@maurilio:

23

My Loss of Entitlement Saved My Future

I know entitlement first hand. My Brazilian mindset had prepared me for a privileged life where I expected my parents to pay for college, find me a high-paying job, pay for my wedding and set me and my future bride in a new house they would build for us. Nice, isn’t. But that’s not the way it all happened, and for that, I’m most thankful. On my 19th birthday I got a call from Brazil letting me know that the government had frozen any money transfers going outside the country. And even without that restriction in place, my parents could no longer afford to pay for my college education. Therefore goodbye, free college education wedding, first house. easy job. I was crushed. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I have thanked God for that disappointing news many times over the years. In a conversation, my…

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35

The Danger of Being a Critic

Negativity always comes with a price. A big one. It’s easy for me to be a critic. I grew up in a family that prided itself in finding what’s wrong with the world and each other. It was sort of a sport around the dinner table to see who would outwit the rest and deliver the best put down. We all laughed, but someone always got hurt. Now I’m a professional critic whose livelihood is partially funded by my ability to discern what’s wrong or what’s not working and help organizations figure out how to communicate in order to move to the next level. Being a critic is dangerous, and I’m very aware of the negativity that can creep in and suck the life out of every experience. I have to work hard on being positive because cynicism and negativity are the first ones at my gate. I don’t want…

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7

Persuasion and the Two Types of Motivation

What motivates you? That’s the fundamental question for every communicator, sales person and for all us in marketing and communication. While there are a lot of different motivators in our lives, we all fit in two big general motivation categories: 1.  Those who look at what they can gain from life: what can I get out of this? 2. Those who look at what not to lose in life: what am I missing and how can I avoid loss? Often both groups  of people will come up to the same conclusion and course of action, but they will arrive at their decision through completely different motivations. This classification goes beyond the “half-full or half-empty glass” perspective of positive and negative people. In my experience, those who look at life for what it has to offer them are always trying to push their personal and professional boundaries in search of the…

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18

Why We Need Humor

We need humor because we need laughter. It’s a part of what it means to be human, and I believe it’s a great gift from God. Researchers have found that laughter has health benefits beyond the psychological well being it generates. From WebMd.com In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some potentially interesting information on how it affects us:   Blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.   Immune response. Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response, says Provine. Some studies have shown that the ability to…

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10

Managing Expectations: The Difference Between Success or Failure

I love to say “YES.” It’s more than just the salesman in me who wants to promise the moon in order to get the deal. I thrive on the challenge to help someone accomplish a goal or seize an opportunity. I specially love tell “yes” to my clients on projects that I know will make a difference in people’s lives. But behind every “yes” there are moving parts, deadlines, budgets and deliverables that most often are beyond my control. I’ve struggled over the years to balance my can-d0 attitude with the realities of resources and realistic time lines. But over the years in business I have come to believe while my clients appreciate my willingness to understand and even share in their sense of urgency, they appreciate even more my honesty on what can realistic be done.  Managing expectations has been the most difficult lesson for me to learn, but…

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12

Take Your Brand to the Next Level with Two Questions

The question is almost always the same: how can I improve my __? Whether the question refers to a skill, a product, an experience, it’s ultimate about a brand.  How can I improve my brand, then becomes the question. There are corporate, product and individual brands. A brand represents a promise that it makes in the mind of its intended audience. A successful brand evokes positive feelings and delivers in its promises. We all want to improve and grow, but the answer to that question is not as obvious as you might think. Before we can get to the next level, whatever that might mean, we must know at least two critical concepts. What’s my brand promise? Who’s my audience? Your Brand Promise. That’s what your audience/customer/client can expect to get from you. Walmart’s brand promise is simple: everyday low prices. There’s a lot of things you don’t expect from…

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12

Sometimes All You Need Is To Show Up

It’s a cliche, but it’s a good one: “Sometimes all you need to do is just show up.” I have seen its power in my own life. As a matter of fact, it works for me on a daily basis. I cannot tell you how many times I have abandoned personal growth goals because I was too afraid, too lazy or too discouraged to even try, so I didn’t even bother showing  up. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right? Wrong. For me the greatest battle is winning over my mind. Waking up at 5 am and dragging myself to the gym when I don’t feel like going is not always easy to do. Sitting down and working on a project that’s important but not urgent is tough to do sometimes. But there’s so much more than just showing up at the gym or getting your job done. Sometimes…

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14

The 10% Rule of Life

We judge most things and experiences on details. I call it it the 10% rule because most of that what makes the details worth of notice usually happen at the very end of a project, building construction, manufacturing, design, experience–the last 10% of completion.That’s why finishing well is not just a good idea, it’s the difference between mediocrity and greatness and even success and failure. I don’t care how solid the foundation of a house is or how well-framed the walls are, if the painting is sloppy the entire structure gets devalued. “It’s just cosmetic,” you might say, but in the minds of most people the entire product gets devalued because of the last 10% of effort was not done well.  The opposite is true as well. Sometimes a beautifully finished building will garner top price before its owners find out that at core the structure is substandard. The value,…

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1

Facebook Hashtags and Your Marketing Opportunity

Facebook is late to the hashtag game, but with 1.15 billion users, it really doesn’t matter. Use the hashtag effectively and you can harness its power to grow your brand or further connect your message with your target audience. This infographic from PiJnz Tips for using hastags Don’t overdo hastags – use them sparingly and not in every post. Hashtags must be all one word (no spaces). Capitalization doesn’t matter. Before you use a hashtag, do research and ensure that it will work. Encourage users to make their posts public to increase reach. What has been your experience with hashtags?

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7

Vision, Tenacity and Your Success

I was recently reminded that great organizations, missions and even products were ideas in the mind of a visionary who more often than not, did not have the proverbial two dimes to rub together when they saw the opportunity and set out to seize it.  Such dynamic has always fascinated me. For me the question has always been, “Did it succeed because it was a good idea or because the sheer tenacity of its visionary leader?” After going back and forth on the answer, I have come to believe that the answer is both –a good idea in the hands of a passionate and committed visionary.  I have seen great ideas, quantified by research, die because it lacked a champion that drove through the obstacles and refused to let roadblocks stop it from coming to fruition. I have also seen strong, hard-driving leaders hold on to a bad idea and…

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