I want to be alone

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What a relief! A new study indicates social withdrawal isn’t always a bad thing.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo looked at the motivation behind the desire to be alone. They cite three reasons why people avoid others. One is plain old shyness because of fear or anxiety. A second is avoidance, dislike of being with others or social interaction.

The third, however, is that some people just like spending time reading or working on their computers. They call this unsociability. Can I hear an amen from the introverts of the world?

That third category of people may not initiate social opportunities but will accept them if offered, so they are not totally missing out on peer interaction.

The first two categories result in negative outcomes like lack of social skills or support. The third is positively correlated with creativity. This gives me great comfort.

So, if you are like me and really would prefer to keep your distance most of the time, go ahead. Embrace your solitude. You know you want to.

 

 

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Propel yourself to marketing success

Propel book Front Cover (1)

 

I am no stranger to marketing; I’ve done it in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas. Yet even this old dog learned a few tricks in Propel: Five Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business by Whitney Keyes. If you, on the other hand, are a newcomer to the field, her five marketing principles lay out everything you need to know very clearly. They apply equally to big business, small business, and even personal branding.

Keyes breaks it all into five sections aspects: strategy, story, strength, simplicity, and speed.

A lot of thinking goes into marketing before you ever take any actions. The Strategy section thoroughly defines the basics: mission, vision, values, and SMART goals and objectives. Keyes also covers SWOT analysis, how to do market research, and what to do with the information you discover.

Keyes talks about the process of branding and finding target audiences in her Story section.

Strength comes through developing and then leveraging authentic relationships with customers as well as collaboration and alliances with other businesses and with the media.

Simplicity is the result of focus on priorities and setting action plans to avoid wasting time and money.

Speed is not only about being able to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities but also being able to judge quickly whether your actions are getting the right results.

What I particularly liked about Propel are the numerous examples all along the way from Keyes’ own career and clients. These clarify the concepts she offers and demonstrate how they work in real life.

If you need a crash course in marketing or just a refresher, you will find it in Propel.

 

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Over the past 20 years, Whitney Keyes has worked as a senior Microsoft manager, strategic adviser for American Express and a marketing consultant to thousands of individuals and organizations around the world. She is a member of the National Women’s Business Council, a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. Whitney was a winner of the Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion of the Year Award for Washington State.

Whitney serves as a professor and fellow for the Center for Strategic Communications at Seattle University and guest lectures for the University of Washington and other academic institutions. She teaches Global Reputation Management and related marketing communication courses. She also manages a consulting practice, delivers keynotes and facilitates workshops for organizations including the Small Business Administration and Port of Seattle.

New magazine premieres

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IndieLove Magazine

by Sarah Gai

IndieLove Magazine is a new publication showcasing Indie Everything. From Independent Authors, Musicians, Film makers, Actors, Art, Etsy Crafters. With Bonus features such as content articles, recipes, DIY, not for profit and travel.

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Sarah will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/04/book-blast-indielove-magazine-by-sarah.html

 

Links:

www.indielovemagazine.com

Facebook page : https://web.facebook.com/indielovemagazine/

twitter :  https://twitter.com/IndieLoveMag

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/indielovemag/

What Makes You Fascinating?

Sally Hogshead has just released a completely revised edition of her book Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist. With an extensive background in advertising, she brings a specific viewpoint to differentiating yourself from others. According to the system she has devised, your brand can be Innovation (using the language of creativity), Passion (the language of relationship), Power (the language of confidence), Prestige (the language of excellence), Trust (the language of stability), Mystique (the language of listening),or Alert (the language of details.) She’ll help you determine which one you or your company are and how to use your innate qualities to your best advantage.

I found her original book, well, fascinating. This new and improved version promises even more help for those who want to stand out from the crowd.

Excerpt:

Democratic Design

Ikea’s business model is as quirky as its furniture. The company believes that good design shouldn’t be reserved for the elite; instead, it markets good design for the masses. Each piece of furniture is a collaboration between the company and the consumer. In exchange for assembling the furniture yourself, you get better design at a lower price. Ikea calls this “democratic design.” A replicable process for ideas makes it possible to have “democratic branding.” Anyone can develop good ideas. I want to bring branding out of the ivory tower and into the trenches. Most businesses have limited time or money, but that doesn’t mean they can’t create effective and engaging messages. Just as you no longer need a travel agent to book your cruise, or a trip to the doctor to learn the symptoms of a common cold, you no longer need a marketer to do marketing.

Marketing for Non- Marketers

If it was easy to create a brand message, then anyone could do it. And if anyone could build a brand, then branding experts would be out of business.Here’s why: If a process is confusing and terribly difficult, only a few exquisitely talented minds do it. That’s why many agencies cultivate an intimidating image, hotbeds of new and exciting trends. Brand development usually requires months of research, development, and testing. The process is not for the faint of heart or the low of budget. Someone coached me that when presenting ideas to a client, it should be just one idea, so that it would be one of a kind. Like precious jewel sitting atop a black velvet cushion. By doing so, it would feel more rare and unreplicable. I believe that’s backward. Brands live inside communities, not corporations. Your brand lives inside conversations and aspirations. A brand lives in workplaces and schools. Inside homes and dinner table conversations. Brands aren’t static; they are living, breathing things that organically change and evolve as new people join the conversation. Your brand won’t shatter like your grandmother’s brittle china doll. Don’t keep your brand high on the shelf, out of reach. Hold your brand, push it, stretch it, and see how far it can go. A brand shouldn’t live under lock and key, hidden away at night. Quite the opposite. It should unite people, giving them a shared sense of ownership. Don’t just give consumers a better option to purchase . . . give them a better perspective on themselves and their world.

How the World Sees You (and Your Brand)

If you’re a brand, it doesn’t matter how you see your consumers; it matters how your consumers see you. Corporations don’t create brands. People do. The people inside your company are also the keepers of your brand. An outside party won’t know the culture and spirit and nuances like your team. You might not have a dedicated marketing department, and that’s okay. But what if the branding process could be open source, accessible to anyone?

It can be. It should be. You can do this. You can build your brand. You should build your brand. In fact, if you want to compete in a crowded and competitive marketplace, you must. Nobody knows your brand like you. You just need a template to follow. Or a hack.

Branding Hacks

You’ve probably heard of “life hacks”— clever shortcuts that allow you to save time, money, or hassle. Life hacks might reveal how to sneak more green vegetables into your kids’ meals, or how to relax more quickly to fall asleep. A productivity hack might show you how to speed- read. And the author Tim Ferriss once described a “sport hack,” in which he supposedly hacked the national Chinese kickboxing championship by winning with only a few weeks of training. Josh Linker, venture capitalist and entrepreneur, describes hacking this way: “Putting motives aside, the act of hacking requires tremendous creativity. A hack is an innovative and unorthodox way to crack big problems.” So what about marketing? Can we “hack” that process? What if branding could be open source, accessible to anyone? It can be. It should be. You can do this. You can build your brand. You should build your brand. In fact, if you want to compete in a crowded and competitive marketplace, you must. And you don’t need an ad agency.

 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear book review

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Unlike most of the women in America, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-seller Eat Pray Love. What little I knew of it just didn’t grab me. But I found in her latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear a new way of looking at creativity. Gilbert talks about inspiration as she would about a friend. When inspiration comes a-calling, it is incumbent upon a creative person to welcome it. And do whatever it takes to bring the idea to fruition.

Gilbert divides her book into six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity.

Gilbert relates that as a child she was afraid of virtually everything. At age 15, she discovered that fear was, well, boring. She cautions that creativity does not, however, require fearlessness. We need fear, but we also need to be brave enough to overcome it.

Gilbert sees ideas as a life form that have a will to become manifest. For that to happen, they need a human collaborator. An idea may try to attract your attention, but you may miss its arrival or circumstances may not be right for you to embrace it. Embracing it does not involve suffering. Instead, Gilbert says, cooperate with both joyfulness and discipline.

Don’t bother asking permission from anyone. Do what you want to do. We make things because we want to make things; humans always have. The arts don’t belong to just a chosen few. Live the most vivid life you can. Declare your intent. You are entitled. Your art doesn’t have to save the world.

Whatever you practice, you will get better at. And it’s never too late to start that practice. Gilbert says the question to ask yourself is: “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” But keep your day job too. For ages, people have taken care of themselves and their creativity.

Being an artist does not mean you have to be an addict, an alcoholic, or otherwise messed up. The persona of a Tortured Artist is often used to excuse bad behavior. Trust love over suffering. Believe that your work loves you as much as you love it. If you don’t know what your passion is, follow your curiosity.

In the end, creativity is a paradox. It is sacred and not sacred. It matters and it doesn’t. It is a chore and a privilege. Make space for these paradoxes, Gilbert assures us, and we can make anything.