Posts Tagged ‘strategies’

Making true fans? Not by pushing

April 21, 2010

I am a Facebook fan of not being a fan of anything I’m not really a fan of.

In other words, I am not a good liar in person or on screen.

If you con me into joining your page to win a great prize – a trend so prevalent I see hundreds a week – I am going to un-fan as soon as you give the car, greenhouse, money or other prize to someone else.

Many of my Facebook friends and in-laws send invites to join pages, groups and causes of products and services in which I have no experience. Possibly I will like your product, but I have to at least see it (taste it, wear it, try it) first to decide.

Unless the law changed, (it didn’t) petition signatures must be signed in person, in front of the petitioner. All you are doing is telling the Facebook community that you don’t support child molestation. (By the way, who the hell does support it?)

I’m really wondering how we close the gap between true fans of our businesses, groups and statements and the people who just click on everything. Am I rude when I don’t join your kids’ fundraiser group or become a fan of some business across the country I will never use?

You can probably tell it’s really okay if I seem rude. Lucky for me there was no Facebook 20 years ago or everyone would know just how rude I can be. (Yes at 18, I knew everything, had mastered the eye-roll and had a tongue sharper than Ginsu knives.)

As a true fan of studying marketing approaches and how well they work, however, I wonder if businesses see more value in 40 real fans or 400 fans.

While writing this, I got this link from a social media guru http://ow.ly/1Asnj. Thank you so much Robert. I suspect if I read a couple more of your blogs – I will be a fan!

I’m not planning to un-friend anyone for repeatedly pushing me to fan up. Just understand when I hit “ignore,” that’s me being polite.

I’d like to hear why people join groups and become fans, and if they are honestly fans.

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Searching for career, yet finding myself

January 11, 2010

The only way to get what you want, is to know what you really want.
And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself.
And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself.
And the only way to be yourself, Larque, is to listen you your heart.
I do, ~ The Universe.
(sent from Mike Dooley)

This printed email has been on my computer for at least two years. However, I only recently feel like I know myself enough to know what I want (somewhat).

Months of unemployment triggered a treasure hunt for answers. What are my passions? What do I want? Who am I really? Do most people have answers to these questions?

It doesn’t seem like it. It seems like if we all knew what makes us happy, then that’s what we would do (or eat, or listen to, or think).

When I lost my job, it was difficult to listen to my heart because my brain kept saying “oh shit, what am I going to do?” I had to start with what I knew – what I dislike and did not want. I had to start analyzing my thoughts and actions – were they judgmental and why? Even harder, I had to dig deep to find out who I am – strengths and weaknesses.

This work would probably help just about anyone. Unfortunately, every day life keeps us busy enough that we don’t take the time to really listen to our hearts. (At least I didn’t.)

Career Coach Sean Harry co-created a workbook Career Crossroads: Finding Your Perfect Career. It could have been called Life Crossroads: Finding Yourself. The process he’s licensed applies to both. ARMS: Assessment, research, marketing materials, and strategy.

I thought I was pretty self-aware. Possibly I was only opinionated and loud. As soon as I admitted I didn’t know it all, even about myself, I began learning. The more I studied me, the more I wanted to know. The more I want to know.

I can’t take credit for the jewels uncovered in initial digging. In fact, this is a bit of a testimonial for coaches. Social Media Coach Joshua Waldman saw my true niche talent before I did. Sean often reminds me of strengths I’ve overlooked. Business Coach Noah Waldman helped me transform, literally, by sending head trash to the dumpster (where it belongs). The path to these great coaches began with Sales Coach Jeff Schneider who believed in me, and that was enough.

As thankful as I am to these guys, I will admit that I did all the dirty work. I mumbled to myself as I walked mile after mile; “What do I want? Where do I see myself? What is God’s plan for me? What are the solutions I bring?” (on and on until I almost ran over a gal walking her little dog). I made lists. I read books. I watched videos. I listened to webcasts. I wrote and wrote. I pushed myself. And I’m continually repeating the process.

Now I feel as though this work, if I keep doing it, will lead to the ideal life. That is what I want. Not just the perfect career or even the perfect body. I want to know the best Larque from every angle. If I know her – and become her – I will naturally be my best at everything.

Stability is a fairy tale (but I love fairy tales)

December 4, 2009

I am at a career crossroads, peering in every direction, looking for a big sign that says “Stability, 2 miles.”

After weeks at this crossroads, I have to admit that Stability is not a destination just over the horizon, a few miles into Security County. Stability is an enormous castle surrounded by sparkling moat water where pixies and unicorns frolic. Yeah, it is a fairy tale. Yet I still want it desperately.

My personal crossroads is this: in the past six months, more than 20 people have suggested I start my own business. As a contractor I can help people and companies find their voice and tell their story through marketing, PR and social media. I would also work as an ambassador/affiliate for other businesses such as CareerAdvice4U, sharing my enthusiasm for those companies’ amazing services. I registered with the Small Business Development Center, got reference books from the library and interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs. I started my business plan, sales model and rate structure.

And then I hit the road block square in the face, again.

What about my beautiful fairy tale where money is certain, vacation days are paid and insurance covers all my needs? I can’t seem to let go of the notion for a handful of reasons. First, I was raised by parents with traditional jobs. Second, I am up to my eyeballs in credit card debt, my savings and IRA are squandered and I have a big mortgage. Lastly, I suffer from chronic migraines and have used Imitrex since landing in its study program in 1992. Refills for pills or shots are hundreds of dollars.

Still, I know jobs can vanish. I lost two jobs in two years by no fault of my own. A recent LinkedIn discussion about salary verses commission jobs reiterated the point.

“Security is an illusion sold to people to get them to work for less by settling for less. The only real job security is your own bootstraps,” says Brad Justice.

“Many people “enjoying” a salary, without the benefit of an employment agreement, are concerned about (a) salary reductions, (b) layoffs, (c) merger/acquisitions,” added Vince Gallo.

These guys have been independent workers for years, so the choice is obvious to them. For the rest of us, a life-changing decision like this calls for help from a career coach like Sean Harry (www.CareerAdvice4u.com/311) or a life coach like James Warrick (www.takeflightcoaching.org). Both men have helped me listen to my heart and become more clear about my pending decision. There is no “right” answer, but I can’t keep standing still. Today, I need to step forward and stop worrying about the correct path. As I heard myself saying to coach Warrick … JUST DO IT.

(Author’s request: If you have gone through a process like this, please share your experience with me and the millions of us standing at the crossroads. Thank you in advance!)

Happy? Not always. But Larque every day.

December 1, 2009

I might have been born happy but cannot recall those early years. Thankfully, I don’t recall my mom and biological father fighting for my first six years either. I do recall a surly teenager who bore my name and thought life was a miserable waste of time. Yikes!

“Happy as a Larque” is a personal trek in boots that don’t always fit right and the disregard of blisters caused by life friction. I haven’t discovered a magical way to disregard the friction itself, so I am not always happy. On the worst of days I go to a terrible dark place and think the worst of thoughts.

My adventure is about gathering wisdom so I may experience bliss and help others. I stash these tools in that dark place so I can navigate my way back. Every time it gets easier.

My goal is to amass strategies and reasons to be happy so that I may be a beacon of light to others. I have already experienced countless paths to happiness; some little jaunts and others grappling, scraping, gut-wrenching climbs. I hope to share with you both types of excursions. I hope that sharing some of the painful points on my journey will comfort you and further strengthen me.

When you pass me on the street and I look deep in your eyes and smile (which I will), don’t assume I am some Pollyanna, Gandhi or Einstein. I am merely one girl who desires to be a mix of the three … optimistic, loving and brilliant.

Cynics around me who scoff at my “fairy dust” education might want to look a bit closer. The sprinkles of faith, trust, belief and passion that glitter around me are bling you can’t buy with money. You have to earn this stuff the hard way – one lesson at a time.

(NOTE: This is the first blog in the Jumping Duck Media 30 Days of Blogging Challenge. http://bit.ly/6bUdVx)