Saturday, February 26, 2011

Get Rid of Dream-Killers

This week, be DELIBERATE about who you listen to you. Excuse yourself from those in your life who (discreetly) are not your fans or haven't given your new venture a high-5. 

Flood your mind with positive thoughts and with forward-moving people! 

Pursue your dreams ~~

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is Your Business Worth a Million?

What is your brand worth? 

What is the value of your business?

It's not the market valuation.

Definitely not the fees you charge.

Not based on an independent auditor.

Pure and simple, the value that you give to your brand is what it is worth. 

A diamond is initially a lump of black coal - until it is cut and polished. That process gives the diamond a sometimes $1M+ value.

Think about that regarding your business. Build and grow your business by doing things of great worth. Treating your business like a million dollar business already (even when it currently is not) will set it up to be a success - YOU decide!

(And yes, diamonds ARE a girl's best friend!)

Disclaimer: Alas, the purse in this post is not mine. It is The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Girl, My Shoes and a Mouse

Disney has recently started a campaign to capture kids that are still in the womb! Whether it is a genius marketing idea or just plain brainwashing, the giant media conglomerate knows how to reach its target audience.

I have to admit, the Mouse House sure knows how to market. Disney has its marketing techniques down to a science - its case studies could probably fill volumes. Its marketing gurus study their target consumers, figure out what those consumers want, and give them what they want. That is the most basic of marketing concepts.

Give the customer what he wants, and later he will think it's what he needs.

The other day, my girlfriend and her toddler daughter came for a visit. No sooner did they walk through the door that the little girl saw my fuzzy pink slippers, rip off her shoes, and put the fuzzies on! It was amusing, and it made me think, "She's only 2, but the girl that she is loves footwear!"

This little girl knows what she likes. And she went after it.  No cajoling or bribing required.

Consumers are still people who know what they want, want what they want, and (if truth be told) love the entire process of being courted in the marketplace. But they are bombarded on a daily basis with all kinds of marketing messages. From sun up to sun down, they are surrounded by billboards, bus signs, shop windows, posters, TV and radio commercials, pop-ups, and even the occasional banner-toting airplane. The consumer is grabbed, startled, and jolted into looking and, hopefully purchasing.

The more savvy marketer will, like Disney, study his subject. Figure out what that subject wants, and then delivers. No hard sell there. Pure marketing - at its best.

Back to my friend's 2-year-old. After a nice lunch and a quick jaunt at the neighborhood park, we came back to my apartment to relax. I had recently purchased a great pair of platform shoes that I wanted to show my girlfriend. Yes, you guessed it, the little girl saw my heels, stopped what she was doing, squealed with delight and proceeded to slip her tiny feet in my lady-size sandals.

Though this pint-size diva is only 2, she already knows a great pair of shoes when she sees them. Not that I think its wise to start a line of toddler stilettos, but the point is, know your target audience: what they want, what makes them squeal with excitement, and be the one to offer them your product or service. Plain and simple.

It's all about a girl and her shoes...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Made-Up Holiday

I will admit that it is with some annoyance that I view Valentine's Day.

When I was in grade school, it was a fun day: pestering my mom to take me to the store to buy a bag of those heart candies and a package of cards. Then coming home to write out the cards to my best friends, teachers, and maybe a boy I had a crush on, stuffing a few heart candies in the envelope, and waiting with anticipation until that great day arrived.

Unfortunately, the innocence and playfulness of Valentine's Day has been overshadowed by the frenzied commercialism of it. Jewelry retailers, flower shops, even gear up for one of their most profitable "holidays". It is no longer about love or romance - it's about buying the perfect red-laced or most blingy item possible to show your loved-one that you are no slouch. 

Truth be told, many unfortunate souls also make this day their shining moment of being loved by the greatest husband, boyfriend or significant other walking on this side of the world. Workplaces are fraught with delivery people wielding massive arrangements of flora, sprigs and sprays. Desks, tables and every conceivable flat surface have flowers galore sent to a spouse in order to shout "I love you!". Singles snicker at the boldness of it all, and some feel a tinge of alienation. This made-up holiday has a way of excluding a lot of people in the American population.

Let's return to the innocent school days of passing out Valentines to all our friends, teachers, and pets! Valentine's Day should be a whimsical day of outrageous, outward display of our affection for everyone we love - not just the romantic loves of our lives. Couples should not only declare their love to their "loves", but also to those singles who have helped, i.e. babysat or house-sat for them; singles should declare their love to their parents, siblings, good and best friends.

Valentine's Day should be not be filled with so much commercialism or pressure to buy something that gets tossed aside after a few days. A friend told me years ago, that we should tell those we love that we love them EVERYDAY. Hmmm - what a concept!

Happy Love Days!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Strings Attached (And All That Nonsense)

By now many of you have probably seen the movie (or at least the movie trailer), "No Strings Attached",  a story about no-strings-attached sex between two friends. Ashton Kutcher is Natalie Portman's pal, and they have an arrangement to get together whenever the need arises and "use each other" for sex. And we know the formula: they end up falling for each other, and the meaningless sex turns into true, forever, happily-after love.

Though the premise attempts to redeem itself, the message is quite misleading, and sadly, there are many people out there that will unwittingly believe that such a relationship could truly become reality. Unfortunately, the message will also translate differently for a woman than for a man. Women will think along romantic notions (sighs and butterflies), and men will think they this is the best arrangement ever (playah!) - both will end up with nothing but fool's gold.

I realize that I am ranting about a movie, but let's face it - we can get caught up in the fantasy of movies. I read an article some time ago which postulated that women's ideas about men and romance might be heavily predicated by what the movies portray - consciously or unconsciously. Whether or not there is some truth in that, it is rather disconcerting to see movies like "No Strings Attached" playing up the "positives" of an otherwise no-win romantic situation. There is nothing redemptive about the "no strings attached" concept, in romance, in business, in life!

Unfortunately, real life does not play like out like the "No Strings Attached" premise. We're not in Kansas anymore - someone's heart will be broken.  Rarely will the "bad boy" be reformed by the "good-girl-next-door", true love will not materialize after a heated night of passion, nor will the rich heir to a fortune throw his inheritance away just because he falls hard for the poor servant. Fairy tales are just that - they make our hearts swell, as we cheer the underdog. But let's not subconsciously think that life can somehow mirror what we see on the big screen - not even an iota.

Ladies, value and esteem yourselves! Becoming a "mean girl" or thinking that the "Ugly Truth" will morph into something "sweet" and "cute" is not endearing in the real world. Guys, you can be strong and masculine, and espouse honor and integrity. Bad behavior a la "Jersey Shores" or "Housewives" is totally NOT cool! No matter how entertaining to watch on TV.

Being a "no strings attached" person is shallow and non-committal. No personal relationship, business, project, or career can survive and thrive with such a life-view. A life worth having is fully committed in all facets: love, relationships, work, and business. It's the stuff that fulfilled dreams and sweet successes. You gotta be all in, otherwise don't play at all.