Online Virtual Conferences — Learn and Network from Home

We are big believers in continuing education and attending professional conferences. It is  always good to get more training whenever available. Conferences offer opportunities to increase knowledge and expand your network of peers and potential customers. Conferences don’t have to mean travel—some of the best are available to you from the comfort of your own home. The following are two we highly recommend.

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Competition vs. Collaboration

How do you feel when you meet someone who offers the same services you do? Are you excited to meet a peer, or do you view them as a competitor that you must beware of? Most people will feel either threatened or excited or possibly somewhere in between. Where you come down on this spectrum can be very telling about your general philosophy of business and life.

If you believe that there isn’t enough business to go around you will view other people who offer similar services as competitors. Every client they land is one that isn’t on your roster. You avoid sharing any information that might give a competitor ways to improve their offerings or make their work life easier. You hold your knowledge and your resources close to the vest.

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What’s Your Style?

If you are writing a book, it is always a good idea to keep a running list of terms you use in a way that may be outside the dictionary norm.

If you are writing fiction you can keep a running list of the way you spell names of people, towns, streets, etc. That way you will always spell them the same way and maintain consistency. That becomes especially important if you are writing about a fictional world. (Can you imagine J.K. Rowling trying to keep track of all the details of Hogwarts as she was writing Harry Potter if she hadn’t kept notes?)

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In the Spotlight: Jennifer Holstad

Over the next few weeks we are going to be featuring some of the people who have completed the Professional Author and Speaker Training and Certification Programs.

This week we’re shining the InstructionSmith spotlight on Jennifer Holstad.

Jennifer has been married for 28-1/2 years, has a 23-year-old son, and a Golden Retriever named Autumn. She is an elementary school spelling bee champion and loves doing jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, spending time with family and friends, playing board games, watching movies, reading, and watching stock car races.

Jennifer has been in business for 22 years and has been blessed to have such wonderful clients (authors, speakers, and business owners).

Jennifer is a graduate of both the Professional Author Assistant and Speaker Assistant courses, completing PAA in August 2010 and PSA in April 2013. Before taking these courses, she had already been in business for 15+ years and had already done some work with authors and speakers. She also has an AA degree in Computer Information Systems.

We asked her what interested her most about the courses. She shared with us that she knew there was more to be learned about helping authors and speakers. She was also attracted to the flexibility of being able to work through the material and complete the courses at her own pace and in a timeframe that best fit her schedule. What appeals to her still today is having lifetime access to the material and resources as well as support if she ever has any questions.

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In the Spotlight: Colleen Wietmarschen

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be featuring some of the people who have completed the Professional Author and Speaker Training and Certification Programs.

This week we’re shining the InstructionSmith spotlight on Colleen Wietmarschen.

Colleen was the first recipient of the Jan B. King Memorial Scholarship in 2015. The 2017 Scholarship is currently open for application. We have provided more information about the scholarship award program below.

Colleen is married to Steve, her husband of 33 years and has one son, Peter. Peter is the light of her life and now a partner in her business. She enjoys walking and doing Hydrofit water aerobics. In May she walked her second half marathon and completed a sprint triathlon when she turned 50.

Before starting her own business, 21 years ago, Colleen worked for attorneys where attention to detail was a necessity. She lists editing and proofreading among her passions, which came in handy when she owned a medical transcription company.

After being awarded the Jan B. King Memorial Scholarship, Colleen completed the Professional Author Assistant Course in October 2015.

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