Pink Fire Pointer October 2012

Like me? Like my brand!


With all this talk of branding and social media influence, it led me to thinking. About what? To the idea that the person behind the brand is the brand! As the force behind Learning Connections and strategist for Talin Creations I had to stop and think long and hard about who I am and why I am doing these things. 

Who I am:
  • A lifelong learner. I am in college full-time at Roanoke College majoring in Chemistry. Chemistry is not my only passion but it seems to meld well with my many interests.
  • A teacher. I love to communicate and share knowledge about science and math and I believe that these subjects are the gateway to a better future for the citizens of the world.
  • Cultured. It is my firm belief that learning does not happen in a box. That integration of all subjects, especially through sports, art, and music, is a necessity to greater understanding. Hence, the Connections in Learning Connections.
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Why are these definitions important?
  • They define who I am and how I do business as an entrepreneur
  • They define the principles of the businesses I become involved in or people that I promote. 
  • There is no second guessing as to who I am. My description in every profile on every social media site says it. A Renaissance Woman
I want you to share with me. Who is your brand? How did you define it? When did you discover your passion? How do you continue to keep the fire burning when things don't go according to plan? Let me hea rfrom you!

Stop making "To Do" Lists

  How stressed do you get when you look at a big project and think about all the steps you have to take to get there and get it done? If you are like me, these lists make me anxious and just give me another excuse to procrastinate even more. I already have everything I know I need to do in my head, why am I wasting time writing them down? I just get stressed about the tasks that are still left on the list and exhausted from trying to do it all.
  Lately, I have been writing "Done" lists. Sounds different, right? This is especially good for people who are dealing with time management issues. I write down what I did, check it off, and how long it took to complete the task.
  Why does this work? Many of us underestimate the time it actually takes to complete a task. This is the essential cause of the anxiety from looking at an incomplete "to do" list. Not only that, we don't take distractions into account. Write those down too. Are there ways you can eliminate them or minimize them? More than likely. Once you understand how much time you need to get your tasks done it will be easier to make a "to do" list based on your time frame.
  But, most of all, allow some flexibility and time for yourself!

All politics aside...

  As we draw nearer to election, it is not an easy pill to swallow to watch the vast stratification in beliefs in our political system. It is a bit troubling to think that if people are unbending in their personal beliefs, will it transpire to our political system? And yes, it has. It has taken a major toll on progress because of the lack of willingness to compromise. Not only is the base of our economy, the middle class, shrinking, so is the moderate Republican and Democrat. Any politicians out there reading this, please, Please, PLEASE, buck the trend of your party and the lines drawn in the sand! The public is looking to you!

  Until then, while we are waiting for our politicians to figure it out, we must go it alone. We must rely on the community, ebb fears, and act as psychotherapists in our activities daily. We are the ones that must bend and compromise in order to be successful. We have to keep our personal political views out of our business or at least not a focus of our business. In the realm of an education business, we have diverse belief systems. Most have a tendency towards progressivism, celebrating the individual, and supporting the community at large. We have to be accepting of all people. A lot of good businesses keep politics and and activities separate. Unless, your business is politics.

  For example, I have a very liberal approach on religion and do not attend church. However, I do teach hymns and traditional Christmas music to my students. Am I somehow a hypocrite for doing so? I don't think so. It's smart business. My business focus is tailoring each lesson and their curriculum to them. Now, if I was asked to teach Christianity to someone, I would have a problem with that and would recommend them to their minister or a church that fits their personality and their needs. I don't claim to be an expert in that arena. My services only fulfill certain parts of certain people's journeys. A good teacher or life coach recognizes those limitations.

  So please, let's get through the next 20 days holding hands and agreeing to disagree, ok?

Being an Agent of Change

  There are two types of changes in this country, quick changes and slow growth changes. Quick changes are highly experimental and the effects are not felt for a very long time. Slow growth changes take time and are used to generate a paradigm shift. Quick changes can be used to play with new concepts and create excitement over the business. Slow growth changes can be used to rewrite company policies and set long range goals. Slow growth changes evolve over time. Entrepreneurs and small businesses use both of these techniques interchangeably. 
  When instituting changes, take the time to test your ripple effect. What is that? That is how far your influential reach goes. How do you test it? There are several ways. The best is through personal change. By taking care of yourself and making yourself an example to your friends and family, you will see which ones institute their own changes based on your change. Don't think that others respond to your changes? Try it. They will. I know it is having a major effect in my personal life. 

Community and Civic Activity are Key to Growth

  I am really tired of politics because, to me, neither side has really drafted a workable plan to get the economy going in the direction it should.

  But let me ask you something, why are we waiting on politicians? Did politics ever jump start economic growth? At this stage, how much should politicians and politics play a role in the growth of the country?

Revelation: Only we, the community, are responsible for our own growth. 

  Sure, a lot of things could not happen without government funding. And sure most of us have brilliant ideas for company start-ups. However, it is truly up to the community and the individuals in that community to keep the economy going. It is up to us. As businesses, we should be leaning on each other. We should be more involved in the community in a way that reflects who we are as a business. 

Revelation: Low civic activity is not good for business. 

  Hrm, that's an interesting thought. Why? In Floyd County, VA, everyone banded together and developed an economic plan based on a central theme. Not just civic leaders and businesses, everyone. What's the big deal in that? With a set goal and plan in mind, they have grown enormously. Not as fast as they would like to but they are sticking with the plan because it has worked so far. Floyd County has become the weekend destination for a quick getaway. 
  In Salem, VA, we have the same people running the same show and very little growth and a lot of struggling and no plan of action for continued success and growth of the community. I might get in trouble for this. But, I even feel like I am a "nobody" in my own community. How do I get involved in this community? I don't know. I don't have kids, which might help. I have no idea how to get involved in the place I live in. If I don't know how, then how does anyone moving in know how to either? 
  Roanoke City is on a turnaround because they have taken time to develop a plan and the community is actively partaking in the activities. The two revelations above are the key, folks. Stop waiting on your politicians at the state and federal level.