by Des Walsh and Suzie Cheel
Des calls it the dude, what would you call this?
Let me introduce the bloggers
who have earned this official badge of achievement,
I invite them to take a badge home to display on their blogs.
They take the conversation to their readers,
contribute great ideas, challenge us, make us better, and make our businesses stronger.
I thank all of our SOBs for thinking what we say is worth passing on.
Good conversation shared can only improve the blogging community.
Should anyone question this SOB button’s validity, send him or her to me. Thie award carries a “Liz said so” guarantee, is endorsed by Kings of the Hemispheres, Martin and Michael, and is backed by my brothers, Angelo and Pasquale.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
I’m concerned about the purity of the conversations undergone in blog comments. I’m concerned that many are not all that pure after all.
I’m finding that often blog commenting appears to be something akin to a bunch of people not-so gingerly exchanging business cards and PowerPoints and even worse, trite and banal ass-kissing.
What if hundreds of comments on a blog you love were actually nothing more than a mirage? The post was terrific, but the post’s comment mojo was less the result of the post’s quality and more the result of self-important opportunism and profiteering? What if the 100 comments can be reasonably likened to a pack of hyenas scrambling to snag a bite of the feast the author has laid out by virtue of her blog’s popularity? Popular blog, popular blogger, hmmm?
What if everyone put driving traffic via comments above any other engagement priority? What degree of coloring the commenting exercise with this agenda is too much degree? “It’s networking,” some of you may be saying to yourself. I get that. But what I asked was, what if everyone did this? That’s my concern. I mix for business purposes too. But what if we’re cheapening the commenting progression to such a degree that it’s becoming the new overcrowded commute we all try so hard each day to avoid? You know the one? We funnel like drones off the train and force ourselves through the turnstyles, up the stairs, out the doors, all to chase a little bit of money? What if blog comments were the new matrix, the new false reality devoid of any pure and true moments?
To some of you, perhaps I sound naive, or maybe even a bit of a whiner. I’m probably a little of both to tell the truth. Well look, I believe, pie in the sky or not, that the world is what we make it. And so it is with blog commenting.
Draft a comment to a blog post you sincerely enjoyed reading. Launch your word processing software and dazzle us. Done? Super. Now do it again, this time imagining that you do not have an online identity. No Twitter, Facebook or YouTube accounts either. You have nothing you want to sell, teach or promote. You need nothing from me. Plain and simple: you enjoyed the post and wanted to add to the dialog. There is literally no gain for you outside that which is had by engaging others in a meaningful discussion.
Are the two drafts the same? Now that you’ve completed both versions, each with a different agenda motivating you, what observations can you make about your commenting habits?
What kind of observations have you made about the state of blog commenting in today’s blogosphere? I would love to hear your take.
Scott P. Dailey is a Web designer, copywriter and network administrator. Recently Scott launched ( http://scottpdailey.com ), his social media blog that makes connections between social networking etiquette and the prevailing human social habits that drive on and offline business engagement patterns. You can connect with Scott via Twitter at @scottpdailey.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Maguis & David
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
Successful-Blog is a proud affiliate of
Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools, products, and practices that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks in a business environment.
A clear agenda and good leadership usually makes for a good business meeting. But sometimes, spending time exploring possibilities and perspectives is valuable for creating strategy, nurturing the connectedness of the team, and getting a break from the task-heavy day that can drain and dry up our creative wells.
This exercise in dialogue, based upon the work of David Bohm, is a wonderful practice that can be used in team meetings, executive retreats, or even board meetings.
First, sit in a circle so each person can see one another. This works best for a group (not a few people on a couch), and the intimacy would be lost if you have more than a few dozen people.
The group leader asks a question. The person to the left or right will respond to the initial question, then ask a follow-up question to the person to his/her left or right. Move around the circle until you’re back at the beginning. Time limits can be suggested or enforced.
1. No question “answering.” The temptation will be strong to give an answer. Instead . . .
2. Ask open-ended questions – nothing that can receive a simple yes or no
3. Share your stream of thoughts in response to the question being posed to you. This may begin with “That makes me think of . . .” Or, “I’m wondering . . .”
4. Do not try to “stay on topic.” You will not escape the direction of the first (or tenth) question. The suggestiveness of the initial question is important
5. No judgments on the questions or responses being offered
6. No decisions are made during the dialogue – it’s a process for its own sake
1. At the end of the exercise, you will likely have a pool of meaning in the midst of the circle.
2. The questions and responses can give you a new perspective on issues, possibilities, and people within the circle
1. Have one or a few people write down key words and phrases as they surface
2. Take a break, then at a later time ask, “What could we learn from this?”
Some possible questions:
What will our company look like in five years?
Why are we not meeting expectations?
How do we make decisions?
How do creativity and work go together?
How could we be more involved in the community?
Again, NO ANSWERING!
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 5/5 â Pushes people out of their comfort zones a bit, but in a good way
Entrepreneur Value: 5/5 â Great team-building
Personal Value: 2/5 – Family reunion fun? The principles apply. Adapt it for your personal relationships.
Let me know what you think!
Todd Hoskins helps small and medium sized businesses plan for the future, and execute in the present. With a background in sales, marketing, leadership, psychology, coaching, and technology, he works with executives to help create thriving individuals and organizations through developing and clarifying values, strategies, and tactics. You can learn more at VisualCV, or contact him on Twitter.
If you had 20 percent more time magically appear in your work week â a full uncommitted, unscheduled work day, every week â what would you do with it?
Would you do more email? Would you go to more meetings? Would you do even more of what you are already doing?
Or would you do something different? And Better?
Think about being over-busy is a low-value way of working.
In fact you could even think of staying over-busy as a form of laziness â not getting the real job done, because you have failed to apply the hard, strategic thinking to prioritize your workload for the highest impact.
But why is it so hard to do this?Â Why do we get stuck?Â Why canât we let stuff go?
You might feel like youâre dropping the ball, letting someone down, risking your job.Â You might be one of those people that feels good when you are constantly busy, and you get recognition for working hard.Â
YouÂ need to see getting less busy as more valuable than having your time consumed by your work.Â
You need to recognize that the more strategic work you could be doing instead of the endless activity, would deliver more value to your team and your company.
Itâs like the Ideal Gas Law:Â A gas will expand to fill the size of its container â no matter how big the container.Â Likewise, the amount of activity in any job will always expand to fill your time â no matter what the job, and no matter how much time you allow.
Itâs up to you to contain it â make your container of time for your current activities smaller.Â
Hereâs how to get started:
1. Give yourself permission
2. Realize you are not merely allowed to be less busy, itâs a requirement of your job, especially if you want to create value and stand out.
3. Then take some time back.Â
Just take it.Â
For a start, schedule 2 hours per week and HIDE.Â
The hiding part is important.Â It wonât work otherwise â theÂ activity knows where to find youâ¦
This time is just for you â to think, to plan, to focus on whatâs most critical, re-prioritize, delegate, create processes.Â Remember: Itâs not stealing from the company.Â
Itâs not dropping the ball.Â Itâs not getting less done.Â
Itâs getting more of the right things done better â itâs creating value.
But itâs up to you to take back the time.
Youâll find that you can make even more Time.
For example, if you take two hours to improve a process or clarify an outcome or a delegated task, you could gain another five hours in saved time.
Then you use those five hours to communicate more effectively, and re-assess priorities and outcomes for your team. When those efforts then take hold you have created even more time. And so onâ¦
It is a core trait of the most successful people to rise above being over-busy.Â And itâs important to remember that the most successful people are not the ones who were less busy along the way.Â They are the ones who dealt with it.Â
If there are any secrets to what really successful people do â this is one of them.Â
They make more time.
What do you struggle with that saps your time? How do you fight it? Leave you ideas in the comment box below!
Patty Azzarello works with executives where leadership and business challenges meet. She has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses. She writes at Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership Blog. You’ll find her on Twitter as @PattyAzzarello
Successful-Blog is proud affiliate of
Iâm Teresa Morrow, Founder of Key Business Partners, LLC and I work with authors by managing their book promotion and publicity. As part of my job I read a lot of books (I love to read anyway!).
This week I will be highlighting two books; one author I am currently working with ’42 Rules to Turning Prospects into Customers’ by Meridith Elliott Powell and one book on the social media Amazon list ‘Success Secrets of Social Media Marketing Superstars’ by Mitch Meyerson .
The books I discuss in the Social Media Book List Series will cover a range of topics such as social media, marketing, blogging, business, organization, career building, finance, networking, writing, self development, and inspiration.
by Meridith Elliott Powell
“Between the specific action steps and the simplicity of Meridith’s ideas, I found myself eager to try what I learned in this benefit-rich book. I gained ideas for my business in almost every chapter and have been effortlessly taking new steps forward with my sales process. Meridith just makes the sales process so easy!”
Misti Burmeister, CEO Inspirion, Inc., New York Times Best-Selling Author, Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies across Generations
“Sales can seem overwhelming and scary to so many, but thank goodness for Meridith. She approaches the topic of sales in a unique way in her new book by laying out easy steps that lead to great relationships that close that deal. This book is ideal for everyone from the sales professional to the professional who never thought they would have to sell. By the time you finish Meridith’s book, you will be a salesperson with a smile.”
Marquesa Pettway, DTM, Reinvention Expert, Speaker, Author, Coach
About the Book*:
The economy is changing. Trust and value have become the new Return on Investment (ROI). Consumers are the new drivers of the market; they are in control of where, when, how and from whom they buy. To succeed in this economy you need to do it all â build relationships, establish trust and value, maximize efficiency and generate bottom line results.
In her new book, 42 Rules To Turn your Prospects into Customers, Meridith Elliott Powell draws on her 20-plus years in sales to give you a practical step-by-step guide on how to find the right prospects, build profitable relationships, close more sales and turn your customers into champions for your business. Through her experience, research and interviews with sales professionals, clients and executives, Powell has gathered valuable information that will help you navigate this change, get ahead of the curve, and succeed.
For sales people, business owners, and executives who need to know how to identify the right prospects; build quality relationships, and maximize their sales efforts, this book provides solid, actionable answers. The rules can be learned quickly and implemented immediately so you and your teams can develop your most critical skill â striking the balance between relationships and results.
Powell answers these questions and more:
â¢ How can I make sure my networking efforts are setting me up for sales success?
â¢ How do I maximize my time and minimize my expenses?
â¢ How do I handle the stress of producing and meeting sales goals?
â¢ How do I get my customers to buy my best and most valuable products or services?
â¢ How do I standout from the competition?
Powell, a life-long student of sales and the sales process, is passionate about helping her clients succeed. Her experience, dedication to research and her desire to listen and learn from the ultimate teacher â our customers â ensure readers gain first hand knowledge of how to Turn Prospects into Customers.
This book is divided into three parts, each representing an important process in approaching prospects and turning them into customers.
Part I is The Foundation. It contains everything you need to consider before you go on your first sales call. I will walk you through every step and encourage you along the way. When you finish this section, you’ll actually look forward to setting up a sales call, and you’ll be eager to get started on your strategy.
Part II is The Call, your first visit with a potential customer. We will address how to use the foundation rules, and how to engage your customer so you design a sales experience that is positive for both of you.
Part III is The Follow-Up. These rules are so much more than just a thank-you card or a phone call; these are the rules that complete the movement of prospect to customer. They provide the opportunities to offer additional services to an already satisfied customer base, and to solidify relationships and retain business for the long term. A well-executed follow-up process will create a strategy strong in repeat business and
Meridith Elliott Powell is a coach, speaker and business development expert. Meridith is passionate about networking, sales and service, and has dedicated herself to discovering why some people struggle and others succeed when it comes to developing these critical skills. On a self-described mission, Meridith uses everything she has learned to develop programs, coaching techniques and strategies to help people ignite their internal sales/networking flame.
Upbeat, energetic and cutting edge are just a few words used to describe Meridithâs selling and writing style. Prior to founding her company, MotionFirst, Meridith spent more than 20 years working in sales and leadership in the fields of finance, sales, marketing and strategy. In addition, she has been recognized numerous times for both her professional and charitable achievements.
Today she works as a certified strategist, coach, and human behavior specialist, working with a wide variety of clients ranging from health care to finance. She is an active member of the National Speakers Association, Lessons in Leadership and the American Society For Training and Development. In addition, she holds certifications as both a business and emotional intelligence coach.
Next, I would like to introduce you to a book on the social media list on Amazon and on my reading list is ‘Success Secrets of Social Media Marketing Superstars’.
by Mitch Meyerson
About the Book*
Online marketing expert Mitch Meyerson presents you with an unmatched advantage into the world of social media â the priceless secrets, strategies, tactics and insights of more than 20 of todayâs social media elite. Handpicked to cover almost every aspect of social media marketing, Meyerson and this distinguished team of experts open their playbooks and teach you how to create effective social media campaigns to cut through the clutter, reach out to millions and grow your business.
* Proven tips and tactics from 20+ top social media marketers
* The biggest mistakes businesses make with social media and how to fix them
* Actionable plans for all areas including social networks, blogs, web TV and mobile marketing
* Real-world case studies, best practices and proven techniques from the experts
* Detailed list of resources
Contributions from World-Class Social Media Experts:
* Keith Ferrazi & Tahl Raz: Relationship Strategy
* Brian Clark: Psychology of Social Media
* Mitch Meyerson: Online Marketing
* Ann Handley: Creating Content
* Gary Vaynerchuk: Building Mega-Followings
* Andy Willbes: Personality
* Chris Brogan: Building Communities
* Joel Comm: Success Qualities
* Craig Valentine: Communicate with Impact
* Starr Hall: Building Profits
* Dan Janal: PR Strategies
* Michael Stelzner: Go Viral
* Denise Wakeman: Business Blogs
* Mari Smith: Facebook
* Deborah Cole Micek: Twitter
* Barbara Rozgonyi: LinkedIn
* Julie Perry: YouTube
* Paul Colligan: Podcasting
* Chris Garrett: Social Bookmarking
* Kim Dushinski: Mobile Marketing
* Shama Kabani: Online Video
* Dave Evans: One Hour a Day
About Mitch Meyerson*:
Mitch Meyerson is a speaker, trainer, and the author of 9 books including Mastering Online Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet, and Six Keys to Creating the Life You Desire. He has been a featured expert on Oprah and is the Founder of the Guerrilla Marketing Coach Certification Program. For more information, visit: www.MitchMeyerson.com
*courtesy of book website and Amazon
I truly hope you will check out these books and please comment and let me know your thoughts on them.