Sleep your way to the top (in 4 minutes and 11 seconds)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been sleeping a lot in 2011 and it feels really good. I hope 2011 is the year of sleeping your way to success, well ahem… literally that is. Sleep is important. Here’s Arianna Huffington’s take on it. (And if she’s not successful I’ll eat my pillow!)

How much sleep is best for you? Do you see benefits to sleeping more or sleeping less? Please share your comments below.

Press On

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

— Calvin Coolidge


Yesterday I replaced the batteries in my electronic tooth brush with new ones and when I turned the toothbrush on inside my mouth, I nearly swallowed the head of the brush out pure shock.  I had no idea how old the previous batteries were and how ineffective they had become since the brush still seemed to work albeit rather unenergeticly.

So what does all of this have to do with marketing, business, life or blogging?  Well, as I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of the super charged brush cleaning my teeth, I had one of those Elizabeth Gilbert moments of inspiration where I suddenly realized the importance of recharging.  What does that mean you ask?  It means taking time off.  It means stopping, relaxing, taking time off to enjoy the real things in life.  Too often we get stuck on a treadmill of the daily grind, day in day out working, fighting the clock to get as much done as possible and still feeling like the list never gets any shorter.  I wonder if the batteries are just getting tired after working and pushing so hard for so long.  Perhaps if we just switch out the batteries in ourselves, we’ll have that boost of energy like new batteries in your favorite electronic device. (I’m sure there are only a few things which are as evident in a tactile form as an electronic toothbrush, but you know what I mean.)

Are you feeling fine, normal, same old – same old?  Is it time for you to take time to recharge your batteries?

What’s your favorite way to do it?

Susby Turns One

Happy Birthday to Susby! We have been in business for one year now and it has been a wonderful experience. This post is to say thank you to everyone who has helped us this year. Big thank yous to all of our loyal clients, for choosing to work with us and also to our excellent partners for being people we can depend upon to make clients dreams happen. While the only constant especially on the Internet is change, we are honored to know and be able to work with such a special group of people. Each of you has been instrumental in keeping Susby in business and helping us learn, grow and succeed.

Thank you to Sue, Courtney, Kathy, Sarah, Mel and Jodi at PIER 39. You are a dynamic team and it is a real pleasure to work with you. I love our brainstorming sessions.

Thank you to Taylor, Katie and Dennis at Blue and Gold Fleet. There is never a dull moment on the bay with RocketBoat and the Blue and Gold Ferries to promote.

Thanks to Louise, Rich and Gary at the Japan Center Garage Corporation. You are all delightful people and I feel very fortunate to know you.

Thanks to Greg of Galliant Group. You have no idea how much I admire your courage, drive and passion for your business. It’s truly an honor to work with you and your team.

Thanks to Tim, Alf, Reinald, Matthew, Nazy, and Ernaz at Netfira. I am thoroughly enjoying the start-up vibe and learning so much from you.

Thanks to Paul and Mitchell of G-Tatts. I love working with musicians!

Thanks to Michelle at Dome Construction, Morgan at Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Jodie at Poster Compliance Center and Drew, Kathryn, Kat and Vicki at MacKenzie.

Thank you to Michelle at The Law Office of Michelle Brodie, the best workers’ compensation attorney in San Francisco. You have taught me more than you can imagine and I am so proud to be part of your successful practice.

Thank you to D’Layna at Vocal Downloads who kept me going when I was just starting out and continues to be a source of inspiration for your persistence, courage and for always believing in your dream.

Thanks to Amy of A2B Strategy for being a fan, supporter and patient client.

Thanks to Jennifer, my programmer and Chief Technology Expert, you are the best person I have ever worked with on development projects and I am very lucky to be able to continue working with you after more than 6 years.

Thanks to SF State for employing me to teach classes which help me stay current on industry trends. I learn so much from my students and have started many excellent relationships with you. Thank you for your interest in my classes and for continuing to stay in touch.

Thanks to my friends, especially MD at Quiet Action, you are a constant source of grounding, support and inspiration all at the same time. Michaela of Hayes Marketing and Communications, you are one of my favorite people and someone I respect and admire more than I can express. To Sandra and Orah who probably know more about me than anyone should, thanks so much for all your listening. Thanks to Nic for being a true friend always and for opening my eyes to new ways of thinking and being. Thanks to Anna, Steph and Brad at Click to Play Media, and Rob, Rob and Karoline at iConfident, for your friendship and collaboration on the video. Thanks to Jose at WikiKreate Expansion, for your smart ideas. Thanks to Renata of Being Daring for always being in my corner, and last but not least, I am grateful to Kate, Pablo and Isabel for your service on the Classes for Causes board of directors, for your constant support and encouragement and for being people I can trust and rely on always.

After one year in business, most of all I am grateful for the relationships I have started, friendships I hope I have earned and connections you have made with me. It is a pleasure working with you, talking with you and collaborating with you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

We are Evolving

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

4o years ago today, the first humans landed on the moon.  It was a major milestone with Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to follow the next day.  What seemed impossible had been accomplished and many people worldwide watched in awe as the news unfolded on the black and white television, across  radio waves and in the newspaper.

Today, most people first hear of important news via their social network.  Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or just a friend telling you, who probably received it in “Twitter-time,” the news has shifted from something that is not just reported by big corporations, but also distributed by word-of-mouth over short messaging systems and wifi.

We’ve come a long way in 40 years especially when it comes to marketing and relationships.  40 years ago marketing used to require messaging and money was crucial to building a strong campaign and there was very little opportunity for the small Mom and Pop shop to compete.  Today, marketing requires relationships, connections, conversations and participation.  Even the little guy can succeed if he is smart and driven enough.  It still takes time though and that’s where the skills come in.  Do your research and you’re likely to find a lot of people sharing a wealth of knowledge.  For example, this article by Mari Smith that Michaela Hayes shared with me is a very good strategy for social media.

We are now well into the share economy where sharing and connecting over common interests is the name of the game.
I enjoyed this Nora Jones song I found during an Apollo 11 search on Twitter.  Sometimes reflection on our progress is a great way to continue moving forward.

Federal Government Grants

Yesterday I got a phone call from “Kim Smith” of Federal Government Grants. She had a decidely East Indian accent and persisted that she was calling because the U.S. Federal Government wanted to give me $7,000 because my credit is good, I am a good citizen and I pay all my bills on time.

She said that when I get the money I have to promise not to use it for anything bad like gambling, alcohol or drugs, but that I should feel free to use it for anything positive, like towards my mortgage payment, buying a car, school for my kids or home improvement.

The phone call went on and on with lots of requests for agreement and she kept asking me to speak up because she couldn’t hear me. Eventually she told me how to claim my grant money. She needed me to answer a few questions confirming my address, phone , date of birth…. you see where this is heading now, right? Then after all the questions, I had to call (213) 599-7374 which I was told was the Federal Government Grants Accounts department and let the person on the other end of the phone know that I talked with Kim Smith and give my confirmation number.

Well obviously I didn’t call, so Kim Smith called me back a couple of hours later asking me why I hadn’t yet called and asked me to tell her when I would call. I told her I would call by 2 p.m. So at 1:55 p.m. for the hell of it I called, and what happened?

The same story all over again with another woman with an Indian accent explaining the nature of the program and what was involved with lots of questions, asking me to speak up so that she could hear my response. (Do you think she was recording my responses perhaps?)

Does this sound fishy or phishy or vishy to you? It did to me so I hung up. I’m wondering if anyone else has had any similar experiences and what you did or would do if you got such a call. Care to share?

I did a little research and found a nice article on – Federal Government Grants: No Free Lunch, The Truth About Federal Government Grants which also pointed me to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance website which looks like a good resource for applying for government grants if that’s what you’re looking for, but there doesn’t seem to be any mention of anything for individuals who pay their bills on time anywhere.

The moral of the story? If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Be careful out there.

The top three Google AdWords even claim things like “Everyone Approved” and “Never Repay, ”  like this:

AdWord Ad about Government Grants