Monday, December 1, 2014

Do I Still Belong In The Association Space?

What does the future hold in store for me? The picture isn't clear.
I never anticipated becoming an association executive.

I still remember moving to Bethesda, Maryland, from Joplin, Missouri, starting my first job in associations - working for the Parenteral Drug Association. What was an association and how could I explain it to my family? These were the questions that plagued me whenever I wasn't worried about how to make my next strategic move to make more money and move up in position.

What I learned was that working for associations was unlike working for a business in the corporate world. There were a few similarities, but the focus on membership and mission and the way that played out during board meetings was still different than what I'd seen from non-association businesses.

Time passed. I became a regular volunteer for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Associations became my home and I found myself dreaming of winning awards for being a Rising Star in Associations or getting my picture on the cover of Associations Now.  I worked for the American Red Cross National Headquarters and then the Optical Society of America. I was focused in membership (specifically chapter development) and then took on the evolution of social media for the association, leading me to start presenting on it at ASAE events. Somewhere along the way I became a go-to person for social media and I joined DelCor as a senior consultant. My role? Digital strategy and social media. I was excited.

While there I created the DelCor Social Media Sweet Spot, a weekly web show for the association world that took place on Fridays. I also inherited the weekly Association Chat (#assnchat) on Twitter, becoming the moderator for the chat every Tuesday. Information and connections were mine to be had and I loved it.

Then things changed. I decided to create my own consulting firm, Amplified Growth, and about a year after the feast and famine roller-coaster that is entrepreneurialism, joined Aptify as a senior consultant in social media, creating a new line of business for them. I left Aptify by the end of September this year and I am currently working on some consulting projects for clients, primarily doing social media maintenance for several brands.

I am talking to a couple people about some ways my consulting work could work in collaboration with their products and services...thinking about how to better service associations in their membership offerings and also with their event planning. Exciting! There is part of me that also wonders if I shouldn't go back to being an association executive - working directly for an association, being part of their ongoing mission.

In the meantime, my husband keeps forwarding job opportunities to work as a social media manager for agencies that have nothing to do with associations.

The path isn't clear. At least, it isn't clear to me. Last week I received my dues renewal notice from ASAE and I wonder if I still belong. I still devour my Associations Now magazine every month when I get it. I still want to prove myself worthy as a meaningful contributor to the association realm. But is life taking me a different direction? I'm almost afraid to mention the possibility, but life is kind of crazy that way and who am I to ignore it?

Do I still belong in the association space? I think so. I suppose we'll find out together.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What Birthdays Mean at 38-Years-Old

I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. with a surge of energy and a house full of sleeping family members. I thought about trying to go back to sleep, but after a few minutes decided the effort was futile and headed upstairs to brew some coffee and read. It is my birthday today and I am now 38-years-old.

Lately I've been investigating spirituality and trying to be open to what the universe is trying to tell me. Sometimes that means I realize great insights about myself and where I belong. Most often it finds me reaching rather than being, struggling while I would be better off letting go. There are many lessons I have yet to learn.

Family means more to me now than ever. Margaux lost another tooth this weekend and while she sleeps upstairs with her winnings tucked securely in her stuffed crocodile, my mother who is visiting from Missouri, is sleeping next to her...two of my favorite people in the world asleep in the same bed. This makes me happy.

I have no grand trip planned for my birthday. No parties. No sexy dinners scheduled with my husband. My Instagram feed shows me the possibilities. Pictures of the exotic locations my friends are visiting or extravagant food and drinks that beg to be consumed populate the app on my phone. But these quiet minutes before the entire house wakes up seem almost magical, like the world gave me extra time that no one else knows about. This is my secret bonus to use as I see fit, the luxury of time for self-reflection. This is the gift I've been waiting for without even realizing it. Thank you. Thank you.

What birthdays mean to me at 38-years-old is different than what they meant to me at 28. My desires sound so simple. But the fact that my birthday sits so close to Thanksgiving, a holiday focused on gratitude, doesn't mean that I desire nothing but altruistic dreams for a better tomorrow. No. Rather, I find myself imagining new dishes for the cupboard (all artistically complementing every dish, all matching) and for the upstairs guest bathroom to be fixed (a dismantled toilet seems to be taking forever to be repaired). With desires like these, it seems almost comical and wasteful to want a fabulous new suit or a long deep-tissue massage.

What I want to say is that I'm thankful to be here. I'm thankful for this life that I have full of friends and family and bathrooms that need to be repaired. I'm grateful for my desires, whatever they might be, sexy or not. I'm happy I have all kinds of possibilities, new paths to take in the future. Happy Birthday to another year of growth and opportunity. Happy Birthday to new dreams and old. Happy Birthday to this crazy body of mine. Happy Birthday to me.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Where I'll Be Speaking In 2015

This year has been incredible for speaking engagements! I have to admit that though it can be tough to do so much traveling, I do enjoy meeting new people and having the opportunity to explore new ideas with them.

In 2014, I transitioned from primarily talking about social media and branding to talking about other big ideas, like how to be more productive ("How I Get Stuff Done") and creative topics like how to find your voice. While I'll still be talking about all things social media in 2015, I have been working on a new keynote (and book, God help me) about overcoming three primary fears that everyone shares to reach greater success. I'm working on this because it is something I care very deeply about and while it may seem a little "woo woo" of a topic, there is plenty of science to back up how these fears can impact our lives. 

My mentors for speaking have always included the brilliant Jeffrey Cufaude and Jeff Hurt and this year was no different. Highlights from my interactions with them have included Cufaude's insights on Association Chat (the chat happens on Twitter at hashtag #assnchat every Tuesday at 2 pm ET) and a long, fascinating discussion about brain science and learning with Hurt at the American Society for Association Executives' Annual Meeting. I can never get enough of these guys and I thank my lucky stars that they are a part of my life.

Speaking in 2015

So far, next year I am scheduled to speak at a few events that sound incredible. Those that I can share, include:

ASAE's Online Conference for Small Staff Associations (February 2015 - Online) - This is the second time I'll be speaking at this event. I'll be part of a panel of speakers discussing, "Solutions for Small Staff Membership Challenges."

ASAE's Great Ideas Conference (March 2015 - Orlando, FL) - For this conference I will be moderating a discussion between some fascinating individuals for "Next Generation Learning: EdTech Partnerships That Work" - Great Ideas is one of my favorite conferences of all-time and I am excited to be a part of it again for 2015!

PMPI's April Educational Experience: The Latest on Mobile Apps (April 2015) - I'll be presenting and then moderating a panel focused on the trends and best practices for organizations adopting and using mobile apps for their events.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Health Care and Business Institute (July 2015 - Phoenix, AZ) - I'll be leading two sessions about social media at this conference and I've heard that other speakers will include the lovely and super smart Adele Cehrs, so I'm pumped.

National Association of Home Builders's Association Leadership Institute (July 2015 - Pittsburgh, PA) - I'll be leading training on social media for representatives looking to enhance their skills.

American Society for Association Executives Annual Meeting (August 2015 - Detroit, MI) - Did you know I'm in love with productivity methods and learning about ways to get more done with the time I have? Well, Scott Oser of Scott Oser Associates, Inc., and I will be leading a crazy fun session about the tools you need for better productivity.

WebLink Summit (October 1, 2015 - Las Vegas, NV) - I'm sharing lessons learned and talking about cultural shifts and technology changes in "From Slam Poetry to Social Media Success"at the WebLink Summit.

 Looking for a speaker?

If you are looking for a keynote or breakout speaker in 2015, I am open to adding a limited amount of speaking engagements for the year. 

You can visit my page about speaking and an example of my speaking style may be seen here or here and you can contact me at  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Virtual Lunch -- Think like the Experts: Experienced Tips for a Hassle Free AMS Selection

Does the thought of selecting a new Association Management System (AMS) give you an instant headache? If you answered yes, attend the ASAE Membership Section Council’s webinar "Think like the Experts: Experienced Tips for a Hassle Free AMS Selection” on Thursday, September 18th from 12:00 – 1:00pm ET.    

During this webinar, you will gain insights
on navigating the AMS selection process and hear from three experienced association professionals on making this process as painless as possible. We promise to share tips on:  
  • ·       How to get started
  • ·       Pitfalls to avoid
  • ·       Resources available to help with selection
  • ·       And more!

If you are embarking on the AMS search now or in the near future, you don’t want to miss this learning opportunity.

Meet the Panelists

Teri Carden, Review My AMS

Teri Carden is an association junkie and self-proclaimed girl geek in normal girl’s clothing. Throughout her career as an association executive, she was supported by her mentors, colleagues, volunteer leaders, and bosses, to fulfill her incessant desire to geek out on the job. Recently Teri has answered a need in the association space by founding, a trusted site for executives to provide end-user reviews of their association management systems. 

Addy M. Kujawa, CAE, American Association of Orthopaedic Executives
Addy Kujawa, CAE, is a results-oriented, diplomatic, creative, energetic, dependable, motivational leader with outstanding, proven skills in every area of association management. She is an expert in strategic planning, visioning, and executing an organizational plan. She knows how to engage members, volunteers and staff in organizational mission goals and objectives. She is consistently successful at identifying and capitalizing upon market opportunities to maximize reach and drive revenue growth. Experience includes ten years in Public Relations for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and over three years as Executive Director for the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives.

Gretchen Steenstra, PMP, DelCor Technology Solutions

With many years of experience in the association community, Gretchen Steenstra is a solution oriented individual who strives to find the appropriate program and staff resources to match project objectives. Ms. Steenstra has the expertise to span boundaries between association staff members and technology. She teaches her clients to understand how applications ‘think’ and empowers them to use systems to their full potential. Ms. Steenstra assists her clients with projects that range from selecting new association technology, project management, IT strategic planning and ongoing system audits to help ensure technology continues to support the organization's objectives and goals. Ms. Steenstra is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and has conducted educational sessions at ASAE and other organizations, including sessions on AMS Implementation Project Management and Web Usability. She is a member of the ASAE Membership Section Council. Ms. Steenstra is a trained Professional Facilitator. She is also a strong supporter of Computer CORE, a nonprofit organization to provide computer and life skills to low income adults.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The #ASAE14 Party List - Where to Go to See The Who's Who in Associations

Every year the best networking at ASAE Annual happens at the parties and receptions after the sessions have concluded for the day. You’ll never know how much learning you are capable of until you are shouting about outdated membership models across a crowded table at a bar.

Here is a handy-dandy list of parties and receptions happening at ASAE Annual in Nashville. Some of these may require RSVPs, but some will happily welcome walk-ins. Join your favorite association folks at these events. (If you’d like to add your event or make changes to an existing event, please send your info to and I’ll make the changes as quickly as possible.)

Hope to see you at some of these! ;) 

- KiKi @kikilitalien

8/9/2014 Saturday          
4:00 pm-5:00 pm Volunteer Leadership Reception at Music City Center, Junior Ballroom Foyer
5:30 pm-7:00 pm Summit Awards Dinner & ASAE Foundation Donor Reception at the Omni Nashville Hotel, Broadway Ballroom             
7:30pm-10:00pm Opening Night Celebration at Fifth Street Live! ("...the party is basically on Fifth Street, between the Omni and Music City Center")

8/10/2014 Sunday           
5:00 pm-6:00 pm Community Section Receptions at Music City Center                                   
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Balance Interactive, Protech, Cetrom at Tequila Cowboy, 305 Broadway
RSVP at       
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Dropbox, Hilltop Consultants at Margaritaville, 322 Broadway
6:00 pm-8:00 pm Advanced Solutions International (ASI)'s Recharge + Refresh = Reenergize at Honky Tonk Central, 329 Broadway
6:00 pm-8:00 pm YourMembership at Aerial Lounge, 411 Broadway, Rooftop Rock'n Reception
6:00 pm-9:00 pm Higher Logic, HighRoad Solution, JobTarget, mindSHIFT at Honky Tonk Central, 2nd Floor, 329 Broadway      
6:00 pm-9:00 pm SmartBrief at the Johnny Cash Museum
#assnchat regulars welcome!    
6:00 pm-9:00 pm MemberClicks Small Staff Shindig at BB King's Blues Club, 152 2nd Ave N
8:30 pm-1:30 am MultiView at Wildhorse Saloon, 120 2nd Ave N               
9:00 pm-10:30 pm Diversity + Inclusion Reception                                                            

8/10/2014 Monday         
7:30 am-8:45 am Awards and Recognition Breakfast                                                         
7:00 pm-10:00 pm The Classic at Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Tickets required              
9:00 pm-1:00 am "Fire and Ice Networking Party" – YAP at Hard Rock Café, Nashville
10:00 pm-1:00 am 11th Annual LGBT Party at The Big Bang (piano bar), 411 Broadway #201
Donation to IGLTA!

8/12/2014 Tuesday         
7:00pm-10:00pm Closing Celebration at Wildhorse Saloon             

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 Lessons to My Younger Self

FastCompany recently featured an article by Jane Porter that was all about what the founder of ModCloth would tell her younger self. I got to thinking about my own history and what I would tell my younger self, if I had the chance. For now, I know of no time machines that will allow me to go back and change things. But when the time does come for the chance to go back, here are the five things that will be at the top of my list to teach myself.

1. Risk sounding stupid for clarity.

There are so many times when I kicked myself for not asking more questions - and the truth is, the primary reason I failed to ask was the fear of sounding stupid. I would tell myself to give up on trying to be "cool" and just take a chance on asking the questions I want to ask. The risk of sounding stupid is not worth dealing with a lack of clarity later on and ultimately, I'm a lot cooler if I know what the f#$k is going on rather than trying to figure it out on my own. Ask more questions.

2. Invest in sleep.

I used to think all I needed for sleep was a solid four hours and I would be fine. This was a ridiculous notion. I've actually increased my productivity and happiness with my life by giving myself a longer time to sleep at night. I'm not claiming that I get eight hours every night, but I do try to make sure I get at least six. I've found that with more rest, I am sharper and quicker on my feet in the mornings during my most productive hours...and I need less caffeine to be "on" for meetings. Now, if only Aptify had nap rooms like the Huffington Post!

3. Read every night.

And I don't mean business books. I was feeling burned out with reading only business books and focusing too much on that aspect of my life. I have to find outside sources to foster growth in my life. Reading books, especially fiction, seems to help. The books provide me with inspiration and sometimes help me to add a little variety to my vocabulary.

4. Know your why.

There were so many days that I spent not having a clear sense of why I was doing what I was doing for work. What a waste of time! I would tell my younger self to dedicate some focused thought to figuring out why I was doing what I was doing and what it meant to me and how it reflected my personal brand. There are so many questions that knowing your why can answer - like the projects to get involved in and the projects to run away from. And that is just the beginning.

5. Be your own best friend.

Talk to yourself kindly. Cut yourself some slack. What would you say to your best friend if they were having the same troubles/questions/issues? Do yourself a favor and be your own best friend. It will help you to be there for others on a more authentic level.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Advice for the Emerging Association Professional

After spending 12 years working in the association world, I am no longer considered an “emerging association professional”.  I could throw in a joke about this just meaning I’m getting old, but instead I wear it as a badge of honor! People from all walks of association life offer lunch or coffee, looking  to me for advice on how to successfully maneuver the mysterious and well-acronymed ocean that is the association industry!  Naturally, I look forward to any excuse for good conversation with a new acquaintance and these requests are both flattering and equally informative for me.

What follows serves as my general advice on how to best engage as an emerging association professional … coffee not included….

Rule #1: Take Charge of Your Own Professional Development

To advance in any profession, you must remain the perpetual student. Your education doesn’t end after university. Many organizations offer some kind of professional development stipend to help foster personal and professional growth. Know what kind of professional development support you have, but don’t stop there! Many conferences offer scholarships for people who might otherwise be unable to attend. You may also offer to volunteer or blog about the event in exchange for registration.

Whatever you do, please join your industry’s association. It should come as no surprise that the association world has its very own Association -- the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE). The experience you gain from meeting a large number of people serving memberships similar to yours is immensely valuable. Helpful tips on membership retention, member value, price of engagement, and so much more from across the spectrum of the association world are waiting for you to reap from others in your field.

Participating in your industry’s association may also provide you the opportunity to speak at future events and conferences. Becoming an adept public speaker can help you professionally in countless ways as well as making you infinitely more employable in the future.

Through continued learning you may even wish to pursue becoming a Certified Association Executive (CAE).   You’ll need to spend some time in the industry first. However, if you think you might go that direction, it’s never too soon to start learning about CAE requirements and areas of study you will want to research ahead of time.

Rule #2: Don’t Undervalue Your Role Because of Your Paycheck

Being an “emerging” anything usually means your paycheck isn’t what you’d like it to be. As an emerging association professional, this can be disheartening to say the least. As you are learning about your membership, caring for it, and bemoaning the antiquated ways your association operates (“You mean you still receive dues via fax?”), it can be frustrating to see the reflection of your labor in your humble paycheck.  Remember: everyone “starts” somewhere, and it’s not where you start, but where you finish that counts!

I remember spending long hours in the office in the beginning; always one of the last to leave. True, there was much I needed to learn, but I also felt a charged sense of urgency. Surely no one saw things the way I did – otherwise there would be more change!  Frustration was an everyday event that sometimes felt would never end.  But still that energy grew, much like I’m sure it’s growing within you today.

 Use that energy. Learn as much as possible.  Be aggressive!

Ask more questions than you feel comfortable. There are oftentimes internal politics at play that make seemingly obvious answers impossible to play out. Find another way. Do not, under any circumstances, believe that the size of your paycheck determines your worth to the office. Your paycheck will grow as you garner more experience. But always be prepared to show why you are ready for more responsibility, learning opportunities, and (eventually) money.

Rule #3: Participate In Associations as a Volunteer

There is no better teacher than experience. Volunteering as a council member or in any role, really, is one of the best ways you can begin to understand your members.  Initially serving on ASAE’s Component Relations Section Council was an extremely “meta” experience for me . I was used to putting together the schedule for my association’s councils, not serving as a council member. However, once I served as a council member, I began to better understand what a council member looks for from the association.

In the meantime, you will still learn what it is to be a member of an association. How much marketing impacts you, how well your milestones are tracked, what it’s like to deal with customer service; all of this will become research fodder for you in your work as an emerging association professional.

Rule #4: Expand Your Network

Proactively work at building relationships and expanding your circle professionally, so that you are constantly learning from those people around you. In addition to all of the networking benefits you will receive in the form of job offers, brainstorming, and reputation building; you will also cultivate your conversation skills and improve on your experiential knowledge.

You should start working to build your reputation early on by meeting as many people as possible and sharing with them your projects and stories….the types of things that will help leave a lasting impression of you. As time goes on, you will find that your reputation will carry more weight than your resume.  Don’t expect this to happen over-night,  but it will happen.

Your association is not the only place to connect. I am particularly fond of other ways to network, like Association Chat, for example. Association Chat, originally created by industry leader Jeff De Cagna and hosted by yours truly, KiKi L’Italien (@kikilitalien), is a weekly chat on Twitter that hosts discussions about the topics of the day for associations. The chat uses the hashtag #AssnChat and happens every Tuesday at 2 pm EST.

The final tip I’ll leave you with today:  Find a mentor!  Find two…find twenty! Mentors are worth their weight in gold because they can provide perspective in tough situations, as often they have been through similar struggles. Mentors can also help guide you to new opportunities you might have never otherwise known existed.  They’ve walked the walk, and talked the talk.  Lean on them whenever possible.

In the comments, please share your own advice, or ask questions if you like. I will answer as quickly as I read them and I am sure readers will appreciate the thought.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Do New Processes Make You Uncomfortable?

It wasn't my idea, but the romance of it captured me. He had painted the picture for me: the snow softly falling in the warmth of the sun as we clutch hot chocolate in our hands watching his favorite hockey team play outdoors in an ice rink created in Yankee being played the way it was meant to be played before technology the elements.

Me: Freezing. Him: In bliss.
Reality nipped at my fingertips and toes as the game started. We had arrived in New York ready for the NHL Stadium Series experience and I quickly realized that I needed more than a small cup of hot chocolate, more like a tub of it, in which I could immerse myself in order to avoid freezing to death in the below freezing temperatures.

I watched as ice crystals formed in the soda we'd purchased. My many layers were nothing compared to the biting cold and the falling snow that stuck to my clothes. My body temperature was dropping below comfort, but I forced myself to smile as I rocked back and forth trying to feel my feet.

How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation in your association? You looked forward to a new process or project, romanticizing the experience in your mind and then dealing with the discomfort as reality hit, gritting your teeth through it all because you were sure you'd be better off for it.

What could you have done to better prepare for this discomfort?

1. Effectively planned to provide for your comfort better - maybe allowed for more time in a project or planned for more help
2. Talked to more people who had done the same thing before - perhaps they could prepare you for things to watch out for or provide you with helpful tips
3. Had more realistic expectations - you might not be so uncomfortable if you had a realistic idea of what to expect

I survived my frigid excursion and made happy memories in the process, but I could have made things infinitely more comfortable for myself if I'd done a better job planning ahead. What are your tips for preparing for a new process or project?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My System for Getting Sh*t Done

As many articles tout the Pomodoro Technique and GTD, my own habits for increasing productivity and breaking through procrastination are downright crude. I have come to recognize that in the world of productivity tools, my ideas might seem dysfunctional, but at least they are all mine. I present to you:
KiKi's System for Getting Sh*t Done.

Part 1: The Ramen Noodle Method
Ramen noodles are embarrassingly good. At least, I think so. Cheap. Unhealthy. And good.
I can afford better than ramen, but sometimes, on a really hard day, I long for the taste of them. When it's lunchtime and nothing else is around, I'll pop into the little sundries market downstairs and buy a cup of ramen. It's a guilty reading tabloid headlines in the checkout line in the grocery store.

There's just enough nostalgia connected to ramen for me that when I eat it I instinctively release a reflective sigh exhaling the memories of my college days working late editing the school newspaper. The ramen gives me fortitude on an otherwise unremarkable day. Its message is this: You will get through this. The little noodles are surges of power to help you rocket through your day. Just look at them and you might be reminded of your brain's synapses firing off new pathways for learning.

By the time I finish a cup of ramen noodles, I am comforted and convinced I can finish the task at hand.

Do your noodles talk to you? Maybe they should. The Ramen Noodle Method might be the way to make it to the end of that project. Then again, you might need to take a different approach. Something that gives you wings...

Part 2: The Red Bull Exercise
If ramen offers fortitude for day, Red Bull provides power for the evening. Red Bull tastes bad. Even with vodka. But I still drink it. Especially with vodka. It's relatively expensive, as soft drinks go, but people keep buying more and more of it and there is one big reason why.

Red Bull offers one primary benefit: Energy. Its promise is this: If you drink it, you will stay least for a work, party, or do whatever it is you need to do before you finally go to sleep. Its a little less dangerous than making a deal with the devil, but not by much. A little Red Bull goes a long way.

By the end of a can of Red Bull, I feel like I've white-knuckled my way through driving in a snowstorm...and survived.

Part 3: Cry. Pray. Cry Some More.
That Eat Pray Love book only got part of the answer. Crying is not only therapeutic, but I'm convinced it helps when you regularly clear out the tear ducts. The exact process is still under review, but it goes something like this:

1. Wait until last minute to face the fact that you have to do something
2. Cry in frustration
3. Pray to a higher power that you be delivered from the situation
4. Cry when you realize you'll still have to do it
5. Actually sit down and start working on the thing you must get done

What are your methods for finishing your tasks? What gets you through a tough day or helps you push past procrastination to finish that project? Share your real methods for getting stuff done here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Price of Honesty

Honesty can be really expensive. At least it seems like it. Because if I were to tell you a list of truths, you might make decisions about me that were not necessarily pleasant. For example:

I hate exercise.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze.
I like wine - probably a little too much.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again.
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination.

However, honesty can be misleading. Just like some people lie by leaving out part of the information, sometimes honesty leaves out pertinent information that can color this "truth."

I hate exercise. But I love dancing.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze. Though I drank green juice this very morning.
I like wine - probably a little too much. I can't help but prefer to have a glass or two with dinner.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off. I try to make myself more productive by using the last part of the day for calls and emails.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again. At least I'm passionate about it.!
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination. Who doesn't?

I've been grappling with the question of transparency and authenticity lately. Advice for business from people I know varies wildly from, "always tell people you are doing great - no one wants to do business with a loser," to "have the courage to be honest and people will respond to that honesty."

My tendency is toward  the latter. I expose a lot. Maybe too much. Maybe not enough.

Recently, I went to New Media Expo (#NMX) in Las Vegas. This conference is for bloggers and podcasters - content creators of all types really - and it fed my soul. Although I haven't written in my blog for a while I realized that I still self-identify as a blogger and the only difference between feeling guilty about that and not is my writing a post more often.

Pat Flynn was one of the presenters there. He is a lot of things now: business owner, podcaster, passive income guru, author, and speaker. More than all that, he is astonishingly REAL. He shares his financial information, about the way he makes money, with everyone online. He spoke about authenticity with Cliff Ravenscraft at #NMX and it was the most powerful session I witnessed. They were both a refreshing change of pace from the typical do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-the-sale old-school nastiness I'm sick of. Pat seems happy and at peace with himself.

One thing I had to recognize for myself was that I'm happier creating ways to communicate with people, than not...usually using something like video to do so. I decided I want to pick up podcasting again (I miss doing the Social Media Sweet Spot) even if it is just for fun and not related to business.

All of this is to say that I am going to be testing out some podcasting ideas. If they stick, they stick. If not, I'm not going to worry about it. But I will be sharing them here on my blog, if you are interested.

What truth are you not telling? Do you think honesty really is the best policy or are there reasons to "keep your cards close to your chest?"