Happy Super Bowl Sunday & Groundhog Day!
Feb 2 2014

I’m not a big football or groundhog watcher, but this year the days have collided.  I don’t plan to watch any groundhogs, but I do plan to see part of the Super Bowl.  Because my son loves sports, we will be going to a friend’s place to the watch the game so he can be with others who like to watch football.   Ah, the things us mothers do for our kids that we don’t have the patience to do for other sports fanatics in our lives. :-)

owl-seth-godinI’m hoping with the recent WordPress update, there won’t be spam links in my email feed, but it’s a crap shoot.  I haven’t been able to figure out the reason after asking several people and doing some research.  I think it’s beyond my technical expertise to figure out a fix in the near term.  I’ve managed to post about once per month mostly because I haven’t permanently fixed the spam issue and secondly because I’m still working on interesting topics to post about.  Here are some good reads:

Groundhog day and the Super Bowl – Seth Godin

The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways. – Katie Malinski

How to draw an owl – Seth Godin

The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People – AlterNet.org

The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You – NewYorker.com

 Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence – HBR.org

…different people differently – Seth Godin

Life is not an adventure until it starts scaring you shitless. – Gapingvoid

 

Author: | Filed under: diversity, entrepreneurship, Just For Fun, parenting, wordpress | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thanksgivukkah and Black Friday
Dec 1 2013

This year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collided.  In the US, apparently the retailers decided to start the crazy sales activity just that much earlier and open up Thanksgiving eve.  I guess the news folks will tell us if it was worth it.  I didn’t venture out or even online to purchase anything on “Black Friday,” Thursday, or whatever.  I know people who did.  I did venture out today (Sunday) to Target to return some things and get some basics, but there was only the normal crowd there.

At any rate, I’m thankful that I can choose to shop or not shop.  I’m thankful for many, many things…mostly that I’m here right now in this intersection of space & time with many wonderful people around me.  Plus, I’m easily able to type this post and share these articles with you:

Our Self-Inflicted Complexity – Harvard Business Review

The Fall Of The Alphas – A VC, Fred Wilson (I just now bought the Kindle version of the book)

10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn – Huffington Post (“Problems are bad. It’s important to stay happy. I’m irreparably damaged by my past. Working hard leads to success. Success is the opposite of failure.  It matters what people think of me.  We should think rationally about our decisions. The pretty girls get all the good stuff.  If all my wishes came true right now, life would be perfect.  Loss is terrible.”)

The first lie… – Seth Godin

What “no” means – Seth Godin

Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime – Scientific American

The Paradoxical Traits of Resilient People - Fast Company

And of course a song and music video: Let Her Go by Passenger

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
‘Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

 

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In The Interest of Time…
Apr 2 2013

Congratulations to Eric Tung, a former undergrad student of mine from my adjunct lecturing days at The University of Texas at Austin, for winning the Jackson 5ive video!  It’s strange to know that my former students already have kids of their own, and he has far surpassed his Intro to Entrepreneurship teacher in the world of social media!

There is much going on and my entrepreneurial life juggle has (again) taken precedence over blogging, so I leave you with these interesting reads:

How to Deal with Negative People – Texas Enterprise

Decision making for the indecisive – The Washington Post

Advice for CEOs in We Are Austin Tech Video – The American CEO

Make room for A players: Stars don’t always turn up on your schedule – The American CEO

The loneliness epidemic – Seth Godin

Studying entrepreneurship without doing it – Seth Godin

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Interesting Links And Random Thoughts – August 2012
Aug 12 2012

Until I figure out a strategy for this blog, which may continue to be known for it’s non sequitur personality like it’s owner, here are a few interesting reads and observations:

The 11 Ways That Consumers Are Hopeless at Math – The Atlantic

It’s Alright To Cry – gapingvoid cube grenade

Where does trust come from?  - Seth Godin.  “Hint: it never comes from the good times and from the easy projects. We trust people because they showed up when it wasn’t convenient…

“I don’t even know what I’m afraid of” – Seth Godin.

I wonder if there is such a thing as brown/tan-gray/silver color blindness.  If so, I think I have it.

I’m so proud of my son for asking people to donate to mycharity:water, bringing clean drinking water to those without, instead of giving him birthday gifts.  He exceeded his original goal by $160 so far for a total of $360!  He never once complained or mentioned that he didn’t get any presents and was happy he could serve so many people & families.

Close friends and even co-workers can often know you and accept you better than your own family, who may only be able to see you in the box that you desperately and continuously tried to break out of most of your life but you let them keep putting you back in there until you couldn’t anymore.

 

Author: | Filed under: parenting, random stuff | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Watch This Now – Poetry For Your Parental Heart
Nov 28 2011

I don’t’ have time to read many blogs these days, but I read about 98% of what Seth Godin writes on his blog.  I keep meaning to buy and read more of his books, but time escapes me with the many things I’m juggling right now. I’m so glad he blogs!

I subscribed to his Domino Project emails.  Watch this video.  If you have kids.  If you have a daughter.  If you are a human being who has put yourself in the face of challenge and danger.  If you want to know you are not alone, you must watch this video on Ted Talk.  Sarah Kay is a “spoken word poet.”  She starts with a compelling poem.  She then goes on to discuss her loves of poetry and theater.  She is young.  She is beautiful and well spoken.  Given her talent now, I wonder how she will sound after she actually has kids…or a daughter.  Video is embedded below:

 

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Contemplating A Blogging Break
Nov 4 2009

I’m seriously considering a very long blogging break while I figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Or shall I say what I want this blog to be as it grows up.  The posts have been kind of random lately…a bit out of focus like I feel these days.

I was having lunch with one of my advisers today who always pumps me up.   He’s almost 70 years old and calls himself a recycled dad because he has grand kids older than his youngest kids.  I like him a lot because he’s used to working with strong, smart, professional women.  In the company he founded some 30 years ago when it wasn’t cool to hire women in senior positions, he had the most on his team.  He always jokes that he knows that women are the ones who get things done.  I think he grew up with 4 sisters.  He told me no matter what happens that I should be confident in 3 things about myself.  I told him I’ll put those 3 things on a note on the mirror or at least repeat them to myself.  It’s nice to have people believe in you!  He also said something like don’t worry about how things didn’t work out, just change your perspective and move forward.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m interested in the bioscience/health care field, and I’m figuring out how I can use my current job to find opportunities to learn more about those industries.  I’m also enjoying my time singing and learning more about singing.  I wonder if I can combine some sort of music with biotech and create an interesting business…

So while I make some decisions, I’ll leave you with a post by Seth Godin and some song lyrics by Bob Dylan that my friend Robb Lanum has been sending out the last several weeks on our email club.  I know Robb via his cousin Jay, who is married to Sandy (link to her photo site).   Oh the things that get written on that email club…I hope never see the light of day.  At least I’m never planning to run for political office!  I never listened to Bob Dylan growing up and don’t really know much about him but Robb has been randomly sending out these lyrics and they have been strangely poignant.

I hope you all will still be here when I get back.

Make a decision – by Seth Godin

It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.

In fact, make several. Make more decisions could be your three word mantra.

No decision is a decision as well, the decision not to decide. Not deciding is usually the wrong decision. If you are the go-to person, the one who can decide, you’ll make more of a difference. It doesn’t matter so much that you’re right, it matters that you decided.

Of course it’s risky and painful. That’s why it’s a rare and valuable skill.

Summer Days – Bob Dylan 2001

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready – lift up your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing
Well, I’m standin’ on the table, I’m proposing a toast to the King

Well I’m drivin’ in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, “You’re a worn out star”
My pockets are loaded and I’m spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you notice me all the time?

Well, the fog’s so thick you can’t spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can’t even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can’t stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin’, the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She says, “You can’t repeat the past.” I say, “You can’t? What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can.”

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that is nothin’ you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it’s stuck
Why don’t you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I’m using ‘em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I’m using ‘em all
I’m short on gas, my motor’s starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin’, pretty baby, but the nails ain’t goin’ down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it’s information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin’ the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes – you been teasing me

Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
I’m countin’ on you love, to give me a break

Well, I’m leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I’m leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in – set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

Spirit on the Water – Bob Dylan 2006

Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep
I keep thinking about you babe
And I can’t hardly sleep

I’m traveling by land
Traveling through the dawn of day
You’re always on my mind
I can’t stay away

I’d forgotten about you
Then you turned up again
I always knew
We were meant to be more than friends

When you are near
It’s just as plain as it can be
I’m wild about you, gal
You ought to be a fool about me

Can’t explain
The sources of this hidden pain
You burned your way into my heart
And you got the key to my brain

I’ve been trampling through mud
Praying to the powers above
I’m sweating blood
You got a face that begs for love

Life without you
Doesn’t mean a thing to me
If I can’t have you,
I’ll throw my love into the deep blue sea

Sometimes I wonder
Why you can’t treat me right
You do good all day
Then you do wrong all night

When you’re with me
I’m a thousand times happier than I could ever say
What does it matter
What price I pay?

They brag about your sugar
Brag about it all over town
Put some sugar in my bowl
I feel like laying down

I’m pale as a ghost
Holding a blossom on a stem
You ever seen a ghost? No
But you have heard of them

I see you there
I’m blinded by the colors I see
I take good care
Of what belongs to me

I hear your name
Ringing up and down the line
I’m saying it plain
These ties are strong enough to bind

Your sweet voice
Calls out from some old familiar shrine
I got no choice
Can’t believe these things would ever fade from your mind

I could live forever
With you perfectly
You don’t ever
Have to make a fuss over me

From East to West
Ever since the world began
I’m only in it for the best
I want to be with you any way I can

I been in a brawl
Now I’m feeling the wall
I’m going away baby
I won’t be back ‘til fall

High on the hill
You can carry all my thoughts with you
You’ve numbed my will
This love could tear me in two

I wanna be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can’t go to paradise no more
I killed a man back there

You think I’m over the hill
You think I’m past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin’ good time

Author: | Filed under: blogging, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

You Can’t Handle The Truth
Mar 26 2009

Brian Clark at Copyblogger did a post recently called How to Tell the Truth that was just spot on.  I LOVED it because it is so true.  It’s a short post and I was trying to think about how to summarize it, but I just can’t because it’s so perfect.  So I hope Brian doesn’t get upset with me for quoting it verbatim here:

“Everyone wants the truth, right?

Ask your spouse or your boss or your employees or your customers… they’ll tell you all they want is the truth.

But that’s a lie.

We hate the truth. Our reaction to real truth is hostility and fear.

Do we really want to hear the truth about why we’re fat, or why we’re broke, or why our kids are under-achieving? Tough stuff to process for most.

And yet telling the simple raw truth is one of the most effective attention and persuasion tactics available. Especially these days, with people sick to death of being lied to and betrayed.

But if people reject what you say, truth or not, you’re back where you started.

Guys like Buddha and Jesus had this problem.

The solution remains the same.

Tell a story.”

I sent the post to my friend, Robb Lanum (a screen writer), and he liked it too and added “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

My big problem is that I have a tendency to tell the truth good or bad, and I don’t always have a great story behind it.  It usually turns out great if the truth is good (e.g., our product is awesome and will save your life, you look great, you did a fabulous job) but if the truth is not so good (e.g., our product is good but you need to have xyz to make it work, I screwed up, you screwed up) it’s hard to recover.  Sometimes I wish I could keep my mouth shut but fear, Southern Baptist guilt, and feeling like I should do and say the right thing (because I would want to hear the truth) usually overcome me.  A strong conscience sucks to deal with sometimes, but I selfishly hope my kids inherit it without having to feel the hell, fire, and brimstone in their minds!

This is probably one of the reasons why I’ll never be a great classical marketer.  As Seth Godin recently wrote in a post called Is Marketing Evil?, the best marketers know how to create a great story about their companies and products and then they know how to get it out to the universe (usually with a reasonable budget!).  He ends the post with:

“Just because you can market something doesn’t mean you should. You’ve got the power, so you’re responsible, regardless of what your boss tells you to do.

The good news is that I’m not in charge of what’s evil and what’s not. You, your customers and their neighbors are. The even better news is that ethical, public marketing will eventually defeat the kind that depends on the shadows. Just ask Bernie Madoff.”

So ‘eventually‘ with any luck my tendency to tell the truth will keep me out of jail.  Now I just have to learn how to spin a fairytale captivating story!  Here’s a video clip of “A Few Good Men” starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson that shows how most people can’t handle the truth…most notably the one (Jack) telling the truth:

Author: | Filed under: marketing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lovely Linky Links
Jan 29 2009

Just had to share the following links…

Pre-Judging Other People – Never A Good Idea – I read this post by Thom Singer back on January 17 and it’s been sitting in my in box because I knew I wanted to link to it.  He tells a story about how he was in a vegan restaurant reading Thomas Friedman’s book Flat, Hot, and Crowded and ran into a woman who had heard him speak about networking at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.  She had made assumptions about him based on his talk, and he was unaware of the faux pax he was committing wearing a leather jacket at the vegan restaurant.  A great and entertaining read…especially if you know Thom.

Who You Are And What You Do – I read this one right after reading Thom’s post I mentioned above and thought how appropriate given that on this post Seth Godin discusses how people form a judgment of you online.  If you do certain things, people make judgments based on what they see you do.  The key takeaway for me was “If you’re not happy with the perception you generate, change the words you type and the messages you send.

Love (and Annoying) – Another great one by Seth Godin.  I just love the way he writes and how he ties easily understandable concepts to the marketing of products.  He starts off his post with “The goal is to create a product that people love. If people love it, they’ll forgive a lot. They’ll talk about it. They’ll promote it. They’ll come back. They’ll be less price sensitive. They’ll bring their friends. They’ll work with you to make it better.  If you can’t do that, though, perhaps you can make your service or product less annoying.”  Great advice not only for marketing products but also in life!

The Global Hug Tour – I found out about this on twitter.  It’s an endeavor by 2 people in a small prop plane, flying around the world, delivering 100,000 hugs and $1,000,000 to important causes.  I remember reading somewhere on their site or elsewhere that people need (or should get) at least 7 hugs per day.  Now that’s a lot of hugs if you don’t have little kids because I’m sure I beat the little kid hug daily quota often!  My kids are just so hug-able. :-)

For just $10 you too can be a Hug Amassador!  This feat is being run by Gail Goodwin and her husband and press will be following them to make sure the money actually goes towards hugs and not a second house!  This endeavor particularly resonated with me because I once heard a story about the orphans in Romania who were never touched.  The babies were left alone to cry and ocassionally given food but never held and cuddled.  The story showed those children when they were older and how difficult it was for them to adapt to society, how they couldn’t relate to others, and how desparately lonely they looked.  I can’t imagine someone not wanting to hold and touch a little baby.  Us humans are such social creatures that sharing a hug can go a long way.  Many of us in the online world know that we can even give virtual hugs by putting someone’s name in brackets so here’s a hug to {{my blog readers}}.

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Why Do People Raise Money?
Oct 27 2008

Raising money is a hard thing to do and often harder when you are raising money for a non-profit.  The payback isn’t measured in dollars, in quantifiable ROI (return on investment), or in perks and huge salaries.  It’s measured in change.  It’s measured in the effect your cause has made on your community…on the world.  I have yet to read such an inspiring article/post on the matter of raising funds in a non-profit as the one written by Sasha Dichter, who works at the Acumen Fund, on Seth Godin’s blog called In Defense of Raising Money: a Manifesto for NonProfit CEOs.  Whether you are in a non-profit or a company trying to be profitable, it is a MUST read!  You can feel his passion in his post.

Here are a few excerpts, but please go read his entire post…it is truly inspiring.

“How good is your idea?  How important is your cause?  Important enough that you’ve given up another life to lead this life.  You’ve given up another job, another steady paycheck, another bigger paycheck to do this all day long, every day, for years if not for decades, to make a change in the world and to right a wrong.”

“Breast cancer has an unbelievable level of awareness in the United States, definitely ahead of all other cancers.  Yet breast cancer is actually the 5th leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind lung, stomach, liver and colon cancer.(2)  So why does it get the most attention and the most funding?”

“So why are you so scared to ask people for money?  …

How about this instead: “You are incredibly good at making money.  I’m incredibly good at making change.  The change I want to make in the world, unfortunately, does not itself generate much money.  But man oh man does it make change.  It’s a hugely important change.  And what I know about making this change is as good and as important as what you know about making money.  So let’s divide and conquer – you keep on making money, I’ll keep on making change. And if you can lend some of your smarts to the change I’m trying to make, well that’s even better.  But most of the time, we both keep on doing what we’re best at, and if we keep on working together the world will be a better place.”

If only we could all feel as passionate about our lives and ideas with this same level of intensity every day, but most of us can’t (maybe even Sasha doesn’t feel this way every day) so we read posts like these and get inspired by someone else’s passion.  What a true gift of charity when people share their wisdom and passion…expecting nothing in return…except for maybe a little change.

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Seth Godin and Squidoo Raising $80,000 for Charity
Oct 1 2008

I saw on Seth Godin’s blog today that he and Squidoo, the company he founded, are raising money for charity and giving away $80,000.  All you have to do is vote by visiting the post I just linked to for the charity you like on their list.  Each vote counts for $2 and they will take up to 40,000 votes (yes, fairly simple math).  Go check it out and use that voting finger and contribute $2 wisely!  Voting will be open until October 14, 2008 and they appear to be almost half way there…

Author: | Filed under: charities, FYI | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »