New Job!

After nearly 16 months of unemployment was a short stint at Southwest Allen County schools, I am excited to announce that I am the new seventh grade language arts teacher at Norwell Middle School. This is not a temporary job. I just attended the board meeting where it was approved. I start on Monday, October 24.

And special thanks to my wife, Laurie, who has been so supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process. Emotionally and mentally I would not have done well without her support and love.

Becoming Better is the Way

Don’t invest time in trying to prove to yourself how wrong “they” were. Or how far “they” fell from excellence.

Prove to yourself how committed you are to become better. Grow in your strengths. Overcome your weaknesses. Run for the prize. You set your standards. Keep them high.

Live with no regrets. Push yourself towards excellence. Discipline is not easy or joyful – but it will set you apart.

Don’t look back to “them” for validation. Don’t look back and fret. You’re not going that way any longer.

Set your goals high. Becoming better is the way.

Awareness – how will they know?

A silly Disney movie, Enchanted, has this great song in it filmed in Central Park. It will make you smile. Take a moment and watch it:

The premise of the song is this – how will the girl know that you are falling for her? You’ve got to tell her!

In other words, make her AWARE!

The same holds true in business. I continually talk with business leaders in both profit and not-for-profit worlds about how they grow and attract new business. Here are some of the answers I’ve received:

  • “Oh, they just know about us.”
  • “They already know what we do and what we offer.”
  • “We have a website.”
  • “They see our sign.”
  • “I hope our staff is doing a good job at selling.”
  • “You know, we just are…”

Decades ago, I was directing a music group that traveled throughout Asia. On this particular tour, we were in the Philippines. We sailed to a small island, Bohol, on a 45 foot boat (there were 42 in my group plus 3 crew). When we stepped onto the incredible long pier on the island, we immediately noticed a sign – Coca Cola. Here we were in the middle of nowhere, and Coke was advertising. In fact, through out this tour, we encountered Coca Cola advertisements in Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines. Of course, in our own home countries we see Coke ads on TV, hear them on the radio, have them pushed to us on social media. But why? Surely the world knows about Coke. Why are they investing in multi-millions of dollars to tell us there is something called Coke and we need to buy it?

Why? To build awareness. To keep their product top-of-mind.

Let me challenge you to take a good hard look at how you make your customers, potential customers, future markets aware of the value you bring to them. Don’t assume anything. But don’t just push your product or service. We’ve had enough of that.

Tell your compelling story. How is your product/service making a difference? What kind of raving fans are you creating? Let them tell your story. Make heroes out of your customers to win future customers.

Know how your market learns and becomes aware, and then be sure to step into that. Be obvious. Be positive. Be proactive and intentional. Be creative. Use channels that are unfamiliar to you: social media, podcasts, video stories, etc.

How will they know? Tell them!