Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Thank You Economy

The Thank You EconomyThe Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hesitated for a long time before reading this book. I loved Gary Vaynerchuk’s first book, Crush It!, SO much, I was afraid I’d be disappointed but I was not! This is a great book about how brands need to bring it back to the customer. Incredibly awesome customer service, let them know you care is what he recommends.

I believe that being thankful both personally and professionally is the way to go and The Thank You Economy was a huge confirmation of beliefs I already held. I loved the real life examples of companies, both large and small, who are employing these techniques with resultant booming business.

Thanks for another fabu book, Gary! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in customer service and getting closer to the people who keep you in business.

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Think Like a Rock Star

Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into FansThink Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans by Mack Collier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh how I loved this book! I was drawn in right from the start as the difference between how rock stars treat their fans and how brands treat their customers was laid out. With terrific, real life examples of how rock stars engage their fans to bring about an amazing, unbreakable connection, Collier gives step-by-step instructions for how you can bring your brand to rock star level. At the end of each chapter, you’ll find a Backstage Pass to help you work your plan. There is a lot of excellent information in this book for brands looking to forge a closer relationship with their customers. I give two thumbs up and rock and roll fingers to Think Like a Rock Star!

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The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence

The Pursuit of Social Business ExcellenceThe Pursuit of Social Business Excellence by Vala Afshar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book about how Enterasys set out to and is becoming a social business. “Social collaboration is a mindset that leverages culture, people, process and technology to unlock the full potential of an organization.” Using the tools of modern technology, their own ISAAC, and social media tools like twitter and Facebook, Enterasys has been able to cut costs, improve response times, and create a corporate culture that would be great to work within. Their TLC: Think Like a Customer mindset, allows them to continually improve their business.

I find Enterasys’s use of gamification to increase employee success inspired. Also, I love how they encourage peer reviews and a more horizontal organization where everyone has input because “none of us are as smart as all of us”. Love!

Truly an interesting inside look at a company who delights in serving their customers to the best of their ability and is always collaborating within to find out even better ways to delight the customer.

If you are not a social business yet, this book will help you to see how Enterasys is doing it and give you suggestions about how your can do it, too.

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Secret for calmness while moving


Yesterday, we had to stop by Wal-Mart and pick up box tape. We’re moving again. I know. Wheels on our feet.

Anyway, as we were walking to the front of the store, David asked if we needed anything else. I made a quick turn around and headed the other direction.

Me: “Yes, candy.”

David: “Candy?”

Me: “Yes, candy. It keeps everyone calm.”

So we picked up some gumdrops and some caramel creams.


I don’t know why it is when you start packing things up that tempers flare and people get snippy. At  least that’s how it happens in this house. And all of the other ones we’ve moved out of. 😉  It’s really counterproductive and when I discovered the secret of applying candy to the moving/packing situation a couple of moves ago, I was amazed at the results.

Voices start to raise, “Oh get some candy”. Candy is eaten. Peace resumes. It works. Really.

I know the lady at the Walmart though I was joking around with her and she was laughing as we left. But I know it works. I just hope we don’t run out! 🙂

So how about you? Do you have a fabu secret to keep the peace during a move?


A little over a month ago, I saw a tweet from @ValaAfshar saying that his company, Enterasys was going to be hiring a senior social media strategist.


And? So? Big deal. A lot of companies are realizing that they need to get into the social media game and are doing the same.

Except there was a difference with this position. Enterasys planned to do their recruiting through social media, using each candidate’s social CV. Interesting!

At that point, I wasn’t sure what Enterasys did. Vala and I have been following each other on twitter for a while now. I remember connecting with him for the first time about the NBA Draft. Vala was going to the Draft as a guest of the Celtics. Color me green and not because that’s the Celtic’s color!

When I saw him eating cheeseburgers on the Patriot’s team plane, I remained a little green. Cheeseburgers are my favorite food! Oh, and I love football. 🙂

So, when I saw Vala’s tweet about the job with his company, it caught my eye. When I saw how the process would be conducted, I was even more intrigued and knew I wanted to be part of this first (that I know of) social media job hiring process.

I’ve really been trying to find my place since I gave up directing the pageant. Trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. 🙂  I know I want to work in Social Media. I feel like I was born just waiting for social media to happen. I’ve been approached by some really cool people with some really great opportunities but nothing has felt just right. Yet.

So I talked to David about this possibility. Since he is mostly coming and going and just needs to be by an airport, moving to the Boston area would work just fine. Added bonus, one of my best friends, Debbie, lives right in North Andover about 10 minutes away from Enterasys. Cherry on top.

I decided to go for it!

My first concern was that, by choice, I have no klout score and  a klout score of 60 is required. As you know if you read this blog (or listen to me much) I deleted my klout profile a couple of algorithms ago because it seemed to me that klout was going to try and turn me into a mean girl and penalize me for talking to folks they deemed “less influential” than I. Well, I am gifted by my relationships with EVERYONE I interact with. Liz Strauss, one of my connections on twitter, wrote a great blog post that describes pretty much the same thought process I had when I was considering deleting my klout profile. But,simply said, I’m no one’s mean girl.

I considered reactivating my klout profile but I quickly discarded that idea. It didn’t feel right to me to change who I was and what I believe in for a job. I mean, hopefully I’m going to be at this job for a while and they will see the real me so why fake it?

You know how I am about being R.E.A.L! 🙂

I commented on the blog that I didn’t have a klout score but Vala told me it was okay, I have clout and that would be considered.

I do have provable clout. The coolest example of that was my trip to Washington D.C. as a superfan guest of Eight O’Clock Coffee. The two story suite I was given by Doubletree is my second favorite.

Eight O'Clock Coffee Superfans

Kred score. Until around a month before I heard about the Enterasys job, I think I had been to Kred once. Just to check it out when people were talking about it as a klout replacement. I sort of dismissed it because that’s exactly what it looked like to me, More of the klout same. But towards the end of January, Kred started awarding badges to their top 1% Kredsters. I went to look and see what the fuss was all about and my score was pretty high. Then I wondered why I didn’t get a badge. And then I did. 😉


A candidate’s Kred score must be 725 with an outreach of 8 in order to qualify for this position. Mine was 845 with an outreach of nine. I just checked, though, and my score is now 859. So, not sure if Kred will ultimately ever be important to me other than for this purpose but it was kind of cool to see it rise 15 points in a month. Of course that got me wondering what it takes to move the outreach score up but I’m just not going to get all caught up in that. 😉

1,000 twitter followers was required. I had more than that and in the past month I’ve gained a lot more. Some of them, I know, are related to the #SocialCV but I do hope they’ll stick around even if they don’t pick me for the position. I like them!

Next on the list:

Consideration will be made to those applicants who have published works

regarding social media, peer influence, digital marketing, and related thought leadership.

Well alrighty then! I finished my first book Pageant Savvy, Social media for the savvy pageant gal in February. They were delivered into my hot little hand on February 19th, the day after this recruitment period started. Talk about your good timing! Not only is my little book pretty (so pretty!), it adds to my #SocialCV and my qualifications for this job.


An IT background would be preferred, and I don’t have that, but it’s not required. Working alongside David in the telecommunications field for all of these years, I do have more of an understanding of IT than I otherwise might have. [Insert paragraph break here. WordPress won’t do it. ;-)]

And there it is. The last day of the recruitment process was yesterday and it looks like there are some great candidates. I’m excited to be one of them.

In the past month, I’ve not only learned a lot about Enterasys but I’ve learned more about social media and about myself. I wish all of the candidates the best and wish Enterasys the best in choosing the right candidate for the position. While I hope I’m the one, if I’m not, the world is my oyster and the social media realm is large and growing. How exciting! 🙂

What inspires me

Recently, I’ve been working with my youngest son, Geoff, on helping him set up his coaching business website.

GRC LOGO Coaching

Geoff is a former baseball player who was drafted by the Marlins out of high school and then played college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University. Geoff is also hearing impaired.

Both of our boys were born with a bi-lateral, sensorineural hearing loss. For Geoff, school was always a struggle. I helped him a lot but even I didn’t know the extent of his inability to read. Brandon had picked up reading like a pro and, while I knew it was difficult for Geoff, I didn’t know just how difficult it was.

Geoff -third grade

I love to read and I’m a fast reader. I sometimes read a book a day. I remember one time when I was reading a funny book, I laughed out loud and Geoff asked me what was so funny. I told him it was a funny book. He replied, “I can’t read fast enough to know if a book is funny.” It broke my heart.

Because he was so good at baseball, Geoff made it to college. His grades in high school were good, too. The Marlins drafted him to follow, requesting that he attend Seminole State College in Oklahoma. We were thrilled as we had planned to move to Oklahoma and this gave us an option to watch his college baseball games.

New Bern River Rats

Geoff always had difficulty with testing so we lined him up with the IEP (individualized education plans) folks at the college. Little did I know that the reason he tested poorly was because he read so poorly.

Geoff learned how to read as an 18 year old college freshman. I was so excited when he told me he wanted to read something “for fun”. I remembered that when I had read The Firm by John Grisham it was a fast, easy read so I suggested it to him. I told him not to be afraid of the small words, the story was good. He loved it and became a big John Grisham fan. He also enjoys reading James Patterson and Stuart Woods. To be able to say that this son has favorite authors and enjoys reading gets me all choked up.

But this is not all that Geoff reads. He reads EVERYTHING. Anything that interests him, he grabs a book and reads and absorbs it. It’s truly inspiring for me to watch him as an adult having overcome all of the things that could have held him back if he didn’t have the determination to succeed.


Geoff has now started a coaching business. Personal, athletic and individual mind strength coaching and I can’t imagine anyone who would be better in this role. Geoff is smart, motivated and he understands what big obstacles are and knows they can be overcome.

So thank you, Geoff, for inspiring me. I’m proud to be your mom. 🙂