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I can’t believe that I had two features roll out two days in a row. It’s quite humbling to have your story featured in the media. This is only the beginning of greatness and I am motivated even more when I am reminded about the great work I am doing.
Take a moment and read with me.
Courtney Daniel knows how to keep up in a fast-paced business world. In fact, she was once a personal assistant to the stars. “Little did I know, the years I spent thinking on my feet, finding creative solutions to problems and developing a knack for pleasing people would endow me with all the skills I’d need for success with my own creative business.”
The attention to detail she brought to client correspondence sparked her interest in developing custom stationery solutions for individuals, small businesses and corporations. She started her company in 2005.
C. Daniel Designs is a full-service project-management company specializing in custom stationery. To learn more about C. Daniel Designs, visit www.cdanieldesigns.com.
Daniel was named the sole 2016 American Small Business Champions representing New Hampshire. She traveled to Washington, D.C. for a day of small business training with SCORE and Sam’s Club, and received a gift card to purchase business supplies.
Daniel created the winning design for the Seacoast African American Cultural Center’s own pectoral postmark in 2015. She has also participated in business roundtable events with public officials including Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH).
How SCORE Helped
Daniel first met SCORE’s Seacoast chapter when she moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and wasn’t sure how to move her business to her new state. She attended local workshops and met with mentors Dan Walter and Liz LeSavoy once a month. “Doing so allowed me the time needed to complete my checklist from previous meetings.” If she had a question in between meetings, she could call on Walter and Savoy any time.
“My counselors have been instrumental sounding boards for the numerous ideas I have had as a creator,” Daniel says. “They’re just a phone call or email away and I love the convenience of having Dan and Liz available. They both allowed me to set the pace of how I wanted my business to grow — the ball was always in my court.”
After receiving the official email from my SCORE mentor saying “Your Client Is A Champion,” I wanted to scream; I was so excited, honored, and ready to take on the title. Yes, I hold the title of the 2016 American Small Business Champion. The time had come for me to fly to Washington, DC and receive my official crown (and yes, all champions should wear a crown!). The anticipation had been building, and soon the moment that I had been waiting for would be here.
I approached the day of the training with an open mind, certain I would learn a lot and leave with invaluable insight. It was quite an honor and pleasure to receive expert knowledge from SCORE President David Bobbitt and Chief Optimizer Giselle Chapman. It was an amazing experience in itself to be among so many like-minded business owners that also shared a passion for entrepreneurship.
I hope my takeaways can bring value and give you something to think about the next time.
1 – REST TO BE YOUR BEST – Your presenters are experts. They want to share tips with you that can take your business to the next level, so soak it up! Take advantage of this opportunity. You do not get the chance to hear from the SCORE president, sharing his keys to success, just any day. Consider this a once in a lifetime opportunity, so be awake and ready to go.
2 – BE PRESENT, IT’S YOUR MOMENT – Put away everything that could be a distraction to you. Put your phone on vibrate. Let your family members know you are attending this event, and they should not call unless there is an emergency. Take a notebook to jot down key points instead of a laptop. Laptops can take up too much space at the table, and you want to be considerate of others around you. Try to avoid side conversations. Although very tempting, they can take you out of the moment when the presenter is speaking. You may miss the very answer to your question that could make a huge difference in your business.
3 – ENGAGE WITH THE SPEAKER – This is your moment to ask those burning questions you have. Seek clarification; the last thing you want to do is walk away wishing you had asked. If you are not comfortable asking questions in front of a large crowd, find someone at your table to ask the question for you.
4 – BREAK TO MEET NEW PEOPLE – If you haven’t had the time to introduce yourself to other champions, take break time to do so. Work the room! If you are an introvert, use this time to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re an extrovert, you already know what to do. You never know, making a new friend and gaining a connection could be a lifesaver down the road. It’s all about building relationships.
5 – SEND A NOTE OF GRATITUDE – There is guaranteed value in attending the training (trust me, I know), but now is the time to let your speaker know. Write a meaningful note, taking the time to reflect on what was presented and what you learned from your speaker. This act alone will make you look like a rockstar!
Hopefully what I learned from my experience at the Regional Training and Networking Symposium left you with something to consider during your next business training and networking opportunities. Ultimately, being well-rested and prepared, mentally present, engaging, social, and thankful for your experience will help you get the most out of your training, both during the event and after.