“Only Connect” – Why I’m Renaming My Blog

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Small business communications | Tags: , , , , , |

connect1It’s all about taking action, folks.

“Sea Change” requires a name change
I’ve had this little blog since the end of November, and its existence has coincided with a fascinating sea change in the way I do business.  What started out as a vaguely self-absorbed exploration of my own life coming to terms with and even thriving with ADHD (yes, grown women can have it too) insisted on evolving into a place where I could talk about my business.  At the same time, I went from de facto employee with one major client and a couple of side projects to full-time business writer and PR and Marketing consultant.  In December, I thought this blog was going to be about the area of expertise where I’ve always had a sharp edge: getting your message out to the right people, at the right time, in the right language.

I had no idea that social media was going to become such a huge part of the picture. (See “Social Media: My Christmas Project Run Amok” for my initial thoughts as I dove into the pool).  But here I am at the beginning of March – and helping clients get a feel for social media has become as much a part of what I do as the actual writing and editing consults.

Time to take action
Then this morning on Twitter, one of my good buddies ADHDParenting (actually, Debra Sale Wendler) asked which pitch was more interesting: “Kids w ADHD 5 conditions under which child can pay attention. OR, 5 things that MUST happen B4 discipline works”  Forgive the formatting folks, she only has 140 characters to pose the question.

Well, give me the “5 Things That MUST happen” even better – “5 Things You Can Do”.  Why?  Because it’s information you can act on.  I’m always harping on about how “what X is” messages pale next to “what X does” messages.  And it’s time to apply that message to myself.

What X Does > What X Is
“The Message Maven” may be what I am.  Actually, I’m kinda tired of the term “maven” – so even that may need a facelift. You’re going to be more interested in what I do – even better, what I do for you, or what I wish we could all do a bit better.  And the answer to that is in one of my favourite literary quotations, from the novel Howard’s End, by EM Forster.

Only Connect.  That’s what we are aiming for each time we reach out to friends, potential clients, mentors, whoever.  It’s the bedrock philosophy behind everything that happens on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube and any number of other social media sites, blogs, bookmarking services and what-have-you on the Web.  It’s a second-person imperative, for you grammar geeks out there.  I’m asking myself and the whole world to do something, and something good: to touch people with our messages.  To affirm the community that we are a part of, online and off.

Thankfully, the URL and feed of this blog will stay the same, so I don’t have to rewire all the places that I feed this blog.  It’ll still show up on Facebook, LinkedIn, MetroCascade, and feeding to my Twitter Account through Twitterfeed.  Yes, if you want to turboboost your blog in the same way, I can help you…

I hope you like the new name, the new focus and the new energy that comes with it!

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A Lifetime of Persistence Pt 2

Posted on December 7, 2008. Filed under: People to Follow | Tags: , , , , , |

We left off Napoleon just as he was promised a typewriter in exchange for changing his wild habits and working toward some better ones.  Martha Hill, his step-mother, had great hopes for all the Hills, and even 115 years later, we could learn a lot from the way she handled her husband and stepsons.  Here’s a quote from the book, “A Lifetime of Riches” by Michael J. Ritt Jr. and Kirk Landers:

“[Martha] patiently constructed a close, individual relationship with her troubled stepson.  She didn’t force the stubborn, hot-tempered boy to do things, for this would most certainly have produced failure.  Instead, she treated him like the person she wanted him to become – an intelligent, hard-working, independent lad who would set constructive goals for himself and achieve them. ”

” ‘People are wrong about you, Napoleon,’ she said.  ‘You’re not the worst boy in the county, only the most active.  You jst need to direct your energy toward accomplishing something worthwhile.’  In the course of this conversation, Martha suggested that Napoleon consider becoming a writer because of his keen imagination and gutsy initiative. ‘If you will devote as much time to reading and writing as you have to causing trouble,’ she concluded, ‘you might live to see the time when your influence will be felt throughout the state.’ ” (pp. 8-9)

How important it is to have somebody believe in you early in life!  As adults, we are in large part a product of the messages we are given about ourselves early in life.  We take those on and make them part of our identity.  That’s not exactly news – the “self-esteem movement” in child development circles of the 1980s and 1990s was built on that. 

At the same time, notice how Martha Hill’s belief and support was accompanied by some real expectations.  She didn’t just say “You’re smart honey, and you’re really wild, and that’s the way you are.”  She directed that energy in a new direction.  What’s more, she persuaded Napoleon to be responsible in himself for that change in direction.  She suggested a goal, but ultimately it was Napoleon who internalized the goal and worked with passion and diligence to achieve it.

This is something I try to instill in both myself and in my children.  We are all working to become something.  What is the worthwhile thing we want to do?  Who is the person of worth we want to be?  How can you reveal that person of worth right now?

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Is That Working For You?

Posted on November 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

A relatively recent addition to my morning routine is a quick on-line coaching program called “Six Minutes to Success”, created by Canadian self-improvement icon Bob Proctor.  He is, without a doubt, one of my favourite mentors because he is practical and unfailingly positive.  It’s great, too, that I can spend a few minutes in the morning thinking about the “topic of the day”, and have it percolate back into my conscious thoughts throughout the day. 

Without restating his whole message, I can tell you that I spent some time this morning thinking about what I do, what works, and what doesn’t.  The idea is to get rid of the “what doesn’t”.  And you know what came up for me?  My default response to stress, which is to head to the pantry and pop the first yummy looking thing in my mouth before someone catches me.  It’s impulsive, it’s counter to my whole “eat better and exercise” path, and it’s time and energy wasted.  Because believe me, it takes energy not so much to pop a cookie or a scoop of peanut butter in my mouth, but to process the guilt and annoyance afterward!

These annoying little habits are all too common.  My pantry mini-binges are someone else’s bedroom window cigarettes, and another’s mindless TV viewing.  As Dr. Phil says about these stupid behaviours, “Is that working for you?”  Give yourself permission to let it go, or at least try not to beat yourself up about it.  Just recognizing when something isn’t working is the first step to real change.

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