Archive for February, 2011



Why Are You Here?

The question was part rhetorical and part inquisitive: “Why are you here?” I was in my second year of college and the exchanged happened because of my asking for an extension on a paper, due to a volleyball tournament on my schedule. I was a bit shocked by the bold retort of my English teacher. I expected her to understand that there was more to life than her class, be gracious and let me off the hook. She didn’t. She jolted me with an existential question that haunts so many of us on a daily basis. The simple answer was “I’m here to go to college, learn and graduate.” But the bigger life answer is much more elusive. And while I still wrestle with God’s will for my life on a daily basis, I learned something that day that has served me well over the years. Even when I cannot…

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Waking Up Guilty

I saw this video a couple of weeks ago and it impacted me more than many sermons on the subject I have heard over the years. It’s not only powerful but a work of art as well. Short Film produced about the immediate emotions of waking up the morning after an affair. What kind of emotions did you feel after watching it?

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Social Digital Fraud: A Failed Social Media Campaign

I was recently reminded of a failed social media campaign that started with a lot of promise but went nowhere. For all practical purposes the campaign is still going because there are “posts” being created everyday. As I reflect what went wrong, here’s my assessment: Blog content is never fresh. It is re purposed from old material. It’s edited, sanitized and packaged but it lacks soul and relevance. There are no personal posts in the blog, twitter or Facebook. And the reason why there are no personal posts is because the author delegated his entire campaign to someone else. The few people who began following early on quickly figured that the author was not the one posting and stopped following. Readers were ignored. Early on when people commented on posts, they were ignored. So they stop commenting, and eventually reading it. Posts are monologues. There are no questions, no interactivity,…

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How Much Rejection Can You Take Before Getting a Yes?

As I listened to the radio interview with Cordia Harrington, I was surprised by her tenacity. While trying to get MacDonald’s to allow her to bake buns for the company, she was rejected 33 times. Today The Bun Company, bakes more than a 1,000 buns a minute for McDonalds, KFC, Pepperidge Farms among others and is one of the most dynamic business in Tennessee. I have played that interview in my mind over and over the past few days. I have become convicted of, well, my lack of conviction. After all, how many times do I need to be rejected before I give up? That number is smaller than you might think. The implications of such “sticktuiviness” goes way beyond sales. My concern goes deeper than being rejected by a potential client or not getting the deal that I wanted. My dilemma lies in how willing I am to give…

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3 Things You Must know in Order for Your Business to Make It

I love the entrepreneurial spirit. People who can see opportunities where most can’t and have the guts to jump out into and make it happen, are some of my favorites. In my experience, most business owners start their companies without all the “facts.” While some might have a well-thought out business plan, most only have an idea, a lot of passion and energy and enough gambling instinct to pull the trigger on and move forward. But while no amount of education or research can prepare you for the real world of business, here’s a few  things you must figure out if you’re going to make it whether you’re starting a free-lance business out of your home, a manufacturing facility, or a marketing agency. Who is my ideal customer? My company became a lot  more profitable once we decided what our ideal customer looked like. We realized that some of our…

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Questions Every Guy Should Ask About His Date

I have several friends who are single and a lot of our conversations revolve about whom to date and what to look in a wife . While I have made a lot of mistakes over my lifetime, and I mean a lot, I got one of the most important decisions right: I married well. Outside my re-generational faith experience as I accepted Christianity and made peace with Christ’s death on the cross for me, my marriage to Gwen was the most important decision to date. It has impacted every single area of my life in ways I could not have imagined before we were married.  So to my single friends who are looking or dating, here are some thoughts I processed before I asked Gwen to marry me. Does she truly love God? “Christian dating” means more than going out with someone you picked up at church.  People pay lip…

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Product + Experience = Power Brand. The Imogene+Willie Jeans Story

This is a Fashion Friday Mashup. It’s as much about a fashion trend as it is about how to create a brand and a customer experience that matches the brand promise. This week I bought my first pair of Imogene + Willie Jeans after my friend Zach Sutton showed up in church wearing a pair and sent me to their website. You probably have never heard of them. You will. This is a husband and wife team, Carry and Matt Eddmenson who have created not only a business, but a story, an experience and a product that embodies both. The cornerstone of Imogene + Willie Jeans is their unwashed jeans you have to break in over several wears. They suggest you only wash them every six months and even then do it gently. I’m breaking in my pair as I write this post. The jeans is simple without embroidery, holes,…

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Apple’s New Game Changing Content Strategy

Yesterday Apple laid out a new subscription service and broad rules for digital content sold through the iPhone and iPad. Apple wants to make sure all app purchases and subscriptions, such as content from Amazon’s Kindle or Nextflix streaming, only happen inside the Apple Store, it also wants to make sure publishers’ subscriptions outside the Apple Store is never less than what’s offer within an app. But the most significant move might be Apple’s decision to allow customers the option to provide their name, email and zip code to the content providers, as oppose to require them to pass that information on. Running subscription restriction and pricing restrictions will create better margins and cement Apples’ dominance as a content provider. The fact that Apple is betting most of us will choose not to give our personal information to the content providers, (and who would?), is a total game changer. I…

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Find Happiness in Any Circumstance

So your life is not necessarily where you wanted it to be right now. Happiness is an elusive feeling that comes and goes with circumstances, and you can’t seem to hold on to it long enough to enjoy it. I hear those sentiments quite often. Many of my conversations give me a glimpse of how difficult to achieve happiness is for most of us. But I think we’re getting it wrong. Circumstantial happiness is by any standard, a fleeting and fickle feeling (sorry about the alliteration and don’t try to say it tree times fast). There has to be a better way to live. Whether you verbalize it or not, how many times have you thought: I would be happy if I had a job more money a wife a better job a house a boyfriend a slimmer figure a newer car six-pack abs better friends a better looking boyfriend…

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Before You Walk Away

I’m glad I didn’t give up on the relationship. I was disappointed and thought that it was time to sever ties. But I didn’t. And I have not regretted my decision.  Have you ever given up on a friend, a coworker, a client? If you are like me chances are you have. So before you let a relationship “go” consider: Find a proper time and place to let them know how you feel. You should not “let them have it” when you’re upset or in the middle of a bad day. Sometimes your bad day gets folded into the emotion of the discussion. No matter the response, promise yourself you will not react–only listen. During a difficult conversation I am more interested in getting my point across than listening. Reflect on the conversation and try to put yourself in their shoes. Examine your motives. Why are you really upset? (This…

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