Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    4-23-15 Making every customer feel welcomed

    Have you ever walked into a business…

    … and waited to be noticed while the person in the store intently stared at a computer screen...

    …or, waited while two of the employees were engaged in an intense discussion…

    …or, the person barely noticed you and had a distant or irritated look on their face.

    Maybe you’re OK and forgiving if you are treated like an invisible being when you approach a business person, but I am not.  When I walk into a business, I want to be noticed immediately, and I want a smile and a friendly greeting.  If someone is engaged in something that is drawing their attention away from me, I want them to tell me so, apologize for not helping me immediately, and let me know when they’ll be able to respond to my needs.

    It’s my belief that having a successful business begins with making every customer you come in contact with feel that they are the focus of your attention; that you are very important to them.

    Even if you’re not feeling well or you’re in a negative mood, greeting people in a way that makes them feel good will make you feel good too.  It’s a classic win-win situation. 

    And, it will certainly play a major role in attracting more people to your business and having them feel like they want to do business with you (and tell their friends about your positive and responsive service, as well).


    4-16-15 “Dying to be Me”: A TED Talk and a book recommendation

    One of the benefits of writing a blog is that I can write about whatever catches my attention.

    Although this is a marketing blog, I think what Anita Moorjani has to say is very relevant to someone creating a business, dealing with an illness or simply wanting to have a life concept that may play a role in making their life more rewarding.

    I first heard about a TED Talk that Ms. Moorjani gave when someone sent the link to me in an email:

    After I watched the talk, I really wanted to read her book, “Dying to be Me.”  The book did not disappoint.

    Essentially, her talk and book describe her being diagnosed with terminal cancer and going into a coma with the doctors and her family expecting her imminent death. Instead she had a classic near death experience (called “NDE’s”) in which she learned that she had much to share and needed to stay in this life for a longer period. She came out of her coma and within a few weeks – much to the shock of all of the doctors treating her – she had no signs of cancer in her body.

    The major takeaway from her experience and from her talk and book is the importance of loving yourself.This is a simple concept, but for many of us, a challenging onet to embrace. As she explains, this is at the core of really enjoying each moment and living our lives to the fullest, whether just in our personal world, or operating a business.


    4-9-15 Are you passionate about your business?

    If you have been reading my business stories on Whidbey Local (Where's Wally?) you may have noticed a common theme.  Most of the business stories I tell are about owners who really love what they do and/or the products that they sell.

    When I was thinking about my Blog for this week, I thought about Sweet Mona’s, Fern Ridge Alpacas, Ott & Murphy, Salon Bella, Paradise Found Alpaca Farm Wild Birds Unlimited, and several other businesses about which I have written in the last several months.  And the word, “passionate” came to me.  These people really care about what they are doing, even if they could be making more money doing something else.  They are doing something that gives them a great sense of pleasure and accomplishment.  They believe that what they are doing generates something positive in the lives of others.

    If you are doing something that you really aren’t enjoying, maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “What ways of earning money are possible for me that will give me a sense of passion?”


    4-2-15 Larry Shafer, at 81, produces his first CD: Another example of a vision attained…..with a lot of community support

    Last week I wrote about Anna Edwards and her vision that created a stunning version of the Carmina Burana.

    Last Sunday, I attended the CD release party for Larry Shafer at Ott & Murphy. It was a celebration of a great accomplishment with some parallels to my story of Anna Edwards and the Saratoga Orchestra. Someone has a vision to create something special and pursued that vision to a final product.

    When he was a young man, Larry Shafer enjoyed singing, but as he pursued his career as an attorney, the dreams of his youth were pushed back.  He worked at his career in Seattle for 50 years.  He moved to Whidbey Island in 1976 and continued his law practice until he retired a few years ago.

    In retirement on Whidbey, several people entered Larry’s life to support and encourage him to return to singing.  He took his first singing lessons with Keith Bowers (one third of the Trio Nouveau).  Then he took additional voice lessons from Nancy Nolan, who invited Larry to come sing with her at Ott & Murphy. 

    The vision of making a CD began to progress about three years ago.  He started listening to, and talking with, some of great professional musicians on Whidbey.  He started working with Roger Bennett, a percussionist;  then Gary Way, a pianist, became his music coach. 

    The final product, “Larry Shafer, Songs from the Twentieth Century Songbook” was gifted to those who came to the release party.  We heard Larry sing every one of the songs from the album with his sweet tones, accompanied by Greg Beck Troy Chapman, Gary Way, Scott Small, Jonathan Small and Roger Bennett.  Nancy Nolan joined in. 

    The album cover contains many more thank you’s and a quote from Larry: “I could not have succeeded to complete this album without those who volunteered their talent and energy – those who are thanked now on this album.  They gave their hearts.”


    3-26-15 Anna Edwards, conductor of the Saratoga Orchestra, demonstrates the power of pursuing a vision

    I usually talk about issues relating to creating and running a business.  Last weekend I saw a remarkable concert that made me realize that having a powerful vision that leads to a remarkable accomplishment can apply not only to someone who has an idea to create a business, but to many other endeavors as well.

    Anna Edwards, who was selected as the conductor of Whidbey Island’s Saratoga Orchestra last year, somehow managed to put together a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the orchestra and a choir that consisted of high school students from Oak Harbor High School and some adults who enjoy singing in mostly amateur choirs on the south end of the island.

    She had to figure out where to assemble her choir, where and when and how often to have rehearsals, which people could lead the choirs to be able to sing this very complicated cantata, and where she could hold the performances since there are no auditoriums on the island that have a large enough stage area to hold all of performers.

    Somehow, she was able to pull it all together on March 21 and 22 (Oak Harbor and South Whidbey High Schools).  I have seen the Carmina Burana performed several times by professional symphony orchestras and professional choirs in large symphony halls (such as Beneroya in Seattle).  I was stunned by my experience with our local version.  I have spoken with several others who were at the concert who were also amazed.  It was as professional and powerful as anything I heard in the great symphony halls.

    How Anna came up with the idea and the courage to take this on I don’t know.  But, obviously, it began with her first having the vision that it could be done.