September 27th we held our first training, with Leigh-Ann Zaharevich. She has been in the learning & organizational development industry for over 20 years. Her topic for the training was Planning and Prioritizing. Successful projects require excellent planning. In this workshop we explored the many factors that impact the setting of realistic deadlines.
In Leigh-Ann’s words:
We had a motivated group share their ideas on how they manage their day.

Participants took away a 5-minute tool to quickly get a grip on what pressing matters should be addressed first.
We had a discussion about matters that we THINK are important, but are only urgent for the moment; they don’t help us move toward our goals.
We shared best practices for planning so we are most productive, while also including down time to rejuvenate.
Everyone left with at least one new strategy for planning, prioritizing and organizing their workload.

October 12th we hosted a training, with Sheila Clemenson-Transitions Coaching Services, LLC.. She is a Career Coach and Consultant with over 20 years of experience in hiring, coaching, and advising job seekers, employees, and management in diverse industries.
The take away:
Participants were given step-by-step info to create a strong company page on LinkedIn. We had a discussion about increasing visibility and promoting a company’s competitive advantage using LinkedIn “About Us” and Blog Posts. I shared info about understanding generational differences with Communication and Technology and suggestions for building a more robust following. Participants learned ways to create value by being a resource for their connections in an effort to increase their professional credibility and reputation.

October 25th we hosted a training, with Andrea Vahl is a Social Media Consultant and Speaker and is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. She was the Community Manager for Social Media Examiner, one of the most influential social media news sites, for over 2 years and has appeared in top lists on and  She is also a stand up comedienne.
The take away: 
Facebook and Instagram are two of the cheapest places to advertise today with highly targeted ads.  You can get more visibility with your current customers, reach new possible customers, and measure your results.  With the Facebook pixel installed on your website you can even do things like track conversions and retarget people who have been to your website with an ad.  One of the biggest factors in your success is to have an eye-catching ad – the goal is to stop the scroll!
Key Takeaways from the presentation:
1. Go beyond the boosted posts for more success.  Boosted posts on Facebook and Instagram are easy to do but aren’t always optimized correct.  Use the Ads Manager to get better results.
2. Test at least 2 different ads.  For local businesses, the image is going to be the most critical thing to test since the target area and keywords may not be changed too much.  Try 2 different images in your ads and see which ones gives you better cost per click.
3.  Watch your key performance metrics to determine your success.  Typical cost per website click prices range from $0.50 – $2 and you can also optimize around different objectives such as conversions.  Test different ads and turn off the ones that are under-performing.

November 15th, Ms Frances Coet presented a training on The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the Impact of Code Section 199A. The take away: the discussion was a review of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law last December.  All taxpayers will be impacted – some negatively, but most positively – through that legislation.  Small businesses not formed as a C corporation will be subjected to increased reporting requirements when their tax returns are prepared, due to something called Qualified Business Income (QBI), and should expect substantial increases in their tax preparation for the 2018 tax year.  Many individuals will be unable to itemize deductions, due to the stripping or limiting of those deductions by the TCJA, but other individual will benefit from a greater standard deduction.

October 26th and November 6th we hosted two training’s, Scaling to Exit, with Michael Watkins and Evelyn Logan. There are 4 million Baby Boomer-owned companies going up for sale in the next 3 to 5 years. Statistically, less than 20% of these businesses are actually going to sell! Are you one of these businesses? If so, realize that it is going to take a minimum of 3 years to accumulate the track record necessary to make your business attractive to a potential buyer.  And, if you wait 3 years from now, it will still take 3 years!

The folks at Scaling to Exit, LLC, Michael Watkins and Evelyn Logan, conducted two 2-hour workshops presenting their robust program for helping Baby Boomer business owners make their businesses attractive for sale. They demonstrated how businesses, by creating modest increases in their top line through sales and marketing and making small improvements in their operations, can increase their bottom line or EBITA. Each session was well attended by a cross-section of business bankers, attorneys, accountants, wealth managers and owners of individual companies.

The workshops were so successful that the Scaling to Exit, LLC Principals are planning to schedule several more workshops for the first quarter of 2019. Stay tuned.

Scaling to Exit (The Alchemy Group/ Logan Coaching);

On December 14th, Barbara Jaynes of Positively-Funded presented how Network Events are like Reading a Book!And Networking To Triple Your Connections. The take away was to think of networking events like reading a book. Every person you meet at the event is a chapter in the book. Some chapters are amazing and some are not your favorite. Choose your favorite three chapters and have coffee or lunch with them. At your networking event remember to be the Go Giver! Through giving and supporting others business will come to you.

Chatter before event -let your LinkedIn and Facebook community know that you are attending an upcoming Networking event. Talk about why you are excited for the event: I love to attend networking events to hear new perspectives from businesses that are different from my business, about what you want from the event; I hope to meet three new entrepreneurs from Westminster. Westminster is a new focus area for my business, and why you attend networking events;

Chatter after event -Remember to talk about the event after you have attended and find 3 positive things about the event to say in your social media post.

You may meet many people that do not seem to be a business fit for you. Not to worry you can still help each other. While I do not need a realtor at this time, I would like to introduce you to XXX. Do you have contacts that you could introduce me to that you think would be beneficial?

Invite people to the networking event or other events that you attend. These people that you want to develop relationships with or grow your relationships with them. Be sure to ask these connections if they are going to events that they think you should attend.

Cross promoting on social media; I am going to put your business out on my business social media (LinkedIn/Facebook) that I met you at this event with your webpage link. Would you do the same for me?
My three book recommendations were: The Go Giver, The Power of Moments and Start With Why.

If you would like to have coffee or ever have questions about business development please reach out to Barbara at 303-993-7124 or

On December 18th, Michael Rice Certified FocalPoint Business Coach presented Powerful Presentations. 
December’s Powerful Presentations! This workshop at arielMIS was completely sold out!  Attendees were interested in  becoming better presenters, and the program covered everything they need to know to do just that! 
Anyone presenting information to another person, a group or an audience needs to start with a needs analysis so they clearly understand what their audience wants to know.  The program covered the process for creating an outline and ‘storyboarding’ the presentation. We talked about learning styles, and how to build a presentation that speaks to everyone’s learning style…from auditory and visual to hands-on kinesthetic exercises. Fortunately, there are many different types of presentation approaches, and attendees learned how to utilize multiple types of media to keep their audience engaged. Lastly, the program addressed the fear, the nervousness, and the anxiety that tends to paralyze new presenters. We learned that preparation, practice and pre-delivery exercises such as visualization make a tremendous impact on nervousness.

This and other great workshops will be available in the future, so be sure to watch for notices from arielMIS!

On January 18th we had Dianna Rands, with Chill Digital Marketing, share how she has used the popular book, The 12 Week Year, to map out her goals for her business.

The take away:
According to The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran, he suggests that if we look and plan 12 weeks at a time, we can have more success. Thinking influences actions which cause results. Create a vision board to tie emotions to why you do what you do. Pick 1-3 goals you aim to reach during the 12 weeks. Create weekly tasks to keep you on track for those goals. Measure how many of your weekly tasks you complete (the authors of the book have found with their clients that an 85% completion rate will inevitably help you reach your goals). Determine what your lead indicators are, and track those as well. Add the 3 time blocks to your calendar each week: Strategic, Buffer and Breakout. And find an accountability partner or group to keep you on track to reach your goals.

Recommended reading: The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran & Michael Lennington + the new Field Guide.

On February 21st, Mike Lazear of 515 Media presented The WordPress Experience. With a decade of experience in front-end web development, user-interface design, project management, Mike Lazear has the experience, knowledge and passion to help business owners crysallize their visions. He has worked with hundreds of clients across the globe. Mike is the owner and founder of 515 Media, a consulting firm offering high quality branding, web design and development, mobile app and game development, self-publishing assistance for authors, email marketing and strategic business consultation. Mike is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and resides in Denver, Colorado.

Presentation Take Away and Recap:

  • Attendees shared their experience with WordPress, their occupations and where they use WordPress.
  • I introduced myself and my background / how I got into web development and specifically WordPress
  • We discussed the new Gutenberg/5.0 system in general and why it was giving business owners so much trouble.

WordPress Background

  • Powerpoint presentation that covered the history of WordPress and important facts about its use.
  • Discussed advantages of using WordPress over other content-management systems.
  • Show examples of Fortune 500 companies and large-scale enterprise sites built in WordPress
  • Discussed the scale of WordPress – 600 million websites and over 30% of all sites on the web.

Phase 3 – WordPress Setup Tutorial

  • Shared WordPress installations with the class and everyone had a login for their own website to edit and learn Gutenberg
  • Went over how to install WordPress at a web host, the different types of hosting, and the advantage of hosting a site yourself rather than having WordPress do it for you. Discussed vs.
  • Talked about plugins, how to recognize good ones and how to know when to install a plugin vs. relying on default site function.
  • Discussed Wordfence, Sucuri, and website security in general
  • Discussed using strong passwords and why this is important
  • Talked about how to make Gutenberg easier and how to install the Classic editor plugin if a client doesn’t like Gutenberg. Also discussed if the Classic editor will be supported in the future.
  • Demoed the navigation menu and how to edit different sections of the site including the header, footer and social media navigation using 515 Media’s Redpoint theme.

On February 26th, Valerie Morris shared insights from her background in digital marketing and social media to audience members about how to cut through the noise and get noticed by your audience online. She provided insights from her bestselling book, We’re All Ears, into how to provide real value to your audience and not contribute to the noise, but be able to get noticed by the people who really need to hear your message. Valerie focused on foundations, tactics, and practical tips that attendees could employ in their own business.

On April 10th, 17th and 24th Michael Rice presented a three part sales series called Sales Effectiveness. At the heart of every sales process there’s a conversation. When that conversation goes well, deals get made. Like anything in life and in business, a little planning and preparation goes a long way to ensuring we reach our desired outcomes.

This workshop focused on sales planning…from the mathematical model for the MARKETING FORMULA, the CUSTOMER FORMULA, and the REVENUE FORMULA to building sales cycles, understanding sales models, and the methods for building your “Champions Network”. We learned about the defining your “unique value proposition”, and how to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The most important and impactful part of this program is the “Sales Conversation Map”. This planning tool is used by the most successful sales people to ensure they work through all of the necessary steps in an effective sales process. Sales is simply a series of conversations, and when well planned, that conversation is more likely to result a win/win dialogue! We closed the series with negotiation strategies, closing techniques and how to win resales and referrals.

If you missed this 3-part series, contact arielMIS or FocalPoint for more information about other opportunities to attend this, or other very important programs in the education series!

Michael D. Rice
Certified Business Coach, Training Professional & Speaker