Your Year End Checklist

Reflections for Baby BoomersNo matter where Baby Boomers are on the threshold of their retirement, it can be very beneficial to track their transition into their encore stage of life. Before creating visions and goals for your next year, I recommend taking time at the end of this year to reflect back on what you experienced during the current year.

10 Questions for Review and Reflection

Read through your calendar, journal, and any other documentation you may have used to record the events of this year. Give yourself uninterrupted time to do your review and reflections. Ask yourself these 10 questions:

  1. What overall pattern or trend did you discover for the year?
  2. What is one achievement that you are most proud of?
  3. What helped you to make that achievement happen?
  4. What stood in the way of achieving what you had planned?
  5. What do you want to work more on in the coming year?
  6. What will be different next year?
  7. What unexpected gifts or challenges did you experience this year?
  8. What do you wish you had known at the first of this year that you know now?
  9. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you make happen right now?
  10. What title would you give this year to fully describe it? – The year of ____________.

When you take the time to thoroughly review and reflect upon what you experienced in the current year, you honor your time, your energy, and your effort. It can be viewed as the stepping stone for what is to come next and can serve as a guide for you when you create your vision and goals for the upcoming year.

What did you learn from your review and reflection of this year?

Janice Williams Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

 

Facebook backlash isn’t just about Facebook (but I bet it wishes it was)

This month I’ve read a few articles bashing the facebook IPO.  The most resounding one was: Facebook Ads Aren’t Grabbing Users.

Have you ever clicked on a facebook ad?  Out of interest in a product?

Social media people will (hopefully) tell you that social media is a tough nut to crack.  The best tools are passion and authenticity, which breed consistency.

Facebook ads don’t get clicked on because very few ads of any kind in any medium get “clicked on” anymore.  People are either interested in a product or they aren’t.  TV, Radio, Print, Web.  There’s noise everywhere, and you’re either passionate, authentic, and consistent (and funny helps a lot), or you’re noise.

Part of the facebook backlash was GM pulling their facebook advertising budget the week before the IPO.  This is a big lumbering slow-moving corporation that actually analyzed its facebook ad performance and decided it wasn’t going to make any babies there and pulled right the heck out.

Money doesn’t buy happiness?  Maybe.  But you definitely can’t monetize friendship.  When you do, the friendship goes away.

What does all of this mean for everyone who wishes to advertise on facebook?  Or any other social media FTM (for that matter)?

Bring PASSION, be AUTHENTIC, be CONSISTENT.  And if you’d like to interest me at all, be funny and be quick about it.  And don’t use big words like Deliverables and Strategic Objectives.  Talk normal, folks.  If your service delivers results nobody cares where you came from (if they do care, let them ask).  What I’m noticing more and more, is that the more time and physical space you need to explain to someone why you functionally exist, the less important you are.

….sorry, got off on a rant.  gee, how important am at, clocking in a 327 characters so far.

Consistency is the straw that breaks the camels back.  You can fake passion and authenticity for only so long…then you just get tired of it if your heart isn’t in the game.

Consistency is two fold:  1) Update regularly, and 2) measure your results to give people more of what they want.  If you make money from cats dancing to Katy Perry, post something new about that once a week.  If you make money from your adorable dog, post something new about that every day.  If you make money by writing a regular 3000 essay on being a single dad, do that.

If you do a posting, or a video, or an instagram, or a tweet, only once every so often, you’re not going to benefit a whole lot from social media marketing, because you won’t actually be doing social media marketing.

Facebook ads:  they don’t work because they aren’t authentic.  People who are on facebook are there to interact with their friends.  It’s just like watching TV….you DVR everything because you’re there to experience your shows, not watch commercials.

When your own “commercials” become the reason that people are there, the thing that people are interacting with – - THAT is when you will be effectively using social marketing.

Signed and untagged,
Scott

 

 

Facing Grief, Unflinchingly.

What is a good metaphor, or simile, for grief?

Grief is powerful and inevitable. It occurs to all of us. It can be disabling.  It can feel like a tsunami – an unimaginably powerful force overtaking and smothering every other aspect of… reality.  Grief can feel like a magnet – one occurrence of grief becoming a magnet for every other possible grief response we might have imagined, but never did, and so when a knife-like grief experience occurs, suddenly…. other grief responses are invited into spaces that existed before… but now those spaces also have the added burden of grief.

So what are good similes or metaphors for grief, I ask my writing community? Please! I want to know! Comment on this post, or create a post of your own that links to your personal website. Please.  Similes and metaphors are powerful tools in writers’ toolboxes for dealing with…  and shaping… grief.  (And also other powerful life experiences.)

Many of us know the power, value, and utility of simile and metaphor.

Simile is saying something “is like” something else.

Metaphor is saying something IS (identity-like) something else. A bit more powerful and abstract than simile.

Similes AND metaphors have their place and their usefulness as we understand our human experience.

So what are the metaphors (or similes) for grief?

Grief is like the rogue wave, unexpectedly roaring in and covering, maybe obliterating, everything in its path. (That is a simile.)

Grief is a cranky bitch. (That is a metaphor – the “is,” construction, not the “is like” construction.) But this statement invites questions about the meaning of “cranky” and the meaning of “bitch.” I will not expend my own life force on explaining this metaphor at this time. But let me know in a comment if the metaphor intrigues you.

So I return to my original question: what is a good metaphor, or a good simile, for grief?  Because metaphors and similes allow us room, and space, and vocabulary, with which to deconstruct and understand life experiences that otherwise would be…. obliterating of our own lives, or of the meaning of our own lives.

We grieve all kinds of losses.

We grieve the loss of the heart-beating lives experienced by people we know and love, even when the ending of that life is a loss more to “us” than to the person who lived that life.

We grieve the loss of… jobs… marriages…. friendships… tomato plants that did not thrive in clay soil.

Like many people, I retreat from the nearly overwhelming, death-dealing, breath-squeezing, reality of authentic grief to the….. safer… less breath-squeezing level of… humor.

I feel, in this moment, when asking for a simile or metaphor for grief…. that I would like to know: “I do not know what I am talking about; do you know what I am talking about?”  (That statement/question is my idea of humor.)

My beloved and respected writing friends’ authentic wisdom about grief is invited. We all experience grief. May our collective and caring words about grief serve to increase compassion in the world. And thereby change the world and the future of humanity.

See, I’m right

This is not a guide to social DIY-ing.  It’s a quick statement.

Late August 2011 I approached some target companies with a proposal to get them up and running with regularly published, internally generated, social content.  I’m going to call it “social content,” because quite frankly, all social content is marketing.

One part of my criteria for targeting a company was that they had to have a physical product: a box on a shelf, a unit in a showroom – - something that their end users could actually touch.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

Today, I read this article that reinforces my opinions and theories, which I came to after several months of intensive careful research.  Here’s an excerpt (parts of this quotes George Mason U economist Tyler Cowen),

…the Internet is a wonder when it comes to generating “cheap fun.” But because “so many of its products are free,” and because so much of a typical Web company’s work is “performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers,” the online world is rather less impressive when it comes to generating job growth.

It’s telling, in this regard, that the companies most often cited as digital-era successes, Apple and Amazon, both have business models that are firmly rooted in the production and delivery of nonvirtual goods. Apple’s core competency is building better and more beautiful appliances; Amazon’s is delivering everything from appliances to DVDs to diapers more swiftly and cheaply to your door.

By contrast, the more purely digital a company’s product, the fewer jobs it tends to create and the fewer dollars it can earn per user — a reality that journalists have become all too familiar with these last 10 years, and that Facebook’s investors collided with last week. There are exceptions to this rule, but not all that many: even pornography, long one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers, has become steadily less profitable as amateur sites and videos have proliferated and the “professionals” have lost their monopoly on smut.

The internet is free, and the content is going to be more and more self-generated, and catching eyeballs will require being more and more ENGAGING and AUTHENTIC.  And SHORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Get to the f-ing point in 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!   The more you need to tell me about your product or service, the less I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t convince me, I’m already doing that myself!!!!!!!!!

As I sat behind the camera taping a 2 hour ppt presentation given by a 70-year-old retiree a couple weeks ago (to be archived for future use….hahahahaha), my one overwhelming thought was, “If I have to sit through something for 2 hours, it better be Avengers quality.”

AND, this comes back around to my current thoughts on the massive culture shift that we’re going to be experiencing in 5 years, stretching for the next 10-20 years as the boomers retire and transition to those pleasant sunny acres in the sky:

  • Creating online content is not intuitive to most boomers.
  • Creating online content is very intuitive to most gen-y-ers.
  • Gen x is the fulcrum around which these two massive generations will transition during this culture shift.  It’s the generation that will allow relevant knowledge and processes to pivot from the old school boomer way of doing things to the new wave of no-attention-span nu skool gen y way of doing things.
Simple example:  right now I have to explain, to clients of a certain age, how to download email attachments, how to properly extract files from zipped folders, those kinds of things.
Technology may or may not change to simplify this sort of task, but the people who will be doing the task will most certainly be changing.

What are you thoughts on the upcoming culture shift?

What are you doing right now to be engaging, authentic, and are you GETTING TO THE POINT!?!?!?

Some additional food for thought:  right now you can have media content online within a couple hours – - or in most cases a couple minutes – - of creating it.  You can have media content on broadcast channels and publications within about a day of creating it.  As long as you have the money to create and the money to pay for the schedule.  Rapid internal ideation is key key key.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

btw, just for fun, my favorite campaigns right now are on the radio, and the only product name I’m recalling is Cabot Stain:

http://washington.wgu.edu/billboard

Cabot Stain “How did this DIYer turn so pro?”

The hot dog commercial that talks about springtime being adequate grilling weather, and taking off your jacket to: put on a lighter jacket.

 

“I give the world until 1965, max.”

File under the optimism of children.

I was perhaps 7-8 years of age sometime after the Soviet Union put up Sputnik, the very first artificial orbiting satellite and scared the bejeezus out of the United States.

We all looked up in the night sky, aware for the very first time that there was a human-made artifact, an artifact produced by an enemy state orbiting over our heads.

Americans, once secure and surrounded by oceans, began to feel uncomfortably vulnerable – and they began to worry, really worry.

I distinctly recall announcing to my elementary school friends quite matter of factually, that, ” I give us until 1965, maximum.”

This first precious prognostication pronouncement of mine , I am glad to say, did not come true….

From: Making Every Life A Living Legacy

McKenna I hardly knew ya’.

Occasionally I have startled myself saying, “Wow. A Republican politician I actually like, and if conditions were good, even cast my vote for.”

In memory I can remember feeling the heat wave generated by democratic ancestors spinning furiously in their graves.

I will admit to anyone who asks that I am a life-long liberal democrat much like they were, a past member of the 1960s counter-culture, and human relationships advocate.

I am a permanent card-holding member of the 99 percent.

Growing up with a Democratic Party member for mother and a Republican Party voting father it truly never ever occurred to me to regard any Republican politician in anything resembling a positive light.

But once in a while I found myself coming to respect and admire a Republican politician. There I’ve said it, I admired a Republican politician.  Aagh!

John McCain was one that caught my attention – but then he sold out to the right wing of his Republican Party. Rob McKenna was another I deeply admired after he resisted the Bush administration by acting with extraordinary integrity as Washington State’s Attorney General.

I found that once again my esteem for a Republican politician grew. I began to imagine Rob McKenna as a viable candidate for my and our governor.

And then to my chagrin and great disappointment, he revealed his core Republican roots with his very public and well-publicized “Get a Job” interaction this week.

I am sure Rob McKenna is a terrific guy in person; I will still remember him with admiration for the integrity he displayed as Attorney General, but once again I remain disappointed by yet another good- person- but-Republican politician.

McKenna I hardly knew ya’.Get a Job

Dot to Dot

“You can not connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that some how the dots will connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart. even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.”

Steve Jobs

 

I have spent too many years of my life looking back at the dots I have left behind.

For the first time in my life, I am following my heart, that I will find my dots down the road. I recognize that I am straying off a well known worn; that is a known because I am a solperrneur. Few people really  succeed down that path. But I believe in myself! I trust in myself! And that will make all the difference.

 

Stephen Magladry, Your iTechieGuy

Facebook: Why is nobody listening?

Update 2012-02-19 - this original blog post has been cross-posted on “socialmediatoday – the world’s best thinkers on social media,” as well as “SmartData Collective – the world’s best thinkers on business intelligence and analytics.

Summary
One headline this week read, Procter & Gamble would lay off 1,600 after discovering that advertising on Facebook is free. But how many of your 2000 fans bother to take part in the conversationLess than half a percent. Learn from Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Nike! Or maybe NOT.

I just got back from another convention where an ad agency tried to convince the audience that Facebook was a fantastic way to improve your bottom line. Are you sceptical? So am I.

We can probably agree that if a company wants to use social media effectively, it must evaluate its current position with the help of a social media audit (Gattiker, 2012 – coming soon). Moreover, if you run a huge marketing campaign that implies customers are cool and have exciting lives, nobody cares about the brand, as evidenced by this Red Bull branding video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

1. Facebook engagement up to 0.90 percent

But the Red Bull video also suggests that we must audit how well you do with social media. For instance, a very small percentage of fans that Like your competitor’s Facebook page see the carefully crafted status updates. Accordingly, Facebook status updates are similar to broadcasting a message to an empty football stadiumimagine the Super Bowl without an audience.

In the Mercedes-Benz video below, people call for a cab and get picked up by a trailer truck. If you can afford the €200,000 to hire VonMatt to script the story and make the video, you might get 8000 views for the English version and 20,000 for the German one. The question is whether this is a flop. Measure for impact, anyone? Continue reading “Facebook: Why is nobody listening?” »

Dog Eat Dog or Miracle on 34th Street?

This week, I ran into someone. His attitude made it hard to work with him. Working with him got me riled up. He hit one of my soft spots, fairness. I felt unfairly treated by him.

I talked to Deborah about it and she put a good frame of reference on it. I’ll call it The Miracle on 34th Street attitude. Through the good will of Santa, Macy’s generated more business.

In retrospect the first person had a dog eat dog attitude and seemed unwilling to help anyone. Is it any wonder the person made me feel uncomfortable.

You know, I can gladly say that I share a  belief closely matching  Deborah’s belief,  practice good will, and business will follow.

Question: Do you feel you more closely resemble The Miracle on 34th Street attitude, or the Dog Eat Dog attitude?

Feng Shui Energy Advisory

 

chinese dragon

January 23rd is the start of the Year of The Water Dragon. The New Year is always a time for reflection and planning for the time ahead. In Feng Shui it is also the time to make note of the changing energies and how they relate to you, your home, and to your business.

Energy is in Constant Motion

Energy is in constant motion. We have learned about the Mayan calendar and its cycles and wonder what that means for the future. We can be more certain about the cycles described in Feng Shui and what they mean.

grandmotherThink of the energies, we call them stars as it is easier to imagine them, as people. Each star has its own personality. Some stars are happy and bring good energy with them. Maybe similar to that friend you always look forward to seeing when they visit. Some stars are less happy. That could be your hypochondriac uncle. Another star may have a nurturing energy. Could that be Grandma? Some like to fight and cause problems. I think you get the picture.

Who is Coming to Visit

DancingNow imagine you have a big house with many rooms. The stars-people- come to visit and each one has a room in the house. Every year they choose a different room to stay in. As you move around your house and spend time with them you are going to be affected by their energy. Oh and by the way they are sharing a room with one of the other people. So you have to take into consideration the interaction between them as well as with you. Some get along. Some don’t. Some are jealous. Some are celebrating. But some like to keep it quiet. Some are good dancers. Other couples step all over each other’s feet. Some are in a creative mood. Relationships are getting more interesting now aren’t they?

What to Do About It

to continue reading please visit Real Feng Shui Solutions 

 

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