Collaborate To Succeed In Business (And Life)

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

Collaboration leads to innovation.

Innovation leads to finding a better way – to accomplish a task, build a car, sell a product, run a Chamber of Commerce.

Terry and Ann

Terry and Ann

Fortunately the Winnetka Northfield and Wilmette Kenilworth Chambers Of Commerce are led by women who are collaborators and innovators: Terry Dason, Ann Smith, Nada Becker and Joan Fishman. And fortunately for Make It Better, they invited me to present “How To Earn More Money As A Local Business In The Digital Era” to their Women In Business luncheon last Friday. It was an inspiring group and an inspiring day.

Thank you Terry, Ann, Nada and Joan. Your work makes our beloved hometowns much better!

What We Have Is Priceless

“What we have is priceless–the best children and the best husband I could have asked for,” Tania Alt, mother of 10-year-old Emma, with Muscular Dystrophy, and wife of unemployed Pete, who had to quit his job to care for his family, living in a Wheeling motor home.

The Alt family’s story saddens and inspires me. Their challenges are great – including an upcoming high-risk surgery for Emma at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Their love for each other and appreciation of life is greater.

Thanks to the very talented Sarah Jindra, of INSPIREme Chicago, for bringing this story to our attention. Learn more here.

Dream More, Learn More, Care More, And Be More

Dolly Parton’s motto is “dream more, learn more, care more, and be more,” as cited in the Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

When you dream more, learn more, care more, what do you wish to be in your future?

Success is built by implementing that wish with heart and hard work. Just like Dolly did.

I dream about creating a better world where everyone gets to nurture their passions, talents, and dreams. Imagine how beautiful that society will be! I believe this can be achieved, too–by collaboration, innovation and determination.

Please let me know if we can innovate and work hard towards that better world together.

When You Step Into The Life You Were Meant To Live, It’s Wonderful!

“When you step into the life you were meant to live, it’s wonderful!” – Mariel Hemingway 

Mariel Hemingway knows about crazy–and depression, addiction, and suicide. Her supermodel sister and legendary writer grandfather suffered through all of this.

Mariel has chosen a healthier route through life, and found that course lead to a more fulfilling life too. Read more here.

Grow Connections, Make Life Better

What makes life better? More love. For yourself or for others.

The happiest people fill their lives with friends and family. (Except, of course, when those relationships make you crazy.)

Conversely, the fastest way to happy, when you aren’t, is a roundabout to connect with and help others.

So please, make life better for yourself and others. Grow connections. Grow love.

Life Holds Its Miracles

Life Holds Its Miracles, Good Erupting From Darkness Chief Among Them

“Life holds its miracles, good erupting from darkness chief among them,” concludes John Patrick Shanley’s New York Times editorial, The Darkness of an Irish Morning.

The playwright, screenwriter and director brilliantly describes visiting relatives in Ireland for the first time and learning that his grandparents had been poor, illiterate, vindictive and quite dislikable. Despite this, his father and other relatives grew up to be good people, and he became the creator of shows with stars like Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

Photo courtesy of

Beyond doubt, this is a life lesson for all of us. Let no predecessors or dark others keep us from creating much good in our lives too.

Thankful for This and You

You must also believe in the power of family, collaboration and love to make the world better, if you are reading this. Therefore, I’m most thankful for you.

I’m also most thankful that 22 family members dine together tomorrow. Below are the first 5 to arrive – from Tokyo, Chicago and London. I am blessed to have them and you in my life.

Most of my kids, home for Thanksgiving.