Linda Riesenberg Fisler
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Let's build a Virtue Rolodex of Artists/Authors/Passionate Experts today!
Yesterday, I spent a delightful hour talking with Andrew Allemann, founder of PodcastGuests.com. I’d like to share some of the highlights of our discussion.
Andrew identified a much-needed service. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent searching for podcasts that were still on the air–we’ll just leave it at frustrating countless hours! When I would find a podcast that I would like to be a guest on, I would carefully craft my pitch and send an email. In the majority of the times, I would receive no answer from the host or a response that confirmed my suspicion that the podcast was no longer active.
Andrew is a blogger and podcaster. As he discusses in this interview, he started PodcastGuests.com because he was tapping out his Rolodex of connections and began searching for a new set of guests to interview. He spent that same amount of time I have and then decided to create this service. I joined up and then asked Andrew to join me on All Things Creative.
I found out some exciting information from Andrew. First, I found out my audience is quite exceptional. Many of my podcasts have been downloaded from 2500-3000 times–meaning I have that amount of listeners! He provided that the median number of listeners falls in the 200-300 range. Art Chat/All Things Creative ranks in the top 20% when it comes to the number of listeners. If that isn’t awesome enough, consider this perspective. If you could get the number of your listeners (so, let’s roughly say 2500 of you) all sitting in one room for a presentation, would you be excited about that? You bet you would!
With that in mind and knowing some folks just aren’t interested in organizing a podcast every week or month, let me ask you this. If you could talk about your book, art, maybe your a voracious reader who would like to talk about the books you are reading, or whatever your passion is, wouldn’t be awesome to be able to share that with an average of 200-300 people? Well–then maybe you should become a guest on the right podcast. PodcastGuests.com can help you get linked up with those appropriate shows!
Now, as I noted above, I have joined PodcastGuests.com at the premium level. When listening to the show, you’ll hear Andrew and I talk about building the art side of this business. So, I’m encouraging my fellow authors, artists, friends with a passion, readers–anyone with an interest to listen, guest or become a podcaster–to sign up for this great service. PodcastGuests.com has three entry levels: free, basic ($9/month) and premium ($29/month). Click here to join:
As I said, you can join for free: Click here (You will receive a newsletter with featured guests, but more importantly if you love to listen to podcasts, you will be introduced to shows that you may not have heard of before! Awesome!)
What does $9 a month get you? (This is for those who want to be a guest. You will get a listing which you can check out here.)
Your own online “one-pager”
Profile listed in expert guest directory
Simple profile URL you can share with others
Podcasters contact you directly through your profile
Link to 1 website
Listed in one category
Profile visible in the expert directory
Want to start podcasting and be a guest? Then I recommend that you join at the premium level for $29/month. With this package you get the following services:
The basic package PLUS:
Link to up to 3 websites
Listed in 2 categories
Profile featured above non-Premium profiles
Booking accelerator: Your profile featured in the newsletter on a rotating basis sent to 3,000 people!!
You can unsubscribe from the service at any time, so why not give it a try? Click here to join today! Help Andrew build a virtual Rolodex of artistic experts today!
Here’s the podcast which contains some excellent advice for being a guest and a podcaster. You can listen or watch the video. The video on youtube “introduces” you to the site, so you may want to watch this episode versus just listening.
Thanks for all your support and taking time to listen! Questions? Email me at lfisler(at)lindafisler[dot]com (remove the words at and dot and put the symbols.)
Knowing you all are visual people, it is kind of funny that I don’t have any visuals for this piece. Hang in there. Hopefully, I will have some next week.
I’m working on two painting now. One I have lost interest in and one that I’m excited to get to work on again tomorrow. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the two paintings.
First painting: Boats
My students like when I paint during class. I get them set up, and then I set up, and off I go! It is more fun, and they get to watch my thought process as I work through the painting. It generates discussion, and it helps them to grow and think as well.
So I started this large painting with no thought about what I wanted to paint. It was turning cold, and I thought: “Let’s paint some boats.” That is the problem with this whole painting. I hurriedly pick some reference photos, created my value study and then throughout the painting became disenchanted with the entire scene. It happens to all of us, and I don’t feel like it is a failure. It was reassuring to my students, and I have demonstrated a few techniques in the painting from which they are benefitting.
Standing back and walking away from it, for now, has allowed me to see the many things I dislike about it. Trust me, they all stem back to not having a clear vision to the painting. I have to say; this painting was started while my husband was recovering from a cycling accident that was horrendous (he is fine now!) and the loss of one of my precious kitties. My mind just wasn’t into painting boats or anything else at the time. I can see it in my work. So, yes, it is time to walk away from that one. I’ll pull it out and make more decisions at some point. When I complete it, I’ll share it, but not before.
Second Painting: Giverny lily pond
Last week, I decided that I just couldn’t work on the boat painting another week. I have two new students–well one new student and one “featured” artist who is young and things he is a master artist even though he has never worked in oils. Sense any frustration here?—Yeah–I thought so, but that is a whole different blog.
Anyway, My husband took many beautiful photos when we visited Giverny a few years back. I decided to use his one photos of the lily pond for the reference for my painting. After getting everyone stepped up, and realizing I left my Michael Harding Ivory Black in my downstairs studio, I mixed up a warm, grayish color from the primary colors. It is a beautiful mud color that is a little on the warm side. I created four values and went to work. I squinted and searched for shapes. I studied what I loved about the painting. I made mental notes what I might take out. It was fun actually to be painting again.
I’ll take a photo with my phone before I start on this one again. I’ll share the process of both shortly. Stay tuned!
PS–just to tease you–the featured image has nothing to do with this blog. It is France, but not Giverny. It reminded me I need to paint this one too!
Join Linda as she welcomes Gabrielle de Cuir for this exciting storytelling discussion!
We stepped outside the artist world to get some advice on visual storytelling. Whether we are creating a painting, writing a book or recording an audio book, we need visual storytelling. Gabrielle de Cuir is a producer and CEO of Skyboat Media and a wonderful storyteller. Join us as she provides advice for telling stories: advice that will help you tell stories with your brush and, if you are interested, with your pen!
Click here to register today!Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, 1-2:30 p.m. EST
At the end of the Art Chat, there’ll be a live Q&A! If you can’t join us Sept. 14, register now so you’ll receive a link to the recorded version.
And the remainder of Nicole’s negotiation upon leaving the law firm! I am really happy to publish this deleted scene!
Nicole knew that Tony Shafer and David Rosen never got along. Stanley Pruett was caught in the middle on every vote they had in the past. It was rare when all three partners agreed. Loud disagreements could be heard escaping from Tony’s office far too often. In the beginning, it was Tony’s client list and his friendship with President Mark Stevens that kept the firm afloat. Tony’s connections and his ability to network elevated the firm’s reputation with an affluent client list. Tony was the founder of the firm. Nicole was truthful in her summation that she had tried all of Tony’s cases in the last year. Surely her absence was felt and her absence was effecting the bottom line. Tony would not have been in the position to jump back into the cases and her first year associate would not have been in a position to take over for her either. She could only imagine how tumultuous that time was. Now she began to understand why Tony was deciding to retire. What Nicole didn’t know was that Tony’s desire to retire from the firm had very little to do with the firm at all.
“Oh all right!” Rosen yelled. “Just get rid of the bitch.” He stormed out of the room mumbling something about washing his hands of the whole thing.
Pruett took in a deep breath. “How does one hundred thousand sound?”
“Two hundred thousand,” Nicole answered. “And I didn’t receive my bonus for the case I won two days before I had to leave so abruptly. I believe that bonus would have been close to $700,000 since over two point five million was collected.”
“You want nine hundred thousand?” Pruett asked in disbelief. “Nikki, we can’t afford that.”
“Yes, you can,” Nicole answered. “You can get a loan for that very easily. Just a quick call to Joseph Engle should do it.” Pruett knew that she was right. The firm was worth ten times that at the very least. “I’ll wait here,” She said anticipating that he was going to try to negotiate her down in price. Nicole had no intention of leaving with anything less.
“I’ll be right back,” Pruett said, standing to leave the conference room. He gave Tony a disparaging glance.
“Before you approach Mr. Rosen again,” Nicole began. She had an ace up her sleeve that would allow her to walk away with her purposed compensation. “I know that Tony took credit for my work, and I’m not talking verbally. I’ve seen the records and know they were doctored. I even know who did it.” She watched as the blood drained from Pruett’s face.
Tony, however, wasn’t please with Nicole’s accusation. “Nikki—”
“Tony, I know all about it. I saw the books you unfortunately left on your desk one evening when I was here working on one of those cases you threw at me with the veiled threat of firing me.” Nicole looked at Tony. He didn’t have a rebuttal because he knew she had seen the books. He knew it was his fault and he really didn’t care any longer.
“Wait here,” Pruett directed her. When he was out of sight, Nicole gave a little smile at Tony. She stood and walked over to the box that was on the table to her right.
“Well played,” Tony said to her.
“Don’t you think you should be in that meeting with Rosen and Pruett?” Nicole asked him coyly.
“Nope,” Tony answered. “Right before you got here they basically told me they want me to leave. My power in this firm is basically nothing. In the past couple months, I haven’t really been here. I’m sure you’ll get what you want.”
Nicole opened the box and began to take inventory of her things. There were no law books in the box. Some of the ones in her office were her personal books. Some were given to her by Tony. They were on the top shelf of her office. “There seems to be some law books missing.” She turned to look out the door of the conference room. Jeff, one of the associates was about to walk by.
“Hello Jeff,” Nicole said.
“Nikki, my God! How are you?” Jeff was genuinely happy to see her. “What the hell happened to you?”
She looked at him confused. “You haven’t heard?”
“No, we were just told that you were sick. Whatever they said, it was a pretty lame,” Jeff answered. “At least it was to those of us who knew you.”
“Well, I wasn’t sick. I was–” She hesitated with the words she wanted to use. “Let’s just say I was pressed into service for our country,” She smiled. “Maybe I’ll write a book about it one day.”
“You look great,” Jeff said. He saw the box of her things on the table. “Are you leaving us?”
“Yes,” Nicole answered. “It’s been a really hard couple of months. Carol’s death knocked me for a loop and well, it’s just hard coming back here.”
“I can imagine. We really miss you and Carol,” Jeff stepped in closer to Nicole so that he couldn’t be overheard. “It’s the pits around here with those two in charge. If you start a firm, keep me in mind please.”
Nicole smiled. “I will keep you in mind. Could you do me favor?”
“There were five law books that were mine. Tony gave me too of them and the other three I brought with me. They were on the top shelf in my office. Would you know where they are?”
“They should still be in your old office. We didn’t move anything except what was clearly personal. I’ll go get them. They are on the top shelf?” Jeff asked to confirm the location.
“Yes, the first five starting on the left.” Nicole smiled. After a few minutes Jeff returned with the correct five books. “Thank you so much. I hope they weren’t too hard to find.”
“They weren’t. Your name being in them helped.” Jeff put them in the box. He gave Nicole a hug. “Let me know when you are leaving and I’ll carry that down to your car.”
Nicole looked at Jeff genuinely touched by his actions. “You are so sweet. Thank you.”
Jeff smiled. “Yeah, well, if you weren’t with Senator Jenkins, I’d be asking for your phone number especially since we won’t be working with each other.” Tony cleared his throat to alert Jeff to his presence. Jeff began to blush a little when he realized Tony was in the conference room. “Well, I better get back.”
Jeff was more than a few years younger than Nicole and the compliment was touching. She smiled at Jeff. They both shared an awkward laugh as Jeff retreated to his desk. Nicole turned back around and began to put the other items back in the box. “When are you leaving the office?” Nicole asked Tony.
“My secretary is tearfully boxing up my stuff as we speak. I can leave when you are ready and we can grab that lunch.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Nicole answered. She began to realize that this all felt like closure to her.
It was close to 90 minutes before Pruett returned. He had a leather binder and some ledger sheets. It was obvious he was going over the final weeks of Nicole’s work here. He sat down across from her and then handed her a copy of the ledger. “I do apologize for the delay. I wanted to be thorough. You have in front of you a description of the work you did prior to your disappearance and compensation owed for that work. You had received and cashed your payroll check upon your return as noted here.” Pruett pointed with a pen to the line he referred too. “Have I omitted any cases that you were working on?”
“No. I believe you have them all listed here,” Nicole stated as she looked down the list.
“Thank you,” Pruett acknowledged. “As you can see we are prepared to pay you for the remainder of the work you put in on various cases, some of which we used when we went to court. Add that to payroll compensation, the bonus you spoke of, and a stipend for which you agree not to poach any of our clients brings the total close to one million dollars. We decided to make it an even one million if that is agreeable to you.”
“Yes,” Nicole answered trying very hard not to smile. “I believe that is very fair.”
“Our only request is that we split that into two payments,” Pruett stated. “We are prepared to pay you half now and the other half in 30 days.”
Nicole sat for a moment. “Do you have an agreement for me to sign?”
“May I see it?” Nicole asked. Pruett sent the document across the table. Nicole read through the document and found it all in order. “I presume that the two payments will keep you from taking out a loan?”
Pruett smiled. “That is correct. We had a case close earlier today.”
Nicole determined that Pruett was foregoing his bonus payments and paying her instead. This was to keep her quiet and she knew it. “Mr. Rosen knows about this and is in agreement?”
“Yes,” Pruett answered.
“Mr. Pruett, I’ll sign this, but be aware if the second half of the payment is late, I will see you in court,” Nicole answered taking the pen from Pruett to sign the agreement. She handed the pen and agreement back to Pruett. “I will need a copy of that and have Jean notarize it.”
“Of course,” Pruett picked up the phone and requested Jean to join them. He gave her the orders to copy it and then come back to notarize it in front of them. In the meantime, Pruett wrote out a check for $500,000 and then tore it from the binder. He handed it to Nicole just as Jean returned to notarize the agreement.
Tony stood up and walked to the door. “And with that, I’d say my work here is done. I’ll go get my coat.”
Nicole put the check in her purse. She extended her hand to Stanley Pruett, almost relieved that she would not to return to this office again. “Will you mail the remainder or would you rather I stop by to get it?”
“We’ll leave it with Jean at the front desk. She’ll call you when it is ready,” Pruett answered. He shook her hand and said, “I wish all the best.”
“Thank you. I wish you the same.” With that, Pruett left the conference just as Tony returned with his coat.
“Are you ready to go?” Tony asked. He walked over to the box of Nicole’s previous life. He began to put on his coat. When he finished he put his hand on the box and waited.
Nicole stood up and looked out the conference room door at the office that was once a huge part of her life. It finally hit Nicole that this office was her whole life prior to that fateful night. Here is where she met Carol. Here is where she spent a large portion of her time working on cases that left her feeling empty inside. Here is where she got to see the dark side of being a lawyer and here is where she tried to stay on the good side. Nicole finally realized that she wasn’t going to miss defending scum as she called them. She was proud of her work in the USDOJ. She admitted to herself that maybe her view of her work at Rosen, Shafer and Pruett was a bit jaded because of the events of the past three months. Now she could finally admit to herself that she was not proud of her work at this firm. She would miss some of the people, but the people she would miss most were not going to be at the firm any longer. She was sure that leaving was the right thing to do. She turned to Tony and said, “I’m ready.”
Tony picked up the box while Nicole put on her coat. They walked from conference to elevator doors in the lobby. “Would you mind if we eat lunch on the yacht?” Tony asked. He hesitated before adding, “I’d like to talk to you about something and want to make sure we can’t be overheard.”
“I think that would be great. Do you want me to stop and pick us up something to eat?” Nicole asked as they entered the lobby. She depressed the elevator button. She turned to find Jean walking toward her. They hugged and Jean wished her the best. “I’ll see you next month when I come to pick up my last check.” Jean smiled, gave her another hug saying her goodbyes to both. She returned to her desk as the elevator doors opened.
Tony motioned for Nicole to enter first. He joined her as Nicole depressed the garage level button. “I prepared a tasty seafood chowder last night. If you could stop and pick up some nice bread and maybe a bottle of white wine that would be great.”
“I can do that.” Nicole answered. They walked to Nicole’s car and Tony put the box in Nicole’s trunk. He gave her a quick hug saying he would see her in a little bit. Nicole got in her car and headed to a bakery that was nearby. She remembered she had a nice bottle of white wine at her condo and it was on the way to the harbor where Tony’s yacht was moored.
**You can purchase Blind Influence and Blind Persuasion over on Amazon (click here for just Blind Persuasion or the Blind Series (both books) by clicking here) or get an autographed copy at Linda’s Website.
As mentioned before, this scene was cut to keep the length of the book more manageable. I still love this scene. Those who grew up during this time in the 1980’s will realize that Nicole was indeed setting the bar for the next generation of woman. We sometimes take for granted and are taken for granted for the strides made in the workplace by strong, progressive woman during this time. If you think there still is a glass ceiling (and I do even today), then there was more than a glass ceiling back in 1980. Maybe it was a brick ceiling we broke through!
Part 1–Nicole’s negotiation
“I’ll call Mr. Shafer,” Jean answered. Nicole started to protest. “He told me to let him know when you got here.” Jean hung up the phone and reported that Tony and David Rosen would be right out.
A short man with dark hair, that Nicole tried like the plague to avoid, opened the familiar door that Nicole had walked through so many times without being escorted. “Hello, Nikki. Good to see you,” He said as he extended his hand.
Nicole walked over to him and returned the handshake. She responded with a gracious thank you and she thought, let the dance begin.
“Come on in. Tony is waiting in the conference room. There is some business we need to handle and then we can let you go on your way.”
“I understand. I apologize as I have been trying to decide what I wanted to do. Thank you for your patience with me,” Nicole said as she walked through the door at Rosen’s urging. They walked to a conference room where Tony and Stanley Pruett were waiting for them. She shook Pruett’s hand. Tony walked around the table to give her a hug. Tony took her by the arm and escorted her to a chair next to his.
Rosen spoke first. “Given everything that has happened and not really hearing from you in the last two months, we inferred you would like to leave the firm. However, we like to entice you to stay on as a partner.” Nicole was shocked although she didn’t show it. “Naturally your relationship with Senator Jenkins is a big consideration with this offer.”
“Wait,” Nicole interrupted. “Are you saying that you want to offer me a partnership because I’m dating Senator Jenkins? And if you are, what would happen if I stop seeing Senator Jenkins?”
“No, no,” Stanley Pruett interjected. “My partner misspoke. We realize that your background and your connections could benefit the firm. Nothing would change if you and Senator Jenkins would end your relationship.” Pruett shot a disapproving look at his partner for his blunder. “Ms. Charbonneau, you have been through a lot. You also have a wonderful track record here at the firm and we’d welcome you back if there is an interest.”
“Unfortunately, gentlemen, the interest isn’t there. I honestly am not sure what I’m going to do in the near future. I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure practicing law is a part of that. The episode that I went through has impacted my life. I’m not sure I could walk back through these doors daily and not think of the things I want to put behind me. I don’t think it would be fair to any of us for me to even entertain this offer. While I am very honored and bit surprised by it, at this time I must turn it down. I hope you understand.”
Rosen took some paperwork out of a folder sitting next to him. “This is a quick letter of termination of your contract that was entered upon when you accepted the position here. I think you will find it in order.” He handed Nicole the paper. She placed it between herself and Tony, who put on his glasses and began reading it.
“If in the near future you find that you have changed your mind, please contact me and we’ll be happy to discuss the opportunity,” Pruett said. She and Tony continued to read the paper.
However, as if on cue, one of the third year associates entered the conference room with a box. It was Nicole’s personal things from her office and desk. “Right there will be fine.” Pruett said to the associate who looked at Nicole. She could tell he was uncomfortable but made no attempt to make him feel otherwise.
Pruett could tell Nicole was upset. “Nikki, life moves on and we had to make a few changes. We didn’t know when you would be back, if at all. You had cases to be tried, clients who were basically dumped. We lost two very good attorneys duringat that time. Please understand that we had to move some associates up and we needed your office space.”
“Is my client list in that box?” Nicole asked trying to keep her voice from showing any anger.
Tony interrupted with an attempt at some humor. “It was nice to see you didn’t reassign my office.”
Rosen looked at Tony. “If Ms. Charbonneau had accepted our offer, we were going to put her in your office since you rarely grace us with your presence.”
Deep down Nicole knew Pruett was right. She had literally disappeared at the same time Carol was killed. She was not in a position to contact anyone. If it were her business, she would have done the same.
“Those are our clients,” Rosen stated flatly, secure that he had shot Tony’s attempt at humor down sufficiently. Nicole looked at Rosen without saying a word, a trait that she learned from her beau, Senator Jenkins. The trick was to just give them a stare with a bit of a nasty look on her face until they squirmed. She saw Jenkins do it the night of the White House dinner when they met. She took note of the impact it had on one of his colleagues. Rosen did finally squirm, but there was no offer to include her client list.
“Tell me, Mr. Pruett, what is Tony Shafer’s association with this firm?” Nicole asked, not taking her eyes off of Rosen, whom she distrusted the most among them.
“He is sitting right here,” Pruett answered. Tony looked at Nicole unsure of where she was going with the question. “Why do you ask?”
“Considering that I tried all of Tony’s cases in the past year, his clients were my clients. And it is my understanding that Tony is still employed by this firm. Aren’t you, Tony?”
“Yes.” Tony answered, just as confused as the other two partners.
“In the time that I was working here, trying Mr. Shafer’s cases, I didn’t receive anywhere near his pay. If you really want to keep Tony’s clients and prevent me from recruiting them for my own firm, I would consider a one-time payment from you to keep me from pouching your clients.”
“I can’t believe this,” Rosen said as he sat back and looked at Pruett. “You presumptuous little bitch–”
“David,” Pruett interrupted. “Maybe you should take a walk.”
“I’m staying right here and she will not get a dime,” Rosen answered.
Nicole looked at Tony, who was seated with his hand to his mouthm hiding the smile on his face. “I believe you’ll be out voted, Rosen.” Tony finally answered. “She is right. She handled the majority of my caseload so that I could drum up more business for this firm. Give her what she wants.”
Rosen was about to answer when Pruett put his hand on Rosen’s arm to keep him in is seat.
He turned his head to address Rosen. “We are on tenable ground with those clients considering the way their cases were handled when she disappeared. If she approaches them, they will leave. We know that.”
To be continued….
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