Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day

Here's a great article about how to spend your first 10 minutes.  I know I am guilty of sitting down at my desk, immediately answering emails and messages...putting out fires and before I know's 2pm.  Then I feel like I haven't achieved what I wanted to achieve for the day and end up staying late.  I am going to try this exercise for sure!






How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day


If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef of Brasserie Les Halles, best-selling author, and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much as boil hot water without attending to a ritual that’s essential for any self-respecting chef: mise-en-place.

The “Meez,” as professionals call it, translates into “everything in its place.” In practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin. It is the planning phase of every meal—the moment when chefs evaluate the totality of what they are trying to achieve and create an action plan for the meal ahead.

For the experienced chef, mise-en-place represents more than a quaint practice or a time-saving technique. It’s a state of mind.

“Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks,” Bourdain wrote in his runaway bestseller Kitchen Confidential. “As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system… The universe is in order when your station is set…”

Chefs like Anthony Bourdain have long appreciated that when it comes to exceptional cooking, the single most important ingredient of any dish is planning. It’s the “Meez” that forces Bourdain to think ahead, that saves him from having to distractedly search for items midway through, and that allows him to channel his full attention to the dish before him.

Most of us do not work in kitchens. We do not interact with ingredients that need to be collected, prepped, or measured. And yet the value of applying a similar approach and deliberately taking time out to plan before we begin is arguably greater.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at your desk? For many of us, checking email or listening to voice mail is practically automatic. In many ways, these are among the worst ways to start a day. Both activities hijack our focus and put us in a reactive mode, where other people’s priorities take center stage. They are the equivalent of entering a kitchen and looking for a spill to clean or a pot to scrub.

A better approach is to begin your day with a brief planning session. An intellectual mise-en-place. Bourdain envisions the perfect execution before starting his dish. Here’s the corollary for the enterprising business professional. Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk: The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?

This exercise is usually effective at helping people distinguish between tasks that simply feel urgent from those that are truly important. Use it to determine the activities you want to focus your energy on.

Then—and this is important—create a plan of attack by breaking down complex tasks into specific actions.

Productivity guru David Allen recommends starting each item on your list with a verb, which is useful because it makes your intentions concrete. For example, instead of listing “Monday’s presentation,” identify every action item that creating Monday’s presentation will involve. You may end up with: collect sales figures, draft slides, and incorporate images into deck.

Studies show that when it comes to goals, the more specific you are about what you’re trying to achieve, the better your chances of success. Having each step mapped out in advance will also minimize complex thinking later in the day and make procrastination less likely.

Finally, prioritize your list. When possible, start your day with tasks that require the most mental energy. Research indicates that we have less willpower as the day progresses, which is why it’s best to tackle challenging items – particularly those requiring focus and mental agility – early on.

The entire exercise can take you less than 10 minutes. Yet it’s a practice that yields significant dividends throughout your day.

By starting each morning with a mini-planning session, you frontload important decisions to a time when your mind is fresh. You’ll also notice that having a list of concrete action items (rather than a broad list of goals) is especially valuable later in the day, when fatigue sets in and complex thinking is harder to achieve.

Now, no longer do you have to pause and think through each step. Instead, like a master chef, you can devote your full attention to the execution.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why You Should Stop Being a Boss and Start Being a Leader

This is a GREAT article and GREAT advice found on

 The Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce helps  business owners and professionals enhance leadership skills in a variety of ways.  Member can be a part of committees, the board of directors, the Irish Hills Young Professionals and various workshops that our members can take part in.  We have some amazing business leaders that are part of this chamber and community.  We are also proud to see leaders grow out of our Irish Hills Young Professionals and committee members.

As always, if you have any questions about our chamber, give me a call at 592-8907 or email me at


Why You Should Stop Being a Boss and Start Being a Leader

The way you approach being in charge--whether you're running a corporation, a civic organization, or a neighborhood bake sale--is a huge factor in the group's achievement. Think about the differences before you step up.

Every business and work group has a boss, but only some have a leader at the helm.
The differences are clear--and which one your organization has will determine, in large part, what you can achieve and how you will achieve it.
So if you're in charge, or if you aspire to be, you have a decision to make: Are you going to be the boss or are you going to be the leader?
The choice is entirely up to you, of course--but here are some points to consider as you make up your mind:
  • A boss drives others; a leader coaches them toward their best performance.
  • A boss instills fear; a leader inspires enthusiasm.
  • A boss blames others; a leader works to help repair the damage and understand what happened so it won't occur again.
  • A boss thinks in terms of him or herself; a leader thinks in terms of we.
  • A boss knows how it's done; a leader shows how it's done.
  • A boss depends on his or her own authority; a leader depends, along with the entire team, on mutual accountability and trust.
  • A boss uses people; a leader is interested in helping them grow and develop.
  • A boss takes the credit; a leader gives credit to others.
  • A boss is a commander; a leader is more concerned with asking and listening.
  • The boss says Go!; the leader says Let's go!
When you make the choice to be a leader, there are some things you have to give up: Ego, for one.
 Doing it your way. Always knowing you're right. Never having your world view challenged.
In exchange, though, you'll gain a few things: An atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration.
A workplace that people will line up to work at. An authentic authority that comes from who you are, not what you say or do. The chance to change lives--including your own.
You don't have to look very hard to see that we already have plenty of bosses in the world.
What we're lacking is great leaders.

Are you ready to choose?


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Irish Hills Young Professionals

News from our Under 30 Connection:

The Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce formed a committee of young professionals early last year and called this group the Under 30 Connection of the BIHCC.  This committee did some great things in their first year, while trying to figure out exactly what their purpose and goals were.  They met every month, featured guest speakers, took field trips, championed a fundraising Pub Crawl, started the Irish Hills Softball league, and even brought Santa to town.

After a very active first year, they formed an executive team, did some tweaking like all good committees do and came up with a second year plan.

The Under 30 Connection is now changing their name to the Irish Hills Young Professionals and raising the age requirement to 35 or under.  They will continue with all of the successful components of their committee while adding many more to help our young professionals with the hurdles they may be facing in the workplace and as future entrepreneurs. 

If you would like to be a part of this group, please contact chairperson Annette Dupuie at (442-6999) or member ambassador Cole Guthrie at (592-2112).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Does the Irish Hills Need a Community Center?     

Does the Irish Hills need a community swimming pool? That is one of the questions a group called Friends of the Irish Hills Community Center are trying to figure out, and they would like your input.  Do you think we need a community center with a pool, public meeting rooms, or perhaps an auditorium? Would you use such a facility? Would it make the community a more attractive place to live? What do you think?

The Friends of the Irish Hills Community Center would like to invite you to attend a public meeting that has been scheduled for Monday, June 16 at 6 p.m. in the Brooklyn Super 8 banquet room.  This public meeting will be your chance to find out more and ask questions.  For more information on the public meeting, call Bob Linenfelser at 592-2185.

Can’t make it, then post your comments on The Brooklyn Exponent’s Facebook page. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

MIS generates $414 million in tourism dollars

MIS generates $414 million in tourism dollars


  • By Dan Cherry           
    Michigan International Speedway’s economic footprint is more than $414 million a year, with nearly $173 million of that affecting Michigan directly, according to a University of Michigan study released Thursday.
    MIS President Roger Curtis released the economic impact figures alongside U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
    Hosting a race weekend entails more than simply holding a stock car race, Curtis said.
    “It’s about jobs, tourism, national visibility, economic impact and a quality of life for Michigan businesses and residents,” Curtis said. “This racetrack has been a financial shot in the arm for southeast Michigan, including Detroit, since 1968.
    “We look forward to bringing in tourists and their dollars, generating jobs, supporting research and development and the economy, and showcasing everything Pure Michigan has to offer,” Curtis said.
    The study, conducted by U-M; Mark Rosentraub, the Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management at U-M; and research assistant Matthew Rust, shows that MIS annually also pays $2.4 million in local property taxes and more than $8.3 million in state sales and use taxes.
    A portion of those tax dollars then filter to area education and governmental units. In 2013, Cambridge Township received $115,446.90; $5,489.75 went to Onsted Community Schools; and $1.06 million went to the Columbia School District in Jackson County. The Jackson Intermediate School District received $512,717.34, and the Lenawee Intermediate School District was allocated $1,845.88, according to Lenawee County Treasurer Marilyn Woods.
    The track is the largest taxpayer in Lenawee County.
    The total economic footprint of MIS and its national effect produce $226.6 million in earnings and 5,413 jobs, according to the study.
    Additionally, the track has events throughout the year that draw thousands to the area, such as a large-scale blood drive and the international Formula SAE engineering event. Recent additions include the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest, the Faster Horses three-day country music festival and the Tough Mudder obstacle and endurance course.
    Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Hubbell on Thursday called MIS “a friend to the Irish Hills.”
    “MIS does a lot for businesses and the local economy, especially since adding so many events throughout the entire year,” Hubbell said. “We really see a positive difference. We enjoy working with MIS.”
    One of those businesses is Clearwater Motel and Resort at the north end of Devils Lake in Woodstock Township.
    “We applaud MIS for being here,” owner Lynn Million said Thursday. “From the races to Formula SAE and Tough Mudder, we are grateful for all they do for the community and for area businesses through their events.”


    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Chamber Businesses Sharing Stories in the Classroom...

    The Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement  of the Michigan Edge and Columbia Central High School and have come together to teach our students entrepreneurial skills. 

    JA Be Entrepreneurial is a program funded by a grant from the Dorothy Blakely Foundation that will be taught through Junior Achievement by Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber Member businesses to Kevin Miller’s economic classes at Columbia Central High School.

    Seven sessions will be taught over seven weeks on Wednesday, beginning April 16.  Dale Robert, of State Farm Insurance and JA Chairperson will kick off the sessions with “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”.

    Six other business community members sharing their stories with the students are Dan Ross of TransPharm Preclinical Solutions, Matt Logan DDS, Jeff Updike of Irish Hills Collision, Teresa Jordan of Lasting Image, Chad Perrine—Attorney from Marcoux, Allen, Bower, Nichols & Kendall and Bill Kerr of Flagstar Bank.

    “We are so glad to have our chamber members take part in this great program” states Cindy Hubbell, Executive Director of the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, “Junior Achievement’s programs fulfill the same mission as the chamber; strengthening our business community. Teaching our students entrepreneurial skills and hoping that someday, they will use those skills right here in their own hometown”.


    Friday, March 21, 2014


    34th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner

    What an amazing 34th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber held  Thursday evening, March 20, 2014.  Thank you to Jerry’s Pub for hosting such a wonderful meal, and Country Market for the cake. 
    The membership voted Jeff Updike of Irish Hills Collision, Bill Fetters of Woodstock Wine & Cheese and Mark Cornell of Clark Lake Golf Course to the Board of Directors for 3 year terms.  
    Some great honors were given out during the evening’s program.  Many anniversary awards were given to members including a 90 Year Award to Clark Lake Golf Course and a 160 Year Award to St. Joseph Catholic Shrine.  Our Board President, Bill Kerr gave his President’s Award to Rich Turner of Brooklyn Party Shoppe for this contribution to the Brooklyn Fireworks, also announcing his place in the 4th of July Parade as 2014 Grand Marshall. 

    Spruce Awards were given to TC’s Hardware, Irish Hills Collision, Borek Jennings Funeral Home/Braun Chapel and Whispering Lakes Adventure Resort.  The Ambassador of the Year is Kay Roumell and our Under 30 Connection Member of the Year is Rachel Millyard. The Director’s Award went to our outgoing Board Secretary, Lisa Bascom.  

    The Columbia Township Fire Department was honored by the Heart of the Community award for all they do for our community.  Michigan International Speedway was honored with a Governor’s Tribute as a thank you for their economic impact on the business community with all of the great new events, business and people they bring to the Irish Hills. 

    Our Business of the Year for 2014 is TransPharm Preclinical Solutions owned by Dan & Samantha Ross, given for how much they support their local community, even though most of their business is nationally, even internationally.  Our 2014 Citizen of the Year is a very deserving Richard Staub, owner of Village Peddler Gift Snack etc.  Make sure you stop in and congratulate him!

    Overall, we were able to honor some of our "standout" members, those that went above and beyond, those that gave a little bit of themselves, those that make our community one that we are all proud to live in.

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    There is so much going on this month in the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce!

    • Taste of the Irish Hills is a great event coming up on March 8 and 9 (Saturday and Sunday) where 19 of our Irish Hills eating establishments hand out samples of some of their best cuisine to ticket holders.  Tickets are only $20 per person.  Go to for more info....this truly is an event you do not want to miss!
    • The Chamber's 34th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner is on March 20 at Jerry's Pub and Restaurant beginning at 5:30 pm.  The Board of Directors will be handing our numerous honors that evening to very deserving business community members.  RSVP to 592-8907 or
    • The chamber, Columbia Central High School and Napoleon High School have teamed up to put together the Irish Hills Career and College Expo.  We have almost 40 booths available for students and parents to ask questions of our businesses, professionals and colleges in the area.  If you are interested in having a booth, let us know by emailing
    • We have some great advertising opportunities going on right now by way of the Irish Hills Resorter and Buy Local Coupons, just contact Rachel by calling 592-8907 or email for more info.
    • The Under 30 Connection is looking for players and teams for the new Irish Hills Co-Ed Softball League they are forming.  Anyone over 18 years of age is invited to play, if interested call Kelly at 240-7680. 
    • Our Golf Outing Committee is in the process of planning the annual outing.  It is being moved to this spring...May 18 at Hills' Heart of the Lakes Golf Course.  If you would like to sponsor a hole or participate, let us know.

    Monday, February 10, 2014


    Another great workshop from your chamber!

    Marketing Your Business Workshop
    (Marketing on a Shoestring)

    Presented by:  Small Business Development Center of Michigan (SBDC)

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Business owners wanting to grow their business, using basic marketing tools to reach a specific target market; based upon valuable tools available free of charge through local resources.

    ABOUT: The Marketing Your Business workshop presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow your small business. Basic marketing tools are discussed, including market analysis, market research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools.

    Participants will be introduced to valuable data bases available free of charge, though your local library and Small Business Development Center to help you gather the demographic information you need to reach your specific target market you desire. 

    A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated, with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques. Focus is on the business’s customers – creating new customers, developing existing customer, and keeping them all engaged.

    HOSTED BY:           Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce (BIHCC)


    LOCATION:              Irish Hills Eagles # 3689
                                        9500 Wamplers Lake Rd.
                                        Brooklyn MI 49230  

    DATE & TIME:        February 26, 2014
    Breakfast begins:  8:00 AM
    Workshop runs from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

    FEES:                        $25 BIHCC Members, $35 for Non-members
    Cash or check made payable to:  BIHCC

    REGISTRATION:    By Phone at: 517-592-8907
    By E-mail at:


    Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Irish Hills Career & College Expo

    Dear Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber Members:

    Your chamber is partnering with Columbia Central High School and Napoleon High School to hold an Irish Hills Career and College Expo.  We are holding this expo on Wednesday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Columbia Central High School.

    WE NEED YOUR HELP.  We are asking our businesses to participate in the Irish Hills Career and College Expo, free of charge.  This is a great opportunity for our members to speak with students & parents, get exposure, advertising and maybe meet future employees…while making an impact on our future work force.

    We are looking for ALL types of businesses, so students can ask all types of questions.   This is not only to expose our students to job opportunities, but also to expose our students (and their parents) to their community.

    Please let us know if you are interested in setting up a booth, participate as a featured speaker, or just help out.  Email Cindy Hubbell at or call 592-8907.

    Thank you!

    Cindy Hubbell, Executive Director
    Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce

    Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber Education Committee