As many of you know by now, last week we hosted Governor Rick Scott here at our Ropella Group headquarters to much acclaim. If you were able to make it, thank you for being with us. It was so nice catching up with business professionals in the Greater Pensacola Area and truly an energizing and spectacular event.
Why does the Ropella Group support Governor Rick Scott? When he reduces our tax burden, provides an environment where there's less regulation and greater incentive to take more risk - entrepreneurs will take more risk and will hire more people. It’s called the Free Enterprise System. In the right economic climate, people like Robbie and I…when confident that things will stay positive and continue to improve... are much more inclined to hire people - thereby creating more jobs that the Governor can then count on his watch/term as jobs he's helped create.
If you would like to see a recap of his visit (and my close-up on the news!), click here.
Again, thanks for being in attendance. So, LET’S KEEP WORKING, and 4 MORE YEARS--for business success overall in this great state of Florida.
Traditions are an important aspect to families, groups and society as a whole. At Ropella we feel that traditions bind us together as a team and make for wonderful memories. One of the all-time favorites is our annual trip to Big Kuhuna’s Water Park. Every August we plan a trip there to relax, soak up some rays, devour funnel cakes and try our hand at the pipeline. (surfing).
This year was no exception but instead of letting everyone take off, we formed teams which consisted of individuals who seldom work together on a daily basis. All teams had two hours to tackle the big water slides, stay connected down the lazy river and attempt surfing on the Bonsai pipeline.
Glad to say everyone completed all the tasks and many overcame fears and created memories that will last a lifetime, never underestimate traditions. They are the threads that connect us to our past, present, and future.
Pat shares his thoughts…
As a business owner, I’m a bit of a conservative, maybe a little libertarian at times, and even an outright independent in other areas. But above all else, I’m a Christ follower. My faith defines me not only as a person, but even in my capacity as a professional, a business owner, and as a voter. Some may consider the recent Hobby Lobby case over the mandate to provide employer-paid birth control for employees to be a bit political. But it’s all connected. There are many Christian business owners who want to put God first in their businesses, even on seemingly political issues like birth control. I’m thankful that the Supreme Court recently sided with Hobby Lobby and allowed this business to continue to operate without having to violate the sacred ethical values that constitute the foundation of their business. I and many other Christian business leaders would rather close our doors than go against our biblical beliefs.
How about you – do you have a moral compass that isn’t subject to the whims of politicians and pop culture?
Pat and I have values shaped by our life experiences. I have been a single mom struggling to provide for her family. There was a period of three years that I had no health care coverage. Never did I expect a handout or free birth control. Sometimes I worked up to three jobs at the same time and put myself through college going to night school. The government did not pay my way; nobody bought my vote by giving me a free cell phone. I worked very hard to rise above my circumstances, and that’s how America was founded.
Robbie shares her thoughts…
Sometimes, we get so bogged down with the overload of work, trying to keep all the balls in the air, that we lose our zest and creativity. Pat and I recognize that we need to take time to recharge, so that we can operate at peak performance and also enjoy a proper work-life balance. Tapping into the right side of your brain by doing something new and creative is an excellent way to achieve this. Each year we try to immerse ourselves in some new hobby, and this year it was glass blowing.
While it was a blast (literally), it’s not the best idea to start glass blowing in the middle of summer, as it was a fun, but HOT experience!
Creating art is a passion of mine, because I don’t have to rely on anyone but me: I don’t have to chase others to join me and honestly don’t care if anyone else likes what I create. Lots of times, what I create even I don’t like… so I simply toss it in the trash (like throwing pots, blowing glass, or making a painting), and I move on. It’s hard to do that in the business world. Here’s hoping you, too, will take the time to explore “creating.” Hobbies are great for stress reduction, and if you’re anything like me, you need all the help in that area you can get!
RELATED: Read more about Ropella’s passion for art - “Another Side of Patrick Ropella”
Pat shares his thoughts…
Robbie and I have been working the conference and trade show circuit heavily this year, scheduling many meetings with existing and potential clients, keeping our finger closely on the pulse of the industries and people we serve. We always enjoy sitting down face to face during these meetings and talking about strategies and solutions – and many people tell us that we’re actually quite good at it. In fact, I’ve thought about it, and it does seem we make more meaningful connections and build stronger relationships with more people every year. And I think I know why.
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, has nearly 2 million Twitter fans, but he now says he hates the term, “social media.” Instead he’s shifted his focus from simply making connections to making meaningful collisions. Collisions are where you run into real, live people in the elevator, in the line at a store, in a restaurant, at the gas station, etc. – where you collide and actually talk to each other…and thereby find out how you can be of help to each other. What do you do/know, and/or what do they do/know? Where you can help each other succeed?
You would be amazed how many long-term relationships and connections we can make by simply saying hi to people wherever we are. To create a collision, simply ask, “What do you do?” Then really listen. When we work trade shows and conferences, we come back with 100s of business cards. It’s because Robbie and I are both machines at creating collisions. As we walk to a scheduled meeting or event (we leave early), along the way we might stop 10 to 15 people (between the two of us) in the elevator, in the hallway, on the way, and right outside the meeting room, etc. We simply reach out our hand and say, “Hello, I’m Pat - what’s your name?” And “What do you do? Cool - do you have a business card? Here’s mine.” This is greeting mode - and it works. You’d be surprised how many more people you can meet when you move from simply meeting mode to greeting mode.
This has application, not only in business, but in every other aspect of our lives, too. Don’t get so caught up in your glowing computer screen that you miss the glowing smile of a potential new friend or business prospect. Don’t get so lost in social media marketing that you forget how to have a meaningful conversation with a potential client you just collided with in an elevator.
For me, being in greeting mode is a way of life. My passion is meeting people and hearing their stories. It’s funny, because, if we run into someone that both Pat and I have met at a tradeshow previously, Pat will remember which company they work at and I will remember that they have twin girls that are two years old with curly red hair. That’s just the way I’m wired. So between Pat and I, we have a pretty clear snapshot of the individual as a whole.
People respond to those who are genuine and are fun to interface with. The fact that you see individuals as people and have taken time to remember their history makes an impact on them. Bottom line is: connecting with those around you is an excellent way to broaden your network and impact both yours and others’ lives in a positive manner. The Bell telephone company got it right when they came up with the slogan: “reach out and touch someone.”
Robbie shares her thoughts…
The New Year has arrived, and with it comes a busy season of attending tradeshows for both Pat and me. Since I am a very social individual, I look forward to attending all of the shows, dinners, and networking events. The struggle that I see everyone experiencing is how to stick to a new year’s resolution of eating healthy and being committed to exercise while maintaining such a demanding schedule.
Before I left for the ACI, Pat & I had started a low carb diet, and I had shed 8 pounds very quickly. The intent was to stay on this diet the whole week I was there, but, needless to say, my resolve lasted only 3 days. Instead of sticking to the menu, I opted for the buffet one morning for breakfast, and everything went downhill from there. Pat then pointed out that they had chocolate stuffed croissants that tasted almost as good as the ones we had in Paris…and that was my Achilles heel.
Since we got back from the ACI, once again, we are pressing forward and doing well in our eating habits - but I am not looking forward to the next tradeshow, which is just around the corner. So I am looking for creative ideas to keep me on the straight and narrow path of healthy eating. Share some of your ideas with us in the comments section below!
At our next trade show, I suggest we pre-order breakfast on up to our room. That way we will not be so tempted to eat those chocolate filled croissants. We can also share our meals for lunch and dinner, which will cut our calories in half. Besides, food portions at most restaurants are way oversized.
Hey, if anyone else has any dining-habit suggestions, I’m all ears! I can hear my stomach growling already.
Pat shares his thoughts…
Travel has become a royal pain with the endless delays and the missed flights. Time is money, and my time has been wasted quite a bit in the last 3 months, because of delays that I’ve experienced that are beyond my control.
To keep myself from becoming frustrated and thus unproductive, I’ve decided to be better prepared and actually count on unexpected delays. I’m now bringing along several projects that can be completed with my laptop along with backlogged reading material that I need to catch up on. This way, instead of experiencing frustration while sitting at the airport, I can start checking off unfinished projects and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Being delayed is one thing, but arriving in Europe for in-cosmetics without your luggage is quite another. I always bring along a change of clothes in my carry-on for such events, but never imagined with today’s technology that my luggage would be missing in action for four full days. This has taught me several lessons:
- Bring both casual outfits and a suit with at least 2 tops so that you can get by for at least two days of business.
- Make sure your toothbrush and contacts are in your travel bag.
- Pack plenty of underwear.
- Most importantly, use this unfortunate circumstance as an excellent excuse to go shopping in Paris!
Robbie shares her thoughts…
Spring is in the air… and it’s a time when our hope is renewed. I see flowers popping up out of the ground and green buds on trees beginning to form, and so I know Summer is just around the corner. It’s important that we feel that rejuvenation, not just in the nature all around us, but also in our careers and our families, too.
From a career perspective, for me, time management can be a challenge as there are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I need to. We recently had author Mark Woods come to Ropella who had written a book, “Attack Your Day!” Mark shared with us some very good time-management skills that, when applied, helped me to manage my super-busy schedule. While this may sound simplistic, it was just as refreshing as Spring: to know that both my day and time are being managed more wisely, and that I can take some time this weekend to smell the roses.
Ah, Time Management - my favorite business-management principle. We all have the same number of minutes, days per week, and months per year. So why do some seem to accomplish so much more than others? “Plan your day - then work your plan.” Sounds simple enough. “Focus on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.” These two simple axioms, combined with an excellent project/time-management software package like EverNote, BaseCamp, or my favorite - TeamWorkPM - allow me to get more work done in one day than most need a few days to complete…leaving me more time to go tend to Robbie’s rose bushes!
Pat shares his thoughts…
I love Spring. For me, Spring is a time to plan and get started on a new year of exciting opportunities. I think one of my favorite things about Spring is the opportunity to hit the tradeshows. We at Ropella maintain a huge network of professionals – especially through tradeshow attendance – so that we can best connect the right companies with the right talent. If you think about it, networking is a big part of our every-day lives. People are our greatest resource. They give us directions to the nearest shopping mall, teach us how to read, protect us, encourage us, care for us, befriend us, feed us, and bury us. No man is an island, and from the beginning of our lives to the end of them, we rely on people. We can’t live without them – we can’t even die without them.
One of our goals at Ropella is to network, network, network – grow connections and relationships. And what goes around comes around. Quite often, the talented sales rep we introduce to an ambitious organization may in turn become a successful team builder and hiring manager who will remember the good we did for his career and his new company next time he needs to fill a position. But networking with people goes beyond just business arrangements and tradeshow attendance. For example, while attending tradeshows like InformEx, ACI, and PCPC, Ropella recently took the opportunity to also contribute to and assist with charitable endeavors such as Cleaning for a Reason, Habitat for Humanity, Clean the World, and others. Helping others for the sake of helping others is part of networking – it’s part of being a decent human being. Remember, as Christ told us, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
This Spring, grow your network, grow your charitable involvement, and grow people. And if you need any help, that’s what we’re here for. Ropella grows great companies!
Tradeshows are an important part of our networking efforts, but more importantly for me it’s an excellent time to meet the individuals that I have had the pleasure of working with face to face. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting a candidate you have recently placed or a hiring manager you have recently assisted face to face and grabbing a cup of coffee to hear how well things are going.
The satisfaction of finishing a puzzle and inserting the very last piece is the same type of satisfaction that I glean from catching up with my clients and candidates to hear how happy they are and that things are going great.
Robbie shares her thoughts…
You can hardly turn on the news anymore without hearing individuals discussing the need to pass new gun laws to protect our children. It’s very stressful to hear of innocent children becoming a headline because of the actions of someone mentally unstable.
It is equally disturbing to find out that individuals who do bear arms are being stripped of our rights as citizens. Guns do not kill people, people kill people - whether it is by drunk driving, poison, knives, bombs, or by any other means. More individuals die from drunk driving and knives than guns, and you don’t hear of anyone seeking to ban alcohol or knives.
Knee-jerk reactions are never good, and the sensible thing to do is perhaps pass a law mandating people store their guns, as Pat and I do, in a safe that you can only access with a fingerprint. It wasn’t that expensive, and it insures that no one else would have access to our weapons.
How can a culture that annually invests billions in “death” be so shocked and amazed by the more and more egregious behavioral problems pervasive in our society?
We shouldn’t be shocked and amazed at violent outcomes like this when…
Abortion on demand is everywhere, and millions of babies are killed each year as the majority of our population simply turns its head and ignores the truth.
Video games that tout rape, murder and violence beyond extreme are bought by parents for their own children to play mindlessly for hours on end.
The great majority of movies and TV shows are about “law and order,” “criminal minds,” and murder, mayhem, and complete insanity.
Our big city streets are littered with homeless people - mentally, physically, and spiritually ill outcasts that we literally step over and ignore as charity after charity begs for finical help, but gets little.
Or local congressmen and senators are so busy wasting resources over national gun control laws and global problems like Benghazi instead of investing our hard-earned tax money on solving problems occurring in own back yards.