Friday Freebie #2

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It’s that time of the year when holiday music and fairy lights and pops of red and green and gold take you to another realm, even if for a few seconds. It’s that time of the year when we give, and the shopaholic in me has already stored plenty to give (I’m almost done with gift shopping, because I know the craze that will follow). It’s that time of the year when we’re kind, though kindness never goes out of style. This holiday season, start with yourself. Because if you’re happy, you spread happiness around you. Whereas if you’re grumpy, you spread… well, you know 😉

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You can’t treat me like that!

“People can be however they want to be, we can choose to be however we choose to be.” I’m starting to think everything comes down to 3 things in life: choices, mindset & emotional intelligence. Not everyone will love us or make us the center of their universe, and we should be ok with it. Sometimes even the strongest people can be put down by petty minds, and it will take them a while to rise. We can’t control how people treat us, but we can control how we feel about it. Watch the video for more insight 😉

4 thought-provoking questions to spark conversation

We’re on the brink of a future beyond what we can fathom — a future with driverless cars, designer babies, intelligent robots, and digital doppelgangers. Who will you choose to be in that future? How will it change you?

Here are four fascinating questions to get you thinking. See what you would choose — and ask your friends what they think too.

1. If you could upload your brain to a computer, would you do it?

Imagine this: Your future self uploads your brain to a computer, creating a complete digital replica of your mind. But that version of you is smarter — learning faster than you ever could — and starts to have experiences that the “real” you has never had, in a digital world that you have never seen.

Would you be game to try it, and why? Would that digital version of you still be “you?” Should you be free to have a relationship with someone’s digital replica? Are you responsible for the choices your replica makes?

2. Should parents be able to edit their babies’ genes? 

If you had a baby with a congenital heart defect and a doctor could remove the gene, would you do it to save your baby’s life? Most people probably would.

But take that another step further: Would you make your baby a little more intelligent? A little more beautiful? Should you be able to choose their sexuality? Their skin tone? What if only the rich could afford it? What if you chose not to edit your child, but other parents did?

3. Should a driverless car kill its passenger to save five strangers?

A driverless car is on a two-way road lined with trees when five kids suddenly step out into traffic. The car has three choices: to hit the kids, to hit oncoming traffic or to hit a tree. The first risks five lives, the second risks two, and the third risks one. What should the car be programmed to choose? Should it try to save its passenger, or should it save the most lives?

Would you be willing to get in a car knowing it might choose to kill you? What if you and your child were in the car, would you get in then? And should every car have the same rules, or should you be able to pay more for a car that would save you?

4. What morals should we program into intelligent machines? 

Picture a world with intelligent robots — machines smarter than you’ll ever be — that have no idea how to tell the difference between right and wrong. That’s a problem, right? But giving machines moral values poses an even stickier problem: a human has to choose them.

If we’re going to program morality into intelligent machines, which values should we prioritize? Who should decide which moral beliefs are the most “right”? Should every country have to agree to a set of core values? Should the robot be able to change to change its own mind?

Watch the videos on TED

Self love isn’t cliche

Do you have standards or do you have expectations when it comes to yourself? You are enough isn’t just a motivational quote or a hot hashtag that will hopefully bring you more followers. It’s a way of life. It’s about knowing yourself with your pretty parts and flaws and accepting yourself just the way you are. The good part is that you can always improve as long as you’re aware you need to improve and you want it. Watch the video for more insight 😉

Are you a super mom?

“3 children! You are so brave” & “Take care of yourself”. I heard this a gazillion times from people who don’t know me and have no clue what it’s like to have 3 children, or just one, for that matter. From people who are workaholic and neglect themselves and their own families, if they have them at all. They just say it for the sake of saying it, and instead of helping, it just makes me think how fake they are. A few weeks ago, I exchanged a couple of phrases with someone from an online community, who’s going through something similar (working baby & older child mama). And she said something along the lines of “I know what it’s like. Hang in there, you can do it”. And I instantly had this huge smile upon my face and felt encouraged, because they were honest words. The truth is that I do put myself first, because I know a happy woman brings harmony to the home. It’s a simple truth I learned while hopping houses during my tutoring time with children. Our mothers’ generation put us first and lifted us on a pedestal. They sacrificed their lives and it didn’t end up all that well. So it’s our turn to teach our daughters we’re only human, and one of the things we need most is to be in harmony so we can spread kindness and harmony around us.

Shonda Rhimes & Cindi Stivers: The future of storytelling

“We all feel a compelling need to watch stories, to tell stories … to discuss the things that tell each one of us that we are not alone in the world,” says TV titan Shonda Rhimes. A dominant force in television since “Grey’s Anatomy” hit the airwaves, Rhimes discusses the future of media networks, how she’s using her narrative-building skills as a force for good, an intriguing concept known as “Amish summers” and much more, in conversation with Cyndi Stivers, director of the TED Residency.

 

Update

One week ago, minus a few hours, baby bump came into this world. There has been a lot of adapting from 4 to 5 and knowing each other, so there’s been a little hiatus on the blog. Stay tuned because updates will take their regular course 😉 My weekly articles will take a while before making their appearance though, because at the moment there are other priorities.

PS: today the blog turns 1 *pops imaginary bottle of champagne*

Friday Freebie #1

If it’s Friday, let’s share 😉 From now on, on Fridays you will find freebie graphics on the blog. Spread the word! Today is all about celebrating and family.

 

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Why the customer isn’t always right & what to do about it

The saying goes that our client is our master. In other words, clients have the right to interfere and dictate us ways of action. I have seen this happening quite a lot lately, especially when it comes to established brands. It’s a mistake many marketers make, an intentional compromise that lowers the value of their work but fills their pockets.

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Our clients may be the best in their field. But they don’t know how to do marketing, that’s why they hire us. They choose and trust us for our expertise. So we should remind them about that when they try to impose their ideas as the only available options. Most of the time, they are all into aggressive self promotion, sales, worthless content, more sales, stuff no one cares about, and yes, even more sales. It’s the sure recipe for failure, and the visible sign is that a page with 3,000 followers has only 2 likes per post.

The marketers who accept such an attitude do it exclusively for the financial gains. They develop long lasting relationships which involve strategies done 90% by the client, so their effort is minimum. They aren’t interested in growing that business or getting results, they are interested in receiving their exaggerated bill month after month. It’s our duty to signal unrealistic expectations and suggest alternatives which are more likely to become reality.

When you really want to achieve something, you fight for it. Even with the most pretentious of clients, we can still do our job the right way. We just need to be subtle when we make suggestions. It means more effort on our side, and people skills, but we’re marketers after all, aren’t we? There’s nothing a cup of coffee and a drop of wisdom and energy can’t solve.

People expect excellence and results from us, but they tie our hands and don’t let us express ourselves. They’re killing our creativity. There are a few things we can do when that happens. You’re not doing yourself or the client any favor by shutting up, on the contrary. So stop pulling your hair and taking deep breaths to avoid an outburst.

You have a finite amount of time and energy. Don’t waste it on something unreasonable which will turn into a source of stress. Don’t feel guilty about moving on. No matter the level your business is at, you can afford to lose bad clients. When someone becomes a pain, you can always stop collaborating with them. In time you’ll see money isn’t worth everything, and especially not your balance. And you will certainly find valuable clients who will respect your working style.

Almost a year ago, I met the owner of a printing agency who said he only takes on projects that pique his interest. Back then I thought he was arrogant. Now, when I’ve grown professionally myself and I’ve seen with my own eyes the quality materials they deliver, I admire him. In this day and age, the agency is not online because they’re swamped with orders. They have exclusive customers and seldom accept new ones, based on recommendations from existing clients.

Clients may think they are experts and assume something is supposed to work a certain way. When they think they know better how you should do your job, don’t forget you have all the know-how you need. Don’t misguide them by letting them think they’re right, it will only harm your business in the long run. Don’t be arrogant about it, but remind them you are the marketer.

The odious phrase “the customer is always right” is attributed to Harry Gordon Selfridge. Yes, that Selfridge. But since 1909 when he defined it the world has changed. You will never be able to innovate as long as you don’t have enough freedom. So know your worth, constantly prove your expertise and work smart 😉