Cancer, Happily Retired, NET Cancer, Running

Outrunning Cancer

NIK_0909-0035-10-2018. About twenty minutes ago, I just finished running two miles and I have this HUGE comeback grin that just won’t stop!  I have Neuroendocrine (NET) Cancer, and six months ago I had surgery to remove 25% of my liver, but I just proved I can run again!  My legs and lungs remember.  I found my cardio zone.  I even dug in and pushed up a short hill.  The fresh air in my lungs felt crisp and “sparkly” as I gulped it in and found my running stride.  I had a million happy thoughts during this twenty minute euphoric return to my speed of life, but my brain was mostly singing, “Yay, MEEEEE!” and “I really do feel healthy out here” and “I’ve still got my pace!”

A short introduction:  I am 61 years old. Running has been my speed of life since I was fourteen.  I ran cross-country in high school, and continued with two-to-three mile daily runs for more than four decades.  I’ve done group runs after work and on weekends.  I find my joy on breathtaking beach runs.  Over the years I’ve enjoyed fun runs like The Color Run, and the scenic four-mile run in San Diego over the Coronado Bridge.  My favorite races are the Carlsbad 5K, billed as “fast and flat,” where I once medaled in my age group, and the Seafair Parade 10K in Seattle, where you run along the parade route before the actual parade begins with people cheering you the whole way.

After ramping up my distance training in my 40’s, I completed the La Jolla Half Marathon two years in a row.  That was a big accomplishment!  I remember icing my knees with a cold beer stein after finishing!  In my 50’s I returned to running two-to-three mile distances for the cardio benefits, the endorphins, and to maintain my overall health.

For all my lifelong fitness, however, I haven’t been able to outrun cancer.  It first showed up in 2008, when a primary tumor was located in my small intestine. It was removed and my doctor identified it as NET Cancer.  For the next six years, my six-month scans were all NED (no evidence of disease).  In 2014, spots appeared for the first time in my liver, and I started receiving monthly shots of Sandostatin LAR (my miracle NET Cancer maintenance treatment) to keep me symptom-free as long as possible.  I call these shots my “Chemo-to-go.” With this simple shot every month, I have been able to keep working and enjoying life as before.

Last year in August, my NET Cancer specialist and his team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were continuing to observe a dozen NET tumors that had accumulated in my liver.  They had been growing slowly over the past three years and it was becoming painful when I breathed in, as my enlarged liver was pressing on my diaphragm.  At that time, I decided to retire from my full-time career in marketing communications. It wasn’t an easy decision but it was important to take time to prepare for major surgery ahead.  My oncologist said by successfully removing all the tumors, my liver would regenerate and I would likely continue with a high quality of life going forward for several decades more.

NET Cancer cannot be cured.  It is a rare cancer, and it does recur over time.  Fortunately, with tumor management treatments available today,  progression can be slowed down and regular life can continue for many NET Cancer patients for many years.

I may never be able to outrun my NET Cancer, but I love my newest return to 20-30 minutes of leg-pumping, heart-racing, outdoor moving meditation, running forward to my future, just as before.

For anyone who is a cancer survivor, I encourage you to get outdoors every day.  Do whatever you can do… take a walk at the beach or to the park.  Visit the public gardens in your area and enjoy the flowers in bloom.  If you live near water, go for a boat ride and feel the wind in your face.  Or find a comfy chair on your porch or in your backyard and close your eyes for a few minutes of sunshine.  Strive to be an outdoors person in some way every day, if possible.  There are cancer fitness programs in many areas too, with walking friendship groups for those that are able.

For anyone who knows a cancer survivor, invite them to experience the great outdoors with you.  Camping, sailing, a stroll in your area’s  botanical garden, a picnic by a lake, lunch by the ocean, a day at the local zoo.  If you have active friends fighting cancer, ask if you can sponsor them with a small donation to any fund-raising activities they support.  This means so much!

As far as running, I feel like a perennial flower in the garden… Blooming again every year. It feels so good to be back!



Hire Me Tipping Point-1

Launching an active job search means highlighting professional skills I have which add value to prospective employers.

I have delivered original communication skills trainings like the career milestone featured in the short video below.  Here I am speaking with my peers at the Communication Directors Institute at the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference.
Topic: The Language of Remarkable Service

See more time with the mike on the Video tab above, or click here:

Find me on LinkedIn.
Thank you.


Job Search. Fueled by… (a little humor)

The video below kicks off my exhilarating job hunt adventure with a little humor, courtesy of Eight O’Clock Coffee.  Whether you are a colleague, business professional, hiring manager, employee, head hunter, friend, fan, or student, I am sure you will relate.

Today’s post officially acknowledges the time and effort spent this past year to achieve my Bachelor’s Degree (a B.S. in Business Administration, with a Marketing Concentration).   Just a few more days until my actual diploma arrives and a life-long education dream becomes reality!  Enjoy this video below.

Find me on LinkedIn
Thank you.

Branding, Business Development, Careers, Facebook, Networking, Real Estate, Realtor, Remarkable Service, social impressions

Networking at its Best: Use the “Power of Two”


The author (R) introducing herself to Tamara Suminski (L), the event chair at a fantastic CAR-YPN “Evolve” conference.

Whether you are a “natural networker” or a bit on the introverted side, if you are like me, whenever you attend a business or community event, two questions pop into your mind:

1. Who are the most important people to meet that night?
2. How do I “work the room” for networking success?

Sales and marketing have been my career my whole life, so I can offer a time-tested approach that works to everyone’s advantage with none of the obnoxiousness or helplessness we have all encountered!

Since we can’t possibly meet everyone in a large public gathering, I follow “The Power of Two” and it flows naturally whether the event is large or small, whether planned as a formal dinner setting, or just to mingle over cocktails or stroll trade show booths.

Here it is:  

The two most important people of the night are …
The person on your left, and the person on your right.

Here are some ways that will work to your advantage:

1. When standing in line to enter an event, introduce yourself to the person on your left, and then introduce that person to the person on your right.  You’ll find common ground more quickly, I promise!

2. When standing in line at the bar, introduce yourself to the person on your left, and then introduce that person to the person on your right.  Chatting your way to the front of the line is easy.  Just ask what everyone’s favorite drink is, and you’re on your way!

3. When seated at a dinner table of eight or ten, spend the meal getting to know the person on your left and the person on your right. You will have time to learn in detail about their business, who they are personally, and what connections you might have together. For me, time and again, these two people have proven to be the most valuable connections of the night.

JwithCarolF1 JwithGeeky

Two more tips:

4. When you approach a trade show booth, be a good listener, and if you know the booth business, give a “testimonial” to another person that may be standing beside you (again, on your left or on your right!) Then, thank the person behind the booth for being there, and ask them who their “most important type of potential customers are.” That is how I met one of The Geeky Girls, above!

5. Collecting business cards is more important than passing yours out. Two questions to ask the person on your left or right as you look over their card: “How’s business for you?” and if they say they are struggling, ask “How can I help?”

Bonus question:  Ask about ways others use Social Media in their business and you might find yourselves sharing ideas together and bonding over your social success!  Below is a picture of the day I asked Carol Farrar (who was then purely a Facebook friend) to have lunch together when I saw her in person for the first time at Agent Reboot in Irvine, CA. We have since become good friends in real life!

There you are… Networking anxiety and a frantic sense of “must do the whole room” can be avoided with the “Power of Two.”  Tell me your best tips below, or comment where these ideas resonate most for you.

Branding, Business Development, Real Estate, Realtor, social impressions

Blow up your Farm (in a good way!)

This post was featured at InmanNext, on June 1st, 2012
and has
received 500+ social shares in 48 hours.

Meetups are the most “fertile farms” around!

More and more Realtors I know are having epic problems with their tried and true farming efforts.  The recurring problem is smaller and smaller “crops” every year.    Want to create new, super-fertile farms?  Use and it will blow up your farm (and I mean that in the best way possible)!

The value proposition is simple.  You’ll find it in big letters at the top of their home page:  “Do something.  Learn something. Share something. Change something.”  These four actions are at the very core of how to meet and bond with new people that will become a fresh new infusion into your social and business sphere.

Below is a screenshot of what the site looks like.  At the very top-left, you will see two red buttons:  Find a Meetup and Start a Meetup.

Find a Meetup, Start a Meetup

Find a Meetup, Start a Meetup

The four windowpanes above are rotating photos from Meetups all across the country.  You can see the Cascade CSS (Tech) Meetup in the Bay Area, a Meetup in New York for practicing your German language skills, Gaming events in Colorado Springs area, and the Puget Sound Sailing Meetup Group in Seattle, Washington.  That’s a pretty broad representation of what you’ll find on this site.

I believe that has something for everyone, so let’s take a deeper dive.  Look above one more time, on the right side and you’ll find a box to Find a Meetup Group near you.  Go ahead and see what happens when you type in a topic or interest, and your zip code. Below you see my results:  two great groups 10-12 miles away from me.

"Moms" Search Results

“Moms” Search Results

Wow! You can see the San Diego Surfing Moms have 95 members.  They meet weekly for surfing and socializing, with built in shared childcare while they hit the waves.  Join the one below Surfing Moms and you’ll find yourself among 60 other self-proclaimed “Fun and Fabulous Moms” who do all kinds of fun activities listed in their description above.  I already love their enthusiasm and group energy!

Are you passionate about causes, but feeling lost about where to start?  I joined my favorite Meetup group because of the group title:  “DoGooders who Drink.”  Their mission is best shown right on their group page, below.

DoGooders Who Drink

DoGooders Who Drink

Fellow “DoGooders” include over 500 members.  This group is very diverse.  All ages, all professions.  A nice-sized number of us gather a couple times a month for lunch, brunch, or happy hour, and we include simple tasks like everyone bringing five stamped postcards to write and mail to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas.  (Shhhh! They’ll never know we have cocktails in hand while we write, unless we tell them.) This month the DoGooders are collecting simple care items and making “Welcome Kits” for families staying with children at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald house.

Do you have a pet?  Check this out, below.

Corgi and Yorkie Meetups

Corgi and Yorkie Meetups

Some of the most active Meetups involve our beloved family pets.   Above are Corgi owner and Yorkie owner Meetup groups that have over 600 and 700 members, each.  The Corgi group description reads, “Imagine 50 stubby Corgis frolicking at the park or running through the surf.  Now imagine their owners laughing and discussing what makes them similar and what makes them separate personalities.  That’s what this Meetup is all about.”  (Note: I am actually in the Yorkie Meetup group picture, just above.  I am the person with the tiny cobalt blue jacket near the far left.)

Whether you are in a major metropolitan area, or a small city like Spokane, WA where I recently lived (I was the Communications Director at the Spokane Association of Realtors), you will find Meetups to build your contact sphere naturally with interests you share with others.

Below is the results page after I searched “Sports” and a Spokane zip code.  You’ll see two outing and adventure excursion Meetup groups for Spokane County and Kootenai County residents with over 1,000 members between them!  Look to the right and you’ll see exciting Jet Boat trips on the Snake River, and Volleyball events coming up in the next few weeks.

Spokane WA Meetups

Spokane WA Meetups

Want to know about what’s trending on Meetup?  Just click “Find a Meetup” at the top and type in your zip code.

Here are my results, below.  You can see that I have four great choices… Hiking, wine-tasting, meeting some exceptional entrepreneurs, or talking personal finance.

Trending Meetups

Trending Meetups

(Tip:  Type in “Social Media” and you might just find a local meetup filled with approachable, affordable talent for SEO, CSS, WordPress, etc.)

Just above in the light blue box, you can see that there are 970 Meetup groups near me in my town of Carlsbad, CA.

Look again, near the bottom. Did someone say “Poker?”  Can you see “Encinitas Guys Poker Night” at Robby’s in the picture? Farming can be a whole new and energized experience on Meetup, so go ahead and blow up your farm — in a good way! You know how to do that now, using

* * *

Janet White is a skilled communications and social media director in the real estate industry.  She is passionate about helping Realtors succeed in their business and hopes to join a company in the Greater San Diego real estate community.  Follow this blog at, or view her experience on LinkedIn:

Branding, Facebook, Facebook lists, House Logic, Real Estate, Remarkable Service, social impressions

Engaging Past Clients: Social Strategy and 25 Content Ideas to Clarify Your Focus

My husband I bought a house earlier this year. How did we pick our REALTOR? I’ll tell you more in a moment, but I was one of those “revered” past clients you love to have come back, years later.

Now that you’re thinking about the special reward of hearing from a past client ready to buy or sell (or both!) once again, think about how many families you have helped in your career.  Have you talked to each of them this past month? Do you have a completely current past client database including phone, email, employment, spouse, children, pets, hobbies, vacations, and notes about past conversations? Sound like a lot of work?

This is EXACTLY what Facebook lists can accomplish for you. You are going to love this! I recommend if you haven’t done so, use Facebook Search to see if ALL your past clients are on Facebook, and add them to a list. (Call it Past Clients.)  Let them hear from you frequently. Weekly is excellent! Treat them like a community. Engage. Share. Be their expert about their neighborhood, about timely home safety and maintenance, and share the victories that set the tone for a successful closing for each of them.  Every client is a success story, so tell the story (omit private or personal details of course), but give them some “fan love” and be sure to tag them.  Keep up with their FB details and engage with them on their page too.

Believe it or not, Marc Prestera, the REALTOR who sold my home eight years ago, has been in regular contact with me, when I left California for the Pacific Northwest. He called me regularly, every month or so, keeping up on my life, and sharing what was new in his business, as well as the shared interest (a volunteer organization) where I met him in the beginning.

I never intended to move back to San Diego when I left, but life has a funny way of coming full circle. Since I had a great selling experience and a regular easy rapport with Marc, it was the most natural decision to once again ask him to be the real estate expert that he is, for my newest home.

If you like the sound of that, here are some ideas to keep engaged with past clients over time.  These work as Facebook posts or Twitter tweets.  (NOTE: you are FORBIDDEN to ask them who else they know that might like to buy or sell a house.)

1. What is your favorite Thanksgiving (Christmas, New Years) memory in your home?

2. Who has a unique holiday family tradition?

3. What do your kids enjoy most about your home?

4. What was the first room you decorated when you moved in?

5. What home improvements are you enjoying?

6. Have you become a fan of @HouseLogic?  Did you know has a lifetime homeowner binder to record maintenance, upgrades, and seasonal care?

7.  What’s your home’s best feature?

8. What’s your favorite spot in your neighborhood?

9. What surprised you the most (in a good way) after moving in to your new home?

10. What do you like most about Halloween?

11. Post a pic and tell us about your family pet.

12. What is your favorite Costco item, and why?

13. What is your favorite Trader Joes item, and why?

14. Who was your first (or most recent, or longest-known) Facebook friend.  What makes them special to you?

15. Have your kids earned any special awards lately?

16. Who was your childhood hero? Why?

17. What do your kids want to be when they grow up?

18. Do you dream about starting a business someday?

19. Who has a teen that wants odd jobs? Who needs help on a weekend project?

20. What is your favorite worthy charitable organization, and how can people volunteer?

21. What famous people have you met in person?

22. Is there anything you are wondering about that I can direct you to, or information I can track down for you?

23. What advice would you give to home buyers today, based on your personal experience?

24. What advice would you give home sellers today, based on your personal experience?

25. Did you know I have a client reference tab right here on my FB page? Would you care to comment there?

With all the focus on converting new Facebook fans into clients, I recommend you make the effort to engage clients for the long-term, and a lifetime of many happy “returns.”

Comment below and share engagement questions that you can add to the list I’ve started here. And remember the childhood rhyme: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”


Branding, Real Estate, Remarkable Service, social impressions

Can you pass the “Concierge” test?

“Mouth watering chocolate chip cookies! 
~ My pleasure! “


Recently I was traveling, and I was staying at a familiar business-class hotel. Each afternoon, the hotel baker brought a large, irresistible tray of freshly baked cookies like these to the concierge desk.

When I returned to the lobby at the end of my workday, I walked up and selected a cookie. As I did, I made the comment that I had been looking forward to this special treat all day.  What happened next really surprised me. 

The concierge just glanced up, gave me a cursory nod and a brisk “no problem,” and then his eyes reverted back to his computer screen. 


All that effort by the company into baking fresh cookies, and the goodwill was gone in an instant. This concierge was unconscious, and THAT was a problem. 

Are you unconscious in your communication with clients? 

I would like to propose an alternate ending to this story.  The concierge glances up, hears my comment, smiles and says, “My pleasure. Enjoy!”

I am on a personal mission to wipe out the phrase ‘no problem’ from the service industry. 

Everyone can try this: Look in the mirror and say “problem.”
Now, look in the mirror and say “pleasure.”
Which one makes you smile?

If there is no problem, don’t bring one up.

Just smile, and be sure to say, “My pleasure!”


(If you like this post, share widely.  Thank  you!)

Branding, Facebook, SMMOC

The SMMOC Mastermind Experience

Sometimes we need to expand our intellectual capital.  Today I decided to do it “Mastermind” style.  This morning I drove 100 miles roundtrip from San Diego to Orange County to attend @SMMOCSocial Media Mastermind Orange County.  This was my first experience of the Mastermind format.  Click photo to have a peek.

Bob Watson SMMOC

That’s @BobWatson, the group’s founder.  Here’s a quick rundown on why I found today’s session so valuable:

1.  Free fresh coffee (!)
2.  A group of about 30 people of all ages with a variety of interests (i.e. real estate,  the automotive industry, K-12 education, public relations, TV/entertainment industry, memory improvement, government, non-profits, technology).
3. All participants are engaged with Social Media in their industry and range from novice to expert.  I immediately observed the camaraderie.  The mindset was, “We’re all here to share and get smarter together.”
4.  As people arrived, they put up topics they wanted to discuss on a whiteboard.
5. Everyone put their Twitter handle and Facebook name on a second whiteboard.
6. Twitterchat was encouraged and projected up on the wall in real-time.
7.  After brief introductions and a reminder of the no-pitch rule, @BobWatson skillfully facilitated the range of discussions and kept people on-topic.
8. A lively 2-hour ask-and-share dialogue kept everyone engaged.

All in all, over a dozen topics were discussed in this session.  As is often the case, my personal discussion after the event proved valuable as well.  Thanks to @Oscarstech, I learned about NameChk.comNameChk is so cool!  In less than 10 seconds it checks 160 different popular social media sites to see if your personal username or vanity URL is available.  Here’s what it looks like:

NameChk(Click image to enlarge).

I’ve been busy expanding my professional brand across several social media channels, and it makes perfect sense to register my vanity URLs quickly, before someone else grabs what I want.  It makes sense for you too — NameChk gives you valuable information on 160 popular social tools in under a minute.

If you want to see all my newly branded channels, go to the Contact Me tab above.  Please feel free to comment, like and follow my WordPress blog, and show some FB love here too: @iSocialimpressions.  Thanks!

Branding, Real Estate

A rich history: Under all is the land.

What do these icons all share in common? 

Bing Crosby.
Mother’s Day.
Richard Nixon.
1974 Worlds Fair.

Watch a short preview of the video unveiled Sept. 20, 2011 by The Spokane Association of REALTORS at their 100-year Centennial Celebration.

Visit to learn more. 
(The full DVD is available for purchase.)

Bravo to all the dedicated Spokane REALTORS I have known, worked with, and proudly admire.  I see this DVD as a wonderful closing gift for the next 100 years.


Branding, Facebook, Real Estate

50 Facebook timeline covers – examples and best practices

Let’s get this party started! 

I am so excited about Facebook Timeline covers! 

Allow me to highlight an early showcase of 50 Timeline Examples and Best Practices posted up by the geniuses at last Sunday.  Below are two of the 50 that you can preview for your inspiration.    
(Click photo to enlarge it.)

Meet Justin.

Meet Justin.  He’s a REALTOR.  Do you think you’d want to talk with him?  How easy do you think it would be to start a conversation with him?  Would this compel you to learn more and perhaps browse his profile to find where his business page, web site or blog are?

Here’s another one.  Meet Ken.  He’s a REALTOR too. 

Meet Ken.

Visually, these examples just incinerate those pompous “About Me” REALTOR bio’s and allow you to start the conversation from a more natural place.  Need I say more? 

Click here for the original story and all 50 compelling timeline examples. 
What images make an impact about who you are? 

Have these got you thinking?