Top 27 Ways to Use Your Toastmasters Experience

toastmasters and social media 27 ways to use toastmasters

As the second in my series of “When Firing Your Boss Isn’t an Option” series, I have come up with a list of 27 ways to use your Toastmasters experience to its fullest.

Joining or Attending Toastmasters is actually tip #2 on my 27 Free or Inexpensive Ways to Drive Your Career and Build Your Brand tip sheet (the first tipsheet in this series). Since I am a ‘mixologist’ at heart, and hate having efforts go to waste, I like to look for ways to make skills / efforts transferable and repurpose-able. The Toastmasters organization offers such tremendous opportunities, I thought I’d list at least 27 ways to use your Toastmasters experience, just so you can fully showcase of all the work you are doing.

You are no longer ‘just a speaker’, but you are crafting yourself into a triple threat!

 Golden Rule: After your first couple of speeches, make sure to do some speeches on your work expertise, or other skill for which you excel or have an interest (could be a hobby, a passion, business or other topic).

  1. Create Videos for those key speeches that highlight your knowledge &/or skill(s).
  2. Create some meaty power point slides which highlight your expertise, and include specific keywords related to your skills.
  3. Create some YouTube or Vimeo  how-to’s, show-n-tells, best practices, humor, or talent showcasing
  4. Add the links and slides created from the above efforts to your Linkedin Profile
  5. Get recommendations for your event / contest planning & coordination, leadership roles, volunteering
  6. Create a lessons learned / best practices tip sheet for creating a successful / profitable contest, or membership drive or rebuilding a club etc
  7. Do a Video Intro of yourself for Linkedin
  8. Head a class at a place like Extraordinary ED, or prepare and record a class for sale on sites like Udemy.com – both highly over looked for practicing your speaking skills
  9. Take on additional leadership roles outside of your comfort zone, commit to them, and showcase your HPL project on Linkedin as a project with milestones, successes, teammates
  10. Endorse / recommend others for the work / volunteering they do – acknowledge the over & above efforts as a skill they excel at
  11. Turn some accomplishments into money stories (power stories, case studies) for use at interviews or to get your foot in the door (Did you create a sell out event for your contest or club? Were you able to bring in 15 new members in 3 months? Did your video win an award? Did your HPL have positive and monetary impact? The Possibilities are endless when you realize that you can repurpose your work & start looking at results through new lens)
  12. Connect with fellow toastmasters and look out for & share opportunities, connections
  13. Contact your church and offer to do a fundraiser on the topic of your strength – motivation, speaking, overcoming, etc. Gives you experience event planning, fundraising, and in preparing your speeches. Allows you to also start building your list of followers
  14. Build a website with your name or nickname or topic of expertise, and use to present blog posts or videos of your speeches and topics. You can eventually add some affliates for some side income.
  15. Volunteer for a local or favorite non profit and put your toastmaster contest, event planning, and speaking skills to the test for the non profit. Offering to be a spokesperson, event coordinator, etc.  Perhaps even sponsor a toastmasters club at the non profit.
  16. Do a webinar or 2. If you stay with your field of expertise related to work, you can now use all of this to position yourself as an expert in your field and add constant updates and information to your linked in.
  17. Make sure you have, use, and populate consistently, your linkedin profile. As a speaker, at the very least you should capitalize on this tool to showcase all that you do in Toastmasters and elsewhere:
    • Populate it with keywords specific to your skills, expertise, and what you want to be found and hired for
    • Add slides and videos of your speeches, work, papers, and posts
    • Showcase your TM projects and teammates
    • Collect and share endorsements and recommendations
    • Participate in groups around your area of expertise
    • Include ‘professional or public speaker’ in your profile
    • Include links to your youtube, and website
    • Connect with diverse groups of people (like me!)
  18. Become smarter when designing and crafting your speeches.  Create a strategy to speak on a topic or theme where each speech builds on each other.  If you have ever wanted to write a book, have each speech be a representation of a chapter. Each speech can become a post on your website where each builds on the base of the other, and can then be turned into a possible information product or book or video etc.
  19. If you get into the habit of posting successes from work, your hobby, your speaking as blog posts, video logs, podcasts, you now have ample material for speeches at anytime.  The more you become comfortable with your topic, your strengths, your expertise, the more capable you are to speak on a moment’s notice and speech writing isn’t that difficult anymore (and the more confident you will become, and the more income you will make, and the income you make….. starting to see the cycle and pattern here? You are creating your own wave of success.  No longer are you at the control of other people, you are creating opportunity for you!)
  20. Start a talk radio show / podcast on your topic, even if no one listens at first, it’s another tool to help you become found for the strengths, expertise, and keywords you want to become found for – you are creating associations.
  21. Use your speeches to start flushing out ideas you’ve always had for work or personal projects, side interest, making them stronger, or letting them grow
  22. Begin creating your portfolio of strengths
  23. Because you have to develop, craft, engineer bio’s and intro’s for your speeches (at least you should be anyway) – start using those opportunities to create your positioning statement.  (Inventory what you’re good at, why people should listen to you, WIIFM, your hook. No one else has this unique opportunity to flush this out – many business & professionals just slap something on a page.  No consistency. No Messaging. No impact. If  you start identifying what you’re all about, and fine-tuning it along the way – you will definitely be ready when your 15 minutes hit!)
  24. Use all of your efforts in contests, volunteering for roles, heading committees to build strengths you need for that promotion or more salary.  Most jobs nowadays pigeon hole you and no longer offer training outside your skill arena. Take the bull by the horns and create your own opportunity and promote the wins and successes. (No one’s going to toot your own horn but you!)
  25. Share the wealth of your toastmasters, but not by preaching or trying to convert. Lead by action! In a class or learning environment, or even a meeting or work environment, showcase your Table topics skills by volunteering for and delivering off the cuff (but eloquent and prepared) responses. Volunteer for presentations to committees or projects that require building a team. Offer to train your PTA, Church Group, Scouts, Book club on a specific skill relevant to the group (how to use your new smartphone or ipad, how to stay in online contact with your grandchildren, how to build successful teams, how to throw a successful findraiser, how to build membership etc). It’s leading by example in action!
  26. Highlight, share, craft a press release to your local newspaper about a contest, award, honor, speech, launch, etc and add the link to your website and linkedin.  Build your presence everywhere based on your work and your skills.
  27. Offer to speak at your local library for free on a topic of interest.

 

The Possibilities are endless for all your Toastmaster efforts, when you realize that you CAN repurpose your work, & begin looking at each effort and the associated results through new lens.

Are you starting to see the cycle and pattern here – the endless potential? Toastmasters only shows you a microcosm of what’s possible. The main goal is for you to become capable and confident in speaking & leadership first. I want you to see what you can do with it.

You are creating your own wave of success.  No longer are you at the control of other people, you are creating opportunity for you!

Every speech (as long as it is original) is information that can be working for you as your intellectual assets.  All you have is information.  Start making that information an extension of you.  Your advice, guidance, motivation and knowledge, which can now be crafted into something you-nique like you, shared online to build your following, demonstrate your portfolio, and grow your brand. You now have information that can speak for you, instead of none or someone else’s version.

The work you put into crafting your bio’s and intros can be repurposed into online profiles, creating a consistent view and message of you.

Corporate America has changed and is continuing to change at an alarming rate. Using the above will allow your Toastmasters work to give you titanium career protection by turning you into a triple threat. Through skills growth, empowering you in the use of branding, marketing, networking, social collaboration, cross cultural capacity, competency and skills, and becoming trans-disciplinary, you can empower yourself to stand out from the competition. Today’s world is becoming flatter and more competitive. You have the tools right in front of you to build your own career insurance!

How else will you take advantage of your Toastmaster experience?  Share with me what you do with you with your toastmasters below in the comments, or on on my Facebook Company page or my personal page at Facebook.com/RARuszkowski.

 

 

Guest Post: Get Unstuck and Unlost

lost without a compassAs I continue through Toastmasters, I no doubt hear some excellent speeches, and speeches with some valuable lessons.  It’s ashame that many do not get repurposed to further aid the speaker and the general public. It is my intent to help my fellow Toastmasters by providing a Guest post opportunity.

I am particularly drawn to speeches that have a ‘mixologist’ application to them, and today’s speech does.   It’s about being lost, the accompanying feelings, and how to apply tactics to recover.  This information was originally derived from Search & Rescue Techniques, and re-tooled for a Project Management course which highlighted the interesting parallels between being lost in the wilderness and being lost on projects.

The following post is by my good friend Sreehari Unnikrishnan, from the Voorhees Toasmasters club delivered in November of 2012.

Please enjoy and comment! Get ‘unlost’.

“““““““““

Good Evening Fellow Toastmasters and Honored guests!

Have you ever been lost? The experience of being lost can be a daunting one.

Consider an experience you may have had in your lifetime where you found yourself physically lost. Perhaps you remember being separated from your parents as a small child in a crowded place. Perhaps you were driving through a new place late at night and got lost. Or, maybe you found yourself lost while hiking in the woods.

What feelings did you experience? How did being lost affect your judgment or your ability to make thoughtful decisions? How were you or others able to rescue you? Consider these questions for a moment and make some mental notes.

Today I am going to analyze the behaviors of physically lost individuals and try to relate that understanding to daily life situations in which we tend to get lost, mentally. Amazingly, there striking similarities in the behaviors of individuals who are physically lost in the wilderness and individuals who tend to get mentally lost when faced with adverse or stressful conditions in life.

And because of these similarities, the common body of knowledge that exists for professional teams that search and rescue physically lost hikers in the wilderness, can also help the mentally lost individuals from dangerous situations in daily life.

What are the behaviors of an individual lost in the wilderness?

Individuals experience a range of emotions and exhibit a series of behaviors when they are lost. Interestingly, these behaviors may occur in a linear order or cycle through the individual many times.

Let’s look at each one of these behaviors in their linear order:

  • Confusion:

The initial sensation of being lost is the referred to as spatial disorientation. In layman’s terms, it is that feeling encountered when we have too many things going on and we suddenly ask ourselves: what was I trying to do or where am I now?

  •  Fear:

Fear is a necessary survival mechanism. Fear causes human beings to consider the dangers of their environment. But it can also serve as an aid to make more mistakes as anxiety sets in. Anxiety is the result of a person’s inability to logically think through fear. 

  • Sense of Urgency:

As fear begins to create more stress on an individual, there is an extreme urge to push forward. For example, as a hiker lost in wilderness can no longer deny that he is lost there is a growing sense of urgency to find his destination. Interestingly, this behavior of hurrying to find the right place often results in the hiker becoming even farther off of from the right path.

  • Panic:

At this stage, a hiker can begin to rationalize just about anything. “It’s just over that next ridge”, panic begins to grow in the lost individuals mind.

  • Poor decision making:

As panic takes its toll on the mind, the capacity to make thoughtful decisions diminish, number of assumptions made increase and obvious risks are ignored. Believe it or not, remains of lost hikers have been found who died of dehydration – yet they had water in their canteen.

  • Frustration:

The lack of results that occurs from poor decision-making will soon grow into a feeling of frustration. In searching again and again to find the right path back to a known point, hikers will experience increasing frustration.

  • Anger:

If frustration is allowed to continue unchecked it will often lead to anger. Anger can encourage impulsive reactions, irrational behavior and in some instances, it will cause an individual to give up.

  • Depression and Withdrawal:

Depression and withdrawal often follow when anger has not created a successful solution to the problem. The cycle of continued frustration and resulting anger will lead the hiker to depression which is quickly followed by withdrawal.

  • Fatigue:

The emotions of frustration, anger and depression usually create fatigue in most individuals. A fatigued hiker will be even less capable of maintaining himself until rescue arrives.

  • Forgetfulness:

All of these behaviors culminate in forgetfulness. It is not unusual in rescue cases that the lost individuals cannot remember the decisions that were made or events that occurred while being lost. It is a sign that all other emotions have taken a toll on the lost individual.

Each of these stages builds on top of each other. For the individuals who do not recognize this, these feelings compound and escalate creating a dangerous situation.

The Behavior of survivors

Now let’s look at what behaviors allow individuals who are lost in the wilderness to survive and either find their way to a known location or to be rescued by a Search and Rescue team.

According to the Search and Rescue common body of knowledge: People who are lost in the wilderness often survive not because of a particular skill-set or access to tools, but rather because of their state of mind.

Having the necessary tools or knowing the techniques to survive alone is not enough. Individuals who survive being lost seem to rely on a simple approach that is referred to as the STOP method.

the stop methodThe STOP Method is an acronym for: Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan.

Those who survive lost situations recognize, intuitively or through training, that the moment confusion, the first behavior of being lost, sets in is not the time to continue to forge ahead. Instead, it is time to stop and asses the current situation. It is interesting to note that the best survivors in lost situations are small children. Research has shown that they intuitively follow the STOP method. For example, the lost child will often not continue searching for a known point of reference, but instead stay put and consider the immediate moment. They will take cover if shelter is necessary or find a log to crawl into if it is cold. They are intuitively better at conserving resources than most lost adults seem to be.

Closing

In today’s world where we are required to multi-task so often, even with all the technological advancements, it is so easy to get lost. Knowing these emotions you are likely to go through and the STOP method will help you find our way back and be successful.

Thank you, Mister /Madam Toastmaster.

““““““““““

Valuable insight Sreehari; thanks for the excellent speech. When you are overwhelmed, lost, or not sure of your direction, take a moment and follow the STOP method. Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan.

Take a breather and look at what’s going on around you. Look at what’s working, and what isn’t.  Do you notice any patterns? Anything out of place? Is there something deeper going on?

Not only Think, but think out of the box.  Step away from the situation if you must, to a neutral territory. You want to ensure clear thinking. Sometimes we get so caught up in routine, habit, precedent, that sometimes we cannot see that there is a better, easier, clearer path.

Observe process, people, environment, etc. Step outside of the picture. Sometimes it helps to observe from a different role to change the way you view things. Observe from the role of auditor, stakeholder, client, vendor, or the lowest common denominator. Different things may present themselves to you that way.

Plan a new route, attack, strategy, etc.  When you plan and know why you are doing something and assess every action against that plan, it enables better decisions and actions.

Remember the STOP method for all ‘types’ of being lost.

What action will you now take to improve your situation and get unlost and unstuck?

Go Raevolutionize and think of a new path!

Rae-Ann 

 

 

Turn Accomplishments into Money Stories

Accomplishments into Money StoriesYour accomplishments, successes, triumphs, feats, coups, and even failures can be, and most often should be, collected in your Money Story repertoire.

As speakers, and business owners successful on Social Media, we know the value and power of a story to foster a connection, grow credibility, and make a point.

Stories help craft and represent a 4-D version of ourselves, and create charges for others to connect to us. As a species in general, stories helped create the connections and sense of identity throughout the ages, in every culture. (Obviously, the reverse can occur as well, but for now we are sticking with the positive)

Much as been written about stories, how to craft, why to use, etc. Information overload is everywhere, and everyone is bombarded with so much information these days, we have all come up with our own complex system of internal filters, both primary and secondary, which can change day to day, project to project, relationship to relationship. These filters protect us from ‘useless’ information, or information that doesn’t match our needs. Understanding these filters, and by using stories, we can find ways to connect to people, and reach them with our message. Stories most often represent a non-threatening way to demonstrate, teach a lesson, highlight a point – basically creating ‘edutainment’ and creating a connection.

The power of stories are also effective for career folks and business people. I recommend to all my clients working a 9-5, or even working for themselves, that they create a Money Story repertoire for themselves. A portfolio, an inventory, a database, a folder of all of your accomplishments, feats, even failures which includes the highlights, lessons learned, key value added actions.

It’s as simple as keeping index cards at your desk, in your briefcase & / or notebook, and when something completes, or is a demonstration of something you’ve done well (you were in your zone), you grab a card and document: when, what, who, why, how. Also make sure to capture any other key pieces of information.  Obviously, you can use a database (or whatever method works best for you, including my soon to be delivered app). All those successes or powerful lessons learned that can be referenced for presentations, interviews, performance reviews, speeches, etc.; your inventory of accomplishment stories with specific information which can enlighten someone else of the true value of doing business with you.

Keep up on this list, nurture it, edit it, use it – whenever you can.  You will find what interests people, what works, what doesn’t. Also, and more importantly, you will find, when you have this repertoire to quickly reference in an interview setting,  or pull up on your laptop for a client objection or question, you immediately establish your credibility and stand apart from the crowd. You are prepared & confident in your skills. The reality is though, this is the wave of the future, and if you don’t have these stories, you will lose your opportunities to someone who does.

What makes something a power story, a money story? Results. Documented, demonstrable results. Good or bad – believe it or not. A  clear example of what it is about you that drove the success or turned something around.  It can be something as clearly random as reading an article or listening to something on NPR about art appreciation that inspired you to think of your problem at work where no one has been able to reconcile. Or, it could be something as strategic and calculated as delivering the implementation of a $5 million system conversion with a team of 30.

Your money stories are everywhere, and everyone has them. I guarantee you when you start looking for them and becoming aware of your impact on things, you will begin to see them more, AND will be able to accomplish more in order to create more compelling and relevant stories. Having these stories convenient, easily accessible, and full documented will now turn your dreaded performance review into plethora of opportunity. It takes back the power of your actions and performance from your boss or supervisor, and provides you with more steering control.

I call these Money Stories because they help convince a doubting client, demonstrate your proficiency and value, get you a job or promotion, with more money, and demonstrate your credibility and expertise.

Look at your goals for the year, and at the very least, look for and record money stories related to those. But don’t stop there. Look everywhere.  Run a successful fund raising event that brought in $10,000 for a non profit? There’s tons of money story detail and sub stories there! Start up a new Parent’s Association at your child’s school? Complete an ironman? Start a blog that went from zero to hero in less than a year? All of these can be used to create spectacular money stories, add depth and detail to resumes, provide content for social media platforms, or become fodder for a book.  The possibilities are endless …….  Just like you know how to start looking for speech ideas everywhere, and connecting to all your different kinds of skills, the same applies to power stories.

Now:

  1. Go get a pack of index cards, with different colors preferred.
  2. Tuck some away everywhere.
  3. Mark 2 strategic locations where these always go (home office desk, briefcase, shoebox or even scanned into the computer (my preference, because it creates a sortable, searchable document).
  4.  Get my app when it comes out 🙂 and keep it on your phone, and store the stories on the cloud.
  5. Create your inventory, monitor, elaborate on the stories.

Voila! You’ve got a portfolio! So the next time someone says “do you have an example of…”, or “I don’t know how that solution would work for me”, or….. you’re ready.

Next up – how to craft that power story into a white paper or position paper and use to obtain clients, a better job even when none are posted, and build your credibility and brand.

To your success! Now go Raevolutionize!

Rae-Ann

 

2012: Year in Review

Year in ReviewTime to let the cat out of the bag. I’ve just completed my Year in Review and my 2013 Performance Plan. Originally courtesy of Chris Guillebeau, I look at what went well, and what didn’t go so well, and course correct or drop.

In all honesty, 2012 WAS NOT my best year. Wasn’t the worst actually, but certainly one made of many self-imposed road blocks, basically not moving out of my own way. Not pretty.

Sad part was – I didn’t realize it was fear driving me, as I was going through the motions of a year. I let my emotions, excuses, feelings and lack of action be driven by that unrecognized fear. I let my weaknesses control me, instead of stepping up to own my stuff and driving it forward. I allowed low self esteem to surface as the face of my fears and subsequently relinguished control of the situation to external forces. Because I am creating something new, something almost entirely online, many people don’t see that as ‘traditional work’ & do not support it or get it.

To borrow a phrase from Lewis Howes, who also wrote a similar year in review:  “It was a crippling feeling and it was really shitty to be honest.”

I thought I’d never be able to bounce back & regain traction. Ever feel like that?

My ‘thinkin was stinkin’ (thanks Zig, for pointing that out!) and it tainted my view, and actions.

I had big dreams, and let the overwhelming list of tasks fill me at times with a sense of ickiness (aka hopelessness) & , of profound inability to move forward. I’m an idea person – a strategy creator! 😉 Having way too many tasks made me feel there was always someone better than I already doing what I want to do. I was completely afraid and didn’t even realize it until I read Lewis’ post during a break I took a break from doing my Year in Review Performance Assessment.

That Said – I did make significant progress, and am on the cusp of a great launch. I learned some very valuable lessons, made some tremendous new contacts and friends, and got some interesting speaking opportunities. All of which I am extremely grateful!

It all comes down to CANI – Constant And Never-ending Improvement. Bad situations can be salvaged if you learn from them. Keep building upon them and improving yourself and your situation.  I saw in an open, honest, and non personal way – that my fear was misplaced – that I was the driver of the results I received by the way I perceived.  I realized, when I took a good, long look at the inventory of successes and challenges, I’m damn good at what I do because of the mix of skills and interests I bring into any interaction. It took me a lifetime to see that, and I encourage all of you who don’t see your own value to do this same year in review exercise.

My biggest lesson this year: as bad as things got, I still kept my eye on where I wanted to go, where I wanted to head, and continued to make small progressions in that general direction. It kept me moving slowly forward, putting bricks in random intervals; allowing me to continually receive glimmers of what’s to come. Having even the slightest glimmer of light can keep you from spiraling further down a rabbit hole. This lesson reminded me of an excellent passage from Henry David Thoreau:

I learned this, at least, by my experiment:

that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,

and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,

he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary;

new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves

around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted

in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license

of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life,

the laws of the universe will appear less complex,

and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;

that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.

My most important lessons? Read here – as there as some doosies. Perhaps some of them will also help you.

The great news is, I have been building a foundation, connecting my legos together. I’ve turned a corner and am more happily adjusting to east coast life. All the work I did is coming together and allowing me to create a launch and list of services.

Wanna know what’s coming up? (a highly ambitious year for which I could really use your help!)   

  1. In January I am hosting Jersey Jelly Week and Coworking Jersey Jelly Style. For info on what Coworking is, what a Jelly is, or a Jelly Week, more information will be posted on my recently launched (yet presently sparse) JerseyJellyWeek.com site. If you want to work in a great environment, and/or looking for some energy boosts for your projects, stop on by or refer people over to those events I’m hosting.
  2. Growing my All Media Mastermind Meetup to a big following in South Jersey. This is a mastermind group to help people stay ahead of the ever changing social/digital media curve and help each other get ahead.
  3. Will be building out / officially launching my coaching and consulting (coachsulting) business, focusing on personal branding and integrated marketing strategies, websites, Social Media, & Customer Experience. Currently doing Linkedin and Brand Baselines / Assessments for individuals and small to mid-size businesses looking to up their game and become more profitable.  I have setup GoFundMe.com/RaevolutionizeMe, a  crowdfunding site to help me get the much needed resources to make this a go-to business for growing your career, jumping into & growing a side business, and small to mid size businesses looking to outgrow their competition. Please check it out.
  4. Leading a series of classes and webinars for freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, and solo-preneurs to help them build their profitability pipeline and stop living project to project. This includes the Getting Hired Bootcamp. Some sessions will be in coordination with Jersey Jelly Week. Will also be posting my classes for sale at Udemy.com and on my website.  2013 is the year to take your career and business to the next level and I’m here to help! Some seminars are planned as an off shoot of this.
  5. Will be launching my books on Kindle:
    1. The Tao of Rae: No nonsense ways to drive your personal brand and take back your life.
    2. Introverted Girls Guide to Success
    3. From Cavegirl to Amazon Woman
    4. Contrarian’s Guide to Success: How to survive anything when you chose to be go against the norm, buck the system, & change coasts”. (It’s not an attitude problem – it’s just what happens when you march to the beat of your own drummer lol)
  6. Doover.tv A Blog TV show / podcast highlighting reinventers, second chance takers, those never too old to re-do, re-tool, re-invent and re-purpose.
  7. And a partridge in a pear… oops…wrong list….Finally –  my big launch – a coworking facility – SyncRay, Creation Nation, or reasonable facsimile of a name that will be driven by the unique space that I find – which is . I have a fund raising site for that at GoFundMe/CreationNation. Currently looking for the right space, in an interesting accessible location.  (If you have any ideas or connections – please pass them along.)  This is about 6 months out, depending on many things, but you are definitely invited for a free day once it’s up and running! I will be posting the progress here and at JerseyJellyWeek.com. Feel free to tell me what you would look for in an ideal working space in the comment section below.

I’m so stoked for all that I have planned and coming alive shortly because it will allow me to better empower others in reaching their goals, growing their businesses, and aspiring more to create bigger, better projects. It’s the ultimate win-win.

My fears have held me back from a lot of things in my adult life, but at the same time, my hanging in the wings, being an astute-ever observing wallflower, and an odd-timed rebel have allowed me to create a wonderful stew of perfectly melded skills – just right for the times.

There’s a new Renaissance afoot my friends – and I intend to help everyone take advantage of the times. I will be writing more about it on my Main blog and my Business Site. How can I empower you? (Let me know!)

Thanks for making it this far with me, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have people like you stand by me and encourage me. Us introverts sometimes need an ‘outside’ perspective, to drive us through those analysis paralysis moments. Starting off on your own is hard enough, but having people beside you helps to ease the burden. I am sooooo very grateful.

I would appreciate your continued support in any of the following ways:

  1. Check out my fundraising sites, and contribute: GoFundMe.com/RaevolutionizeMe and GoFundMe.com/CreationNation;
  2. Send me some business, speaking or real estate referrals;
  3. Follow / Like my pages;
  4. Enlist me
  5. Come to / share my meetups (see 1 or 2) and / or classes.

In exchange, let me know how I can help you achieve your goals for 2013!

Let go of your fears, keep plugging at what’s important, and get ready for an incredibly awesome 2013! It’s gonna be a great ride – will you come along?

Now, go Raevolutionize!

All the best,

Rae-Ann

The Real Power of Behance And LinkedIn

Conform or StandoutThe Power of Behance is not only in the tool – it’s in the freedom it creates and the control it provides. Behance and Linkedin is a partnership which broadens the borders.

While caught up in my presentation delivery on the power of LinkedIn & other social media channels in driving the power of You3  (directing and controlling your brand), I delivered a major Faux Pas.

I think about it now and it makes my stomach cringe.  I didn’t even realize it in the moment, even though it didn’t sound right in my head.

Behance.  B-E-H-A-N-C-E.  Not Beyonce. B-E-Y-O-N-C-E.  Haha – what a goof.  I am here to set the record straight.

First – the lesson of the day: Do not get so caught up in the passion of your topic, that you don’t stop to realize and correct a mistake.

Here’s the deets: An audience member asked about the LinkedIn application Behance. I knew about the app because I use it, and delivered the correct info about the app, but when another audience member asked about the spelling of it, well, stupidity kicked in.

I hereby apologize to my entire audience.  To make it up, here’s the strength of Behance, why I like it, why I recommend its use, and finally, why you need to take control on your online brand.

I “connected” with Behance several years ago, because of their Action Method series of products and project management tools for creative (AWESOME!), as well as their Think Tank 99u (great reading and inspiration for making ideas happen). Their mission is to empower the creative world to make ideas happen, and give creatives control over their careers.  Since then, I have been become a real fan.   So when I saw they partnered with LinkedIn for a creative portfolio app, I immediately jumped on board (check out the portfolios of work there sometime – there are some really skilled people in this world).

First, I am a certified Project Manager, and am familiar with all the tools and techniques to run successful projects.  Yet, something was always amiss for me.  Deep down I am a creative, yet equally split with right brain and left brained skills.  Based on well-meaning advice – I pursued the left brained world of Systems and IT. When I tried to apply left brain logic to my creative processes – I constantly ran up against my own resistance, and failure.

Enter Behance: “Don’t get in the way of your own success. It’s about creating work on your own terms. Unleashing your own potential. Don’t rely on chance encounters, don’t go unnoticed. Take creative control.”. See their Ode to Creative Work.

Behance offers a platform to showcase your creative portfolio, across different types of media.  It allows you to showcase the projects you do. It allows you to connect with others, and allows you to be found for the visions you bring to life.  It inspires.

Because LinkedIn is ‘business’ based, the partnership with Behance allows for a new level of professionalism and control for creatives. And others as well. I will show how to best use the Behance tools in future posts.

It’s time we all take control of our careers, our work, our future. No longer are we required to be pawns in a corporate game. We can work and play where and how we chose.  We can showcase and highlight our work the way we want it. We can uncover leads and opportunities to further ourselves, and those for whom we wish to work.

We must become triple threats.   If we see ourselves as the CEO of our careers or our professional solo-preneur / freelance businesses, we must leverage our speaking skills from the podium onto other mediums, other products, other platforms. This provides optimum control of our brand, our portfolio of work, and our opportunities.

All the world’s a stage, and all the world’s a project. And it all requires creativity.  How will you use social media to become You3?  If you are serious about the new world of work and creating opportunities for you, you are worth the investment.

Time to raevolutionize yourself, your career, and your business.

To your success,

Rae-Ann

 

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Posted in Marketing by Rae-Ann Ruszkowski. 2 Comments

What does a Memory say about You?

What does a Memory say about You?My earliest memory is John-John saluting his father, John F. Kennedy, as the funeral procession passed before him. Sure, that impression made its mark on millions of Americans at the time, but in my case, I was merely 28 months old.

As adults, we never truly realize the impact we will have on a child, or what will set something in the memory like an etching on glass.  But what does a memory say about you?

Three key factors cemented that ‘first memory’ moment into the recesses of my mind so deeply I remember exactly where I stood, what I had on, and the details of the scene.  The very first thing you must know about me, I was ‘that’ child who was crawling under the pews in church, to see how far I could go. I rarely sat still – incredibly curious about the world around me – the need to learn and experience was greater than the risk of getting lost or injured.

  1.    Level of emotion in the moment:
    • My distraught mother, as she sat sobbing on the plaid cloth sofa next to the mosaic table.
    • The solemnness of the people on tv.
  2.  Relate-ability / Relevancy: Little kids notice little kids. Here was a boy ‘my size’, and I could relate to him being sad.
  3.  Consistency: Everyone was feeling the same way: my mom was sad, John-John was sad, and everyone else on that tv screen was sad.

Emotion, Relevancy, and Consistency; the drivers of  memory creation. What memories are you creating in the children around you? What memory has impacted you?

For me, it turns out these factors are the same characteristics which drive my key strengths, allowing me to best serve my clients the way few others can.  I can tell my clients how they are creating connections and engaging experiences for their customers in social media, their websites, and their marketing, and how they can improve their profitability based on that information.

If you are changing jobs, want to start as freelancing, or need to evaluate your business, go back. Way back. What does your earliest memory say about you?

Include a comment below on your earliest memory and what it tells you.

 

Photograph by  Stan Stearns/Corbis
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Posted in Discovery by Rae-Ann Ruszkowski. No Comments