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Experiential Learning with Horses

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  • Monday, March 17, 2014 8:24 PM | Anonymous

    By Marie-Claude Stockl

    Executive Director, The Horse Institute

    www.thehorseinstitute.com

    With all the expenses that go along with promoting your business, you may not have the resources to hire a publicist.  But you can get good stories in the press, if you follow three basic ground rules.   OK, let’s get started.

    #1      What Makes a Good Story?

    Reporters get more releases than they have time to review.  As they scan through your materials, they have only three questions on their mind: So what?  Who cares?  What’s in it for me?  They want a story that draws the reader in, or will keep the viewer or listener tuned it.  They care about providing value to their audience.   It’s that simple.

    For example, if you announce that you are bringing Equine Assisted Learning to the area, you are missing the “grabber”, and your release lands in the circular file faster than you can say neigh.  It won’t work because it’s all about you, not their audience.  And it does not answer the three key questions we talked about.

    But, if you turn the story around and announce that the estimated 1,350 veterans who reside in Greene, Columbia, and Dutchess counties can now have access to an innovative program that helps them deal with PTSD…now you have their attention!

    The more you can localize the story, the better your chance to get coverage. 

    Here are a couple of news angles you might consider:

    1.     You are holding a free demo for the community.

    2.     You have a new program, such as a new leadership retreat.

    3.     You are doing a team-building seminar for a local group (make sure that you   seek permission to invite the media from your client).

    Weeks ahead, contact the “calendar editor” in each local media outlet and give them the 5 Ws: What?  When?  Where?  Who?  Why?

    A few days before the event, send your release to the “news assignment editor” or the “editor” in smaller newspapers.  Look at the masthead of the publication or visit their website for contact information.

    The day before, follow-up by phone.  Introduce yourself and let the reporters know you will be on hand to assist them.

    Never miss a photo opp.  Print and television reporters want to know: where can they point the camera?  Is it visual?  Fortunately for us, horses are almost as appealing to the media as babies and puppies.  Also, photos can continue to build your image through blog posts, sharing on social media or to clients and partners.  Don’t forget to ask participants to sign a print or video release form..

    #2      How to craft a press release that will grab the attention of local media

    Editors are used to a specific format.  You can visit our website to see examples.  Here are a few tips:

    ·        Put the contact information on top of the page.  Provide a valid phone number and e-mail address.

    ·        Note that your headline should be between 80 and 170 characters. The “catchier” the better.

    ·        Write the copy of the release in an inverted pyramid, just as reporters write their own story: the short story first, followed by short paragraphs (1-3 sentences). 

    ·        Be objective and avoid direct address such as I, me, you, your, our, etc.   

    ·        End the release with your “boiler plate”, the short summary of your business and what it stands for.

    #3      Do's and don’ts when speaking to reporters

    ·        Prepare for your interviews by first choosing 3 messages (no more) that you want to see in print or on television. 

    ·        Practice saying them out loud in as few words and sounding as much like “you” as possible.  Reporters want sound bites.

    ·        Repeat those messages 3 times in the course of the interview.  Don’t hesitate to “flag” the important points, i.e.,  “What’s important here is…”

    ·        If you get a “tough” question, answer it, without repeating the negatives.  Phrase it in your own words, then bridge to one of your messages.  As a reporter once said: “It’s not the question that does the damage, it’s the answer.”

    Good luck, and remember, “All glory comes from daring to begin!”

    Marie-Claude Stockl co-founded The Horse Institute in 2005.  CBS, NPR and The New York Times have covered their leadership and team development programs, under “Press” at www.thehorseinstitute.com

  • Wednesday, February 05, 2014 8:16 PM | Kim Shook (Administrator)

    The first step in developing a product development cycle in an equine service based business is to exactly identify your product, its feature and benefits.  In E3A, we are dealing with programs and services (and perhaps derivative products like books, workbooks, assessments, etc.) we suggest you start by fully describing your primary product. 

    What is your primary product idea?  Is it a new idea, or an improvement on an existing idea? Does it incorporate new knowledge?  What about it is special?   Describe it in a short statement. 

    After defining your initial product idea, broaden your definition into expanded product ideas.  This is accomplished by providing a full service package that optimizes your primary product idea by describing different initial or follow-on programs, processes, services, and/or tangible products.  But first, let’s focus upon your primary product.

    Features are the specifications of the product, the what, i.e. how you describe it, what gives it shape, and the "accessories" that make it unique.

    Benefits are the advantages your product will provide for your clients, why your client cares about the product, and how your product will make your client's life and/or business better.  Benefits are the sizzle that inspires clients to purchase your product.

    Write your ideas in a template such as the one illustrated below.  Here we have an example of a developed product platform for a service/program based EAL business.

    Product

    Features

    Benefits

    Corporate equine-based experiential learning seminars customized to meet client needs.

    ·         ½ -3 day seminars

    ·         Grounded in the dynamics of herd behavior and its parallel to organizational effectiveness

    ·         Based on Assess, Experience, Act framework

    ·         Incorporates individual assessments, connects individual strengths to organization’s culture, and optimize communication

    ·         Experiential learning

    ·         Executive summary including action plan and 30-60 day follow-up

    ·         Use of customized course materials to highlight learning (team principles, leadership, couples communication, etc)

    ·         Provides a quick learning cycle

    ·         Optimizes individual and team strengths to transform overall performance

    ·         Highly customized workshop targeted to client needs

    ·         Ensures a shared vision, strengthens culture, and improves team engagement and retention

    ·         Learning by doing increases skills and knowledge, and is much more likely to produce positive change

    ·         Roadmap for change identified and support for integration

    ·         Provides conceptual framework, deepens understanding, and reinforces learning

    Your product platform underlies your subsequent research, planning and business activities including: identifying your client, how to market your product, researching the competition, and creating your strategic intention and goals.  You can learn more about product development, the sales cycle, and online/traditional marketing by attending E3A’s Business Development 2 class on Thursday, March 6 at 7pm ET.  For more information, see www.E3Assoc.org and look at “Upcoming Events.”

    Look for future blogs on these subjects, or if you want it all in one shot, watch our website for the soon to be available book Everything you need to know to GET STARTED in an equine-based service business by PJ Stegen available March 1, 2014 at www.E3Assoc.org.  

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 9:08 AM | Anonymous


    This morning as I was giving the horses hay and cleaning up from a night of processing all that hay, I began thinking about my favorite things.  I thought I might share them with you, with the hopes that you will add to my list by sharing YOUR favorite things as well.


    Linda Pucci's Favorite Things:

    • The sound of horses eating grain
    • The smell of fresh hay
    • Being able to see my horses' breath in the cold morning air
    • Watching the horses graze in my pasture with the Smoky Mountains as a backdrop
    • Finding the ice on the water trough is already broken when I arrive in the morning (How do they do that?)
    • Bluebirds in the pasture year-round
    • Horses lying in the sun on a cold winter day
    • Watching my horses kick up their heels as they run from the lower pasture to the top of the hill
    • Finding new offerings right next to the manure pile
    • The sway and rhythm of being on horseback as we walk up mountain trails
    • Hearing my horse nicker at me every morning
    • Being my own boss
    • Seeing clients get "aha's" and watching what a huge difference it makes
    • Watching people transform before my very eyes
    • Teaching students to effectively facilitate experiences with horses
    • Having a horse come to the fence to greet new people who arrive at my office
    • Seeing the horses touch noses with the neighbor's dog
    • The smell of horses when you bury your nose in their neck
    • Being able to sense a horse looking into my office window
    • Those soft, wise equine eyes
    • Having a life with horses in it!
    What are YOUR favorite things? 
  • Wednesday, January 01, 2014 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

    A New Year's Resolution is a nice first step.  It is a statement of your intention to change.  Often it declares the end result you'd like to have.  Regretfully, the declaration itself usually isn't strong enough to make the change happen.  What is needed is a GOAL. 

    A goal is different than a resolution, because implicit in the goal are steps to allow you to reach it.  A goal requires you to take action.  Without action, it is merely a WISH.  For example, you might wish to lose weight, get out of debt, or even spend more time with your horses, but without a plan and some action, the thought itself isn't enough to make it happen.          

    The beginning of a new year can be a perfect time to set new goals for the upcoming months.  I usually suggest that people set goals that can be achieved in a few months–with six months being the longest.  I find that anything longer than that makes it hard to keep your momentum going.  If you have something really big and long-term that you want to achieve--creating a new equine-based business, or writing a book, for instance, set interim goals along the way.  You'll need to be able to keep your excitement toward your goal going.

    The first step in goal-setting is figuring out what you want.  That may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people focus instead on what they DON'T WANT.  For example, you may not want to be in debt, you may not want to be overweight, you may not want to be unhealthy, or you may not want to be so stressed.  All of these are goals about what you DON'T WANT.  But what DO you want?  The clearer you can be about this, the better.

    The second step is to state your goal as a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  A S.M.A.R.T. goal involves meeting the conditions represented by the letters in the word, SMART. 

    Your goal should be Specific.  The S in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific.  The more specific you are about your goal, the better you'll be able to zero in on exactly what you want.  For example, if your goal is to have more money, you'll need to figure out exactly how much more.  If you just set your goal at having "more," will you be happy if you just earn one dollar more?  Pick a specific dollar amount you'd like to have.  By the same token, if you want to create a successful business, figure out what that really means.  How much money will you want/need to net?  Figure out what you want to achieve in order to be successful.  Be specific about it. 

    The M stands for Measurable.   Be sure to figure out how to measure your success.  Make your goal Measurable.  This allows you to know when you have reached it.  If your goal is to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?  Without knowing this, you won't know whether you have succeeded in reaching the goal or not.  If you are starting an equine-based business, how many clients will you have?  How much money will you earn (after expenses)?    

    The A in S.M.A.R.T. stands for As If Now.  When you choose your goal, state it as if it is happening now.  For instance, "I'm putting aside 10% of my income every month into savings," or "I eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day," or "I have scheduled five new corporate workshops."  By stating your goal as if it is already achieved, you create it as a reality in your mind.  It has already happened.  It isn't something you are postponing for "someday" in the future.  Unconsciously, you hurry to make it happen. 

    You goal needs to be Realistic.  That's the R in S.M.A.R.T.  This is a bit subjective, but your goal needs to be something that really is achievable.  For example, if I set a goal to earn a million dollars by the end of the week, that's probably not very realistic.   If I set a goal to lose 20 pounds by the day after tomorrow, it can't be done in a healthy way.  Those goals aren't realistic.  Pick something that is realistic for you, and a deadline that is realistic as well.

    That brings us to the T in S.M.A.R.T.  The T stands for Timed.  Goals need to have a deadline.  When you set a goal, you need to set a deadline for its achievement.  Otherwise, there's no impetus for reaching it, no urgency.  The deadline keeps it from being just a wish for "someday."  When you set a deadline for your goal, you set yourself on a course to begin to work on it, and build in some motivation to keep working towards it.

    The third step in the goal-setting process is to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal.  By writing it down, it really becomes imbedded in your mind as something you will accomplish.  

    Following these three simple steps in your goal-setting turns your New Year's Resolutions into achievable goals.  Make 2014 count!

    P.S.  If the idea of setting goals or doing strategic planning for you business is a bit overwhelming, you may want to sign up for BD4, the E3A Business Development course that takes you through a planning and implementation process.  The next one is scheduled to begin on January 23rd.  Look on the Upcoming Schedule page for more information.

    Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach with more than 35 years experience helping people overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.  She is a founding member of the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), a Master Trainer, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.  For more information, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com or email her at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com

    It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

    It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

    A New Year's Resolution is a nice first step.  It is a statement of your intention to change.  Often it declares the end result you'd like to have.  Regretfully, the declaration itself usually isn't strong enough to make the change happen.  What is needed is a GOAL. 

    A goal is different than a resolution, because implicit in the goal are steps to allow you to reach it.  A goal requires you to take action.  Without action, it is merely a WISH.  For example, you might wish to lose weight, get out of debt, or even spend more time with your horses, but without a plan and some action, the thought itself isn't enough to make it happen.          

    The beginning of a new year can be a perfect time to set new goals for the upcoming months.  I usually suggest that people set goals that can be achieved in a few months–with six months being the longest.  I find that anything longer than that makes it hard to keep your momentum going.  If you have something really big and long-term that you want to achieve--creating a new equine-based business, or writing a book, for instance, set interim goals along the way.  You'll need to be able to keep your excitement toward your goal going.

    The first step in goal-setting is figuring out what you want.  That may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people focus instead on what they DON'T WANT.  For example, you may not want to be in debt, you may not want to be overweight, you may not want to be unhealthy, or you may not want to be so stressed.  All of these are goals about what you DON'T WANT.  But what DO you want?  The clearer you can be about this, the better.

    The second step is to state your goal as a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  A S.M.A.R.T. goal involves meeting the conditions represented by the letters in the word, SMART. 

    Your goal should be Specific.  The S in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific.  The more specific you are about your goal, the better you'll be able to zero in on exactly what you want.  For example, if your goal is to have more money, you'll need to figure out exactly how much more.  If you just set your goal at having "more," will you be happy if you just earn one dollar more?  Pick a specific dollar amount you'd like to have.  By the same token, if you want to create a successful business, figure out what that really means.  How much money will you want/need to net?  Figure out what you want to achieve in order to be successful.  Be specific about it. 

    The M stands for Measurable.   Be sure to figure out how to measure your success.  Make your goal Measurable.  This allows you to know when you have reached it.  If your goal is to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?  Without knowing this, you won't know whether you have succeeded in reaching the goal or not.  If you are starting an equine-based business, how many clients will you have?  How much money will you earn (after expenses)?    

    The A in S.M.A.R.T. stands for As If Now.  When you choose your goal, state it as if it is happening now.  For instance, "I'm putting aside 10% of my income every month into savings," or "I eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day," or "I have scheduled five new corporate workshops."  By stating your goal as if it is already achieved, you create it as a reality in your mind.  It has already happened.  It isn't something you are postponing for "someday" in the future.  Unconsciously, you hurry to make it happen. 

    You goal needs to be Realistic.  That's the R in S.M.A.R.T.  This is a bit subjective, but your goal needs to be something that really is achievable.  For example, if I set a goal to earn a million dollars by the end of the week, that's probably not very realistic.   If I set a goal to lose 20 pounds by the day after tomorrow, it can't be done in a healthy way.  Those goals aren't realistic.  Pick something that is realistic for you, and a deadline that is realistic as well.

    That brings us to the T in S.M.A.R.T.  The T stands for Timed.  Goals need to have a deadline.  When you set a goal, you need to set a deadline for its achievement.  Otherwise, there's no impetus for reaching it, no urgency.  The deadline keeps it from being just a wish for "someday."  When you set a deadline for your goal, you set yourself on a course to begin to work on it, and build in some motivation to keep working towards it.

    The third step in the goal-setting process is to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal.  By writing it down, it really becomes imbedded in your mind as something you will accomplish.  

    Following these three simple steps in your goal-setting turns your New Year's Resolutions into achievable goals.  Make 2014 count!

    What is YOUR GOAL for 2014?  

    Add your comment below and share it.  Going "public" with your goals can help you hold yourself accountable.

    P.S.  If the idea of setting goals or doing strategic planning for you business is a bit overwhelming, you may want to sign up for BD4, the E3A Business Development course that takes you through a planning and implementation process.  The next one is scheduled to begin on January 23rd.  Look on the Upcoming Schedule page for more information.

    Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach with more than 35 years experience helping people overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.  She is a founding member of the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), a Master Trainer, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.  For more information, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com or email her at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com

  • Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:19 AM | Kim Shook (Administrator)

    One of the most asked questions is how is E3A different than other organizations.  The heart of the difference is the manner of facilitating learning experiences rather than therapeutic ones.  Please check out this document to examine the similarities and differences between facilitating experiences for Corporate Training, Education, Coaching (all three are part of E3A's model) and Counseling:  E3 Development and Change Methods.pdf

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2011 4:00 PM | Kim Shook (Administrator)

    By PJ & Dave Stegen, Horseshoe U


    Imagine that your company has grown so successfully that operations are departmentalized.  It might look like this: Finance & Administration, R&D, Sales, Marketing, Public Relations, etc.  Now even if you are a OMB (one man band) or OWB (one woman band) as the case may be and you are doing all of the work, most of the business functions still need to be done…it is only a matter of scale.  With that in mind you can set intentions for everything you do and let your intentions guide you where you want to go. 

     

    Vision and mission statements can drive a company's strategic direction but are often just postings on the wall that fly above day to day operations.   Vision and mission are enlivened by assigning your intention for every functional work area of your business that is complementary to the overall company vision and mission.  For example, what is your marketing and sales intention?  Is it to corner a new market or capture 10% of an existing one?  Do you intend annual sales of ten thousand or one million dollars?  In the area of product development is it your intention to provide the highest quality product on the market or one with the least cost to customers?  Setting your intentions for every segment of your business creates a compass and a measuring stick to set the direction for and inspire the activity of each strategic work area.  By fulfilling specific intentions throughout your business operations you guarantee realization of your company’s vision and mission. 

     

    Get Started, How to Create and Market Service Based Business During a Down Economy is an E3A telecourse that goes more deeply into this subject.   Join PJ Stegen and Kim Shook, certified E3A trainers, on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) or Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 PM (Pacific Time) for a free introduction to hear what this twelve session telecourse offers.  Sign up at www.E3Assoc.org.

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2011 2:00 PM | Kim Shook (Administrator)
    By PJ & Dave Stegen, Horseshoe U

    The vision, mission and values statements that you create for your business are the inspiration and the map that set the strategic direction for your organization and lay the foundational measurements for a strategic plan.  The vision statement contains your highest aspirations for attainment, your motivation for being in business, your core business philosophy and the organization’s ultimate vision for the future.  It expresses the core essence of the organization, your long range vision for what the organization is when its ultimate potential is realized.  For example, Flip Flop Ranch’s vision statement is “(we are) an educational ranch dedicated to building relationships”.

     

    While the vision statement is the ultimate "who" of your organization, the mission statement is the "what" of the organization.  Your mission statement identifies your target audience, how you will serve them, and the business purpose and primary goals you seek to achieve on the way to accomplishing your ultimate vision.  Flying High Farm’s stated mission is: “(we) incorporate the therapeutic power of ponies towards optimizing the behavioral, emotional and social growth of our youth”. 

     

    Your value statements express your organizational culture and “how” you do business.  They are the essential qualities of who you and your organization are being and how they are performing activities.  Sound value statements set the tone for finding clients and doing business and enhance your ability to fulfill your vision and mission within an identified code of ethics.  Aspen Ranch has established the following values for its operation: “In all decisions and actions – including our interactions with students, family members, co-workers and professional colleagues – we are guided by our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, and Integrity”.

     

    Get Started, How to Create and Market Service Based Business During a Down Economy is an E3A telecourse that goes more deeply into this subject.   Join PJ Stegen and Kim Shook, certified E3A trainers, on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) or Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 PM (Pacific Time) for a free introduction to hear what this twelve session telecourse offers.  Sign up at www.E3Assoc.org.

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2011 9:01 AM | Kim Shook (Administrator)

    By PJ & Dave Stegen, Horseshoe U


    Starting a business is an exciting venture.  It’s easy to get caught up in deciding what your logo looks like, finding the perfect business name, coming up with an inspiring vision and mission, and getting your office set up.  While those pursuits are important and probably more fun than mapping out the action plan for business operations, deciding the right business type that will work for you given your business and entrepreneurial style should come first.  Are you flying solo or working with a partner or group?  Is this to be afor profit business or is it to be a community service type non-profit?  What personal liability could you encounter in conducting your business?  These are a few of the questions that you should consider as you set up your operation. 

     

    The five basic business forms are the Sole Proprietorship, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, for profit Corporations and Non-Profit Corporations, each form having advantages and disadvantages.  In a sole proprietorship you call the shots as the sole owner and as a result bear liability for all debt.  Partnerships combine individual strengths and talents, spread the work load, share liabilities and provide feedback, but they are more complicated and require working out an operating/partnership agreement.  Limited liability companies are structured to limit personal liability, but require more paperwork and costs.  Corporations enjoy certain tax advantages not available to individuals but have a more complex operating and regulatory structures.  Non-profit corporations are generally exempt from income taxes but often experience funding difficulty. 

     

    Get Started, How to Create and Market Service Based Business During a Down Economy is an E3A telecourse that goes more deeply into this subject.   Join PJ Stegen and Kim Shook, certified E3A trainers, on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) or Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 PM (Pacific Time) for a free introduction to hear what this twelve session telecourse offers.  Sign up at www.E3Assoc.org.

  • Saturday, June 25, 2011 10:11 AM | Kim Shook (Administrator)
  • Tuesday, June 07, 2011 5:52 PM | Kim Shook (Administrator)

    By Kim Shook, Cofounder of Bella Terra Equine Adventure (bellaterrainc.org)

    The book Tribal Leadership lays out a four stage model to assess organizational culture along with their 5 minute assessment tool (as well as an Executive assessment tool).

    Assessment tools are always great additions to an E3 team building or leadership development program.

    Learn more about Tribal Leadership at: http://www.triballeadership.net/

    Get the free audio book from Zappos (their founder is the author of Deliverying Happiness):  http://www.zappos.com/tribal.zhtml

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