Don’t Just Stand There, 2015!

Posted on January 26, 2015 by karen

don't just stand there

 

“Don’t Just Stand There…”

Love that phrase. It’s exactly how I feel about my personal and professional life. Thanks to that mindset, 2014 was a fantastic year for me. I continued to grow my company on the East Coast, moved from the East to the West coast, traveled for work (and play), and expanded AstiNova even further by opening up in San Francisco, California.

I’ve worked with so many amazing clients who have shared their ideas, cultures, and personal lives with me. Both past and present clients continue to inspire me with their needs regarding accent reduction and public speaking. Some clients do best 1-on-1, others thrive in groups, some need weekly audio recordings and others do great with follow up videos from me.

So I started to think: What can I do to make things better for my clients? What will help them neutralize their foreign accents, pronounce difficult sounds better, and make their overall experience better?

Tada! Below is a client inspired list of things to come in 2015! Disclaimer: This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning of the list. Do you have an idea? Do you have something that you think would help you out or make things easier? Then email me!

2015 Goals:

1. Multi payment methods: Accept Credit Cards, PayPal, Square etc.

2. Office Hours for extra Accent Reduction Help

3. YouTube Pronunciation Videos

4. Accent Reduction Video Training Packages geared towards specific languages

5. Client Specific Videos and Tutorials

6. Packages: VIP, Corporate, Individual, & Small Group

7. Tech & Startup Specific Accent Reduction Training Groups

8. Increase Conference Attendance for Public Speaking Clients

9. Corporate Consults or Seminars for Public Speaking and Pronunciation

10. Free (Live!) Language Specific Seminars

Bonus: Company Paid Accent Reduction Help!

What languages or sounds would you like me to make videos of? What was your first language? Would you like to see something else in 2015? Want me to email your boss? Email Me!

 

Relocate Your Life

Posted on May 17, 2014 by karen
One of many pictures from my drive across the USA! From Charleston, SC to San Francisco, CA.
One of many pictures from my drive across the USA! From Charleston, SC to San Francisco, CA.

So, I quit my job. Then picked up my boyfriend at the airport. In the 20 minute ride home we decided we would move from Charleston, SC to San Francisco, CA.

I’m not kidding. But why?

Because I’m worth it. I mean this in all aspects of “worth.”  My time, education, experiences, patience, happiness, and morals all deserved more. I’m still head over heels in love with my career as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). I just was no longer in love with the constant conflict I was living at my job. So I peaced out. 

My first experience with Accent Reduction was in graduate school with a client from India and I was hooked. However, coming out of school I went to work in Pediatrics and then transitioned to Geriatrics. It was when I was working with adults again that I realized how much I missed Accent Modification or Reduction. So I started it back up. Within a session I was hooked, again. This was the day AstiNova was born. Tada!

Why San Francisco? Because I couldn’t freaking help it. The culture just tied me up and dragged me here. Well, we considered Australia or New Zealand too. Maybe next time. I can’t explain the city lights, background hum, the taste or the feel of each and every different neighborhood. I’m in love with the motivated people. I couldn’t have asked for a more creative and innovative “new home” to grow in.

Stop.

Stop whatever you’re doing and relocate your life. Where is it? Where is it heading? Where do you want it to go? If your life isn’t aimed where you want to be then you won’t get there. I want my life to learn, grow, and change. I want full control over my career. I want to work with people who want to change and improve. I want happiness. So I changed the course of my life and career. You don’t need to go to the extremes that I have gone to. But you do need to reevaluate your life- and do so often. I always want to be exactly where I am. If I wake up one day and find {here} is somewhere else… then I’ll make a change to get there.

Side Note: If you ever get the chance to drive across the country- Do it. America is absolutely gorgeous. It’s incredible the changes that occur from state to state.

 

 

Startup Life: CEO’s & Founders with Foreign Accents

Posted on February 19, 2014 by karen

I recently went to a networking event where someone had compared my Accent Reduction or English Pronunciation Training with the article in Inc. Paul Graham on Building Companies for Fast Growth” by Issie Lapowsky. The part of the interview we chatted about was when Graham noted seeing a correlation with CEO’s of Startups with strong foreign accents being a bad indication of their future success. This apparently ruffled some feathers in the Startup community because it prompted him to write this response.

Many of my clients and future clients fall into this category:  Brilliant, ambitious, Startup centered, and foreign accented. The majority of clients come to me because they want to be more successful, be better leaders, sound more professional, improve their communication and many to gain more confidence.

I love P.G’s response when he says:

“Everyone got that? We all agree accents are fine? The problem is when people can’t understand you.”

Clear communication is vital in every position in every company. But if you’re a Founder or CEO you are always talking with customers, investors, employees, and all of us random folks who go to networking events. It’s important to be able to sell your product or services even if it’s someone you met at happy hour. You’ve always got to be on.

Being fluent in English is only part one of being successful in the States. Clear pronunciation is part two. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule but they’d probably be the first to tell you their success could have come easier if they were understood better. You don’t have to lose your accent entirely, you don’t need to leave behind your culture-  I’d prefer if you brought it with you. I bring my Boston attitude with me everywhere I go. From San Francisco to Charleston, SC I’m always my authentic self and you should be too.

If you want at least a 50% increase in your English Pronunciation send me an email at karen@astinova.com and we’ll dive in. I’ll give you fast and effective personal training, provide a web based program for easy practice, and work with you over video conferencing so you don’t even have to leave your office.