Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southern California Wildfires- Breathing Through It

Last Friday I picked up the local paper and read that areas near my home were to expect winds up to 85 miles per hour by Sunday. With a drought that seems to never end and impossibly dry hot weather, I knew this could be disastrous.
Early Sunday morning came the first one: Malibu. My cousin's daughter is at Pepperdine and the news showed the fire surrounding the campus.

Sunday evening, I talked with my friend Kristen and as we looked on the horizon, a huge black cloud came creeping towards us. We wondered where it came from. When I got home, Kristen called.

"Remember that black cloud we saw? Well, it's right behind my house. We're evacuating."

Four years ago we had terrible fires here in Southern California, with smoky air choking us and ash dusting our cars. It's going on again, although reports are that this year is even worse.

San Diego has been hit the hardest, and everyone I know in San Diego is out of their home. I don't know where they all are, I just hope they're safe. My friends who live in the rural canyons of Orange County, once home to mines and outlaws, are safely out of the area and staying with family and friends.

A woman evacuee, speaking from a makeshift living space in San Diego's QualCom stadium, spoke to the news. Her attitude was so upbeat, so focused on the positive she gave me chills. "I'm grateful that I have this place to go, and I know everything is going to work out."

Here she was, out of her home, staying in a football stadium, and she was focused on gratitude. She inspired me to count my blessings:

1. I'm in my home, not evacuated.

2. I have windows in my home that shut, keeping the smoky air out (sort of) from my house

3. I have a couple of little portable fans in my house that are circulating the soot in the air

4. Our humidifier works, and my child can sleep through the night without coughing

5. I have a car that runs in case I need to pack up and go

6. I backed up my computer and can easily grab my data should we ever need to get out.

7. If I can't get my computer stuff and my house burns, I trust that the Universe will take care of me. Between my webmaster, my bookkeeper, and my assistant, I'm sure we've got copies of the really important stuff.

8. My family is safe

9. Our water is drinkable

10. The winds have died down.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected on a larger level than us. I think of the people who the media doesn't always cover: the many Indian Reservations of San Diego County, asthma sufferers, and the infirm.
Here is a link to a listing of places where you can be a part of the gratitude and recover:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Keeping Up With the Locas

Dang, have I NOT been posting on this blog! I made a big decision to slow things down quite a bit last year when my mom was diagnosed with cancer (she's doing better now), then I rebranded and created Viva Visibility, husband got sick, traveled some... and found myself less inclined to blog about it all and post pics.

I put a lot of non-essentials off so I could focus on bigger items. Sometimes we have to make decisions like that to stay sane and I'm living proof. Time for self care may have turned out fewer blog posts recently, but my head and heart are happy. But here are some things I've been wanting to share for the longest time.

This summer I started my new Platinum VIP coaching programs. These are custom designed coaching packages that combine my services with the services of others such as marketing specialists and image consultants. Here I am with client Joanne Chen before she met with image consultant Flavia Manconi of Project Image. Joanne is a public speaking coach and also a specialist in the area of accent reduction. She's really a funny woman too, with a background in theater and improv. I love my clients so much!

Here you see Joanne and gorgeous Flavia getting ready to spend several hours doing Joanne's colors, editing her wardrobe, creating what Flavia calls "wardrobe capsules". It was an incredible day for both.

This picture is a little grainy (I took it with my new camera phone), but it's noteworthy because I was in the dj booth at a big LA radio station! Host and morning drive time anchor Josefa Salinas interviewed me on her Community Affairs show and the interview turned out really great! I had so many emails from people saying they were inspired. We had an entire hour together and she asked me questions no one has asked before in interviews (family, growing up, etc). That was a surprise and I think questions you aren't prepared to answer always come out with the most honesty.

This is me with artist Laura Lopez Cano, posing with the coolest little cell phone purse she painted. It perfectly matched my purse and had a hand painted image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Just can't get enough of my Lupita!) We were at the VIP reception for the Hispanic Women's Corporation conference in Phoenix. The temp outside was over 100 degrees F and it was evening. Gotta love Phoenix!

Same Phoenix conference, here I am with fellow presenter Marie Diaz, founder and CEO of Pursuit of Excellence HR. Marie and I met a year earlier when we both won the Anna Maria Arias Award. She is such an amazing woman, her life story brought me to tears. Talk about a woman who has overcome obstacles and came out ahead! We had a great presentation called "Beyond the Business Plan" where we shared our advice and tips on business.

Aliana Apodaca was another presenter at the Phoenix conference, and turns out to know both my old client Linda Bannan and colleague Suzanne Falter Barns. What a small world! Aliana and I trolled the Expo Hall and paid $1 to get glitter eyeliner applied. She was on her way to Vegas to meet her husband so it was perfect timing. I looked particularly glamourous flying back to Anaheim where my daughter got to enjoy Mommy looking marvy and sparkly.

My comadre and Chicana hybrid sistah Jamie Martinez Wood celebrated the launch of her new book, Latino Writers and Journalists with a fiesta at Martinez Books in Santa Ana, CA. The book launch party was a labor of love with help and support from comadres and members of the community. When I arrived I said, "Put me to work, I'm here to help!"

Jamie said, "See if Glenda needs help with the food", so I promptly went into the kitchen and emerged carrying platters of Cuban Sandwiches, Gazpacho, and Pan Dulce. Once a waitress, always a waitress! Glenda is the Executive Chef of Granville Cafe in LA and a longtime friend and comadre.

Also at Jamie's book launch, I got to reconnect with comadre Yasmin Davidds, who is now such superstar material it's unbelievable. Yasmin is the Hispanic spokesperson for L'Eggs hosiery, AOL Latino, Verizon, and a whole bunch of other companies. She is all about empowerment, you just feel braver and better after talking to her. She came with her daughter who is so cute and her sister Judy with kids.

Here we have writers Josefina Lopez (Real Women Have Curves), Mary Castillo, and award winning reporter Yvette Cabrera chillin on the couch. Josefina and Yvette were part of the panel of writers featured in the book.

You may think I have some sort of rock star social life, but mind you I work from home and am a fully devoted mom. On these occasions that they do let me off my tether, I really have to have fun and take lots of pics!I don't get out nearly as much as it looks like, but I do enjoy myself when I do.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Stand Out, Get Noticed, Get More Business with

Drumroll please!

I’m extremely happy to announce my newly launched website,

If you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, or business owner, then this new opportunity will show you how to increase your visibility and stand out from the crowd.

Over the years, I’ve had more and more clients ask me to coach them on increasing their visibility, positioning themselves as experts, and gaining more exposure for their businesses. We all know that expertise and visibility give us credibility, and credibility opens doors.

More importantly, it’s ESSENTIAL that you stand out from the pack and portray your credible expertise as unique, authentic, and genuinely yours. (I say you need to add sizzle to your visibility, what I call “Sizzibility”).

Visit right now and get started with my free audio course, 7 Quick and Simple Tips to Stand Out and Sizzle as a Sought After, Recognized Expert.

Discover how easy it can be to get increased visibility and how there is a perfect visibility plan for you.

Here’s the link again, I’d be so honored to have you stop by and check it out!

There is an audio player on the home page with a really cool message I made up- even has swingin’ background music! Don’t miss it, come on over and see for yourself.

Love and Success,

Nancy Marmolejo
The Entrepreneur’s Visibility Expert