Category Archives: Personal

Apps for Business I Could Not Live Without

With thousands of apps at your fingertips it’s easy to become overwhelmed.  Most people quickly realize they have no use for 9 out of 10 apps available in the marketplace.  In this complex world of productivity tools, social media, reminders, and mobile access, each of us discovers a select group of apps that become a key component in our lives and life without them seems unbearable.

 

mobile business appWhen you’re not scrolling through pictures of your ex on Facebook or begging friends to help harvest your farm, there is a wide selection of apps for business, productivity, and organization.  It’s time to get down to business and there are different apps for different chaps, so my favorites won’t suit everyone but I encourage you to test them and share your own favorites below.

 

Organization:

  1. Dropbox – store pictures, phone/security backups, passwords, team files, you name it.  I have to rank Dropbox over Evernote because of all the bonus space I’ve earned. (50 Gigs – boom!)
  2. Evernote – keep notes organized, tag/label items you’ll need in the future, or bookmark articles to read later.  View/Edit/Save material to your Evernote account while logged-in using any browser or access the same material while you’re away from your desk using a phone or tablet. Evernote

Communication: 

  1. Skype – inexpensive international calling from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  2. Google VoiceGoogle Voice – can’t get messages while you’re out of the office?  Use Google Voice to have voicemails transcribed and delivered to your email inbox.  Similar to Skype, Google Voice also offers inexpensive international calls.
  3. Whats App Messenger – send text messages to any phone anywhere across the globe for free!

Travel:

  1. TripIt – email flight, hotel, car rental, or any other confirmation to TripIt and the information will be neatly organized into a trip itinerary.  Stop carrying copies of your confirmations everywhere you go.  Download the TripIt app and have your itinerary at your fingertips.
  2. Kayak – my favorite app and website for searching flights.  Easily select your criteria and within seconds you have a list of all flights from most major airlines.
  3. Uber – refuse to fight for a cab?  Limited budget but want to show up for your meeting in style?  Go Uber!  Uber will signal a cab, towncar, or van (set your own preferences) and using the magic of GPS your ride will pick you up at your current location for a small surcharge.  You’ll never hail a taxi again! Uber

 

There are several other apps that help me get through the work day, but the aforementioned list should be part of everyone’s bag of tricks.  Commit to using a couple of the apps on my list for the next week and let me know how it goes.  Is there an app I need in my life?  Let me know in the comments section below.

 

 

 

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Filed under Marketing, Productivity, Reviews

What Was Poppin’ at the Sweets and Snacks Expo?

Original Gourmet Lollipop Queen

Photo Credit: http://www.candyindustry.com/ ; Amanda Gajdosik & Crystal Lindell

Landing in Chicago at 7:00 Monday morning on the red-eye from Las Vegas sounded like the worst idea in the world.  Tack on a 90-minute rush hour taxi communte from O’Hare to the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Chicago and one may think I was intentionally torturing myself.  Fast forward to Monday afternoon and my travel nightmare seemed like a distant memory thanks to the buzz surrounding the Original Gourmet booth at McCormick Place for the NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo.

Guests posed for pictures with the Lollipop Queen.  The OGFC team redefined perceptions of the lollipop category for thousands of visitors that stopped by booth #571.  Guests left with an understanding why Original Gourmet Lollipops truly are the “World’s Best Lollipops”!

 

Original Gourmet Sweets and Snacks

Original Gourmet Food Co. booth at NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Personal, Reviews

What is Boston Strong?

Mascots Wrong City

B Strong Boston Strong

Keep WickedWatertown

Memorial

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Filed under Motivation & Inspiration, Personal, Reviews

Boston Will Rise

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Filed under Motivation & Inspiration, Personal

How to Easily Answer the “What Do You Do For Work” Question

Stop creating elaborate explanations stuffed with an exorbitant amount of industry jargon in a pathetic attempt to make your position and responsibilities appear on par with that of a Fortune 500 CEO.  Get over yourself.  Nobody is buying your line of B.S. for the same reason resumes and references are becoming a thing of the past — talk is cheap and people want to see action.

Keep It Simple KISSI recently presented at “Career Day” for a 1st grade class.  After 10 years working in sales and marketing, it was a relief to speak with an authentic, captive audience.  First grade students do not sugar-coat their responses, which makes for an interesting Q&A.  The candid feedback I received from the class was a refreshing reminder to focus on the basics and K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid.  The students didn’t care about fancy job titles or industry vocabulary.  What do you do?  Do you like your job?  Do you get along with the people you work with?

Stop creating false impressions with everyone you meet.  Go back to the basics.  Ask yourself: would my explanation make sense to a first grade student?  If not, simplify even more.  You’ll have an opportunity to impress after you win them over with your humble personality and no-nonsense approach.  

A First Grade Student’s Response To:

“What Do You Do For Work?”

First Grade Job Description

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Personal, Professional

When You Don’t Have Time For Social Networking

Don’t be fooled by the the limited activity you see on this blog.  If you’ve been paying attention then you know that a social footprint goes well beyond a blog and there are several strategies to maintain a social presence with little or no additional effort at all.

social media iconsWe’ve already outlined a simple, effective strategy to develop an online presence and I taught you why your online presence is more important than street cred, but what do you do when your time is limited?  Social networking “groupies” are easy to spot because they are the first people to fall off the grid when life gets busy and time is limited.  Groupies only care about their social presence when they have nothing better to do.  If you want to be a Groupie then I suggest you go creep around with other groupie/stalker types, but if your prerogative (see inevitable footnote) is to maintain your social presence with a limited time commitment then I’ll make the next 45-seconds of your precious time worthwhile.  

Forget meaningful blogging when time is limited.  It requires too much time.  You can quickly post memes, quotes, and relevant content to a Tumblr blog to stay top of mind and continue contributing content.  Twitter is the best use of your time.  Retweet a few items that peaked your curiosity and auto-schedule posts using the content from your regular reading material or blog roll.  Bookmark a portion of this content on Delicious.  Leave a post on LinkedIn each day (and don’t forget to re-post on Twitter/Facebook when you do).  Google is your friend.  +1 everything you read and make a few of these posts public on your Google+ page.  Check-in on Fourquare at all meetings, events, and/or when you’re traveling (don’t forget to share these check-ins on Twitter/Facebook too).  

You just incorporated at least 7 social networks into your daily activities with little or no additional effort.  Best of all, your social presence is stronger as ever.  Time is limited so move along and implement your own abbreviated approach!

Need proof it works?  Follow my activity over the past few weeks:

Over the past three weeks my Klout score went up nearly 3 points.  I’ve managed to stay relevant event when I’m barely present!

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Filed under Branding, Personal, Professional, Social Media & SEO

Wake Up and Realize Why A Generation Is Failing

You can blame the schools.  Plenty of people blame social inequalities.  When in doubt, blame Congress and the President!  Each day it is impossible to avoid countless interactions ranging from “it’s not fair”, to “that’s not right”, and “we need to talk to someone about this!”

NEWSFLASH: IT WILL NEVER BE FAIR!

Social Media Wake Up Call

A 2012 article published by the Huffington Post went viral after it begged the question “Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?”  The buzz that followed was only because the author, Mickey Goodman, told the truth!  People hate hearing the truth and it’s never comfortable being on the receiving end of a harsh reality check.

This could not be more evident in tweets and posts by Notre Dame fans following their demoralizing defeat in the NCAA BCS championship game last night.  Over the holidays a family-friend told me that he only wants Notre Dame to lose so it will diminish some egos — particularly the heir of superiority and elitist mentality he sensed while in the company of Notre Dame alumni and loyal fans.  Nonetheless, even after Alabama crushed Notre Dame in every facet of the game, those egos are more present than ever as loyal Fighting Irish blame referees, time between games, and even the University of Alabama being a public institution as a competitive advantage.  A complete ass-whooping cannot subdue the monsters our society created.

However, the shortcomings and character flaws that symbolize a generation make it incredibly easy for you to gain recognition.  Highlight your character and brand identity by acknowledging your weaknesses.  Exposing some vulnerabilities demonstrates an authenticity that is rarely seen in today’s society and creates a captive audience you can easily win-over when the time comes to demonstrate your expertise or make a point.

Opportunities are everywhere.  Ambition is maintained by focusing goals that represent personal accomplishments, not a standard set by society.  Remember, the bar is set low — i.e. “everyone gets a trophy”.  Is that your standard?  Or, will you hold yourself to a higher standard?  Separating yourself from the “Entitled Generation” requires understanding the pitfalls, developing a keen sense of reality, and a willingness to live by a different standard.

If you need a reality check, watch David McCullough’s commencement address to the graduating seniors of Wellesley High School.  Wellesley is one of the wealthiest towns in Massachusetts and ranks among the top school districts in both the state and the country.  In case my message wasn’t clear: “You’re are not special.”  But, you are unique.  You just need to show people and create that captive audience!

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Filed under Branding, Personal, Sarcasm