Phoenix and statewide for b5media.com.

Keep in touch and  look for ways to connect.

A year later, after my book was released, our acquisitions editor suggested that the three of us could work together.

Be open to suggestions.

The first thing I wanted to do was a signing at the downtown Phoenix Visitor Center, so I walked in and asked how that was possible. I was referred to the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitor Bureau, made an appointment, invited the other two authors to join me, and after that, things just started happening.

Ask for what you want.

We joined the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau as the Arizona Authors & Adventurers.

Joining together can provide economical access to opportunities.

We had our signing at the downtown Phoenix Visitor Center. We had the next signing at Press, a coffee shop at CityNorth, and now the Sedona event. That happened because I answered a request for help on LinkedIn.

Be open to and look for opportunities everywhere.

With each event we do, we are finding out more and more ways we can work together to help promote Arizona and our books. We even managed to get a job writing an iPhone travel application together. And now we have a blog together.

We don’t want to just sign books. We want to do Travel Talks, like what we’re doing in Sedona. That’s our goal—to help people learn what’s out there and what they might be missing.

You may be able to create services that didn’t even exist before!

One thing I’d add about our group is this: it happened because all three of us were willing to say yes. None of us knew each other that well. So we had to have some trust in the process to turn it into action. We do think about what’s next, or what could be next and we discuss it. When an opportunity comes before us that looks like it might work best if we did it together, that’s when we call the others up and ask, “Do you want to do this?” And we also do our own things (speaking, writing, etc.).

You don’t have to collaborate on everything – or collaborate with the same people all the time.

We’re finding success together–and it sure makes the process more fun.

Collaboration can be fun and effective!

Debbie: Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your story and inspiring us all to find great ways to collaborate.

The Sedona event is sold out! We can watch for future events for Jackie Dishner at her blog http://www.bikewithjackie.blogspot.com/ and for events with the Arizona Authors & Adventurers at their brand new blog http://arizonatravelandadventure.com/


Collaborators Jackie Dishner, Christine Bailey, and Teresa Bitler

Overwhelmed with information? Collaboration is a solution!

At a December ICF conference in Orlando,  I noticed a number of attendees wearing buttons that designated them as “Conference Twitterers”.   One woman who sat next to me in one  session typed fast enough to post most of the key messages the presenter offered during the 90 minute program.  I was incredulous.  Who was really going to be reading these tweets?  If there were tweets being written in each of the scores of sessions, who would really have the time to plug into their messages? I am trying to find a way to be stay current with all of this social media but I keep coming up against a sense of overwhelm when even thinking about it.  What do I take the time to read?  How do I know which entries will be of use?  How do I get myself organized so that I’m not getting lost in the volume of possibilities?

In his article,   Why Twitter Will Endure, New York Times writer David Carr suggests we consider Twitter as a river of data flowing past us and that we can dip a cup into it now and again for a drink.  Sampling the river can be enough.  The trick is to build a sample where you can start drinking.  I’m discovering that collaboration can be a way to create this sample.  The NSA blogathon which Jackie Dishner has initiated gives a place to start.  Sometimes having a clear idea of where to start and others as companions for the experience are all we need to jump into a new territory.  Already I’m feeling less overwhelmed.