When Do I Stop Giving?

Giving BackI was sitting with a potential client yesterday, and while speaking about all the benefits of social interaction within a business, I was asked that very question, “When do I stop giving?”  It gave me pause, since our meeting was set up on the premise that money was very tight for the client, and that I would give them numerous ideas that they could implement themselves.  I was giving them free advice.

I believe social media is all about giving.  Giving of your knowledge, help, advice.  Without offering our help, how can we, as a society, grow?

If I was was unwilling to “give” then I wouldn’t be able to help her, at no cost.  If I stop giving, clients wouldn’t be able to come to me with that “one more quick question.”  It would cost them.  What benefit does that have for me?  None.  Benefit to the clients?  None.

When do I stop giving? Never!  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you give and give in the hopes of future benefit?  Or do you give nothing, and hope for the best?  Please share in the comments below.

Real-Time Marketing — A Review

Real Time Marketing and PR“We need to unlearn what we’ve learned in the last half century about communication.”

That is the premise for David Meerman Scott’s new book Real-Time Marketing and PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now (Amazon Affiliate Link).   Throughout this book, Mr. Scott continually outlines why the traditional methods of advertising and marketing no longer work.  This is based upon our society becoming one that tunes out so-called outbound marketing, or push marketing.  We have moved into a new era of marketing, one of inbound marketing, where we trust our “friends” and not the advertisers.  Where we look to tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc., to our gain information.

Mr. Scott also advocates for the use of Social Media throughout organizations large and small, to the benefit of the organization as a whole.  Specifically, he refers to companies like IBM and Ford, and their use of social media tools for all employees.  In fact, he so much as condemns organizations that constrain their employees use of social media to engage their clients.

If you are looking for reasons to stop standing on the social media side-lines, and bring your organization to the people, his book is the perfect answer.

Thinking isn’t Productive

The ThinkerSince when did thinking become unproductive?  I was discussing this very thing with my wife this afternoon, over lunch.  She is the Executive Director of Literacy Builders, an educational consulting firm.  She spends most days working within classrooms and educating teachers.  She is also running an on-line business, selling lesson plans and providing information and ideas for new ways of teaching.  But she can’t seem to find time to think.  To think about the direction to take her company.  To think about how she can grow.  She doesn’t schedule it, because she feels she is being unproductive.  After all, if she is just thinking, she isn’t doing.  And she is a doer.

I noticed the very same inclination in myself.  I spend most of my time working for other clients, not on the business of growing my business.  I don’t schedule time to think.  Time to think about what I can do better, what I need to change.  Again, if I’m thinking, I’m not being productive, right?

For many years I worked for a franchise, and the individual owners always had the same complaint – I don’t have time to think about my business.  I’m too busy running my business.

So, when did thinking become unproductive?  When did we, as a society, decide it was idle time thinking about our business, our family, our lives.  After all, how can we change if we aren’t thinking, if we aren’t re-evaluating?

So, my goal is to begin to value the time I spend thinking—about my family, my friends, my business.  If I don’t think, I can’t get better.

Who’s with me?

The Art of Non-Conformity — A review

Art of Non-ConformityThe Art of Non-Conformity:  Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World
By:  Chris Guillebeau

A Review

We can’t do what we want all the time.  That doesn’t work in the real world.  These are all statements that Chris Guillebeau challenges in his uplifting book, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, (Amazon Affiliate Link) Chris believes that the world needs more people who fail to conform and refuse to settle, because without those people, the rest of us would be much worse off.  We need to be willing to question authority, accept risk, and try new things.  If we are willing to do that, we can have the life we want, not the one that was set out for us.

Chris spends his book explaining how he was able to achieve the life he wanted, by changing the rules that we all tend to live by.  From leaving his life to work in Africa, to attending more than one university at a time, Chris set his own rules.

While change is often difficult, this book allows readers to put into perspective what CAN be changed, what SHOULD be changed, and how individuals are in control of their own destiny.

The goal of this book is to get you to think:  First, a bit about the past, then about your life, and finally about where you are going.  In the end, he reminds us that today is the most important day and leaves us with this lingering question:  How will You change Your rules?