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Archive for April, 2011

I draw inspiration and insights for my lead articles from my work as well as my personal life. The idea for this article draws from  watching my 14 year old son Daniel take on an integral role on his spring football team.

Daniel is on a new football team that serves as the launch pad for entering the world of high school football (It’s actually pretty cool because the Denver Broncos have funded the entire DPS Futures Football program for 7th and 8th graders). He is getting to know new kids, new coaches, and maybe even new philosophies and pulling this all together to make things happen for him and his team. Does this sound familiar to being in a new work or learning environment? 

Something that I was reminded of when watching Daniel play is that one needs to be ready to switch gears, tactics, and in Daniel’s case, positions on the playing field. One needs to be ready and open to taking on a new challenge and getting out of one’s comfort zone in order to Make Things Happen for the good of the team. Daniel went from playing running back to wide receiver (not a big stretch, yet still different) to now being quarterback (big change). He stepped up when his best friend and teammate got hurt and his coaches looked to him (yes, I am a proud football mom).

My marketing hat is always on and my mind is open to new or old ideas and concepts that will help me build and maintain my business. I am not always in my comfort zone when strategizing and implementing; however, my subconscious and conscious minds must understand the long term benefits to my company and my family for making things happen with consistency and energy from a marketing and team perspective.

In my mind, there are 5 tenets for Making Things Happen in an intentional way:

  1. Set aside a block of time on a regular basis (some call it “orange cone” time) to exclusively work on your business or specific project. Whether it’s a marketing plan for the 2nd quarter of the year or getting the remodeled bathroom painted, set the time aside and stay focused because you will spend less time overall and therefore be more productive.
  2. Start with the generation of an idea or concept. It doesn’t have to be an original idea. The best ideas are proven and worthy of being borrowed and enhanced.
  3. Determine the activities (steps) that need to happen and in what order. There needs to be an order to progressing from the conceptual stage to full execution and that is this tenet.
  4. Execution of the multiple actions it takes to bring the idea or concept to fruition and hopefully success that will be realized at some point in time. Sometimes it is not fast enough for me; however, I still believe in the adage “good things come to those who wait.”
  5. A positive attitude is a must!

I didn’t include that for business projects you need to do the metrics on the campaign or project and understand why things happened (for good or not so good). If you don’t track the numbers, you can’t measure the success and use it in a repeatable manner. Lastly, work the “orange cone” time into your ideal calendar and work to make that block of planning time happen. You will be happy you did. You can make a difference in your business and life by being the team player and doing what it takes to achieve success.

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I recently read a blog by Seth Godin, author of The Purple Cow and other business-related books, about the line being blurred when using the same technology device for work and play. I have written much in my print and electronic newsletters about being more productive with your time and even leveraging technology to help that happen. Well, now we may be in a bit of a quandary or dilemma. With the phenomenal and record-breaking purchasing pace of the iPad and iPad2, we have seen more businesspeople using the iPad (or another tablet-like device) for work and play.

On one hand, you might think this is a good thing and financially sound in that a single device can be used for presentations and playing Angry Birds. There would be only one device to carry around instead of two (a netbook or laptop as well as the fun device). Seth Godin remarks that it may be a little too easy to get distracted from the (business) task at hand and get diverted (e.g. Angry Birds or my old favorite, Tetris) and that you may want to consider using one dedicated device for work and another one for pleasure whether it be games, social media, or online shopping.

By having 2 devices, the lines would no longer be blurred and you might even have more time for the fun diversion because you have been so laser beam focused on your work on the dedicated device. Recently, I purchased a netbook for portability to meetings and especially for travel. It is dedicated for work. I have toyed with the idea of getting a fun device; however, I have decided that I should just borrow my son’s iPad or find an alternate diversion. This can certainly be a great topic of debate. What do you think?

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The next month will include business and personal travel for me (Austin for the CMIT annual convention and Los Angeles for my cousin’s law school graduation). That means that I will take my netbook with me – Have Netbook, Will Travel. Not knowing ahead of time what the availability will be of electrical outlets (always a gamble at airports and never know in meeting rooms at convention hotels), I will need to optimize the time I will have with my netbook battery to get me through.

According to a Microsoft At Work article on conserving the battery power, it seems there are 4 easy ways to help out your laptop or netbook battery.

  1. Treat Your Battery Right. This may include charging your battery correctly, cooling it off properly and storing in the proper environment.
  2. Optimize Your Power Settings. Look into the power settings, screen brightness, sleep or hibernation modes to lower the drain on
  3. Turn Off Wireless. Just like with your smartphone battery, it helps to turn off wireless or wi-fi functions so as to lessen the drain on the battery.
  4. Additional Power Saving Tips. A popular one is to minimize the number of tools in your taskbar to a minimum.

Try any of these tips and see how your battery reacts!

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