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What Gifts Have You Given?

What Gifts Have You Given?

As we are headed toward the countdown to Christmas and the end of the year, you probably have a running list of overwhelming to-dos and a mental list of all of the things that you didn’t accomplish this year.

Here’s a just a glimpse of my running list –

  • Christmas cards still to sign and send
  • Presents to wrap and ship
  • Didn’t master several new social media strategies
  • Didn’t blog more than once a month
  • Didn’t run regularly

Sound familiar?  Seriously, we could totally beat ourselves up fretting over all of our shortcomings, challenges and issues we may have faced this year.

But stop for a minute.  Take a deep a breath – and let’s look at the other side of this coin.

What if you asked yourself “WHAT GIFTS HAVE I GIVEN THIS YEAR?”

Think about the clients whose businesses or life paths you altered in a positive way, or the co-workers you helped with a project, or the community organizations and non-profits that you supported.

Think about the “just checking in” phone calls or texts that you DID make. Don’t focus on the ones that you didn’t.

Instead of the obsessing on the perfect family dinners that you may rarely have or the not-so-tidy house you keep, think about the time you spent standing around the kitchen island laughing at a really stupid joke or hugging a loved one when things weren’t going so well.

Instead of fretting about the time you didn’t spend with your children, think about the time that you did.  Whether driving them around or being on the sidelines at a game or in the concert crowd, you were giving gifts!

I’m certain that there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people – family, friends, co-workers and strangers – who benefitted this year from your gifts of talent, time, love, attention, kindness, donations and probably just a smile at a time they needed it.

They may not have all been able to thank you, but I am.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! The world is a better place for all that you do! Keep up the great work!Click To Tweet

(Credit and shout-out to author Laura Vanderkam – my first and favorite client – for this inspiration on “changing the narrative”.  It’s far better to focus on what we are doing right instead of having a persistently negative mindset about what’s going wrong.  To quote her: “Nobody wins in the Misery Olympics. Victory comes from refusing to take part.”)

Please share in the comments what gifts have you given this year, or connect with me on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, or Instagram.  And if you are having trouble coming up with the gifts you have given, shoot me an email, I’d love to help you with your list! 

Content creation and Twitter tips from WEN Meet-up

One of the best parts about speaking to groups about social media and online marketing is that I always learn as much as I teach.  Not only do I get the opportunity to hear about the current challenges entrepreneurs and business professionals face but everyone shares best practices for solutions.

This past Friday was no exception when I spoke with the Westchester Women Entrpreneurs’ Network (WEN) on “Best Tips for Getting Connected Online.”    This dynamic, super-smart, well-connected group of small business owners, wellness practitioners and marketing professionals taught me a few things that are well worth passing along:

1)   Creating content with ease – If you are in need of some writing help with your business blog, WEN organizer Kathy Perkal recommended using Zerys, a content marketplace for writers and marketers.

2)   Twitter tracking – To more easily track your Twitter reach, Suzanna Keith of TechandTravelMom, suggested trying either TweetReach or HashTracking for insight, analysis and reports of Twitter campaigns and activity.

3)   LinkedIn resumesLiz Dowling of Sweet Marketing Associates shared the advice that profiles on LinkedIn shouldn’t show time gaps.  It is better, she advised, to note a career gap with details of volunteer and unpaid work than to show nothing at all.

If you are in the Westchester area, I highly recommend you check out this network of movers and shakers.   Next month, they will be hosting Emily McKhann, co-founder of The Motherhood, a digital PR and marketing agency with a network of thousands of highly influential online moms.  To make it even sweeter (pun coming), monthly meetings are held at Chocolations in Mamaroneck.  Yum!

Curious – What networking groups do you belong to?  Do they meet in real life or virtually?  What do you find most useful?  Please share with a comment – thanks.

Why you need to get out from behind your computer

Because you meet totally cool people, like Guy Kawasaki.  Guy is serious social marketing guru, content management master and a serial author and now publisher.  Check out his newest book: APE-Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, How to Publish a Book.  We crossed paths yesterday at the Book Expo America (BEA), the big confab for the publishing industry and book peeps.

Even if you don’t meet people like Guy all the time (I certainly don’t), it’s important to get away from the grind and the never-ending to-do list at work and make sure you make time for yourself, build your network and invest in your career.

Here are a few terrific articles about the value of networking:
How an introvert learned to love networking – Laura Vanderkam
How to network to get clients – Fabienne Fredrickson
The importance of networking – Rishi Chowdry

Now, step away from your work and go meet some new people!

Use your network

It’s right there in front of you – or at least on your phone in your contacts list or on your email server (or even in your old fashioned address book).  Right there – your network of friends, family and fans – who probably haven’t heard from you in a while and would be very interested (maybe surprised) to hear about your new business, project or accomplishment.

You don’t have to be boastful or bragging, but it would behoove you to make sure that you connect with your peeps on a regular basis.  Pick up the phone, send them a note, post some news on Facebook, accept a request on LinkedIn, or consider a fun email campaign (yes – there is such a thing as a fun email campaign).  You never know what they might need or who they might know or what great ideas they might have unless you make the connection.

Further tips and ideas about staying connected:
Get out there in a BIG way with warm letters – Fabienne Fredrickson
* 6 Ninja Referral Tactics – Natasha Vorompiova

So before you spend loads of time, energy and money tracking down new customers or clients, make sure that you are fully engaged with the ones that you already know!