Monday, November 9, 2009

What I Learned This Week

I've talked a lot on this blog about how I left my whole career (the career I went to school for and studied for hours to pass a test to get certified, the career that I worked and worked and commuted and commuted for) to run my own business and have the flexibility of working for myself and being around more for my kids.

What I haven't talked alot on this blog about is how although I love running the website, connecting families, giving parents information and helping small businesses, the one thing I hate is sales. Which really totally sucks because guess what the only way this business makes any money is? Yup, you got it. Advertising sales.

What do I hate about sales? Let me count the ways....

First, I hate calling a business owner and not being able to get through to the right person because the 15 year old kid answering the phone was instructed to not put through any sales calls.

Second, I hate the fact that at that moment, the 15 year old kid answering the phone basically has the power. And not only does he have the power, but he could care less that I am calling to help the business owner get information about his business to people who would actually want to be his customers. Because then that would mean that that kid would have to do things other than answer the phone.

Third, I hate to think that when people see me coming they'll want to turn the other way because they don't want to be "sold".

Fourth, I hate the thought of calling someone and having them be mean or nasty or hang up on me. Especially when more often than not, it's a 15 year old kid.

Do I need to go on? Thanks, I didn't really want to. I'm sure you get the point.

So it pretty much sucks when you hate the one thing that can earn you any money. Yes, it does.

But here's what I learned this week. It's the surprise of all surprises. What is it? It's the fact that I'm good at sales. Maybe I'm not great at the initial cold call, but once I get in front of a person, I am good at sales.

How do I know? Because last week, not only did I get a huge brand new client who is going to run ads in twelve newsletters, but I also got four other businesses who paid to have their businesses listed in our site's directory. And I did it all myself, scheduled meetings, sat with them, walked them through the information and watched them fall in love with this website. One that I created. I've learned that I am good at this very thing that I hate. And now I think I'm going to have to get over all the hate and turn it into love.

Here's a PS for my friends in Philly - I also learned that the Yankees are the Champions. For the 27th time in a row! Hip Hip Jorge!!

For more of What I Learned This Week, head on over to Jo-Lynne's blog at Musings of a Housewife.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Scents that Linger

Twitter Moms and Downy recently posed the question "If you could define yourself with a scent, what scent would represent you and why?" As a mom, all sorts of answers come to mind, although maybe none of them are appropriate. Or anything I would choose to have as a defining scent. But I did start thinking about the question and came up with an answer. Sort of.

To answer the question, I started thinking about my favorite scent, and although I can't say what it specifically is, I can remember it well, describe it perfectly and smell it in my mind. As a little girl, I would take a trip every year to visit my grandparents in Florida. I would spend a week there swimming, getting sunburned and doing grandparent-ish things. Each night, I would open the sleeper sofa, take the sheets and blankets out of the cabinet and go to sleep. In the cabinet where they kept the blankets and sheets, they also kept am unwrapped bar of soap, I guess as a deodorizer. It wasn't a regular bar of Ivory soap, but instead a mixture of sweet and spice. Like a man's cologne. And cinnamon. And cloves. And medicine, but a good smelling kind.

When I hear the question "If you could define yourself with a scent, what scent would represent you and why?" I feel that the answer is really less about the actual scent and more about the feelings of why, more about the memories that the scent brings to the forefront of my mind. I could answer that I love peppermint because it smells clean or lavender because it smells like spring or vanilla because it smells like cupcakes. Instead, I choose this random soap from long ago that lived in my grandparents cabinet. Because even though my grandparents are both gone, I can still smell the bar of soap in my mind and remember who they were, what they were like and most of all, where I came from. I remember the time I spent with them and how I was lucky to have them for as long as I did. And most of all, sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night and catch a whiff of this familiar smell, I know that no matter how much time passes, they are both still here and always with me.

This was posted in response to a contest launched by TwitterMoms and Downy, asking bloggers to write about the scent that defines them. If you want to enter yourself, learn more about the contest here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Slice of American Pie....

I've always been a huge music fan. I listen to everything from show and movie soundtracks to Billy Joel to Michael Jackson to The Dixie Chicks. I have a bunch of choice music on my iPod and my 6 year old son wanted to be Dave Matthews for Halloween this year. 'Nuf said. When One2One Network reached out and offered me a chance to review the new Five for Fighting album, Slice, I figured that there really was no reason not to even though I wasn't a fan. And I realized that the only reason I considered myself "not a fan" was because I didn't realize that I had even heard them before.

When I first listened to Slice, my immediate thought was "why haven't I ever listened to this group before?" The album was awesome. Low-key and mellow with lyrics that were both inspiring and funny and stayed with you (and not in an awful Wiggles sort of way). Every time I think I have chosen the song on the album that's my favorite, the next song plays and I rethink my decision.

Here's some information about Five for Fighting--
Five For Fighting’s breakthrough came in 2001 with the Grammy Nominated song “Superman”, from the Platinum certified “America Town”. The song was climbing the charts upon release, and when 9/11 happened, it became a song of healing for the nation. FFF performed the song at the post 9/11 fundraiser The Concert for New York which paid tribute to all the firefighters, police officers & paramedics affected by the events of 9/11.

Last month, I also had a chance to see John Ondrasik perform an acoustic concert here on Long Island. The theater was small and intimate and the whole show was awesome. Even more awesome was that I got to meet him after the show and wow, what a nice guy, and more importantly, so real. He chatted about his kids and his family like any other dad I've ever met. He just happened to be one that sings fantastic music instead of sitting behind a desk all day. See that picture? Ya, that's me and John.

Definitely check out Slice. And soon. Click the video below to hear their newest release, Chances.
You can also follow John Ondrasik on Twitter and become a fan of Five for Fighting on Facebook.

Huge thanks to the One2One Network for providing me with the fantastic album to review as well as tickets to the show.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I Learned This Week

Here we go again...

What did I learn this week? A few things. First and foremost though that I just don't think I'm meant to be a really good blogger. I just don't have the discipline. I started this blog way back after the First Disney Mommy Blogger Mixer when I met so many different and amazing Bloggers and was inspired to start writing like so many of them did. I wrote some good posts like this one and this one and this one, but they were few and far between. Every time I made a commitment to start writing here again, life just got in the way. Work. Kids. Running a business. Running a house. A few weeks ago, I was inspired yet again by my friend Jen to keep a gratitude journal because it seemed as if things just weren't always going my way and I needed to think more on the half full side than on the half empty side. And after a few days, my commitment totally fell off. Understand, it's not that I'm not committed. I am definitely committed. I think I'm just committed to too many things. Like everyone else but I think that I have my limits.

So I did learn this week that I just have to write when I can and keep this as a record for myself of what's going on over here.

Oh, and I will post again next week when I learn that the Yankees are 27 time champions.

For more of What I Learned This Week, head on over to Jo-Lynne's blog at Musings of a Housewife. She is most definitely one of those superwomen that I referred to in the above post :)
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