50 Things I’m Grateful For, Summer 2018 Edition

The tradition continues. Each year since 2012 (the year I started CCC), I’ve published a list of 50 things I’m grateful for. This isn’t a 5-minute exercise. I create the list over the course of weeks or even months. Oftentimes, I’ll jot down an activity I’m doing or a memory triggered by a conversation or passage in a book. What are you grateful for?

Celebrating CCC's 6th anniversary in the office

My business, Clearly Conveyed Communications, turned 6 in May. That’s something to be grateful for!

 

50 Things I’m Grateful For, Summer 2018 Edition

  • Coffee shop patios on overcast, stressful days
  • My smartphone — and the mobility it provides
  • Rare moments that I can put my phone away
  • Ocean waves crashing
  • Playing with my nephew
  • Meeting fellow KSU alumni
  • Handwritten cards, letters and notes
  • Instagram Stories
  • My niece, who’s growing into another strong Shine woman
  • Stephen King

  • Lifelong friends
  • Fireworks on a summer night
  • Listening to the orchestra
  • Firetrucks in parades
  • Brands who own their voice
  • 80’s movies
  • Classic rock
  • Finishing a workout and feeling strong
  • Linda by Chuck Close
  • Rollerskating (and Roller Derby)

  • Capturing a moment — in picture or prose
  • Creating content
  • Solving problems
  • Reliable technology
  • The power of putting pen to paper
  • Traveling for pleasure
  • Experiencing different cultures
  • Taking a journey in a book
  • Donating plasma to those who need it
  • Exploring trails

 

A lake view

I love water views — while working, relaxing or contemplating life.

 

  • Water views
  • CCC’s 6th anniversary
  • Small victories
  • Eating tacos on a patio on a beautiful, summer day
  • Sipping a latte
  • Long weekends
  • Touchscreen devices
  • Solving WONDERWORD, crossword and other word puzzles
  • Different viewpoints
  • Aha moments

  • Pocket, Evernote and other productivity apps
  • Mesmerizing stories and storytellers
  • Editing and revising a rough draft into sharp content with a clear message
  • Vegetarian enfrijoladas
  • Family
  • Outdoor concerts and movies
  • A night at the ballpark
  • Food carts and street food
  • Reaping the fruits (and vegetables) of a garden
  • Strong women

That’s my list for the summer of 2018. Take a moment to think about what you’re grateful for in your life right now. Share your list, however long or short, in the comments or leave a link to your own post. Writing down what you’re grateful for is a powerful exercise to remember to count the blessings in your life.

So, what are you grateful for?

Counting my blessings,
Jaime

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50 Years of Satisfaction: How You Can Learn From The ‘Stones

On a recent visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, I was reminded how amazing the Rolling Stones are. They’re still rocking 50 years later and are as relevant as ever. While browsing the two-floor 50 Years of Satisfaction exhibit, I started thinking about how successful of a business venture the band — and brand — is. What can we learn from these legendary rock stars?

the Rolling Stones brand

It’s All About The Brand — In 1962, these aspiring musicians didn’t just seek to form a band; they wanted a defining brand. Yes, they love making music, but Mick, Keith & co also understood the business side of creating and promoting a successful brand as they grew… and grew. Today, the iconic red tongue is as recognizable as the Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches.

Image

Adapt (& Improvise) To Survive — 50 years is a long time to be relevant. The band has adapted throughout the years by adjusting its sound without losing its identity, especially as band members have come and gone. They’ve also followed their instincts and pursued opportunities that felt right, even when they went against the grain. Today, they’ve embraced social media and the digital landscape to connect and promote. How can you improvise to survive and thrive?

Mick enjoying a little "reading"

Stay True To Yourself — The trick to adapting is to remain true to yourself. The Stones are the Stones, like them or not. They hit the scene as the bad boys of rock when it was anything but popular. As they’ve dropped the drugs and hit late middle age, their music has followed. Their lyrics speak of their current lives and experiences, which fans appreciate and identity with.

The Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction

Remain In Control — They’ve experimented, argued, taken changes and closed deals, but they’ve always remained in control of their band and brand. While the Stones have no problem working with business managers, partners and companies, they always have final say over projects and products that bear their name. Keep that in mind as you approach new opportunities.

So there you have it… How the Rolling Stones have survived and thrived in a cut-throat, fast-moving, trend-driven industry. Oh, and some amazing music, legendary live shows and fabulous albums, too.

Open Mic

Are you a Stones fan?

What else have you learned from the Rolling Stones or other performers?

Have you used ideas from other industries to improve your business or brand?

Who’s your favorite musical act of all time?

All photos taken at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH 

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,
Jaime

You Can’t Always Get What You Want… but you can connect with CCC:
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The Soundtrack of Life

Recently I began taking sign language classes to better communicate with the hearing impaired. During the first session, the instructor asked us to think about sounds that we associate with waking up in the morning. While members of the class chimed in with a variety of answers, I thought about how strange it would be to live in a silent world.

boy covering ears

In today’s society, we are flooded with noise – car radios, traffic sounds, birds chirping, construction equipment, lawn mowers, people talking, public address announcements and more. We often block out as much of this noise as we can in order to stay focused on the day’s goals. But maintaining our tunnel vision has its costs. Are we missing the soundtrack of life?

While I’m often visually inspired (despite being visually impaired — go figure), I make a point to not forget about my other senses. We have five (touch, sight, taste, smell, hearing) for a reason; they all contribute to our life experiences.

Our sense of hearing opens a whole new world to us. Helen Keller, the renowned American author, political activist and lecturer who was both blind and deaf, thought deafness to be even more of a setback than blindness due to the power of sound.

“…[Deafness] means the loss of the most vital stimulus–the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.”

Have you ever stopped to think about not being able to have a verbal discussion with a colleague or client? About not being able to listen to that song that takes you back to a memorable moment in your life? Not being able to take in the sounds of nature to soothe your soul?

 

Our sense of hearing is a vital part of communication. It allows us to listen to others, hear their concerns and ideas, and react accordingly. Is it any surprise that the ability to listen has become a rare, sought after skill in today’s drowned out world?

The next time you’re tempted to stick your head in the sand, stop and listen. Listen to the world around you and what it has to say. Listen to a friend or colleague during lunch instead of burying yourself in your phone. Listen to the person on the other end of the phone — across town or the world — instead of checking email or watching TV. Listen to the birds chirping. Listen to your inner voice. Listen.

You just might be amazed at what you hear.

Your Turn — I’m Listening

What song or sound takes you back to ‘that’ moment?

What sounds make you smile?

What’s the most annoying sound in the world?

Who’s someone you love to talk –and listen — to when you’re stuck?

Do poor listeners turn you off?

When’s the last time you’ve just stopped and listened to what’s around you?

Photo courtesy of Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez via a Creative Commons License
Helen Keller quoted from Helen Keller in Scotland: a personal record written by herself, edited by James Kerr Love (London: Methuen & Co., 1933). 

Always listening,
Jaime

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