Tag Archives: People

Social Media – The Latest Tool In Fighting Crime

Caught Web Handed is an article on FOXNews.com’s website detailing how law enforcement is using social media to catch criminals.

Yes some of them make it easy.  Stopping on the way out of a crime spree and checking a Facebook page is oh, let’s say hmmm, moronic.  Uploading video to Youtube detailing all the loot you picked up.  Yeah another real brainiac.

These are frightening situations and under no circumstances am I diminishing the pain and stress these situations cause.  But there are bigger fish to catch and social media is making it easier.

It’s a stretch to include email specifically as social media but it can get passed around the internet, mentioned in a Tweet or posted on a blog.  Even when it isn’t viral it can be archived until the tenth of never or whenever the sender/receiver needs it.

That’s how they tracked down Faisal Shahzad the man who set the Time Square bomb scare into motion.  The VIN was tracked to a teenager in Connecticut who had the car for sale on Craigslist.  Mr. Shahzad emailed her and then bought the car.

I’m glad he emailed.  It’s how he was caught. It’s also a stark reminder that online there are no casual conversations.

Internet Addiction Affects College Students

Internet addicts?

A study by the University of Maryland indicates college students are seriously addicted to the internet.

I’d like to know what addiction isn’t serious but I digress.

A class of 200 students disconnected from all electronic media for 24 hours after which they blogged about their experiences.  The accumulated 110,000 words were centered around “bored, distracted, dependence, difficult” among others.  The infographs in the study are great visuals.

When I saw the first paragraph of the results of the study I couldn’t believe it.  Are you kidding me?

Then I got down to the part that made complete sense.  This wasn’t about gaming or finding a new bar or any of a million other things you can do with a phone or social media.

They said they felt disconnected from their family and friends.

Wow. I get that.  It’s just that I get it from being online all the time.

Talk about your generation gap.

The five highlights in the article are amazing! They spell out the future of communication.  Ignore at your own risk.

Two Meetings And Out

It took me a long time to stop focusing on potential clients.  I mean the clients I met, had a meaningful conversation or two, sent the proposal, considered the project a slam-dunk.  Like a summer camp romance I never heard from them again.

Oh my gosh. It’s demoralizing to think how much time I spent waiting for someone to call.  Or I would call and leave a perky message.

Yes it would have been better if the other person said, “I’m just not that into you/your company/your offer”.  Actually the silence was deafening but like most entrepreneurs I thought it nearly impossible to get turned down or they were busy or they needed to get the cash together.  Sigh.

So I took the advice of a member of my Mastermind group.  He never has more than two meetings with a potential client.  Then it’s go or no go.  He doesn’t spend any time worrying about it.

I am not doing this perfectly – one characteristic of an entrepreneur is eternal optimism.

Why does he have such success? He closes a large percentage of these deals.

His ability to sit down with the people who will really benefit from his expertise and to close the deal makes all the difference.

I’m working on that too.

Fighting Gravity

The peonies my mother-in-law planted in what is now our front yard are shooting up. All the information these spectacular flowers need to grow is completely contained in a seed the size of a pea.

I am obsessed with that.  How can all the necessary information be there?  Especially the part about moving up through hard soil…against the rules of gravity.

What is it about flowers and grass and trees that they grow against all odds?  That once they start it takes extraordinary measures to stop them like a complete lack of water or an extreme wounding?

We all know people like that.  Nothing stops them even when the extraordinary  intervenes. How is it some continue to move upward even against the gravity of circumstances that stop others in their tracks?

Why isn’t it more common?

Over the next few months I am going seek out these amazing people and tell their stories. Won’t it be wonderful to learn how to do it ourselves?

Annoyances Are Like Allergies

I interrupt.

I interrupt everyone including myself.

It’s a lifelong characteristic and I would love to blame my mother because she’s an interrupter too.  Unfortunately I’m a grown up so I can’t do that.

“Oh, it’s just one of my character flaws”, I tell myself.  A minor imperfection that I recognize just as soon as I’ve done it but it’s already too late.  I have worked on it but it doesn’t seem to get better.

Until today.

I really did understand intellectually that interrupting sends the “I’m not listening” message.  Even when I’m being supportive it has to be annoying to the person speaking.  What I didn’t understand was small annoyances are like allergies.  Over time they build up until there is a reaction.  Sometimes a big one.

Has this happened to you – on either side of the minor imperfection?  How do you handle it?  Is this something HR needs to get involved in from the beginning?  Is it an issue for management or simply an open honest conversation between workers when it first starts?  Or is it best ignored until it creates a productivity problem.

Share your perspective. I’m going to need all the help I can get!

Distractions – Another Justification For Failure

I hate magic shows.  I always have since I realized that many tricks only work because the magician creates a distraction.  So on the rare occasion I stop the remote on a magic show I spend the whole time trying to watch for the smoke and mirrors.

(Yes, I know it’s probably more enjoyable to suspend disbelief but I have had to reserve that for motherhood.)

Over the last two weeks I have been astonished at the number of times the topic of women’s choices in the business world has come up and in a variety of situations.  One person questioned my choice of a liberal arts degree instead of a business degree.  One person recommended a book that posits women need to reconsider the decision to “give our children to other people to raise”.  One person had to be disabused of the notion that my business partner was my husband.  Another suggested that Tiger’s sexual partners should write letters to Elin Woods and apologize for their part in his indiscretion.

The first question came from someone I really like and respect.  It took a week for me to give him a complete answer because I didn’t really  have the answer.  It was the context of the times.  An Army recruiter told me there were very narrow choices for me if I really wanted them to pay for college.  The newspaper divided up its help wanted ads into “men only” and “women only”.  Many of my friends went to Bowling Green State University because it was the best place to get an education degree – perfect for a woman.  I opted for University of Toledo for that reason.  But business? No, that wasn’t really open to me.  I bought into the distractions of the media.

Radical Housekeeping is the book making the rounds about how to get back to the basics in raising a family.  I’m sorry. When I ever hear about the good old days I get faint. (See preceding paragraph.)  But the notion that I enrolled my daughter in the finest preschool in this area so that someone else could raise her? Them’s fightin’ words! These books always come out when women take the lead in college enrollment, a very public figure makes a personal decision to devote more of her time to her family, there are more wives with jobs than husbands.  The distracting message?  You’re going to be judged on how your family works and let’s face it. You can’t have it all so maybe this book can make you feel better about your (crazy) decisions.

Not all women work with their husbands.  Stop making that stupid assumption.  I won’t work with someone who speaks only to my business partner in a meeting.  Corollary to that: Women make 80% of all household decisions so to the person who told me that women rely on their husbands for all the financial planning – you’re in for an extreme lack of women in your practice.  The distraction? The soft bigotry of low expectations.

I do not suggest women choose a life that includes trading sex for anything.  That’s why God gave us brains and put them at the top of our bodies.  On the other hand I really get that it can be very lucrative and there is an unending demand for it.  (I am not talking here about the women who have been forced into this business through childhood sexual abuse, drugs, etc.  This is an entirely different set of circumstances and I would never compare their horrible situations to women who choose it.)  But seriously.  Tiger Wood’s call girls and financially supported girlfriends should be held responsible for Tiger’s actions?

You have to be kidding.

This is the biggest distraction I have seen in foreverTiger Woods, his entourage, the PGA community desperate to keep the big money coming in and members of the press who wanted access created the environment that kept this ridiculous behavior undercover for years.  I’d bet my bottom dollar many of them helped procure women.  But the easier thing to do? Distract their wives and girlfriends and mothers by blaming the women who caused Tiger’s downfall.  Because if what’s good for Tiger is good for golf is good for them…well, you get where I’m going.

Why this extra long rant?

Distractions hurt businesses.  Are you so focused on what’s urgent that you run out of time to do what’s important?  Do you avoid feeling foolish by pretending you know how to read your P&L or balance sheet or just let the accountant tell you what it says once a year?  Have you opted out of an entire customer segment because you don’t “get” Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, search optimization? Worst of all have you refused to consider, out of hand, potential clients because of old thinking?

Distractions are the justification for failure.  Here’s the problem with that: The failure still feels mighty bad.

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