Tag : Chateau 20

Make a Difference in 20 Minutes

20 minutes productivityDoes it seems like there’s never enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list? We hear you. But we think that somewhere in each day you might have just 20 minutes that could be used differently.

Twenty minutes might seem like a big hunk of time to carve out of your jam-packed day. But then again, it might not seem like enough time to actually accomplish something meaningful. However,  20 minutes is the perfect amount of time (depending on how you use it) to see a variety of benefits, including:

  • Breaking up your routine
  • Helping you be more productive
  • Letting you tackle tasks you dread or having been putting off
  • Enabling you to learn something new
  • Sparking your creativity
  • Getting yourself connected to others
  • Allowing you time to rejuvenate and get centered

Doing things in short bursts and having a set time limit can make a big difference in your life and work.  

Here are some things that you can do in 20 minutes:

  • Go for a one mile walk (or run)
  • Take a power nap
  • Brainstorm blog post ideas
  • Write a to-do list for the next day
  • Run a quick errand
  • Call a friend and spend some time catching up with them
  • Write snail mail to a friend, family member, or business colleague
  • Do some yoga stretches
  • Update your phone, computer, tablet, etc
  • Clean up your desk
  • Read
  • Tackle interruptions that emerged from earlier interruptions
  • Calendar your to-do list and move items into scheduled activities
  • Blast through paperwork (or any other task you dread)
  • Get out of your office
  • Acknowledge someone else’s accomplishments in an email or a phone call
  • Decide the first thing you need to do tomorrow as schedule it as a priority
  • Attend to your network by asking a peer if there is something you can do to help them
  • Solicit feedback from your audience, peers or trusted advisors
  • Forward an article of interest to someone
  • Meditate
  • Organize something in your house if you work from home

Additionally, another thing you can do in 20 minutes is get some top-notch advice from experts who want to see your business succeed. Interested in learning more about a free 20 minute consultation with someone on the Chateau20 team to help take your affiliate efforts to the next level? Contact Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro (tpondskimbro@chateau20.com).  We’re here to help you.

Chateau20 Celebrates National Puppy Day

It’s National Puppy Day!  The C20 team loves our canine pets. So, we thought we’d share some photos of our furry, four-legged family members. Not all of them are pups anymore, but they’re still adorable.

C20’s Doggie Team Members

[caption id="attachment_1422" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brandi Feuer’s pup Emma[/caption]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_1420" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Chris Park’s office helpers Colt the Yellow Lab and Mauser the Miniature Schnauzer[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_1421" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Lisa Riolo’s buddy Connor[/caption]

 

Our clients also love pets too.  Choice Hotels offers more than 2,500 pet-friendly hotels where pets can stay with their humans. That’s just one of many reasons to love Choice Hotels.  Are you currently part of the Choice Hotels affiliate program? If not, contact Chris Park (cpark@chateau20.com).

 

Meet the Team: Ashley Holyoak

At Chateau 20 we enjoy really getting to know our clients, partners, and affiliates. Actually, we’re pretty obsessed about it. And we’d also like you to know more about us. You have probably talked with a Chateau 20 team member on the phone. You’ve definitely gotten emails from them. So, if you’ve ever wondered, “What is Ashley Holyoak’s pet peeve?” or “Does Ashley have a hidden talent?”  Here’s your chance to find out.

Ashley Holyoak, Chateau 20 Publisher Development Manager,  answers 20 questions

Favorite food to eat: Indian Curry

2.The one dish you cook to impress someone: Chile Rellenos

3 .Go-to karaoke song  Uhhh.. I will sit back and watch 🙂

4. First job you ever had: I was the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese. I quit after two weeks.

5 .Biggest pet peeve: People chomping!

6. Hidden talent: When I was younger I used to replicate characters from VHS movie covers.

7. Proudest accomplishment: My husband and I recently patented our first product!

8. Most cherished possession: My family

9. When it comes to social gatherings – is your preference to be the party thrower or the party goer?: I love the thought of having people over and entertaining, but don’t want to clean the mess. So, I usually opt to be the party-goer.

10. Your biggest fear: Circumstances I can’t improve or change.

11.Three words your friends would use to describe you: Positive, supportive, and driven

12. Your quirkiest habit: I love smelling soap containers – dish soap, laundry soap. It’s a problem.

13. Band or musical act you’ve seen at least 3 times: I don’t get out very often, but I did get to see Danny Gans perform 3 times before he passed. He was a great performer!

14. Dogs or cats?: Dogs! Especially small ones!

15. A book you love and have gifted to several friends: I haven’t gifted any books, but my favorite are personal and spiritual growth books.

16. Describe your personal style/look: Somewhat trendy, but also comfortable.

17. Your perfect Sunday: Disconnecting from technology and enjoying time with my family.

18. Your celebrity crush: I don’t really have any, but I used to be way into Scott Stapp, who was the lead singer of Creed.

19. Your first car: Toyota Corolla

20: What are you passionate about?: Finding happiness and enjoyment in everything I do.

Want to know more about Ashely’s professional background? Check out her LinkedIn profile.

Chateau 20 Hearts Affiliate Marketing

Hearts, flowers, cards and lots of chocolate. It must be Valentine’s Day. This is when we declare our undying love for our sweeties and those that make our hearts soars. The Chateau 20 team is passionate about loved ones, but they also love their work. Here are some things that really makes their hearts flutter.

What do you love about online marketing?

Aaron Yeh, Digital Media Manager: I love how digital marketing allows you to get such accurate feedback – both behavioral and conversational – from your customers and clients. I don’t have to wait 30+ days to understand the lift my clients are getting from our activities. It’s all at my fingertips.

Ashley Holyoak, Publisher Development Manager: One of my favorite things is having the ability to communicate valuable information and products to people around the world. The first time I heard about affiliate marketing was about 8 years ago. Ever since that day I have pretty much immersed myself – both professionally and as a personal passion. Today, we have so much information available to us that enables us to provide immense value to a person right when they are searching for it. That’s amazing!

Brandie Feuer, Director of Strategy: Online marketing is always changing and it’s a true marriage of the art of branding and the science of data.

Chris Park, Partner Relationship Manager: The friendships. There are so many industry folks I’ve met over the years that I now consider friends. I’d miss them all if I left the industry.

Lisa Riolo, VP of Operations and Special Projects: Online marketing engages both the left and right sides of my brain. It’s an expression of art and science. Magic and mechanics. I get to be analytical and imaginative. So, I love that online marketing is technology, data, creativity, psychology (and persuasion), economics and relationships all in one place.

Tiffany Ponds-Kimro, Offer Management/Publisher Development: The fact that it’s so broad and can cover so many aspects (social, affiliate, SEO, content, web development) and just about every industry will have to use it at some point.

How do you show love to a client or publisher?

Aaron: I like to make a donation to a client’s preferred charity in their name for special occasions – maybe it’s an anniversary of starting to work with them, or we just wrapped a huge campaign, or it’s their birthday. Direct gifts can sometimes be awkward, but helping out a cause that’s important to them. And it feels great for everyone involved.

Ashley: Being a bit of a foodie (and having the luxury of living in Las Vegas with so many great restaurants everywhere) I like to treat my publishers to a delicious and exciting dinner. One time our team took some affiliates to Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan. If your looking for a restaurant full of energy and fun, I highly recommend checking it out!

Brandie: I love sending snail mail. Send me your address and prepare to get multiple holiday cards!

Chris: I know many publishers personally, so I always like to ask about their family, congratulate them on personal successes. And I’ve been known to send an Edible Arrangement or two.

Lisa: I try to show my sincere appreciation – mostly expressed in words. I believe in thanking and encouraging business partners. These are little proclamations of “love” that help me stay optimistic and positive.

Tiffany: Dropping a quick call to let them know I’m around if they need me.

Tell us something you love and couldn’t live without during your workday.

Aaron: Having  a second or third monitor for my workstation. I literally don’t understand how anyone can work with a single monitor! I feel like I save at least 30 minutes a day not having to tab out of different applications or web pages.

Ashley: I am going to have to say coffee to this one. Particularly Pumpkin Spice from Starbucks. Yes, I am that girl! Additionally, I have to include personal development audios and books, which are a staple in my day-to-day routine. I can’t get enough.

[caption id="attachment_1354" align="alignright" width="300"] Brandie’s pup Emma[/caption]

Brandie: These days, I couldn’t live without my 2lb pup, Emma. She’s always sleeping right beside me while I work.

Chris: I love my home office. Great view out my window. Alexa plays my favorite tunes. And my office mates may snore a bit, but they’re good company.

Lisa: I’m a little obsessed with pure essential oils and the new diffuser sitting in my home office. Since getting it, I’m all about setting the ambiance to fit my mood. The aromatics and colored lighting is already integral to how I approach my work, energy and time management. It’s a fun gadget that focuses my intentions. I just love it.

Tiffany: I need my coffee for full coherence.

[caption id="attachment_1363" align="alignleft" width="300"] Must-have: COFFEE![/caption]

Chateau20’s ASW18 Session Recommendations for Affiliates

ASW18 affiliate summit

It’s that time of year when the performance marketing industry gathers in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West.

It’s always great to attend the largest conference for our industry. But it’s even better when our beloved city hosts and has a chance to shine. Of course there’s world-class dining and entertainment in Vegas. But there’s also more than 100 speakers, over 70 educational sessions, and 300 exhibitors at ASW18.

That’s a lot of educational information, networking, and business opportunities packed into three days. For affiliates there are a lot of sessions to help you earn more, spot trends, and elevate your business. Some sessions overlap. We know you can’t be everywhere at once, but here are some great choices.

Sunday, January 7th

Million Dollar Blog Empires: Ask the Experts @1:00pm Discover what it takes to create a successful and profitable brand and blog in 2018. Ask industry experts and veterans how they built their multi-million dollar empires in this open Q&A session. Jeremy Shoemaker, John Chow, Syed Balkhi

Using Analytics to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing @1:00pm Affiliates and Merchants will discover how to gain valuable actionable insights in analytics. We will cover best practices, most important metrics to use, and how to use this information for success. Carolyn Kmet, Karen Garcia, Lessie Purpera

Live SEO & Monetization Site Reviews with Experts @2:30pm Want to know why your site doesn’t rank or how to get more traffic? Maybe you’re looking to monetize it. This session will review your site live and help you grow your business. Adam Reimer, Brian LaFrance, Carolyn Shelby, Scott Polk

CRO For Paid & Organic Traffic: Live Site Review @2:30pm How’s your conversion rate? Have your site and landing pages audited live to see what conversion rate optimizations you might be leaving on the table for your paid and/or organic traffic. Kenny Hyder, Tony Wright

Monday, January 8th

Quit Losing Money on Your Blog @10am 5 things you can change TODAY. Maximize your revenue without creating any new content or even generating more traffic. Get smart about making more money with what you already have. Tricia Meyer

Affiliate SEO in 2018: What’s Important and What’s Not @10:45am As an affiliate, you don’t have to chase every latest SEO trend. There’s bare SEO minimum – relevant for 2018 – to keep your website in good shape and get ahead of your competitors in SERPs. Aleh Barysevich

Mobile & Affiliate Marketing: What You Need to Know @2pm As mobile technology continues to advance the lines between mobile and affiliate marketing are becoming even more blurred. Learn what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve. Victoria Collins

Automating Adwords: Beating the Competition in Your Sleep @4:15pm How affiliates can build systems using up-to-date SEM automation tech. This will include a demo of affiliate-to-Adwords conversion tracking to create automated ROI-based keyword bidding SEM campaigns. Chet Hall

7 Ways to Help Amplify Your Organix Content Reach @4:15pm Do more than just boost your vanity numbers. Get tools and strategies to amplify your reach to get your content in front of more people. Michelle Held

The Rising Liability of Affiliates in the Online Industries @4:15pm Affiliates have been caught in the storm recently. Regulators start paying attention to them. The days of benefits without risks are gone. This session explains why this happened and how to tackle it.  Maayan M. Dana-Nir, Tal Itzhak Ron

Tuesday, January 9th

How Amazon Affects Affiliate and Online Sales @10am A  look at ways to work with Amazon which enhance brand awareness, increase online sales and help affiliates be more effective. Paul Schroader

7 Tips for Getting Advertisers to Throw Money at You @10:45am How do you become your advertiser’s one true love? How can you become so vital to their marketing mix that they will pay you whatever you want? This session will cover give you everything you need. Chris Whitling

Affiliate Must-Knows: Secrets to Tracking @2pm It’s getting more and more essential to have the right tools in order to maximize your revenue. This session focuses on how you can track multiple types of campaigns, and how new tools can help you! John Cody

Morning Routines, Mindfulness and Making Money @2pm I’ll show how a morning routine creates a platform for a productive day, how mindfulness can help you make better decisions, how motivation is BS and what really works, and resources to help. Mike Buechele

How to Generate Leads and Build Your Brand with Instagram @2pm In this session I will analyze my own personal Instagram account as a case study and how my team and I grew it organically and the opportunities and business that have resulted from it. Carolina Millan

The full agenda can be found here.

Connect with Chateau 20

Additionally, since Chateau 20 is based in Las Vegas, our team will be at ASW18. If you’d like to meet with any team members, contact them directly and schedule a time to connect.

  • Karen White, Founder and CEO (kwhite at chateau20.com)
  • Brandie Feuer, Director of Strategy (bfeuer at chateau20.com)
  • Lisa Riolo, VP of Operations and Special Projects (lriolo at chateau20.com)
  • Chris Park, Partner Relationship Manager (cpark at chateau20.com)
  • Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro, Publisher Development Manager  (tpondskimbro at chateau20.com)
  • Aaron Yeh, Digital Media Manager  (ayeh at chateau20.com)
  • Ashley Holyoak, Publisher Development Manager  (aholyoak at chateau20.com)

What Chateau 20 Loves About the Holidays

The holiday spirit is infectious! And the best part of being part of a diverse team is sharing that joy and finding out about everyone’s holiday traditions. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day,  St. Lucia Day or Festivus, the Chateau 20 team wishes you peace, joy, love, and prosperity. 

Happy Holidays from the Chateau 20 team:

  • Karen White, Founder and CEO
  • Nina Merikan, CFO
  • Brandie Feuer, Director of Strategy
  • Lisa Riolo, VP of Operations and Special Projects
  • Chris Park, Partner Relationship Manager
  • Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro, Publisher Development Manager
  • Aaron Yeh, Digital Media Manager
  • Ashley Holyoak, Publisher Development Manager

We won’t tell you who on the Chateau 20 team has been naughty or nice, but you can find out who loves fruitcake (and their recipe). And learn what we love about the holidays.

Best holiday gift you’ve received?

Karen – So, I am dating myself here, but the best gift ever was my Atari Pong Game, circa 1972.  I was one of the first kids on the block to have one, and I recall playing with it for hours. Back and forth, back and forth. Good times.

Brandie – I love unique gifts. One year my Grandpa made me a stained glass jewelry box that I will always treasure.

Lisa – My love of gadgets started at age 12 when I received Simon, the electronic memory game. I loved that gift so much and have embraced gadgets ever since. Honestly, though, I genuinely like giving more. I love finding something that is appreciated.

Chris – Recently, I’d have to say my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.  I use it all the time!

Tiffany  – There were two. My great-grandparents bought me a globe one year and I spent hours with it, learning the countries and capitals – thinking and dreaming about where I’d go and the people I’d see there. It helped give me a bigger scope than Cleveland, Ohio. I wanted to see it all and I still do. I also remember getting a Barbie makeup set when I was around 8 (1982). The best part was taking it to a sleepover/birthday party where all of us did makeovers, in baby pink and sky blue eyeshadow. It was hilarious.

[caption id="attachment_1229" align="alignleft" width="252"] She said, Yes![/caption]

Aaron –  It was my wife agreeing to marry me. I asked her on a Christmas Day.

Ashley –  I’ve had so many great gifts that I can’t really say which has been the best. But if I had to pick, I would say that my favorite gifts are candles. I can’t get enough!

 

 

 

Worst holiday gift you’ve received?

Karen – My mother once wrapped up a box of rocks in the prettiest big box under the tree as a gag gift.

Brandie – Anything you receive in a White Elephant Exchange is usually the worst.

[caption id="attachment_1225" align="alignright" width="300"] What could possibly go wrong?[/caption]

Lisa – I got back a gift I gave one year later from a friend. It kinda crushed me because I realized that a) I gave a gift that wasn’t a good fit and b) it was so bad my friend didn’t remember I was the original giver.

Chris – The worst gift was something I REALLY wanted. When I was young, I wanted these bouncing shoes. This must have been before toy safety was a consideration. Each shoe was giant metal springs sandwiched between 2 pieces of tin. You strapped them to your feet and were supposed to be able to bounce to incredible heights. I sprained an ankle after about 40 seconds and got several “told you so’s” from my parents.

Tiffany – I don’t really remember any holiday gifts as bad, honestly.

Aaron – A tub of squid jerky from my Chinese grandma. Gross!

Ashley – Last year, just before Christmas, my 7-year-old nephew passed away after suffering from a brain tumor since birth. It’s one of those things that is horrible no matter the time of year, but because it happened during the holiday made it a bit tougher for everyone.

Favorite holiday tradition?

Karen – Christmas Eve is all about food prep for my family. But after all the food prep is done, we all head out to Big Lots to pick up the half-off  Christmas ornaments for the next year. After that, we usually sit around laughing and talking and sipping Egg Nog. Nina and I still honor this tradition every year. We have been doing this for 30+ years.

Brandie – Home for the holidays.

[caption id="attachment_1223" align="alignleft" width="200"] Chris, Shelley, and a huge tree.[/caption]

Lisa – Holiday music runs a close second to (almost a tie with) the lights and decorations. But my favorite family tradition is that my immediate family gathers on Christmas Eve for Antipasti (all appetizers).

Chris – When my boys were little, I always got up before they did and made cinnamon buns. Once they got up, we waited for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive and then they tore into the presents.

Tiffany – My favorite holiday tradition is The Nutcracker. My mom and I went every year. I could dance the thing if I had to. It was an entire event. We dressed up and we would take the train downtown to Playhouse Square, which was beautiful. When I moved to Las Vegas I went to see it at the Smith Center, but it’s just not the same without her and a very heavy coat.  

Aaron – Matching pajamas for the whole family. We open them with the stockings on Christmas Eve so everyone matches for presents on Christmas Day. It’s adorably dorky!

Ashley – On Christmas Eve all of my relatives on my Mom’s side get together at one house (usually my Aunt’s home) for Christmas dinner. All of the kids play together, the adults laugh about old memories, then as it gets later we all sprawl out on the floor to watch movies until Santa comes.

How you give back during the holidays?

Karen – Giving back is one of the most important things to me and my family during the holidays. It used to be numerous turkey and ham giveaways that we would hand deliver for those in need of a helping hand. But the last three years, Nina and I usually find a family to adopt. We make sure that all the kids get the toys on their wish list, and we purchase gift cards at the grocery store to help out with their dinner. This year we are buying toys for kids in children’s services. There is a wish tree at my place, and each resident can pick a kids name off the tree that lists what they want for the holidays.

Brandie – I support Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth during the holidays. It’s easy to give back through their Amazon Wishlist.

Lisa – I donate throughout the year. And then around the holidays I do more spontaneous generosity -meaning bigger tips for service providers etc. Also I focus more on local organizations at this time of the year.

Chris – My wife Shelley and I donate to the Salvation Army food pantry.

[caption id="attachment_1228" align="alignright" width="266"] Giving back to the troops.[/caption]

Tiffany – I should do more, but I like to volunteer at my church.

Aaron – By preparing care packages for troops deployed overseas. My favorite memory of this was in 2013, my entire organization donated items and we ended up making and filling 49 stockings for an entire platoon. It was amazing.

Ashley – We normally donate gifts to Toys For Tots.

What’s on your holiday wish list?

Karen – Picture Frames. To please, please NOT let me overeat. And a cruise vacation.

[caption id="attachment_1227" align="alignleft" width="300"] On Brandie’s list.[/caption]

Brandie – Apple TV, Build Your Own Robot.

Lisa – I was not kidding when I told my family my only wish is for rain. Seriously. My area (Ventura, CA) did not get relief from drought conditions with the early 2017 rains. Now with the fires… well, I’m just asking for mudslides. So, maybe I need to rethink. On a personal front, I really don’t want anything. I’ll just be happy with spending time with family and friends.

Chris – I really don’t have much on my list. My birthday was on Black Friday, so I already got most of what I needed/wanted.

Tiffany – I’d love an espresso machine or a trip abroad (Prague or Vienna), but I don’t need any more “things”. Like, at all!   

Aaron – For my kids to stop growing up so dang fast. Holiday pajamas that I don’t feel dumb wearing year round (looking at you, 2016 Santa and candy canes). And a new coffee pot (coffee is life).

Ashley – A new laptop, my kids’ happiness, and for everyone to experience peace and love.

It’s just not the holidays without _____.

Karen – Coquito

[caption id="attachment_1232" align="alignright" width="300"] Gorgeous – until you have to shovel.[/caption]

Brandie – Grandpa’s Christmas cookies.

Lisa – Sparkling white lights in the town centers.

Chris – Family.

Tiffany – SNOW. Damn it!

Aaron – Pumpkin spice everything!

Ashley – Christmas lights!

Eggnog or fruitcake?

[caption id="attachment_1217" align="alignleft" width="300"]fruitcake recipe Karen’s Fruitcake recipe. Missing info: cook for 90 minutes.[/caption]

Karen – BOTH!! I am getting everyone fruitcake for the holidays. I found my recipe. 

Brandie – Never had either.

Lisa – If the eggnog is added to my latte, then eggnog. If the fruitcake is freshly baked and full of spice, fruitcake.

Chris – Neither.

Tiffany – Eggnog.

Aaron – Eggnog is a billion times better than fruitcake.

Ashley – Eggnog. Never tried fruitcake.

Are you a regifter?

Karen – Yes. Pretty sure I have done a few,  like a crystal clock and other houseware items which were not of my taste.

[caption id="attachment_1231" align="alignleft" width="290"] Recycling. Upcycling. Regifting.[/caption]

Brandie – I regift a lot of vendor chachkies as stocking stuffers for family. They love them!

Lisa – Nope.

Chris – Yep. Typically gift cards.

Tiffany – No.

Aaron – Nope. Not even once!

Ashley –  Yes, I have regifted! I received a bath set one year that, in my opinion, didn’t smell too good, so I gave it to my younger sister.

Favorite holiday movie?

Karen – Love Actually is my new favorite, with It’s a Wonderful Life coming in second.

Brandie – The Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas. It’s 60 days of cheesy Christmas movies.

[caption id="attachment_1244" align="alignleft" width="300"] Christmas Vacation. It’s a holiday classic.[/caption]

Lisa – By far my favorite full-length movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. I absolutely love the one scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase flips on the holiday lights and causes an power outage for the entire town. That made me laugh so hard I cried.

Chris – A Christmas Story. Christmas Vacation. It’s a Wonderful Life.

Tiffany – It’s a toss up between White Christmas and Home Alone. They’re so similar, right?

Aaron –  Die Hard. It’s A Wonderful Life is a very close second.

Ashley – Christmas Vacation. Every year my family gets together on Christmas Eve to watch movies and spend time together, and this movie is always a staple that everyone loves!

Rate your holiday spirit from 1 (a Grinch) to 10 (last name might be Claus)

[caption id="attachment_1222" align="alignright" width="300"] Karen not being a Grinch![/caption]

Karen – My middle name is Grinch during the holiday season. Having lost both parents, it takes me longer to get in the mood. Giving to others has certainly helped, but I am still a big fat 1 until about 12/23  with my sister pulling me along kicking and screaming.

Brandie – Does being excited about a full week of vacation count as a 10?!

Lisa – I pretend to be more Grinch like than I am. I am a solid 6 with moments of 8. I act like a 2.

Chris –  This year? Probably a 3, but hopefully it will improve as we get closer to the holiday.

Tiffany – Most years I’m about an 8. This year I’m holding at a 4 so far – sliding slowly into Grinch territory where I have NEVER before dwelt.

Aaron –  I am a natural 2 who has successfully learned how to be a 5. Kids change everything!

Ashley – I would say an 8. Mid-November is when the holidays begin. I love Christmas music, even though my husband refuses to listen to it until two weeks before Christmas.

 

C20_1x1

Chateau 20 News & Happenings: #VegasStrong

vegas strong

Chateau 20’s headquarters and heart are firmly rooted in Las Vegas. The tragedy that took the lives of 58 people, injured 489, and impacted thousands on October 1, 2017, was a heart wrenching event that many are still struggling to process.

Now is a time for love and healing, and the Chateau 20 team remains focused on helping those affected. The team embodies #VegasStrong and is dedicated to supporting those in need in the wake of this senseless event.

If you, too, would like to help — here are some of the organizations that Chateau 20 hopes you will continue to support as Vegas seeks to emerge stronger, brighter, and more vibrant than ever before.

Donations

Las Vegas Victims Fund

Three Square

T-Shirts (100% of proceeds support victims)

Vegas Strong

Strong House Project

Crisis Response for Small Business Leaders

By Lisa Riolo

crisis management

It’s Monday morning, October 2, 2017. How do I respond to everyone today? How do I lead on a day like this? Because today will be different than most.

Our agency is headquartered in Las Vegas. Several of our clients are also in Las Vegas. The community is suffering. We’re all upset. We keep reassuring family and friends that we’re “safe.” But are we ok? We again check our social media feeds hoping to understand what happened last night. We’re exhausted.

This past Monday involved tragedy, heartbreak and fear. Again. It wasn’t the first time our screens were filled with stories that overwhelm. Just weeks ago it was not one, not two, but three epic hurricanes halting business as usual. And there will inevitably be future days that challenge our ability to perform.

Leadership in business is hard during times of intense distress. The people around us react in unpredictable ways; they’re fragile and sensitive. A well-intended comment may ignite unexpected anger and accusation: You did what?! An ordinary request is suddenly totally unreasonable. Plus, those same inconsistencies happening around us, are also happening within us–making us off kilter, too.

So, how do we proceed with our professional obligations? When do we get back to normal? What is (and what’s not) appropriate?

There isn’t a right-right answer. Nor is this post intended to spell out step-by-step what to do in a crisis. Partly because a response to hardship may call for the exact opposite of telling others how to act or what to think. A morning like this past Monday’s is less about expressing opinion or giving advice and more about acknowledging what the people around us are experiencing.

Acknowledgment is Key

By listening and responding to our customers, our partners, our vendors, we’re letting them know they’re not invisible. Acknowledging their responses to a tragedy–without trying to ‘fix’’ things–is a great way to react. On days when we are dealing with so much human tragedy, we might want to eliminate big proclamations and directives. Or avoid comments that begin with “You should” or “Here’s what I think…”

Chateau 20’s Chris Park put together a thoughtful message on behalf of one of our Vegas-based clients that was sent to affiliates and partners. It involved a request to pause any paid ads or promotions for one day. Chris’ words struck the right tone. He emphasized people first and then shared our client’s request. When I read what he wrote, I  immediately felt like I’d just gotten an understanding pat on the back.

Another recipient came back with a very different reaction to that same email. Instead of a comforting gesture, their response felt like a slap. Maybe I misunderstood their reply? My first thought was to confront that affiliate. Fortunately, our founder and CEO, Karen White cautioned everyone to let the apparent insult go.

I still considered logging in to expire that affiliate’s insertion order. But even without Karen’s good advice, I probably wouldn’t have acted on those thoughts. It’s better to pause in times of stress. I inhale a little deeper and exhale slowly. I listen more carefully. I consider other perspectives and plausible alternatives to what just happened.

But I am not perfect.

Even when making a concerted effort to be on time, I’m rarely punctual. So me saying I was late for everything on Monday means I was super late. I was also impatient. And tired. And frustrated with everyone and nobody in particular. I kept forgetting to ask “How are you today?” which was all that mattered. All day I felt not myself.

Then I remembered THIS leader recognizes when she too is experiencing the same heartbreak as her clients, and team members and neighbors. We behave differently on days like Monday. And that is okay. We just do the best we can.

There are no best practices for leading your business during a crisis or national tragedy–except to simply acknowledge our shared pain with kindness and grace, and patience.  

Meet the Team: Tips for Effective Communication and Maximum Productivity

Affiliates often operate as solopreneurs. Or perhaps, they have some help in the form of virtual employees or contractors that work remotely. It can be isolating to work alone – even if you have co-workers in other locations. Some of the biggest challenges of working at home include finding effective methods for communicating and being productive.

We understand. Chateau 20’s team of experts are spread across the U.S. Everyone approaches working at home differently. What works for one person, may not work for everybody. But here are some tips that help our team stay engaged and maximize productivity.

tips for communication and productivity

COMMUNICATION

It can be hard to interact with others when you work alone. Luckily, there are so many tools and technology that can help facilitate communications. There are also plenty of proven tactics that can make communicating with remote co-workers, partners, and peers more satisfying and more effective.

Karen White, Founder and CEO: I think the biggest failure in communication with others, is that our first go to for most folks is email.  Two rules I follow: If the discussion requires more than three sentences to discuss, I move to hop on the phone.  If the communication requires less than three sentences, I use email or text.

Brandie Feuer,  Director of Strategy: I’ve recently become a fan of Slack. It took a minute, but when you start using it, it’s awesome to chat daily with people on your teams or that you’re working with. I’m also a big believer in face time and try to video conference in whenever possible. I also love people who can make email conversations fun and have a knack for always inserting the perfect LOL gif.

Chris Park, Partner Relationship Manager: Telephone. Email. Text. Skype. Instant messaging. There are SO many ways to keep in contact these days, I try to keep tabs on how each contact prefers to hear from me. By doing so, I can expect quicker and better interactions. I’ve learned that with some contacts, a text or IM is answered relatively immediately, while emails take days or weeks for a response, if at all. It’s also beneficial to keep track of where contacts are located so you don’t call them early in the morning, or late at night. You used to be able to simply check the area code, but with people taking their cell phone numbers with them, now, that is no longer reliable.

Lisa Riolo Vice President of Operations and Special Projects: My best communication tip involves a set of questions–mostly related to the phone – that I use to facilitate effective conversations. I learned from a realtor friend to always ask: is now (still) a good time to talk? Give people the option to express if they can’t give you their full attention. I prefer not having the conversation if the other person feels as if they’re stuck, if it wasn’t scheduled, or ambushed. I’d rather set the moment as well-timed and we are both ready.  

Years ago I replaced “do you have any questions” with “what questions do you have?” It gives people permission to ask. I do this during conference calls, training sessions, etc.

The third question is “how do I help?” This tends to focus a conversation and moves thinking toward a solution or path forward. Sometimes I phrase this question differently: what do you need from me? Is there an opportunity here we aren’t seeing?

I think there is value in collaboration and discussion. Open ended questions facilitate a dialogue. So the second and third questions on this list are designed to help information flow.

Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro, Publisher Development Manager: I like to look for points of similarity, whether it’s personal or professional. It really helps to break the ice and get others to open up. People tend to trust those who are more like them. And trust can foster honest, candid communication.

tips for communication and productivity

PRODUCTIVITY

With no one looking over your shoulder, it can be hard to remain self-motivated and productive. If you’re working at home, there can be so many distractions. It’s crucial to find out what works for you and then create a routine that boosts your productivity.

 

Karen White: My Smartphone (iPhone 6 Plus) is my #1 communication tool. It would be the kiss of death for me to not be able to use it.  I keep a running log of “To Do” tasks in my notes.  I set priority/rank to tasks, as I jot them down.  Each morning I identify my top three priority items of the day, and I determine how much time is needed to complete them.  Once completed, I identify the next three priority items.  Each morning, my priority might change from the day before, but I never concern myself with the idea of trying to complete my entire “to do list” or all the items on the list. 

Brandie Feuer: I’ve really spent the last few years figuring out when I am my best self for certain things and work to structure my day around that as best as possible. For example, my creative brain turns on around 7pm. I kick ass at analytics between 9:30-11am. And I am a waste of space around 3pm. If I can do things in these buckets then I’m 10x more productive and efficient. For example, if I tried to brainstorm in the morning, it would be unfun, painful and take me a good 60 plus minutes to come up with an idea. But, if I brainstorm after 7pm, I’m jazzed and can knock out a great idea in 15 minutes.

The other thing I’m a big believer in – the Post It Note To Do List System. I make myself a Post-It Note of To Dos every day. Usually only 3 things fit on a Post It Note and they are BIG things. I believe that once you knock those things out, you’re good for the day. If you’re working from home, it’s an incentive to get things done or figure out ways to be productive. I can’t shut down until those 3 things are done, whether it takes me 3 hours or 10 hours. It’s also a way to prioritize your workload. If your tasks can’t fit on a Post It Note or they’re not in your top 3, then really ask yourself, ‘Why?’. If the task isn’t important enough to make it to your list, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. And, if you do think it should be on your list, then what do you need to remove from your priorities to make it happen?

I’m not always 100% at this, but another productivity tip that I work towards is “Be Here Now.” Whether you’re working on a task, in a meeting or on a call, really be present in the moment. When your mind is divided, it’s unfair to the other people in the meeting and it’s unfair to yourself and your work. Multitasking is not always the best. One app that helps you practice this is Headspace (another thing I’m a big fan of!)

Chris Park: I have a dedicated office space with a real door that keeps my officemates out (a yellow lab and miniature schnauzer) when I need it to be quiet. I also get up at the same time each morning, get ready to “go to work”, and then drive into town to get a cup of coffee. I did that every morning when I didn’t work from home, so it keeps me in the same pattern of going to work in the morning.

Lisa Riolo: My Not To Do List is as important as my To Do List. This approach helps me manage competing priorities, and make deliberate decisions about what actions are most or least valuable. I also recognize when items on the To Do list aren’t getting checked off. They might have to go on the Not To Do. I am forced to acknowledge when something is just not happening.

I also walk when I talk. Rather than sitting through every call, I realize a lot of conversations don’t require me being on the laptop. So I get up and start walking around the block. The fresh air and activity helps me maintain a higher level of energy, which keeps me productive longer.

Additionally, I Unsubscribe. It’s too easy to get bogged down by info overload. So quit pulling the info in. Just go get what you want when you want it. Stop opening the emails – just Unsubscribe.

Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro: I used to do it everyday when I worked in a corporate setting and stopped once I started working from home – a brain dump first thing in the morning. Some things I write down and some I add to the Notes section of my phone. It also helps to distance me from whatever may be going on in the house (the people). My other productivity key is music. It’s usually contemporary jazz instrumental.  It helps me stay on an even keel even when I’m about to lose it, COMPLETELY. Instrumental is best because then I can’t sing the words that may distract me from actual linear thought.

Meet the Team: Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro

Tiffany Ponds-KimbroTiffany Ponds-Kimbro, Publisher Development Manager at Chateau 20, jokes that when she realized her native Cleveland wasn’t able to handle her big personality, she moved her family to Las Vegas in 2012. We caught up with Tiffany to find out what she misses about Cleveland, some of her passions, and how the MGM management program prepared her for affiliate marketing.

C20: What are some of the things you miss most about Cleveland? And the best things about living in Las Vegas?

Tiffany: I miss all of the green – parks, tree lined streets, and big backyards. I miss my friends and family. I also miss the culture, whether it’s art museums or block parties. And I miss the feeling of community. The best things about Las Vegas is that it’s the retail therapy mecca. There’s also the beautiful surroundings, and the ability to really move beyond traditional roles in a career or business.

C20: What are three of your favorite things to do when you have time off?

Tiffany: Shopping, traveling, and reading

C20: What does your dream vacation/trip look like?

Tiffany: It looks a lot like a grand tour of Europe — from England to Austria, every museum and opera house, and ending on the western coast for some actual relaxation.

C20: How does your background having gone through the program at MGM help you in dealing with clients in the hotel, travel and entertainment industries at Chateau 20?

Tiffany: I think it helps that I understand a lot of the positioning, and more importantly, the brand identities of properties – like Caesar’s Entertainment, Station’s, and Choice Hotels. It gives me insight as to the perception they want to have in the market.  

C20: What part of your job do you find most exciting?

Tiffany: I enjoy working with the publishers in each client’s affiliate program and making sure they have what they need as far as offers, links and creative. I love speaking to them and creating relationships so that they know they have someone who understands them and that they can reach out to for just about anything.