Hello LeTippers! I am President of LeTip of Central Bucks in Doylestown, PA and owner of Kosola Productions. The main focus of my company is photography services.
My LeTip story began in early 2015 when I was invited to another LeTip group meeting. At the time the schedule was not possible for me to join that group. Months later I was approached by a business owner and he invited me to a meeting to talk about forming a LeTip Chapter. Six years later I am active President of the chapter and proud of it.
From day one when everything was shut down due to the pandemic, I kept a positive attitude and kept my head up each day with my business. Unfortunately, when the shutdown happened, I received many phone calls and emails asking to cancel contracts due to the pending global crisis. I knew trying to reschedule with clients was possible but with so much chaos going on and each client had to be dealt with on a case by case basis. The goal was to make everyone happy with what we decided to do together, so we could have a plan in place so everyone knew how we would proceed. I felt like every day I was being attacked by forces out of everyone’s control. As a business owner, I always did the right thing for my clients, but this was a different situation. On a daily basis, I had brides calling worried their dream wedding would not happen, I had corporate clients cancelling annual parties but the real punch in the face was the fact that no new clients were calling to schedule new jobs for any of my photography services. The brakes had been slammed on for sure, but I was not the one driving the company car.
I remember laying with my kids on the couch reading an email from Paul Della Valle organizing a weekly lunch time call to connect. After attending I started to see the value in participating in a weekly LeTip International call. The largest value I saw was being able to connect with business owners around the United States and get an outside perspective of each other’s business and situation they were dealing with due to the pandemic. The weeks turned into months and by the end of the year I felt like I had really learned a lot about the regulars on the call. No matter what every week I attended the zoom calls. My children would be sitting on my lap or playing in the office, but I still attended to hear what people had to say and tried each week to learn something to build my knowledge of business. My perseverance and staying connected to LeTip became a powerful tool in my toolbox. Looking back, I believe building a larger network was the most successful accomplishment of 2020. Success is measured by what you do when things are not going the way you need them to, but it molds you into who you become by the actions you took to keep moving forward in a positive direction.
As 2020 was coming to an end and 2021 was approaching my clients were scheduling jobs however for the second half of 2021 and even 2022. The wheels started to turn in my head and a new strategy started to form. That strategy was to use Zoom somehow to my advantage for my company. The idea was to teach photography classes through zoom. I contacted my web designer in my chapter and told her the plan. By the end of the day, I had a page developed on my website that was devoted to teaching a basic photography class and a sports photography class. https://kosolaphoto.com/one-on-one-zoom-photography-classes/
Pivoting to some new ideas will open new doors is what I kept telling myself. I shared the idea with the weekly lunch bunch group and within a week I had two classes scheduled across the country. The value of networking is priceless with LeTip International.
In regards to my chapter and dealing with COVID, working through COVID was challenging in many ways in 2020. I knew my business was suffering but as President I was worried about everyone else as well. The first challenge was getting everyone to believe that we could meet on Zoom and hold a smooth meeting. Naturally you will have some that didn’t believe it could work. This took time and when I mean time it took until July to get perfect attendance. The second challenge was making sure that members understood there would be an end in sight to the pandemic. We have moved to hybrid meetings and that seems like it has opened new doors and value for our chapter. We had 4 guests in one week in January through zoom and now have new members. I think that is because we listened to everyone’s concerns about COVID and accommodated the needs of members and guests.
Morale was low but members stayed positive for the most part. Motivating the chapter was not easy but I kept it positive and told them that zoom would work to our advantage in growing the chapter. We have grown our chapter because of zoom. Our chapter is unique because we had members step up when things seemed to be falling apart. Josh Lutton, our financial advisor of the group, definitely was positive to talk to each week to keep myself focused on future plans of the chapter. Our goal for 2021 is to get our membership up to 30 active members.
LeTip of Central Bucks