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“The secret to happiness is low expectations.” ~ Barry Schwartz

Sounds pessimistic, but is it?

Today I watched this TED Talk:  The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, where he touches on how we have a bazillion choices from choicesRSeverything from salad dressings, to clothing, to cell phones. It’s hard NOT to be frozen when faced with so many choices because either;

a) our expectations are insanely high, or

b) we are going to feel disappointment & second guess what we do end up choosing

True right? Wasn’t it easier when we didn’t have the expectation of perfection? And weren’t we WAY less stressed out? I know I was. A few months ago we were looking for health benefits and the levels of different coverage presented to us made our heads spin. Husband wants to get the BEST and I just want us to not overpay. So what did we go with? Nothing…because it was overwhelming and seemed like we’d make the wrong choice. Give us 2 options? Easy peasy and less likely we’d put it off.

“The more options there are, the easier it is to regret anything at all that is disappointing about the option that you chose.”

Just under 20 minutes…grab a coffee and watch it. He’s entertaining too.

 

My Why

Started a phenominal book a few days ago – Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. FANTASTIC BOOK! Got me to thinking…last year I was approached a few times to do web design for other companies, as in do contract work. I bid on a couple but something just didn’t feel good about it. Why?

WHY did I quit my job at Genivar after 10 and half years?

WHY did I choose this path?

Not going to lie, it’s totally because I LOVE IT. But why is it that I want Unlimited BS to be strictly about small business?

Because I like the little guy. Not just the new ones, but small business in general and I think that even though they may have a small budget trying to get the ball rolling, they still deserve the same opportunities as the big guy with loads of cash burning a hole in his pocket.

And doesn’t it seem the little guy seems to always have crazy passion for what they do? I THRIVE on that!

In my short time in this industry, I’ve met some pretty incredible clients doing some pretty cool things. Learning about what drives them, what they have to offer is what drives me. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and I love that.

THAT is why I can’t contract myself out and be a middle man. I NEED the part of my job that is getting to know about your business…from you. The part where we sit down (over coffee!) and you share your love for your job. I love that part as much as the actual building of the website.

I’m only 4 chapters in…but this is what I’ve discovered about Unlimited BS so far…that is my WHY!

My Christmas Drug-Induced Miracle

I’m writing this for anyone else who has asthma and thinks maybe they have to settle for strained breathing every single day. And how it can gradually take over a big chunk of your life.

I got asthma when I was 16…always coughing, drinking cough medicine like a mad woman because we thought it was a cold that wouldn’t go away. And snorting Dristan like some sort of junkie.

Until I had my kid it was always VERY manageable. I’d go to ER maybe once a year, but the rest of the time no problems, meds always worked, it never affected my life whatsoever.

The past 2+ years have sucked healthwise. I’ve been tested for everything under the sun. I switched doctors, cried, and got seriously pissy with them, because NOTHING they were doing was helping. Beyond frustrating. $350 to get the air tested in our house. Nope. Every type of inhaler. Nope. Yoga. Nope. Oils. Nope. Allergy tests. Nope. Biopsies. Nope. Natural medicines. Nope. Work out like crazy, build your lung capacity. Nope. Eat 14 cupcakes a day. Nope. (ok…I made that one up…but it didn’t work either)

About 8 months ago, my Lung Specialist (who I have a mad crush on now) suggested Xolair. An injection at a mere $25,000/year.

Um…no. We’re self employed with no benefits. So just no.

Last month I went to see him and was worse again. My husband said enough. Do the shots, if after a few months nothing, we quit, but at least you’ll know.

So…..Monday last week I went for my Xolair application appointment. Cindy was awesome. AWESOME.

NEVER in my 23 years of asthma doctors has anyone REALLY REALLY explained the disease to me. Because it is that, it IS a disease.

With asthma, you look fine, no visible ailments but you can really feel like hell. It can make you stop participating in certain things because you are worried you’ll have to quit because you can’t breathe and you feel like a puss because of it. I’ve kind of always considered it a minor thing that I needed an inhaler for, and I always kind of felt it was my fault it was getting worse. Cindy was very direct with me. You have a disease. Stress didn’t do this, stress can’t create these numbers, it’s a disease and we need to aggressively treat it because it is getting worse.

Ya…I cried. Like any unstable mother would do, filled out the Blue Cross applications, and cried.

And Cindy…awesome, caring, smart Cindy said “You know what? I’m going to give you a compassion shot right now, no charge”.

And then I cried more because, well that’s a $650 please stop crying moment worthy of some tears of gratitude 🙂

She told me not to expect overnight success like I know some have had.

First 2 nights I had my attacks early evening…usually they are late at night which is why I never get to sleep until morning, after I’m pooped from fighting to get my breathing in check. And…I slept! I slept hard…lol…I felt like I haven’t slept in 2 years, which I kind of haven’t had a deep, uninterrupted sleep in that long. And I’ve slept every night since. AND I’m 5 days with no asthma symptoms. FIVE DAYS! I haven’t had a stretch like that in a looong time 😀

Freakin miracle…I can’t even tell you.

If your health is going to shit, it really is up to you to keep at it, search out specialists, research, research, research, try everything. Eventually something has to click. And don’t quit until it does. Keep asking questions. It’s up to you to get better.

I was told this drug can change your life. The first week has me feeling rested, relieved, and I could not be more grateful.

Authentic

This quote was in my email this morning and I love it.

Companies, like people, should never change who they are so others will like them; they should find those who like them for who they already are. ~ Simon Sinek

It is so in line with the conversations I’ve had the past couple days with Clients, and with friends. You don’t need to put on an act, or be who you aren’t to gain business. Just be authentic. People see through bullshit. Maybe not immediately…but eventually.

I think there is a lot of pressure to be something out-of-the-box, stand out, shock factor, huge, over the top and attention getting.

I’m over it. In my head, out of the box is the new in the box with the lid taped neatly shut.

Don’t try so hard. Be you.

Best Day in the History of the World

Don’t get all judgy…yes, the birth of my child and my wedding day all come first.

There..now on with my post 😀

November 1st was a total wicked day for me. Despite the fact it started before 8am. Red Deer launched Social Media Breakfast which is a networking group that meets once a month over breakfast. Read more

Veteran Voices of Canada

Ok…I know I ALWAYS get giddy about my new projects. Cilantro & Chive…my first paying gig & a new restaurant!…Yummy Custom Cakes…because, HELLO, it’s cupcakes and I got to do pink website!…Certified Tax & Accounting because she let me go outside a boring old accounting website like every accounting firm has and be unique….Farion Acoustical Architecture Inc. because I was intrigued by his work…guy did a study on reducing the noise in hockey arenas when the puck hits the boards, who’d have thought people do this kind of work?…Work&Life/Balanced because it was a clean site (my favourite kind!) and Keri was the most easy going client EVER!…and my 4 other sites in the wings that I can’t talk about yet. Each exciting for totally different reasons.
Read more

Sometimes my weirdness turns out pretty awesome

So..this past weekend a family stayed with us we’ve never met. By never met…I mean in person – I’d talked with her a LOT and seen pictures of her family growing up over the past 8 years. EIGHT YEARS! Amy and I met 8 years ago when a group of us blogged on MSN Spaces. Since then…after Spaces retired, we’ve kept up with one another through facebook.

She’d posted she was planning holidays to Drumheller and West Ed, I saw it and immediately demanded STAY WITH US! Her and her 3 kids did! What a FANTASTIC weekend! We played games, went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Centrefest, had a campfire and caught some belly dancing at It’s All Greek to Me.

Every night my husband would ask…”Seriously, no surprises? She’s what you thought?” Nope, no surprises. No awkward moments. No OMG WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE! It was like having an old friend here to catch up with. The ONLY thing I was surprised by was her voice, because I’d never heard it before. She said mine was bang on to what she expected. I guess she just knew I’d have a high pitched whiney voice 😉

So…REAL relationships CAN be built online, just sayin 😉

Thanks for coming Amy, we had a great time with your family!

From my Brain to yours

I took a Webinar yesterday from Gary Vaynerchuk called “How to Fully Commit to Social Media”.

ya, I know. Brenda, could you BE more committed (addicted) to social media? But I knew he had a good rep and I wanted to hear him speak and his thoughts on marketing. His talk was on how old school thinking can leave you in the dust.

Here’s some point form things I took away from it. My thoughts are in italics.

  • What to automate on social media? ZERO. People think I’m crazy when I tell them this. IF you’re automating, you’re not present.
  • Engagement changes the relationship. Actually talking to people, using their names, giving a shit. Important stuff.
  • Being romantic in business is the easiest way to go out of it: don’t hold on to how things were! Saying “we’re doing fine without social media” is resisting change. Change is GOOD people! Embrace it 🙂
  • Social Media sites have the cleanest data that exists. Nielsen has low sample sizes and doesn’t represent the actual #’s
  • The way we need to reach people is not a 30 sec commercial. Must be more creative, less salesy – you have to actually care now. People need to connect, need an emotional attachment.
  • Your message is getting spammy, unless you show that you care. If all you do is promote your services and never engage, you are spam my friend.
  • Social media is connecting us like we are in a small town. This makes me SO FREAKIN HAPPY!
  • World is changing quickly – Need to get dramatically more creative by actually giving a crap.
  • Social Media isn’t a short-term platform, but a long-term investment. You won’t see results in a week, a month. Got to be in for the long haul.
  • Google+ is in trouble, but don’t bet against Google. Maybe they’ll buy Twitter. WHAAATTTT??

And my absolute favourite quote of the session?

While we are getting more Jetsons, the Flintstones are winning.

Tell me that isn’t awesome. Technology, technology, technology, if you aren’t building relationships, you may as well fly off in your bubble.

 

Gary is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author who is also a self-trained wine and social media expert. Check him out here. (did you catch that? Social Media AND wine!

Awesome is Calling…ANSWER IT!

Needless to say, when Shelley Boston told me she was talking with Scott Stratten about coming to Red Deer, I was inappropriately giddy. This is not only huge for a nerd like me, this is huge for Red Deer. This national best-selling author of UnMarketing, this guy that is ranked one of the top twitter influencers in the WORLD, is coming here. HERE! And I get to meet him. Unbelievably AWESOME.

November 1st, for a half day seminar – UNAWESOME IS UNACCEPTABLE – where we get to pick his brain about all things social media and marketing. And this will not be a blow smoke up your butt or put you to sleep seminar – Scott tells it like it is – no bullshit, straight up solutions and advice to how to market your business on social media. Oh, AND we all get signed copies of his new book coming out later this year too – The Book of Business Awesome.

If you own any business – small local business, home-based, large corporation, charitable organization – anything, this guy can teach you how to market it the RIGHT way from how to address complaints, how to re-recruit your employees, how to re-court your customers, to how to avoid trainwrecks.

And if there are still some of you out there that are non-social media fans? Well firstly…WAKE UP, IT’S 2012!!!! Like it or not, it’s how to reach people. If you don’t adopt it now, you are missing out on a huge market. What better way to start then to learn from the best?  He gets 60,000,000 hits on his client videos. SIXTY MILLION PEOPLE!

Tickets went on sale Monday, this is his ONLY Alberta stop this fall and tickets are going quick. I don’t want you to miss it. Be Awesome. Be there.

My all time favourite words from Scott? There is no such thing as tweeting too much.

Amen brotha.