What Making Leg Lamp Cookies Taught Me About My Business

leg lamp cookies!
Leg Lamp!

Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian!

Yes, those leg lamp cookies. If you’re not familiar with the famous (or some would say infamous) leg lamp, then go see
A Christmas Story. And don’t shoot your eye out, kid! 

So back to the cookies. I made the dough on Sunday night and planned to cut, bake and ice the cookies on Monday
morning (along with several other items on my to-do list). Nothing like waiting until Christmas Eve!

Except something happened when I cut the first leg lamp cookie. I was taken aback by the detail. The beautiful high
heel shoe, the fine line of the fishnet stockings (Let’s be honest; that’s what makes the lamp!) … It was a thing of beauty, if I may say so myself.

Our opinions on beauty may diverge from here, but the important thing is what happened next. I decided not to ice the cookies. How could I cover up that detail?! That’s what made the cookies stand out and would be sure to give everyone at our Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations a good laugh.

No matter how much we plan (and we should!), sometimes life throws you a better idea. Don’t rigidly stick to your plan (business, marketing or otherwise) and miss an opportunity to shine. Take a chance and follow the divergent path to see where it leads. It could lead to a brilliant new idea, unique product concept or branching off your business or marketing plans in a completely new direction.

Because I know you were wondering, the leg lamp cookies were a hit (even without the icing)! I may have started a new family Christmas tradition and reminded myself of an important point to remember at the same time.

leg lamp cookies!

Beautiful & delicious!

What seemingly unrelated task has reminded you of an important business, marketing or life lesson?
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Favorite holiday tradition?

Image credits: Leg Lamp courtesy of A Christmas Story House & Museum; Leg Lamp Cookies – by author

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
Jaime

Let’s connect (on business tips, marketing ideas or otherwise):

4 Reasons #GivingTuesday Is Succeeding (And You Can Too!)

Together we give | GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday

November 27, 2012 was the inaugural #GivingTuesday. It makes sense. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate headlines, America has long been committed to giving, especially during the Holiday season. Finally, some generous minds came together and dedicated a day specifically to giving back, kicking off the giving season.

Here are four reasons why this powerful movement is succeeding that your business or brand can use to succeed too.

  • Find support The minds behind #GivingTuesday knew this idea would be much more successful with others dedicated to its success too, so they reached out to a slew of like-minded organizations, groups and companies. Over 2,000 companies responded to officially become #GivingTuesday™ partners! Plus, even more companies and donors have stepped forward to match donations to specific charities and causes, making even more of a difference. When so many people, organizations and companies are committed to an idea’s success, it’s more likely to happen.
  • Be genuine #GivingTuesday is all about helping others. You can donate money, volunteer your time or skills or share the news about this effort with your social networks. The folks who got together to put this idea into motion want to help people all over the world give back, no matter what they have to give. This movement is about working together for the common cause of helping those in need. Be transparent in your motives: today’s digital world and social media landscape make it difficult to hide alternative agendas, which helps those who are real.
  • Spread the word While jumping on Twitter this morning, one of the first things I saw was a tweet from Bill Gates about #GivingTuesday. That certainly got my attention, and with 8,908,437 followers, a few others noticed it too. A few others, as in 6,812 retweets and 729 favorites. You don’t have to be Bill Gates though. #GivingTuesday makes it easy to become a social media ambassador, share its news and get involved. Remember, a great idea isn’t much good if nobody knows about it.
  • Make it easy to participate Point #3 delves directly into this… it doesn’t do much good to spread the word if you don’t make it easy for people to participate. At givingtuesday.org, you can easily locate a cause to support, utilize your social networks for good or take some course of action. Those on Twitter can search the #GivingTuesday hash tag to locate opportunities, and participating companies are encouraging employees to get involved. While you’re busy drumming up support, don’t lose momentum by making it difficult for people to participate. Remember, make it easy and people (businesses and customers) are more likely to jump in!

Learn from this wonderful and successful movement by noting the four keys above and applying them to your brand or business. Also, get involved and support a cause close to your heart! We can all make a difference no matter who you are or what you have.

Image credits: #GivingTuesday website

Happy #GivingTuesday!
Jaime