What Matters?

Nothing like a disgusting battle with cancer and ultimate early defeat to put things in perspective.

We get so focused on complete ridiculousness, debating whether this presidential candidate is more trustworthy than the next; raising the bar and improving our industry; heads down and convincing ourselves we're doing the work that matters. 

Ultimately its all BS. 

Values; Principles; Legacy.  Love.

At the end of my days I highly doubt I'll remember any of those silly debates that seemed oh so important and fascinating at the time…I revel and indulge in 'ideas' and intellect but really - who gives a f***!

What matters is ~

Did I live well?…

Did I improve the lives of the people around me?
Did I make a difference?
Did I make it easier?
Did they feel loved and appreciated?
Did I make them laugh?
Did they feel supported?
Did I inspire?
Did I serve?
Did I spend more time focused on others?

Did I leave the world a better place?

Pretty sure after I'm gone they won't spend much time thinking about how RIGHT I was on any given subject although I sure seem to spend a lot of time trying to be right. Note to self: Give head a shake!

Let's talk about what matters and screw the rest. Life is short.

RIP Clint.


Vision and Getting Clear

WOW! This morning on our #BrandTribe chat we discussed the importance of having a "Vision"! So now I have to come clean!

Yep ~ you guessed it....I don't exactly have one.  Yes I know...

"Teri! How can you go around preaching the importance of having a vision 
when you don't even have one?"

Totally valid.  Here's the thing: I've been going through a GINORMOUS transitional period this year.  If you know me and have been following my activities this year you've witnessed some BIG changes and have probably thought to yourself a few times 

"WOW! That girl is all over the place!"

I'll admit it.  At times it's been painful how scattered I've been.  I've attempted and failed NUMEROUS times as I've struggled to identify my true purpose; passion and new direction.  I've relied on my amazing friends (#PWE3 gals!) my mentors and my real truth talker My Husband, to help me get clear move past my own limiting beliefs and begin to take steps towards a more authentic and genuine ME.

So it is definitly time to write my own "Vision" or "Painted Picture".  Moving into 2012 I want to be LASER FOCUSED!

My amazing friend Laura Monroe (of Creative Agent Solutions - Real Estate Marketing expert~ who is also building my new Wordpress website THANK GOODNESS!!) sent me this video after this morning's BrandTribe chat and it fits perfectly!  Titled: Why Everyone Needs To Brand Themselves ~ Enjoy!!


Your Values Reveal Your Truth

This morning's #BrandTribe chat (where we discuss best practices in brand creation and communication every week on Twitter at 9am PST) was extraordinary!  Andrea and I introduced the subject of values and how that relates to your brand.  Apparently talking about values really gets people revved up cause for week 3 we had some huge engagement!

Before we got started I was flagged about Jeff Turner's blog Behavious Is The Truest Form Of Communication and he refers to Marc Davidson's 1000 Watt blog post Who Are You? Jeff and Marc both lead by example and tend to address the tough questions cutting through the crap and getting to the heart of the matter.

Jeff acknowledged many people struggle with identifying their values and suggested that your values aren't just words...you don't just pick some pretty sounding words and post them on the wall.  Our values guide all our decisions and our behaviours reflect them.  Its something more intrinsic and not necessarily always something positive.

Here's the thing....I feel a shift happening. Maybe you do too?  I have tagged it #feeltheshift and I'm starting to see it EVERYWHERE!  The rich conversations have moved away from money and prestige and ego....into far more positive realm...its like we're all starving for more meaning in our lives.  We want to attract people into our world that are more aligned with our values.

For me that means integrity, ethics, having conversations that actually matter and drive to do 'good' like Andrea with her new company Brands For The People.

This is a company I WANT to partner with.  I want to get behind Andrea and promote her to my sphere because I BELIEVE in what she stands for and I BELIEVE she's doing the GOOD work.  Its no cooincidence that we're also friends.  It's her values, vision and principles that draw me to her.

So grab a piece of paper...take some time...go deep....be honest and ask yourself: What do I stand for?  Truly.


What's Your "WHY"? #BrandTribe


The REAL Truth About Social Media and Eric Harr

The REAL TRUTH about "The Real Truth About Social Media" author Eric Harr's latest book, is it's a Dynamic Read for anyone new to Social Media!

I introduced you all to Eric Harr, Founder and President of Resonate Social Media (a boutique agency in California) last month when he reached out to me and asked if I'd review his book. I was so impressed with his approach that I wrote about it here: True Appreciation and Genuine Intent. (and am now a bona fide fan!)

I received the book as promised and I spent this weekend inhaling it! "The Real Truth About Social Media" lays out all the basics for beginners who have accepted that Social Media is NOT a passing trend but a cultural revolution and its time to jump on the bus or risk being run over by it!

Eric explains in plain english how to use the tools while attacking the
"Monumental Myths" and breaking it down into "Timeless Truths" for both personal and business.
Loved this:

Monumental Myth: Social Media is Media. 
Timeless Truth: Social Media is Relationships. 

Can I hear an A-to-the-MEN!

Eric explains why you want to be in the space and how to best use it for your purposes.  I'm guessing he chose 'truth' in his title because I believe that Truth is one of his most treasured values. You've likely been navigating through the mass rhetoric out there from an onslaught of newly self-appointed Social Media Gurus.  How do you discern whose advice to heed?
Eric on the "Bay Sunday" local CBS news program discussing Social Media (notice his comments to me :) )
Like anything else in life, I usually follow the advice of people I respect and admire.
Eric's genuine approach to business leading with integrity and shining a light on his own principles and values is WHY you should read this book. Eric lives his life at a level of excellence across the board with an ever focused eye on doing Social Good…all part of the movement that I regularly refer to as #feeltheshift and Eric encourages everyone entering the social space to operate from a place of 'giving'.

The "Thank You Economy"was coined by Gary Vaynerchuk (one of my favorite Social Media Revolutionaries, author, speaker and business consultant) and was referenced in this book.  According to Gary, social media requires "humanity, humility, respect and reverence"…Maybe that's why I love it so much! We're cutting through the bullshit! No longer are the ones who stomp their feet the loudest automatically the ones that are heard.

"We ARE the media" message was hit home.  The revolution has levelled the field for most of us…You have a story to tell? Now you can on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr...YOU can build your audience!  Just remember the key theme ~ INSPIRE and share awesome! In reference to one of Eric's favorite YouTube videos he said this:

"Ten years ago the story would have stopped at the local newspaper - but YouTube helped him to inspire the world. YouTube was merely the tool; the story was the thing."

I love how Eric advises to connect with your "Why".  I'm a huge Simon Sinek fan who wrote "Start with Why" and suggests that 'people don't buy what you do…they buy WHY you do it" its your WHY that inspires so make sure to get clear about it!

Loaded with great case studies like how one blogger vented about his 'lemon of a DELL computer' and lack of customer care when he complained….That post resonated with the masses! We've all been betrayed and left fuming with inadequate service. But DELL wasn't listening and it's a good lesson to all companies. I often say: You don't HAVE to be in the space, but the customer is having a conversation about you anyway. Wouldn't you rather be part of that conversation and have some influence over your own reputation?

Eric pointed out that not every blog goes viral: 3 things must be present: Reach (large audience which takes time to build); it has to be compelling and it has to resonate. It has to strike a chord with us.

At the end of the day Eric says "you better be throwing a rocking party or people aren't going to stay long" ~Amen Brother! As Eric pointed out...the best parties are the ones where the host circulates, makes sure everyone feels welcome and their glasses are always filled.  Be a better listener and take a genuine interest.

Eric also touched on the C-suite reluctancy to jump in the space because of the silly and trite names like 'twitter' 'Plurk' 'Ning' and 'Bebo' …try and get an exec to say the word 'tweet' - they literally squirm!  They're going to have to get over it....

"I sit, mouth agape, in a semi-drooling state of bewildered awe, when companies say to me, ''We don't have the time or resources to dedicate to social media.' Befuddled, I wonder, To what are you allocating your time and resources? There are hundreds of millions of people - your past, current and future customers - who are defining your brand, making product recommendations and influencing one another's purchase decisions more broadly and more rapidly than ever before. One satisfied customer can bring a huge number of new customers to you in a single post. One scathing review on Yelp can prevent hundreds, or thousands, from ever doing business with you. You don't have the time or resources to dedicate to this? Um, hello?"

He touched on a point that I get passionate about! Retaining your current customers which is so much more cost effective than sourcing new ones! Rewarding your loyal customers and bringing them into the fold is an awesome strategy often overlooked. Engage with your brand advocates - acknowledge and reward them!

Metrics matter! Hell ya! But the RIGHT metrics! Love how Eric mentioned not to get hung up on "the bright shiny object" of number of followers.  He said "I would rather have10 highly influential and engaged followers than 10,000 people who aren't listening." (I wrote about this very thing when my mentor and very good friend Jeff Booth CEO of Build Direct gave me a shout out in his key note address during the Enterprise 2.0 Summit Social Media Week - THAT was cool! :)

Finally ~ Eric clearly understands the power of social ~reaching out to others he sees as influencers and who have "reach" to share his book :) I'm one of the lucky ones and I'm eternally grateful! I've said it before and I'll say it again:

The true beauty of social is the ability to connect with amazing people that you otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet! 

Connecting is powerful stuff!  Of course, be clear ~ Eric sees me as his "Marketing Maven" and he's counting on me to to engage my audience and promote him! Talk about genius marketing…but hey ~ all it took was a a genuine connect, a copy of his book AND we get to 'feel good'! Now THAT's ROI! (Return On Investment)

Eric suggests we shouldn't be asking ourselves "What is the cost of engaging in Social Media?" but rather "What is the cost of NOT engaging?"  The trick is: You ACTUALLY have to CARE!

Special thanks Eric for sharing your knowledge. I agree with literally EVERYTHING and that's THE REAL TRUTH! You saved me from having to write a book ;) Cheers my online friend until we meet IRL!

Purchase your own copy of The Real Truth About Social Marketing here: http://www.fastpencil.com/publications/3048-The-REAL-TRUTH-About-Social-Media?tid=bookbuy


1st EVA #BrandTribe Chat