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Showing posts from 2013

Take Care of Home First

Friday will be my first day "officially" working in 2014, as I wanted a day to get my household back to normal before I start to push forward with professional goals for the New Year. A few weeks ago, I joined an effort to shed some light on local businesses through Shop Small Saturday, Buy Local Week, and Pinterest's Hometown Pins Competition. In an effort to be globally competitive and create a sustainable earth, sometimes we forget one of our first lessons: take care of home.

The holiday season, and the sense of community we experienced, was a great reminder of how much buying power we each have every day. One of my "resolutions" is to patronize businesses that invest in the community I live whenever possible. Before I was an entrepreneur, I was a writer. So, I thought it'd be fitting to focus on my favorite writing spots in my hometown for my submission to Pinterest. Below, are my 2014 Picks for the best places to write in Ann Arbor.

http://www.p…

Don't Forget to Give a 'Shout Out'

The advertisement above is a sneak preview of the tips you will find when you join my newsletter to be relaunched in 2014.  Nobody is immune to the ills in society that can surface on social media, but there are many more benefits than risks. One way, is to give the places, vendors, stores, artists, nonprofits, and restaurants a shout out. If you don't know what a shout out is, I will explain. Back in my hey day (mid 90s and early 2000s), there was time each evening that my favorite Detroit radio DJ would allow people to call in and request a song and mention a name of a family member, friend, or business. It would sound something like this, "Hi, my name is George and I would like to request Butterflies by Michael Jackson. I also wanna give a shout out to my One Touch Barber Shop and Salon on 7 Mile." It was a simple gesture, but I remember making decisions on places to eat or frequent when going to Detroit based on those "shout outs." For a lot of people, the…

Buying Local is More Than Purchasing Power

In a conversation with the founder of DishFish, Joel Vergun, he said something that really stuck out to me as a community enthusiast. He likened the support of small businesses to a cause that you you would normally associate with a nonprofit. "We see helping small businesses in the community as a worthy cause," said Vergun.  
In the collage above, I captured a few locally owned and operated businesses and organizations that I patronized this year. In the top row from left to right:  Mashup of an evening with poet Nikki Giovanni at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, a poster for my first year serving in the role of a social media ambassador for Giving Tuesday, In the bottom row, from left to right:  Danielle Teachout, co-owner at Cafe Ollie's in Ypsilanti, serving free cookies and hot cocoa,  Santa and 3-year-old Judah, at a Christmas tree lighting hosted by the Merchants of Depot Town Bradley Schwartz, of Kolossos Printing on Stadium in Ann Arbor, in design mode, and Bookbound,…

Three Lessons on Social Media From Dick Clark

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN APRIL, 2012. REST IN PEACE... Three Lessons on Social Media From Dick Clark Three Farmers and Two Geese Dick Clark spent over 60 years in numerous memorable roles from radio to music to television. One of the roles that he is less noted for is entrepreneur; some of Clark's biggest marks on the industry were actually ones he created. Dick Clark was always the 'cool kid'. He wanted to be a part of what was new. In fact, he said that he wished he had been a little younger when the Internet takeover began. In an 1999 interview with James Moll, Clark was asked "How do you describe the start to your professional career?" Clark responded with a story of his first job in the mailroom of a radio station. In the mornings he would sit with disc jockey, Danny Fusco and give the weather forecast for the rural radio network, assuming that no one was listening. But when Clark started performing as if someone was listening, that was when his c…

Thanksgiving is a Mindset

I wish you all a wonderful day, filled with gratitude, joy, and Thanksgiving. When I think about everything good and positive in my life, I can't help but to think of all the good  and positive people that I have come in contact with this year. I have been the beneficiary of many wise people, great clients, and advisers, and that is very humbling. There really is noone that does it alone.

As we get ready for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday - here are 3 quick quotes and reminders from entrepreneurs, celebs and business owners that all businesses should remember to help us stay in the spirit of Thanksgiving:

1. "Customers don't need us, we need them,"  Fred Meijer. (via Facebook)

2. "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be able to help people in need. You're all apart of it, and I'm so grateful. Happy Thanksgiving." ~— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 22, 2012 (via Twitter)

3. "Thanksgiving is a mindset" - …

Happy Veterans Day

Veterans' Day, unlike Memorial Day, is for all (this world and the next) those who sacrificed their freedom at any point to secure ours.

Whether your office is closed in observance of Veterans Day or it is business as usual, it would be grievous not to take a moment out to show a little gratitude to those who patriots who exhibit their loyalty every day for our safety.

Feel free to take a moment to post names and service, photographs, stories, or poems about your loved ones in the comments!

Thanks,

#lesgosocial

Don't Look Down

I know it isn't officially winter yet, but as a Michigander I have to be prepared for whatever in November. If I have to think of winter, this picture (shown above) is where I would like my mind to wander. It was taken by a friend while we were on a writing retreat. Those three days jump started a creative writing process that had died and gone sour inside of me for months. Removing myself from my normal agenda was just enough to rev my pen into action.

During February's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said "no single event makes a trend." There is no better description to the dynamics of restoring an economy...or even personal credit. As a budding entrepreneur, I excel, I coast, then I get bap-slapped on a regular basis. I have shared how I had to scale back my business. This Spring and Summer, I slowly began adding back one ingredient at a time.

And then The Fall happened.

Sickness, 6 weeks and a day without main computer, 2 of those weeks witho…

Cyberspace Can Be a Clear Blue Sky

This story of Sky Blue Pink was told by Mashable's Brian Anthony Hernandez

I like to think of cyberspace as a clear blue sky - with the capability to be warm or cold. It only takes a few moments reading comments after a popular news article, to see how cold cyberspace can be. But to be fair, many have also been recipients of kind and meaningful gestures in cyberspace as well.

One of the most recent warm moments in cyberspace was when more than 3500 people from over 100 countries participated in an online campaign, #skybluepink. The campaign was launched by Brandon Curtis with the simple goal of adorning the walls of his dying father. His father was able to enjoy the beautiful pink and blue skies before he passed away.

As a small business owner, you may not have the next viral video on your hands. However, you can set the temperature for your social media with your online campaigns. If you frequently have Negative Nelly's taking over your comments, it might be time to look at y…

Sweetest Love Hangover - Monday Hits Facebook!

It's too scripted to be a movie: a comfy cozy Sweetest Day weekend where your loved ones whisk you away from the to-do list your crazy/creative, entrepreneur-self never seems to complete.  Drizzly Seattle-Movie-like rain softens your hair, skin, and heart until the sexy mysterious moon writers kill readers with every day comes into view. You lay down Sunday feeling comforted and, although you know your weekend of folly might bite you in the butt - you rest peacefully knowing that you will be ready for whatever.  Giving a total 100% all week is the plan.

(insert scary music)

Then, Monday arrives! You oversleep (because you slept in the last two days), your morning mile walk feels like a triathlon (because you skipped a couple few workouts to make time for chocolate) and the cute rain is now annoying with hard, cold smacks across the face, appointments are late (because they are in the same boat), breakfast prep takes longer than usual (because you went to sleep with dishes in the …

Scale Back to Scale Up

This month, my business turned one year old.  When I look back at my original business plan, I am awed at the goals I had. Several months in, I found myself frustrated working 10 to 12 hours, 7 days a week with little to no profits. I went to a business advisor and she said "why don't you employ the same philosophy you have for small business in your own operations."

That piece of advice was a huge turning point for me. I scaled back my operations and am slowly re-integrating one thing at a time. By scaling back on my own goals and operations, I am able to spend more time with each client, learning throughout the process with smaller, smarter goals. Today, Deb Nystrom and I are hosting a free free webinar on Google + from 1 to 2 p.m. as part of the Social Media Week festivities. Please join us by signing up with the eventbrite link by 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or via email at Leslie [at] LesGo4It.com.



Event registration for Scale Back to Scale Up Your Small Busine…

Use Social Media to Shop Around for Service Providers

Hiring a third party for services for a small to mid-size business can be tricky and time-consuming. Payroll services are a good example of this. Even with an office manager or human resources point of contact on staff, there are a lot of intricacies surrounding with holdings, filings, and government regulations like the Defense of Marriage Act, Immigration and Health Care Reform that should probably be left to the professionals.
The first step in hiring third party services is knowing what you will remain responsible for in the eyes of the law when you outsource. Next, it is time to shop around. Here are a couple things to consider when shopping around: What Do the Basic Fees Cover...Exactly? Many providers offer a "free" trial for a few months. Unfortunately, these often end up costing a lot because of essential services that they only sell. Additionally, the conditions of the "free" service can make it difficult to get out of contracts without paying…

Blog Intermission - New Chapter a-Coming!

All Blog Activity will continue the second week in July, as we are preparing for a new chapter for The Educated Emotion Blog. Until then, please keep up with small business articles and social media!