Eat, Pray, Love — In Business Too

As I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert earlier today, two things dawned on me. One, I’m enjoying this book. Two, the concepts discussed apply to business as well as life (and no, not only for women).

Bring pleasure to your work space!

I bring pleasure to my work space with a couple of my favorite things: espresso and a dragon tree.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert travels the world in order to examine three different aspects of her life — pleasure (in Italy), devotion (in India) and balance (in Bali). While we all may not be able to globe trot to find our way in life (or business), it is important that we understand how to achieve symmetry in these three key areas.

Pleasure

I’m not going to throw a cheap motivational poster at you, but you should enjoy what you do, at least most of the time. We all have bad days, even world-class athletes, kings and queens. I’ve never bought the “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” mantra, but it is far more pleasant to enjoy what you do. So whatever you’re in business for, I hope you enjoy it. If not, your true talents may lie elsewhere.

Devotion

You need to be devoted to something (or multiple somethings), so one of these might as well be your business. I’m not recommending that anyone be a workaholic, because that usually doesn’t work out in the long run. But there will be plenty of times that you’re up pre-dawn to travel to see a client or burning the midnight oil finishing up a project on deadline. You may want to be doing anything else during these times (such as sleeping), but devotion to your clients, to your craft and to your business will yield results.

Balance

There’s a lot of talk about work-life balance today. Some people believe it’s an ever-evolving work in progress, while others stick to a tight schedule. However you achieve balance, it’s important that you do. Focusing on only one area of your life for too long will leave you feeling out of sorts or unhappy. A vacation may not be on your horizon, but the smallest breaks can bring balance: sipping espresso on a patio, enjoying a night out with friends or taking a lie-in one morning.

While my goal is to one day enjoy gelato in Rome, you may have no interest in that dream.

What 3 places would you go on your own pleasure, devotion, balance journey?

Fellow Eat, Pray, Love readers, what’s your feedback of the book?

On my own journey,
Jaime

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A Modern Marketer (with an Old School Soul): Things I Carry

As a modern marketer with an old school soul, what kind of things do I carry?

Things I Carry

Things I carry — as a modern marketer (with an old school soul)

Staying Connected

  • Mini Tablet — This little guy keeps me connected while I’m on the go. It’s powerful enough to stream videos, manage multiple social media accounts and drive me around the World Wide Web, but small enough to fit in my bag.
  • Smartphone (not pictured) — How did we live without smartphones? The 5″ HD display brings videos, photos and messages into clear view while the lightweight and slim design is perfect for my small hands. The 4G network keeps me connected, and the 13 MP main camera takes professional pics when I need them. Late last year, I picked up a cover with a kickstand, which provides the protection I need with the slim fit I like. (The two inside pockets are perfect for your ID, credit card or business card.) UPDATE

Power Up

  • Portable Charger —  This lightweight portable charger keeps my smartphone and tablet juiced. The 2600mAh battery provides up to 12 hours of extra power, and is recharged by USB. Micro USB cord included.
  • Water Bottle — It’s amazing how much better your brain works when you’re hydrated. Make it easy to drink enough water by carrying a refillable water bottle with you. This 20 oz bottle includes an internal screen, so you can infuse your water with fruit (without plugging up your straw), and infuse your day with energy.
  • Starbucks Gold Card — Some days, it’s my sanity. As a small business owner, life can be stressful, but handcrafted espresso can make the worst day OK again. Plus, being Gold has its rewards. (I was going to include my battered Starbucks reusable cup, but this looks so much better.)

Kicking It Old School

  • Felt Tip Pen — While I love my gadgets, there’s nothing quite like putting pen to paper. Blog posts, marketing plans and social media strategy all come to life in spiral-bound notebooks with these glorious pens. And there’s something so elegant about writing with a felt tip…
  • (Paper) Business Cards — Yes, everyone’s online these days. So am I. But there’s still something about handing someone (prospect? connector? life-changer?) a physical business card. You’re giving someone a little piece of yourself, a physical reminder of your brand, the business that you’ve sweated and agonized over. It’s amazing what can come from a 3.5″ x 2″ (or thereabouts) piece of paper.
  • A Book — As a writer, I read a lot. I like to have a fiction and non-fiction book going at the same time, which helps me to tackle my two-page (and ever-growing) reading list. So far in 2015, I’ve devoured books on personal branding and entrepreneurship, the power of creativity, changing the way you think and life, love and loss. Reading is an integral part of who I am, so I always try to carry a book (or books) with me.

Odds and Ends

  • Big Red Slim Pack™ — A doctor once told me that I show 9 out of the 10 signs of becoming a chain smoker. How refreshing! So I chain-chew Big Red gum instead. Not any gum, Big Red. I love the cinnamon flavor, and fresh breath is always a good thing. The slim pack is convenient, sliding in my bag or back pocket.
  • Eyeglasses — I’m visually inspired and impaired. My glasses help me see clearly, so I can help others communicate clearly. My Tory Burch frames project a bit of professionalism, so I can play the part.
  • Sunglasses — I’m light sensitive, so I never leave the house or office without sunglasses. In fact, I keep 3 pairs sitting next to my bag, just in case.
  • Lotion — Along with the aforementioned sunglasses, I rarely am without lotion. My dry skin isn’t helped by living in Siberia half the year. So there’s always lotion — in my bag, work bag, car and all over my house.
  • Italian Roots — I’m proud of my Italian heritage, and it helps me every day. I’ve needed a thick skin, indomitable will and fighting nature to climb the ladder in corporate America, start my own business and step out of my comfort zone. And yes, I talk with my hands, so get over it. 😉

Bag It

  • Coach Travel Flight Tablet Bag — The first time I saw this bag, it was love at first sight. Whether flying around the world or around town, I have everything I need at my fingertips without being weighed down. Plus, my hands are free to tweet, message, blog or carry my espresso. And the camo? For a country girl, that’s just a little slice of heaven.


What do you carry?

Leave a list in the comments below or upload your pictures to social media and tag us!

What do you think of what I carry?

Cheers,
Jaime

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Love — and Marketing — is in the air!

Holiday marketing: you either love it or hate it. As a consumer, it’s nice to take advantage of a sale, but as a marketer, it can get downright embarrassing. How many more car commercials about President’s Day sales that have no tie-in to the brand can we watch?

Love -- and coffee -- is in the air at Starbucks!

Love — and coffee — is in the air at Starbucks!

Some brands get holiday promotions right, and it may not be ones with a readily available tie-in at first glance. For example, Starbucks has decided to hold the world’s largest date on February 13th. The worldwide coffee giant is serving a special pairings menu at participating cafes for you and your beloved. Don’t have a beloved? No worries, the company has partnered with Match.com, so you can find that special someone. As a place where people come to meet, this partnership is genius, although I never would have told you that before. Kudos to Starbucks for understanding its brand and consistently finding new ways to grow.

Durex Valentine's Day ad

Durex delivers a tongue-in-cheek message to its competitors.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the above ad from Durex around Father’s Day. The world’s number one condom brand has a history of bold, tongue-in-cheek advertising. Durex takes its products seriously. Itself? Not so much. Considering what its product is intended to do, the company may not ever come up with a better ad.

Chime in with Love (or Hate)

What brand’s holiday-related marketing do you love?

Do you find yourself looking at marketing as a consumer vs. marketer/business professional?

Any fun Valentine’s Day plans?

Share the marketing love,
Jaime

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Branding Is A Feeling, Not A Noun

Branding. It’s all the rage, but what is it exactly? According to Merriam-Webster, branding is the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand. Of course, there’s as many definitions of branding as there are flavors of chewing gum.

These are just a few of the brands who have connected with me.

A few of my favorite things — Starbucks espresso, Chuck Taylor shoes and Merona socks.

I’ll make it easy though. Branding is a feeling you create in people, an emotion. It’s the way that seeing a Starbucks cafe makes me smile. Sure, I’m an espresso junkie, but that’s not the only reason I love Starbucks. It’s the atmosphere in the company’s cafes, the best reward program in the industry. It’s my personal Starbucks cup, paying with my phone and earning stars, all while doing what I love — drinking espresso.

It’s the same type of connection I have with Big Red gum, New Balance running shoes, Sharpie markers, PaperMate Flair pens and so on. When I use these products, they evoke a special feeling in me. When I chew other gum or write with another brand of pen, it’s just not the same. (As a writer, I’m serious about my writing instruments!)

The Garth Brooks brand has a loyal fan here!

17 years ago, Garth put a kid from an unincorporated village 10 rows from the stage, convincing me that dreams do come true. Almost 17 years later, the love affair continues.

And then there’s Garth. It’s not just my country roots or my cowboy brother who turned me onto his music. When you go watch Garth Brooks perform, it’s an experience, not just a concert. And 17 long years ago, he signed this fan up for life with a gesture that he repeated over and over again. He took the time to look at his show from his fans’ point of view and came up with ways to make their experience even better. And this fan will never forget it.


Brand You

What are your favorite brands?

How did they make a special connection with you?

As a brand, how can you connect with customers?

Cheers,
Jaime

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Publishing: The End or The Beginning?

It’s over. We’ve reached the last step of the writing process: publishing. Simple, right? Just click Publish and you’re done.

Seth Godin on shipping (aka publishing)

Not quite. After tackling prewriting, drafting, revising and editing, there’s still work to do. Depending on your project, some of these questions may answer themselves, or you may have some more thinking to do.

What medium will you use to publish? 

Do you need to add pictures, quotes or other visual elements to strengthen your written work? 

If sourced, do you have permission to use those visual elements? (i.e. Don’t steal people’s pictures, even online!) 

Have you thoroughly completed steps 1-4?

Are you ready for the world to see your work?

The last question can be an oxymoron. Some people are never ready for the world to see their work, but you do have to publish sometime. You can produce the best writing in the world, but if no one reads it, what’s the point? (This is presuming that you want people to read your work, of course.)

After completing the five steps of the writing process, you’ll begin to understand. The writing process isn’t linear and never truly ends. It’s cyclical at best, and sometimes resembles a drunken, disoriented party-goer. Don’t be discouraged.

The trick is to follow the rules until you learn how to break them.

The real trick is learning which rules to follow and which rules to break. It’s different for everyone. Once you figure that out, then you’ll discover how powerful the written word can be.

FREE Download –> The Power of the Pen: 5 Steps to Writing That Produces Results

Publish Your Comments

What publishing advice would you offer fellow writers?

Are you a “publish or perish” disciple or would you rather take more time?

Whatever your medium, do you have recommendations (i.e. blog services, book publishers, agents)?

What would you add to this series on the writing process?

If you have any writing-related questions, please ask. Or we can handle all of your writing needs so you can focus on saving the world before bedtime (or hanging up your cape).

Signing off,
Jaime, Mojo & Penelope

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