ZEST IT UP! And You Will Come Out Smelling Like Lemons Too!

Have you ever had a headache so bad it felt like your head was being split wide open? Yeah I had one like that the other day, and every little or LOUD noise my boys made, I thought my head was splitting even further open. UGH, IT HURT SO BAD!!! And trying to concentrate on client work was hard, but I managed to get a few things done. GO ME! Anyway, Ronii was telling me about this home remedy thing she heard about… you put lemon rinds on your temples and secure with a towel tied around your head and leave on until you start feeling a tingling sensation then remove. Yeah I see that face you are making. That was my reaction too, BUT IT WORKED! It took the splitting feeling away. I could again function and handle my ever so active boys. AND, I smelled all lemony fresh too!

Ok so where am I going with this you ask? It’s all about the zest. The zest of the lemon, which is the rind, is what helped my headache, and zest can help with your marketing. ZEST IT UP! Don’t sit around being all blah and shit, add some zest. Grab people’s interest. Do something zesty and fresh that you are not seeing from your competitors. You could provide some kind of give-a-way to get people’s attention. People love FREE stuff. Take B&A for example, we have this fucking awesome gift for you if you sign up to get our Champagne Thursdays Inspiration tips and antics (Oh I know, I am shameless), but you will love our little gift. And yeah it involves Champagne and a lot of it. It’s zesty! And it’s here, right now. Over there <- ! So GO, sign up. It's free.

Adding that zest to your marketing is super easy and doesn’t have to be complicated. Make it fun and exciting. Have a customer appreciation party, provide something fun for FREE, offer a promotion that will grab their attention… the list could go on. But if you are looking to make a BIG statement, update your look. You don’t have to go all crazy, but maybe change the look of the outside of your office building or the décor inside.  People will notice the little changes. That is what grabs their attention. So find what best suits your needs and ZEST IT UP BABY! And trust me you will come out smelling like lemons. Or is it roses? Lemons works better for my example. You get the drift.

A Lifestyle Business Model

As you probably have read by now, Jenn came to Chucktown a few weeks ago for what she probably thought was a nice, relaxing vacay at the beach. Yeah, that didn't happen. We burneded the candle at both ends.

We worked really hard. Seriously!

We really did work because when you own a business it never stops. We played really hard too though. But for us, if work and play aren't the same thing then we don't want anything to do with it.

Don't you agree?

It was great to have her in Charleston for a number of reasons but as I mentioned in an earlier post, we've had a bit of a rough summer at B&A with some changes going on. So we both really needed to do the work and the relaxation. And the laughter. We needed to laughed A LOT! Laughter is the best medicine.

In the 6 days of eating and drinking and laughing and galvanting we talked a lot about what B&A is and does and wants to be. My goal at B&A has been, and always will be, to help people. Not necessarily businesses but people who work in or run businesses. In additional to helping people, I want to create my own lifestyle. I want my work in the world to fit around the lifestyle I want, not my lifestyle having to fit around my 'job'.

Jenn coming to visit was a perfect example of the lifestyle business model that I'm trying to create.

  • We had a leadership meeting on a boat watching dolphins and dipping our toes in the water (thanks Concentric! I hope we can use your boat again for something). Why can't all leadership meetings be on a boat?
  • We had a Champagne Thursday meeting with one of our favorite clients Verve Media and worked out a new marketing plan. Why can't all business meetings involve cheap champagne?
  • We talked over our strategies and to-do lists over Lavendar Martinis at Cypress. Why can't you talk over strategic ideas and innovations over martinis or your cocktail of choice? (We are equal alcohol drinkers around here)
And there were a ton of things just like these that we did but we got a ton of strategy work done.

Speaking of strategy work, I'm going to tell you now that I'm changing the B&A business model a bit. We are still going to do the great consulting work that we do for our awesome clients but we are going to start working smarter rather than harder. I'm a big believer that to be successful you have to be scaleable and monetizable. So we are looking at and developing products and services that accomplish both in conjunction with our goal of helping people. We definitely aren't giving up our Champagne Thursday lifestyle but are using that as the catalyst to be better at what we do. This is just the next extension of the lifestyle busniess model and you'll see it happening over the next 6 months.

I'm not doing this big re-brand/launch thing (I'm kinda over all that). Its more of a refining process of what we currently do and making it easier and more accessible to you. This is a philosophy I have had for a long time and have been working with clients and I think now is the time to 'put my money where my mouth is' and do it for us. You'll like it. I promise!

Its Hard. Running a Business

Its hard, this running a business thing. I get it. I have one too. Believe me. Its hard. And time consuming. And draining. And frustrating. And painful. And happy. And then sad. And successful. And then failure (in no particular order). And, well, hard. Its all these things all balled up into one big jumble of emotions. I tell people all the time.

I'm like a great Monet masterpeice, from afar its beautiful and put together but when you get up close its just a chaotic mess. (That's a tweetable for ya!)

I go through successful and painful moments just like you do in your business. And some weeks are just an absolute shit storm. But you only see the good parts. Because that's what I want you see, right? Admit it, you do it too. I'm sharing with you some of the 'reality' parts that your never get to see this week.

 

  1. I had 2 employees quit. Well, 1 quit and the other I think quit. I don't really know but her Facebook says she left our firm.
  2. Not 1 but 3 websites had 'emergencies' this week. I'm still dealing with one that I can't figure out what's wrong. (Hopefully by the time this gets posted it will be solved.)
  3. The venue for a luncheon didn't have us on the schedule and we were at the last minute scrambling to get that taken care of only to be told that we had to pay in full in advance. (That ended up going off without a hitch and no one was the wiser.)
  4. I think I hate my website. Not really hate. I really do like it but it just isn't meeting my company's need anymore and it may be time for a change. I don't know though because I spent a lot of money on this website less that 2 years ago.
  5. In addition to the website, I might be having an identity crisis too.
  6. There is no stability in my daily schedule and it is all over the place not leaving me any time to work on (or in for that matter) my business.
  7. I'm re-doing my home office so everything is out of it and scattered everywhere making my brain scattered and I have company coming in less than a day.

 

I work with several small business owners and my issues seem to be not uncommon (I realize that's a double negative) from any one of them. Even the most successful and established businesses I work with seem to be re-thinking, re-working and re-organizing their businesses and structure recently. It seems to be a constant battle. Its the nature of the entreprenuer. We are always solving problems and creating ideas. If you don't like change then entreprenuership is not for you, my friend. It is constantly changing and constantly chaotic.

At B&A you'll see some of those changes soon and you may just see a new website. I'm going to switch up a few of my blog entries so that you can see the inside workings of what running this business looks like. I know you want to know (wink, wink). You know how I know. Because I know that you know that I know about something. You know? Really though, because I want to see the inside of your business and know that I'm not the only one out here that has the same decisions to make. So if you ask me where I want to go for happy hour and I say, 'I don't care.' Know that I really don't care. That is one decision I don't really care to make because as long as they have champagne, wine or beer I don't really care where it is. I make decisions all day long and by happy hour I don't want to make anymore decisions. Just take me to drink.

A great quote that I use often sums it up perfectly, 'I'm not telling you its going to be easy. I'm telling you its going to be worth it.' Here's to the chaos of entreprenuership! And a look under our hood. And maybe a better week next week! :)

What if...

I have a confession. Apparently I have a lot of these. But this one I'm really nervous about. You probably already know this but I'm the new President of the Charleston American Marketing Association. Well, actually I start July 1st. But its here. And I'm FREAKED out!

What if I'm terrible at it? What if people don't like what I do? What if no one shows up for meetings? What if it all falls apart? What if... What if... What if...

I know I'm being irrational about the whole thing but welcome to the chaos that floats around in my head. I have said for year that I'm like a great Monet painting. From afar its beautiful and makes sense but when you get up close its just a chaotic mess. That's me, really. I mean, I know I'm not going to blow the whole thing up. Well, I might... With fun.

I joke. But that's not really a joke. I've decided that what I want in life is to have fun and work with people I like. I have implemented this philosophy at B&A with Champagne Thursdays (insert shameless plug here: go sign up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations and you just might get something fun. It's over there <---. Go do it now. I'll wait. You can always come back and finish this in a sec. But I digress.) We have fun on Champagne Thursdays AND get a lot done. I'm taking this leadership style and translating it into this new leadership role at CAMA. I mean what good is doing great work if you can't have fun doing it?

I know what you are thinking, "Ronii, you're crazy and freakin' out for nothing." I really appreciate your confidence in me. And you are getting a rare glimpse into my not so put together head (that's scary, huh?). But we all have one somewhere inside us. Help me out here. What do you freak out about? Make me feel better that I'm not the only one out here that freaks out about things.

Selling Life Balance

“MOM, I’M HUNGRY!” “MOM, I’M THIRSTY!” “MOM, I WANT THE COMPUTER”. Every time I am trying to get some work done, this is what I hear. Trying to balance working from home and raising 2 boys at the same time is close to impossible. You have the whole world trying to sell life balance, but what the hell is life balance anyway? How do you achieve it? When you find out… please let me know!

Having children and working full-time (or 3 jobs like me) and running a household, can put some strain on your life. You have a husband or a wife, a boss, and kids wanting your time and energy. By 6pm you're ready to crash, but you still have dinner dishes to do, a baseball game to go to, and a blog post to write (Ronii is a slave driver about this. Love you!). Not to mention, kids have school the next day and laundry still needs to be done, but you have to prepare for a conference call with a client about brochures, a website or a document you are working on. You are basically working to find some sort of balance with work, while trying to balance life.

Where is the balance? If you own your own company you work round the clock to make it successful. Is that balance? No! It’s called burning yourself out. Having 2 active little boys that play sports and have to run here and there for school and sports and friends’ houses… well, that can burn a mother out. Now put having all those things with your children to contend with and a job, or 2, or 3, that has you sitting at the computer all day or standing on your feet behind a cash register for hours… OH, and don’t forget the house that needs cleaned and meals to be made and laundry to be done… WHERE IS THE BALANCE?

I manage what I can. Only you can find your life balance. Bosses, friends, husbands, children… they all try to sell you on life balance, but I believe that is just for their own agenda. Only you can sell yourself life balance. So go out there and sell it to yourself.

~Jenn

Fooo... Oh, look a squirrel!

Do you ever suffer from what I like to call Squirrel Syndrome? No? You don't loose focus? You already have, haven't you?

If you're like me there is so much jammed packed into my schedule that I get overwhelmed, which in turn distracks my attention constantly. And its easy to get distracts by, say... 

OHHH... SPARKLY!

Sorry. Focus, Ronii. You are writing a blog post. Squirrel.

As I write this post, the TV is on and I'm trying to 'multi-task' and out of the corner of my eye the cat is taking a bath on the couch. Distracting, no?!?!

I think you would agree that we are a distracted society. And I think that marketing, in part, has made us this way. Everywhere we turn there is a marketing message trying to vie for my attention, time and money. I'm trying to vie for your attention right now with this blog post.

It's TOO much! I can't handle!

So, how can businesses like us 'cut through the clutter'? (I know that is totally cliched but cliches exist for a reason... becuase they are true.) We make people feel something through our story.

We all have a story. I do. You do. They do. We all have a story we want to share and hope it resonates with our potential clients. But the key is to be concise with that story and envoke a feeling so we don't get distracted by squirrels or, in my case, shiny objects.

When tellig your story, remember how you felt going through it. Use adjectives that will make your listener or reader feel those same feelings. I preach it all the time: people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Most consumers purchase on feelings, not practicality. So make them feel something because most likely they have been in, or are in, the same spot and feel the same way. And because you have been through it you know exactly what will fix it and you are willing to fix it for them... for $19.95.

Now, time to get distracted by some sparkly champagne. Happy focusing!

~Ronii

Be Awesome

Not boring. Don’t be boring. Boring is….easy. It’s lame! The worst part is, anyone can be boring. The whole world is boring! Especially the business world and the people in it. Boring status updates. Boring newsletters. Boring advertisements. Boring clothes, uggh!

Wake the hell up! This is LIFE people. The opportunity for approximately 100 years of pure awesomeness, or what COULD be pure awesomeness if you let it. For most of us there is that 20-something confusion before the suit and tie, the 30-something doubt if you’re on the right path, or that 40-something regret that you haven’t (yet) fulfilled your life dream. You’ve got air in your lungs and a beat in your chest. Do something about it. Be awesome!!

An excerpt: “Two roads diverged in the woods… and I took the road less traveled. And it HURT man! ROCKS! THORNS! And GLASS! That shit broke! NOT COOL ROBERT FROST.” – Kid President

So, what if there really were two paths at your 20-something confusion before the suit and tie?  Forget traveled or less traveled. Did you choose the path that leads to awesome? Are you on it now? Are you getting out of bed in the morning wearing awesome pajama pants? There’s a quote that reads, “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says ‘Oh shit! She’s up!’” Now, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, nor does it apply only to women. This simply suggests that you’re a BAMF and you’re about to go about your day bring a totally awesome BAMF.  Positivity and creativity go hand in hand, and both are incredibly empowering.  What will you create, share, or discover that will make this world more awesome?

I don’t know everything. I’m at my 20-something confusion but I don’t ever see myself wearing a suit and tie (figuratively). But I’m navigating through life, work, and my late-twenties by making a conscious effort to be awesome each and every day. Call it a new leaf. Call it whatever you have to until you realize that you deserve to feel awesome at all times, and others deserve someone awesome to inspire and motivate them. Go on with your bad self!

Don’t be a Kumquat

For those of you who don’t know, kumquats are the wannabe cousins of an orange. It is the smaller, pain-in-the-ass to eat, looks like an orange but is so not an orange, fruit that leaves an awful bitter taste in your mouth. Let’s face it… they suck. In fact, kumquats can’t even grow from their own seed they need the rootstock, A.K.A the crap left behind from other citrus plants in order to grow. 

Kumquats come in more than just fruit form. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that kumquats can be people too. You know that telemarketer who calls the second you sit down to eat dinner? He’s a kumquat. Or what about the friend or family member that feels the need to forward every, I mean EVERY, chain email to you and their entire address book because they’re afraid that if they don’t meet the twelve person minimum they’ll never find Prince Charming? She’s a kumquat. Real life kumquats can do more than just leave a bad taste in your mouth. Sometimes they just make an eyebrow-raising decision. For example, take a look at exhibit A:

 

I mean…come on. I can’t be the only person that wants to shake Spermies and scream, “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!” Now I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus here. The name is slightly unfortunate (but then again I can’t judge considering my last name is a dental product), but the logo, that’s some serious kumquatery. 

One thing this name and logo secured with its customers was brand recognition. This image will forever be embedded into our memory. But, is it for the right reasons? Do we remember it because it entertains us or do we remember it because we like the product or service? Did your last brand image decision leave a bitter, confused taste in your mouth or a citrusy, fresh taste? Regardless of your answer, there is good news: there is a way to avoid being a kumquat!

Be fresh, be inventive, be you, but most importantly be smart! Command attention from your sheer awesomeness not your awfulness. After all, who doesn’t want to be a juicy Florida orange over a sour kumquat? So when you’re sitting at your desk/table/creative spot and you find yourself in a bind, just remember: Don’t be a kumquat!

~Taylor

Be Part of the Solution

Everyday my commute to work promises me the perpetual pleasure of having to turn left into rush hour traffic that backs up at a light about a half-mile down. It’s pretty shitty. Last week I waited at the end of my road, with my blinker on, for 7 minutes. S-E-V-E-N. My being on time lies in the hands of strangers letting you into a long line of waiting traffic, that is, IF the oncoming traffic is clear (which is seldom the case). But, ultimately, someone lets you pull out into the line. And because that usually happens (when usually is not the case, the resulting scenario generally entails some kind of death-defying Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift maneuver, which I have pretty much perfected), I tend to let people into traffic ahead of me. I know, I know, how kind, you’re thinking. This is still all very new for me, being from the motherland of ignorant and impatient drivers, so don’t go thinking I’ll let you try to cut me off and NOT run you off the road. Deep down, I’m still a New Yorker. 

ANYWAY – I’ve started my own version of passing on the kindness or paying it forward or however you want to refer to it, via my commute to work. I don’t volunteer anywhere or make charitable donations (unless Goodwill counts? But we all know that’s just us getting our crap out of the house, let’s be real), but lately I’ve started to recycle and compost and have had a few opportunities to help others out with things like setting up events and needing rides and borrowing things, and something about it is making me feel really positive, despite my occasional road rage. 

So even though I’ve spent fifteen minutes waiting to get that half-mile to the light, I always make it a point to let at least one person out in front of me, because chances are they’ve been waiting as long as I have. I guess there are people that always have practiced this but it’s sort of new for me and it makes me feel good – 99% of the time the people make a big effort to wave or thank you somehow and most of the time you travel with that person for a good portion of the remainder of your commute. 

I’d like to think I started a chain reaction the other day. The person that I let out had let someone else out, and then a few roads down, the person that they let out had let someone else out. And I wondered if I had never let that guy out to begin with, would it have never happened? Did everyone pick up the positive vibes together on the way to work? Was I the last straw of that guy’s patience before he pulled a Tokyo Drift, but came to the rescue and let him out and saved his day? Perhaps I’m getting a little carried away about it, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can prevent Tokyo Drift type situations and not even know it. 

While my example is via my commute to work, this can happen anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change. You can make it a normal part of your everyday grind, or you can do it once a week (whatever “it” is for you). If everyone woke up and decided, “Today I’m going to be as fucking awesome as possible,” do you think we would notice a shift in the midst? Tomorrow, wake up and be as ridiculously awesome as possible. And pass it on. Try it again the next day too. And stay tuned for the follow-up blog post on why being awesome is so awesome (seriously). 

~Coco

Too Busy with Work to Work

I know. I know. I know. I'm a total hipocrite. I preach to our clients all the time that if they are going to have a blog that they have to work on content constantly because consumers don't like to see posts that are 2 and 3 months old. They keep coming back for fresh, new content and YOUR twist on it.

I'm a total hipocrite because we haven't had a blog post in almost 3 months!

New Year's Resolution: Be better about content on the blog!

I have a good excuse. I PROMISE!

We've been so busy with our clients that our stuff tends to go on the back burner. It's a very good problem to have and I'm extremely grateful to have that problem right now. We love our clients and want them to succeed even more than we want to succeed. So I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all our clients in the past 4 1/2 years that have made B&A what it is today.

That said. We have been secretly working on a few things at B&A. Wink, wink. We have a few small changes coming out the beginning of the year that we are so excited about. We have been back here quietly working on our story and re-aligning our service offereing so that we can serve our clients better. It's going to be subtle but a change nonetheless. So... Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks and let us know what you thinkg or just say hi as we start on this new chapter.

As we work on wrapping and shipping gifts, all of us at B&A wish all you a very safe and happy holidays!

Oreos, Someecards, and Human Truth

Oh, Oreos. There are few things you can eat 30 of and afterwards still want more. There is something so powerful and dangerous to me about Oreos. It’s like I have an out of body experience and when I come back to reality, I’ll have just eaten 30 Oreos. The amazing part is, while I’m in this lofty, daydream-type trance, I am still able to dip in milk with precise calculation; the outcome being a not-too-soft but not-too-hard Oreo (per-freaking-fection). It’s a lovely and delicious thing. And I just let the guilt roll off of my shoulders and blame it on that devilish, overpowering trance. Ugh, Oreos. I’m afraid that when the day comes for me to get pregnant and deliver a child, I’ll have eaten so many Oreos during my pregnancy that I will give birth to an Oreo.

Do you smell what I’m stepping in here? Let me be clear: I LOVE OREOS. That much. I’ll bet anything that you have a food or dessert that you feel this way about. I wouldn’t consider you human if you didn’t. And that’s my point. Everyone’s afraid to talk about it, but we all feel it. The continuous hand-to-mouth motion and no urge to stop. No urge to fight it. We’ve all been there and that is what we like to call a human truth. Something that connects us in a fashion so deeply hidden by embarrassment or resentment or pressure to live ‘healthily,’ we rarely acknowledge it to ourselves, let alone discuss it with others. Enter the ecard.

They are breaking out onto the scene with tremendous popularity, each expressing one harsh, hilarious truth at a time. Some apply so accurately to me it’s as if I’d written it myself. Which is why, I guess, millions of people are slapping them onto Facebook and Pintrest like fake tattoos on a five year old. They acknowledge a deep, innate human truth that reflects on the surface as humor and so we can all laugh about it together even if it’s about a real fear or an under-the-table topic like gay marriage or baby poop or, well, an unmanageable sweet tooth so severe you need to work out five days a week to keep it at bay.

Here are some that I feel best reflect me and the truths that literally do define me:

Ronii didn't have as many Someecards on her Pinterest boards as I did because she's totally lame. But here a couple about her.

 

This human truth that I speak of connects us all together and is the perfect opportunity for your business to show that there’s a human behind it that is just like them. This is creating personality around your brand that consumers connect to on a more intimate level. We all know that people work with businesses they know, like and trust. Totally clichéd, but oh so very true. Taking your human truths that other’s can connect with is a great way for your customers to get to know, like and trust you. Hence, more clients with more work.

What are yours?

~Coco

Baby's Got Sauce!

If you’ve got it, flaunt it! I’ve got it. I know Ronii has it. And other cool people, too. My mom has it, and one of my really good friends. But, just like Oreos and wine and quad espressos, too much of it is a bad thing.

Confidence. It sells. Confidence radiates how sexy, smart, and poised you are, and can therefore supersede even the most cunning sales pitch. Granted, what you’re saying to a potential client is likely important, the cold truth is, what they’re seeing can subconsciously make up their minds before you even open your mouth. Facial expressions, smiling, hand gestures, the tone of your voice, and general body language will give you away the moment you walk through a door.

Use this to your advantage!

Back in my college days (feels like forever ago to me), I can remember a specific conversation I had with one of my professors. We had to do one of those exercises where you make a presentation to the class, and afterward, you would get critiqued by the teacher. I remember telling him that I would always be nervous speaking in front of people, no matter how confident I was in my subject matter. I admitted that I could feel my voice wavering as I spoke, and even as I was getting comfortable giving presentations, my heart would pound incessantly.  His response resonated with me forever.

He said that, in fact, it was one of the best presentations he had seen that semester, and shared with me this advice: Nobody in the audience can feel my heartbeat, and nobody could hear my voice wavering…as far as the audience was concerned, because of the way that I carried myself and the confidence I had in my research and myself, I was indeed the master of the Hawaiian Punch marketing plan (there was a reason I chose this subject…although it escapes me at the moment).

So instead of focusing on selling an idea, product, or service, try shifting your focus on the “vibe” you exude and the personality you bring to your business. Chances are, this client has seen or heard of whatever it is you are proposing. But what they haven’t seen before is your sauce. Your tenacity, your conviction. A certainty in your abilities and your strengths that only you know and only you can convey. How you put the heart…and backbone…into your business.

Good luck! 

The Authentic Why Process

We have a ton of stuff happening at B&A this new year. And we have been taking some time to really focus on the company and try and create some new systems and models. While going through this process, I was asked the question, "why are we the next big thing in the marketing world?" I had to come up with an answer. And fast. While I'm very good at explaining to people what B&A is and stands for, I had never really coined a term for it. And while I was writing a one page synopsis of it all, I found it. We work in the "authentic why."

WTF is that? Let me explain a little better how this came about. I have been obsessed with TED Talks lately and I came across one with Simon Sinek called How great leaders inspire action. The big take away in this talk is that "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." Its a simple enough concept. But so many businesses don't approach their marketing or communications this way. They tend to take the status quo route because we are trained to be normal and blend in with everyone else.

I took this "why" concept and made it my own. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I believe that to be successful you have to be true to who you are. I have talked about transperancy as a marketing strategy before and letting that drive marketing and brand communications and company culture. So, I took Simon Sinek's concept on people buy "why" and my believe that you should be true to your inner rockstar and came up with the "Authentic Why Process" that B&A follows. I mean it is natural that the two go hand in hand with one another. Not only do we follow it internal for ourselves, but this the process that we lead our clients through to discover their culture and build their brands. It's who you are. Why you do what you do. What you believe. It's those words that you keep saying over and over again and don't know you are saying them. It's our job to spot those trends that you already know. We just string the themes together to make the story. The story of you and why you believe in what you do.

Do you ever wonder why some people are so successful just by showing up and it seems so effortless for them? Here you are and it's so hard and you just can't seem to be as happy as they are. It's because you are trying to be them, which works for them but isn't you. People see right through that and won't buy what you are selling if you don't believe. Once you believe, then you have to tell them why you believe it. That's the Authentic Why Process. We just help find it and facilitate it. We have always worked in this format but have never really given it a name or its own "brand" to be able to explain it in simple terms. We want to know, what is your authentic why?

Most Loved Words - Ronii's Version

Coco's post about her Most Loved Words last week has started a trend here at the B&A office and we have each come up with our own list of most loved words now. Here's mine. Enjoy!

  • Kumquat: Say it. How fun is that to say? Not only is it a delicious fruit but kinda dirty in a way. Randomly inject the word into a sentence or question and instantly people are listening to you because they are suprised and thinking about what a Kumquat is. The other day I was having a conversation with a guy who wasn't paying much attention to me and all of a sudden I say, "Do you like Kumquats?" He looked up at me and actually thought about what I had just said to process it and laughed and finally said, "I don't know if I have ever had one." After that he listened to every word I said. Try this at your next networking event. Go around ask people if they like kumquats. I bet they remember you next time you see them.
  • Sultry: God, this is a sexy word. As we were talking about this word in the office, we came up with the analogy that 'Paris is sexy and Italy is sultry.' Its more earthy than sexy but what a brilliantly discriptive word.
  • WTF: This is my sutle way of saying curse words without really offending people. Its just a perfect phrase for when I'm completely befuddled (this will show up later in the post), which seems to happen a lot here recently.
  • Comme ci, comme ca: French for so so. I learned this word my first year of French in high school. Why they taught us this particular word? I don't know. Probably because it is fun to say. But no one says, "How are you?" and your respond, "So so." Who does that? Apparently the French. But it is a really fun word to go around saying.
  • Wiggle: Not only is it fun to say but fun to do as well. Do it! Right now. In your chair. Then, say it while you are doing it - wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. How much fun is that. Do this daily and you'll feel better about everything. Dr. Ronii is out.
  • Sparkle: Um, confession. I have a secret Twilight obsession (Ugh, feels good to confess). Hence, I love all things that sparkle - jewelry, eyes, vampires. Sparkle is such a good distraction too. "Consumers attention spans have become shorter than in the past and now you only have - Ohhhh, sparkly!" (SPARKLY FLASH!! Shameless B&A plug! Contact us if you want to know how long you have to grab consumers' attention when they come your website. We can help you with that.)
  • Befuddled: I added this word as I was typing this post because I realized I kinda love it. I tend to be beffuddled a lot. Its a more elegant way to say that I'm confused all the time. I'm not confused, I'm just befuddled.
  • Flabbergasted: Surprised. So originally, Aga added this word to her list because she heard me say it. I'm taking it back because it is my word and I love it. I found it first. It is so much more fun to say instead of surprised. People flabbergast me.

There are several other words and phrases that I tend to say quiet frequently but are not appropriate to put on a blog post. But if you want to know them give me a shout, buy me a beer and let's talk off the record.

~Ronii

Hello World ... I'm NOT Perfect!

Strange thing happened this week. We got fired. Yep. It happened. I can come up with all kinds of excuses as to why it wasn't our fault - the client was unhappy with the copy and we didn't write it, the client wanted to work with someone local and we are far away, the client wanted to work with a consultant that specialized in their industry and we are a general marketing firm, the client is bat shit crazy, etc., etc,. etc. You get the point. But it doesn't matter, the fact of the matter is we were FIRED. That wasn't the really strange thing that happened though.

I don't know if you noticed or not from my post last week but I've been feeling sorry for myself here lately. Moi!?!? Yes, me (so, sue me for not always being happy and being a little selfish). And just when I think my world couldn't get any worse, I get the call. YOUR FIRED! Total Donald Trump style too (not really but that doesn't make for an interesting enough story). Are you freakin' kidding me? I don't get fired, I'm Ronii Bartles and nothing I do is ever wrong and I'm PERFECT, which negates me from ever being fired because everyone LOVES me. Apparently, that's not so. Not everyone loves me. Now, I'm devasted.

So here we are (I'm going to say we because I do have a business partner, an associate and an intern to think about) and we are all pissed off and upset. Why? Because its been a shitty week, that's why. And then the strange thing happens. A client Skypes me saying, "are you busy?" Me: "No, what' up?" The client admits to me that they are completely overwhelmed and sad because they can't get caught up and don't know what to do with their business and are just so busy but not making any money so what's the point? I sat down and I took the time to talk with them and admit that as put together as I may seem to everyone on the outside - I'm NOT perfect! I know how they feel more than they even know. I get overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, happy, excited and back to depressed again and that's all in one day. Yeah, everyone on the outside might think that I'm well put together and can handle anything with grace. Well, honestly, Allen has to put up with the crazy me coming home crying because things didn't go according to my "master plan" (picture me using my jazz hands here) and now I'm overwhelmed and stressed and he just has to deal with me upset and crying while I'm making dinner. Boy does Allen have some stories about me not being perfect, but we are going to leave him out of this right now because who are we kidding, I'm perfect!

No one really sees that side but its there because I'm human too. I was really glad I opened up to them about the fact that I'm not as put together as everyone might think and I think they respect me even more for my honesty and openness. That's the thing, this whole business and life thing is about being genuine and honest. Yeah, I'm not perfect (I like bad pop music and Bud Select 55) and, yeah, I got fired this week. But that's ok - it just opens up room in my life for something better to come along.

I want to know, are you perfect? If so, what's the secret and how much will it cost me to find out? If not though, what's your dirty little secret that the world should know. Mine? I'm not perfect. And you know what? Its ok!

~Ronii