Bad Girl, Good Business

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New Year…New Kid in Town

“Hmmmmmm….” I thought to myself. (Not literally, but you get the idea.) I now write a lot, which was always the dream. I write for theONswitch clients (of course), HuffPost, Inc.com, Nightclub.com, and for my own three sites — Bleisure Living®, sheBOOM, Embrace the Machine®, and this one, as well as keeping all my social platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) as fresh as narcissistic daisies. I’m a…

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My First Quarter Listicle. Where’s Yours?

A listicle? It’s not like a popsicle or a testicle. See the links below for the definition. Here is my first quarter WOW and GRATITUDE listicle and my mini-listicle (a misticle?) for the second quarter. It’s a great business exercise. Way better than a boring business plan. It’s simple. Just make a list of what you’ve accomplished and are grateful for in the first quarter. I include both business and personal things on…

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Swilling & Settling & Sherpas: The New Kid at 90 Days

Jack Swilling is my new hero. A musician, dance hall owner, canal-builder, and prospector, he was one of the first settlers and founders of Phoenix. Sadly, he was a bit too much of a party boy and died due to the effects of drugs and booze. But he was a risk-taker and pioneer. As I approach my 90-day anniversary of settling in Arizona, I have new respect for all those early settlers (including a dude named Pauline Weaver from Tennessee —…

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“It’s Hard!” My Week in Review

Indulge me in a brief feminist “rant” this week. The word “rant” to me means controlled stream of consciousness, by the way. A publicist didn’t want me to include it in this blog’s title because she thought it might sound too “out-of-control-woman-like.” But I’ve seen lots of important people in business, government, and media (including many men) indulge in ranting. So if you can’t…

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New Eyes

No…not literally. I sort of like the ones I have. However, after having spent three days of the past week at tech-related events, I am seeing the world and my role in it with a whole new perspective. One of the definitions of collision is “A brief dynamic event consisting of the close approach of two or more particles, such as atoms, resulting in an abrupt change of momentum or exchange of energy.” That about sums it up. At…

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Remember those essays we used to write on the first day of school? The exercise is a great one for adults too. As we head into the final official weekend of summer, now is a good time to reflect on what we did — both for business and for pleasure — and what we’re planning to do during the last months of 2016. We had roughly 100 days to change things up. The pace of life and business always seems different during the summer….

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The New Brand & Breed (Tech Day 2016: Part 2)

It’s not your momma’s business model! We all know that thousands of millennials are venturing out on their own to follow the Zuckerbergian model of success and wealth. They are building tech-enabled businesses to solve problems (or not — see Part 1). But, despite their desire to innovate and be free in their entrepreneurial spirit, I noted some patterns at Tech Day that actually seemed pretty “sheep-like” in terms…

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Stop, Shut-up, Count to 90, and Breathe!

Mother Nature has a perverse and yet wildly effective way of getting me to get back on course. She simply shuts down my airways. It happened back in my early ’30s when my right lung collapsed. I had just taken-on a new high-pressure gig at Citibank, I had a 2-year old at home, and a bunch of other work/life woes and stresses. Spending a couple of days in the ICU is not on my top list of relaxation jaunts, but it was definitely humbling…

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The 50 Things I Did in 180 (+1) Days

The first half of 2017 is over. What the hell did I do? I tend to be very hard on myself, focusing on what I didn’t do (or what I could have done better) rather than on what I DID do. So, in honor of Independence Day weekend, I will officially free myself from self-doubt and nit-picking and focus on the things that I did in the first 6 months of the year (181 days, to be exact). I… Moved to Minnesota Survived the winter in Minnesota,…

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Chew on This! What’s Tasty in the Restaurant Industry?

Presenting the First Course of “Food Week” Here I sit in the Admirals Club at O’Hare, savoring the past six straight days of product sampling, speaking, and interviewing foodiepreneurs, restauranteurs, and food techpreneurs — as well as established name brands. The first three days were all about what’s new in the restaurant world (The National Restaurant Association Show and the “dessert” of the second…

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Old Dogs…New Tricks…7 Lessons Learned

I’ve been in Arizona just over six months now. About 200 days. At some point I’ll no longer be a stranger in this strange land. Moving alone to an all-new city (where I knew no one) has been an interesting adventure indeed. I’m chronicling my “new kid” experiences to motivate those of you who may be stuck in your own work and/or lives — whether you’re an old dog or a young pup. The past week was a…

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Cohabitation and New Habits

I moved into a new office at WeWork this month. Actually, two offices. My team is across the hall and I have my own private glass-enclosed “closet” space. It’s actually quite cozy. I have a desk, a computer, tchochkes, healthy snacks, a water bottle, and storage. A rug is on order. What more does a girl need? I have totally adjusted to the coworking thing. In our old space, we had a nicer view — but we were a little…

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Biz Trippin’: 10 Essential Excursions for Innovators (The Business of Fun #6)

How Can Summer Travel Make You a Better Leader? In 1976, John Reed had a vision for a new kind of bank while vacationing in the Caribbean. His “memo from the beach” gave rise to a new form of consumer banking and the ATM (which is taken for granted these days). Here we are, 40 years later. Although the beach is a great place to relax and come up with disruptive and creative ideas, you may not want to get a sunburn or you are too…

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My Community Chest

In Monopoly, you usually got $$ when you landed on that spot. I’m using it to refer to the interesting and varied collection of “communities” that I’ve gathered in my (virtual) chest since my move to Arizona about a year ago. Here’s a short list of the places and groups I frequent. As you think about your own life and business heading into 2019, make sure you’re a member of communities that inspire you and…

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Why you should keep your resolutions to yourself (and other end-of-year wit and wisdom)

I’ve lived through almost six decades of New Year’s eves. Some things haven’t changed. Others have evolved along with the tastes and trends of the times. To celebrate the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, here are 15 interesting, useful, and random tidbits about the final day/night of the year. Stop telling people your resolutions! An NYU study indicates that going public with your goals makes them less likely to happen. New

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10,000+ Lakes…11 Months…7 Reasons MN Wasn’t For Me

Damn you Mary Richards! You Led Me Astray! I grew up watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show, so I just assumed that I would be welcomed into the “newsroom” (or, in my case, a consulting gig and all-new city). I had my “Lou” but I discovered early on that I was not Mary (who grew up in Minnesota and was, therefore, an insider). I was Rhoda — the quintessential New Yorker. Outspoken, creative and worldly, I was a mis-fit…

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“Just touch it…”

“It’s so big!” I exclaimed. No, that’s not what this post is about you filthy-minded reader! It’s about my conflict between my undeniable attraction to new technology and how I’m consistently seduced into something bigger and presumably better, while still fretting about my dependence on my gadgets. I just upgraded to a Samsung 6+ Edge, which replaced my dying companion. The salesperson at the AT&T store…

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Like a Kid in a Candy Store…Literally

“The candy man can…He mixes it with love and makes the world taste good…” sang Sammy Davis Junior and several others. (See below and sing along!) So, when the National Confectioners Association invited me to speak at their annual Sweets & Snacks Expo (a panel on the women of the industry — see below), I felt a sugar rush indeed! I had been to the Expo once before and love the combination of big brands and new

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Class Act

Who will you be this semester? The start of the school year was always a chance for us to re-invent our personal styles and attributes. We shopped for the perfect book bag, lunch box,loose leaf binder, knee socks, and hairstyle. We returned to class, eager to see who was there and who got taller, thinner, or cooler over the summer. Although the term “personal branding” had yet to be coined, we were living the concept — using…

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

If you don’t believe my statement about breakfast, perhaps you will trust Fast Company. People who eat breakfast are 12.3% healthier throughout the day than those who don’t, according to this article. And loneliness can increase the risk of premature death by 14%, according to some studies. So, if I’m going to adapt to my new life in Arizona and enjoy the mountains and palm trees and booming tech economy for at least five decades, I…

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Thirst for Knowledge: What’s New in Nightclubs & Bars?

I was on a knowledge bender the past few days… Like a cerebral bar mop, I soaked-up trends and savvy at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas. Although I can’t possibly cover everything I learned and saw, here are some of the highlights…the people, technologies, and products that lead and transform the booze and nightlife business. It ain’t your momma’s pub anymore! (Find more about the history of the bar…

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Be Kind

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” I also like this quote from a random blog about kindness: “Kindness. It doesn’t cost a damn thing. Sprinkle that shit everywhere.” Not particularly poetic, but silly and honest. Kindness has been oh-so-important as I’ve settled in to my new home in Arizona. Despite all my social media, blog bravado (blogvado?) and photos of sunrises, exotic…

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Green is the New Green (Not Your Mama’s Marijane!)

Welcome to the Green Rush! When illegal becomes legal, innovation and prosperity follow. As do policy-makers, analysts, business consultants, manufacturing technologies, schools, job opportunities, and more! A few weeks ago, I wrote about my first exposure to the world of legal weed (the medical AND recreational aspects) and drawing parallels to the repeal of prohibition in America. Yesterday, I spent two hours at the Cannabis World Congress…

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Cast On & Sign-Up: First Steps in a New City

My last post (about MN) was a tad negative. But it generated 5,000+ views on LinkedIn and Facebook. “You should write a guide to navigating a new city,” my cousin commented. Well, that’s what I’m doing here. I’m on the third installment. Please subscribe and you’ll get the new ones as soon as I hit the blue WordPress button. And yes…I’m hoping a literary agent or publisher is reading this and I…

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You Gotta Move It! (What’s New in Video Marketing at WistaFest 2017?)

Video accounts for 74% of online traffic…. Training, ‘splaining, selling, entertaining, branding…video has many purposes. Just as YouTube and Vimeo became the consumer delivery channels for video, Wistia has become the business platform for video content. This small but mighty privately-held Massachusetts-based company just held its fourth WistaFest — a convergence of video producers, agencies, in-house video…

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What’s in your Trapper Keeper?

Back-to-school shopping used to be so simple If I were a 6th grader in 2015 I’d probably be having some kind of personal brand crisis right now. Back when I was a kid, my mom simply took me to Hartman’s, the low-key variety store on Union Turnpike and I picked out a new pencil case and various other simple things (like book covers, a protractor, a compass, and a marble notebook). Fast forward about 50 years… I stopped into…

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31 Little Disruptions

Buh-Bye January I declared last year that we all give up on big goals and, instead, focus on key operating principles (which I dubbed “My Mantra Method.”) And now it’s February. How are we doing? I confess I borrowed the title of this post from a TV show that I’ve become sort of addicted to. It’s really not all that good, but the concept is interesting in that we can never find ONE big thing that changes the…

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Caps & Gowns: Everyone’s Graduating

We’re in the midst of graduation season. Facebook is filled with videos of commencement speeches and happy families on campuses (and at nursery schools and high schools too). I was rummaging through a giant box o’ memorabilia this weekend and came across a hoarder’s delight of artifacts from all my school years and graduations…signed yearbooks, final papers and exams, reports cards and transcripts, and prom photos. I…

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I am a Comad

I’ve coined a new phrase. Comad = a co-worker who uses multiple locations. Does that make me comiscuous? Or do I have a fear of comittal? First, some background… For those of you who don’t know, co-working is (according to the Wikipedia definition) “a style of work that involves a shared workplace…and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those co-working are usually not employed by the same…

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Looking Backward…Moving Forward

Why do you look over your shoulder? Whether you’re driving or riding, glancing in your real view mirror or peeking behind you is important for safety — and perspective. I have a bad habit of dwelling on the past. But sometimes looking at where we’re coming from is important. It helps us avoid crashes. Having just come back from Interbike, my head is filled with touring/racing analogies. So please bear with me. In business and…

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The Settler Who Refused to Settle

And so begins the second quarter gold rush… If you’re reading this, you may be following along on my “pioneer” journey to the Southwest (Phoenix area, to be specific) that began in the fourth quarter of last year. The purpose of this serial blog (for those of you who are new readers) is to share my roadmap for breaking into a new geography or otherwise rebooting your life and business. Thanks for joining the wagon train. I’ll attempt to…

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Hack Your Vocabulary: An English Lesson for 2016-2017 Business

What better way to start the back-to-school/back-to-work season? The new economy has given rise to a whole new language. Just when we thought we’d mastered the lexicon of the Internet, the next wave of terms has us flummoxed and confounded. So, I’m going to play “Miss Nancy” (not to be confused with Miss Crabtree or the beloved Miss MacGillicuddy) and school you on some important words for 2016-2017 business. Some are…

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Who’s Looking at You, Kid? (Analyzing Your LinkedIn Data)

  Over the past 90 days, 427 people “looked” at me. I suppose that’s a good thing. 91% of them “took action,” last week which was up 82% from the prior week. The people who are looking at me on LinkedIn are an interesting mix. They are a diverse group of professionals (including accountants!!) and 8% of them came from Denmark. (What’s that all about?) All of that data — and more — is readily…

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Who Gets the Rose?

I confess…I am a closet “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” watcher. Yes, I publicly admit it. In fact, I am even using it as a metaphor for making business connections. For those of you who have more refined tastes than mine, here’s all you need to know… Throughout the season, the show has two kinds of dates – group and one-on-one. On the group dates, all the women (or men) compete with each other for attention. The one-on-ones will either result in…

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Don’t Touch That!

Learning to “let go” is one of the toughest things to do at work sometimes My 22 year old daughter called yesterday to tell me she’s getting an intern. We just hired a recent college grad at theONswitch. The fine art of interviewing and delegation is a big step, especially when you’re young and have never managed anyone before. (When I was in my 20s, I could barely manage myself. Suddenly having a “staff” was…

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Tech Day 2016 Part 1: Who Needs This?

I was a Tech Day virgin until yesterday. The experience of waiting on line to get in felt sort of cool. There I stood, with investors, New York City high school students interested in entrepreneurship, the media (which I am now, I suppose), and random consumers who just want to see “what’s new.” That’s why I was there. I’m always on the look-out for blog fodder, potential collaborators, and inventions that will…

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Nine Months: Re-Booting & Birthing

Don’t worry…this post will not include graphic photos or descriptions of labor. It is simply a recap of the past nine months (plus a week or so) in my business and life. I did something in December of 2017 that many describe as “bold.” I moved to Arizona, where I knew no one (other than my 92-year old mother in Tucson). I picked it because of the growth in the tech sector, among other things — including palm trees…

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Is There Life After Shoulder Pads? The New Working Mother

I was programmed, from the time I reached middle school, to have a “big” career. And I did it. I reached the C-level in corporate life, worked for major brands, and took no more than nine weeks of maternity leave when I had my daughters. Back then, the shortness of one’s leave was a badge of courage and achievement. (e.g., “I wrapped up a meeting…headed to the hospital…and gave birth!” “I was on…

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My Business Plan for the Soul: 2015

Ugh…resolutions. People are still making them. And some are even distilling them to 140 characters or #hashtags and posting them on Twitter. But they are so binary. And often broken. So, here I sit at the end of 365 days, having recapped 2014, and ruminating about the next 12 months. I’m also working on my company‘s plan for the year, so I figured, what the hell…I’ll just use the same basic concept. I’ll…

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My Night at the Geek Prom

I use the term “geek” with only fondness and admiration. Those of us who love technology are simply drawn to events that feature innovation superstars. This month, hundreds of us gathered at DesTech at the Camelback Marriott to see Steve Wosniak (aka the Woz) ride a Segway to the stage. Although his worth is valued at $100 million, those of us who were sitting in the press section were not served dinner, but it was a fun night…

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I’m in the mood for love. Are you?

February is my favorite month. First, because it’s all about love. And who can possibly think that’s bad. In fact, science has proven that love is good for your brain. It was in the New York Times. So it must be true. I love the New York Times, even though it’s now more of an app and a Twitter feed than a newspaper. I buy it sometimes on Sunday morning (or even Saturday night if I’m in the city). I will always love…

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Culture Shocks: Millennials & Boomers (Chapter 7)

Every generation has its tastes and habits regarding the arts and other experiences. Here are 10 fun facts about how millennials are consuming them: Millennials listen to 75% more music than Boomers. (Haven’t you noticed that ear buds abound?) Roughly $200 billionin the travel industry is attributable to Millennials and 78% of this group of travelers expects to learn something new on the road. (And they are sharing it with their friends;…

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What are the Men of Tech Wearing These Days? (And Other More Thoughtful Insights from Collision 2018)

Hats are hot. As are women in tech, and anything health- or fin-tech related. Oh yes…saving the earth is a top priority too. Because how will hundreds of thousands of people found new businesses (some of which we don’t really need) if they don’t have a planet to found them on? Al Gore keynoted on the first day. This was the best Collision yet. Perhaps it was because after three years I intimately know what it’s all about…

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Feed Your Head!

Nourishment takes many forms. Earlier this month I wrote about the Fancy Food Show, the place where people sample a wide variety and combination of treats and flavors. Just as we fuel our bodies with new and unique treats, we need to fill up our minds with unfamiliar ideas, skills, and dreams. But, like Cheese Doodles and Ring Dings, those thoughts can be “empty calories” and leave us feeling bloated and unhealthy. Be mindful of…

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March: When Bots & Bodies™ Collide

March is also a month when lions and lambs co-exist. But I opined about pigs last month and I don’t want my readers to think I only write about animals. In fact, I’m very focused these days on humans — how we interact with technology, how we treat each other, and what we’re consumed with. The “theme” of March seems to be DUETS — disparate combos of things that don’t typically go together naturally…

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Play Time: From Nice to Vice (The Business of Fun #9)

People love to play. Yesterday we wrote about trends in toys and games and their role in learning. How you play says a lot about your personality. The media has moved on from its obsession with Pokemon Go and is now covering Rio…these games are signs of the times and a nice break from the real-life drama of the U.S. elections. Gaming takes many forms. From Colorforms and Mr. Potato Head, the world has moved on to technology-enabled games….

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Teacher’s Pet…or Class Clown?

Kids are settled back in school… …and adults are settled back at work. We’ve traded in flip-flops for boots and are hunkering down in our offices and getting stuff accomplished. What else have you done in the past three weeks to get a solid start on the new “semester?” I’ve been catching up on reading (both for business and pleasure) and teaching myself some new tech skills. I launched a fresh weekly e-blast,…

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Month-End Close: Up 100%

I hated the end of the month when I worked in corporate life. We had the official “month-end close,” during which the finance department would be extremely cranky as they generated detailed reports to show how the company was doing. Then, marketing needed to explain any negative results. (Perhaps that contributed to my fiction writing skills.) Then, we would have big and boring meetings to explain ups and downs to senior management….

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Out of Fashion

New York Fashion Week is happening… (or, not happening, according to the New York Post, which claims that the style has been sucked out of this annual event. The fashion industry is HUGE! In the U.S. alone, people spend $250,000,000,000 on fashion. And annual global fashion industry revenue is $1,200,000,000,000. (Find more stats at the link below.) Body adornment is nothing new. (I’m still waiting for the designer loincloth to make…

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Collision Part 1: The Not-at-All-Vicious Circle

As my readers know, I adore conferences and trade shows. They make me smarter…I meet great new people…and I enjoy some bleisure* time. This week I’m at Collision, which has been described as “Coachella for geeks.” The title of this article is a wink to a different type of gathering. Read on and you’ll get it. Last night, Collision did one of the smartest and classiest things ever — they hosted a…

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Leaping, Learning, Love & Lists

Happy leap day! Because we get an extra day this month, I’ve decided to do another “report to the invisible board” on what I learned over the past 28+ days. I hope the Shareholders (i.e., my blog readers) approve and gain some wisdom/perspective too. In February I learned (in no particular order)… List posts are very effective (but shouldn’t be overdone) My personal posts perform way better than business-y ones….

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Monkey Business

Do you have fire in your monkey? In case you’re not in touch with the Chinese Horoscope, 2016 is the year of the red (fire) monkey. And it starts today. According to monkey analysts, we’re supposed to shake things up, create change, and innovate a new path. I’m having a Chinese identity crisis myself, because although I was born in a monkey year, my birthday technically fell on a sheep/goat year. So I guess I’ll just…

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Teacher’s Pet

Confession…I was an inadvertent suck-up as a kid I didn’t go out of my way to be the teacher’s pet. I was a shy and chubby good girl — more than a little geeky. And I was terrified of “getting in trouble” back then. And, at the risk of sounding like an egotist, I was pretty damned smart (streetwise and brainy). So my teachers naturally trusted me. I ran errands for them, read to the class when they had to…

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30 million Nutella lovers can’t be wrong. The power of community.

People just love to cluster. Whether it’s a work-related group, a fraternity, a book club, or the 30 million people who “LIKE” today’s holiday — #worldnutelladay — people simply want to belong. (For the genesis of World Nutella Day, just check out the link, below.) Seth Godin writes and speaks about Tribes. Communities can make change, educate, inspire, share ideas, or just hang out and have a good time. For…

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Cleaning the Crime Scene

We all have places that are spattered with “blood” This month’s theme for my business has been “spring cleaning,” and what better way to end the month than to write about the ultimate cleaning job — removing toxic waste from those places in our lives that are the scenes of moments we’d rather forget. For example: Places of business where our jobs totally sucked Restaurants and bars where we were dumped…

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Hot is Good

#itsthathot Let me explain… When I tell people I’m new to Arizona, the first thing they usually ask is, “Have you been here over the summer yet?” Soon I will be able to say: “Hell yeah…and I loved it!” I’m apparently not alone in that sentiment. Experience Scottsdale (the equivalent of the tourism department) launched a hot new website confirming that Arizona is indeed a little toasty in the…

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Invention…Reinvention…Reconnection…Gratitude!

We’re in the home stretch of 2016…and what a wild and wacky year it’s been! I’ve been neglecting this blog for close to ten days while I’ve been focused on getting my “new baby” (sheBOOM.com) out of the delivery room and into the hands of some competent caregivers. Recently, I’ve been writing lots of tips for small business owners about what they should be doing during the final six weeks of the…

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Changes

Life and business are full of changes… …some sudden and unplanned and some carefully orchestrated. But change is constant. Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Ben Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” And I say, “Just let go of the past and enjoy the…

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Travel, problems, time, and GRIT

I’m back from a 7-day journey (literal and metaphorical). It involved speaking at two conferences and touring two trade show floors, passing through seven cities (and over others), dealing with an airline fail that almost resulting in my missing a speaking gig, running my business remotely (including a major new media announcement for Booker), participating in my granddaughter’s baptism, meeting and speaking with at least 100 new

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All Work and No Play (The Business of Fun #5)

Although I love to write, this IS the weekend. So, rather than writing my “usual” 400-word trend piece, contrasting 1956 with 2016, I’m going to do something that’s easier and more fun…create a simple listicle. More substantial than a popsicle. But hopefully just as sweet and cool. By the way, I posted about listicles earlier this year and how they can be used as business tools. In any event, here are some ways to…

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Flippin’ Pages: Why I Still Love Magazines

I just spent $20 on magazines at the airport… Yeah, those things with colorful covers and pages that turn. I’m clearly not the only one reading and buying them because the selection was vast. Although I was really tempted to grab US, so I could read the Bachelorette’s secrets and the gossip about Prince’s death, I opted to go on a business, self-improvement, mindfulness, and innovation binge and I chose Fast Company,…

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Community…the way it used to be

I’m going to spend all of next week with real live human beings. What a concept! Community and content have taken on new meanings in the digital world. Communities are mass online targeted groups and content is what we post, blog, tweet, Instagram, and Pin. But that’s not real. People are real. I just moved into a new WeWork space and I was talking to the community managers about how I wanted to start a group of Boomer…

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Hot & Not

What I did on my summer (un)vacation… The temps in the city reached the 90’s and people got cranky at times. (They are the same people who will complain about the snow and cold this winter.) I love the heat. I simply strip off layers, avoid the subway, and escape urban life when I can. As an entrepreneur, I rarely take a true vacation. But I use the summer months to travel more, write more, walk more, drink more, and think more. I…

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The Uber of Nanas (Grandmotherhood Comes of Age)

I was appalled! Not a good thing on Mother’s Day Weekend. I searched for grandmother images on Google and my screen was filled with nasty and crazy-looking old women, with white hair and wrinkles and walking aids. I despise the term “glam-ma” because it implies that grandmothers are not naturally glamorous. I have become a disruptive (as in innovation) nana in many respects. I expect to live to be 120, which means that my new

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Body & Soul Food (Part 3)

As we wrap-up our recap of the Fancy Food Show 2016… we realize that we barely scratched the surface of the 180,000 products and 2,550 exhibitors. So far, we focused on high-level trends and women-owned brands in our summaries. This last post deals with a veritable trending tsunami — the wave of “healthy” and “natural” foods. As the Boomer population ages and Millennials become more aware of what they are…

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Hot Wheels (and Food, Fashion & Tech): INTERBIKE Part 3

“Best of Show” is a relative term. The fact is that I saw hundreds of cool and useful products and learned about lots of amazing non-profits, services, and inventions. But the experience of a brand is as important as the thing itself — especially at a trade show. The people at the booth, how they display and talk about their products/services, and the level of enthusiasm they convey make a huge difference. These 12 companies…

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12 Days…12 Grapes…12 Ways to Rock the Rest of the Year

As of tomorrow (12/20), only 12 days remain in 2015 Make each one count! You’ve probably heard of the 12 Days of Christmas. But apparently the number 12 has lots of other significance too. For more about the grape thing and other meanings of 12, click here. But back to these final 12 days. You don’t have to wait until midnight on December 31st to start making positive changes in your life. I put together this little list of 12…

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Monday Morning Quarterbacking: My Take on the Super Bowl Ads

Women & Technology & Idiocy: The Main Themes I’m so sad. I remember the days when Super Bowl ads were innovative, inspirational, and engaging. In summary, here’s my assessment for 2018. TECHNOLOGY: Amazon’s humorous take on “man versus machine” was brilliantly done. We’ve all become so dependent on our devices that even the most popular and influential celebrities can’t compete with…

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Reefer and Retail Madness

Prohibition has ended in Colorado! I spent a fun and educational weekend in Denver, learning first-hand what happens in a state when a ban on contraband has been lifted and new business opportunities are birthed. Americans have always had a love-hate relationship with controlled substances and, believe it or not, the repeal of alcohol prohibition nationwide didn’t really take hold until 1966, when Mississippi ceased to be a dry state. As…

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Craves and Faves

Best of Show During my second day at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York I focused on speaking to some of the exhibitors. Plus, my team and I selected our favorite foods and beverages (a difficult decision indeed, but see some of the highlights, below.) I also spent time talking to exhibitors about their philosophies around “free samples.” How do businesses ensure that real buyers are sampling their…

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What Did You Read in 2016? The Top 10…From Narcissism to Booze to Pain to Nana-hood

Hmmmm…the final post of 2016. And perhaps the final post on this laptop. It’s dying a slow death so I may splurge on a new “content machine” for 2017. I wrote more than 150 pieces this year (not counting the ones I contributed to other sites, including Huffington Post, Nightclub & Bar, Mogul, and my newest “baby” (sheBOOM). What I love most about this new era of content is that we can actually measure…

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Behind the Bar: The Evolution of the Drinking Establishment (The Business of Fun #10)

That demon alcohol is hardly a demon! A steadily-growing industry, the spirits world now accounts for approximately $212 billion in sales in the United States. What better chaser to a blog about the vices of Vegas than with stats, facts, and trends about the business of booze? Rumor has it that my grandfather was a bootlegger of sorts, so the business is in my blood. When I was asked to speak at the Nightclub & Bar Show, I celebrated by…

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What Would Lew Do? (A Father’s Day Tribute)

Ask most entrepreneurs and successful women and they’ll tell you… their fathers were an influence — positive or negative or some combination — on their leadership styles, confidence levels, and world views. Lewis (aka Lew) was my dad. He died way too young (64) and influenced my life as well as the lives of hundreds of women. An OBGYN, he brought new life into the world. Every woman he cared for, taught as a professor,…

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Woo Me…Don’t Stalk Me! (The Dark Side of Digital Connecting)

This month’s theme (because it’s June) is couplings and un-couplings. As my regular readers know, I tend to pick an major seasonal content theme each month and attempt to fit my posts under that umbrella (not unlike an old-fashioned magazine). Coincidentally, I just read a quasi-rant on LinkedIn about how the site is turning into a weird amalgam of Tinder and your worst nightmare of a random networking event. The post was a tad…

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Love is All You Need

Yes…I believe that. What better time than Valentine’s Day to ponder the role of love in business. Love conquers all. I’m not talking about office romance, although I seem to have become an overnight expert on the topic. (One of my books (not the AI one) led to two appearances on radio shows today to discuss workplace hook-ups and romance.) I’m returning this week to my ruminations about the 2018 “re-boot” and…

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Quality & Quantity: Should You Diversify?

Can quantity and quality co-exist? Yesterday, I posted about infobesity and infoxication — the over-consumption of data. We are living in a quantity world. People need to have a few jobs or specialties to make ends meet. Big brands need to diversify their product lines in order to grow, while trying hard not to jump the shark and make things that are inconsistent with their core competencies. (I am reminded of the floor wax/dessert…

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One Wise, Witty & Wired Woman

Innovation only happens when people break rules and question authority. That’s what I (Nancy A. Shenker aka the “Bad Girl”) have always done. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I wasn’t uber-popular as a kid, so I’m used to it. I’d rather be respected and remembered than revered. Girls are taught from an early age to be good. But we bad ones — the rule-breakers, the ones who question things, the…

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My Super-Natural Experience in Baltimore

180 Minutes…10,000 Steps…and the Disruption of the Doodle It was an interesting Saturday afternoon indeed. My readers know that I have a somewhat unnatural passion for trade shows and conferences. Having worked in the industry for three years and currently writing/speaking about innovation, I love to attend shows — especially related to food, technology, and lifestyle — and showcase what’s new and hot. Due to an…

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The Magic of the Diner

I started my Saturday with a diner breakfast…one of my secret passions. And, because blog inspiration can come from anywhere, I started thinking about coffee shops and diners and what’s so magical about them. Their history is sort of interesting (to me, anyway). Like Seamless, the concept of a diner was fed by (pun intended) a consumer need for convenience and speed. In 1858, Walter Scott seized an opportunity. Involved in the media…

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The Daisy Chain Gang

What’s a daisy chain, you may ask? I was really into them when I was a girl. I festooned my parents’ living room with them for my 12th birthday party (and they matched my pink and orange mini dress, because I was into branding even back then, I suppose). I went for the super-efficient chain — simple loops of construction paper strung together. (We don’t want our kids today strain their hands by operating scissors, so one…

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Like Tinder for Business?

I’m a sucker for new apps. So, I just downloaded something called Shapr, after reading about it somewhere. If LinkedIn and Tinder had a baby, it would be Shapr. Side note: I don’t love the branding…it sounds like Spanx-like hosiery…I want my business connections to be liberating, not suck in my chubby parts. Their logo is pretty cool. Very Venn-diagram-like. But I digress. The basic principle is that you enter your…

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Mr. Waters Was Correct

“You should be a writer,” said Mr. Waters. He was my 11th grade English teacher at Jamaica High School*. My father obviously thought so too and he submitted one of my poems to the New Yorker when I was only 10. (It was rejected.) Two college professors encouraged me to write and gave me lots of A’s. But we were heading into the greedy ’80s, so I became a marketer and banker/fintech executive (long before it was called…

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Tasty Morsels

Yum Yum. And Ka-Ching. The Summer Fancy Food Show is, by far, one of the most overwhelming and delicious business events of the year. Just as the old fashioned farmers market is a gathering place for fresh food (and the people who love it), the Fancy Food Show is the business-to-business equivalent of that. People gather to eat food, to celebrate food (and chefs), to talk about food, and to critique new food. Unlike a farmers market, it’s…

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Baby Sharks and the Sharknado of Entrepreneurship (Millennial Mania Chapter 8)

I’m sort of addicted to Shark Tank. It’s my go-to show when I need to relax, I’m too tired to read or exercise, and nothing wildly educational or entertaining is on TV. I just came across this article about the under-30 contestants to watch. What better time to blog about sharks than the weekend when Sharknado 4 is making its debut and I’m writing about millennials and how they differ from other generations. By the way,…

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The Annual Birthday List: Six Decades + 2 Bonus Years

This has become a new tradition…posting on the day of my birth. Next week, I will be returning to my series on how to move cross-country and way out of your comfort zone. But 62 (count ’em, 62!) years ago, my mother had to interrupt Groucho Marx (who was on TV, not in our home) to be rushed to the hospital by my father who was, ironically, an obstetrician. Fast forward six decades and then some. Mine is the first generation of women…

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Are you Fit? Do Things Fit? How Do You Fit In?

Or, are you simply fit to be tied? The word “fit” is just so cool. It’s only three letters but it’s pretty damned versatile. My January theme for business musings is always “survival of the fittest,” but that simple phase has taken on new meaning since it was coined in 1864. According to Wikipedia (the source of all truths), “‘fit’ generally now refers to ‘most well adapted to the…

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Hot Girls

No…not those kinds of hot girls. I’m referring to entrepreneurial, passionate, innovative, smart, and professional women who are changing the business world. In fact, they aren’t girls at all. They are all grown-up, savvy, and self-confident. The theme for August is “heat.” Temps are soaring here in New York, which is my inspiration. Like wildfires, great ideas can spread rapidly. But sometimes, igniting that first…

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Hooray! Here Comes Gen Z!! (Chapter 10 and Chapter 1)

Eyes and hearts wide open! This is the final installment of Millennial Mania…a 10-part overview of facts and trends you might find useful as you navigate the generational and digital divides. Before we move on to our August theme which is (literally) FUN — past and present — here’s a glimpse into the future. The next group (or cohort, as some of the articles like to call them, as if we are in the midst of some big…

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Out of the Kitchen and Into the Bank: The Women of the Food Industry

It all started with Mildred Pierce… I love that 1945 film. It’s about a woman who needs to make money and turns her ability to bake pies into a major chain restaurant business. (Her daughter is an evil spoiled brat, but let’s focus on the entrepreneurial part of the story for the purposes of this post.) This year at the Fancy Food Show we paid special attention to the great women who have mastered the recipe for financial…

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Pole Vault: Why We Love the Olympics (Fun #1)

We like to watch other people jump, throw, run and sweat. Starting August 5th, many of our TV-watching hours (2 hours and 49 minutes, on average) will be spent viewing the Summer Olympics. How many other activities have been popular since 776 B.C.? Why do we love the Olympics? It brings out our “we are the world” spirit and our competitive juices. Especially in a year where the political climate has made us wary of “foreign…

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Pedal Pushers: Bicycles & Lifecycles at Interbike

Talk to anyone about bicycling and he/she has a memory. Whether it’s the first time his parents took off the training wheels or when she took a winding magic ride to escape through the neighborhood or mountain trails. Bicycles are more than a self-propelled transportation mode. They represent freedom, speed, nature, and challenge. From messengers to gym cyclists…from road racers to adventure travelers to urban commuters…we are…

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From Wifi to Waffles (Bites & Bytes Part 2: The Diner Experience)

“Feed me!” Isn’t that ultimately what a consumer wants from a restaurant, food truck, delivery service, or take-out window? It’s not that simple. Not only does a consumer want to be satiated by food, he or she now expects (dare I say demands?) a seamless experience…from finding the exact taste he’s looking for…to reserving a table…to wait time…to payment. PLUS the experience of dining itself…

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Hot & Bothered

August is here. The temps in New York hit a high of 81 degrees, but gradually fall as the month goes on. Although August is also viewed as a big vacation month for many, a lmost 1-in-4 Americans do not receive any paid vacation. Pretty sad, right? People around me are constantly saying, “The summer is almost over,” which I find terribly depressing. They are implying that all fun will instantly stop at Labor Day and we’ll all…

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Weeding Out the Facts: Part 1 of a Series on Cannabusiness

“Cannabis means business.” That’s the registered trademark of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, a conference and tradeshow that’s sponsored by the International Cannabis Association. I attended the show as a member of the press (i.e., a professional blogger and writer) and here is the first of a 3-part series on what’s really going on in the wild world of weed, a blooming industry that’s…

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Swipe & Go Travel Apps (The Business of Fun #7)

I called my travel agent today. Her company ProTravel calls itself and its agents “The Human App.” After an hour or so of window shopping and viewing flight times and tooling around on a variety of sites, I gave up and picked up the phone. Within minutes we had worked out my next summer jaunt. She was able to give me an objective view on a couple of options and told me that I would be getting all kinds of goodies because the hotel…

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Women at Your Service (The Behind-the-Scenes Story)

Women abound in service businesses. And 44% want to grow them. The service sector includes businesses like theONswitch (professional services), personal care (like spas and salons), gyms and kids’ play places, and (more recently) tattoo parlors, cryo centers, and auto repair shops. I guess we women like to care for people. And we like to connect with other people who work in similar fields to share stories and solutions. As we all know,…

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5 ways to grow a bigger brain in January

I’m at that age where I worry about my brain.* I sometimes forget stuff. And I can’t concentrate on reading long books as much as I used to (Damn that Twitter!) But I make a point of exercising my head along with my body these days. And you can too! (Why do I suddenly feel like the Richard Simmons of cerebral aerobics?) Here are my five tips for staying mentally fit. They seem to work for me. Download Flipboard and create a custom…

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Part 3: Where the Hell are you Going?

I don’t believe in resolutions. But I do believe in goals. Simple ones. Baby steps. The things you can do every day to innovate…to break bad habits…to become a better person and more successful business leader. In a few weeks, a new year will happen. Why should it be like this year? You can make it better. Don’t just let life happen to you. Make change. Listening to people whine about all the stuff that they can’t…

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Slow Down…You Move Too Fast!

And yes, I’m feeling groovy.* I’m not just rationalizing my move from New York. (Well, maybe a little!) Even WebMD says that slowing down is good for ones health. I realized this weekend that although I’m moving as quickly as ever at work (maybe even speedier because I’m consulting to a high-growth company), I’m starting to alter my pace when I leave the office — and that’s a good thing. A life-long New

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Booze Clues: What’s Brewing in the Liquor Industry? (Business of Fun #13)

Have you ever heard of a beer farm? It’s a real thing. Just as I was preparing to write the last post in this 4-part review of the history of and trends in the booming spirits industry (covering evolution, business management,and technology), an article popped up in my feed (pun intended) about the “farm to bottle movement.” Although small-batch breweries have been around for a while, this social enterprise near Vancouver…

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A Man Walks Into a Bar: Bar Technology is No Joke (Business of Fun #12)

A Man Walks Into a Bar… Although “walks into a bar” jokes may never go out of style, the process in which one actually walks into a bar has changed radically. “Do you like our new lamps?” That was the question the bartender at the Hillstone on East 53rd Street asked us. I hadn’t really noticed, but I suddenly became aware of how the lighting level totally changes the mood of a bar. Dim lighting, mellow jazz,…

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Pole-ing Place: Two Days at the Gentlemen’s Club Expo

NOTE: If you are easily shocked or made uncomfortable by this type of stuff, please stop reading now. Every industry has its association. And many professional speakers (like yours truly) are willing to work with and share their expertise with small business owners and managers and keep them abreast* of trends, marketing techniques, and business operations innovations. That’s how I wound up on a trade show floor at the 2017…

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Are you dirty?

I figured that would be a good title for my first entry in a blog entitled “Bad Girl, Good Business.” As we enter the spring cleaning season, we start to change over our closets (literally and figuratively). We look at our 2013 tax returns and may think about stuff we spent money on last year that we really didn’t need. Or, contemplate the stuff we need but can’t quite pull the trigger. We have an opportunity to…

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Meats and Treats

It’s a fact… People will line up for many minutes for pork, chocolate, and booze. I type with my chubby salt- and sugar-infused digits after a day at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York. I watched hoards of restaurant owners, chefs, caterers, and other food service professionals wait patiently for bits of bacon and sausage, cupcakes and cookies, and beer, cider, and other alcoholic beverages. The line for…

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All it Takes is 140 Characters…

Twitter turned 10 yesterday. Happy belated birthday to the bird! Soon after the invention of Twitter, I was at PodCamp (not to be confused with Band Camp) It was one of the first gatherings heralded as an “unconference” and it was back in 2007 (the MySpace era). Attendees tweeted to each other about which sessions were worth attending. I have always been something of a short form writer and I like talking to strangers, so I got into…

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Kill the Business Dust Bunnies!

Spring is finally here. Time for spring cleaning. Not just your pantries and toilet. (Can I say toilet in a business blog?) Now is as good a time as any to take stock of what you’ve been doing during the first quarter of 2016 and toss away some of those bad work habits. We love to talk about how busy we are. And how that gets in the way of making change. But if we just threw away or tweaked one habit each day, our filthy closet (the…

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The $6.7B Weed World (Business of Fun #14)

Yup…that’s $6.7 billion. $6,700,000,000, for those of you who still haven’t wrapped your head around it and like to see big numbers. That, according to Fortune, is the estimated size of the legal cannabis industry as of 2016. The Colorado cannabis business alone has generated $486 million this year…up from the previous year and has resulted in new jobs. Recruiting firms, tour companies and marketing agencies are forming,…

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Life and Death Online

My little brother just died at the age of 56. Blogging about it seems a bit odd, but also fitting. Abe (named after my grandfather) was always a tech guy. He composed music on his computer long before it was cool and common to do so. An engineer, his last job was for a company that developed voice recognition software and he proudly took me on a tour of their offices near Boston. Even as a kid, he was always “experimenting” with…

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Being Meerkatty

First, what’s Meerkat? Meerkats are African animals of the mongoose family who live in groups known as gangs, mobs, or clans. They also apparently make cute chattering sounds. And a different kind of Meerkat (capital M) was all the rage at SXSW. It’s basically an app that allows one to shoot real-time video and post it in the moment. Just so a mob of meerkats, the media and self-proclaimed social media gurus have been scampering…

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The Birthday Reborn: 6 Facts & Thoughts

Yesterday was my birthday. I’m not writing this so you could wish me a happy birthday. In fact, I was shocked that more than 225 people wished me one via Facebook, which is what inspired this post. As I sit in a hotel in Chicago, enjoying my special weekend, I realize that birthday joy, like everything else in the world, has been impacted by technology and changes in the way people live. The birthday celebration had its origins in ancient…

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Old Bag

I am certainly not an old bag. Or a lunatic feminist. In fact, I’m smarter, calmer, more strategic, and more capable than I’ve been in my entire life. I have more energy and more perspective. I’ve been a C-level executive, an entrepreneur, a professional speaker/writer, a mom (and now a grand mom). I try not to be angry. But I can’t help but be a little pissed off when I read articles like this. I just learned that…

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Say What? (Do You Know How to Listen?)

Clean out your ears! Active listening is as important as vision. If only people could just improve their listening skills by using a box of Qtips (which, by the way, were originally called Baby Gays — I kid you not!) I was speaking with a colleague this morning about all the mistakes I made early on in starting my business. At least half of them could have been avoided if I listened to the right people. Why don’t we listen…

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The 7 Series Part 2: Commtentment and Other Endearing Terms

No…that’s not a typo. It’s a mash-up of community and communications and content (and other stuff), one of the themes that will flow through 2017. I’ll define it for you soon…read on, please! A few weeks ago, I wrote about the meaning of the number 7 and gratitudes for the coming year. Because I’m something of an writing geek, I’ve also been ruminating on the 7 words that will be important to me in the…

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Meet the Two-Headed Monster

Journalism and marketing… The line has been getting really blurry for quite some time. I just read a great (unsponsored) article in the New Yorker about product placement and sponsored content. I had meetings this week in which I spoke to both the editorial and the advertising sides of a major brand. (They were not only totally separate…they were located in completely different wings of a large office complex.) But that seems to be…

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Class Trip

Exploration = education Before my daughter started college, she went on an adventure in the wilds with some other students. I decided that before the fall/winter work frenzy kicked in that I would take my own “field trip” to somewhere I’d never been before. I was both the student and the chaperone. In school, we usually had to write a summary of our class trips and what we saw/learned. Here’s my executive summary…

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Saturday Night at the Movies (Business of Fun #17)

We love to watch. When we aren’t attending festivals, listening to music, or traveling this summer, how else are we amusing ourselves? Since 1905, people have been spending a day or night at the movies. Sitting (or sprawling — more about that later), we stare up at a big screen and laugh, cry, hold hands, squirm, and scream. High ticket prices and the availability of movies in your own home 24/7 are just a couple of the reasons that…

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As Seen on TV (Business of Fun #18)

From big screen to small screen to tiny screen… Yesterday’s post was all about the fun we have going to the movies. But we also like to be entertained and escape from the privacy of our own homes, offices, gyms, and public transportation systems. Television has been around since 1927. It was, in fact, invented by a 21 year old (who lived in a house without electricity until he was 14). The word “television” was first…

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Tech and Sex: Wasted on the Young? (Chapter 2 of Millennial Mania)

“Sex is wasted on the young…college is wasted on the young…youth is wasted on the young.” These are all expressions I’ve heard throughout my 60 years on earth, and I tend to agree with all of them (although I might not have when I was younger). I’m adding another one to the list…tech is wasted on the young. Or, more accurately, millennials “get” tech, but only a millennial/Boomer…

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First Runner-Up

I’m ready to get the crown now. Please vote for me! I’m up for the Rule Breaker Award. And I really really really want to win. I’ve always been pretty comfortable being the woman behind the brand. Or behind the man. Or the woman. I was never the “Most Popular” or “Prettiest” or “Coolest” when I was a little girl. I was chosen to demonstrate “New Math” or to read a book to the…

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Listen Up, Young Ladies! (Millennial Mania: Chapter 5)

Sorry if this sounds all preachy and school-marmy. I can’t help myself. As a mentor of young women and women business owners, a mom/grandmom of girls, long-time boss-lady, and consultant, I sometimes go there. But it comes from a place of love. I truly want the next generation of young women to prosper, find balance, and most important be valued — professionally and personally. Although the pay gap is closing for millennial women,…

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We All Scream for Ice Cream (Business of Fun #23)

Yes…I’m dedicating an entire post to ice cream. As long as I’m writing about the business of food, I believe that the cold sweet stuff deserves its own post. After all, the average American eats 22 pounds of it EACH YEAR. What’s also fascinating from a business perspective is that the majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years and many are still family-owned….

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Prison Break

Sometimes you just have to bust out! I made a somewhat impulsive decision to flee my office and New York and attend an expo in Chicago. (I was offered a free pass — sort of like release for good behavior.) My inner warden and guards came up with lots of reasons why I shouldn’t go. Too much work back at the office Perhaps I’d miss something cosmic in New York over those two days The cost of the flight The hotel wouldn’t…

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Comics Relief (Business of Fun #24)

Long before memes and GIFS… The comic book made us laugh (sometimes). My latest “Business of Fun” post scooped up a taste of the $11 billion ice cream industry. Now we’ll turn the page to another childhood treat; one that grew into a highly-profitable industry — comics. They take the form of comic books and comic strips. The size of the comic book industry is estimated at $800 million and some publishers are…

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Branded Content? Bah Humbug!

Boys & girls…here’s a holiday secret… Great storytelling is nothing new! And yet, the media is now all buzzing about “branded content” and “content marketing” as if digital natives and big brand companies just invented the idea of saying something interesting and compelling. The good news is this…we have stopped focusing exclusively on the MEDIA and have started focusing on the MESSAGE and the…

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Too Busy to Read This Post? (BS!!)

“I’m soooo busy!” has become way too common a phrase. I’m guilty of using it myself at times. Although sometimes life and business seem out of control and overwhelming, we can still choose how we spend our waking hours. We can plan, ask for help and delegate, eliminate tasks that make no sense, and set priorities. Last year, I decided to free-up time for exercise, writing, more sleep, volunteering, and a better social…

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Too much dip! Where’s the casserole?

What do you do when a collaboration or team effort is imbalanced? This is the last installment of my July “food for thought” series and I’ve been thinking about the parallels between business interactions and potluck meals. (Yes…I am running out of clever analogies, so I have to begin a new theme.) “Bring whatever you want!” is a concept that doesn’t work particularly well in either life or business….

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Miss Popularity

Why do you want to be LIKED, followed, endorsed, and viewed? In this weird new digital world, you don’t have to actually DO, DISCOVER, or MAKE anything amazing to be a “media star.” You just have to be out there. In fact, a friend from my former trade show life just launched VidCon, for online video stars. (Yes…it’s really a thing.) The other strange phenomenon in today’s media world is the proliferation of…

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Booze…weed…sex…but not baseball!

Today is fabulous fun Friday. The week is ending. I’ve diligently blogged about serious business stuff like Google, time management, how to get smarter, social media popularity, career fit, and experience marketing. Now it’s time to unplug and talk about vices and leisure activities (and their business trend implications, of course!) Baseball was America’s favorite pastime 100 years ago. Now 95% of people watch TV every day….

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Yee-Haw! So Begins My 2019 Plan

Well, actually my plan starts with a list of 2018 accomplishments. But the header could have just as easily been “Yee-Haw!” which is defined as “an expression of enthusiasm or exuberance, typically associated with cowboys or rural inhabitants of the southern US.” Although I’m not currently rural, I’m about 20 minutes away from Cave Creek, which is filled with cowboy (and cowgirl) history. In the plan (which…

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Spirituality, Savvy & Supergirls: Business Tripping in 2016

Business trips can be mundane…or they can be transformative. I’m working hard to ensure that most of my work trips are the latter rather than the former. My latest one was particularly eclectic and eye-opening. I won’t bore you with all the details…just a bulleted summary of the highlights. Then, I’ll offer up a few tips on how to make the most of your own time on the road. En route to speak at the BIA/Kelsey…

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Tales of Content Horror: How to Exorcise Your Content Marketing

Content marketing “ninjas” are the 2016 equivalent of social media “gurus” Writing a blog or two, posting on Instagram and Snap, and speaking at a conference seems to be the new M.B.A. of Content Marketing. One doesn’t need to have a track record of delivering ROI, or experience managing the sales funnel, or proper use of a tech stack to put on the ninja costume, run a series of seminars, and advise on what to post. (By…

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Kiss & Make-up! The Big Business of Face Paints (Fun #3)

What’s on YOUR lips? The cosmetics industry has grown to $60 billion (and climbing) and Sephora has close to 2,000 locations worldwide. The retail make-up giant is now using its Innovation Lab and next-gen technology to create “virtual cosmetic experiences.” How did this all get started? Yesterday, our second installment in our August “Business of Fun” series dealt with business casual and the impact of how you…

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Fests and Cons: When & Why People Gather (Business of Fun #16)

Music, comic books, sports, porn, movies, food, pets… What do they all have in common? These and other passions draw fans together. From Woodstock to Burning Man…from Play Fair to the Lowville Cream Cheese Festival, millions of people flock to tens of thousands of places to eat, drink, and be merry with like-minded consumers. Comic Con draws close to 170k attendees. That’s a whole lotta fans! The festival probably has its…

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Geography Lessons

I write this from the air… as I head back from a five-day journey, which included Los Angeles and Houston. Air travel these days is no big deal (if you exclude the aggravation of delays, frequent flyer blackout dates, unpleasant airline employees, strip searches at the TSA station, and carb-laden airplane food). Here’s what airplane travel looked like in the dark ages of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember those days. WARNING:…

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e-me! Why e-marketing needs to be part of your mix in 2016!

e-marketing is still alive and well… Perhaps it’s even more important than ever before. Yes, your inbox is jam-packed with all kinds of spammy crap. I get that. I certainly delete my share of random e-mails each day. But I still send out a monthly e-newsletter and targeted blasts to audiences after I teach workshops. Here’s why. If done well, e-mail marketing is: DIRECT. You may be posting on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and…

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In My Bear Skin

While Kim Kardashian was sharing her big shiny booty and breaking the Internet this week… I was sharing good clean marketing wisdom with 200+ franchisees of the Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts. What a welcoming, smart, resourceful, hard working, and fun group! They all deserve Yogi Bear hugs! (I’m talking about the warm and loving kind — not the wrestling maneuver.) My colleagues and friends know I’m more of a glamper than…

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Making Beautiful Music Together

I went to the Monkees 50th reunion concert last night. Davy Jones is gone. And Michael Nesmith was dialed-in via Skype for one song. (Random fact: Nesmith’s mother, a typist, invented Liquid Paper. I came across that fact one day when researching women entrepreneurs and inventors for sheBOOM.) So, although only 50% of the Monkees appeared on stage, I realized a few things about bands and how the dynamic is very similar to business work…

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House of Wax and Celluloid

I’m working out of WeWork Hollywood this week. Since I was a little girl, I have been a tad obsessed with old Hollywood and the film business in general. It makes sense. I love make-believe and dress-up. My passion and profession have always involved telling stories in a compelling way…turning realities into believable fictions (i.e., marketing)…and glamming people and things up, while still keeping their souls intact (i.e.,…

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Why is Your Business Like a Bar or Nightclub? (Business of Fun #11)

You may promote Friday happy hour, but that’s not the whole answer. Yesterday, I wrote about the colorful history of the drinking establishment and the size of the spirits industry. What many people from outside the industry don’t realize is that it’s a vast and complex business with lots of moving parts and challenges. Although technology can help build a bar business (the topic of this weekend’s post), drinking spirits…

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Bad Girls Drink Whiskey

So do hipsters, apparently. I went through a “brown booze” phase in college and now the trend seems to be back. I had the pleasure of attending the Crain’s “Made in New York” show and conference today. Brooklyn has become the epicenter of food alchemy and great package design. Although I wasn’t quite ready to down a tumbler of rye at 11am, I enjoyed talking to the owners of Widow Jane Distillery. (Seems to be…

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Don’t Stand So Close to Me…Is Proximity Marketing Cool or Creepy?

Not only will Santa know if you’ve been naughty or nice this year… But he may also know exactly when you’re leaving for grandmother’s house…and his brand elves may encourage you to stop for a pumpkin spice latte en route. When you see mommy kissing Santa Claus, you can capture the moment with Snap’s Spectacles and make sure her moment doesn’t remain secret for long. In short, privacy is a ghost of…

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Can’t we just let it snow?

The meteorologist seems to be the new rock star. He (or she) predicts a storm and the report sets off a chain reaction, in both the conventional (TV/radio) and digital (web) world. The media pounces on it immediately. Last night, I saw this article about the impending snow storm on the east coast. Although we can’t control the weather, we seem to be doing a damned fine job of analyzing it. A Google search for “New York Snow…

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Machines, Makers, Marketing & Mulch

This has been a week of contrasts to be sure! My week began with my making (with Jim D’Arcangelo and contributions by others) a book and e-book about how machine learning and AI will transform the marketing world. I then attended a terrific thought-provoking conference called Street Fight Summit about how technology will enable businesses to market at a local level more effectively and give consumers exactly what they want, when they…

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De-Burbanizing (aka Farewell to Lawns)

WARNING: This is one of those self-indulgent blog posts that has very little to do with business (unless you’re a working mother or woman Boomer, in which case you might find it inspirational). If you’re really busy at work and are looking for tips on how to make money, network, develop an app, track trends, or hire staff, or you are a LinkedIn content purist, please click away! In less than a week, I will no longer be a suburban…

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Then why don’t you marry it?

Yes, I am quoting Pee Wee Herman. He married a fruit salad in a formal ceremony. But let’s get back to business… In the words of Dr. Joyce Brothers, “Marriages, like careers, need constant nurturing… the secret of having it all is loving it all.” As we continue with our June theme of “marriage and divorce” (literal and metaphorical) I am not proposing that you nurture or marry a fruit salad. This post…

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Weed People: The Human Side of Cannabusiness

Inhale these insights… I’m taking a break from my Thanksgiving-themed blog posts this week to talk about a different kind of harvest — the rapidly growing cannabis business and the people who are in it. As of now, twenty-three states and DC have legalized medical marijuana and four states and DC have legalized recreational weed. Here’s a recap. I’ve been spending time recently around people who are involved in the…

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Factory Reset…Reboot…Erase…De-Tox…Buh Bye!

I was gifting an old laptop to a friend recently. Hitting that button that returns everything to factory settings is a little frightening, but always liberating. I’ve done it with my phone too, and it always provides a great opportunity to remove apps, contacts, and messages. So, in 2017 — along with my move to MN — I am restoring myself to factory settings. I have unfriended countless people over the past week (literally and…

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Are You the Doughnut or the Hole? (Or Maybe the Coffee?)

Today is National Doughnut Day. It’s one of those great fauxlidays. It started in 1938 and many retailers have capitalized on it by offering free sugary carbs to consumers. But because my June content theme is “couplings and uncouplings,” I had to think of a way to create doughnuts to business relationships…so here you go! (Yes…I’m not a one-woman free-association content game show. But as long as people keep…

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Change Pox: An old disease that lives on in all of us

It’s like shingles (but not) Shingles is one of those creepy diseases that lives on in ones body and “comes alive” when someone is faced with stress or a compromised immune system. Many of us think that we’ve completely recovered from past experiences, beliefs and habits. But then we encounter something dramatic (sudden change in our business or personal lives, a new challenge, stressful circumstances) and are overcome…

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Screw the Shadow…Drink a Beer Tonight!

I love the concept of fauxlidays… like Festivus on Seinfeld or the myriad events created by brands as an excuse to sell more product or the Hallmark Holidays of yore (before we started sending e-cards rather than paper ones) or SantaCon, an event dreaded by law enforcement officers and mothers. (See this post I previously wrote about holidays and fauxlidays.) Fauxlidays (and real holidays) are terrific for small- and mid-sized businesses….

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S’more Smarts

I just came back from camp (in a manner of speaking). I went to the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference. One of the main topics of conversation was the notion of 21st Century Leadership, and how most companies believe that today’s college graduates are totally unprepared to enter the working world. Sadly, I agree. In fact, a national initiative called P21 is underway (because every initiative needs a catchy name, right?) But…

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In Your Face: The Obsession with Posing

Who would ever guess that I would learn how to “model” at age 60? I know how to take a good selfie or usie. I know which my good side is. And I know how to use cropping and filtering tools so that I look svelter. I was playing around with Snapchat last night, as a follow-up to my blog, and the message popped up that said, “Press and hold on your face to use Lenses.” What was scary is that I understood what that meant….

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Part 1: OK…You f#cked up…now what? How to own your 2015 screw-ups

Yeah, we all screw up. This is part 1 of 3-step process for getting ready for the new year — in business and in life. It’s going to be a little painful, so be sure you’re feeling good about yourself before you get started. It’s pretty simple. Open up a document or take a piece of paper (old school) and divide it into three columns. First (in the left column…duh!) make a list of the 7 biggest mistakes you made in…

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Porn-Normalcy: Is Sex Just Another Job? (Business of Fun #15)

The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice dissolved in 1950. But vice is alive and well. We’ve been blogging about other vices this week — booze and cannabis. So, it seems only natural that we should move on to sex (followed by rock and roll). This great article in Forbes covers the history of “sex as business” and brings to light the fact that things that used to be considered taboo are now fairly mainstream….

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Brain Food: Delicious Insights from the Fancy Food Show (Part 1)

I love the food business. What’s not to love? The people in it are passionate about what they do. The product varieties are virtually unlimited. It’s a super-complex industry — involving everything from chemistry to packaging to distribution to marketing, and much more! But it’s also an incredibly difficult and competitive business — one that is constantly evolving as a result of consumer tastes and trends and…

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Again, and again, and again…

The movie Groundhog Day contains some significant business and life lessons. Perhaps that’s hard to believe. When the movie came out in 1993 it was met with a tepid box office and ho-hum reviews. And there’s the first lesson. A venture that’s not an immediate commercial success can still have staying power. In fact, it’s being “repurposed” as a musical in 2017. Seriously. And, in fact, it’s been deemed…

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Down the Drain…My Year-End Ephiphany

Buh-bye. Just like that, on the day before Thanksgiving, all my contacts vanished from my smartphone. (It may be smart, but apparently it has a limited memory, as it keeps telling me — even after I deleted thousands of messages and pictures.) I remained strangely calm. I visited two AT&T stores and spent about an hour on the phone with a very nice tech dude, but no one was able to bring my contacts back. “Storage space running…

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We love to watch…

Hooray for Hollywood! The Oscars are coming up on Sunday, February 22nd. I love the movies. When I was a kid, I took every book about the history of film out of the East Hampton Library and studied-up. Yes, I was a little nerd. But I was also passionate about watching movies and I wanted to know how storytelling evolved from voice to stills to motion pictures. Cecile B DeMille is either rolling over or laughing in his grave. About a billion…

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Wonder Woman: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Since its opening, Wonder Woman has generated lots of social media chatter — and even more revenue… In fact, close to $300 million worldwide to date. It’s the most Tweeted film of all time and is being touted as both a summer action blockbuster and the ultimate woman’s superhero film. SPOILER ALERT If you haven’t seen the movie yet, please see it first and then read this post. Here are my own inspirational insights…

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I’m sorry!

Today’s post is about forgiveness. And yes, I have been given special permission by a higher power to blog on Yom Kippur, because this piece of writing deals with atonement. This holiday is the Jew’s efficient way of dealing with sin (a relative term), anger, and human frailty. We fast and (in addition to thinking about how hungry and cranky we are at times), we review the moments over the past year when we slipped up (or were…

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Voracious App-etite (What Apps are hot for 2016?)

Apps used to mean appetizers. A gastronomic tie-in exists, as we seem to be gluttonous when it comes to apps. We use them for all kinds of things — to stay organized, to find stuff, to connect with each other, to stockpile and rate music, films, booze, and food. Here are the most popular apps of 2015. Seems as if social interaction and navigation are among the main reasons we love our apps. What could be hot this year? Here’s one…

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Pre-Season Try-Outs: Why Every Founder Needs “Gym Class”

Here’s Installment 2 of our “Go the Head of the Business Class” series! Every founder and entrepreneurial professional (of any age) should take a cycling class (or indulge in some other activity that produces sweat and pain and pushes you to your limits). Just as gym class was mandatory in most schools (including the University of Michigan), exercising once you’ve graduated is a great way to keep your head clear, your…

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Disgusting Table Manners

Put your napkin in your lap before you read this. This month, our theme at theONswitch is food. We are going to the Fancy Food Show and we are hungry for innovation and new business. The word “consumption” has oh-so-many meanings — at and away from the table. Some people belch at the table, chew with their mouth’s open, eat off other people’s plates without asking, and are rude to (or under-tip) the service staff….

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Loving Cups (How to Win Awards)

“You like me…you really like me!” That’s what Sally Fields said when she accepted her 1984 Oscar for Places in the Heart. (See below for some facts about the science of positive feedback.) I won two awards this year, and it made me feel pretty damned proud (although I didn’t have an opportunity to deliver an acceptance speech). The most recent was for the new blog sheBOOM, targeted at women in service businesses….

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Bad Boyfriends and Good Hires

Finding the right guy is a lot like finding the right employees When the thrill is gone, you should move on! I had dinner last night with a woman who had been married three times. A few nights ago, I was hanging out with a woman who was delighting us with bad Tinder date stories. We’re in the process of re-staffing and growing my marketing consulting company (theONswitch, for those of you who are naive enough to believe that content…

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Hot Spots

What are YOU looking at? Since our August theme is heat, I began searching for hot things that are business-related. First, I babbled about self-assured women. Now I’m moving on to something more scientific — heatmaps. For example, we’re all starting to see those Choropleth maps pop up all over social media sites. Simply put, people just take statistical data and color-code it on a map to make it easy to digest. (As we know,…

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That Disney Magic

Perhaps I’ve been oblivious. Or, just a die-hard New Yorker who believes that the only great entertainment is in my own backyard. Or, maybe it’s because my daughters are older. (Even when they were younger, they sort of knew that Disney Princesses weren’t real people.) In any event, I’ve been living in a Disney-free zone for many years. Of course every conference I attend seems to have a “Do it Like Disney”…

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Skorts and Snapchat: The Rise of Fashion Tech

The Met Gala has New York (and the fashion world) tweeting. The theme of this year’s fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Not only has technology had an impact on design and manufacturing, the fashion world and the tech world are converging in many ways. As I was cleaning out my house this weekend, I came across Palm Pilots and palazzo pants. The kind of device you carry…

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Sex Sells

“Porn” and profits. They go together like Masters & Johnson and Lady Chatterley and her Lover. (Of course, the term “porn” is the eye of the beholder. Here’s a very dry and clinical definition by PBS. It’s enough to suck all the eroticism out of the word.) The industry is estimated to be $13 billion in the U.S. alone, and porn sites make up 12% of web content, probably beating out silly cat videos….

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No Reservations: 3 Days at the National Restaurant Show

“I’m going to the NRA Show,” I mentioned to colleagues. “I didn’t know you were into guns,” they replied. Despite the confusing acronym (NRA is the National Restaurant Association), the only shots that were fired this week were the ones in the Bar section of the show, as attendees sampled the latest liquor brands and mixers. From the first POS (that’s point-of-sale) demo to the last PIB (that’s…

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When a Millennial Fires a Boomer (Chapter 9)

Buh bye! Just as I was pondering how to wrap-up the final two “chapters” in my Millennial Mania series, I spoke to a 20-something Millennial (M) business owner who told me he just had to fire a Boomer (B) employee. We all hear lots of stories about friction between M’s and B’s in the workplace, but it usually entails B-bosses and their mutterings about the work ethnic, sense of entitlement, and fickleness of M team…

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Smarty Pants: The Year in Review

Another year is almost over. We’re all a little older…but are we wiser? Media outlets are publishing “Best Of…” lists, so I decided to do my own. But “Best” is a pretty strong word. Instead, I’m going to focus on what I learned over the past twelve months (or 11 months and 26 days…I might still learn a thing or two in the moments that remain). Every year has its ups and downs; its moments of…

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The Gang’s All Here…

I’m not talking about hoodlums (although I have met some unsavory types on the road). I’m referring to “communities” or “tribes” (as Seth Godin calls them) or “associations.” These are the business gangs that gather across the country for the purposes of education, entertainment, schmoozing with other like-minded people, and (sometimes) getting stupid drunk in hotel bars. This year, I’ve…

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Table for 783 Billion, Please! (Business of Fun #22)

What’s the significance of 783 billion? That’s the total sales in the restaurant industry — $783 billion! Yesterday, we whipped up a batch of facts about dining in and home cooking. Today, the focus is dining out. We clearly love to do that. For the first time in history, people in the U.S. are spending more money dining out than buying groceries. And even when we eat in these days, we sometimes order in food from restaurants…

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Something Smells Funky!

The nose knows. In the third installment of my “keep your body parts fit” series, I’m tackling olifactory intuition. I just made that phrase up. But basically what it means is that if something smells funky in business or in life, the chances are pretty good that it IS funky. I’ve lived through more than a few situations over the years when I just sensed that something was a little rotten (like that yogurt that’s…

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Bytes and Bites: How Technology is Transforming the Restaurant World (Part 1)

A woman walks into a bar… No. That’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s what I did a couple of days after returning from the National Restaurant Association Show. The server brought me my check after my meal and then she handed me a small terminal so I could add my tip and insert my debit card. While I was doing that, she took another order. It was a simple and powerful example of how technology is changing just one aspect of…

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Mean Men and Bitchy Babes

Has the world gotten nastier or am I just noticing it more? The election has degenerated into vicious personal assaults and TV is filled with episodes of women pulling each other’s hair and throwing shade. (For the meaning of that, see the links, below.) I’m no shrinking violet. I grew up in the political and corporate worlds, which certainly had their share of backstabbing, bully bosses, trash-talking, and women blocking other…

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Why David Bowie was my business (and music) hero

The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was a staple of my vinyl collection I listened to the oh-so-naughty Sufragette City on high volume in my college apartment in 1976. His music disrupted in music world of twangy acoustics. Here are 7 other ways Bowie inspired me…for more than three decades: He constantly re-invented himself and wasn’t afraid to create radical new concepts. He was a personal branding genius….

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(Very) Personal Branding

Let’s talk about holes and tats. We all like to show our individuality. Those folks who are lower-key do it simply through their hairstyle, make-up (or not), and choice of clothing. Communication style and tone (in the real world and in social media) also contribute to ones public identity. However, some of us take the personal branding thing one step further…literally. We’re talking piercings and tattoos I was in Boulder,…

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Strip Down!

We Love Less! Continuing on our February series of things we’re passionate about… We at theONswitch are all about the mini these days. The mini office…the minimum amount of paper in that office…meetings that end within an hour. Less is the new more. Bigger isn’t always better! I (Nancy) grew up in an era where bigger was better…giant offices with lots of file cabinets and furniture…big shoulder…

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Circle Round

Today is pi day. What better time to talk about the circle? We all have circles in our lives — communities of people who we rely on to get things done. Some of us have an inner circle of trusted consultants and mentors and friends who will always tell us the truth and help us get back on course (when we lose our geometric shape). I just came back from the Tri-State Camp Conference. I’m fascinated by the summer camp world because…

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Oink! Launch of the Year of the Pig…

February is always a transformational month for me. It’s the start of the Chinese New Year — The Year of the Earth Pig. It’s the month I turn a year older. I launch or re-boot something to celebrate. It’s Oscar month. (I’ve been a huge film fan from the time I was a little girl.) It’s usually a month of strange weather and unexpected cancellations. It also seems to be a month of slips and falls (but more…

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Con-Texts. Unplugged for 24 Hours….7 Moments of Heaven.

My smart phone was not so smart after all last week. It died. Simply died. Since then, I’ve heard tales of many other people whose phones simply ceased to work. I had to have it “wiped,” which sounds like something out of a sci-fi film. I lost many of my contacts. I lost my List Master, which had all of my short- and long-term goals on it (business and personal). Many of my apps vanished too. But you know what? It really…

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Full Moon Madness

Have you ever been the victim of full moon insanity? This month’s theme is “unplugging” I’ve been writing about digital de-tox, stepping out of the office, and escaping reality for a little while. I should learn to practice what I preach. This past week, I had what I call a “Lon Chaney Jr.” moment,” when I transform rapidly from woman to wolf…from babe to bitch. Growing proverbial fangs and…

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Thanks for the Meme-eries! What Did We Share in 2016?

First, for those of you who may have been too busy actually working or experiencing things IRL (in real life) this year to study-up on your social media terminology… A meme used to be simply an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from one person to another in a culture. More recently, it refers to an amusing or interesting picture or video that spreads widely throughout the Internet. (Thanks Merriam-Webster!) I just came across…

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What’s in Your Dopp Kit?

Pack these 3 Things in Your Brain and Your Device In case you don’t know what a dopp kit is, it was the original name for a toiletry kit, invented in 1919. That sounds way more elegant than a product with “toilet” in its name. I love reading about things that were invented almost 100 years ago that are still in use today. Every must-have invention is not an app. That said, you need to make sure you have these apps in your…

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Pulse-ating: What drives readership on LinkedIn?

“Should I write a blog?” a colleague asked me the other day He had written a few posts on LinkedIn and had gotten a decent level of engagement, so he was trying to figure out if he should keep writing. The simple and short answer to that question is, “Don’t blog unless you have an ongoing stream of valuable content.” LinkedIn Pulse is the app that readers can use to curate and receive the kinds of business content…

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Dressing Down (Fun #2)

We’ve become a sporty (and casual) culture. Our first installment of our August “Fun Then & Now” series featured the transformation of the Summer Olympics. What better topic today than the evolution of sneakers, the sudden surge of athletic wear as street wear, and the evolution of casual business attire. Even if you never set foot in a gym or on a track, you probably own at least one pair of sweats and sneakers. CREDIT:…

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Meals Meet Machines (Bites & Bytes: Part 3)

Hot menu item for 2017: Technology! Although technology has been booming in the big food brand, chain, and fast food space for years, it has finally made its way to the kitchens and tables of SMBs (small- and mid-sized businesses). (See Part 1 for an overview and Part 2 about ways in which tech is transforming the diner experience, based on my recent visit to the National Restaurant Association Show 2017.) Now we move on to the perspective from…

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3 Hours and 54 Minutes in Heaven

I boarded a flight to Denver today and asked the flight attendant if we would have wi-fi. She checked the wall for the icon and then uttered one word that would have plunged me into a paroxysm of anxiety 30 days ago – “NO!” My life over the past eight or so years has been consumed by digital media. Early on in my marketing business, I decided to post or perish, learning how to use Facebook and Twitter for communication, long before most of my…

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Eat a Peach (or Not): The Newest App

Lots of media buzz this week about Peach Earlier this week, I wrote about apps that make ones life better. Peach just makes me sadder. Why? The New York Times talks about “ambient intimacy” and the ability to boop, blow a kiss, hiss, or shout at a friend. You can draw a picture, send a selfie, or otherwise share something personal with someone in your network. I fear that we just keep inventing ways that substitute “finger…

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A marketing consultant/writer walked into a bar…

Not sure what the punchline for that joke should be. (All suggestions welcome!) I’m not actually walking into a bar, but I will be walking into (and teaching at) the Nightclub & Bar Show tomorrow. Today is the second day of musing about the industry. (Click here for yesterday’s facts and wisdom.) The history of the bar in America is an interesting one. (See below.) Bars have long been gathering places (centuries before Facebook)…

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The Spirit World

I never intended to get into booze marketing. The liquor industry is a $400 billion industry. One of my interns managed to get me a speaking gig last year at the Nightclub & Bar Show, which then turned into an ongoing blogging gig. Nightclubs and bars are a $26 billion industry. (Does that mean everyone else is drinking at home or out of brown paper bags?) I’m off tomorrow for my second year of speaking at the show in Las Vegas….

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Puzzled?

We all have puzzles. And they aren’t as much fun as the jigsaw and crossword types. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we have them. Business problems…personal challenges…unproductive behaviors and habits that get in the way of growth, relationships, and prosperity. Everyone has a different problem-solving style. When I do jigsaw puzzles, I always start at the edges and build a “frame.” I look for patterns…

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Touch Me Babe!

Thanks for the blog title, Jim Morrison! But I’m not writing about the Doors. This is simply the next installment in my January series about fitness and our senses. I covered vision, hearing, and smelling. Watch this space for taste. But for now, let’s get to touching. Stand a little closer to the screen, baby! I just finished reading “In Real Life,” which is all about people creating virtual identities for themselves. I…

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When Worlds Collide: A Boomer in a Millennial World

I just had to experience the Collision Conference. This is a recap of my first day. I’m leaving after the second day. I am afraid my Boomer brain might explode. I’ve never been to SXSW (because it conflicts with another industry event) so I felt compelled to spend a little time at one of these new types of gatherings. Having worked as CMO of the largest traditional trade show/conference organizer, I was fascinated by how this next…

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Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Business of Fun #15)

OK…I just dated myself. The title of this post is a reference to the 1973 Rick Derringer hit, which was actually first recorded by Johnny Winter in 1970. It also appeared in several movie soundtracks. Lots of old rock and roll classics have been re-purposed as ad jingles (see below). Music and business intersect on many levels. Digital sales have overtaken physical sales, according to this recent report and the recorded music industry has…

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Going Down?

Going down! I was waiting to go up 6 floors in my office today and someone had pressed the down button. “Do I ride one floor in the wrong direction and then go back up?” I asked myself. Then, without really taking time to ponder, I jumped on board. The woman behind me hesitated, and then the doors closed. I enjoyed a painless journey with the maintenance guy down to the basement and in less than a minute (perhaps even 45 seconds), I was back at…

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Snowcial Media: Blogging the Blizzard

Yes…it snowed. How could you miss it? Social media has completely changed the way we forecast and respond to the weather. Of course, it’s been terrific content fodder for all of us writer types who love analogies! But here’s how else the proliferation of technology has changed how we all respond to the white stuff: First, blizzards now must have personal brands. We’ve been naming hurricanes for years (see below), but now…

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The Naked Truth About Vegas

I’m on my flight back from Las Vegas I was there for a conference. Of course, I visited the Strip and saw a big and bizarre show filled with acrobatics and lewd jokes and ate at the Las Vegas versions of New York restaurants. (When in Rome….) I inhaled a lot of second hand cigarette smoke in the casino and passed by hundreds of scantily-clad cocktail waitresses and staggering men and women (many of whom were also scantily-clad) on…

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“You’ve Got Spunk…I Hate Spunk!”

Today is Mary Tyler Moore’s 80th birthday! Ironically, it’s my second day living in Minneapolis. I would throw my tam o’ shanter in the air, but it’s on the moving truck at the moment. That subject line is a reference to one a line in one of my favorite groundbreaking TV shows of the ’70s. (See video clip, below) Following a break-up, Mary moved solo to Minneapolis to begin new life and career anew. I can relate….

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Write or Wrong? Is the Pen Dead?

Writing skills used to be super-important I received some resumes yesterday and the cover “letters” read more like bad tweets than pitch notes. I’ve noticed recently that, although I’ve always written, I struggle now to come up with more than 250 words of prose (unless I’m analyzing new products, writing a website, or talking about my long life). And my penmanship (remember that?) is not quite as tidy as it once…

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I am being followed by beer snacks

That definitely begs an explanation… A few minutes ago, Beer Snack Almanac began following me on Instagram. He (she? it? they?) have 11.6k followers. I felt honored. Perhaps it was because I speak at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show. Perhaps it was because I just started a Pinterest board related to the spirits world (as in booze…not as in ghosts). Perhaps it was because I occasionally eat wasabi peas. In any event,…

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News flash

What’s the good news? I like to wake up each morning and check the news. My sources are way different in 2016 than they were in 1976. No more paper New York Times for me. On a busy day, it’s sometimes just the Skimm. What are people reading and sharing these days? We’re all bombarded with content, infographics, ads, selfies, filtered Instagram photos and other random bits of random stuff. The human attention span is only eight…

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Fight Fair!

A little conflict in business (and in personal relationships) is not necessarily a bad thing. Conflict avoidance is one of the “7 deadly sins” among CEOs, according to this Huffington Post article. In fact, avoiding conflict may simply escalate the issue and result in distrust and disengagement. This piece in Inc. agrees. It outlines six bad things that come from avoiding conflict and uses the word “fester,” which is a…

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Teach, talk, tweet (and a little therapy too)

I found an essay I wrote as a seven year old. I said I wanted to be a teacher… or a candy stripper [sic]. This is what I think I really meant. After all, I was only seven. I didn’t want to disrobe in public…I simply wanted to help people. After getting a degree in Psychology (and English) I was planning to get a joint degree in law and social work, but then I took a weird circuitous path and ended up as a marketer, a banker, a…

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Pitch and Release: PR Basics in the Digital World

Public relations and media pitching has changed. That’s the understatement of the week. I often have conversations with clients and prospects about how they can get into the media. First, the media is not just newspapers and magazines and TV and radio. It’s websites and blogs and web TV talk shows, and online event listings, and awards, and social media feeds. The days of “getting my product on Oprah” are long gone. Are…

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The 7 Series Part 1: Lucky 7 Gratitudes

Stating the obvious…it’s almost 2017. I’ve always quite liked the number 7 (although the Brad Pitt/Kevin Spacey film was pretty terrifying). Let’s keep things positive and uplifting here, in the spirit of the holiday season. Seven is a great number for many reasons. It’s less daunting than 10 (when you’re making to-do lists), but more ambitious than 3 or 5. Here’s a great article on why 7 is a favorite…

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Stuffed

Excess. It’s pervasive in many aspects of our lives. Especially during this season, people often eat a lot, shop a lot, drink a lot, and engage in all manner of gluttony and over-indulgence. Say what you will about Twitter and Instagram, they are media that force us to be sparse. A few years ago I moved theONswitch into co-working space, where most office trappings and services are shared. I am selling the family house and thinking of…

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Lucky Charms

Some weeks are luckier than others. Or, perhaps we are just more in tune with those rainbows that are hidden along our normal path. Whether it’s a cosmic four leaf clover thing or something else, last week was magical. It started on Tuesday morning. I had slept late, but then took a dose of Power On, developed by the guys who are sitting in my old office. I was feeling especially focused and high-energy. About five minutes before my…

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Are you hiding under the covers?

Hunkering down under blankets (literally and metaphorically) feels safe and warm. It was really cold in New York on Monday (a holiday). So I stayed inside most of the day. Similarly, when the air in the business environment gets cold and blustery, many people retreat to their comfort zones. Sudden or massive change, a downturn in business, or simply free-floating anxiety can prompt even the most resilient folks to grab those comforters —…

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Pithy Power: Why Short Form Content Generates Big Results

First, a short listicle… The average human attention span is 8 seconds, less than that of a goldfish. Instagram and Twitter are here to stay. I have always been a short-form writer. (In fact, my English professor in college had me re-write a one-page short story, just to be sure I had human emotions. I passed the test.) Most people have trouble writing short. It’s an art and a science (and perhaps genetic…my daughters write…

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Stage Fright

Fear of public speaking ranks up there with fear of bugs and heights. Fear of speaking in public is called Glossophobia, and it even has its own website. As I was researching the topic, I found myself getting anxious just reading about the symptoms. I used to be terrified of speaking in public…even raising my hand in grade school. Now I’m part of the 10% of the population who actually enjoys it. When I get “miked up” and…

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Are We There Yet? Travel & Other Game Trends (The Business of Fun #8)

Family car travel used to be brutal. Parents sat in the front seat and controlled the radio dial. I sat in the back seat (on the hump because I was the only girl and, therefore, had the shortest legs). My brothers poked and teased me. Our only entertainment was conversation (imagine that!), pleading with our father to change the station from the classics to something more fun, and the occasional game of “I spy” or out-of-state…

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Marketing Tech Stacks: Like My Shoe Collection (But Not)

I must have missed the memo about marketing tech stacks… I was clueless about them until a few months ago. I’ve been dealing mostly with “little data” over the past 12 years since I started my own business. I avoided big brands like the plague. Having worked for them, I was simply tired of the bureaucracy and pace of innovation. But something changed radically in the marketing world over the last few years. I guess I…

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Mentorship (and Womentorship)

I had the privilege of seeing something truly amazing and awe-inspiring last week. A woman who had spent 20 years in jail (on a domestic violence conviction) stood in front of a room full of “suits” and presented her business plan for Just Soul Catering. She is part of the Defy EIT program and is being mentored by a corporate business analyst, who had her entire staff there to cheer on Sharon Richardson. We provided helpful honest…

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Are you Experienced?

Is it possible that 2016 will be the “year of experiences?” Will we finally put down our phones for a while and start talking rather than texting? Meeting live rather than Facetiming, Skyping, or Google Hanging-Out? Ad Age declared that consumers want experiences and not things. Time spent on vacations and going out is on the upswing, according to Huffington Post. Here are five simple ways you can build “experience” into…

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From Boys to Men: Talking ‘Bout Our Generations

Millennials have overtaken baby boomers. I’m not writing about a war zone (although it may sometimes feel that way). The Census statistics came out earlier this year and here are the facts, according to Pew Research Center: “Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in…

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Growth Spurts and Strained Muscles: When Businesses Hurt (Chapter 4)

WeWork is going through some growing pains. Although the founder is just out of millennial range (36), he started the company when he was only 30. The business media this week was filled with the news that WeWork had eliminated its bagels-and-lox company breakfasts and cut its revenue and profit targets. I’m sure the company will be able to turn itself around and prosper…they just need to rethink some of their operations….

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Read a Good Book Lately? (Business of Fun #20)

Maybe not. More than a quarter of Americans haven’t read a book over the past year, and the number is climbing. We can’t blame millennials or e-books either, according to this article. Who is reading? Ultra-successful people read…a lot. But the purpose of this blog isn’t to “book-shame” you. After all, this entire August series is about the business of fun. And reading, like theater, movies, festivals, booze,…

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Fun, Family & Fit: Why Millennials Leave Jobs Within Three Years (Chapter 3)

Many of my peers stayed in jobs for more than ten years. Those days are long gone. The majority of young workers leave their jobs within three years. Perhaps my peers just had a higher tolerance for pain and suffering. Or we believed that we would be rewarded for loyalty. But millennials are looking for different things from their careers, as illustrated in these charts. The term “culture,” which once applied just to going to the…

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Tech Day Part 3: Cool Things (and Other Stuff)