Song Stuck Friday – It will get you moving.

This week I give you a reprieve from old-school annoying, or just plain annoying.

This is my 5 year old’s favorite song, and I have to admit, it makes me happy.

So, Happy Friday to you all!

Song Stuck Friday – You know you secretly like it.

Here we are – it’s Friday thank goodness… and that means I give you a ‘catchy’ tune you can’t get out of your head.

I don’t usually make dedications, but this song that will be in your head all day and possibly all weekend is dedicated to the one and only Danny Brown.  Oh, he LOVES Nickelback, and like most Canadians (even though he’s a transplant), he is oh-so proud of them.

I, of course, love to rag on Nickelback too, but I like this song, and I really love this video.

This one’s for you Danny – Happy Friday!


Song Stuck Friday – Be Happy

It’s just one of those days when the whole world seems full of sunshine and optimism.

You just can’t hate this one…. Happy Friday!

Optimism is the only choice for 2013

Here’s one thing I can tell you with absolute assurance about 2012: It’s over.  

If you had a great year, make 2013 ‘greater.’  If 2012 was a tough one, say good riddance and get moving on.   IAriel Marketing Group 2012 Year Endf you’re in business, you have no choice but to bid 2012 adieu; you must move on, no matter how great or bad your year was.

I’ve read umpteen posts about resolutions, rules and recommendations for 2013; usually at this time of year I’m doing the same thing, churning out a post or two about getting your marketing organized or planning better in the next 12 months.  

This year, so many of my marketing pals have already done a fantastic job of this; here is a list of excellent, rev-your-engine posts to help and inspire you:

  1. Sam Fiorella’s …Accept Less Mediocrity
  2. Becky Gaylord’s 17 Essentials
  3. Mark Babbit’s  … Realizations
  4. Danny Brown’s … 5 Blogs
  5. Gini Dietrich’s … 2013 Predictions

And if you’re looking for Sales lessons, just go to Anthony Iannarino’s blog and read the whole damn thing, sign up for his newsletter, and read everything he writes.

Instead of giving you an advice list of my own, I’m going to give you one piece of advice that has carried me everywhere:

Be an Optimist.

There is no other choice if you want to achieve any of your goals. Of course you must have planning, vision, and focus, but if you’re not dedicated to positivity, you won’t achieve anything.

I leave you some of my favorite lines in the English Language; impossible to read and not feel a deep sense of hope:

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”


Happy New Year everyone!

Song Stuck Friday – another oldie.

I don’t know why all of my Song Stuck songs are oldies, but they really knew how to make cloyingly unforgettable tunes back in the 70’s.

Don’t hate – just celebrate the cheesiness.

Happy Friday!


10 Commandments of the Self Employed

I recently read a ‘take this job and shove it’ sort of resignation letter from a Gen Y-er to his employer, and I could not Ariel Marketing Group's 10 Commandments of the Self Employedhelp but shake my head in that annoyingly “yes, I’m older and wiser” sort of way. He was off to create his own business,
and full of piss and vigor. I admire that, of course, but I also know that the lives of the self employed are far less glorious than they often appear.

If you sit there as one of the many in our ranks, you know how much you sacrifice for the ability to call the shots. Along with everything else you must make decisions about, you shoulder a tremendous, often unbelievable amount of worry over everything from payroll to paying bills. It is very easy to get lost wallowing in the worry and forget why we set out on this journey in the first place.

To help all of us combat the self pity and stress, I’ve created these:

10 Commandments of the Self Employed

1.  Never forget what it feels like to punch a time clock.
Perhaps you never punched an actual clock, but you must remember what it felt like to work the hours someone else deemed necessary. Setting your own schedule is a perk you cannot overlook.

2. Appreciate the steering wheel.
You would not have left your safe job if you didn’t think you could do better.  You can’t forget that driving your own ship means you get to focus on the projects you know are the right ones.

3. Don’t complain about the long hours. Ever.
Remember, lots of people who are working to make some corporation lots and lots of money work long hours too. You get the reward for yours.

4. Mentors are still essential.
Just because you’ve given yourself a fancy title and have the business cards to prove it doesn’t mean you don’t need advice from other smart folks.

5. Accept the roller coaster as a way of life.
Chances are that if you stepped off the cliff, you have already achieved success in business, and therefore you became used to financial security. That doesn’t exist for the self employed – at least not for years. Get used to it. Yes, you can.

6. Collaboration makes you better.
Paranoia and a self defensive stance can creep up upon any business owner who is out there scraping along trying to make it. Don’t give in to the instinct to see anyone in your field as the enemy. Often they have strengths that compliment your weaknesses and vise verse. Partnerships can allow you to do more work, and make more money.

7. The Accounting can’t wait.
Most entrepreneur types are big picture people by nature; many of us detest the books. You don’t need to BE the CPA, but you absolutely must hire a bookkeeper and keep your house in order.

8. Reports are fun.
If you aren’t taking care of #6, you won’t be able to stick to read your reports and enjoy the information to be had there.  In order to create a strategy for your business’ future, you must understand where your business is. This is one of the fun parts of owning a business; it’s the ‘working on your business’ part that everyone goes on and on about.

9. Fueling your inspiration is a good thing.
Staying focused is crucial, but too much focus can leave you numb and unable to be creative. Seek out sources of inspiration wherever you may find them – they don’t have to come from business.

10. It’s all worth it.
There will be days you have a hard time believing this, but in your heart you know it’s true. Had you stayed back at that safe job the big ‘what ifs’ would nag you into insanity. Whatever becomes of your business, you are learning at rapid fire speed, and you are getting better everyday. Perhaps it won’t be your destiny to stay at the helm of the ship you’re driving now, but wherever you end up you will be far wiser for having driven it.

Song Stuck Friday – Can you REALLY hate this one?

By now you’re either enjoying, or not even entering the land of Song Stuck Friday. If you’re here you either do it out of loyalty to me, or you’re a masochist. Either way – thanks for stopping by.

This Song Stuck episode is one that I personally adore – it was only recently I discovered other people find it annoying… or hard to shake.  If it does stick, I hope you’re having a fabulous holiday break and humming it repeatedly everywhere you go.

Happy, Happy Christmas!

Song Stuck Friday – You WILL hate me today.

This Friday, for snickers & giggles, and just to be annoying, I bring you one of the most difficult to eradicate of all sticky songs.

Like many of those hard-to-get-out-of-your-head songs, this one brings back special memories. For me, they are of our end of year camping trips in the farthest reaches of the Scottish Highlands.  Each year my University pals and I would pack up our tents, some food, lots of booze, and some other items we found necessary at the time, and drive far north of Aberdeen.  We’d pick a spot,  hike as far as we could from the road, and set up camp for a week.  There were few people, lots of sheep, and lots and lots of laughter.

So here it is… you can thank me later.

The Confidence to Question Your Heroes

I believe in having heroes. My entire life there have been people who astounded me with their leadership, and I have aspired to be more like them. First there was my grandmother, and then my beloved high school teacher,social media heroes Lewis K. Webster.  As I moved into adulthood, I found additional heroes… and many of them were from the business world.   My main heroes outside of the 2 already named, are:

1. Muhammed Ali

2. Howard Schultz

3. Bill Gates

4. Richard Branson

5. Warren Buffet

All men of incredible success who maintained an immense humanity.

There have been other heroes I’ve outgrown or began to see through a different light as I grew.  Teddy Roosevelt, once my all time favorite American, appears to me now as admirable but impetuous man.

When I entered the Social Media world I was overwhelmed with how much I needed to learn.  There were so many Rockstars, Gurus and Experts I was overwhelmed again.  I latched onto a few who were accessible and had large followings; I read every post, newsletter and communication they put out.  It seemed that the more I learned, the more I realized I didn’t know – for months on end I couldn’t catch my breath trying to keep up with every new network and application.

Over time I found my bearings and started to understand this ‘social thing.’  It s became clear to me that Social Media had changed a lot about how consumers and brands communicate, but it had not changed everything; business is still business.  Being strategic minded, understanding the importance of a great product and excellent customer service, knowing how to build a culture within a company – all of those things aren’t ‘fixed’ or developed with Social Media.  As this thought process began to crystallize  some of the the communications from my Social Heroes began to look a bit fluffy; when you dug deep, you saw that it was the same advice recycled regularly – often aimed at getting me to buy into their latest scheme.

A wise friend of mine suggested that I go and check out the LinkedIn profiles of many of these ‘gurus’ prior to 2006. Too often I found very little actual business experience.

All is not lost; along the way I have met a lot of smart, social and business savvy folks that provide me with insightful posts and interesting discussions.  I don’t know that I look for Social Heroes anymore… it seems redundant, considering the fact that most of the people I admire in business today understand the power of Social anyway.

The lesson, of course, is to continue to question those you look up to. If they’re worth admiring, they’ll be able to withstand your critical eye.

How Annoying Can I Be?

If I’ve had a good week, by Friday I’m fried; my brain just can’t ingest anymore heavy information.   I’m always thrilled to turn to more lighthearted fair on the blog front.  I always check out Gini Dietrich’s #FollowFriday post… she regularly delivers when recommending good folk to connect with.  Lately I’ve really been looking forward to Jason Konopinski’s Poetry Friday.  Last week’s was especially divine as it was dedicated to yours truly and featured one of my favorite poets.

I’ve been thinking hard about what I’d like to do on a regular basis to bring a smile to your face, but of course, I don’t mind being a wee bit annoying either.  I decided that I would feature songs you just can’t get out of your head once you hear them…so, here goes:

  Song Stuck Friday 

That’s right. Each Friday I will deliver one of those songs that you just can’t get out of your head.  Some you will love, some you will hate.  Here’s our first episode. Enjoy.