@maurilio:

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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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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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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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20

We Need More Encouragement Than We Realize

I have days I don’t feel quite right. I’m sure you have those as well. You’re not physically sick, but there’s this feeling down deep in the pit of your stomach that nags at you as if to say, “something is wrong, but I don’t know what.” It’s more of a psychological issue than a physical one. Sometimes fatigue combined with stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Interestingly, I found that for me there is a antidote to that depressing ambiguous feeling: encouragement. Just as I was pushing through the day and pressing forward I got a call from someone who during our conversation took time to encourage me. Those were kind words that I didn’t expect to hear but they worked themselves deep into my soul and began to soothe and comfort in a way I had not…

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62

Before You Send That Nasty Email Response, Read This

It was a great, nasty, email. I had written everything I wanted to say to the recipient and then some, just in case he didn’t get the point the first 12 times I made it. I finally had enough of being polite and trying to be the “bigger man”, so the gloves were coming off. It was the kind of email I always wanted to send to some board member when I was in the ministry, but due to my pastoral position, I could never do it. So there it was, the perfect retaliation email: a masterpiece of both logic, passion and a big opened can of whoop, well, you know. But I never sent it. In retrospect, I’m glad that email didn’t go out. It would have been disastrous. I have a few rules about emotionally charged emails. 1.  Write the email while you’re in the “moment.” Writing has…

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14

Given the Chance Would You Relive the Good Ol’ Days?

Lately I have been struggling with the complexity of my life. My mind is occupied with my aging parents in Brazil, my son in his first semester in college, starting a new business; it all can be overwhelming at times.  I have longed for the simple, uncomplicated days of yesteryear where there was freedom and opportunity. Well, that was until I started to think more clearly about the good ol’ days. Once I woke up from my glamorized stroll down memory lane, here’s what I really gave up: I had $25 dollars left to my name during at the end of my freshman year of college. I certainly would not want to relive that. I didn’t own a car until after I graduated from college. How in the world did I get around? I was cleaning toilets my second week of school. Then I washed dishes for another year. I…

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How to Become More Likeable

Likeable people do better in life in general. They attract more people to them, along with opportunities and invitations. Some say they are likeable because they get more “breaks” than the average person. I think it’s the opposite, and there is a lot of research to back up my opinion. I wrote about the happiness advantage here. But if likeable people get further in life, can we become more likeable, or are we dealing with an inherited genetic code that has our gregarious dial preset before birth? No matter what our natural predisposition is, I’m certain we all can improve our likeability factor by changing a few key behaviors. Stop talking about yourself. When we meet new people, the natural tendency is to tell them all about us. Likeable people do the opposite. They find a way to engage the other party in talking about themselves. The more someone talks…

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