Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 3, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 3, 2015 



 The painful truth: Sellers who do not price their property competitively are the most likely targets of lowball 
offers. In soft markets, buyers are more prone to make low offers on listings seen to be priced too high. Listings 
that don’t sell usually require price reductions, which in turn often mean ultimately accepting an offer lower than 
you could have received by pricing aggressively from Day One.

 Since selling your home can be such an emotional and subjective experience, it’s easy to understand why 
you’d be reluctant to counter an offer below your asking price. But rather than feel insulted, try to see it as the 
beginning of a dialogue that could ultimately produce a sale.

 If you feel any of the terms or conditions of the offer are unacceptable, ask your agent to present a counter-offer. 
Sometimes buyers and sellers don’t really know beforehand what price they’ll accept until they’ve begun the 
negotiations. For example, a buyer might agree to a higher price than planned if interest rates suddenly drop.

 If you’ve received a lower than expected offer, but the buyers have proven their qualifications and commitment 
by securing loan pre-approval, you have grounds for serious consideration. The process of counter-offering can 
be swiftly settled or carry on ad nauseam. Be prepared to explore all options and act quickly before letting your 
negotiations fail. 

LIFE LINES by Amanda Rogers

Many of my coaching clients come to their last session in December 
wanting to talk about resolutions and how to make changes in the New 
Year. I respond by asking the client to leave the room. No, really. I instruct 
my client to wait outside and send in their “Saboteur” instead. You know, 
the self-judge we all have. That powerful, internal voice that tries to 
convince us we’re not good enough and gets in the way when we want to 
make positive changes.

 Seconds later, the Saboteur enters the room (cleverly donned as my 
client) acting a bit on edge. It tells me we have to keep it short because New 
Years is a very busy season for Saboteurs, with resolutions to discourage 
and promises to hinder. I invite it to sit, assuring it that it is welcome and 
that I just want to get to know it. 

 I can see it relax…a little. I ask the Saboteur what exactly calls it 
forth. It tells me that whenever my client takes the initiative to illicit 
change in his life, an alarm sounds, waking the Saboteur from its slumber. 
I ask the Saboteur what it is most fond of saying to my client. It tells me it 
uses whatever manipulation the moment calls for. Examples? “You’re not 
good enough,” “It’s too hard,” “It won’t work anyway,” “You can do it later,” 
“You’re fine the way you are,” “It’s too scary,” “ You might get hurt,” “You 
don’t deserve it” … Whatever angle it knows will be most triggering. And 
how does it know what triggers my client? Well, the Saboteur explains to 
me that it’s known him for a very long time. Yes, they go way back.

 I ask the Saboteur what it is trying to accomplish with all its negativity. Its tough exterior softens. It quietly confesses 
that all it really wants to do is protect my client from danger, loss of relationship, and a catastrophe of some kind. It’s there 
to keep him from taking potentially unsafe risks. “I understand,” I say. “But you are most commonly overcautious at times 
that call for great risk, for the sake of positive change! And it’s very CONFUSING because when you recite an old litany 
of judgment, rules and limiting beliefs, my client actually hates you and trusts you at the same time! Making my job very 

 The Saboteur pauses, deciding whether or not to admit something to me. “I fear that if I take a vacation, I’ll be forgotten. 
I’ll be out of a job.” “No,” I counter. “My client needs you. Sometimes your voice gives him instruction, or reminds him of 
past scenarios he may have chosen to forget. Sometimes you actually challenge him to commit to something. The harder 
he pushes against you the more committed he becomes to the change he’s trying to make.” It seems as if I’ve struck a chord.

 As a rule, I never let any of my clients’ saboteurs leave before asking their name. If my clients are going to live with 
these Saboteurs, they should know exactly with whom they are dealing. I’ve met quite a host of colorful characters in my 
office around the New Year…Captain Inertia, Lady Nit Picky, Madam Martyrdom, Dr. Did It Wrong, Sir Never Satisfied, 
to name a few.

 Finally, I thank the Saboteur for coming in and I tell it how I see its future relationship with my client. I suggest that 
up until now it has loved my client with fear. And fear stifles life and gets in the way of fulfillment and our freedom to 
complete ourselves. I suggest we re-negotiate the relationship a bit. And I suggest that it put out an all points bulletin to all 
Saboteurs the world over, from me. “Lead with love! Help us remember lessons we’ve learned in our past so we don’t have 
to learn the same lesson over and over again! And as long as all you Saboteurs out there approach us with a healthy sense 
of safety that doesn’t hinder or control us, none of you will be out of a job.” 

 Satisfied, the saboteur and I ask the client to come back into the room and the three of us toast to the New Year. 


 To continue the conversation join me at



As I help clients get their financial affairs in order, 
one of the most common mistakes I see is how 
beneficiaries are named on IRAs. As we kick off the 
New Year I want to encourage you to look at how 
you’ve named the beneficiaries of your IRAs.

You see, you could be unintentionally reducing 
your family’s wealth potential if you do not properly 
designate the beneficiaries of your IRAs. The 
ramifications of this mean your IRA assets could pass 
to the wrong people or entities, so how you execute 
your beneficiary designations is critically important.

 Here are some issues to be aware of regarding your 
IRA beneficiaries:

 Spouse: A surviving spouse can either roll the 
funds into his or her existing IRA or establish an 
inherited IRA and take distributions that will be 
calculated based on his or her life expectancy. It is 
often (though not always) a good idea to name your 
spouse as the primary beneficiary of your IRA.

 Children: Just like spouses, children can stretch 
required distributions from an inherited IRA over 
their own life expectancies. But be careful. Naming 
minor children as primary or even contingent 
beneficiaries is almost never a good idea. 

 Trusts: A trust can be named a beneficiary of an 
inherited IRA (and this is often the right way thing 
to do), but there are a number of complex issues 
involved, so be sure to consult with an attorney for 

 Contingent beneficiaries: A surviving spouse 
may wish to disclaim interest in an inherited IRA, 
so the assets can pass to children or grandchildren. 
Therefore, it is important to name secondary as well 
as primary beneficiaries for your IRA so assets remain 
within the control of your family. Naming the right 
contingent beneficiaries is often as important as 
naming the right primary beneficiary.

 If you’d like to learn more about how to properly 
protect retirement accounts or other financial 
assets for loved ones or have other estate planning 
questions, call our office today to schedule a time for 
us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for 
a Family Estate Planning Session, but because this 
planning is so important, I’ve made space for the 
next two people who mention this article to have a 
complete planning session at no charge. Call today 
and mention this article. 

Happy New Year to you and yours,



 A local attorney, father, and CASA volunteer 
(Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children), 
Marc Garlett is on a mission to help parents protect 
what they love most. His office is located at 49 S. 
Baldwin Ave., Ste. G, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Call 
626.355.4000 to schedule an appointment to sit down 
and talk about ensuring a legacy of love and financial 
security for your family or visit 
for more information.


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques


Citizen of the Year Monica Hubbard

 Monica Hubbard has spent her career 
putting disparate things together to make 
a greater whole. From 1966 through 1999 
she conducted choirs in academic, church 
and community settings. When Caltech first 
admitted women undergraduates, she taught 
voice and conducted choirs there from 1972-
1999, as well as conducting choirs for public and 
private schools. She was the national repertoire 
and standards chair for the American Chorale 
Directors Association and was instrumental in 
getting ACDA to have a national women’s honor 
choir perform at a national convention, as well 
as working to develop and commission new 
choral works. She also started the first database 
of repertoire composed specifically for women’s 
voices, and repertoire for upper voices by 
women composers.

 After 27 years at Caltech, she left conducting 
to open a consulting practice for arts and social 
services nonprofits with a focus on board development and 
capacity-building. Her clients have included the Pasadena 
Playhouse, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the 
AIDS Service Center, and Occidental College.

 Her foremost tool has been her computer: “Caltech 
gave me my very first computer,” she said, and she 
quickly mastered its possibilities in terms of research, 
communication, and creating databases, and carried this 
into her consulting work. Along the way, she created 
“Wired Women,” a weekly email newsletter that covered 
women’s issues and events in the greater Pasadena area.

 But as an Altadena resident, she said she also wanted 
to connect “the people who were doing positive things” 
closer to home, and created a second newsletter, the 
“Altadena Women’s Network.” She also began to work more 
closely with and cultivated relationships in the Altadena 
community, serving as a neighborhood watch co-captain, 
joining the Sheriff’s Community Advisory Committee 
and serving on the town council’s Public Education 
Committee. She is a member of multiple community 
groups, including Altadena Heritage, the Altadena 
Historical Society, and Friends of the Altadena Libraries, 
among many others. She is a founding member and/or 
board member of Invest in PUSD Kids, Pasadena Village, 
and the Pasadena Educational Foundation. She was also a 
member of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce Board of 
Directors from 2007-2009.

 More recently, she has been involved in founding 
two organizations: the Altadena Library Alliance, which 
recently succeeded in passing Measure A, assuring 
funding of the Altadena Library District through a special 
parcel tax for the next ten years; and Neighbors Building a 
Better Altadena. A group that was started to raise concerns 
about a Walmart Neighborhood Market opening in 
Altadena, NBBA is now working on making Altadena’s 
business districts more “walkable” and art-filled. NBBA 
models working with other organizations, such as the 
Altadena Town Council and Chamber of Commerce, to 
cooperatively make concrete things happen to improve the 

 “I really like connecting people with resources,” 
Hubbard said. “When I see people do good, I like to help 
them in any way possible.”

 As for being named Citizen of the Year, “I’m surprised 
and delighted,” Hubbard said. “It’s an honor. When I look 
at some of the people who received it in the past, it’s a little 

Business of the Year: El Patron Mexican Restaurant

 For a relatively new business -- it will be five years 
old in May -- El Patron Mexican Restaurant has already 
made a big splash in Altadena. Not only has it gotten a 
reputation for good, hearty food and excellent service -- 
and has opened a second location -- but you can count 
on the restaurant helping out at local events, fundraisers, 
and other gatherings, giving back to the community that 
brought it success.

 All this in a location that has seen many restaurants 
come and go over the years. El Patron is here to stay.

 Owner-founder Alex Cortes comes from a family in 
the restaurant business, and always wanted to have a 
restaurant of his own. He was working for an Irwindale-
based candy distributor ten years ago when he opened his 
first restaurant with his brother at an Irwindale location. 
They sold that business after a year, and Cortes continued 
working for the candy distributor.

 When his employer announced it was moving to El 
Segundo, farther from home, Cortes began looking for 
another opportunity to open his own restaurant. An 
amateur boxer, Cortes said that he went to his gym one 
evening, found it closed, and decided to drive around a 
bit in the late night. In Altadena, he came across a “For 
Rent” sign at a wedge-shaped Googie-style building 
almost on the corner of Lake Avenue and Altadena Drive, 
a site where many restaurants were born and died over the 

 He called the landlord, took a tour of the building, and 
decided it was what he was looking for. While he and his 
wife Margarita had saved money for a down-payment on 
a home, she encouraged him to invest their money in the 
restaurant he always wanted.

 Cortes said that, when the landlord called to offer him 
the building, they were in the hospital, with Margarita in 
labor. That day, his son was born, and the next day, he had 
a restaurant.

 While the original location at 2555 N. Lake Avenue is 
a full sit-down restaurant, they opened another location at 
Lincoln Crossing, 2234 Lincoln Avenue, that emphasizes 
take-out Mexican food.

 El Patron has also branched out to help the community 
in many ways. Once a month, the restaurant holds a 
fundraiser where 15 percent of the proceeds go to a local 
organization. Beneficiaries have included the Altadena 
Relay for Life, the Altadena Library Alliance, and the St. 
Mark’s Church Haiti fund.

 El Patron’s pop-up tent also shows up at community 
events, including the Farnsworth Park summer concert 
series, the Altadena Community Center 10th Anniversary 
Celebration, the North Lake Pole Holiday Festival and 
Sidewalk Sale, and it has been part of last year’s “Taste of 
Altadena” at the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.

 “I feel good -- it’s exciting,” Cortes said about the 
Chamber’s honor. “I wasn’t expecting to be Business of the 
Year. It’s an accomplishment for me and my team.”

 El Patron Mexican Restaurant and Monica Hubbard 
will be honored at the Altadena Chamber’s installation 
of officers and “Taste of Altadena” dinner at the Altadena 
Town & Country Club on Feb. 6, 2015.

By La Quetta M. Shamblee,MBA

Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. 
Developing a marketing kit is one of the things that 
every entrepreneur needs to complete. It will be used 
to support the successful launch and promotion of a 
business and should include the following items:

Logos & Taglines

 McDonald’s golden arches and the Nike swish are two 
of the most familiar corporate logos around the world. 
Each one is simple, with very little detail, which makes 
it easy to recognize no matter its size. A logo should be 
designed so that it is still easily recognizable when it is 
reduced to a size small enough to fit onto a business card. 
A tagline, also referred to as a slogan, should be succinct 
and memorable like the Nike “Just Do It” tagline that 
launched a marketing campaign that is remembered to 
this day. Many companies have several designs of their 
logo, including some layouts that include the company 
name or tagline. 

Internet Presence

 Every entrepreneur needs to determine which 
combination of digital media will best meet the needs 
of the company. Websites are no longer the only 
centerpiece of an online presence now that an increasing 
number of social media services can be customized with 
features to display and sell products, support customer 
dialogue and include links that allow visitors to choose 
the social media tool of their liking.

Business Cards

 Traditional business cards are still in demand as they 
remain one of the most inexpensive, tangible business 
tools that can be distributed to potential customers. 
Like the logo, the design should be simple and the style 
and size of the font should be easy to read. Too much 
information will make it look crowded and difficult to 
read. The main purpose of a business card is to provide 
contact information and where to find your company 
online or on social media.

Brochures, Flyers or Postcards

 Businesses that cater to those in the Baby Boomers 
generation and older will still find it necessary to include 
printed marketing materials in the tool kit. These 
collateral materials should convey professionalism and 
be designed to convey the image and message that will 
encourage people to visit your website, join you on 
Facebook®, Twitter®, Pinterest® or other digital media. 
Younger people are inclined to use smart phones, tablets 
and computers to view information from businesses 
attempting to bring them in as customers.

 Once completed, each tool in the marketing kit can be 
used to build the company’s brand.


2014 Honorees - El Patron Co-Owner Alex Cortes and 
Community Activist Monica Hubbard


Building systems for your social media will save 
you time and help you get your message out. 
There are lots of ways to set up your tools so 
you can post in one place and populate others. 
Instagram is a great starting tool in a system. You 
can take a picture from your smart phone, post 
it on Instagram and it will automatically post on 
Twitter, Facebook and your website. 

 Here are two easy steps that will build a system 
for your Instagram posts: 

 -Instagram settings: choose “share settings.” 
Select Facebook and Twitter and follow the 
instructions to link to your accounts. You can 
set up your Facebook feed to go to your personal 
profile page or to a business page you admin. 

 - Add a feed to your website: Use a widget maker 
like to create code that you can 
install on your website. There are several widget 
format types to choose from (grid, slide show, 
scrolling etc.) This is a great way to keep images 
current on your website.

 Setting up systems saves you time and extends 
the reach of your content. 

 About MJ: MJ and her brother David own 
HUTdogs, a creative services business that 
specializes in Internet Marketing strategies 
and Social Media. They offer social media 
management services and help their clients 
build a strong on-line presence. “Like” them 
on Facebook for trending news in social media, 
internet marketing and other helpful tips, www.


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