C-Suite Network™

Biography and History Entrepreneurship Human Resources Personal Development

The Audiobook Publishers Association Recognizes Business Audio Theatre

Stephen King was there for a special award of recognition. Michele Obama, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and other Hollywood stars were lauded for their narrations. And Michael and Bonnie were there to accept their medallion for Finalist in the Business/Personal Development category!

That’s right! The Barefoot Spirit made it to the finals at the 2020 Audiobook Publishers Association’s Awards competition!

Last night, tucked under the Queens Borough Bridge in Manhattan, the 2020 Audiobook Publishers Association Audie Awards Gala was presented at the elegant Gustavino’s, complete with red carpets, cameras, champagne, and celebrities. Folks were dressed to the nines to celebrate the Audiobook Publishers Association’s (APA) 25TH year in hopes that they would bring home the top awards. This was clearly a big deal for the audiobook industry and we were honored to be included with all the glitterati.

According to the MC, one in every two Americans listened to at least one audiobook last year and the industry made a whopping one billion dollars in sales. As more and more listeners discover the freedom of true mobile entertainment, audiobook growth is taking off fast.

The APA is supported mainly by the big publishers, so it was quite a compliment when a former judge in our category said, “You guys are self-published? You are very fortunate to have made it all the way to Finalist!” Along with Harpers, MacMillan, Penguin, and all the other Big Boys, here comes Michael and Bonnie’s The Barefoot Spirit, self-published by Footnotes Press, LLC. We proudly wore our finalists award medallions all evening! It appears we were the only self-published audiobook to make it to the final round!

Out of only five finalists in our category, ours was the only one that was performed and fully-casted rather than strictly narrated. We would like to think that the distinction was recognized by the Association. We are grateful that the APA has recognized the value of this pioneering initiative to convey business principles and preserve founders’ legacies with Business Audio Theatre (BAT). This acknowledgment gives a level of credibility to performed business audiobooks.

While we were in New York, we were interviewed on C-Suite TV. They were interested in the APA recognition, but more keenly focused on the potential for Business Audio Theatre when used as an onboarding tool to help increase engagement and reduce turn over. They wanted to know how this new technology could be employed to preserve a founder’s legacy and improve company culture.

Founders can’t be there forever, and they know it. Sooner or later they must turn over the reins of leadership to the next generation. They worry about their companies becoming complacent, mired in compliance, and turf battles breaking out between the increasingly specialized divisions.

Will it be “just another job” for their future employees? Would they just as soon work anywhere? Or do they identify with their new company? How can companies keep their Founder’s spirit alive? We believe the best way to convey business principles is through story. And the best way to convey story is through an audio performance that entertains and engages the listener’s imagination while it educates. And what if that listener is your company’s new hire? And what if your company’s story and principles are handed to them on day one in an MP3 format?

Having created and published an acclaimed example of BAT in The Barefoot Spirit audiobook, having perfected the process of conversion of story to audio play, and having partnered with a Hollywood production company, Sherwood Players that have actually done it, we are in a truly unique position to offer this new tool to founders and their companies.

That’s the promise of Business Audio Theatre and that’s why the audiobook industry’s recognition means so much to us. We can create a compelling onboarding tool to help other founders keep their spirit alive and preserve their company’s history. Check it out at BusinessAudioTheatre.com.

Best Practices Growth Health and Wellness

Thought Leader Resources – Future of Meetings

Inside the Mind of a Meeting Professional

As a thought leader, you may not even know what is going on during a “normal day of a meeting professional let alone a “new reality” day.


The initial question to ask is – Is this planner dealing with an event that has been previously booked, planned, and contracted or a brand-new event?  Recognize if dealing with a previously booked event they may still be working within the confines of that event contract.


As a thought leader, you may be dealing with many titles acting as meeting professionals attempting to analyze an event before, during, and after.  From each of those vantage points, the questions begin.  Before deciding whether an event should be in-person/face to face or virtual, review the following complex arrangement of questions and decisions.

  • What do I do before the event? (face to face, virtual or hybrid)
  • What do I do onsite at an event? (face to face, virtual or hybrid)
  • What do I do after an event? (face to face, virtual or hybrid)
  1. Who are my attendees? (demographics)

What industry does the attendee represent?

What are the health, age, considerations of the attendees?

Are there travel bans in place for the attendee?

Are there travel bans in place for the host organization/company?

At what level are the attendee’s technology-enabled?

At what level is the organization technology-enabled?

  1. Where is the meeting located?

State, local, national, international

  1. Transportation to the meeting?  Transportation once on-site at the meeting/event?

Car, plane, train, uber etc.

  1. Hotel/Venue

Are there geographical restrictions in place for the venue?

If relocating/changing dates, Does the venue have new dates available?

Is meeting space available based on social distancing guidelines?

Are sleeping rooms available?

Can the venue accommodate the new group if larger or smaller?

Can the venue accommodate additional technical requirements?

  1. Why are we having a meeting/conference/trade show?

What are the goals/expected outcomes of the events?

  1. Does the event already have risk management, insurance, and mitigation?
  2. Does the event warrant the risk management, insurance, and mitigation?
  3. Additional concerns:

Meeting Room Configurations

Food & Beverage Service

Financial Minimums / Attrition

Audio Visual Budgets

Onsite – Touching/Physical Contact (Surfaces, Materials, Giveaways, books, pens, etc.)

Attendee contact tracing

Attendee health records/temperature checks

Meeting Insurance – Take this into consideration when deciding whether to move forward or cancel your event.  If there is insurance meeting planners may be forced to wait to meet contract terms.

How you can be supportive as a Thought Leader

  • Have compassion/empathy for meeting professional/planning team
  • Have compassion/empathy for attendees
  • Ask more questions
  • Listen more
  • Collaborate with all parties
  • Be Flexible
  • Evaluate the event within the context of the greater goals of your organization/industry.


Resources planners are referencing:


Event Industry Council (EIC)




Professional Conference Managers Association (PCMA)




Meeting Professionals International MPI








Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) https://www.siteglobal.com/


National Speakers Association (NSA) https://www.nsaspeaker.org/attend/influence20/


IAEE https://www.iaee.com/


ASAE https://www.asaecenter.org/




Media Partners:  https://www.g2planet.com/blog/the-24-top-industry-event-publications


Smart Meetings https://www.smartmeetings.com/


Meetings Today https://www.meetingstoday.com/


Meetings Net https://www.meetingsnet.com/


Northstar Meetings https://www.northstarmeetingsgroup.com/News/Industry/Future-Meetings-Events-Industry-CEO-Predictions-Coronavirus-Impact



COVID: Specific Reports


Events Industry Council (global) https://insights.eventscouncil.org/Full-Article/eic-connects-covid-19-resources-for-global-members


US Travel Association https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-travel-industry-research


Coronavirus Recovery Resources: https://www.pcma.org/coronavirus-business-events-professionals-need-to-know-faq/?utm_medium=top-cta&utm_source=pcma_homepage&utm_campaign=covid-19


Novel Coronavirus Resources https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus
Official Statement from IAEE https://www.iaee.com/covid19/


HSMAI Global Coronavirus Resources https://global.hsmai.org/insights/coronavirus-resources/


Meetings Mean Business https://www.ustravel.org/programs/meetings-mean-business-coalition




About Holly Duckworth:


Founder of the C-Suite Network Mindful Leadership Council the premiere community for where mindfulness and leadership connect. The council she leads creates, contributes, and advances mindful leadership as a practice in the workplace. This is an elite group of professionals dedicated to the application of what mindfulness is, and the advancement of personal and emotional support for leaders to grow the income and impact of their businesses.


Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP is CEO of Leadership Solutions International, is a trailblazer transforming businesses and industries as a contributor to the New York Times, Producer/Host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show with more than 150 episodes Holly has provides training programs on applied mindful leadership around the world.  Bring Holly to your company conference or event to educate, connect or inspire.


Growth Personal Development

A Story- the Rolling Stone that Gathered No Memories


A Rolling Stone Gathers No Memories


If you were to ask me how long summer lasted when I was a kid the answer would be for-ever!


Long, lazy, eternal times of hot weather, boredom, swimsuits, and bicycles. The smell of Noxema and tanning oil, the sound of a screen door slamming, and cicadas buzzing. The taste of water out of a garden hose and melting popsicles.  The minor tortures of mosquito bites, skinned knees, sunburn, and muggy sleepless nights.


But the older I got, the faster I started rolling.


I made lists, set goals, bought stuff, made payments, put in the extra hours and effort, took on extra responsibility and a family and rolled faster and faster.


And technology helped me! I got a beeper at first, then a cell phone– then texting and messaging allowed me to work from home, get more stuff done, even on a Saturday or Sunday. I could sneak some more work in, answer an urgent need from a client, outdo my competition. I took my work with me to bed, it sat next to me on my cellphone and it would buzz and beep and flash, reminding me of stuff that I could do, should do…nights were often restless, the days more frantic. Weekends became weekdays, and the seasons would change in an increasing blur that I vaguely noticed out of the corner of my eye as I met another deadline, got another sale, booked another client. Birthdays, holidays, seasons, graduations, weddings, funerals…faster and faster they flew by…

I started eating faster at each meal, thinking about what was next, plotting my strategies, hearing my family only in a distracted way, while I planned my next step, my next move.


Foolishly I thought that by working harder and faster, that I could get ahead…but work had a way of piling up even faster. No matter how fast or efficient or hard, all it did was raise the expectations of others or myself.


So here is what happened to the Summers of my youth: I gave them away. I made Work my god and I sacrificed Summer at its altar.


Does this sound familiar? Does this sound desirable…in any way?


So here’s a thought about Sunday. One on the Ten Commandments talks about a day of rest. I always assumed it was about God demanding his due as Creator, and I still think that’s part of it. But I’m just now realizing, perhaps too late, the gift He also gives in a day of doing nothing. A day that is measured only by the length of shadows, strolls and meditation moves much slower than a day that marches to a second hand and a never-ending to-do list. And in that time, I am reminded that being is every bit as important as doing.


Little kids have an ability to just be and I have lost that talent.  I have never met a child workaholic, nor was I one. I was never in a hurry as a kid, always loafing and strolling, slowly and methodically eating my food in dreamy distraction, looking at clouds, chasing after my imagination.


And once a week, I want that child back. It will not be easy, and it will take practice and diligence, but it will be worth the effort.


Because I want my Summer back.


Growth Health and Wellness Management

The Importance Of A Work-life Balance In Uncertain Times


By Daniel Lohman, CPSA

The way we work changed dramatically overnight. We are all having to learn and adopt new ways of remaining connected to our world. The secret to making all of this work is having a connected community to rely on. 

Striking a balance between a career and a work-life balance is difficult for entrepreneurs without the complications of a pandemic. New stressors from working from home and having to completely re-think the way we connect with our teams, clients, and prospects while also being a teacher and daycare provider are having a profound impact on our sanity, health, and wellness. 

This describes the transition I made decades earlier when the company I worked for embraced telecommuting. Unilever was one of the first big companies to make the switch. The learning curve was steep for all of us- especially for this of us who were single parents. I found myself working at odd hours so that I could be a parent during the day. Meetings were scheduled around nap times and school schedules. I frequently found myself overwhelmed but I learned to adjust. This why I have insights to help those thrust into this new normal. 

My saving grace came years later when I found a connected community. Belonging to a group of like-minded high-impact professionals helped me grow and thrive across several roles. Before then, I had been on my own pushing myself relentlessly. I now had the support of a team that pushed me to new heights helping me become a respected leader in my industry. This benefitted us all mutually, we all thrived as a result.

There is an ancient African proverb that I love: “if you want to go fast go alone if you want to go further go together”. While inspiring, it overlooks the benefit of a mastermind style group helping you avoid the pitfalls most entrepreneurs fall into, like remaining focused despite all the distractions constantly trying to derail us and identifying the best resources for building and growing your brand. 

More importantly, the law of reciprocity is the key to successfully balancing work and life. I believe that generosity and an authentic commitment to being a trusted and valued resource to your community is the best way to get more and go further – my secrets sauce.   

The thing that makes natural, natural is our thriving connected community. There is an abundance of great mentors, thought leaders, and experts eager to help emerging natural brands grow and scale during even the most challenging times. This was the focus of my most recent Brand Secrets And Strategies podcast and YouTube video interview and why I am thrilled to be a part of the C-Suite Network: SECRETS 188 Jeffrey Hayzlett Chairman C-Suite, C-Suite Brand-Building Strategies For Natural Food Brands. We also talked about how C-Suite Network and C-Suite Radio is partnering with me on the free weekly webinar series I launched to support brands during these challenging times – the perfect example of a connected community empowering others. Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar.

Being part of a connected community can help you more effectively balance your personal life and your work life. It helps you remain focused while giving you the additional bandwidth where needed. It helps you proactively avoid pitfalls and distractions that derail others. It also provides a “safe place to land’ when things don’t go right along with a cheering squad to keep you motivated and on track. Similar to the C-Suite Network, the more you participate and give authentically, the more you get back. We are all in this together. Having a connected community can help you lean into the current storm and come out unscathed. This is the essential ingredient to a healthy work-life balance.  

* Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash.

Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration