To solve our prison overpopulation if nothing else.
Here’s to Mary Jane.
I rarely - hmm, now that I ponder I do believe I have never - actually posted a blog post about well a blog post. But this one my friends was just too darn good and inspiring not to share. “Why Every Monday Matters” appeared this morning (a Monday of course) on Fast Company’s website.
Written by Shawn Parr, CEO of San-Diego based Bulldog Drummond, the heartbeat of the post was a recap of an interview with Matt Emerzian, co-founder and co-author of Every Monday Matters - 52 Ways to Make a Significant Difference. The mission of Every Monday Matters (EMM) is to communicate that it is the plain, simple, ordinary individual — either acting alone or together with others — who can change the world.
Primarily through grassroots efforts, K-12 educational curriculum and Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement initiatives, EMM promotes the fact that people have the power. People matter.
The one comment that Matt made that really resonated with me: ”If you want to feel better about yourself and your life, stop focusing on yourself.” He also shared some excellent advice for anyone wanting to start a new business:
For me it is all about passion. I have a passion that burns inside of me so bright that it has allowed me to get through things I never thought I could do. Even with all of my education, my MBA and my work experience, it seems like nothing really prepared me for the ride I have been on. The learning curve has been steep at every corner and it is only through my passion, and the passion of an amazing team of people, that has allowed us to do it. So, if you don’t have passion for your idea, don’t even start it— just walk away.
Click here to read the entire Why Every Monday Matters blog post — particularly if your Monday has not gotten off to a fabulous start. Make your Monday matter mates. And, enjoy the post.
Have you heard about FCKH8’s new project, H8SUX.com? It’s a new organization that gives teenagers free shirts speaking out against homophobia. Check out one of the videos they’re promoting about strangers offering to help a trans* kid.
“If we listened to our intellect
We’d never have a love affair,
We’d never have a friendship,
We’d never go into business,
Because we’re cynical.
Well, that’s just nonsense.
You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time
And build your wings on the way down.”
~ Ray Bradbury
SEO strategist Tami Smith and I asked a handful of successful women entrepreneurs, whose businesses are soaring and for whom we have a great deal of respect, how they built their wings; specifically, what they thought were the 3 most important traits to take flight versus hitting the ground. Below, we share their 3 cents – and you can certainly tell which of these peeps is primarily right brained vs. left-brained which I find quite fascinating! – and then Ms. Smith and I chime in on what we think it takes to succeed in these challenging times. And, because like it’s our blog post, we get to wax poetic and are allowed to share more than 3 insights.
- Never say the “f” word – Failure! (c’mon now)
- Smile in front of staff, clients and associates even though you are having the crappiest day because a good attitude is infectious.
- Use all the “drive” you can personally muster and know you always have “four-wheel drive” in your back pocket.
p.s. I would like to be paid for my 3 cents
Allie Merrick, owner of Allie Merrick, Inc & creative wonder who we’ve nicknamed Righty
- Yip, you guessed it, passion!
These are most important for supporting & sustaining success.
Jeannie Cordova, RDH, founder of OSHA for Dentistry & single mother extraordinare
- A willingness and eagerness to give it everything you’ve got every moment of the day.
- An internal strength that can be drawn upon when your balance is out of whack and you’re juggling kids, partner, dog and work. You must have your priorities set and not compromise what is most important whether your family, your kids, your health and/or your sanity.
- Taking time to nourish your soul and, if you can integrate this into your business model, even better. For example, OSHA for Dentistry donates part of its profits to Operation Smile because I believe in giving back and I believe its the right path for me (but not everyone) to travel.
Breath. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Denise Wallace, Creative Director at BRANDgfx, Advertising & Design Agency
- Relationships. With clients, team members, subcontractors, vendors, associates – everyone (including myself)! The old adage goes: “People do business with people they Know, Like and Trust.” One of the most important things to keep asking myself is, am I building and supporting relationships, or worrying about my bottom line? Putting all relationships foremost in my business is a strategy that serves not only my clients, but supports my bottom line as well.
- Value yourself and know how to help others understand your value. “Value” or “Market Value” is a very subjective and fickle thing. There will always be someone out there to underprice you or over-promise, but competing on that level is mind-bending to say the least. I know what my skills, expertise and value-adds are worth; therefore I set my own “Market Value”. And I’m very clear in how this translates into serving clients and my business successfully. (Special thanks to Ann Marie Houghtailing, The Houghtailing Group, for this wisdom!)
- Reach out when you need help. No one is a self-made successful entrepreneur! (which goes back to relationships of course).
Special thanks to Shae, Allie, Jeannie and Denise for sharing their wonderful insight (applaud here). Now let’s turn the mic on ourselves. First up, Ms Smith.
Tami Smith, SEO Strategist & Owner, Targeted Traffic Strategies (but I call her FW – Fearless Wonder and GG – Google Girl)
The entrepreneurial cloth is like any other clothing we put on. The only difference is this garment you wear, will eventually start to wear you. Here’s the best I can offer on the subject and what I did to “take-off” on my mission to Mars.
Here’s the thing about becoming an entrepreneur — if you feel the impulse to create and share something unique with the world, if you feel the draw to start your own business, it won’t let go. This impulse typically gets stronger with each passing year. Eventually, you’ll give in, either by dipping your toe in the water or just jumping off the cliff. You simply can’t run forever from a calling.
There are no rules. I can’t offer a checklist of sorts that will ensure you will be successful. I can tell you a little bit about the experience however.
You will expect more of yourself than what is reasonable. The world that gives instant gratification doesn’t apply to entrepreneurs. You will feel inadequate and disappointed with yourself half of the time and disappointed with others the other half. Eventually you learn your limits and will become comfortable with the unknown. Most of your best moments are when you are in the unknown and feel the flow of creativity.
The sooner you allow yourself to own the ego needs of grandeur, of wanting to play big, and be special, the better. Because once you own it, you can move past it and something else will start to bloom.
A reason the entrepreneurial impulse is compelling is because it is a natural part of the universal human draw toward autonomy. Your uniqueness and differentiation needs to be expressed. What makes you different doesn’t diminish you; it expands and enriches you and others. You are finally able to become customer centric because you don’t depend on others to define you. It is the great paradox. The ability to differentiate provides the connection to your audience.
I have to add one more thing. Learn to price, package and sell as quickly as possible. The entrepreneurial path is radically changed once you know how to price and package. Selling is just a matter of knowing your audience needs and how they search for your solution. The most effective and direct path to end the early struggle (many entrepreneurs feel) is to have a smart search strategy in place.
And, now finally, my turn!
Kerry Martin (ah me), Online Marketing Strategist, Building a Sound Foundation & Founder, Hope Xchange Nonprofit & last but not least, Lefty to Allie Merrick’s Righty
Well, because we’re busy little bees and always put our clients first, we’re now a week behind getting this blog published and I find myself too exhausted to share my own thoughts (albeit I got a lot of ‘em as tend to be way too verbose and introspective and will indeed share my perspective in my next blog post). And, here’s why I’m punting and I do believe I have a pretty good excuse.
Sooooo @ 4 a.m. this morning I awoke with a start … something wasn’t quite right. Then I felt a wet spot by my butt! Eh, what is this? Have I lost bladder control at the wee tender age of 46? Struck with anxiety, I pulled back the covers and fled to the bathroom. Because it was dark, I ran into a dining room table chair but that did not slow me down one bit.
Finally got to bathroom and turned on light. Phew, I was dry as a fresh-changed baby. I then sprinted back to the bedroom this time avoiding the chair, turned on light, and saw this huge wet spot on comforter, blanket underneath and sheet on bottom. Ah ha! I thought to myself, the bloody dog has peed on me (he was sleeping on me earlier you see).
I rolled up all the soiled linens in utter disgust, made sure mattress was dry as a bone and covered myself with a too-flimsy blanket and back to sleep I went. But my peeps, the story does not end there. Oh no. Later this morning, I’m busy telling my partner what a lame ass dog we have and back to the pound little Ms GiGi should go (JK). We went into the bedroom to investigate the damage and to discuss laundering strategies. She picked up stuff from the floor and exclaimed, ‘Hmm, there are no stains.’ Odd, we thought.
Then it dawned on me! That darn proverbial light went off. I was working late — as every successful entrepreneur has to do! — and I was fortifying with Yogi green tea (in which I sometimes put a wee drop of Russian Vodka … don’t knock it until you try it but I digress). I hit the sheets about 12:30 a.m. and cruised around on my Kindle Fire as I always do prior to falling asleep because I have a hard time nodding off (a trait I suspect many entrepreneurs share).
At my side, I had my Britta water bottle tucked in with me under the covers. You see, green tea even sans alcohol makes me even more thirsty oddly enough, and that aside, I do like to hydrate before shut-eye. Well, as it turns out, I had fallen asleep with my H2O companion and I must have rolled on it, and it got pissed and emptied its contents. Mystery solved.
But let’s face it: working for yourself is bloody hard work and blog I must because that is what any good successful entrepreneur would do. So get it together Martin. Suck it up!
So, what do you think?
Can anyone be an entrepreneur?
Chime in ladies.
I had to put on my big girl panties today, suck it up and make a very difficult decision. I was asked to be a business coach for a nonprofit participating in the Social Enterprise Venture Competition hosted by Academies for Social Entrepreneurship. As a mentor, you are asked to coach one organization in the preparation required to deliver an Angel-style screening presentation.
Being a competitive Martin — one has to be most competitive when one of 6 successful children — I was convinced that the lucky nonprofit that I would mentor would of course take the big prize and get the $50K in seed money to start their social enterprise. Yip, I was excited!
My challenge today was that I had clients who needed to be taken care of before I darted off tomorrow to visit with other clients in Maui and New York – you see, my personal philosophy is, to be a blazingly successful marketing consultant, you must always exceed client expectations – and I knew that if I went to the 3 hour orientation this afternoon in the OC, I would not be putting them first. So with a very heavy heart, I informed the wonderful lady, Betsy Densmore, who founded the Academies for Social Entrepreneurship, that I would not be able to take part in her amazing program. The timing simply wasn’t right.
I’m a huge believer in giving back and indeed am starting my own nonprofit, Hope Xchange, to do just that. Like a couple of other like-minded gals at Cause Communications and Conscious Capital, I am now donating part of my consulting profits to get Hope Xchange up and running because I want to do something with my life that outlasts it. Don’t we all?
I did feel a wee bit better about this decision, albeit not much, when I decided to post front and center on my home page this morning the following:
Before we get down to business, first things first. Let’s take a moment to focus on making notorious war criminal, Joseph Kony, famous before we switch gears and make ourselves and our businesses famous. Please consider joining me and hundreds (and, hopefully soon, millions) of other people around the world to make him more famous than Angelina Jolie in 2012, specifically on April 20.
If you believe as I do that young children should not be kidnapped, given a gun, forced to murder their own families and to mutiliate their own people, please join me at Kony 2012 and do what you can to help bring justice for our invisible children. And, if you haven’t already done so, please take 30 minutes out and watch the Kony 2012 Youtube Video. I know we are all busy but after watching this video I think you will understand why I feel so passionately that addressing this global crisis must simply be our first priority and must simply come first.
Ok, let’s now switch gears and get back to the matter at hand and why you are visiting my website: let’s talk about your business, best practices for building a sound and sustainable online marketing foundation to elevate your brand and to increase your revenue by relevance (which is also relevant to me because the more we make, the more we can give back).
Here’s the conflict – how do you balance your desire to give back with your desire to be a successful consultant? When you find yourselves in pickles like this, what do you do?