Be BOLD!

When was the last time that you did something bold?  Something completely unexpected and out of your comfort zone?  If it’s been a while, or if you cannot remember the last time you made a bold decision, now is the time to make it happen!I have recently made two bold steps myself, and I can tell you that I have no regrets surrounding either of these actions.  The first bold step I am referring to was my decision to be a full-time, self-employed consultant. I had previously handled marketing duties for a local restoration company in addition to my consulting business, but  now I am all in working for myself.  This has been the second best decision I have ever made.  I do set my own schedule; I am responsible for finding my own clients, booking my own speaking opportunities, and managing my own business.  I love what I do and I wake up every day excited to get started! Can you say that about your career?  If not, maybe it’s time for a bold decision of your own.

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The second bold step is the decision to fire my hair!  You read it correctly, I have fired my hair!  It had been abandoning my head and retreating for years, so I as the owner of the head, I decided to fire it!  The hair gene came from the Lusher side of my family, and let’s just say we are not known for old age and a head full of hair :)  This again, was a great decision for me.  I feel better about myself and my appearance and everyone has accepted the new, bold look.  I have even received compliments on the shape of my head!  That is a new one! I also removed the goatee, so the grey hair is gone from my head.  Bonus:  looking younger!What does firing my hair have to do with business or more specifically the industry in which I work?  Simple: as a small business owner, making the decision to incorporate a social media plan into your business is a bold step.   For many business owners, it requires a leap of faith into a medium they are not familiar with.  But, as with my career move and my hair, taking bold actions can and will be rewarding if you approach it with careful planning and implementation as well as partnering with the right consultant or team.So, how can you be bold today, this week, this month, or this year?  What bold steps can you take?  Let me know, and let me know what you think of my healthy scalp!

Insignificant? Not at all!

I was blessed today to have another morning on this earth, and to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee on my deck as the sun started it’s journey across the sky.  I snapped this photo of the moon agains the backdrop of the blue sky and clouds and started pondering our significance in the universe.

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         Watching the final Space Shuttle mission and the landing of Atlantis took me back to my childhood; like most boys, I wanted to be an astronaut!  I still want to fly into space and look down upon the earth.  That would be so cool! Alas, that is not an option at this point, so I will just keep looking towards the Heaven’s and keep that dream alive!Looking to the stars and the vastness of the universe, or even our own lives, it is easy to feel insignificant, but that is not the case. We all touch countless lives as we live our life.  The people we see each day and interact with, our family, friends, co-workers, we impact them all.  Are you impacting those lives in a positive manner?  Am I?  That is the constant question.Working in and spending a considerable amount of time in social media, I communicate with thousands of people. I am always aware of this and strive to make a positive impact in those lives.  I hope I do.  If you spend time in social media or social networking, you have a similar opportunity.  You have the opportunity to  make a significant impact or difference in the lives of others. Before you send that next Tweet or post something to one of your profiles, think about that.  Think about how it will impact your friends and followers, as well as your own reputation.  Will it be positive and supportive or negative?  However you choose to impact others, just know you do, and treat those “virtual” relationships with care; these are real people on the other side of the screen.How do you make a significant difference in the lives of others? 

Gracie feels better after her spa day :-)

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Facebook Changes: Improvements?

Facebook announced exciting changes during their live video conference today.  Do you believe these are improvements?Announced today:

  1. Video Calling with Skype
  2. New Chat Design, complete with Buddy Lists
  3. Group Chatting

The partnership with Skype was something necessary and a natural next step for the two companies.  It solidifies Skype’s place in the social environment and it helps Facebook to continue to grow in the wake of Google + 1.Do you see these changes as improvements?  For businesses that use Facebook to connect and stay in communication with their client and potential clients; this is HUGE!  Imagine interfacing with fans and clients directly off of your Facebook Business Page!  Holding a Group Chat Session with employees in other locations!  It’s all about being connected, being responsive and humanizing business.How will these compete with Google + 1 ?  Too soon to tell; and in reality, it is two different situations; but it does raise the bar for both Facebook and Skype in our social environment.

Rememberances, Connections & The Power of Social Media

On April 21st of this year, I attended the funeral of a friend and former co-worker Tommy Hall. A man that I had the enjoyment of knowing and learning from and the person I credit for my life long Apple Computer addiction. When Tommy and I worked together several years ago, he sold me his Mac PowerBook; that was the first stage of my addiction. Fast forward to today; I own a MacBook Pro, an iPhone and an iPad; with more purchases planned!Tommy left behind an incredible wife and two beautiful daughters. The funeral was hard, as all funerals are, but it also taught me about how we grieve more publicly now than ever before. Many of us that knew Tommy posted remembrances on his Facebook profile as well as on our own walls. I was touched and humbled by the number of my friends that offered love and condolences on this day; many of these people never knew Tommy, but they knew me, and I am very thankful for their friendships.I posted this photo that I sent to Tommy after a trip back home to West Virginia; we all smiled at the fact that he had a road “named” after him in WV.

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       Tommy, you will be missed my friend.It just so happened that on the same day as Tommy’s funeral, our local Meetup 2.0 Group hatched a new Group of professionals to discuss and promote social media.  The Floyd Meetup Group‘s inaugural meeting was both exciting and bittersweet for me due to the events earlier in the day; however as a founding member of our Roanoke Meetup 2.0 Group, I was committed to attending.  Once again being the social person that I am, I posted on Facebook and Twitter  that I would be attending the meeting, and I was genuinely excited to be there and meet new people.When it came time to pay, the waitress asked my Meetup partner, Patsy Stewart who John Lusher was.  Patsy laughed and introduced me, thinking the waitress had heard of me.  The waitress proceeded to inform us that some jewelry lady had called and provided a credit card to pay for my dinner!  It took us a few minutes to figure out that it was my dear friend, Julianne Paulsen or @YrJewelryGal on Twitter.  Julianne owns a jewelry store in Minnesota and is Founder and CEO of Viaggio Bracelets.  Julianne had noticed my posts throughout the day, including the information about Tommy’s funeral as well as the location of our Floyd Meetup meeting; she then found the number of the restaurant and left information to pay for my dinner.  Talk about a humbling experience.On the drive home, my friends tweeted about the woman that bought John’s dinner and I called Julianne to thank her.  Julianne answered the phone laughing because she knew what had happened.  I thanked her profusely and related the story to her about the waitress; but also discovered she has done this to friends before just to surprise them.  She did this for me just to give me a smile and pick-me-up due to the events of the day.  I have not yet had the pleasure to meeting Julianne in person, but I will one day and I will buy her dinner and supply the cigars!  Although we have not met yet, I consider Julianne a dear friend and trusted professional.My reason for this post is to shine the light on how we live now:  socially.  More so than ever before, if we choose to. Whether we are grieving or celebrating; we do so publicly with our extended friends and followers.Thank you Tommy for all you taught me, and thank you Julianne for everything you are to me; I am most certainly blessed with the best friends in the world. 

How Can You Not….

How can you not like mornings? The sunrise, birds singing, a new day and coffee!!!