Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Adventures of Hobbying


Hello and thanks for checking out this week's podcast entitled "The Adventures of Hobbying".


This week's podcast I talk about re-focusing my energy into my income-generating potential ventures, and turning all of my other interests into "hobbies", since the fact of the matter is that until you get PAID for doing something on a regular basis, you are in fact "a hobbyist".

I still have my varied and multiple interests, and I'll continue to pursue them in my "free time", but for right now, I'll be dedicating the lion's share of my attention to SSS for Success (which now stands for Small Business Survival Specialists) and Bootstrapping Without Boots.
Don't forget to check out my new series called “Bootstrapping Without Boots: The Small Business Survival Guide”, where the goal is to show small business owners how you can get what you need within the first year of your business for $365 or less.  I’ll detail the step-by-step process of everything you need to do and pretty much cover the basics of what all small businesses should have to operate successfully in a Web 2.0 environment.
Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.

Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 




If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email me at "transcripts[at]exclusivemultiplicity.com". 

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day! 
Kindra

P.S. Tell me about your experience with the "For Dummies" book series by filling out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Open Message to Blockbuster (or What’s Left of it)

I had the opportunity to visit a Blockbuster store today, and here are my thoughts on the experience.  Feel free to listen via this podcast episode, or read about it below:



Today, through a slight mailing mishap and oversight on my part, I received one of my mailed Blockbuster DVDs off of the outstanding 900+ videos that I currently have in My Queue at Blockbuster.com.  Over the past several months, rather than cancel my Blockbuster.com Total Access Account, I’ve chosen to place the account on hold, while I work my way through one of the most difficult financial circumstances I’ve ever had to face in my life.

As I went to my local Blockbuster, one of the 2 that still exist in the area, down from the 6 that were in this community when I moved here several years ago, something occurred to me as I walked into the store and noticed their new advertising campaign.

The first thing I saw was a sign next to their “Hot New Releases” that said that Blockbuster got this movie 28 days before NetFlix or RedBox.  The next sign, I think said something like “Think Outside the Box”, and obviously (and terrible) play on Taco Bell’sThink Outside the Bun” and any other contrived ad slogans that lean towards this type of message.

I couldn’t help but think if I had the opportunity to be privy to the ears of “The Powers That Be” at Blockbuster, I’d surely give them an earful, as a person who has now been a Blockbuster customer, both online as well as in-stores for well over 16 years.  First, in the 16 years that I’ve been a Blockbuster customer, NOT ONCE has ANYONE at Blockbuster sought to get my opinion about their stores, their service, or even what my movie renting habits are.  Wherever they’re getting their research, it’s clearly coming up short, and this is in part why they can’t seem to maintain the competitive advantage they once had, and they’re being killed by NetFlix and RedBox.

Second, there isn’t going to be a successful marketing campaign made by Blockbuster that works by downing the likes of NetFlix and RedBox.  Though I’m still fairly new to the big business game as an owner, I’ve been a customer for QUITE some time, and I can tell you it’s always an indicator that someone has an inferior product or service when their whole spiel is based on what the other guys are lacking, without really telling me what makes your product or service better.  In the signs I saw, at Blockbuster, it was more about downing NetFlix and RedBox (as evidenced by the pictures of circles with a slash going through them for mailboxes and red box looking machines that harkens the imagery of the famous RedBox franchise).

Third, I think Blockbuster could benefit from using a few MiniMarketing Surveys.  Since they’re still scrambling to figure out what their next move is, they could probably use some rapid feedback surveys that asks a few key questions to their core audience so they can figure out how to best serve the FEW PEOPLE that still patronize them. 

And I will note, I don’t just say they should use “The MiniMarketing Survey” because I created, but because they really need it.  I’m telling you this as a Blockbuster customer, that’s never been contacted for marketing research purposes about my Blockbuster experience.  I’m telling you, Blockbuster, that you’re clearly missing the mark when you haven’t surveyed me, or people like me, who stick with your service, despite the fact that you are antiquated, and there are now a host of services that have easily replaced you and made you irrelevant to MOST consumers.

Not being mean, just being honest.

Finally, there’s a social media wave a-movin’, and if Blockbuster were smart, they’d be scrambling like hell to find out how (if at all) they can jump on it, and try to survive, and maybe even find a way to get back to their glory days!  Anything’s possible, so with that in mind, I’ll end this message on 2 notes.

The first of which is this: If my financial life turns around in the next 2 months (which I suspect it will), I will continue to be a Blockbuster Online Total Access customer, as long as they keep the service I currently have under $25 bucks.  That’s my “make-or-break price point”.  I don’t pay for cable, but I love watching movies in my “downtime”, and having access to Blockbuster's vast catalog is what made me stick with them over RedBox or NetFlix, which are both in fact limited.  Blockbuster really needs to get into finding out the core value of its loyal customers, and finding out why they keep coming back.  I’m really amazed that no one has cared to do this.  And I’m even more amazed that I actually have to set up a podcast and blog post about this to actually get the ball rolling.

My second note: Dear Blockbuster, I am a Technology and Social Media Specialist, and I am someone who is primed to usher your company into the Web 3.0 world.  More importantly, you can hire me at a price point that YOU CAN AFFORD given that you just filed for bankruptcy.  Now, you can go out and hire one of those fancy “established” social media experts, and that will cost you MILLIONS that you don’t have, and just hasten your decline into “No Man’s Land”.  Plus, I suspect that NONE of the “social media heavyweights” out there that are for hire are actual Blockbuster customers, nor have they been for quite some time, so it would even be somewhat disingenuous for them to try and “save” a company they really don’t believe in too much anyway.

So, with that being said, if Blockbuster is smart, or if the person who heads up their IT or Social Media Department (assuming they have one) is savvy, they should have set up a “Google Alert” for whenever their name, and possibly the word “bankruptcy” is showing up in the news media, and perhaps they’ll be giving me a call in the next week or so (though I gotta warn you guys, my October is looking pretty full, so you might want to call sooner, rather than later. LOL).

And if they aren’t smart enough to be using Google Alerts as a way to protect and grow their brand, then perhaps they’ll learn to take a page out of the President of William-Sonoma’s book who recently used their Google Alerts to find April Morse’s newest creation and were able to bring it to the market and save a business in April’s case, and add more value to the William Sonoma customers by adding a great product to their shelves!

The news about this happening a few months ago was something small in one sense, but it was a large telling about the power of social media, and in my opinion, said as an internet and social media savvy Blockbuster customer, this is where Blockbuster is in fact failing.  And I say that, even being aware of the paltry mobile Blockbuster application that was released a little while ago “exclusively for Android” or Verizon or something or another.  I barely remember seeing the commercial, but I remember thinking the LAST thing Blockbuster needs to be doing is EXCLUDING ANYONE from their market at this stage in the game. LOL.

Anywhoo, so that’s Random Nothingness.  If by chance you happen to be affiliated with Blockbuster or even William-Sonoma and you’re looking for some awesome and reasonably priced social media help, please feel free to get in touch with me.  You can Google Me, or reach me via KindraCotton.com.

Click the player below to hear this podcast:



Kindra

My General Disclaimer:
This podcast will differ from any of my other ones because it's random, with no clear direction or intended audience, and it surely is not intended to necessarily be edifying or uplifting.  That doesn't mean it can't turn into either one of those things, but just know that that clearly isn't the intent or purpose.  Hence the name "Random Nothingness".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Adventures of Multitasking


Hello and thanks for checking out this week's podcast entitled "The Adventures of Multitasking".



This week's podcast I talk about how a few days ago, I saw that @WriterChanelle on Twitter posted an article about “Why Bashing Millennials is Wrong”.  It’s an article that begins with how people bash Millennials as lazy, entitled, and fickle, and how today’s manager doesn’t quite know how to manage these folks born after 1980.  Due to the month of my birth, I am technically a “Generation Xer”, which is weird, because I identify more with “Gen Yers”, but I’m not invited to their parties because a couple of weeks difference, but I digress…

The author of the article (Nancy Lublin, Do Something's CEO & Chief Old Person) talks about how she’s had to take a new approach to managing Millennials, since their style of doing things through multitasking expressly differs from her style of putting things on a “To Do List” and scratching them off one-by-one until they’re done.  She notes that studies shows that Millennials use multitasking, and they’re technically not more proficient than their older counterparts, but she admits that they get things done, even if it’s not done the way she thinks it should be.  She’s learned to give her Gen Y employs a clear task, then let them accomplish it in the best way that they know how.  My how I wish she could get this message across to many of her “Baby Boomer” and “Generation X” counterparts.

But I liked the article, and more importantly, it got me to thinking.  For as far back as I can remember in my adult life, I’ve always been chided for multitasking.  And, I get it.  It does look as if a person that’s doing 20 things simultaneously is doing no ONE THING well.  I understand how people’s minds work.  I get that people gauge what others can do, by what they think they can do, and clearly if they can’t do something, then it’s hence deemed unfeasible for someone else.  With age (and presumably wisdom), I’ve learned not to let this get to me so much.
 

But when I read, yet another article that reminds me of this “young people are lazy” notion, I can’t help but think about the way that many people try to make me feel “inadequate” for my penchant for multitasking.  I like doing multiple things at once.  I am the person who has 6 applications running over two computers while talking on the phone, and I STILL manage to get things done within the deadline that was a set.  Sure, I miss some deadlines here and there, but it’s not due to multitasking. LOL..  I get things done that need to be done, and I know how to prioritize.  So that’s a bit of a struggle.  

The good happening this week is that I take my multitasking to a new level by continuing to move forward into growing enterprises, and chopping up enterprises as I separate SSS for Success from EASY Brand Marketing Specialists.  I’m finding these days that I spend almost HALF of my time dealing with the administrative portion of running a business, and luckily for me, this still falls under the purview of things I love.

Hopefully, if all goes according to plan this week, I’ll have 2 new websites, and a stack of new business cards, and I’ll be all ready to take the world by storm with a full networking schedule by next week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Don't forget to check out my new series called “Bootstrapping Without Boots: The Small Business Survival Guide”, where the goal is to show small business owners how you can get what you need within the first year of your business for $365 or less.  I’ll detail the step-by-step process of everything you need to do and pretty much cover the basics of what all small businesses should have to operate successfully in a Web 2.0 environment.
Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.

Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 




If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email me at "transcripts[at]exclusivemultiplicity.com". 

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day! 
Kindra

P.S. Tell me about your experience with the "For Dummies" book series by filling out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

The Adventures of Surviving


Hello and thanks for checking out this week's podcast entitled "The Adventures of Surviving".

This week's podcast I talk about how I’ve been through a lot lately, and I suspect I’ll continue to go through a lot more before its all over.  I entitled this week’s podcast “The Adventures of Surviving” because that’s what I’m doing.  That’s pretty much what I know how to do.  At this point, the thought of giving up is almost comical! LOL.

Then, I started thinking about my tagline for this series “A Tale of one Entrepreneur’s rise to success through bootstrapping while wearing flip-flops”, and what inspired.  It was inspired by 2 things, one of which was the fact that I always questioned the notion of people who tell stories of “pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps”, and even as a kid, I wondered “well, what about the people that don’t have any boots”?!  Nobody ever talks about them, and how much longer the journey to success is when you start without boots!

The second thing that happened was in early May of this year following the torrential rains that hit the Nashville area.  I was lucky enough at the time to make out pretty good, without having much property damage.  Then, after the water cleared, I started receiving email messages about volunteering in the clean up effort.  

I was all ready to head out to a site, and that’s when I read the last line of the email warning about wearing protective clothing and work boots.  And that’s when I realized, I had no boots & to make matters worse, I only had my “work shoes” and a pair of flipflops.  It was a pretty low point, but out of that negative came a positive in that I was able to truly be able to relate to the tagline of this series.

So, with that in mind, today I launched a new series called “Bootstrapping Without Boots: The Small Business Survival Guide”!  With the goal of showing small business owners how you can get what you need within the first year of your business for $365 or less.  I’ll detail the step-by-step process of everything you need to do and pretty much cover the basics of what all small businesses should have to operate successfully in a Web 2.0 environment.

I hope that Bootstrapping Without Boots will bridge the gap to get entrepreneurs from the conception stage to the implementation and completion of getting a business up and running.  I’m pretty excited about the new series, and in case you were wondering, I am addicted to podcast series.  LOL.
Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.

Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 




If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email me at "transcripts[at]exclusivemultiplicity.com". 

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day! 
Kindra

P.S. Tell me about your experience with the "For Dummies" book series by filling out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Adventures of Being Helpful


Hello and thanks for checking out this week's podcast entitled "The Adventures of Being Helpful".



This week's podcast I talk about picking up and moving on past the devastation of homelessness, and gearing my efforts to helping people and improving my overall life circumstance.  Most of my struggles are related to the issues you'd expect someone with a "permanent housing problem" to encounter like meeting the minimal needs for sustenance, but the upside once again is that things are continually picking up with my business!

A great foundation has been laid, and the future is bright.  I've decided to use the knowledge I've acquired over the years through bootstrapping, and present it within a new web series (currently still under development), that will pretty much show step-by-step exactly how I'm bootstrapping my way to success, without the benefit of having boots!

Also, tomorrow I have my spot on #SmallBizChat on Twitter at 8PM ET.  Follow my Twitter name (@KindraCotton), and join in on the conversation about marketing plans for small businesses.

Please feel free to leave comments below or give me your feedback directly, either by email “podcasts @ exclusivemultiplicity.com”, or by finding me on Facebook, Twitter (@KindraCotton), or LinkedIn.  You can also contact me via Skype at my name Kindra.Cotton, and you can now call me on my Google Voice line at: (201) 870-0234.  If you leave a message on my Google Voicemail line, please be sure to mention which podcast you listened to.

Click media player below to listen to this podcast. 




If the player above isn't displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free (it may take a few days for it to appear at this link, but you can subscribe directly to the podcast feed via iTunes if you want to always get new podcast episodes when they're first uploaded)!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email me at "transcripts[at]exclusivemultiplicity.com". 

Come back next week, and have a Blessed Day! 
Kindra

P.S. Tell me about your experience with the "For Dummies" book series by filling out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLVRTJZ

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