Who would have thought that a blog titled "Why married women are more successful" would receive 54,256 views in less than 24 hours, 555 likes, 634 comments, 702 Facebook likes, 2,632 shares on LinkedIn and 79 retweets on Twitter? I did. And that's exactly why I wrote it. I am a new author on LinkedIn and I know a thing or two about blogging and going viral. If I just write about marketing, at most, I will get between 1,000 and 10,000 views over a week. If I write about something personal - more. But if I write about something that people have strong opinions on or that hits a raw nerve - the sky is literally the limit.
It's been a roller-coaster of a year already and its only 7 weeks in. Everything imaginable has happened to me this year, and I am already exhausted, but somehow exhilarated at the same time.
There have been so many changes; life, business and game. I feel like I have lived through so much, yet there is still so much more to achieve.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending half an hour with a young entrepreneur by the name of Kylie Marie, who is inspiring, ambitious, energetic and ready to take on the world. I now know why older people liked spending time with me when I was new to business, because that energy is contagious. I couldn't help but smile and be totally inspired by what Kylie is doing and her fearlessness in business. Her brow bars, Browco Brow Bar, will be everywhere in the next year or so, along with her eyebrow products that are to die for.
It's that time of year where companies are back hiring new recruits.
As someone who is always too busy, I have left the on-boarding to our previous CEO and Area Managers, with my role being minimal other than an introduction.
However, like most entrepreneurs, January is a time to re-think your business in every way; finance, recruitment, human resources, marketing, sales, products/services etc.
This has given me an opportunity to see just what is going on and I have to say, we have some gaps. As a marketing and communications based company, Marketing Eye plays a pivotal role in communicating a company's brand and culture to employees of our clients. We develop and design on-boarding manuals, podcasts, corporate videos and interactive presentations on the company, people and history.
What I have realized is that we are not dissimilar to a mechanic who never finds time to fix their own car.
With that, off came the gloves and I rolled up my sleeves to have a better insight into our on-boarding processes.
Here are some clever best practices that we teach our clients and implement on their behalf:
- When writing an advertisement for a position, include a link to your website which talks about the company culture and the type of person that will fit in. This is great for the applicant and even better for your company as it sends people to your website and drives traffic and engagement.
- Ask applicants to like your company on social media. If they don't want to do this, then they are definitely NOT interested in your brand, culture or the future promotion of your company - so strike them immediately off the list.
- When an applicant comes for an interview, ensure that someone from your team rings them the day before, introduces themselves and talks to them about a normal day in the office. It's a great way to give the applicant an idea what it is like to work for your company and also shares with them an insight into the culture and type of people that they need to fit in with.
- Do something clever to get the applicant to remember your company like sending them an inspirational email with a famous quote. Ensure that it is written on a picture to give your brand a "lift"
- On arrival at the interview, give them an iPad with a presentation and video of what it is like to work for your company and what type of people perform best.
- In the interview, present your company like you would present the company to a client. Then ask for the applicant to talk about themselves; share insights that do not come across clearly in their CV's and ask them to explain why they think that they would be a good fit.
- When they leave, give them a company brochure and any literature related to your company that may be of benefit to them.
On Sunday night, I woke up in the middle of the night and got online and booked a flight to Melbourne. I was tired and partied out. After a week in Sydney, enjoying the harbour and catching up with my friends for breakfast, lunch and dinner - I was exhausted!
Not exactly how I would like to start the new year.
Booking the flight was one of those things that had to be done yet once I pushed the button, I realised that perhaps I should have given it more thought.
The next day, after saying goodbye, I boarded my flight to Melbourne. When I landed, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was exactly what I needed after a big year.
I picked up my car and drove straight away down to Portsea to stay with one of my good friends without telling a soul.
After my first good nights sleep in weeks, I woke up and realised that it was New Years Eve and there were things to consider. Should I attend a party or should I just stay in. In the end, I decided against a romantic night with someone I love, and decided on a quiet night in with a few friends so that I could take time out for myself and look ahead at the new year that I was about to enter. I don't know about you, but for some reason, I found that being in situation without any influence would help me start the new year in the best possible light. The hardest decision was sacrificing spending a night, with candles and conversation with the person I admire most in the world - but it had to be done.
We had a simple dinner overlooking the ocean and thought through our New Years Resolutions.
Here is what I came up with:
Theme: If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Before writing this, I thought long and hard. My first concern was the relevance of this to my journey that I share on this blog. The second is because you either love Angelina Jolie or you hate her. No one seems to be indifferent.
I don’t write about celebrity for the simple reason that I don’t think any celebrity, sports star, politician or business person is better than the person sitting next to them – they simply have chosen different jobs. I have never been in awe of anyone in particular, although there are quite a few people I respect immensely – but those people, I know well.
I never have my photograph taken with a person considered a “celebrity” at a party, event, dinner party or social gathering - I simply don’t see the point. I possibly will never see them again, so why would I want a reminder of someone I don’t know? Is it so I can show my children (if I ever have any) or friends that really matter, that I stood next to a celebrity for a photo?
So, to call one a role model feels kind of weird – but in this particular case it is justified – for me at least.
Angelina Jolie has it all. She was born into a pedigree Hollywood family, growing up in Hollywood with wealth and influence. She attended her first Oscars as her father’s date when she was just 13 – her first real taste of light bulbs flashing and photographers yelling “look here”, “look at me”, “Angelina”. It must have been daunting, but today, I am sure it is like water of a ducks back.
She started modeling and acting quite young starring alongside her father in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), but it wasn’t until her first major film role in Hackers and television films George Wallace and Gia (both award winning roles for Jolie) that she started to become known.
By her Oscar winning performance in Girl, Interrupted in 1999, she had the public mesmerized. This film was followed by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life, Mr and Mrs Smith, Wanted, Salt, The Tourist, A Mighty Heart, Changeling and her directorial debut in In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Another gross generalization, but the reality is that too many of the Gen-Xers who have started businesses 5 years ago, are working their butts off and are not spending the time needed to lessen their load by giving the young, up-and-coming executives the chance to really make a difference.
Here's my experience. I was sharing a glass of wine with Maikayla Desjardins, a Marketing Executive at Marketing Eye Atlanta yesterday and I asked the question, "why did you leave your job in New York and come and work for me in Atlanta?"
Her first response was: "You sold me on Atlanta as this awesome place to live - but let's face it, it's not quite New York!"
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.
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.
When it comes to brand, it is important to have a brand that is timeless. Yes, it may evolve, but you wouldn't change it year-on-year and hopefully not within 5 years.
An Australian brand that always comes to mind when talking branding is VB. "You can get it walking, you can get it... " voice over on all of their television and radio campaigns played with exactly the same voiceover decade after decade. I remember it, my mother remembers it and my grandfather remembered it. It lasted the generations and VB will never be the same without it.
When developing a new brand, think about how long you can live with it and whether it will be timeless or not.
To be honest, I am told often that "I am successful". But the reality is that I don't feel successful. It's a benchmark that for me, I am yet to achieve.