Not Washed Up

via Not Washed Up

Not Washed Up

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I grew up living with my grandmother. She was 60 years older than me and died at the age of 98. Most of my views about life were instilled by her at a young age. She lived during the depression and rarely splurged on anything unless it was necessary. As a teenager from a different time period I would ask her why we couldn’t buy new furniture, new clothes or something else new. She would simply reply that it wasn’t a necessity. She always paid cash for everything. A good lesson for everyone. She also taught me that life is ALL about your frame of mind. If you want to be young then think young. If you want to be rich then think rich. Some of her grandchildren never took the time to know this amazing woman. However, they found the time to clear out anything of monetary value towards the end of her life. I am not one to mince words. May karma bite them in the ass…

However, I ended up with the most valued treasure in all of her collection. She taught me how to live life. Most people don’t get it. If you want to live a life with less issues then your frame of mind must align with it. She faced possible death at the age of 91 due to an aneurysm in her stomach, so I found her one of the best surgeons in the country. Just prior to surgery she looked at me and said, “There is nothing to it. See you in a couple of hours.” Even the surgeon was more skeptical than her. A few hours later she was in recovery and lived seven more years. There was only one time that I recalled her fearing death. I was about 17 years old. I saw her lying down in bed crying. I asked her what was wrong. She replied, “I don’t want to die”. Utilizing my teenage maturity I said, “Esther! We will have none of that. Get up and knock it off!”.  Thankfully it worked. She sat up and exclaimed, “You are right! What am I doing?”  She lived 22 years past that day. Suppose if I let her stay in that bed and wallow in pity? One day would have led to the next and she would have died much sooner.

I am disgusted when I hear people in my age demographic or older acting as if they are ready to curl up in a coffin. In my mind you are not old or washed up unless you want to claim it. I see people in their late 30s and 40s complaining about their health. They post about this ailment, being dumped or how crappy life is treating them. Do you expect it to to get better? How can you expect people to revere your knowledge when you go about acting like life is over? Why would anyone listen to you? Stop ruining the reputation of my age demographic please. We are vibrant, technologically advanced, caring and  changing the path for those that follow in our footsteps.

Purses and Attracting Wealth

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Out of curiosity this morning I started cruising the internet looking for articles about attracting wealth.

The first article that I stumbled upon was about the color of a purse. Apparently there is a whole slew of information about which colors are considered “lucky”. I have to admit unwittingly that I have selected colors based on what I felt would bring me fortune. I usually pick out metallic gold, black or tan. Although the color red is supposed to be auspicious, I subconsciously think that it represents money being “burned” through quickly.

There are also numerous articles dotting the web about not letting your purse hit the floor or its all over. Could this be true? I think back on my college days. I would stumble in after 2am and randomly toss my purse before crashing for the night. Was I subconsciously setting myself up?

I was watching a news blurb this morning about how the inside of your purse reveals your financial state. An untidy purse meant that your finances were in trouble. My purse has frequently been a mess with receipts because I am extremely busy and having time to organize anything is nearly impossible. I literally crash after the day is done. Maybe it is true. My friends have more time to relax, but I have a compulsion to do as much as I can because I want life well lived. If you are idle and don’t have some sort of gig going on life is wasted from my perspective.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that there is truth to this phenomenon of ritualizing the purse and its daily use?

Grieving Dreams

Today,  June 9th was both my mother’s birthday and the one year anniversary of her death. Yes, it is strange when one’s death falls on their birthday, I am not sure if it was the initial sting of her death or now that hurts more, but life goes on. I have to choke back the tears and deal with my loss either way.

In the weeks immediately following her death I had a strange dream that gave me inner peace. In the dream we were all seated at her funeral listening to the priest begin the service. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around. It was my mother. She asked what I was doing. I begged her to be quiet because the priest was going to be livid. The service was for her after all. My mother looked at me and sarcastically said, “I am telling you that I am not there.” She pointed to the urn on the alter. It was adorned with Irish flowers and an Irish wreath with the word “Mom” scrolled across the middle. My mother prided herself on being completely Irish.  I again asked her to be quiet because we would all be in trouble. She smiled and quietly said, “Well, its not everyday that you get to go to your own funeral. I am telling you that I am not there.”

I woke up realizing that my dream unfortunately mirrored the reality of my situation. Even if it was my own mind trying to cope with my grief, it worked. I am convinced that it was God reassuring me that everything was alright. This woman who devoted her life to helping those in need had become one his chosen. Now it is up to me to continue her legacy.

My CRM Experience

Based on my experiences with WordPress, I would have to admit that I was intimidated about utilizing their services at first. I didn’t have a great deal of experience adding plugins, but desperately needed them to keep track of content in today’s fast paced market. The cons that I found working with WordPress were the costs associated with the plugins. I use it primarily for blogging, but seeing it developing into more enterprise use in the future. However, some of their competitors are already offering some of the same services in all inclusive packages. In some cases those all inclusive packages cost more…so beware. Business owners want to find content easier and be able to find customer emails or profiles quickly. Time is money. As a business owner if you are spending ten minutes finding a previous email that is time not spent with another potential customer.

I myself tend to follow blog posts that are focused on finding inner peace. I follow Deepak Chopra. I also frequent the wesbite’s online store. First of all, I like the landing page because it has photos and depicts important information about upcoming events or app updates. The website also features call to action buttons that quickly help navigate the user to the the content of their choice. The framing of the website’s content flows well on both a smartphone or a desktop computer.

Attracting Others To Your Story

A few weeks ago I stood across from a broken man. He had a story that could have made him a wealthy man, but chose not to utilize the knowledge given to him by the expert. Instead he wanted to keep things status quo. “I will just do what I have been doing” he said. My theory is that he needed to try another strategy or two.

So what draws us into a good story? We all have that one friend who can send us into a fit of hysterics while they spin their version of events. We can’t get enough of their company. Imagine if that excitement could be harnessed where you work? What if your coworkers could learn the craft of storytelling and make the most mundane topics seem exciting?

I once watched a guest speaker go up to the podium and after ten minutes of rather boring dialog she groaned out, “I am so bored right now”. Everyone in the room started to giggle. She had our attention, then she presented in faster paced way that grabbed everyone’s attention. Telling your story doesn’t have to be boring. First you need to learn about story structure and the elements of literature. Then decide the point of view. Is it a story about man v nature, man v society, or man v man? What is the “conflict”? How did you overcome that conflict? Or how do you plan to overcome the conflict in the future? What descriptive words are you using?  Stop and think about those people who have captured your attention in the past. Companies succeed when they can get the attention of their targeted audience.

The Art of Listening

I recently attended a meeting where people were asked to share something about themselves. Insert eye roll. As the group began to share their stories I observed that people were eager to share, but not eager to listen.

Listening is a skill. People want to feel appreciated. It isn’t a conversation if you only want to hear yourself. Just stay home and speak in front of a mirror.

After witnessing their behavior I have decided to cognitively practice of the art of listening. This involves not cutting people off mid sentence, but actually taking time to gather and retain the facts that people share with you. One of the main reasons that some people can’t retain the names of others is that that they are focused on themselves. Another homework assignment. Try to remember the names of everyone that crosses your path. This shouldn’t just be reserved for VIPs. Everyone has a story to share.

Strategic Marketing Disaster?

During the past few weeks I have been conducting research on the specific digital communications plans of a few companies. They are following all of the blatant necessary steps, but missing key components. One of those components is their customer base.

If you have an established brand and the majority of your customers share a certain demographic shouldn’t you try to cater to them? I recently observed one particular brand almost appearing market to themselves rather than their actual consumer base. Instead of constant turnover of employees, this brand had an obvious solution to the equation. The consumer demographic. It is not enough to just focus on whether a group is of baby boomer age, generation X or millennials. They needed to focus on the cultural demographic as well. Language, “superstitions or beliefs” and economy all play a part in brand perception.  Luxury brands are keeping their brick and mortar stores open while other less expensive brands have been forced to close their doors. Luxury consumers want to experience the brand. They want to touch the product and have personal interaction with the sales staff. However, what happens if you are still loosing sales despite a fabulous digital communications plan, quality product and knowledgable employees? Review the demographic data of your consumer base. No marketing campaign can function without doing so.

Understanding Website Analytics

I was recently speaking with a fellow business owner about website analytics. They informed me that they had the service, but rarely looked at the information. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand channels, bounce rates, etc. “Does it really matter? I have the website and my sales continue as they have.”

In an era of digital communications it definitely matters. Viewing channels allows a business owner to gain insight into how their website was accessed. Was it through organic searches, or did the company have to pay for those visits on social media? It is also assumed that a bounce rate of zero is awesome news, not so. Analytics gives business owners the ability obtain demographic information. For marketing purposes this is beneficial information. For years businesses had a general idea what their customer base consisted of and would market accordingly. Website analytics can save marketing dollars because it can narrow down the location, age, sex and the behaviors of the visitor. For example, the data is reflecting that the majority of my consumer base accessed my website via their cell phones.  I could then utilize this knowledge to create an interactive marketing campaign to keep them engaged. Additionally, incorporating video streams into your website keeps bounce rates down. Visual information has more impact then the written word. Websites were once linear entities that served to disperse information. Consumers want to be interactive. It is all about keeping them focused on your product.