I met Caryn Kopp in unusual circumstances - for me at least! In the restroom of the Nascar Center in Charlotte, North Carolina at around 10pm at night.
Apparently, as she later explained, she saw me earlier in the evening and thought I was beautifully dressed (thanks to the great designs of Sass and Bide in Australia). Her immediate reaction was to think that perhaps she didn't wear something that was dressy enough. She noticed the long, blonde hair on the black dress and the risque spikes that turned what is otherwise a pretty dress into one that is there to be noticed. She then looked at the name badge and although, like most of us, she had trouble focusing on the small print, she noticed the spelling of my name on the badge. It's unusual.
How true. I know many women will throw their arms up in the air at this one and it is a gross generalisation - but if you think about it, it actually is closer to the truth than most women entrepreneurs would like to admit.
While I try in earnest to be consistent, without too many overwhelming changes to my personality, I think most people who know me well, would say I am a tad crazy - just like all my other female friends. I won't react quite like I use to when it comes to anything emotional or otherwise, because as you get older, the chances are you can hold it in a little more, but YES I do over-think things and I definitely react irrationally at times when I would prefer to not have reacted at all.
If one of my "normal" friends were sitting there, in that room, they would be terrified. They would have ran out as fast as they can, without looking back. Everyone was talking, almost all at once. They all had their ipads, iphones and pens and paper ready to hear - you are not going to be believe this - JACK DALY. Not that you wouldn't believe that someone would go and see Jack Daly, but because most of the people in the room had seen him speak on sales, not once, not twice, not even three times - but more than 5 or 6 times - BECAUSE he is that good and everyone in that room knows that to build their businesses, they need good management, strong marketing, and SALES. And, when it comes to SALES there is no-one more qualified or better at giving small businesses insight, than Jack Daly.
It may be a buzz word to many, but let me assure you, being green is more than meets the eye. Brian is a much sought after entrepreneur who has landed himself in the spotlight with his inaugural Ted Talk on June 23 on "The importance of reconnecting our cities to nature".
His business, Solterra Systems, is a fully licensed electrical, landscaping and waterproofing company that focuses on integrating environmental technology into buildings.
This can range from green roofs producing food through to rain screen siding systems that protect the building from the elements with plants.
But enough about that, how can we connect our cities to nature. Here's what he had to say:
What can communities be doing more of to connect their cities to nature?
The first step is attaching an ROI to the benefits associated with being in nature for all humans. For example, they estimate that the average American spends 26% of the day being distracted; think text messages and advertisements - but right now technology is very much a part of what we do - and so, if we just look at what we are doing in our business, there is a loss of productivity in the workplace because of this and people have, in general, very un-balanced lives.
He's been with Marketing Eye for 4 months.
I work in Marketing Eye's Sydney office - every day, as does he. In fact, he and I sit no more than one meter apart but this close proximity evidently has no bearing on our track record of communication. Sure, we talk all the time about visual communication and client work and then there’s the phone that rings 50 times a day and it's a really busy time for Marketing Eye at the moment as we all step up to bring everything we can - but 3 actual conversations in 4 months?! That's appalling. In fact, I'd go one step further than that and say it's *beep* disgusting.
As a person who has been riddled with allergies for my entire adult life along with a bout of chronic fatigue and various other health issues - I am the first to know that if you don't listen to your body and see the signs early, you may become not only another statistic but a failure in business.
The best thing I ever did was have an allergy testing by what was then called ARL, a pathology laboratory headquartered in Melbourne which has now been sold. The blood testing for allergies and subsequent report gave me a breakdown of all the levels of allergies that I possessed that relate to food and liquids - some of which I never knew I had.
Business expansion has been exhilarating, hard work, fulfilling, adventurous, rewarding and above all, something that I am proud to say that I have made the steps to do. There is still a long way to go and the road looks very long, windy with ups and downs going far into the distance. Hopefully, I will pick up some hitchhikers along the way to keep me company and that the car will be full of people all wanting to head in the same direction. No doubt, there will be people who will want to get out along the way and those who will feel car sick but then miraculously they will get over it and start enjoying the drive and the scenery.
The term "brand journalism" has existed for close to a decade, with Larry Light using the term in 2004. At the time, he was chief marketing officer at McDonald's and claimed that mass marketing no longer worked, introducing brand journalism as a method of recording "what happens to a brand in the world".
I personally will never wear the shoes of an entrepreneur though because I can't have that cauldron-of-ideas bubbling without strategy and planning the detail. That's me. There are entrepreneurs and then there's me.
I don't know about you, but when I went to school, the coolest kids in the class who were destined for greatness somehow fell short of their schoolyard celebrity status and became, well, um, not as successful as their parents and friends first thought.
I remember all those cool kids who seemed to have it all at the ripe age of 14, while I sat in the library reading a book because, quite frankly, I wasn't as cool, nor did I win any particular popularity contest to speak of.
Instead, I wrote my weekly debates and hoped that the cool kids' "coolness" would somehow rub off on me and overnight, I could hang onto their coattails too. But that was not to be - instead, I spent every free hour at school secretly hoping that one day I would be cool too.
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