Good For You

Book Review: Hindsight

I like getting sent a book to review once in awhile. It makes me feel important and usually gets me back on a reading kick again.

Alexis (a favorite book publicist of mine) is working with author Mary Anne Comaroto and thought I might enjoy her latest book “Hindsight: What You Need To Know Before You Drop Your Drawers!”

Are you sure this has to do with money? I asked tentatively. Alexis assured me there was at least some connection so I told her to send it along.

Ok you ready to see the cover? (Warning: It’s a little shocking and this is coming from someone who has been described as ‘a little crazy’.)

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

How To Conquer Fear

A smarty-pants sounding title, this book is filled with good ideas...and corny drawings of cows.We all have things that scare the bejeezus out of us: paying down debt, confronting problems in a personal relationship, changing careers. (I know, a lot of them have to do with money, don’t they?)

I’ve been pretty fearful that the uncertainty of my life recently. I know this career change was the right thing to do but like everything in life, there is no guarantee my business will work. And fear has made me a bit of insomniac for about a week.

I was reading a book this week that was supposed to help me with my business but in the end, also helped me with my anxiety.

The book is called “Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers: Paradigm-Busting Strategies For Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations” by Robert Kriegel and David Brandt. On the surface, it really didn’t seem like a business book but working in a relatively new field, I find I spend as much time selling the idea of internet marketing as selling the idea of working with me. Getting people to change not only how they see things and their reactions to changes seems like a pretty applicable skill. (Plus what a smarty sounding book title, right?)

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Spend $20 On June 20 For Your Local Economy

We all know buying local keeps money locally and helps local businesses but how often do you think about your purchases?

Spend $20 on June 20 is a concept to raise awareness of what we can do in our own local economies. Our local Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce has been promoting this heavily but I was able to find other locations in North Carolina and New York.

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Which Is Better, Buying Salvage or Buying Concious?

So if it's one thing my good friends know about me is I'm a socially concious shopper. I let myself eat fast food exactly twice a year (usually when I'm in the process of moving). I buy local whenever I can, which I'm trying to do as I start my business as well. And when I do have to buy something not-so-local, I try to make the socially or environmentally concious choice.

Case in point: The other day, I needed to buy toothpaste. Now I am a religious user of Tom's Of Maine. They are a 'local' company. They are socially and environmentally concious. They treat their employees well. I want to support that.

Meanwhile I was at one of my favorite salvage store and I saw a tube of Crest Pro-Health for $0.69. So I bought it.
 
Now here's my question: Is it better to buy socially and environmentally concious products new? Or is it better to buy things that would otherwise go in a landfill? 
 
Pros To Buying Salvage
– Saving things from prematurely going into a landfill.
– Less expensive.

Pros To Buying Products with A Concience
– Supporting good companies.
– Products can often be healthier and/or safer.
 
What I'm wondering though is what is inherently better. I can't seem to find a good source online one way or the other, but I'm probably not searching the right keywords. What do you think?

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

How To Get Me To Help You Out: Part Two

I tell you, one "Dear Sir" email and I am inspired to write two blog posts! (You can read Part I here.)

People seem to want me to do favors for them lately. I was noticing I've been receptive to some but not all people. It got me to thinking why.

There are clearly a few more ways you can get someone to help you out. In this post, I am going to use the example of Alexis. Now Alexis is pretty rocking in her own right. First of all she's cute and a snappy dresser. She's also into social media and blogging, has beagles, and lives in San Fran with her probably very cool husband. (Ok so I'm a little jealous but we're now internet friends so I can move beyond it.) Ok now on to finishing my thoughts from yesterday. (Oh and why am I starting at number 4? Because 1,2, and 3 were in yesterday's post)

4) Make it personal, and genuine. If you want me to care about you, why don't you care a little about me? Mention something I said or where I might have met you to help jog my memory. Being personal, especially on the internet, is completely disarming. Professional sales people are fake-personal all the time by using your name in conversation as they sell you something. But go a little bit beyond that and I am putty in your hands.

So onto my Alexis example. I could tell when she wrote me she had at least looked at my blog and was willing to engage in some conversation with me. Alexis wrote to me last year to ask for a review on the book Financial Infidelity. She was super polite about it, and wrote me this year to ask about reviewing another book for a different author.

Her emails, while short, felt engaging and personal. They weren't splattered with logos for the latest and greatest new website I should write about and the tone didn't feel overly pitch-y. It felt like a friend was writing me to see if I would be interested in a copy of a book. Yup, she's good, and I'm totally reviewing the book she sent me.

5) Be flattering, but only if you mean it. Yeah, fake flattery will blow up in your face (because people can smell that a mile away) but real flattery will get you everywhere, at least with me. Like my writing style? Appreciated reading about such-and-such topic? Let me know. My ears perk right up at that stuff.
 
6) Say thanks. If I did do something nice, follow up with a thank you e-mail. Or even a tweet. Just acknowledge the fact that I did you a favor. You noticed and appreciated what I did? I'm feeling even better about you and the possibility of granting future favors!

So yes, you too can get me (and most any other logical person) to do a favor for you if you follow this general guidelines. Has anyone used these "tricks" on you only to have you become putty in their hands?
 

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

How To Get Me To Help You Out: Part One

Yesterday, I got an e-mail about a possible blog sponsorship opportunity. This is not a huge deal; bloggers get these almost everyday, sort of like if you have an e-mail address, you get wire transfer offers from unknown Nigerian relations.

Anyway back to this link exchange offer. Top of the letter: Dear Sir…

Whoa there, cowboy! You didn’t even click twice to get to my contact info and bio? Even just notice my girly headshot or the fact my name is Nicole? Delete.

Rewind to a month ago when one of my friends was having some kind of employment fiasco and telling me about it.

Friend: Well I told her to call the Department of Labor to verify it.

Me: So you told her to call a bottomless crazy huge government agency, essentially resigning her to an afternoon of being put on hold and transferred around the office?

Friend: Well, I have a contact there that I’ve been dealing with.

Me: Did you give her the direct extension and your contact’s name?

Friend: (long pause) No…hmmm. I will now though!

Okay two unrelated situations but the same basic idea. Someone wanted someone else to do them a favor. The favor does not happen. Why?

We usually have to think that people are pretty reasonable and want to help you out. Here are a few things you can do to get someone to be more likely to do a favor for you:

1) Make it easy for me. What a letter of recommendation? Ask nicely. Give me a generous deadline and a copy of your resume. You want to show the person doing the favor that you are doing the legwork and allowing them to simply finish the job and get the credit. And who doesn’t like that?

2) Do your homework. Know what you need for me, and what you have to give. I do not want to link to “three casino websites”. Give me the URLs. Tell me if you want link or an ad on my site in return. Tell me how much you want to pay me (money conversations are awkward enough; I don’t want to initiate it!)

3) It’s not all about you. I gave a talk today to our local Rotary about promotion online and the cardinal sin of making it all about you. It really isn’t and if you give someone that impression, good luck getting a worthwhile working relationship. Approach it in a way that’s not just a favor to you but will help the other person out too.

Tomorrow, Part II and a fabulous example of someone who knows how to ask for a favor so well, I think she should do a class on it.

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Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.
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