Now, you too can have the brain you’ve been hoping for. Follow this simple diet plan and Viola! Better thinking, just in time for swimsuit season!
When you change your thoughts, you change your life. Give it a try.
It is only $14.95 + $4.95 Shipping & Handling and will arrive in 7-14 days with Standard US Shipping.
The book is a compilation of wonderful authors and coaches with valuable insights into the power of bringing new thoughts into your consciousness. A new chapter with an empowering thought for every day. I wrote chapter 14 on forgiveness. A challenging thought for some, but I believe a necessity for experiencing inner peace. And yes, it is possible to forgive everyone…
One month into 2013 and I’ve already accomplished two of my yearly goals: Spend a week at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California and get published.
The week in Carlsbad was lovely and I’m happy to tell you all about what I’ve learned about Ayurveda, my ‘dosha’ and a healthier way of living … but first, I am more excited to tell you about the book I’ve contributed to called The 28-Day Thought Diet and why you should buy it.
The chapter I wrote is about forgiveness. It is not a comprehensive essay on how to forgive all those people in your life that may have wronged you, but simply a glimpse, a seed, a starting place. If you are struggling to find inner peace in your life, perhaps forgiveness is a good place to start. In fact, the entire book is filled with excellent essays, exercises and anecdotes for cultivating more positive thoughts in your day to day life. I dare you to take on this 28-day challenge and remain unchanged for the better.
And… since you are all now more enlightened, I know you will forgive me for not having updated this blog in a long time. I am in the process of re-purposing it toward some of my more Personal Empowerment and Purposeful Living initiatives… which, started with goal setting and got me here faster than expected. It’s all about the process: being closer today than yesterday.. not arriving all at once.
I will update this with a link to purchase the book ASAP.
Hi friends. I seem to have slipped off the face of the earth for awhile. Yes, lost in the abyss of corporate America. After attending a session at CHI last spring about working in a UX department in a large corporation, I wondered: “Could this be for me?” Much of my consulting time as a User-Centered Business Analyst was spent explaining the value of actually focusing on the user, not just the technology when developing business applications and strategy. I had a pivotal moment. I thought working in a department already dedicated to User Experience, where the buy-in for user-centered design was clearly already in place would be a refreshing change.
So, I’ve been working at Homedepot.com as a senior user experience analyst for the past 10 months. This has been an interesting challenge. It’s been about 13 years since I have worked in a corporation this size and I am again coming to realize the pros and cons of being part of a very large company. Although I have no intention of biting the hand that feeds me (and enabled me to go on an awesome Mediterranean cruise) – there is a certain purposefulness and enthusiasm in Start-Up folks that is noticeably absent in larger companies. I don’t think it is a necessary phenomenon. It just tends to be that way.
So, it’s given me great opportunity to think about what motivates people and how to inject “entrepreneurial spirit” into a business model designed contrary to it’s cultivation.
Here are some of my favorite TED Talks on the subject.
Dan Pink, author of Drive on the Surprising Science of Motivation.
Hi all. I know deep down in my heart that good user experience design should aim to not simply make a task less frustrating than was expected, or remove obstacles or take less time. An awesome design can enhance your moment-to-moment daily experience of life, make you smile, make you feel empowered or clever or creative or connected… There are plenty of people creating average consumer goods. But I think we’ve all got potential to do much better. Don’t you? Let’s raise the bar a bit, shall we?
Maybe you are here because you saw me speak at Product Camp. Or maybe not, but that is definitely what is on my mind this week, so I thought I’d give credit to some of the great minds that inspired my presentation.
Here we go – some good design talks, Enjoy!
Don Norman Talks: 3 Ways Design Makes You Happy
Rory Sutherland: Sweat the Small Stuff
Yves Behar on Designing Objects that tell stories:
We talked about the evolution and necessity of personal branding (know thyself) and user-centered design ( know thy user) in today’s rapidly changing technical, context-driven environment and economy among other things. Enjoy.
Hi Friends – I have been trying to explain how exactly I can help companies improve their products, marketing and customer rapport with an effective internet presence. I talk a lot about user experience and integrating social media… but I think this story may help illustrate what I do best. Enjoy.
The Story of The Three Small Business Owners
Once upon a time there were three small business owners. They all sold party supplies and all decided they must build a website.
The first small business owner was not very smart. He hired his nephew to build his website for $300 and a case of Budweiser. He launched his website. He made a some money. He was pretty happy.
The First Small Business Owner was Not Very Smart...
The second small business owner had a little more business sense. He invested over $2000 with a web design company. He used professional graphics and created an online catalog. He went even further and bought Google ads every month to drive lots and lots of people to his website. He spent more money, he made more money. He was happy.
The third small business owner was the wisest of all. She hired me.
I asked the business owner lots of questions about her products and her business goals. I researched the industry and her target customers.
I did keyword research, monitored blogs, twitter streams, social sites and other online forums and learned a lot about her customers.
We discovered that most party planners are women between the ages of 25 and 45. We learned that the buying habits for professional party planners are different than people that plan parties once or twice a year. We figured out that party planners often need information on caterers, rentals, entertainment, recipes, party games, house-cleaning services and venues. We learned that some party themes were timeless and some were trendy – and could find out what trends were on the rise and which were fading out.
Since the small business owner learned so much about party planning and party supplies she provided great advice to her customers too. She became known as “The Party Queen.” Her customers looked to her for answers and she delivered. They even told their friends about her. One she built her website, it became a one-stop shop for party planning, tips, resources and supplies.
She invested some money, she made lots of money. She was happy AND her customers were happy.
But that is not the end.
One day…. Along came the BIG BAD ECONOMY.
The Big Bad Economy Huffed and Puffed...
The Big Bad Economy visited the first small business owner. He huffed and he puffed and blew … Well, since his prices were too high, and he didn’t have very many customers to begin with, it didn’t take much to knock down the first small business owner. Soon he was back to flipping burgers.
NEXT, the Big Bad Economy visited the second small business owner. He huffed and puffed… but since the Second Small Business Owner had more customers, he bought in bulk and was able to offer lower prices than some of the other online party businesses. He lowered his prices, decreased his margins and though he wasn’t exactly “rolling in it,” for now, he was still in business.
The Big Bad Economy was perplexed, so he called his brother. His brother was called “A Fundamental Shift in Consumer Demand for Cheap Unsustainable Plastic Crap Made in China.”
Together they huffed and puffed…
The business owner increased his advertising, he decreased his prices even more, but still he found his customers kept disappearing. Finally the Big Bad Economy and the Fundamental Shift in Consumer Demand for Cheap Unsustainable Plastic Crap Made in China put him out of business.
His fate was worse than the first. He went back to an unsatisfying middle-management job and blamed the hippies for ruining his business.
Now, I am sure you are wondering what happened to the Third Small Business Owner.
When the Big Bad Economy came along, she didn’t lose customers. Her customers were loyal. In fact, she picked up some of the first small business owner’s customers. Her customers didn’t go shopping around for lower prices because she added value, she gave her expertise away for free. She saved them time and money by putting everything in one place. Plus, everyone liked doing business with the Party Queen.
And when the Fundamental Shift in Consumer Demand for Cheap Unsustainable Plastic Crap Made in China came along – she was ready. She had seen this trend coming for months and had already started offering greener and eco-friendly party products.
She was Happy AND Her Customers Were Happy.
They called their cousins: “Product Recall,” “Fabricated Sex Scandal” and “Unauthorized Biography.” It didn’t matter. Her customers loved her and continued to recommend her website to their party planner friends.
I was recently reminded of this classic parable of the difference between Heaven and Hell and naturally it made me think of innovation and business.
A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell.
The Lord said to the man, “Come, I will show you hell.”
They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew.
Everyone was famished, desperate and starving.
Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it could not be used to get the stew into their own mouths.
The suffering was terrible.
“Come, now I will show you heaven,” the Lord said after a while.
They entered another room, identical to the first – the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But there everyone was happy and well-nourished.
“I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?”
The Lord smiled. “Ah, it is simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.”
So, the point of the story is – that selflessness in the short term leads to the overall greater good for everyone in the long run, or that interdependence is the only true way to happiness or that greed will lead to suffering.
Whichever. The point is not my point.
My point is all it would take is ONE person in Hell to figure it out – to INNOVATE, to say “Hey guys, I have an idea – Let’s Feed EACHOTHER.” And they’d all slap their heads and say “Of course! It’s so obvious. Let’s do it!”
But it doesn’t work that way, does it? No. More often the innovator hears “We are fine the way we are, thank you very much.” and “Who let the do-gooder in?” or “Keep your Socialist agenda to yourself!”
This point was brought home, when I watched the first episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. His mission is to educate children and families to make better food choices and fight obesity. He went to Huntington, West Virginia, the unhealthiest city in America and was met with scorn and resistance.
(Mind you, it did help underline my “buy-in strategy” theory. He could have gained a lot more ground by getting the lunch ladies as allies outside the school with a free cooking class, or a church picnic – before jumping in and trying to ‘innovate’ their current system.)
I’m optimistic it turns out well in the end – because, well, I’ll be too damn depressed if it doesn’t… and unhappy endings don’t make good television.
The bottom line: Next time you propose your obvious and innovative solution, be prepared to withstand a little heat.
Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. — Howard Aiken
I consider myself an idea person. It’s one of my core strengths. I have a long and illustrious career of coming up with great ideas that never get anywhere, at least not on my watch.
In 1993 my friend Andy, an intern from Georgia Tech at one of the first companies I worked at (an internet technology company) showed me my first world wide website with the Mosaic Browser.
It was an interactive archeological dig where you could control robotic arms and watch on camera as bones and artifacts were revealed. It was very cool. Unprecedented implications.
I went to the president/CEO of the company and said “We should look into this, I think this web thing is going to be big.”
He smiled patiently and said something like “Don’t get too excited about it, Andy is just a college student.”
I’m not venting or trying to toot my horn here (ok, some venting and horn-tooting), but this story does prelude my recent epiphany. I have a tendency to throw my great ideas “out there,” hope some in-charge entrepreneurial type will love it, implement it, find great success, credit me and we all get rich. My genius should be enough.
Since then I have discovered, if I want other people to engage in the 99% perspiration part of nurturing my great brainchild – my idea has to contain a “buy-in strategy” as well as a general plan for implementation and measuring success. I should also anticipate and plan for revisions.
Successful entrepreneurs know this (or figure it out) when pitching a business concept to potential investors, but it is also true within a corporation or in any situation where you want your new ideas to thrive. This is possibly one of the largest sources of middle management frustration; The employee who has the most unique perspective on how to improve a process and has no leverage for implementing the solution.
My practical steps for getting ideas to fruition:
Hang in there my brilliant genius friends.
Here’s “Working at the Carwash Blues” by Jim Croce – as interpreted by the Muppets. ( I couldn’t find a good original.)
My favorite lyric “They wouldn’t listen to the fact that I was a genius, they man said we got all that we can use.”
My grandfather worked as an Electrical Engineer for Goodyear almost his entire career, 40 years, 9-5. My parent’s post-college careers were long stretches (10-20 years) in large organizations, with upward mobility and various titles, but still relatively the same job description and talent requirements in each position.
In my 20 year professional career, I’ve worked at small start-ups and large corporations, W2, 1099, part-time, full-time, flex-time, consulted and contracted. My average job has lasted 3-5 years… with various reasons to “move on” from one to the other including acquisition, spin-offs, parenting and dot-com bubbles bursting. I am not unique, it is the trend of my generation. And the 20-somethings (Millennials, Gen Y) won’t remember when “corporate culture” wasn’t a major component of a business’ identity and employment decisions. (But are there ping-pong tables in the break room?)
So what does this have to do with personal branding? I think the sooner we stop asking ourselves (and our children) “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and instead start asking “Who do you want to be?” or “What do you want your life to be like when you grow up?” there will be fewer mid-life identity crises.
So as I find myself with many talents and much experience, there exists no clear job description for what I’m really good at – inspiring people to go from good to great.
Enter Personal Branding.
Personal Branding is kind of like identity therapy for your business and/or career goals – plus marketing – plus sales.
It is learning how to tell your story at the drop of a hat with clarity and confidence.
I met Dave Cohen at SoCon several years ago and was really impressed with his knowledge and presentation. I had the pleasure of working on his very popular StartUp Weekend brainchild project, MoodyTweets last Fall and now I am again working with him on my own “personal brand” as I propel my consulting business to the next level.
I highly recommend any solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, job seekers, consultants and creatives to spend qualified time (and money) on defining your brand and learning to tell your story.
David will be offering a 3-part Personal Branding teleseminar series starting NEXT WEEK and is giving my friends/ clients/ customers a 10% discount (Use discount code TROUBADOUR). The teleseminar is 3 consecutive Thursdays starting February 18 at Noon.
• Why Personal Branding is more important than ever before
• The risks of not being brand aware
• The three R’s of branding
• The three C’s of effective communication
• The Beacon Principles that will give you confidence in your message
( and plenty of Q & A)
Use discount code: TROUBADOUR when you check out.
He’s also doing a Personal Pitch Clinic March 10.
Register for Personal Branding – Be A Beacon
So, I highly recommend this.
At least 80% of the websites I review and analyze need a better story and more cohesive branding. Dave is the person I would have referred you to anyway for that. So you just saved you a step. Of course, I can still help you with user-centered design, better conversion, search marketing and social strategy.
I look forward to hearing everyone’s new and improved Personal Brand stories.
Keep me posted.