It’s Been Too Long! How is your New Year Starting Socially?

Life is a wonderful teacher….Unfortunately she has a habit of killing all of her students!

So how is everyone doing? I know it has been awhile since the last time I have blogged. I hope you are following me on Twitter or are connected to me another way; Google +, LinkedIn, FB page. I hope that in some way we are connected. If not what are you waiting for?

Well it’s been a crazy beginning to the new year and a lot has happened. Those of you who went with me on my 30 day journey I hope that it added value to your lives and gave you real help in improving your business and reaching your personal goals.

I have been absent in blogging for way too long. Two months. This is one time that it is worth repeating “Do as I say, not as I do!” In order to keep your branding out there you need to continue reaching out to your audience and continue building up trust.

In the next several months I am going to be completing my book and I am asking for your help in keeping me on the right track. I will be putting exerts of the upcoming book on here and I really would like to hear your comments. I will also be adding some valuable advice on social (media) and where it is going and also sharing some thoughts from colleagues and friends about how things are changing with Social and Mobile Engagement.

So for those of you who only follow my blog, my sincere apologies. Please keep connecting with me in other ways as I am more apt to stay in touch with quick posts on a regular basis.

Here’s to living the Life you Were Born To Live! This is my own personal mantra for 2012.

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

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Day 29: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So on Day 29 I went up to my parents house to help them with some basic technical issues. I always tell them I am not tech support, but for them I make an exception. It was doing things like downloading pictures from a camera to a computer, posting a few pics on FB and figuring out how to make one of those electronic picture frames work.

On the drive up I started thinking about the 30 day journey that I was on and what had initiated the journey and where I was at this point. The word that kept coming up was “Change”. If you have not read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” I highly recommend it. Without going into too much detail there are 4 characters, two mice Sniff and Scurry and two little people Hem and Haw.

“Cheese” is a metaphor for what you want to have in life…And the “Maze” is where you look for what you want…In the story the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his experience on the maze walls. When you come to see ‘The Hand-writing on the Wall,’ you can discover for yourself how to deal with change… Spencer Johnson, M.D.

That should give you a good idea of the book. I highly recommend the read whether you are on this journey or if you feel you need to begin a journey of your own.

On the way home from my parents this song came on the

Still don’t know what I was waiting for

Time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much to fast to take that test

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

(Turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch Changes

Don’t want to have to  be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

(Turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch Changes

I just wanted to be a better man

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time…David Bowie -Ziggy Stardust

So as we come to the next to last day of the 30 day journey remember that time is moving on whether you change or not. Change is difficult and sometimes a struggle but in the end it is worth it to “Live Outside the Comfort Zone”

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

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Day 22: Don’t Give Up!

So how are you doing on this 30 day journey? If you have been taking the weekends off your still on the journey, if you haven’t the journey has ended. So on the 22nd day is a good time to look around and see if your life has changed or your business has changed because of this journey.  Let’s remind ourselves a this time of what the journey was all about. It started with a simple poster that was posted from my friendCathy Cunningham Hankinson.

It began with a simple premise. “To Live Outside The Comfort Zone!”  So on this day I personally looked around and realized that I still needed to finish organizing my office (This was Day 1) and get rid of the clutter. I realized that I don’t do everything I need to, every day or every week. And I sometimes work when I should be relaxing and relax when I should be working, but through it all I keep on moving forward. You could say that I’m human, imagine that. I bet most of you are too.

I am still reading “The 4-hour Work Week” and a few other books. Yes, I have trouble Focusing (Day 17). So why am I telling you all of this. Because I want you to know that if you aren’t doing everything you need to do to “Live Outside The Comfort Zone”, DON’T GIVE UP!

Don’t give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don’t listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself.  – Sidney Sheldon

Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

And for all my truly Geek friends out there!

Never give up, never surrender! – Galaxy Quest

So Today: Relax, Spend Some Time With Your Family, Work If You Need To,  But Whatever You Do:

DON’T GIVE UP!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

Join us on FB as well.

Day 20: Go Against the Norm!

Go Against the Norm! What does that actually mean? Well, when I was a little boy, my parents gave me a little stain glass window that I still have that says:

If A Man Does Not Keep Pace With His Companions. Perhaps It Is Because He Hears A Different Drummer. Let Him Step To The Music He Hears However Measured Or Faraway.  – Thoreau

This sits in my office and is one of my prize possessions. It even has tape on it,  because I apparently dropped it over the years, and had to put it back together. If you can relate to that then you know that if you Go Against the Norm, you also, at times, have to put your life, your career, and your relationships, sometimes back together because you most always go against the norm and this can cause things to not go exactly smoothly. We always hear about the successes, but very few times do we hear about those individuals still trying to succeed. Which one are you?

Recently Steve Jobs passed away and if anyone could be the poster child for this motto it is him. If you read the poster to the left you will understand that he, above all, understood what “Go Against the Norm” meant.

Yes there have been others: Michael Dell; Dell Computers,  The Google Guys; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Bill Gates; Microsoft, let’s not forget Ted Waitt, Gateway Computers, Richard Branson; Virgin and the list could go on.

Those names are the current ones but remember the Wright Brothers; first to fly, Columbus; credited for discovering the earth is round, Albert Einstein; theory of relativity,  Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and holder of 1093 patens,  Alexander Graham Bell, phone and many, many more.

Like I said in the beginning, history remembers the successful ones or those that got credit for giving the world something they needed or wanted.  But if you read their histories they were thought of as individuals that “Go Against the Norm”. Life was probably not easy for them before their fame and in some cases even after.

I love this picture of the original Microsoft Team:

Anyway as you go through your 30 day journey just remember if you have your own business, are an entrepreneur or are passionate about a cause or anything you may be labeled one of the crazy people. You might hear things like why can’t you just fit in? Well stay strong and remember the names above.

Here’s t o you the crazy ones. Those who live outside the Comfort Zone!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn 

 

Join us on FB as well

Sorry this was late. I was watching the World Series. BTW great game! Rangers gave it up by not closing on two opportunities!

 

Day 19: Productive Meetings

The other day I had 3 very productive meetings. Why were they so productive you ask? Well let me tell you.

First I had an objective for each meeting. In other words I had a specific outcome that I wanted to have for each meeting.

Second I had a Plan A and a Plan B. Meaning that if I did not achieve my main objective I had a back up objective. So an example would be if I wanted a meeting to have the outcome of becoming my client and if that didn’t happen my Plan B would be to schedule another meeting within the next two weeks. See how that works.

Having a productive meetings is not that difficult but you do have to plan for them. Here is a great diagram to show you how a productive meeting should be run.


A couple of other things to remember before we leave about productive meetings.

  • Make sure you spend some time building a relationship or rapport with the people you are meeting with.
  1. I had a relationship with one of the people who I met with that ended up exceeding my objectives.
  2. Get a referral or introduction from a person you both hold in high regard. This gives you an automatic relationship.
  3. Find common ground. Something you are both interested in like a hobby or an activity or a trend in the business that you are discussing.
  • Use a Whole Brain Approach. 

I have talked about this quite often but the easiest way to explain the Whole Brain Approach, by Herrmann International, is to show you this diagram that describes thinking preferences. Please contact me if you are interested in determining what your thinking preference is.


This logo is trademark protected under Herrmann International

  • Be Present

Have you ever been with a friend or spouse and you know they are looking at you and pretending to be there but they are not? This is what I mean. Be present, be in the moment of the meeting. Don’t let your mind wander.

  • Actively Listen

Active (Empathetic) Listening is where an individual confirms they have heard and understood by summarizing and paraphrasing the information back to the speaker.

I think “actively listening” is the most important part of having a productive meeting! Here are 7 ways to become a better listener.

  1. Be Legitimately Interested- Put yourself in the speaker’s place and make his or her problems your own. The speaker will consciously or subconsciously pick up on this and you will learn more from the conversation.
  2. Accept the Speaker’s Point-Of-View – Some of us have the desire to get our point across and want to add a word in for every sentence spoken. Even if you disagree with the speaker’s stance on a subject, allow him or her to finish their thought before voicing your disagreement, and then only if necessary. Remember, you are trying to be a listener, not partake in the discussion.
  3. Use Body Language, Eye Contact and Repetition – Using body language and eye contact the right way can really have an impact on the speaker. To show you are listening and interested, lean slightly forward in your chair. Make consistent eye contact, but do not stare. Make noises like “mm-hmm” or say “I see,” and frequently paraphrase what was just said.
  4. Go Beyond the Words – Good listeners are actively thinking not just about what was said but also why and how it was said. Why did this person come to you to talk {or be heard}? Is there excitement in their voice? Resentment? Jealousy? Once you determine the motive of the speaker, can you react more smoothly to their words.
  5. Avoid Planning Counter-arguments – It is a natural response to automatically start planning a counter-argument as soon as something is mentioned. As hard as it may seem, don’t. Mentally record your disagreement and formulate a response later after the whole message has been received.
  6. Be Aware of Your History with the Speaker – Think about how your history with the speaker may affect what is being said. Is there potential for flared feelings? Sympathy? Fear? Figuring this out will help you better understand the speaker’s motives and, thus, respond accordingly.
  7. Ask Questions – If there is something said that is not clear to you, ask for clarification. Be careful not to use questions to rebut or represent your point-of-view. Only ask questions that’ll help your understanding of what the speaker is saying.                                 – Extract from “Active Listening, Tim Bridge of PersonaDev”
Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn  

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Day 18: Branding Yourself and Your Business

So the American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller.

-Wikipedia

Livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock so as to identify the owner. -Answers.com

So what is Branding when it comes to yourself or business? There has been lot’s written about this. If you Google “Personal Branding” you will see over 2 million results. If you Google “Brand Your Business” you will receive over 620 million results.  There have been books written on it and entire careers built around helping others “build their brand”.

So Branding Yourself and Your Business is vital with today’s online influence. So the question becomes how? Well the good news is that it is a  lot easier to brand yourself in today’s digital environment than it was 10 to 15 years ago.  Here are some great ideas that I found from a blog titled :

Brand yourself: whether you work for a corporation, run your own business, or freelance, use your name to gain significant power and influence – Career Management by Ann Brown

Step 1: Find your niche.

“Do this by ‘looking at the patterns of your life’, Norma Thompson Hollis” There are certain themes that keep popping up in your life. This might be your brand.  In the last several years I have begun the process of branding my name and business as a leader in Social Strategy, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer and Speaker. My favorite line that I say when people asked me how I go here is “I survived corporate America”.

Step 2: Is your Brand marketable?

Max D. Ellzey, Ed.D., owner of Culver City, California-based The Ellzey Group and president of the Los Angeles chapter of Professional Coaches and Mentors asks his clients “What need can you satisfy better than anyone else, and how much are they willing to pay you for satisfying that need”. I keep asking myself that question and it is a question that you need to keep asking yourself continuously as you define your identity.

Step 3: Seek professional help.

There are many sources to help you in your search for the right professional help. You can find a coach through (www.coachfederation.com) fee based , your local chamber of commerce or SCORE (www.score.org) free resources and tools.

Step 4: Promotion, Promotion, Promotion.

Speak or hold a seminar for free. “Test your skills and get feedback. It’s also an opportunity to sell your product or services.” Ellzey suggests. Brendon Burchard has a great series on how to become an Expert in Expert’s Academy, author “The Millionaire Messenger”. After you speak for free paid offers of speaking may follow. Also start posting online in groups that are where your audience is or where others are sharing information regarding your particular field of expertise. Join in on the conversation and discussions. Be active, be aware and be persistent.

Step 5: Branching your brand.

To take your brand in other areas partner with other organizations and companies. This is a great way to branch out your brand. But be very specific and picky when creating strategic alliances.  Make sure the alliance can help move your brand forward.

Step 6:  Going beyond the brand.

“Once your brand has become popular, look for ways for it to sell itself”, says Ann Brown. The “4 hour work week” by Timothy Ferriss discusses ways of “Outsourcing Life” and creating Automation. “Be careful, however, not to spread your brand too thin” says Dr. Barbara Walton of KTD Coaching Services, (www.knowthedifference.com), “especially if it isn’t in alignment with your vision”.

So go forth and brand yourself cowboy or cowgirl! Set yourself a part from the crowd.

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well

 

 

Day 16:Rest

So today is Friday but I am blogging about Day 16 which was on October 16.

If you are new or just discovered this blog,  I embarked on a 30 day  journey to continue living life outside the comfort zone. And to take myself and business to the next level.

October 1st, 2011 I began by Getting Organized. You can follow this journey by checking out Social Media  Solutions on Facebook. I am logging every day’s activity, or revelation in real-time on this page.

I am only blogging Monday thru Friday and resting on the weekends. If you know me you know that sometimes I rest and sometimes I work. It all depends on my mood but I do carve out time on the weekend to; Rest, Have Quiet Time, Contemplate and Worship.

No matter what you believe, you need to believe in something bigger than yourself. Remember the words of Steve Jobs:

Live each day like it was your last….Stay Hungry and be Foolish!      – Steve Jobs

And remember to take one day and rest, I pick weekends and most of the time, Sunday!

Have a great weekend!

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

 

Join us on FB as well