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It was this time last year that I was sitting in the Paul Castain World Headquarters (my recliner) listening to that song “We Need A Little Christmas”.  It made me think of these 50 Random Thoughts For The Holidays with the goal of bringing you a smile and a dose of perspective.

And just for the heck of it, I even made it into a handy dandy PDF for you. Click here dude!

Please pass this along and let’s spread a little holiday cheer!

1. Go Elf yourself http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/?cmpid=jj_hp
2. Why not listen to some commercial free (almost) Christmas music here http://accuradio.com/holidays
3. Commit to laughing your hiney off at least once a day. Once you do that, make sure you help others do the same! Methinks we are taking ourselves way too seriously!
4. Don’t listen to that damn “Christmas Shoes” song. If you do and someone walks in on you tell them its your allergies!
5. Forgive someone.
6. Be a kid again. I won’t tell anyone!
7. Understand that other than the “5 Golden Rings” in The 12 Days of Christmas, someone basically cleaned out their attic and was trying to unload junk. I mean what am I supposed to do with a bunch of Lords a leaping? Screw it; just put it over there next to the swans a swimming, Jackass!
8. Sing along to a holiday song. Rinse and repeat!
9. Take a co worker out to lunch or coffee . . . just because.
10. Between now and year end include messages of hope and inspiration in your status updates.
11. Grab a hot chocolate and look at some Christmas lights.
12. Say a prayer for someone.
13. Give someone a few extra minutes of your time.
14. Take at least one opportunity to bite your tongue.
15. Over tip someone who deserves it.
16. Listen to the Ave Maria and then acknowledge a truly beautiful song!
17. Fellow New Yorkers: Let’s have a “bird free” holiday season. If each of us refrains from middle finger usage at least once, it will reduce the other person’s urge to “return the bird” and total “bird” usage will drop by 10 billion.
18. Understand that laughing at the song “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is sick. Would you really laugh if your Grandmother got run over by a reindeer? What’s next? Grandpa got his nuts caught in a turbine?
19. Forgive your parents already. Like they didn’t forgive you for dopey stuff you did?
20. Evict negativity from your life. Seek out good. Its there . . . I promise!
21. Give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
22. Watch this important clip and then tell me who was the better dude. Heatmeiser or Snowmeiser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yon2YuXssvo I will tell you all straight up that I laughed so hard I cried with my Mom the first time I saw this!
23. Tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Unfortunately, there’s an expiration date on this crazy thing we call life! And if by chance you lost that person . . . find a way to honor them!
24. Read the lyrics to “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” and then prepare for a good cry when I tell you what inspired that poem. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s son was killed in the American Civil War and it was his way of expressing despair, anger and questioning his faith in the process. Kind of makes your complaint about having to stop by Aunt Sadies on Christmas look like baby sh*t next to his tragedy, huh? Here are the lyrics, get your Kleenex. http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-carols/heard-the-bells.html
25. Plan a family night.
26. Find something inspirational and then pass it to your network because quite frankly, we all need a shot in the arm from time to time.
27. Encourage someone. Its free.
28. Answer this question: What am I most grateful for? Take inventory and count your many blessings.
29. Stop striving for Norman Rockwell Christmas moments. Understand that the beauty of his art was in capturing the chaos and even celebrating it. Might be a lesson in that crazy thought.
30. Donate some food to your local food pantry. They get hit hard this time of year.
31. Change the words to one of your favorite holiday songs. Personally, I like singing “Walking in my winter underwear” to the tune of “Walking in a winter wonderland”. I’ve even changed lyrics to things I could never share here. But I will hint that it involved a threesome and leave it at that.
32. Commit to wearing your spirit on your sleeve!
33. If you have stepped away from your faith . . . step back. By the way, I did and I was a fool for thinking I would travel my life’s journey without it! I’ll spare you the sermon, but I feel much better after my spiritual homecoming!
34. Listen to the lyrics of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and then ask yourself What’s the deal with that Figgy Pudding and who the hell do they think they are threatening us that “We won’t go until we get some” I wish the person who wrote that song would have stepped back to realize that people are willing to get indignant over a Baileys or a hot chocolate, but a figgy pudding? Don’t have any, but help yourself to those Lords a leapin over there instead skipper!
35. Sing a duet of “Baby its cold outside” and then realize that the atrocity that just occurred with your singing is precisely why you both need to keep working your day jobs.
36. Stay away from the news. Take it in bite sized pieces. They make mega bucks with negativity . . . you don’t!
37. Find a way to create a memory and then visit that memory often! Someday you will refer to today as “The good old days” Make it count!
38. 101 Christmas Videos can be viewed online by clicking here
39. Go on a date with your spouse. Conquering the world needs to happen on the home front too.
40. Avoid any instance where you will be accused of “donning gay apparel” And don’t let the SOB soften that statement with some “Fa la la la la” jibberish. Talk about dropping a bomb and then changing the subject.
41. Go to a tree lighting, a children’s Christmas concert to get that hometown vibe going!
42. When you find yourself in an exceptionally good mood, don’t ever let anyone take your joy away from you.
43. Find a way to make someone look like a rock star today, just because.
44. Mend a fence. Lose your ego and repeat after me “Sorry” Try it and you will lighten your load.
45. Catch up with someone you lost touch with.
46. There are 11 towns in the US named “Santa Claus”. I’m only sharing that because I set the bar too damn high in telling you I had 50 things. What was I thinking?
47. Let someone know they inspired you!
48. Try to do some of your holiday shopping at a “Mom and Pop”. It’s a great way to stimulate your local economy.
49. Christmas Shoes Part II: If someone walks in on you tearing up, tell them you are going to be taking the place of Paula Abdul on American Idol and you were just practicing!
50. Watch It’s A Wonderful Life and then acknowledge that it truly is!

I hope in some crazy way this has brought you a smile, a tear and a renewed sense of holiday spirit!

Don’t forget to download these random holiday thoughts here


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So how ya doing in the personal branding department?

What are you doing to build this incredible brand called “You”?

You see, when it comes to personal branding, most will agree its an important topic but the million dollar question quickly becomes “How does one create a compelling personal brand?”

In this week’s podcast, we are going to explore 5 areas for you to own in your personal branding journey.

Note: You will want to stop this podcast from time to time and ponder some of the questions I present and you will definitely want to write down your answers and my suggestions in your journal.

1) How to create clarity with regard to your “main thing”

2) If people truly buy difference, how do you articulate yours?

3) Understand that the landscape of b2b and b2c has evolved to b2b2b and b2c2c in other words . . . consumers and businesses now want to talk with each other. I offer a 3 part question to help you own the concept that your brand must be able to sustain the inevitable “talking behind your back”.

4) Understanding the 6 Judgments that your personal brand must be able to survive.

5) The concept of an ongoing “courtship” with your audience.

I have some great content lined up for you if you will scroll down and have a listen. Now if you are not in the mood to further your growth this weekend, no worries. My suggestion would be to download this podcast on I-Tunes and allow me to be your educational companion during your drive time this week!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Related Post: A 2 Year Journey To Brand Me


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This is Part 2 of a 2 part guest post from Nigel Edelshain.

In yesterday’s post I suggested we, as sales professionals need to change up our game in 2011. We need to grab hold of the opportunity to use the new tools out there (social media and Sales 2.0) to “level the playing field.”

Yesterday I asked “what’s your brand”? I asked if the way to build you sales pipeline might NOT be more cold calls (at least in the traditional manner) and I noted the need to be more prepared for sales calls than ever before.

But there’s more. There’s more we need to change in order to keep up with Customer 2.0:

Say You Just Don’t Happen to Get In

What?! They did NOT invite you in for a meeting. Unbelievable! Well not really. Let’s be honest this is the normal case not the unusual, especially if you are dealing with new accounts. So what’s your “nurturing” process? What do you do with all the target names and accounts where you approach them and you DON’T get in?

In a very lucky world all you need to do here is hand these names off to your amazing team in the marketing department and they nurture these contacts with excellent content until they are “sales ready leads” and pass them back to you like fresh croissant straight from the oven. But…If this is not the case, you will need to be very organized and disciplined to run your own “nurturing” effort. After all the research suggests as much as 77% of the people who might buy from you eventually won’t buy now, they will buy later. Which means if you want to 3 x your long term revenue you better nurture everyone that did not buy now.

You’ll need content for this. So you will need Marketing to step up here or you will get into the content development business yourself. (Yes, I do believe sales people can blog successfully). One smart move with content is to use content from other people – there are many legitimate ways to do this in the blogging world we now live in.

Are Your Bases Really Covered?

What happens if you do get a meeting and you unearth a real opportunity? Do you rush back to the office and write up a proposal as fast as possible? Then keep following up?

Research from Marketing Sherpa over the last several years shows that for a technology product of k ticket price being sold into a large company (1,000 employees +) that the number of people involved in buying is…21. Yes, 21.

So if you’re just selling to one person you’re taking a big risk. You have 20 other people that can nix your deal. Do you know who they are? Do you know their role in the decision process? Again you have more tools than ever before to research people. With just a name and a company you can look people up on Linkedin and Twitter and find often find their complete background and even what they are currently interested in.

Do you Expand or Just Land?

Money left on the table. Or it seems that way to me. So many companies have the situation where they are doing business with an account but only in one area.

What’s your account strategy? How hard have you tried to go from division A to division B? Yes, it’s a lot like prospecting but it’s easier than cracking into a new account. You have the ideal reference story – a story from within the prospects’ own company.

Your Biggest Asset

Let’s get seriously selfish for a moment. You know what the most asked question is on sales job interviews: “what is your Rolodex?” — or versions thereof. Employers in big and small companies alike ask this question almost without fail in sales job interviews.

Want to increase your personal value as a sales professional. Want to be a linchpin? Want to be able to name your price for hiring you? Then you need a “golden Rolodex”. Keep in mind recent research from IBM values each additional relationship in your Rolodex as worth 8 (i.e. 100 relationships are worth k to you.)

So what are you doing to improve your Rolodex? Do you have a “people plan”? Do you have a plan for which people you need to know to give you that killer Rolodex? What are you doing to get to know those people? Not pitch them but approach them in the mindset of helping of adding value. Not for closing a deal this month but for establishing a relationship that will bear fruit next quarter, next year or the year after.

Linchpin or Cog?

Hope this has given you some food for thought. Our customer is changing rapidly. My mission is to “shine a light on that” and urge you to join the movement of sales people that are committed to adapting to that and prospering in this new sales environment.

As Seth Godin says we’re already in a work world where you can choose to be a “linchpin” (invaluable employee) or a “cog” (easily replaced employee). It’s my strong belief that sales people that don’t pick up these new ways of meeting Customer 2.0 on their terms will be “cogs” but those that do adapt will be invaluable linchpins.

Nigel Edelshain (aka “Mr. Sales 2.0”) is launching the Social Selling Bootcamp in February.

I’d like to highly recommend this camp to you. As you know, I don’t usually do this but I’ve been one of the contributors of content so I have first hand knowledge and I’m very confident that Nigel is on to something important here.

The camp is all about aligning our selling to the new ways customers behave.  It’s about how we can use the new tools like social media and Web 2.0 to sell the way our customers want to buy. From what I’ve seen of the camp’s content and the format of delivery (highly interactive) the sales people coming out of this camp are going to have a serious edge in 2011.

The two-day workshop will take place on Feb 16 & 17 at Newark Airport, NJ so you can easily fly in.

Nigel’s offering a big discount to get you TO TAKE ACTION: a serious 40% off if you sign up by Dec 31. There’s also a 100% unconditional money back guarantee.

http://www.sales2.com/social-selling-bootcamp.html

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this just playing matchmaker!


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I have had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events on many occasions. She and her “monkeys” are so professional and low-key. Pink Monkey creates beautiful, elegant events and always quickly, calmly, and intelligently solves problems.
I’ve witnessed how helpful Michelle and her staff are, first hand. Not only will she be there making sure the card table, centerpieces and details are perfect, but she will help brides bustle their dress and relax for 5 minutes when she can tell they need a breather.
Michelle is straightforward and knows how to meet the high expectations of NYC brides. She also is super efficient and realistic when it comes to managing vendors and day-of-schedules. I LOVE Pink Monkey and Michelle and hope if any of you couples out there need a wedding planner, you will consider her :) !
PinkMonkey

Pink Monkey Events
38 West 73rd St. Suite B
New York, New York 10023

www.PinkMonkeyEvents.com

Michelle Tuccillo – Founder and Creative Director Responds….

1. What is your event planning philosophy or motto you follow when planning an event?
Never a problem; always a solution.
There’s a solution for every problem that will arise and we always resolve the issue at hand while wearing a smile.

2. Where do you go, what do you do for creative inspiration?

The city has so much inspiration in itself but our biggest creative inspirations come from our clients. We become very involved in our clients lives and learn what’s important to them. The fun part is brainstorming with on how to incorporate these intimate tidbits into their special event.
3. What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?
Our custom Pink Monkey super kit, of course!. There isn’t anything that we can’t do with this kit. We have everything from light bulbs to glue guns. Besides what can’t be fixed with a glue gun? It’s an essential for those last minute fixes.

4. Favorite part of your job?
Seeing our clients reactions to all the special little things that we incorporated to make there night unforgettable. And at the end of the evening hearing that everything was better then they ever had imagined!

5. Your website tells the cute story of how you came up with your business name, how are your three dogs?
Dakota the eldest is still being mischievous and getting into trouble.

Harley with her big brown eyes can do no wrong. One look at her and you forget what she did.
And what can I say about Paco the chunky little Chihuahua. he’s still a mama’s boy.
The one thing they all have in common is they love being the center of attention at Pink Monkey Events.

An elegant wedding with a chic & breezy atmosphere at Trump National Golf Club in NJ. I LOVE the photo of the flower girl and daughter of the Bride & Groom. Scroll down and you’ll see which photo I’m talking about :) !

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This will probably be the only time that you will see traditional Chinese wedding garb during a ceremony at a Jewish Synagogue! Both the bride and the groom held onto their own culture while honoring their spouse’s traditions. A beautifully balanced celebration in a modern loft space in the Meatpacking District totally put together by the amazing Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events. We got to take a few awesome photos at The Highline, after the wedding.

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