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  • February 19, 2021 5:07 PM | Yolanda Albergottie (Administrator)

    Since the Covid-19 pandemic began and workers were sent home to perform their jobs, millions of people have been left to their own devices- literally and figuratively- to recreate a functioning workspace.  It has been the responsibility of the individual to somehow remain productive and efficient in much less than ideal environments.  Couches have become conference rooms and cubicles have been replaced by kitchens as Zoom and Webex has become the new normal in communication.  As we move further into 2021 the possibility of workers returning to an office environment remains questionable, at least for the time being. 

    In April 2020, a survey by the American Chiropractic Association revealed that chiropractors were reporting a 92% increase in neck and back pain complaints since the start of the pandemic. And that was only 1 month in.  The good news?  There are simple changes that can make a big difference in your workday and in your life.

    • 1.      Replace the commute with physical activity:  Think about something you can do to start the morning on an invigorating note: get a little exercise, take the dog for a longer walk, get your groove on with some fun music, try a quick yoga routine via You Tube, etc.  The boost in endorphins will improve your mood and productivity as you tackle your day.
    • 2.      Consider your posture: In the best of office environments, it is common to incur neck, back and shoulder pain from sitting at a computer all day.  An ergonomic assessment will help to mitigate pain with cost-effective, easy modifications. Chair height, screen height and keyboard placement are just some of the considerations.  Talk to a professional about improving your productivity while decreasing risk of injury.
    • 3.      Get up and move!  Our bodies were not meant to stay in one position all day. It is important to take a physical break every 20-30 minutes throughout the day. Stand up for phone calls, walk around your house, climb the stairs a few times, dance in your kitchen, whatever it takes to get the blood flowing.  The increase in circulation will benefit your body and your brain, enhancing focus and productivity.
    • 4.      Take a breath and a break.  Studies are showing that taking a 5-10 minute break for mindfulness meditation will not only ease anxiety and depression but will improve focus and productivity. Meditation in the workplace is becoming more mainstream each year.
    • 5.      Incorporate stretching into the day.  Gentle stretching will decrease stiffness in muscles during and at the end of the day.  The decrease in pain will translate into happier, healthier and more productive workdays.

    Connect with Pamela on LinkedIn – Pamela’s Profile    Check out her website for more information:

  • February 19, 2021 4:34 PM | Yolanda Albergottie (Administrator)

    Whether you are at a networking event or meeting someone for the first time, you have about 60 seconds (that’s why it’s called an elevator pitch) to make an impression. You don’t just want to be memorable; you want to be unforgettable! Most people spend very little time thinking about and crafting their personal introduction. That is an amateur move, and not only can others tell when you are winging it, your credibility and professionalism slip down a notch or two every time you wing it.

    Be prepared

    So, what do you do? It’s a common question at any networking or social gathering. The most common response is to recite your job title and what you do. As you begin your recitation the listener hears what Charlie Brown hears when adults speak: blah, blah gibberish. Please realize when you take this common approach you will get common results. Why settle for ordinary when extraordinary is easily attainable? Take your elevator speech from lame to kick-ass in five easy steps.

    Establish Good Rapport
    1. When in person -- Make eye contact, smile and stand tall! Taking ownership of the space you inhabit is a quick and easy way to create rapport and establish an aura of authority and power.  When virtual – have your video on, there is nothing more impersonal than talking to a blank screen with someone’s name. If you would rather not have video on, then at least have a nice, professional headshot.

    Identify Yourself as a Problem Solver
    2. Lead with the problem you solve not your title or profession.  When asked “So what do you do, craft a response that speaks to the problem you solve or the results you produce rather than your job title.

    Keep It Fresh
    3. Prepare several different versions. Choose one or two results you produce or problems you solve then create several different versions of your speech which can be used in a wide variety of business, personal or social settings. Also vary lengths from 30 to 60 seconds. Including a story regarding results your product or service gave to one of your clients makes your pitch golden!

    Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
    4. Practice, practice, practice and use a timer. Your delivery must be polished and roll off your tongue with ease. Practice until it becomes second nature, and you feel comfortable responding in several different scenarios. When attending a networking event where you have an opportunity to address the room, always stay within your allotted time. When the bell goes off, be respectful and finish up promptly. If you continue to drone on more than 1 or 2 additional seconds, people stop listening and begin to wonder why you are still talking.

    Always Have a CTA
    5. Always finish with a call-to-action CTA. This should never be a sales pitch. An invitation to get together for coffee or attend another networking event works well when you are in a one-on-one situation. It will get you much farther than a mini sales presentation. The exception when you are at a referral-based networking event. Most provide you an opportunity to address the entire room so take full advantage. Be specific. Ask for an introduction or referral to your ideal client.

    Need more help crafting your elevator speech? Check out the show notes for a link to my “Kick-ass Elevator Speech Framework” with details and examples.

    Yolanda Albergottie is the Director of Marketing and Downtown Expansion for WIN (Women In Networking) Cleveland and the Market Development Manager for BNI© (Business Network International) NE Ohio.  Passionate about helping business owners grow through education and connections, she uses her company Local Network Connections LLC to provide mentoring, training and education.

    Check out her podcast: Five Easy Things the Podcast for more actionable tips and advice for how to live your best life.

  • August 31, 2020 8:41 AM | Yolanda Albergottie (Administrator)

    We all know that failure is a part of life. How many successful people do you know who haven’t failed along the way? Probably none. The most successful people speak about the mistakes they’ve made on their path to success. More importantly is not only learning from them but owning the errors.

    None of us is perfect; but all of us can be honest. People expect honesty.  Whatever the mistakes are or how they happened, be honest if it falls under your purview. As a business owner, you

    are presenting a business vision and image. Having the state of mind to practice honesty throughout your career reinforces the impact you have on your clients. Honesty shows integrity; integrity begets trust; trust goes a long way.

    Owning a mistake may also help solve the problem. If you understand how it happened, you’re ahead of the game. Do you ever notice the look on dog or cat’s face when something has broken or they’ve left a room in the state of havoc? You can almost hear them say, “I didn’t do it!” And your thought response is, “Really?” Whether you’ve dropped the ball, your inventory is low, you’ve forgotten a call, or a supplier didn’t deliver – simply own it. Upfront. Stalling looks like a cover-up.

    I recently saw a typo on a slide during my own live presentation. Oh – the humiliation I felt. Not because a typo is such a huge deal to anyone. But in my profession – editing and proofreading – it’s akin to a celebrity chef on TV forgetting a key ingredient. Wait – I have seen that! Thankfully, two

    people wrote me afterward and lessened the impact I felt, and I was grateful. Recently, I noticed a post on LinkedIn by a writer, editor, proofreader and professor of English who had the word ‘committee’ instead of ‘committed.’ That sure changed the meaning of her sentence. So it happens to everyone. Even the best.

    Admitting a mistake, being honest about it, and taking responsibility – great character traits. They also make you relatable to others; seeing how you quickly resolve the issue gains respect and trust. By claiming your errors, you get the bonus of endearing your clients and customers to you.

    Trina Gigax, Freelance Copyeditor and Proofreader

    Fresh Eyes Reading llc, ,

  • August 03, 2020 1:40 PM | Yolanda Albergottie (Administrator)

    Many people think writing a blog is not much more than writing your thoughts. It's viewed as a sort of free, creative writing that you "blah, blah, blah," write whatever comes to mind. And many people write their blogs in that manner. Blogs are for your readers, not for you and what you want to write.

    A good blog will have the markings of time spent planning it, purpose, structure, and a theme. Your first consideration should be purpose. Why are you writing it? Are you solving a problem? Are you answering questions your audience may have? Is it informational or educational? Is it a story? Consider these elements before writing to greatly improve your blog.

    Sites like, and YouTube are sources for determining what your audience would like to know. At these places, you can search your topic or area of interest and learn what is trending on people’s minds.

    Readers are busy people – they work, they may have required reading, or they may be running a company.

    • Be sure your blog is catchy and memorable
    • Write content that is scannable*
    • Use format, white space and visual appearance for interest *meaning, they can scan it and grasp salient information.

    A great picture is always an eye-catcher., and are wonderful, free resources for photos. Headlines or subheadings help break up the body.

    Consider using a different font, bold or italics for special words or phrases you would like to stand out. Change sentence length. Be sure to include a few short, punchy sentences to grab attention. End with a Call to Action (follow me, share, question, reply) and include your contact information. If you have a website, steer your reader to it for more information. is a great source to copy and paste your content. It tells you in color coding which sentences are difficult to read or if you used too many adverbs. Hope these tips help. Happy blogging.

    Trina Gigax, WIN Cleveland Blog Editor

     Fresh Eyes Reading

  • March 30, 2020 12:20 PM | Yolanda Albergottie (Administrator)

    Crazy times we’re living in right now! On more than one occasion I woke up this week thinking I’m living in the twilight zone. But I’m not. We’re not. This is really happening.

    Like it or not, my life, our lives are turned upside down and will remain so into the unforeseeable future.

    So, it’s about survival, or is it?

    The Gloria Gayner song, “I Will Survive” has been the anthem of emancipation for many a woman scorned. The lyrics speak of overcoming, no matter what.

    “It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
    Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
    And I spent oh-so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
    I used to cry, But now I hold my head up high”

    A lover of words, I looked up the definition of survive and here’s the first entry: “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”1 Sounds noble and right and true doesn’t it? Having gone through some dreadful, horrific ordeal that turns you, flips you around and around to find yourself standing upright.  What’s not to be applauded, heralded? It’s not only good, it’s outstanding. 

    The second entry: “An object or practice that has continued to exist from an earlier time.”2 On the surface it seems equally commendable. Withstanding the test of time, what’s not to be admired about that? 

    Back in my days as a personal trainer I spent a ton of time at the gym. Great people watching.  One guy in particular, amazed me. He came in daily, like clockwork with his set routine; heavy, upper body. Pumping it out hard he’d hit arms, shoulders, chest, back. Day in day out, rain or shine same thing. It wasn’t that his workout was spectacular it wasn’t. I admired his tenacity. In he’d come, up the elevator from the lobby to the second level to hit the machines and bust out his work out.

    Most members took the stairs to the second floor and considered it part of their work out, but not him. He always took the elevator. Understandably so, he was wheelchair bound.

    If anyone ever had a legit excuse not to work out, it’s this guy. Think about it, he had to maneuver himself from his house to his car, to the gym, up to the second floor then to each of the machines all without the use of his legs.

    An example of someone who is not merely continuing to live or exist despite the accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstance, here is the poster child for someone who is thriving.

    Dictionary time. First entry definition for thrive: “grow or develop well or vigorously.”3 Second entry: “prosper; flourish”4.

    I believe we are meant to thrive, not merely survive. We are meant to grow, develop vigorously, prosper and flourish regardless the circumstance. 

    Time is the great equalizer and the most precious currency on earth. No matter who we are, what we look like, where we live, our level of education or financial achievement, we all get twenty-four hours.

    Our current COVID-19 situation gives us an opportunity to reevaluate. How will you use this time?

    Will you over purchase and hoard resources for your personal consumption? Or will you seek ways to give your time and abundance of resources for the benefit of others?

    Will you hunker down in survival mode binge watching Netflix gorging on junk food? Or will you pick up a new hobby, take an online course or write a book?  

    When this pandemic is over will you go back to existing the same as before, or will you emerge a newer, better version of yourself?

    Will you choose to merely survive, or will you thrive?

    Yolanda Albergottie is the Director of Marketing and Downtown Expansion for WIN (Women In Networking) Cleveland and the Market Development Manager for BNI© (Business Network International)NE Ohio.  Passionate about helping business owners grow through education and connections, she uses her company Local Network Connections LLC to provide mentoring, training and education.

    Check out her podcast: Five Easy Things the Podcast for more actionable tips and advice for how to live your best life.

    Sources: 1-4,

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