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I’ve been reading Almost isn’t Good Enough: The Human Connection Changes Everything. This isn’t  a book review. That will come soon. This book is written to people who are running or involved in not-for-profit work.  The author is standing the world of not-for-profit on its ear and challenging some long standing traditional view of how a not-for-profit is run, and how it takes on the basic clear task of following a mission.

As stated, this is not a book review.  Wayne Elsey is a proven man in the world of for-profit business and not-for-profit organizations. He “gets it” on such a deep level.  I’m reading this book because of my interest in both worlds. So let’s look at some takeaways that I’ve gathered so far from this book that can be applied to any business.

Making a difference
When teaching in the corporate world, I ask companies about their philanthropic works. I often suggest that they strategically support those not-for-profits and the community with their online influence.

“Making a difference in the life of someone else, though, is something that everyone has the capacity to do, regardless of where one is in life and career…

It will create energy around you that will attract others, change lives and offer the opportunity to leave a legacy of change in the midst of a culture of access. “


“Success, wealth, and impact are not philosophical ideas to be debated within the halls of academia. They are characteristics grounded in a focused effort over a long period of time that lead to transformation.”

Many times we associate the words mission statement with not-for-profit, but a business should have one too. If you’re not clearly focused on achieving that mission, you’re just working.  If you find the clarity of your mission and follow it, you will be on the path of success, wealth and impact.

Valuing People

Janet Effron wrote a great post called: Company Policy in there she asked

“Is it your practice to hire stupid people?”

That stuck with me. When I work with companies, I often ask to train, not only upper management, public relations,  marketing, and sales people to use the tools of social media, I ask to train support staff, and a variety of other positions within a corporation.  Why? Because, people are what make your company strong. It is the people that you have trusted to represent your brand in the real world, that make your company shine. You should trust that they will make you proud online too, with proper training of you policy, goals, and a clearly defined strategy.

It is our “belief that everyone is at the table because they bring something of value. To that end they are expected to bring that value everyday” You want to “create a culture of empowerment…

It’s vital that we not create barriers to conversations but empower the experts we retain to perform at their highest levels.”’

Are you creating a culture of empowerment, and valuing the people you have chosen to be a part of your business? Do you give them a platform in which to express their knowledge of your product or service, and to become branded themselves as an expert in you field of business; and thus your business is branded thru them? Or do you simply let the PR guys get this new media stuff?Wayne “gets it” no matter if you are talking for-profit or not-for-profit :

“It’s all about the people.”


Letting go of control

Sometimes, those of us who habitually spread ourselves too thin over too many things have to let go.

We like to feel like we are in control in business, life, and relationships.  We micro manage the details to the extreme. And because of this dedication to detail we seem to be successful.

It’s an illusion

The ‘control’ we think we have is an illusion.  We think we are on the right path with our life and career, that we have the reigns of destiny.

One drunk driver, one heart attack, one stray bullet can bring our well crafted, well intended futures crumbling down around us.  Often it’s not until then, when we are left to sift through the rubble, that we realize we never had control in the first place.

I have control of my brand, and my business

No you don’t. With the wide-spread acceptance of social media as a means of communication, a business can no longer hide behind the illusion that it’s in control of its brand by choosing to moderate comments or by choosing not be on social media at all.

Deleting negative posts

When a brand decides to maintain brand reputation by deleting negative feedback, let’s say for example on their Facebook fan page, they assume they are controlling the conversation.  The problem is that the conversation stops between the brand and the consumer and continues consumer to consumer.

People will continue to speak about good and bad service that your brand has provided even if you are not willing to participate.

5 things to consider before you decide

to promote your brand online:

  1. Are you willing to give up control?
  2. Are you prepared to deal with negative feedback?
  3. Do you have a purpose?
  4. What are your goals?
  5. What are you willing to risk?

If you’ve not thought through your goals and laid out a plan that fits your purpose, then you’d better be willing to risk it all.

Yesterday was New Year Eve, and our anniversary. I spent the better part of my day in bed, reading tweets, facebook posts, blogs, and bouncing back and forth between several books. All this was accomplished while still taking many cat naps.

I wasn’t shy about answering the many times people asked “how are you feeling.” I watched as people dropped off line for a few hours as parties started, and held conversations with friends online that weren’t out on the town.

I mentioned in a recent post that I was seeking out other stone formers, and that I “Usually asked some questions, but did not make any real sparks.  (People in pain are not real conversationalists.) “

So last night as I was about to ring in the new year, I reached out to several more people who mentioned kidney stones in their tweets. A spark was found.  We exchanged a few comments and questions as we had both had our procedure the same day. She then tweeted me the best new years toast!

@DanaMNelson Toasting rx med w/ u 4 Happy New Year!


Thanks Patty for the best NYE toast!

As an update to yesterday’s post when I thought I had failed at my original task of this blog-a-thon, I received this comment:

“You did not fail! I blogged nearly every day and certainly would not have if it hadn’t been for you!”

This was from Mandy Bell Gregory. She has been blogging with us daily. Please check out her blog at:



As I mentioned yesterday I tried to reach out to others who were suffering in order to offer hope and encouragement.  I didn’t really let me guard down, express the anxiety I was feeling, and talk about what I was going though.

Wednesday night I let my guard down. I privately DMed my pastor @DaleBeaver

 “Please pray for peace/calm, starting to freak out.”  

 He replied within minutes with a Bible verse that was spot on what I needed to hear. I thought maybe others need to hear it too. So I thanked him and tweeted it publicly. As a side note for those who don’t know me: I am a Christ Follower, but I DO NOT post much “churchy” stuff. I hold more to the – practice kindness talk to people and show your love than the preach it method- that is just WHO I am.)

Much to my surprise this sparked several side conversations, and more DMs from other people. So I posted it on Facebook.

“THANK YOU!! To Dale Beaver who sent this to me via Twitter, at a moment of top stress about tomorrow. (I really NEEDED to hear it) Philippians 4:6-7


 Again, this is WAY out of norm for me.  What I found was more and more outpouring of love compassion and caring.  Many more started telling me stories of things they have endured and things they have suffered. And more than one THANKED me. Thanked me for saying I was scared? This seemed off to me, for them to thank me for posting, I was the one who was getting what I needed to hear not them.

There is a difference

When we drop our guard, and let people see we are hurting, or in need of friendship, we find something more special than we could have imagined.

-we find true and new friends alike.

-we find a deeper understanding of people’s beliefs.

-we find out how highly we are valued as people, not for our work, but for who we are.

-we find that through our suffering we can encourage others to be brave.

Baby Robin

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching

Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

I was watching a video of Scott Stratten or @unmarketing as you may know him on twitter. He wrote the book “Unmarketing- Stop Marketing and Start Engaging” He is now on a book tour, really going out into the world and not only engaging with his over 66k followers. But he is doing more than that. He is taking a stand. He is like this wild, radical Canadian man on a mission to change the way people market. Why?

 (Hint: cuz what your doing is not working, it is annoying and not making you any money off me cuz I am tired of this BS you try to sell me all the time.)

He is taking a stand because he, as a human being wants what we all want. He wants to be heard, he wants to be paid attention to, and he wants you to treat him with respect and kindness, as you do business with him. He is pointing out some really obvious facts. He is sharing real life stories of how hard it was. (I love the one where he took 30 days and lived twitter. Tweeted 7000 tweets in 30 days. After those 30 days he had 10,000 followers. )

He rants on people not wanting to take the time to put in the work to create 7,000 tweets, who moan that “tweezer” does not work for them. Then he said it. That moment where if you were in a Baptist church you would stand to your feet and proclaim AMEN! He said:

Social media does not change the fact that relationships take time!

I said yes! When I teach classes people always ask me “how much time…” I hate that question. At first I assumed that it was because I was in denial about my addiction, and just did not like being called out on it. Then I started answering in a very professional way: “That’s not a fair question.” I followed it with- but this is what I do.

 When Scott said that “Social media does not change the fact that relationships take time!” I realized it. I do take a lot of time to build relationships online. I do still play responsibly and work hard to get my offline responsibilities done. –I may work harder and longer, but I just do it, because to me, to my business, the time is well spent.

So if you are not seeing results by auto scheduling your tweets, or running a great promotion, or give away, if you’re still focusing on the media of the term Social Media- forget the push!

Try to find ways to really connect. Listen *Comment* Help* Show you care. The time you spend caring about the people will be time well spent that will change you.

 Social media does not change the fact that relationships take time!

Are you willing to take the time to make this relationship work?

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