The Marketing Girl’s Christmas Gift...

Dec 17, 2012 by

Control is one of the key factors to the success of a marketing campaign or program.  The marketer loses control, the project goes to pieces.  As a result, many marketers end up as control freaks. “You should be in control of the project” is one of those ominous statements I dread hearing from any CEO.  That usually precedes the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  When a CEO tells me that, it means a project has gone awry somewhere.  Worse, it has become an unholy mess.  If I want to survive the Spanish Inquisition, I better know exactly what caused it to disintegrate before the CEO even calls for me. “What will you do about it?” is the question that triggers nightmares and seizures in even the most hardened marketer.   Unfortunately, in...

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Change or Die: My Job Hunt

Aug 9, 2012 by

I’m an optimist. That should explain why, around my 66th birthday, I decided to look for a full-time job.  It wasn’t that my consulting business was in the dumper.  It was just that I decided it would be a good idea to have a regular paycheck, some benefits, people to be around, and learn new skills “on the company.” According to Buddhist philosophy, adversity is a gift since in it we are presented with lessons we can’t ignore. That gift was a big one.  Those employers inviting me for interviews probably hadn’t Googled me.  Otherwise they would have known my age.  Forget all that crap about “not looking your age.”  The reality is that we are older.  Employers don’t want older. It was a shock to be knocked out of the box because I was old,...

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Encore!

Feb 9, 2012 by

Now that the New Year is over a month old I am finally getting myself grounded enough to share what’s happening in my life again. I have started what some call an ‘Encore Career.’ Check out the website that supports the concept. I am the Executive Director of the Northwest Center for Creative Aging (NWCCA).  As our intro says, “We help adults find their purpose and live into their potential as they age. We enrich lives by creating conversations, fostering connections and serving as an educational resource. Our philosophy addresses the whole person – mind, body and spirit – with a range of programs committed to creative aging. We welcome people of all ages and stages.” I wasn’t looking for a new job and it happened in the same way that other jobs and experiences have happened...

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Anybody Who Pays?

Feb 1, 2012 by

I was having a lovely lunch with some business colleagues when the talk veered to someone’s new business. Me:  “So, who’s your target market for it?” Businessman:  “Anybody who pays!” WEH?! In the Jurassic Era, “anybody who pays” is an excellent marketing strategy.  What do dinosaurs know about marketing anyway?  All they care about is not being devoured by the T-Rex. In the 21st century, however, there is no “anybody who pays.”  If your marketing director is dispensing that sage advice, you should fire him.  Immediately.  If you continue listening to that drivel, you will be devoured by the modern day T-Rex – your competition. I don’t need to tell you how saturated the market is with every product and service known to man and fungi.  There are products and services whose purpose in...

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How I Can’t Lose What I Don’t Want...

Jan 11, 2012 by

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”  Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee“ Here we are again, at the start of a new year.  Last year at this time, I was contemplating quitting my corporate job to find my way in the world of being an entrepreneur.  Self-determination and freedom to grow the creative part of myself beckoned.  Terror tried to bar the way, but it lost its power to imprison me when Dave died.  Sorry, Terror.  You have to come up with something scarier than a balance sheet to stop me now. This year I can easily count what I’ve gained.  I got a rough and tumble education in the ways of small businesses.  I made a whole new community’s worth of friends.  I learned to read a balance sheet, plan...

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Plan B: Turning this-isn’t-working into that-could-work...

Nov 28, 2011 by

Who hasn’t surrendered to the reality that the original strategy, tactic, and/or educational investment wasn’t panning out?  With such a volatile economy disrupted by technology, we’re all finding ourselves stumbling or even stuck.  Yet, it’s been tough to admit that, yet again, Plan A didn’t work.  We feel foolish.  Our confidence is shaken to the core.  And we just want to relocate to an emerging economy like Nigeria which is growing at about eight percent.  Could be that we will have more luck there. Serial entrepreneur David Murray sucks out the drama from failure.  His book “Plan B” chronicles how few plans yield any results.  And that’s it’s primarily through constant course correction, sometimes radical, that we can finally hit some home runs. Murray presents the riveting example of why Facebook is going gangbusters and MySpace...

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Finding Your Path in the Business World...

Nov 10, 2011 by

“I see you exploring,” my friend said about my business ventures.  “You’re doing a good job.” That was nice to hear.  Sometimes, I feel like a kid playing at being an adult without taking on any real responsibility or getting any real results. I started this experiment in entrepreneurship with one idea; an idea that seemed to expand as I asked people for advice and then change as opportunities came along.  I got advice from creative, knowledgeable people who had started businesses and knew what they were doing.  I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I would not have known where to start without them.  However, if I had to do it again, with everything I know now, I would change a few things. 1. For one, I wouldn’t spend so much money up front. I wouldn’t...

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The Permissible Personality

Nov 2, 2011 by

The house has been taken over by a tiny canine visitor, the chickens are molting and looking ridiculous, and an adorable, squealing baby is running around the house. Snowball the Cat is not pleased.  Not pleased at all. Wait!  This post is supposed to be about starting a writing business and here I am writing about my home life.  Isn’t it irrelevant?  Shouldn’t I screen out these fascinating tidbits about my personal life? Therein lies the question, doesn’t it?  When I worked for the big corporation, I sought to find ways to express my slightly oddball personality without clashing too much with the official Corporate Persona.  Coworkers who had become friends would talk about leaving their personalities in their cars every morning in order to fit in and gain respect.  We’ve all seen the...

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The Pied Piper Syndrome in Social Media...

Jul 27, 2011 by

Social media experts proclaim something or someone is brilliant or amazing (Cue in Bruno Mars!) and we all chime in to agree enthusiastically.  God forbid you do not agree with the social media gurus.  Spell dead career.  Or, worse, vicious attacks from their acolytes for daring to disagree with the founding fathers and mothers of social media.  Have you ever tried to disagree with their articles?  You have?  In that case, I certainly hope you’re in the witness protection program. Like any other marketing professional – OF COURSE, I read them.  Most of the time, I nod my head in agreement.  But there are just times that I cannot agree with what is being posted.  Those rare moments when I wonder if they wrote their posts while under the influence of too many glazed...

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Skype-tini Anyone?

Jul 18, 2011 by

About a year ago I made a major change in my life and moved from upstate New York to Maryland.  I hated leaving my country home and friends, but work was limited in Cambridge and most of my free-lance clients were based in the Washington D.C. area.  I started working a 4-day  week for the School Programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute, which gave me some steady income while still working my free-lance gigs for Discovery.  Anyway…., a year goes by and I return to Cambridge to visit with some friends, check on my house (it’s rented right now), and attend my friend Jayne’s art show opening at the Small Gallery. I really love my friend Jayne.  We share a great deal of the same interests and have the same quirky sense of reality.  She...

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Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends...

Jun 22, 2011 by

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends shines a virtual spotlight on Girlfriends who are making a difference in the lives of women and young girls. We hope their stories inspire you as much as they do us. Please join me in welcoming … Helene Lerner – author, journalist and founder of the online community Women Working. atsGf/Toby: Who are you beyond your professional resume? Helene Lerner: My spiritual purpose is to make the world a little bit better with whatever is presented before me. I’m very aligned with the mission of our company, which is to empower women and girls, also an aspect of my spiritual purpose. atsFg/Toby: What is your favorite “Girlfriend” activity? Helene Lerner: Going to the theater with a good friend. atsGf/Toby: You’ve been helping women for quite awhile through your books, TV work and...

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Ask The Girlfriends

Jun 2, 2011 by

Ask The Girlfriends is our way giving back to young women. Gf authors answer questions about life, career, and relationships posed to us by women who want a little perspective and insights from women outside of their own circle. This month’s Ask The Girlfriend question is from Marianne’s friend Melody Meiners. Melody is a social media whirlwind…She is the founder and managing editor at Girls Guide to the Galaxy, a partner and lifestyles editor at STLFamilyLife.com, and has a personal blog at MrsSmartyPants.com. She is also the founder and President of St. Louis Women in Media, a 350 member strong, non-competitive women’s networking group that offers quarterly programming for female media practitioners and hobbyists as well as freelance writer, interactive marketing consultant, wife and mother to her one year old daughter, Grace. Melody’s Question: “Have you ever...

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