Friday, October 9, 2009

The Power of Giving

"The Power of Giving, by Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon, is an international bestselling book about how giving can dramatically improve your life. It's packed with inspiring stories and wonderful advice to give your life more meaning."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Size Matters

There are many moments when size matters. Like when you go to put on a favorite outfit and it no longer fits. The frustration, the disappointment, the self loathing.

Or you stumble upon a fabulous sale, one of a kind, the very last one~~> oops wrong size. Better luck next time.

Size matters when you are the smallest kid in the class and bullied by the 'big' kids. Size matters in travel, a lot. Just try exceeding the weight limit on luggage and what that will cost you.

Size matters when you order a pizza. Better have enough to go around or it could get ugly.

Size counts in relation to your bank account. Bigger is certainly better.

"Super Sizing" became an instant hit until we realized that there was a down side to having fries with that.

All this thinking about size and numbers came as a result of meeting Chris Brogan at IzeaFest. Chris Brogan is President of New Marketing Labs. He's a speaker, a blogger and the co-author of Trust Agents, with Julien Smith.

Chris Brogan was not what I expected. I expected aloof, hurried and someone more preoccupied with his iphone than the people in the room. I couldn't have been more wrong. Chris was truly engaging, very kind. And funny. I had no idea what a quick wit and great sense of humor he had. He was also very insightful. "Be self aware, not self involved" he said. Having over 100,000 Twitter followers could certainly have gone to his head, but it didn't. I watched closely as he spoke with everyone who approached him. He was in the moment, gave each conversation 100% of his focus. Lesson learned "Don't Judge a Tweeter by his Numbers"

Having "followers" can give you a false sense of self importance at times. Yes, I'm speaking from my own misguided sense of self importance and the value I was beholding to the "number" of Twitter Followers I had. Barely 6,000 pairs of ears in my Twitter stream, but the largest audience I had ever had! But was it enough? What could I do, should I do to grow these "followers" in number. Would the nonsense I spew be of more value if 10,000 or even 100,000 'followers" read it? Then, thinking back to Chris Brogan, it clicked.

It's not the Number of Followers that you have but, the SIZE of your connection. It's about building meaningful relationships. Do I need 10,000 @McMedia devotees to connect? Surely not. I should however, nurture the followers I have. I want a BIG connection. I want to meet the people I tweet with. I want to KNOW them. I care. I want them to know I care. I genuinely like people.

I was standing in the crowd at Izeafest and looked up to hear "Are you @McMedia?" "Hi, I'm DJ Edgerton, @wiltonbound" .... DJ went on to say I was one of he first people to connect with him when he started on Twitter and how much he appreciated it. I was humbled and almost felt shame. Had I even earned his gratitude? It made me realize that how you interact through social media, does matter. It was a BIG reminder that we are talking to real people, commenting on real topics, dealing in real life situations. Be nice, be kind, be thoughtful. Be a friend, gain a follower, build a relationship. Our tweets are the foundation of our relationships in SM or IRL.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Forgive me followers, it has been many months since my last blog post.

Forgive me followers, it has been many months since my last blog post. Funny, how in times of overwhelming stress and worry, I am always thrown back to my Irish Catholic up bringing and thoughts of the priest in little dark box. Memories of the little girl trying to decide what sins she committed, the thought, the fear & dread of the act of confession far worse than anything I had ever done wrong.

I'm not one to dwell on the maudlin, more of a realist and straight shooter. But even for me, my father's failing health, lengthy hospitalization and subsequent life in a nursing home have put me in a tail spin, fighting to find a way to make the best of a bad situation.

I have spent countless hours, days & nights at the nursing home we jokingly refer to as the "Comedy Club". Somehow calling it that has made it bearable. After all, laughter is the best medicine and has been a part of my family as far back as I can remember. We've found humor in the crazy, funny in the unthinkable just to get through it. It gave our family hope, a familiar feeling in a very unfamiliar place.

Our hope has moved over and made way for acceptance. My father isn't getting better and slowly his diseased body is wearing him down. He's coming home next week so we can celebrate the moments. Now, life is all about moments.

We have no idea how much time he has left here on earth but we will fill each of his days with laughter, make every one his moments memorable.

And in his honor, and at his request, I begin my journey to finish the bucket list he couldn't. So join me as I hop in the RV and hit the open road with @rickgriffin and @ocdchick on the "The Mid Life Road Trip".

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eating & Tweeting A Match Made in Heaven

From the moment he opened the door, @barryfrangipane's smile lit up the room brighter than the crystal chandelier he imported from Venice, Italy. I immediately knew we were in for a special evening. Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I enjoy Twitter. It has introduced me to so many fascinating people I would have otherwise never met. That's also what inspired Barry and his wife of 12 years @dolcedebbie to create a Twitter dining experience like no other. I, like everyone else at the Frangipanes's that evening met on Twitter. It was any ones guess how a group of virtual friends connected only by 140 characters, would 'hit it off' IRL (in real life). What happened next would defy odds and reason. Not only was the food, wine and beer incredible, but the interaction of this group, once connected only by keystrokes, resembled that of a group of old friends.

With each new course grew tighter bonds (and waistbands)and stronger threads of friendship. It was a remarkable experience, one I went into with skepticism and trepidations but emerged from with new friends, increased knowledge and a palate that was tantalized and taken to new heights.

The Menu

Appetizers-Fried Rice Ball w Shrimp, Bruschetta, Fried Zucchini Straws
Beer Pairing Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner
Wine Pairing Bisson Prosseco 2007

First Plate - Parmesean Risotto
Wine Pairing Bonci Verdicchio Carpaneto 2007
Beer Pairing Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

Second Plate - Pistachio encrusted Sea Bass
Wine Pairing Deforville Chardonnay 2007
Beer Pairing Jolly Pumpkin Brewery Calabaza Blanca

Main dish - Grilled rack of lamb encrusted in parmesean cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary.
Wine Pairing Pievano Sagratino Montefalco 2003
Beer Pairing Dogfish Head Raison E’Etre

Dessert - Lemon Cake with strawberries marinated in Limoncello.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bananas Exposed

Bananas, are the worlds most popular fruit, with a long history dating back to Malaysia in the 6th century BCE. But, like many of us the Banana is misunderstood. It's a plant not a tree and is actually the world's largest herb!

Bananas are said to have all the nutrients a human needs plus they contain all the 8 amino-acids our body cannot produce itself. The banana "completes" me.

It is not until you peel back the layers though that you discover how much goodness the banana has to offer. Like people. Until you peel back all the complexities that make a person who they are, you never get to the true essence of who they are.

Take the time to get to know someone. Look beyond the skin. It is inside that you will discover the goodness and reap all the benefits.

Art work by Deb Brown
twitter: @ArteDeb

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hell's Gone to Twitter in a Handbasket

LeeAnn Rimes husband @Deansheremet professed his love for his wife on Twitter amidst the rumors of her alleged affair with co-star Eddie Cibrian.

NBC's @jamiegangel has mounted a Twitter campaign to get the attention of her colleague @davidgregory ~ she merely asks that he "follow-her". David Gregory is following a scant 89 compared to the 203,251 following him. If he's not following her I won't be holding MY breath for his follow!

Tony Danza performing an act civil disobedience at the new J. Crew in Malibu all the while filming it and later posting it on Twitter.

Meanwhile, George Stephanopoulos interviewed John McCain online in a "Twitterview."
Here's an excerpt ...

@SenJohnMcCain hi george im a little slow

@SenJohnMcCainHappy St. Patricks day

@GStephanopoulos @SenJohnMcCain Happy St Patrick's Day! First things first: How do u tweet -- dictate or type? Blackberry or pc?

@SenJohnMcCain @GStephanopoulos Happy St.Patrick's day- slow,sometimes pc somtimes bb

And then of course this shocker ..
@johncmayer 's BREAKING CELEBRITY NEWS: I was sitting with my legs crossed for too long and my penis fell asleep.

His 256,283 followers will sleep better having been the first to know this. {blushing} of which I am one.

Monday, March 2, 2009

35th Annual US Business Hall of Fame

35th Annual US Business Hall of Fame

Business Leaders from around the United States gather for a day-long series of events to honor the 2009 Inductees who have demonstrated vision & leadership while driving results for top U.S. brands.

Where: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel

When: Thursday, March 5, 2009

Agenda of Events: 9:15 a.m
JA BizTown Tour

Leadership Luncheon
Grand Ballroom

Luncheon Keynote: Ralph de la Vega

With concerns about dropout rates and the economy, it’s important not to lose sight on the future and focus on helping young people prepare for their careers. That is the goal of Junior Achievement. And no one better to do that than Ralph de la Vega given his background.

Ralph’s remarkable journey to the head of one of the largest wireless companies in the world begins when he immigrated to the United States…alone…at the age of 10 from Cuba. All that he had in his possession was what he could fit in two suitcases. His parents would not follow for four more years.

From this humble beginning, Ralph has risen to the very highest ranks in American business and been at the forefront of the transformation of the country’s telecommunications industry.

Today, he is the CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. Previously, he served as President and CEO-AT&T Mobility where he was responsible for all of AT&T’s wireless business.
2:00 p.m.
The Competitive Challenge Forum
Keeping America Strong in a Turbulent Global Economy
Salon VI, Level 2

Who: Forum moderator Margaret Brennan, CNBC Reporter

Senator Dan Coats
Alex Sink-CFO, State of Florida Florida Chief Financial Officer
JA USA Board – Jim Rutrough – CAO- State Farm Insurance
Edward E. Whitacre – Chairman Emeritus, AT&T, Inc.

Forum Topics: Financial Literacy
Personal and Business Ethics
Work Readiness

6:00 p.m.
Lureate Reception
Grand Ballroom Foyer

These laureates epitomize the American entrepreneurial spirit while providing positive role models for the young people who would walk in their footsteps.

7 p.m.
Induction & Awards Ceremony
Grand Ballroom, 2nd Level
2009 Laureates:
Steve Case, co-founder, America Online, Inc.
Tim Gannon, Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan; co-founders, Outback Steakhouse
George W. Jenkins (1907-1996), founder, Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Muriel F. Siebert, founder and chairwoman, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman emeritus, AT&T

The U.S. Business Hall of Fame was founded by Junior Achievement in 1975, and has inducted 240 laureates to date. For more information about the event, visit

About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Collaboration ~ The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Collaboration, is the sincerest form of flattery. What could be more flattering than to have someone think enough of you and your ideas to wish to share theirs and build upon yours. I love collaborating, merging passions and creating something from interwoven visions, similar but different. Partnering with someone on a project can lead to great things.

Just take Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They met by chance at Stanford in 1995 when Larry, 22 was considering the school and Sergey, 21, was assigned to show him around. Just about a year later Larry and Sergey began collaborating. Two incredible minds, one brilliant idea ~ google. We'll never know if google would have evolved the way it has if Larry & Sergey hadn't collaborated.

Brainstorming, masterminding or whatever ever you choose to call it, gives birth to ideas that are nurtured and grown through friendship & partnerships. The success of these collaborations is the culmination of great ideas from forward thinkers, risk takers and generous souls.

When you dream alone, with your eyes shut, asleep, that dream is an illusion. But when we dream together, sharing the same dream, awake and with our eyes wide open, then that dream becomes reality! Anonymous

This post is collaboration between artist Deb Brown and writer Sandra McKenna.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Paper Napkin PR

If you think it takes a fancy brief case, a leather bound portfolio and a Mont Blanc pen to come up with great ideas you couldn't be me wrong! Some of the best ideas are conceived as a result of the union of a Bic ballpoint and TGI Friday's paper napkin!

Serendipity is when you accidentally discover something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely. Whether sharing a good laugh with friends over a glass of wine, a business lunch, a Sunday brunch or a round of golf with your fabulous foursome, you just never know when that aha! moment is going to strike.

To this day, I have a *napkin* contract between myself and my business partner that was written and signed years ago over a one pump non fat no whip extra foam mocha at a Starbucks! Rather than let your moment pass, jot it down where ever you are, on whatever is there! I promise you'll never look at a serviette the same way again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What would you do if Twitter were gone tomorrow?

My routine has changed slightly since I fell in love with Twitter. I used to make a cup of coffee, sit back and read the paper. Now, I stop at my computer on the way to the kitchen, take a quick glance at my Twitter numbers, make the coffee and settle on in to the conversation of the morning. Perhaps I share what I'm thinking, comment on someone else's thoughts or report on some over night news.

It struck me this morning, that Twitter has become such a part of my routine, what would I do if it were gone from my life as quick as it came? As my breath shortened and my palms sweat, I couldn't even begin to contemplate the idea. OMG, how would I find out what's going on in Shanghai without @sdweathers or would I lose touch with @mchammer ? What would become of @agingbackwards and how would I get a daily dose of @drmolliemarti ? Would I still be able to "crush it" with @garyvee or be part of the @aplusk & @mrskutcher Twitterazzi? I wouldn't have @unmarketing to entertain me with his off key creations or get the inside info from @NBCNewsCrew or @CNNRickSanchez .

This is only a small piece of the the Twitter family that I have come to rely upon for everything from conversation with my morning coffee to a late night chats about the days events. Would I survive without it? Most certainly. Would I miss it? Without a doubt! Would they miss me? I hope so!