Beginnings

I always love a good ad campaign and Dell nails it with this ad, “Beginnings” in their “Do More” series. The history, the meaning and the simplicity all pull at the heart strings. No fancy words nor fancy concepts needed.

We are a company that personifies entrepreneurial spirit, celebrates it every day, and embodies it in everything we do. Michael, a dreamer in his own right, started this company in his dorm room and has since grown Dell beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

This celebration of that spirit, and it’s often humble beginnings, is a reminder to all of us that with vision, audaciousness and the right technology, anything is possible – no matter if your company started in a dorm room or at the dinner table.

Dell is proud to have played a role in helping so many remarkable companies find the power to do more.

10 Moments of 2013

It’s that time of year when we all look back and reflect. When I started this series in 2008, I thought it was silly and overdone. These days, it’s one of my favorite sets of posts to reread. They bring back the memories of the people and events that were important to me in year’s past- 2008200920102011 and 2012 all hold special memories.

Similar to a snowflake, 2013 was unlike any year before it. This year, I was more like the turtle than the hare – slow and steady to finish the line. Surprisingly, I didn’t mind the slow and steady pace. I stopped often and slowly to smell the roses and I made my dream life of a Mexican Fisherman a reality.

Without further adieu, here’s the Top 10 of 2013:

  1. Changed my stars and took a leap I had been dreaming of since 5th grade. I was so scared that I came thisclose to backing out. As always, the things that scare us the most turn out to be some of life’s best decisions.
  2. Twelve races colored this year, including conquering a Spartan and half marathons in DC, Cleveland, Key West, San Francisco and Palm Beach
  3. Completed my first (and second) triathlon!
  4. Said goodbye to Columbus, Ohio
  5. While I didn’t add any new cities to my list, I traveled well, often spending a month at a time in various cities
  6. I checked a few more items off my bucket list, including spending Harvest Season (and my birthday) in Napa
  7. I watched the last of my college friends’ get married in two of my favorite weddings
  8. I took up bike riding. Who knew it was the secret to finally making my thighs smaller?!
  9. Third time’s the charm. Fingers crossed, I’ve finally made working for myself a sustainable reality
  10. made the time to slow down and cherish time spent with family and friends. Thursdays with Grandma were the highlight of my year.

We’re Failing Social Media. Again.

It seems like every other day the Twitterverse is gloating over another social media “failure”. A tweet that’s gone awry, someone who tweeted to the company account instead of their personal one, a “cute” post taken not quite right.

Most are mistakes made by interns or freshly minted associates. You could say, teachable moments. Others, are made by more seasoned professionals. And still, some are made by our peers. Yet, in each instance, the Twitterverse viciously and immediately demands someone be fired, without even knowing the backstory. It’s shocking. This is real life, not a reality TV show.

Tonight, a corporate communications employee tweeted something tongue in cheek on her personal twitter account. Many were outraged. Others wondered if someone had hacked her phone. But, the mob turned the incident into a trending topic on twitter. Even brands got in on the “real-time marketing opportunity.” Looking back through her tweets, to me, it seemed right in line with her personality – sarcastic, raunchy and a self-proclaimed troublemaker. In fact, she sounds like someone I’d like to be friends with.

Sure, for those who don’t know her and taken out of context, the tweet is inappropriate. But, what happens when we all start censoring our opinions for fear of being fired or called out? What happens when we stop being ourselves because the crowd doesn’t agree with us? What happens when we don’t speak up because our opinion is different than others? Maybe this is a leap, but it’s a scary one. Yes, yes, there’s a time and place for everything, and some opinions really are factually not right… but, what happens when we stop sharing because we’re too afraid?

It’s a sad world when you joyously root and take pleasure in watching someone get fired for a single misstep. Social media managers aren’t failing, society is.

A Decade of Memories

A decade of memories is all we have. Ten years ago seems like a whole different life. I can’t even fathom what you’d be like today, but I know I’d be proud.

I stumbled upon this quote by Jasinda Wilder this week. It’s not quite apropos, but it made me realize, that while you are always in my thoughts, I’m okay.

You don’t ever really let go, though. You don’t stop. You don’t stop hurting, you don’t stop loving. It doesn’t go away, you just keep living and eventually things get pushed into the background of your life so it’s not consuming you every day. And then one day you know you’re okay. It still hurts, you still miss that person. And yeah, you forget the details. The way she smelled, the way her mouth tasted, how her skin felt, the sound of her voice. It’s almost like a different life, a different person that loved her, was with her. But on a day-to-day level, you know you’re okay. Sort of.

In loving memory, today and always.

Almost There

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is something valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.” – e.e cummings

Perception is a funny thing. Oftentimes, it’s also a reality. And more often then not, our own perceptions are our worst enemies.

Our perceptions tell us that the number on the scale hasn’t moved. The reality? We’ve lost 5% body fat.

Our perceptions tell us that our heels don’t touch the floor in downward dog. The reality? We’re only a quarter of an inch away.

Our perceptions tell us that we’re not good enough, we didn’t respond fast enough or our proposal was too short. The reality? We responded faster than other vendors and our proposal was more professional than all the rest.

Sometimes, we’re almost there, but we can’t see it for ourselves. We need a little bit of help from those around us to shift our perception. Sometimes, it’s a word; sometimes it’s a hand to push us down and show us our heels are thisclose to meeting the floor :)

Have you helped someone shift their perception today? Show someone that they really are, almost there.

10 Scares, 100 Discoveries: Scare 11 – Karaoke

In 2011, I set out on an adventure of 100 Discoveries. I thought I could finish in a year. But, the reality is, you should never finish an adventure like the one I created. With that in mind, this post is part of that project. You can see the entire project here. Enjoy the moments, I sure am!

IMG_0222Karaoke has been on this list from Day One. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but it’s never been quite the right time, place or partner. While it took 3 years to cross it off, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to do it.

On the eve of Yom Kippur (the symbolic closing of a chapter), road tripping from Ohio to Florida (a physical closing of a chapter) in a small town hotel bar, on the eve of Friday the 13th, I cut my Karaoke teeth with the bartender and six welcoming strangers watching. Needless to say, I was awful, but no one told me that. ‘After Livin’ on a Prayer’, I went on to do six more songs, one being a solo of ‘Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl’ and many duets with the bartender, including my favorite, ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever do Karaoke with people I actually know… my mom scarred me for life when she told me (truthfully), “Please never sing. Not even in the shower.” But, in the middle of nowhere, in a room full of strangers I had one of the most fun and memorable nights of 2013.

Limitless Possibilities

The words “limitless possibilities” has popped up a lot lately. To me, it’s a fascinating concept that is difficult to master. What does “limitless possibilities” mean? I’m glad you asked, because here are three explanations:

In a fiction book I read recently, the main character struggled with opening herself up to the limitless possibilities. Instead, she looked at everything in a linear fashion. When she did open herself up, all the solutions fell into place much easier than when she thought linearly.

The other night, a friend shared her experience with goal setting. When we set goals, they’re often set with a very small knowledge base of what we do know. Yet, there’s so much more that we don’t know. With that in mind, we should strive to set “limitless goals”. In other words, we should open ourselves up to limitless possibilities :)

And last, but not least, Nike brought it home (wrapped in a perfect bow) with this sentence and video:

We’re all capable of a little more — a little faster, a little higher, a little stronger, a little more. And when we look at all of the little things we’ve done, we’ll see the big things we’re doing.


 

How I Became a Nike Fan

I’ve blogged a few times about not being a Nike fan. While I love their commercials, I’ve never been impressed with their sports gear. But, this year, Nike has once, twice, three times won me over.

Aside from their clothes fitting awesome, here’s why I’m willing to pay $50 for a pair of shorts I could get at TJ Maxx for $15.

  1. Their twitter team is WOW. As one of the largest and most talked about brands in social media, they get a massive amounts of comments daily. Yet, from Facebook to Twitter they’ve responded to every single one of mine in not only a timely fashion, but in a way that makes me feel special every time.
  2. Nike doesn’t do advertising. They do EXPERIENCES. NikeFuel Band, Nike+, Nike Training Club App are all phenomenal apps. The best part is that Nike got the little details right. Workout completed? Nike sends a congratulations message. Best #nikefuel Friday? Nike lets you know. Have another great day? Nike lets you know again. This time, with a different congratulatory message. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of marketing.
  3. Nike doesn’t just get the digital interactions right, they get the offline ones too. Far and away, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon was one of my favorite race experiences. In fact, it was so fun, it’s a topic for a whole other post :)

 

Nike Running Tweet

NikeFuel Tweet v2

Nike – thanks for being a part of my fitness journey. You’ve not only made the experience memorable (and trackable), but also special.

Beneath Your Beautiful

It’s not often that a song strikes me so much that I post it here. In fact, it’s been two years since I have. But, Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande did.

Take a listen. It’s a beautiful song about the walls and masks we wear every day. And, the someone who wants to see behind the wall.

 

Song Lyrics:

“Beneath Your Beautiful”
(feat. Emeli Sandé)

You tell all the boys “No”

Makes you feel good, yeah.
I know you’re out of my league
But that won’t scare me away, oh, no

You’ve carried on so long,
You couldn’t stop if you tried it.
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it,
But I’m gonna try.

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now, girl, take it off now, girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?

You let all the girls go
Makes you feel good, don’t it?
Behind your Broadway show
I heard a boy say, “Please, don’t hurt me”

You’ve carried on so long
You couldn’t stop if you tried it.
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it.
But I’m gonna try

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now, boy, take it off now, boy
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight, oh, tonight?

See beneath, see beneath,
I…
Tonight
I…

I’m gonna climb on top your ivory tower
I’ll hold your hand and then we’ll jump right out
We’ll be falling, falling but that’s OK
‘Cause I’ll be right here
I just wanna know

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now, girl, take it off now, girl (take it off now, boy,take it off now, boy)
‘Cause I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight, oh, oh, oh, tonight?
See beneath your beautiful, oh, tonight.
We ain’t perfect, we ain’t perfect, no.
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?

The (Absurd) Power of Branding

When you can charge $120 for a plain, white T-shirt and not even have to imprint your logo on the front, well, that’s where the power of branding heads into the absurd.

  • Anal Organization

  • Oldies But Goodies

  • More Stuff

  • Nonsense Notes