Monday, June 22, 2009 0 comments

An Open Letter to Ear Candy

Dear Nate Anderson and all the other amazing Ear Candy Guys,

You should hire me to be your Development Director.

I got to see you all in action at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (speaking of which - Cute Journalist/PR Guy covering the festival: If you're still out there, I suddenly find myself with lots of free time if you ever want to hang out again...) where I spent some time in your tent being blown away by the positive atmosphere and super-talented kids playing your stage.

I was there to help a friend at Arizona's Children , volunteering for the silent auction. The Ear Candy tent caught my eye, and I had to investigate.

Undeterred by the creepy, yet descriptive oversize Ear-And-Peppermint-Stick logo emblazoned on your tee-shirts (reminiscent of the "do not force in ear canal" warning on the back of the Q-Tip box), I was ecstatic to learn about the organization that is Creating, Supporting and Sustaining Music Programs for Youth managed by an awesome group of passionate young people.

As a young, passionate lover of music, kids, and making a difference in the world myself, there is clearly a huge draw for me to want to be part of an organization that has taken "grass-roots activism" to a whole new level.

...And I'm certain you've heard that before, as our generation is full of entrepreneurs, social change agents and Internet-born musical sensations - so I know you must be asking yourselves "What's in it for us?"

Good! Keep asking yourselves that - for every person, place and idea that wants to hop on the PR train that Mr. Anderson has created on behalf of Ear Candy - what is the major benefit to the organization today, tomorrow and a year from now? because if there isn't one - those kids are counting on you to say "why bother?"

So without further ado - Hire Me, Ear Candy! - and here are ten reasons why:

1) I have a degree in this stuff. Nonprofit stuff. Nonprofit Management to be exact - from one of the top programs in the nation, our very own American Humanics at ASU. The complex nuances of operating a 501 (c) (3) within a region, a state, and an emerging sector are not lost on me, and you'll save valuable time (and time = money) not having to train. I hope I can even teach you a thing or two.

2) Experience. I co-lead a $50,000 fundraising campaign in 2005 where we met our program's largest goal to date in just a few months. I planned and implemented a successful volunteer-ran walk-a-thon event for a suicide prevention organization in a city that didn't have a local chapter. I've participated in capital campaigns, grant writing, major events, and even secured start up funding, donated office space and computer equipment for an organization based on a business plan alone.

3) Confidence. Or ahem...cojones. Tim Ferris in his book articulates something I have always known to be true: "The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits." You collected 100 instruments, lets make it 100,000.

4) Via your website, I know Ear Candy like the back of my hand - go ahead, quiz me - I can tell you each place a Nate Anderson sound-bite has been featured, where each typo is, and which paragraphs I think could better articulate the way the organization partners with the community and will not only continue to make a difference in music programs everywhere, but is systematically building a cultural foundation on which the arts community in Arizona will grow.

5) Intelligence - I work smart. Its difficult to get the State Superintendent of Education on the phone. That's why I'd call before 9am and after 5pm when his pit bull of an assistant is off the clock. You'd be surprised how many chief execs answer their own phones at these times.

6) Nate Anderson needs a vacation. Although his incredible energy sustains the organization now, it can't always. The greatest gift any founder can leave his organization is a legacy plan. I will help you craft that plan Nate.

7) The following parable governs my philosophy on making a difference and thinking "outside the box." The Panhandler's Secret.

8) Despite Jack Black, School of Rock is still one of my top ten favorite movies.

9) I got kicked out of piano lessons in 4th grade. It's true. Granted, it was because I never practiced and had a bit of a body odor issue (since rectified!) but still, that's got to tug on some heart strings right?

10) If nothing else, check your mailbox - you just got one donation.

Now Mr. Anderson and friends, will you take the risk on an educated, experienced, passionate and intelligent young professional? Phone me. Lets take in a show, compare The Dave Matthews Band to Counting Crows, and talk about this Development Director position.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 2 comments


Its surprising how many people are still confused about social media - and equally surprising how many call themselves experts. The difference between the two is this: Those who don't know much about it are definitely employed, those who are experts are definitely unemployed, and those who call themselves experts could be either, but really are just straining to make themselves look relevant. 

The fact is that when I was kicking butt and taking names at The Ad Agency, the last thing I had time for was the blogosphere or twittequette. Now however, I have plenty of time to dive into the world of blogs by people I know (Deserted After Dark by the incredibly ambitious Sam Richard and All About The Ask by the very grown-up Patrick Sallee), blogs by people I don't (Decor8 and Modite), the Facebook club, and of course the "cocktail party" that is Twitter. And I find yet ANOTHER silver lining under the cloud of unemployment (will wonders never cease?). So as an attempt to shine a little light on social media for all you hard workin' stiffs out there without pretending to be an expert, I bring you...The Happy Healthy Well Adjusted and Popular Guide to Getting Just Enough from Web 2.0.

1) Facebook is for people you used to know, Twitter is for people you want to know. An article ran this month in Glamour magazine about baby boomers taking over Facebook and ruining it for us millenials. A friend recently found this out when his mom and a professor publicly chastised him on his Wall when his status read "Hungover." Clearly, care must be taken when your online "friends" include parents, teachers, and bosses. However, the things to write and read on Facebook can take on a more casual tone - things that are personally interesting verses the professionally interesting snippets that make Twitter valuable. 

Consider Twitter like bugging the desktops of your smartest friends, local journalists, the President and those with the jobs you wish you had - so that when they drop an article they find enlightening, or a relevant discussion they're having with someone, or their current feelings on the state of the economy - you too can be well-read and in-the-know. Likewise, you leave your own trail of quips, quotes, webpages and podcasts. Although many people use it as such, Twitter is not for broadcasting what is in your lunch bag or the shade of purple your bruised toe has become. Ick. 

2) A blog is not a list of links.  Bloggers write for a variety of reasons and for many different audiences. A former co-worker of mine blogs for his out-of-state family about the charming phases of his kids' growth.  My friend Sarah blogs to showcase her writing and get freelancing jobs. Danny Seo blogs to sell mattresses, magazines, and beauty products. And me? I blog to keep myself motivated and to share a little humor and lots of cool stuff with anyone who cares to read.  Many blogs have links, but all blogs are written to tell the author's story. 

3) Comments are like heroin to bloggers, tweeters and facebookers - give us more!  Sure there are applications like Google Analytics to track site visits, and it's easy to see your Twitter followers, but the only real way for those of us who make social media our art form to feel relevant is to see that we have engaged our readers, followers and friends enough to join our discussion. So take the bait - respond to a status post, argue a point in a blog, and tweet us something interesting. This is the social part of social media. Without that - it's just advertising. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 1 comments

My Life For Sale

It's up! My first ever Etsy store has been launched, and even features something to purchase! After a bit a trial and error, Happy Healthy Well Adjusted and Popular persons everywhere now have the option to purchase a beautiful vintage faux pearl necklace from yours truely! Of course, amid the other thousands of shops on the site, my lil ole As-Yet-Unnamed virtual kiosk does get lost in the shuffle. No matter, promotion is step 2. Happy shopping!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 0 comments

Warning: This Post Might Make You Do Something

Does this blog make me look desperate? I've been reading The Four Hour Work Week and pondering the "New Rich" - a subset of the world who not only get by on passive income, but actually live the proverbial good life, traveling the world, leasing fabulous cars, and participating in x-treme sports, all with their Blackberries/Web Cams/iPhone Apps so that for the brief amounts of time they are actually needed, they can easily assume the roll of mobile mogul. A warning on the back cover reads: "Do Not Read This Book Unless You Want to Quit Your Job."

Like any piece of opinion writing, there is both good and ridiculous, so I say read it and take from it what you will.

What I've taken from it is the understanding that multiple streams of passive income require quite a bit of initial investment - of motivated motion. With a nod to my personality flaws, I think I can safely say that I am a woman of action. Whether it is deciding where to go for brunch (The fabulous but now closed Palatte), what to drink (A Dirty Sexy Starbucks Soy Chai with a shot of raspberry and espresso), what to read (MINE magazine, the future of publications?), or what to listen to (Blitzen Trapper - Furr), I can definitely make a decision and act on it quickly.

Unfortunately, not all quick thinking has resulted in tranquil bliss, as exemplified by the following: #1: Left my only sweatshirt and umbrella in a London hostel on the first leg of a EuroVacation that included five days in the "driving rain" on the plains of Spain. #2: The Great Sandwich Incident of 2007 in which a harmless prank on a roommate's lunch left me almost homeless and utterly friendless in a house of four - #3 Could be any one of the tall, dark, handsome and horrible hunks I've dated, and of course #4, and #5 you already know. Yes, my friends and family would agree, I've made lots of bad decisions quickly. I ought to make bumper stickers. HA! Forget Honors Students - "I make bad decisions faster than you do!" Watch for them on Cafe' Press. Passive income, you know.

Which brings me to the point: In this era of entry level jobs being fought over by former CEOs, MBA holders, and rosy-cheeked undergrads, the window of opportunity in Corporate America for those of us in our mid-twenties, not quite generations X or Y, with some but not tons of experience, and having both an iPod and a modest closet of nice suits and sensible heels is shrinking daily. So what is an educated, enthusiastic worker with a mortgage, a credit card payment and an extensive list of Must-See friends' weddings, new babies, and Grad-School graduations to do? The answer, or at least AN ANSWER is: Open an Etsy Store!

For the uninitiated, is an online marketplace for all things handmade, re-made, and crafted. It is a worldwide boutique of one of a kind gifts, vintage finds and true artistic talent. It is also a tech-geek's playground, a designer's resource, and a Locavore's cheat sheet. Cheaper and with less headache than Ebay, the fuzzy, feel-good, we-all-share-one-goal atmosphere of Etsy may be just what I need to meet my Target Monthly Income.

This idea popped into my head just a few days ago, and today, it launches! I could spend the next four weeks researching all the options, stocking my craft cabinet, reading books on pricing homemade goods, naming and re-naming the store - but for what? Potentially the same outcome? Not today friends. Today, I am putting my hands to work, getting off the couch and taking a few real steps toward real money in the global marketplace. Today I act.  Stay tuned, I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh By the Way, I am taking suggestions on the store name - Un-Glued? TMI? Happy Healthy Well Adjusted Stuff? Let the creativity flow!