Tag Archives: relationship

Social Startups: Nimble Helps You Build and Maintain Your Social Capital


http://socialmediatoday.com/shaybmoser/2188081/nimble-helps-you-build-and-maintain-your-social-capital

Saying “thank you” face to face, praise for a job well done, a thoughtful gift, a handwritten note. These are all ways we build trust in our relationships like we build our bank account with deposits. In our world of social media, “social networks have value,” too, which is becoming known as “social capital,” as Wikipedia explains. A positive Facebook mention, retweeting a business associate’s blog post, congratulating a colleague on LinkedIn for their promotion, and sharing helpful information with a client through the customer community are all ways we make social deposits.

“Personal branding is the key to your professional success, and we believe that your relationships make or break your business success,” says Eric Quanstrom, CMO/VP of Marketing and Sales of the leading social relationship management software. “Nimble transforms who you know into how you grow. We built it to smartly manage your relationships in one place. With intelligent context and insights to your contacts, you can be quick, agile, and smart with your relationships.” Image

Criticism, corrective feedback, reprimand, asking for extra favors, canceling plans, or being late are ways we lose trust in our relationships like we withdrawal money from our bank account. Inappropriate posts, berating replies, and overdue responses are some ways we deplete our social capital. Additionally, Wikipedia indicates, “social capital is spent by non-use (‘use it or lose it’).”

However, Dunbar’s number says there’s a limit—150 to be exact—to the amount of people with whom we can maintain stable social relationships. How many of your 500-plus LinkedIn connections are being neglected? When was the last time you connected with a particular prospect? Did you remember to share the industry research with her? Nimble is like your personal accountant, helping you manage your relationships and showing you which to invest in, when, and how.

The software that was founded by Jon Ferrara in 2009 unifies your contacts and social engagement. These tools on the platform help you grow and maintain your personal brand in four steps:

1) Identify important contacts in your existing and extended network.

2) Listen to what is being said so you can pinpoint needs and wants.

3) Engage with important contacts and add value with timely and knowledgeable insights.

4) Share content that resonates with your network and adds value to your relationships.

Nimble also helps automate the processes of keeping in touch—when, where, and how it’s most effective. The software even makes it possible to manage thousands of contacts with features like: Image

  • Profiling those in your network.
  • Staying on top of follow-ups and follow-throughs.
  • Having a ready history of past communications.
  • Ability to switch streams effortlessly between communications networks without missing a beat.
  • Segmenting your network in manageable cohorts.
  • Having status and insights of your contacts immediately available.

“In short, Nimble makes it hard to drop a ball, and easy to do the right things at the right time,” Quanstrom says. “It gives peace of mind that the most important people, tasks, and communications will reach you in a timely way. And that as you grow your network, smartly, you have the tools to keep pace in a noisy, multi-channel world.”

Matt Charney, Managing Editor at RecruitingBlogs.com can attest to all of this. “Nimble combines all my social contacts, emails, and CRM leads in a single, simple, and easy-to-use interface that’s completely configurable and customizable,” he says. “This means that instead of needing to manually enter or merge contacts or leads, I’m able to work directly in Nimble to add and share leads, notes, and opportunities with the rest of my team while ensuring that I have enhanced visibility and insights into contacts’ digital footprint, influence, and the highest-impact engagement opportunities with a single sign-on.”

Knowing our financial status is just as important these days as knowing our social relationship status. Who is that? What’s their background? What is their relationship to my team or me? What did we talk about when we met? What details are critical to the relationship that I need to know? Actions I can take with them? History of the relationship?

“Nimble is constantly answering these questions and building on this foundation,” he says. “You can expect our next featured releases to strengthen and deepen the trust our customers place in us—to help them understand, grow, and manage their relationships effectively.”

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Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.

Healthcare.gov and CGI: WTF.


What marketers need to understand about website engagement.

No matter what side of the political aisle you may stand on, one thing is for certain; The selection of the CGI Federal to handle the healthcare.gov website demonstrates a serious lack of understanding in customer engagement and in customer relationship management. And while it burns me to know that it went out to a Canadian company, I would be fine with that selection if they had the experience to create a site with this level of engagement by the public. In other words, I don’t blame CGI in this case — I blame the people who selected them.

CGI is a technology information company and if this were a case of building a site solely around that, I’m sure they would be fine. What our government officials failed to understand is that this wasn’t a site about the healthcare industry and what it has to offer. This was a site for consumers to understand what their options are as it affects their choices, lives and budgets. Furthermore, the site should also be a portal to a customer relationship management and nurture program that would allow for continuing communications on a consistent basis about the implementation of plans and services rendered. Instead, you have a $200 million piece of crap that fails at every turn to be helpful in the ways it was intended.

The people of our nation would have been much better served if an agency like R/GA www.rga.com (that has the size and website customer experience modeling) had built it. Or even a small firm like Second Story www.secondstory.com in Portland whose interactive customer experiences are truly engaging. I could even forgo an agency I respect if it was a company that truly understands CRM like salesforce.com, which could also tie into ExactTarget for ongoing communications. Heck, amazon.com would even be a better choice. I think you get my point that there were a lot of options that would have served the public far better than a technology information company.

So here’s the lesson for you. If you find yourself needing to engage an audience through an online experience (website or otherwise), realize this: technology information distribution is a starting point and not the end game. Anyone can build and market a site to get people to go to it — that’s easy. But if the experience isn’t creatively crafted to the needs of the audience, along with a clear decision path based on its goals, it’s pointless. And then, not only have you missed a sale, you’ve missed an opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with that person as well as all the people that person has an influence on.

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Why I’m Not Afraid of Rejection


If your fear of being rejected is preventing you from taking a risk, whether it be career or relationship related, don’t let it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “No.” And if the answer is “No,” well you’ll just be back in the same place as if you hadn’t asked. So why not risk it?


Work Rejection

Whether it is your project proposal getting shut down or a “Thanks for applying, but…” email from a job you want, there are a variety of situations related to work when you can be rejected. This can be discouraging and perhaps you’ll feel like you should give up. Don’t! Just because one time your idea or application wasn’t accepted, doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer next time. Keep thinking of solutions, keep applying to positions you want, keep taking steps towards what you want. Doing nothing after an initial rejection will never help you succeed, trying again might.


Relationship Rejection

I don’t just mean romantic relationships either, this encompasses potential friendships, networking connections, mentors, and even family. When you feel a connection to someone, naturally you want to pursue it, but sometimes the feeling isn’t mutual. I always try to give the person a semi-graceful way to bow out of exchanging contact information, making someone feel pressured into interacting with you is no way to develop a healthy and worthwhile exchange. Much of the time when someone rejects you, it has nothing to do with you personally. There are often outside influences that result in them severing the relationship between you two. Often there is nothing you could’ve done differently that would have changed their mind. Of course you should acknowledge how this makes you feel, but try to step outside of it as well, put it into perspective and move on. After all, no matter how you felt in the moment, in reality you’ll be fine whether they stick around or not.

Sidenote: Do not employ the same technique of trying again as in the work rejection situation. You need to respect people’s right to not want to connect with you.


What To Do About It

You could get angry, defensive. Or you can turn that negative emotion into something better by accepting what has happened and going forward. In terms of work, re-evaluate what didn’t get your idea accepted and then improve it. In terms of relationships, ask yourself, do you really want to try and pursue having someone in your life who has made it clear they don’t really want to be there? Personally, I prefer to spend my time and attention cultivating meaningful connections with people who value and respect me as much as I do them.


There’s no way around it, being rejected hurts. Your ego gets a little bruised, maybe you question your worth. That pain is what stops many people from even attempting to get what they want. It is up to you not to let it.

Further Reading

You’re Not Trapped

 — You have a choice.

Importance of Company Culture Fit

 — From the perspective of the individual

On Anxiety: How Changing Your Mindset Makes All the Difference

 — What you think about, you bring about.

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Turning every day into an adventure through constant curiosity. @curious_heather heatheryamadahosley.com

When You Want to Kiss Her


When I was in high school I used to sneak out at night and ride my bike across town to a girl’s house. I knew if I went to see her one of her friends would happily rat me out to her terribly jealous ex-boyfriend and I’d probably have to fight him (again) but I didn’t give two shiny shits about his fists, it was worth the risk to kiss her lips.

She had memorably full, soft lips, and she was both tender and passionate when she used them. She kissed like some women have sex, like it’s the only thing that matters because we might die tomorrow. In my world, a kiss like that is always worth a punch from a pissed-off dude. So I hopped on my bike whenever she asked me to come over. That’s what you do when you’re a horny teenager. But to be honest, I’d bike across Los Angeles tonight to press lips with a woman I longed to kiss. That’s the great beauty of kissing, it means nothing and at the same time it means everything.

“The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender.”

- Emil Ludwig

Just before you kiss someone, there is a moment fraught with this sort of exquisite agony. You wonder to yourself: Should I? Since (straight) guys are still socially conditioned to make the first move, we feel it’s up to us to make that moment happen. And so, we look for our opportunity. I don’t know how it is for women and girls, but for guys, we step tremulously along a path of uncertainty, hoping it ultimately leads to a woman’s ready lips. And we’re often unsure of the signs because… Newsflash: Woman can be confusing. I’ve always approached uncertainty about a kiss with this sort of ignorant willingness. My thinking is, as long as I don’t force myself on her like some drunken frat beast, I can try for a kiss. I’m always prepared to be wrong. But I’d rather let her tell me than not go for it.

It’s been a long minute since I’ve kissed anyone. So when the opportunity came up recently, you have no idea how much I wanted to kiss her. Maybe you do. Just imagine how fast some poor bastard lost in the Sahara runs when he sees an oasis. Your body has needs. And those hungry voices don’t go away. And when left unattended, your needs grow stronger. When I realized she and I had rushed past playful flirting and we were now digging in to the first scratches of sexuality, it felt like a furnace door was thrown open inside of me, a load of lumber was piled in and my neglected sexual fires roared to life. My skin flushed. My hands felt hot. My eyes burned.

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”

- Ingrid Bergman

The moment before you kiss someone, time slows and your mind races, hovering and darting about like a hummingbird. As your faces linger just inches from each other, her eyes stare into yours. Wordless. Possibly smiling. Maybe she’s not. If no one speaks, you resort to a conversation with just your eyes. And you hope that conversation leads to eyelids closing and you two kissing. All the while, your heart beats like those blurry wings of a hummingbird.

Sometimes a person’s lips are dry, like she drove top-speed across Death Valley in an open-windowed car just to kiss you. And sometimes her lips are moist like the flesh of a peeled peach. But you won’t know how her lips feel until you lean forward and kiss her.

In that moment, waiting face-to-face, I was a dignified pile of aroused flesh that hoped I was imperceptibly quivering. But of course she noticed. She said my hands were shaking. I explained they did that when I was hungry, which is true. They do. At that moment, it was a lie. They were shaking because I wanted to kiss her.

She asked me for one of my hands. Taking it into hers, she measured my hand against her spread fingers and palm. She told me she liked my long fingers. She liked how some were slightly twisted and that my left pinky finger didn’t straighten all the way out. I told her the twists were because I refused to take the time to let them fully heal. I told her how I’d broken all my fingers, both arms numerous times, both knees, all of my toes, my scapula. As I heard myself recount my injuries, I realized the litany of my broken places wasn’t a very sexy topic of conversation. I told her I felt I was lucky since seven of my fingers were still the same as they had always been. She laughed. And slid her fingers between mine. She admired how our hands fit together.

She held my hand a long moment and then moved my twisted fingers to her chest. She never broke eye contact as she told me she liked my hands because they were strong and “lived-in,” like her father’s hands. I may be an idiot most of my waking hours but even I know if a girl presses your hand to her breast and compares you to her father, whom she loves and adores, she’s considering what it would feel like to kiss you.

When you want to kiss someone for the first time, a gaggle of questions cross your mind. “Should I?” is always the inevitable first one to ask. Then you wonder, “Okay, when?” And on the heels of that question follows more questions. “How will they respond? How will I respond? Will it ruin everything between us? Or will it make everything totally fucking awesome?” Question follows question. And you’ll never know any of the answers. So instead, of endless debate…

You have to lean forward and kiss them.

Recently, I learned the power of a kiss when just the sight of one did a number on me. It was like the opposite ending of a fairytale. Instead of a kiss bonding me to the woman I desired, seeing her kiss another set me free. And now it was a week later, and I was standing face to face with a woman who was telling me in a wordless conversation of just our eyes that she thought it was about time I kiss her. And I agreed.

When I was in eighth grade I learned how to French kiss from a girl in Idaho. It was summer vacation and I was traveling with a friend’s family up to a magical place called Priest Lake. That girl probably couldn’t have pointed out France on a map if you gave her three tries but she sure knew a lot about French kissing. She’s always shaped my expectation of what a kiss will feel like. Based on her lips, I feel how differently each new woman kisses from her. It’s funny how the mind works. I imagined how much different this new girl would kiss. Would she be gentler? Would she be messy and slide all over my face? Would she be passionate and kiss like one of us was going off to war?

That first girl in Idaho was a great kisser, like so many farm-girls are. I got lucky there. This hasn’t always been the case. There was one woman I met at a film screening at a museum. She was intense, kissed like a jackhammer. She tongue fucked me. It was like a morey eel high on meth kept shooting out of its hole in the rocks and then jabbing into my moth with this sort of predatory speed. I wanted to tell her to just stop, but she seemed like she really needed a kiss so I kept going in that self-punishing way writers do just to collect more details for a story they may or may not write.

Kissing is the dividing line between sex and cuddling. It belongs to neither camp. Don’t get me wrong, sex is great, so is cuddling, but kissing is its own thing. And we often forget those first love-struck feelings when we’re deep into a relationship. We let slip from mind how fucking awesome it is just to kiss them. Think back to the beginning of your relationship, what would you’ve traded for just one kiss? If you’re not yet in a relationship with someone you’re crushing on, but you’re both circling around each other, doing that dance of availability, you know exactly what I mean. Down in your bones you feel the never-ending desire to press your head against theirs, blot out the world, as your skin meets, as your heartbeat pounds a hungry rhythm inside its cage of ribs, and you finally get to know the warmth of their fingers as they ease a hand against your cheek.

There comes a time when, more than anything else in your entire life, you want to kiss a certain someone for the first time. And that moment scratches a line across your life path, dividing it into the time before you kissed them and the time after you kissed. Whenever you find yourself hovering above that line, briefly paused, your faces inches from each other, as you share the same air, conversing only with your eyes; that burning anticipation is one of the best moments we ever know. And urged on by a touch of bravery, it’s followed by an even better moment when hesitation evaporates and you savor that first lip smack like a blissed-out love junkie.

“Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases.”

-Chinese Proverb


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writer (& future hand model) engaged in life-long feud with gravity

How To Safety Steal Any Girl From Her Boyfriend


It all starts on Facebook

Sometimes, the one we love is sleeping with someone else. Sometimes, we have to take her from him. I’ve done it plenty of times — by mistake actually. Soon, I discoverd a forumla. Here’s the smartest and safest way to do it without getting your hands dirty.

Do This

  1. Be her friend on Facebook.
  2. Like and comment on “some” of her posts — not all.
  3. Publicly compliment her intelligence rather than her looks.
  4. Find mutual friends and use that to break the ice in private messaging. Read my previous post on “How To Find Love On Facebook
  5. Generally speaking, send her private messages with questions — not statements.
  6. Find out what she’s interested in and send her links to relevant stuff on the internet. Use StumbleUpon to find the coolest stuff on the internet for any category.

Pro Tip 1: Don’t ask for her phone number right away. The name of the game is to just be her friend — with seemingly no strings attached. Don’t give away your intentions by asking for too much. Focus on giving.

Pro Tip 2: Don’t talk about sex. Talk about how smart she is, learn something from her.

Pro Tip 3: Eventually, you will want to meetup with her in person. Go to a coffee-shop or a park — somewhere casual. Flirt a little bit but not too much.

Pro Tip 4: The best time is spring time.


Keep in mind: If the girl is in a serious relationship, this may take a period of about 3 to 4 months — sometimes less, sometimes more.

*For those who think this is a form of manipulation — maybe so, but if a man is willing to work for 3 or 4 months to try to get a woman, he just might be worth it. Besides, if a man can take a woman from another man, the relationship was probably not so strong anyway. You can take any girl from her boyfriend as long as she’s at least attracted to you and doesn’t read this post — and it also works vice versa ;)

Further Reading

How To Find Love On Facebook

 — I met my girlfriend on Facebook

Written by

I share quick tips about things I know.

Published December 28, 2013

 

How I let my startups kill my relationship


and how I will never let it happen again

I was lucky enough over a year ago to find the person I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The relationship I developed with my partner from the day we met was the one thing that I thought I could rely on completely, without question. At the time we met, I was driven to succeed in my entrepreneurial ventures. I made some fundamental mistakes and lost the things that were actually most important to me.

At the time my partner and I met, I was growing a subsidiary for a tech company. It was a difficult time with lots of internal politics. Because our relationship was long-distance, the extra travel away from my team and away from the parent company meant frustration levels were always high. At the start of the year, the parent company entered financial trouble, my stress levels went through the roof. I double guessed every decision I had made and also blamed a lot on the relationship and the travel. When the parent company reached breaking point, offering me the opportunity to buy my subsidiary company and grow it autonomously (with the huge yoke of their own financial gain around my neck), my partner supported me wholeheartedly in my decision to decline. This forced me into unemployment. My self worth had been so intrinsically linked to my work, my achievements, that having nothing to work on for the first time in 13 years felt like the biggest failure. It was a time of major uncertainty and personal hardship. I hardly slept, I was frustrated and my anger found an outlet into our relationship that it shouldn’t have. I swore I wouldn’t do this to myself or us again.

My pride didn’t let me keep that promise.

I was determined to prove myself to everyone; previous employers, ex-colleagues, work partnerships and friends. I couldn’t let myself stay idle or jobless or unemployed. I felt that my worth could only be proved through being successful. Only, I saw my worth through what I believed others were thinking. I needed to have a successful, new project, a title behind my name. So I jumped into a project, took it over entirely. As can be in the very early stages of a startup, I worked through days and nights — at one stage, I hadn’t left my desk for 2 weeks and even moved it into my bedroom so that I wouldn’t waste any time between sleeping and waking. I became obsessed with seeing this new project flourish and be successful. I stopped taking the time to enjoy communicating with my partner. I stopped investing even a small percent of my energy into the relationship. He emphasized his concern, but wanted to support my dreams and was too busy growing his own startup to actually pull me up. I couldn’t see anything through my tunnel vision except my need for making this project succeed. I was almost hospitalized at one stage for stress, but convinced my doctor that I only needed to put in one more week’s work like this, and then I would be through to the next stage and could take it easier. I have always been good at selling a point- I almost had myself convinced.

A week later, another transatlantic flight. I was closer to investors and my partner again, but introduced to a whole new level of stress as, to secure some of the deals we needed, my startup was moving at break-neck speed and far above my comfort level. Bit by bit, I started committing one of my biggest mistakes: I overstepped the boundaries of life and work within our relationship. I stopped being able to truly separate my work from us, dragging my extremely talented partner into my work. I started demanding his support. Not only did he have to feel responsible for being there for me, I also demanded his time to help me get my projects out the door: design work, programming, proof-reading. He became my first unpaid, full-time employee. Only, he actually had a full-time, paying job and was concurrently trying to support our relationship. A week ago, he had simply had enough. It shocked me to the core. Within my little success-blinkered tunnel, I had basically put my relationship on my payroll. I had taken it for granted as the stable point in my life, without investing enough into it. I had crossed so many boundaries between work and love and, because there was so much love there, my partner had tried his best to support that. And I lost him.

Only after this occurred was I forced to reassess my motives and their consequences. I realized that I had lost sight of what the most important things were in my life, my relationship and my health. I had sacrificed them for an ideal that I had in my head of what my worth was based on. As a result, I had lost what was dear to me. I know that I could take this time now to bury myself in work, to become that successful, titled person I was striving to be, but I am starting to see that it is far too great a sacrifice. When I think about the things I like about myself, my real self-worth, my drive and passion are certainly there, but the actual work I do is not part of what makes me the person I am.

So I made the decision to turn my back on my pride and my ego, on seeing myself through my perception of other people’s ideals regarding what success should be. I walked away from everything I built. Instead, I started focusing on building myself again. And maybe sometime I will work on my own project again and maybe that will be a startup. But I will do things for the right motives and will ensure that I am investing as much into my personal relationships as I am into my work. I will be careful to see where the boundaries are and should be, and to not cross them. I will never again take something so precious to me for granted. No job, no accolade, no ideal is worth that.

Written by

writer; life-explorer; serial laugher

Published December 28, 2013

 

Do You Have Trust Issues?


Remote working, social media and mobile computing are just some of the management issues impacting your business today.

Two months ago we relocated to a new office. The move itself wasn’t out of the ordinary. The reasons for the move on the other hand represented what I see as a sign of the times.

We doubled our office space, replaced every piece of our perfectly adequate furniture, added sofas (red obviously), a pool table, dartboard, large screen TV, and gaming consoles.

What happened next was a fascinating social experiment.

You see when you throw these items into the mix of a normal office environment, people don’t know how to deal with them. I mean seriously, should they be playing darts at 9am? Or are they all supposed to line up to play pool during their lunch hour? There was absolutely no rule book, and no frame of reference for anyone to work within. Its been absolutely amazing to watch.

Other business owners I’ve known for years thought I was crazy. Surely productivity will nose dive. People will treat the place like a social club and work will begin to slip. Client relationships will suffer, ultimately leading to a total business collapse. Presumably followed shortly afterwards by either a zombie apocalypse or devastating meteor strike (or both).

So what prompted the move in the first place?

Typically I spend 3-4 months a year out in Northern California. I’ve witnessed first hand an evolution (some might say revolution) in the way people are working in the digital economy. I’ve spent time with people who are almost evangelical about their employers. Not only do they benefit from phenomenal working conditions, they are much more importantly lavished with trust on a scale that I’d never witnessed before.

Up to this point, tradition dictates that the employer vs employee relationship is ultimately adversarial. Owners want to make profits, and employees want benefits. Its like some giant game of seesaw. As the list of benefits increases, so profits must fall. The more the owners give, the more is expected. Where will it end? Its a pretty bleak and depressing outlook at business life.

After 17 years I needed to change.

A relationship lacking in trust, is a corrosive thing. It eats away at things over time, its unhealthy for all parties. No one wins in the long run. It becomes all about short term victories. You wouldn’t accept this in your personal relationships, so why do so many people, in their business lives?

I read somewhere (forgotten where), that its unforgivable to be miserable in your own business. The power to change everything is within your grasp. I found myself with the conflicting goals of running a business to provide freedom, and at the same time felt trapped by a status quo that was eating away at me bit by bit.

I realised that in my rush to build a business that scaled (more on that another time) I had implemented processes and procedures that would allow me to manage a much bigger organisation.

I found myself managing a team of 10 people, most of whom have been with me for 5 years or more, utilising systems and rules that were intended to manage strangers. Procedures intentionally designed to remove the need for trust.

All of this seems really obvious to me now, but back at the end of 2012 this was pretty depressing set of conclusions to reach.

So far so awesome

So in 2013 I took the leap. I systematically began breaking down walls (even physically in some cases) and opened up the business to a new way of working. An office move was inevitable as we embarked on this new chapter.

Well that brings us up to-date. So far the move has been a fantastic success. The team is working better than ever. I’ve trusted everyone to know what needs doing. In return they get to work in a great environment.

In many ways all of the above is done with a selfish agenda. I too wanted to come to work and enjoy myself. I wanted to be around happy people enjoying their work and having fun. I’m “happy” to report that part of the experiment has been a great success too.

I’m all too aware that this works for us because we have such an established business and knowledgable team. I’ve no idea how things will work as we inevitably introduce new people to our environment. What i do know is I’d rather take that gamble than embrace the status quo for the sake of avoiding risk.

This probably isn’t for everyone.

Now I’m not saying this is for everyone. I’m not so idealistic to realise that some people own businesses where this model of working simply isn’t practical. I’m guessing the people that clean our offices would love the flexibility to take a break for a game of pool now and again (yes we thought the same thing, they probably do in our office)

What I’m really saying, is that ANY business can afford the time it takes to look at what they do and how they do it. To take time out to look at the people that together make things happen in their organisation. Then find a way to show them the Trust and Respect that your relationship deserves. I guarantee everyone will be healthier for it.


If you found value in this article, it would mean a lot to me if you hit the recommend button!

Written by

#Entrepreneur #Restless #Technologist #Traveler #Husband #Father of Twins #Racer #Storyteller, #SaaS #Cloud #Founder #CEO @Serchen & @KetchellDigital

 

Baring it all on the third date


They say third time’s the charm

I recently started dating…wait, let me back up a bit. Here are the stats: I had, about six months prior, gotten out of a two and three-quarter year long relationship. Not the first in a string of serious relationships I’d had previous, or so ‘seriously’ I’d thought of those relationships when I was in them, but definitely one I believed had lasting potential. Could it have been marriage material? Perhaps. In my reconciliation between what it meant to be in and to have love, alongside what the idea of marriage began to mean and crystalize for me, I definitely toyed with thoughts that it could work…you know, forever.

Fast forward to today and where am I now? Well, for starters, I wouldn’t be titling this prose, “Baring it all on the third date,” had things copacetically worked out. And I see it as a total blessing. Only just a few months ago did I start feeling really confident in myself again: the ability to come, go and do as I pleased, having my own place again, being able to reconnect and spend quality time with myself, being my happy equilibrated self and really hitting my stride as a single person. I was back! Enough time had passed that old feelings didn’t linger anymore and I was ready to unbench myself and get back in the game. It is an exciting time; one full of opportunity, hope, clear-mindedness and wonder.


In comes…let’s just call him ‘Mike’. In comes Mike, someone whose past relationship consternations weren’t unsimilar to mine. Someone who fits well into the amazing, caring, sensitive and ambitious category. Not that I was ever doubting, but it’s been a pleasant surprise that quality guys are still out there.

Now, as I’m getting ready for our third date, the thought of baring it all pops into mind. And it’s probably not what you’re thinking whatsoever.

What I’m referring to is going completely bare faced. No mascara, no foundation, no blush (that’s the extent of my preening). Letting Mike see me for what I am in all my glory — sun spots, freckles, scars, uneven skin tone alike. I figure, if he’s a guy who needs his girl to look a certain way all done up all the time, then he’s not the guy for me. If he’s a guy who needs his girl to put work into her exterior appearance that’ll overshadow and detract from what’s on the inside and what she has to offer cerebrally, then he’s not the guy for me.

Just look at Mike, he got ready for our second date in twenty minutes. And he looked damn fine! But maybe what had already attracted me to him was what was on the inside, and the exterior package only made him that much more appealing. In due time, I’ll be able to better gauge if he truly sees eye to eye with me on this whole exterior/interior thing. So in the meantime, I’ve got a third upcoming date to think about and even though I haven’t made up my mind yet regarding makeup, at minimum I’ll be sure to cover up with some tinted moisturizer.

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Strong advocate for customer experience, awareness and success. Created @AdobeCare. Leading cultural transformation @Adobe. Views are my own.

Published December 26, 2013

 

Why Developing Serious Relationships in Your 20s Matters


Are you in your twenties? Are you an entrepreneur? Have you been told by your friends, your advisors, and your professional peers that now is your time to build your own life and not worry about things like settling down and having children — especially if you’re a female entrepreneur?

It makes sense, right? This is the only time in your life when you have no ties, no mortgage, no kids to support. This is the only time you can really do something ambitious, if you’re being practical.

And let’s face it, you’re not ready anyway. You’re busy building your company, figuring out who you are, what you want. You get laid on a regular basis; it’s not like you don’t have a love life. A “love” life.

And everyone around you agrees. Everyone!

Now is the time to live! (By which you mean building the next change-the-world company, of course.) You’ve moved to New York. Or San Francisco. Or Palo Alto. Or Boston. With the express purpose of building something.

This is a noble cause. There is nothing more professionally satisfying as building something. Something you love. Something you can “get behind.”

But…

There was this girl. This guy.

Eh, fuck it. You’re busy. You have more important things to do. Changing the world is a full-time job and if you don’t do it now, when will you?

Here’s the thing: I know you. You’re probably one of the many people I’ve mentored or hired. On multiple occasions, you’ve explained to me (as if I were your batty old aunt, but I’m not taking it personally) that you have no time to get to know anyone because you’re busy doing your work.

This is a complete fallacy. Work and relationships are not incompatible. (Ask Mark Zuckerberg.)

I’ll wager that there is something about big transient cities that distorts everyone’s sense of time. You become convinced that you have time for everything you find challenging, that your ultimate horizon is infinite. This is only the beginning for you.

But you don’t know how much time you have. And even if things go well for you, your time is finite. You can’t figure out your professional life now and your personal life later. (Unless you’re the rare thirteen-year-old entrepreneur, in which case, I might demur.)

And here is why: As with coding and management and matters of finance and marketing, relationships have a learning curve. You learn the basics of “relationshiptiva” (note to copyed: yes, I made up that word): How to deal with sexual etiquette, mundane everyday things, scheduling, and appropriate meetings with close friends, and some equitable plan for who’s supposed to pay for dinner or wash the dishesthis time. These are basics. And if you’re learning them in your thirties, it’s going to be much harder.

Because in a few years, however young you think yourself (how old is thirty, really?), you will be approaching midlife and you won’t be as adaptable as you once were. There are reasons for this, many of which are biological. Your body won’t respond the same way. You’ll have knee problems that didn’t exist when you were running sophomore track. You can’t stay out till 4:00 a.m. anymore, because now the same alcohol intake has somehow resulted in a hangover that’s a multiple of what it once was — and you will never ever have appreciated a nice soft pillow more. And if you think you can fend these things off with diet and exercise, you should probably buy a good solid book on the aging process or find a professional athlete over the age of thirty to talk to. They will speak of massage therapists and bone density and necessary nutritional supplements. You can mitigate these things, but you can’t entirely avoid them.

But that is not the point. The point is that thirty (or thirty-two, or thirty-five) is not the age when you want to be practicing serious relationships for the first time. Because learning how to develop a meaningful, sustainable relationship and keep it healthy takes some extended practice. You have to get beyond the basics — the sexual negotiations and the decisions about whose clothes go where and how to talk about exes. You have to figure out how to fight well, how to negotiate major value conflicts (if you can — some are impossible), and how to deal with the inevitabilities that come your way.

And those inevitabilities are myriad: At some point, you and your partner will go through a period of disillusionment when someone else turns your head or your partner’s. Maybe you have an affair, maybe you don’t. At some point, one of you will have significantly more career success than the other. This will become a point of tension. As will the disparity in income that usually accompanies it. At some point, you will disagree on how to raise your child and you will each wield the child as the ultimate weapon in a battle of wills. (I’m just doing what’s best forour child!) And at some point, one of you will have a major life issue that costs you everything or close (cancer, financial ruin, miscellaneous crisis), and the other person will have to decide to commit to or not.

It’s not a question of whether each of these things will happen; it’s a question of when. And if you do decide to spend a life with someone, you have to decide that you are willing to face all of these things and acknowledge that some of them could happen sooner than you expect.

Relationships are too important to learn how to face those issues at the last minute. You have to go through a few of them to know how to properly conduct one. You have to fail. You have to date a few terrible people. You have to be the asshole yourself sometimes. You have to learn how not to be the asshole. You have to spend tons of time together — so much time that sometimes you feel indistinguishable from each other and you find that both reassuring and disturbing. You have to have a vicious fight and know it’s not ending you and that you’re going to have to work to repair it and that the effort is worthwhile. These things take time.

I’m not suggesting, mind you, that you settle down in your twenties. I don’t envision you in a ranch home in the suburbs at twenty-six, feeding your toddlers Cheerios and pureed organic carrots and carting them to and from soccer practice in the family [Missouri: Suburban; SoCal: Prius].

I’m just saying that it’s worth it to look at your romantic relationships nakedly. (Metaphorically, not literally. Unless that’s your thing — in which case, contemplate in the nude as much as you want.) Work at a relationship the way you work at your work. Spend the time. Make the effort.

You need the practice. You need to learn. Some of you can wait another ten or twenty years to do that. And some of you may be the rare bachelors and bachelorettes who have no intention of ever being in a serious committed relationship ever. But not most of you, especially if you’re envisioning a spouse and kids sometime before you can start collecting social security. You need time — and lots of it.

And you need to remember that work is not everything. I met my fiancé at work, which is not a way that Detached Professional Me would ever advise anyone to go about meeting people. Under the circumstances, we had to decide fairly quickly whether we were willing to get fired. What was more important: the job or the relationship? We picked the latter. Fortunately, nobody got fired. But if I had been sent packing, I wouldn’t regret it. Jobs are replaceable. People you truly love are not.

I think it’s fair to say — with no scientific evidence — that deathbed wishes rarely include, “If only I had put another twenty hours a week in at the office! That slightly cleaner product release would have made all the difference.” But that guy, that girl? You might regret that.

Further Reading

Confessions of a Part-Time Vegan

 — Eating vegan before six with Mark Bittman

On Dilettantism and the Virtues of Pursuing Multiple Interests

 — When I think back to my childhood, I have a lot of fond memories involving family and friends, but the fact is, I hated being a kid.

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maker of digital things

 

When love isn’t enough.


but then again…it is sometimes.

 

I’ve learned a lot about what love means over the years. Love for your family (even though they seem crazy in so many ways), love for your friends (even though you think that decision they made was all but nuts), love for that job (even though it’s not really challenging you anymore), love for that man (even though that love simply isn’t enough).

Because it isn’t some times. We hate to admit it. But loving someone or some job, or some friend…simply isn’t enough sometimes. This year I broke up twice. Twice. Truth.

I left a job I loved, a team I loved, a cause I loved. But for the right reasons — a new adventure and challenge. But it was still a “break up.” I loved so much about my last startup — our mission, our product, our team, our leader(s) and most importantly- I loved my colleagues. Those amazing people that made me think and smile everyday. I loved them.

Joanna Lord

Joanna Lord (Photo credit: planetc1)

But it wasn’t enough. Enough to keep me from the new adventure that I felt compelled to take. It was time. I had to jump…with no plan, and fuck…it worked out. Dare I say, it worked out brilliantly.

This year, I also broke up with a man I had been dating for three years. We were supposed to move in together, get married, have kids and do all of those things. But again — love wasn’t enough. Sure we loved each other. He is an amazing man. But we grew apart. The drama queens want a better story but there is no one to give them. He is passionate about his road, and I am about mine. Both of us are right in so many ways — and love was not enough to keep us fighting for the future we created in our heads.

People hate admitting love isn’t enough. Because all of a sudden the photos they put on Facebook aren’t real. Those social updates aren’t real. Those holidays they spent. That story they marketed. Those secret Pinterest wedding boards. Those imaginary kid names. Those promotions at work. Those beautiful exits…weren’t real.

As if, because of the breakup, none of it was real.

I say — screw that. It’s all real…at the time. Because it was real then but no longer the reality doesn’t mean the love you felt at the time wasn’t real. I’d say quite the opposite.

If the love at that moment was real enough to convince you…then doesn’t it deserve a nod of the head?

Joanna Lord

Joanna Lord (Photo credit: planetc1)

I think so.

This year reminded me…plans are just plans. What really matters is what you build. What makes you happy. The people that are there next to you. Sometimes love isn’t enough. And sometimes it is. I truly believe, that all we do is defined by the second in this life we decide to give it. We learn from those moments that time does not align. And we learn…and love (at the deepest level known to us) at those moments that time does.

It’s the dichotomy we live with. And I—for one—am so damn thankful for it.

Here’s to 2014. To love…being enough.

 

 

Written by

 

 

 

CMO at BigDoor, social media lover and blog enthusiast. Sleeps rarely. Caffeinates often.