Friday, October 23, 2015

Where are the jobs? SERIOUSLY.... Where are the jobs??

I guess I'm going to ramble on today and lament about the lack of opportunities for experienced Baby Boomers.   If you're like me, you've completed 'Kool-aid Rehab' .... you're helping others stay far away from that fantasy and at the same time, trying to figure out what to do with your life.  It is odd, having a direction for years and years to suddenly find yourself with a 'what will I be when I grow up' thought.  You're waaaaay too young to 'retire' and who (really) wants to do THAT anyway?  I'm just not ready to play shuffle board and 'pickleball' !    oh, almost forgot, because I'm an older Mom I now have 2 children in college!  (eek!!)   Looking for projects!  Ideas are welcome!

Need to work doing something....not sure what it is;  The 'New' .... 'Public Relations' is and can be 'phone cold-calling work'.... and 'Events' are now defined as 'sampling' products at a grocery store.  All the past terms that I have experienced in a grand way have been reduced to vocations suited for non-trained and non-skilled workers.  What has happened to the real meaning of such a profession?  So odd that Public Relations has now changed into a career that is quite different from the old days. Back when I was winning awards it started with a unique bold creative idea and culminated with needed meaningful content (broadcast or printed) appropriate for mainstream audiences this would then lead to awareness and sales results.   Now the world is fragmented and 'mentions' are fully entwined with product placements and behind-the-scenes advertising/editorial content.  There really is no distinction anymore.... if your product or brand is mentioned there is a deliberate plan.....another motive. (period). and the motive is usually GREEN to the outlet which is 'interested'.   Talk shows and all the yapping are highly directed.... (hmm?)

For 'Event Production' work .... 'Events' can be anything!  The term has been bastardized to interacting with people at a car wash.  The definition now has no meaning....the reduction in status for both of these previous career categories now just cater to the inexperienced.  It's all entry-level semantics they don't even know the difference!

What is left are the fragments of this previous line of work.  Back in the hey-day of business practices.....reputable firms did nothing but produce real events ..... now because of our miserable economy it's much more sporadic resulting with very scaled down staffs utilizing 'freelancers'.  AND.....Those who are lucky enough to land something which remotely looks like a real event are not willing to 'share' the business they are holding onto by their fingernails.  They certainly do not want anyone who could be perceived as more capable than they are.   The idea of helpfulness is long lost in the competitive world of business today.  Helpfulness to the client and helpfulness to the people offering to help.  OVER.... Having experience IS the liability here.

So that's my crabby rant for the day..... Here I sit, talented in 12 different directions with not even an opportunity to interview for positions which I am more than qualified to do.   It is apparently too much of a risk.   I am however available and cheap for freelance gigs.

let's connect! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shock & Awe in the world of dumb!

I know it's been some time but that's life of an entrepreneur!๐Ÿ˜ฑ   One new lesson I have learned of many, is when you are soliciting for project work it can be humiliating and frustrating.  People don't like to admit that but in the land of ZERO attention spans, it's true.

 My approach in all this was to get enough projects going to have a steady revenue stream especially while I have TWO children now in college.๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿผ  Well, like all plans these days, things don't always work out as one would like ๐Ÿ˜ฑ. I then decided as a veteran of 'Kool-aid Rehab' to focus on a 'real' job by utilizing my star-studded background ....(Actually, my whole career)!  The backstory; I made the unfortunate decision to 'parent' my kids when they were little.  This deliberate choice for me now apparently looks like a prison sentence which I mask with bandaids of high profile projects I was fortunate to have gotten but I did not work continuously.  So knowing that, (qualified to be a VP) ... Armed with years and years of experience (domestic & international) I decided to apply for a 'Director of Events' position at a nearby Marriott Resort property.  My background more than qualified me for that position.  To take this idea to a clever level (after all, I'm all about distinct great ideas!๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ’ก⭐️) I decided to circumvent the robo- recruiter and go right to the top (General Manager) I wrote one of my fun and memorable poems (I'm even better than Charles Osgood!) of why they needed me and also (along with my resume) a creative 'menu' of my skills for this high-profile position. I then scrolled everything together with a lovely bow ๐ŸŽ€ and HAND delivered this material on a silver tray! I am not making this up!๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽ‰ of course, well received and in my blow off letter, GM was kind to tell me they were promoting 'from within' well good for them and no chance I would (or anyone) would be really considered and the legal reason why 'they' post a position like this pubicly ๐Ÿ˜.  The whole effort made me want to puke!

So .....๐Ÿ”ฎ
now fast forward about 4-5 months later, I am tagged for an 'Event Manager' at the same exact property (very close to my house) so I wrote the GM (I'm back!) Again, very nice, but told me to be sure to fill out the robo-application on line and she'll let the director know! With reluctance I promptly did that 1.5 hours - and later that day was flushed into their application sewer. Huh?!I wrote to GM this time (a shock & awe note)  to hear nothing back. Thank you K.Duncan.  Ok now my further sour ๐Ÿ‹continuous saga (I know I'm nuts) I saw this listing AGAIN for  'Event Manager' and I applied AGAIN!! This time, I dumbed-it-down but apparently not dumb enough for them!   One thing for sure...I won't be staying at a Marriott property any time soon!   Conclusion; the job market is horrendous and people who have jobs are barely hanging on.    Best wishes to anyone who can find something which pays a living wage - like panhandling for gold!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Retain My Brain One-Stop Creative Brain Shopping

Thank you for stopping by - I do very much appreciate my readers.  :)

Here's your 'tip' for the day, week or year! .... a great new idea!  Created by ME!

Through my own entrepreneurial journey and years of corporate experience,  I have learned not only that great creative talent is hard to find but also that people don't pay attention to new things unless it's front and center exactly when they need it!  For that reason, I have birthed yet another new business!  I know, sounds like the definition of insanity... but this is where I really shine!   So consider ME...  YOUR .....FRONT AND CENTER' CREATIVE BUSINESS RESOURCE! is the place!
One-stop shopping for all things marketing leading to results and success! 

I can confidently tell you that I am ready-and-able to jump in head-first into all types of  projects!

Consulting with me is a highly confidential..... and an affordable way to add excitement to projects, get started on the right track, or problem solve!  A place to bounce off ideas.... create new (brilliant) ideas.... develop detailed strategy and most importantly really HELP those in need.   Being lost in the world of opinions can be a frightening place (and your interests are not always represented) and that's just the beginning!   I can be behind-the-scenes ...... your secret for success!  Or, front and center!

So keep my site handy.... I'm quick to respond and I promise top quality work.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab Top Ten Things to Think About (if you can pay attention)

Referring to tiny fleas from my previous post has made me think of attention spans today.  I know, sounds like a miracle....but I really did give this next post some thought.

Challenge yourself! Try to hang in here and learn something!

To begin, working with flea-like attention spans (or is it  a gnat?) was one of the most shocking revelations I discovered on this journey.  It honestly never occurred to me that people who were busy in real jobs could be so completely disengaged in tasks, written or spoken but it happens.  Looking back, I know (again) this revelation sounds like a really 'dumb blonde' comment .... concluding,  I probably spent waaay too many years isolated from adults vacuuming and yelling at kids prior to returning to the business world in early 2010.

..... but I do still remember the days when you could write (or receive) a note or leave a message (remember those cute pink message slips?) well, way-back-when ..... I would also see those 'notes' and feel a responsibility to my company to respond (after all, they were paying me to represent their company).....  It's something that used to be called 'professionalism'.

A response might look like a quick email, fax .... or even a real telephone conversation .... but likely because of THE dreaded REAL 'pink slips' the world today appears to be spinning in a new orbit and this is not how business rolls anymore.  

People working in our tattered economy,  are ground-down to-the-bone, loyalty is a thing-of-the past and sadly, communication is deleted as though it never existed.  It's pure urban survival clusters!  No one really cares about 'action' (unless it involves $ for them).  Even if you now 'copy' a  boss or fellow colleagues ... they will also ignore you!
That my friend(s), is a reality and wide-eyed Entrepreneurs with a fresh 'dream' will be unable to understand this or even distinguish the thought.  Thinking the world is not like this, the innocent will be 'creamed' like a bare leg on a gravel driveway. 

It will begin with a burped ahhh! from a tall cool pitcher of Kool-Aid -- the 'newly excited' (like I was) are ready to create  something and start selling it.... IMMEDIATELY....

Their unharnessed energy could actually fuel a nuclear power plant but that's another story.  

Here  is the sequence;

#1. With the first 'spark'....also known as 'Plan A'..... a new Entrepreneur will begin by spending hard-earned cash in development of their new product, service or idea.  As if that isn't bad enough, time-spent is in another category TIME- devoted can be staggering because their brains will never turn off as they connect with people on this 'plan' - and many times (because you won't  have bags of money to deliver to them 'yet') the people they're connecting with are not very engaged or paying attention in the least.  It's a hard sell.... but the determination is palatable.  Products and support materials are developed anyway.....and it's very difficult to stop this process until you are charred beyond recognition.

#2. A new Entrepreneur will also 'think' that because of the Internet, 'social media' is readily available  (and 'free') -  and that this new product or service will catch-on like a newly lit firecracker propelling their unique business idea into stratospheric heights.  They will not connect the fact that like everything today, the web is also filled with flea-like attention spans and nothing is getting  promoted, shared or reviewed....and if it is, no one is reading anything.

#3. Because there are so many endless tentacles to 'The Great and Powerful Internet' it may be viewed as a fluid stream of consumer 'voices' with new ways to reach people.  'Interest'  in this channel of communication may even be the center of some plans.

The idea to spawn interest and get people 'talking'  through 'free product samples' given out like candy-mints, might even make perfect sense.   The idea will begin the 'smouldering' preview before 'it' lights and takes off.  A new Entrepreneur will be happy to comply- recipients will be thrilled to ask for more samples!

#4. Selling and Distribution 101;  A new Entrepreneur should have 'boots-on-the-ground' at some level to sell in any volume..... if not, just use the boots to kick their ass - cuz they aren't going anywhere otherwise. You need a clear distribution path and the internet is not the single answer!  To paraphrase a wise person from a prior post 'You can have a crappy product with distribution and you'll be OK... but a great product without distribution will be going nowhere fast.'   Distribution really is everything when selling something. (period)

#5.  'Plan B'....In the category of 'distribution' and a 'voice' for educating and telling the world about your brand through 'Shopping Shows';  hmm? sounds perfect .... A new Entrepreneur should learn upfront that shopping show buyers are next-to-impossible to reach (they can put a flea to shame!)  and note that every laid-off employee from those entities is now 'working there' but as an independent  'rep' with their hands out for a big % to make an introduction to a buyer for you.  It also should be noted if your brand is Made in the USA you are already at a disadvantage for pricing.  That's a fact.

In Kool-Aid Rehab....the bell-curve has peaked  (to bring you more challenges)......  and the sound of big business will begin to ring flat as you 'get real'.....

#6.  After a splashy website launch the term going 'live' will have a new meaning too.  A new Entrepreneur will quickly be on to 'Plan C';  Elevated Public Relations - (err, I mean Mountain Climbing without working legs) think here;... editorial PR mentions with flea attention-spans. (not a good combination)

#7.  A new Entrepreneur will also be developing distribution strategies in the way of possible Retail stores.  I know (again), they are physically disappearing ... but some still think it is a lucrative business stream.  To note: The fantasy that Retailers 'will come-calling' is another fallacy.... be aware too, that even when you are waving and standing on a buyers desk for an order, you are not guaranteed anything - especially in our fried economy.  In today's times, it is high-effort, very low minimums and stocking fees.   Also lots of bitching if you start selling directly from your website - wholesale accounts don't like that.

#8. In 'Plan C'...a new Entrepreneur just may be skilled enough to break-through the clutter and competition for precious National-level publicity. (Becomes more of a miracle with each day!)   The result, people are not  always happy about your new exposure and will begin to think of ways to sabotage your business for their own advancement.    It's what I call the 'Dr. Oz wanna bee's) using your platform and hard-earned communication channel to tell everyone how alert they are after knit-picking your site/brand/product or service like feisty crows on fresh road-kill. It's the unfortunate collateral damage to this effort.

#9. For messaging and claims;  If you are a big established company making product statements about your brand which are connected to an impressive network media buy (and a team of lawyers) you'll be just fine....even if the cheerful disclaimer says when taken;  'may result in sudden death'.    Another one, which just 'kills' me is Christian Mingle for 'singles' to find the match that 'God intended for you'  (really?!) that's quite a claim.

But for the weary Entrepreneur selling an un-ingestible harmless product which has never seen commercial airways you may be at significant risk ..... It may begin with an unsolicited comment from a very satisfied customers in their own '1st amendment voice' .... which will then be questioned and face unimaginable scrutiny. Warning;  The bored 'Dr. Oz Wanna Bees' are on patrol to give unsanctioned 'Tattle Offices' something to do.  Everyone embraces the drama ..... all in the spirit of looking like they are busy and on surveillance to 'protect' consumers.  Oh, what would we do without 'them'...?

 #10.  For setbacks like communication product statements;  make sure you don't go out on a limb here because it will cost you in the way of money and time.  The more successful you become the higher the risk.   It really is an eye-opener!  But that's business today.... be careful regarding all which is said.... because the 'crazies' (everyone looking for high-profile notoriety) will come-a-calling and make this process harder than it already is.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sorry for the Kool-aid Rehab 'fleas' ( err, I mean advertising! )

Aren't we all trying to do our best?   As writer of this blog I thought I would make 'sharing' easier so 'loading in' a handy gadget which appeared to look like a tool to fulfill that goal made sense to me.   I should have known though, that my favorite mantra would surface 'No good deed goes unpunished' ...... Cuz that's what happened.
Thanks to a very alert reader who kindly informed me that my precious blog-words were littered with advertising and pop up sh&# ....  so I have now fixed the problem.
I was horrified to learn of this mess, so I apologize to all who were inconvenienced and I thank Jim ...
Another teachable moment !  You just have to watch all aspects - especially 'free'  things .... I have now learned the 'catch' to that idea ..... but to be honest, I'm tired of cleaning up messes ..... and learning new things which shouldn't have to be learned in the first place!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TWO! Not So Fun Life-Lessons (for everyone)

If you are scraped and bruised from a hard journey as an entrepreneur, there really aren't a lot of heart-warming things to say from the experience except when you do boil it down, there are two very important facts that will remain with you;  (one is a good thing... hidden in the rubble of your life).

Kool-Aid Rehab....#1. FACT; You will learn a tremendous amount of new things ... especially if you have wasted a lot of hard-earned money and valuable time.  These 'lessons' really are the best type-in-life-to-learn... just horrible when you are going through it .... but lasting in the way of gained wise knowledge - to never go there again!  You will also be amazed by how smart you will be when you're helping others ....

 .....and that, I might add, is exactly what you should be doing whenever possible....  (period)!


Kool-Aid Rehab....#2. FACT; The MOST brutal lesson of all... you will discover (even at an older age) just exactly who your true friends are.  It can be shocking too!  When you think you know someone well....find yourself having a hell-of-a-time-in-life, and you will see the true colors of someone's character even through the blaze of a fire!

Yes, I know people are busy and you're too sensitive, stressed out and exhausted....and you're probably not 'front & center' to them because you are busy working all the time to fix the problem... bla, bla, bla... I'm not going to make any excuses.

The surprise comes when people previously engaged in your life, (when things are just spiffy)  to very quickly disappear out of your life and the idea of even inquiring about 'how-things-are-going' becomes a smell-of -stress to them which they prefer to not sniff.    It's really sad.. when you experience 'good-bye and good luck' (or I'll see you again when you are back to 'spiffy') ....  Entrepreneurial life or a sudden job loss to some people, is like a cancer-odor which this variety of 'friend' concludes to be contagious and could possibly bring them down.... (not that you're going there either!)

 .... even a whiff of this stuff will get people running!  The irony is're not looking for sympathy (to drag them down) ....just a little normal emotional support and the idea that you have not lost your value to the friendship .... but these days, that is just too much to ask.   That message really is the headline here, and it's hard to be prepared for what comes with that, it's a very lonely isolated feeling (like you're not already feeling bad enough from the stress of  your situation).

ok, so here is the 'good' in all that....

.... just like when you are in a tough job search there will be wonderful compassionate people who will appear in your life (fortunately)  -   they will help you in ways you dream of and they quickly become first on your A- list!  (as in Angel :)   It's usually a person who
has lived through a very unpleasant phase of life and they know how it feels - and have learned from that lesson.  The emotional support becomes invaluable to you and it will never be forgotten.  Sometimes they even help you with your business  or  job search and to side-bar this message;  thank you to my support group - you know who you are!

As the old saying goes....KARMA IS A BITCH (it really is) and with that 'lesson' I would suggest checking in with people in your circle of friends and do your best to lend a helping hand ... many in this rotten economy are experiencing unimaginable horrendous times at all sorts of levels. Few have not been touched by the financial and real estate repercussions of today.  It still continues to be a difficult 'recovery'. 

As another way of helping and for those who need to be told; ... view 'Networking' (for whatever reason) not as a silly clichรฉ, but as a very important 'tool' not to be ignored or taken for granted because..... you could very quickly find yourself on the other side too.   Beyond networking... just being a good friend, a compassionate ear is also equally important and you know it's the right thing to do.  (that's the Mother in me speaking!)  It doesn't take much time to show a little concern.

I wish this post had a more humorous side, but this is Kool-aid Rehab....the unvarnished truth from this experience  ......    and  to note, sometimes it really sucks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Informercial Life ....You're 'In'... No Way Out!

Reissued and updated today....  

Happy to see The New York Times agrees with an interesting article on this subject too! 
"Sponsors Now Pay for Online Articles, Not Just Ads" by Tanzina Vega (4/8/13) 

From #7). 12-step relief detailed in 'Welcome to'....public relations / advertising shift -in- REAL content for magazines and programming  has occurred in places you would never imagine ... slowly..... and sometimes not so blatant - but most are right under your nose. 

For me, an "spirit,  this was also another hard concept to fathom........funny too, discovering at a time when the new 'buzz' word 'transparency' has become a trendy term thanks to unethical practices of our elected officials.

This thought hasn't been fully revealed (I wish, though, I had known) it's when a small business with a unique brand (as in a small  entrepreneurial business) decides to connect with a printed magazine (as one example).  Yes, I know..... there still are a few of them left! 
Anyway, this is what communication looks like today in publishing;

1).  Find unique publication with an audience which matches to your customer or  ... if you're really smart you will get waaay ahead of the schedule by resourcefully looking up their official  'editorial schedule' for the upcoming year (it's usually hidden - but you'll find it!) ..... there just might be a theme planned that absolutely matches to what you are selling - and your contribution would add something worthwhile to the section so it's worth the trouble.

2). Identify that 'theme' with plenty of lead time to subtly work 'in' your product or service.  (after all, they are not going to blatantly promote for you and frankly that was never an expectation)  

It's nice when you have an item which compliments what they are doing in the magazine editorial.

3). Then, research editors who make the most sense for your brand or service in this context.

4). Begin writing to that editor to get on their radar and hope that your concise note will be forwarded on to someone who cares. (or better yet, the freelancer who may be assigned to this topic)

5). You will then begin the arduous task of follow-up and more follow-up.  First 'emails' and more emails (short, sweet and nice) then unanswered phone messages.  It's quite a process!    After months of this you will then write out of frustration to the 'Editor-in-Chief' (Big Editor) to expose the difficulty you are having in breaking through to the Editor you need to reach (in a nice way)....

6).  'Big Editor' will likely become irritated that they have read a note which requires follow- up and (knowing now that the consumer is in charge with the web they don't want you to write
anything bad about them personally) .... they sometimes will write you back -  but usually not without a trail of effort on your part.

7).  The recommendation from 'Big Editor' will be to speak to the 'lead' very special Editor-of-record (the one you have been trying to reach) - that person may even promptly call you -- and kindly offer to 'test' your product.  (oh, WOW 'please'.....and 'thank you' is your response w/ excitement as you happily package and express ship)

8).  After 'testing' (err, I mean 'gifting them) you will hear nothing .... and more nothing, follow up again..... to then find because you are a persistent squeaky wheel- (in a nice way) that you are being relegated to their website for a mini-paragraph which will have ZERO impact on your business.   Not even a mini blip in your back-end monitored traffic.  Code here: 'Go away!...see .... we helped you! You're done.... here's your bone...woof! woof!  and oh, have a nice day!

IMPORTANT note:  and here is something juicy you should know....the unspoken - behind-the-curtain stuff........

"We are not communicating OR mentioning your product OR service in our magazine (no matter how unique, different and special it is) UNLESS YOU PURCHASE AN Advertisement in our PUBLICATION. (PERIOD)" - THIS I might add .... ALSO INCLUDES FRIENDLY 'GIFT GUIDES' TOO! ---  yup, that's the God's truth.  But (sigh)  they really can't publicly 'say' that because they are national journalists and the idea that product placement and advertising fees are blending in the context of these pages is kinda smelly.

Back in the old days - which is where I proudly learned .....there was a clear division of what we called 'church and state' in advertising vs. new content (PR) in stories which is never 'purchased'
.... in the simplest of terms; that's called 'c-r-e-d-i-b-i-l-i-t-y'.  and places who 'sell' the space for $ immediately sacrifice credibility.

It used to be 'advertising' departments in one building and  'editorial content' in another building --- now thanks to our rotten economy and the hideous nature of publishing today, they've become the same thing! (wink, wink)  :)

It's also now in other places too;

Unbeknownst to me, I was recently a guest on a radio show which I presumed was a legitimate program.  Turns out, 'they' (the very talkative hosts) - I later learned,  are purchasing air time to promote their books & seminars on this particular AM radio station.  As a guest, I was adding to their 'rich content' ....but make no mistake.... the
reason for this programming smells like an infomercial (only on radio).... I was at first surprised by this revelation...but then again,  to reiterate from a previous post.....things are never as they seem In this business, it's the 'fun' house (EVERYDAY!)  :) 

About Me- I'm everywhere!

My photo
anywhere and everywhere, USA, Illinois, United States
I'm a sassy, very distracted older mom...with lots of wild stories (and rants) about my family and life...Daughter 20, college student, sassy, unpredictable, violin playing, animal enthusiast...Son, 17 video addict, Chess playing-star / trombone player...husband (old, tired, chronically stressed and impatient, but a good sport nonetheless) The underbelly of life for me; I’m a bright eyed ‘entrepreneur’ – just now completing Kool-aid Rehab a frightening 12 step process to figure out what I am doing with my life. On the home front, we have a gang of animals that keep the place lively too! 'Emma', dirty ungroomed Sheepdog, 'Lollipop' a smart Border Collie/Chow Chow also referred to as 'Daddy's Little Fatty', 2 cats; one eyed 'Winky' and emotionally disturbed- beyond crabby ....'Babycakes' (it's complicated,) 1 bird 'Tutu', and finally 'Templeton' (a.k.a. Little Shit)- a teeny dog who loves to 'run' .... more trouble than all put together and dumb as a stick. but we love him! :)