Archive for 'Louisville'

I will be giving an Internet Marketing Optimization training class at The McConnell Technology Center on April 16-17 that is open to the public for a small registration fee.  Training similar to this can cost anywhere from $1,500 – 2,999 so you can save quite a bit by attending the local course.

The class will run from 9 AM to 4 PM each day and will include lunch and multiple text books along with everything you need to get up to speed on Internet Marketing including SEO, Social Media Marketing, building a list, using auto-responders, and how to increase sales through online channels. You’ll also gain full access to my 26 week Internet Marketing Optimization Course to serve as a refresher and expand upon the material covered in the class.  Find out more about the online coaching program by visiting http://imoPrinciples.com

Find out more by visiting http://Live.imoPrinciples.com

Louisville Social Media Club Review: July 2008

On Tuesday, July 14, 2008 the Social Media Club of Louisville met at the Water Tower on Zorn Avenue.  The meeting was well attended and a welcome change of scenery from some of the louder atmospheres of the early days.

A very interesting presentation was given by Jake McKee, formerly of Lego.  Much of what Jake discussed centered around his days at Lego, but the lessons to be learned spread much further than one job or experience.

Listening to the customer, no matter how young or old, seemed to be a theme that permeated through Jake’s presentation, and it’s a lesson that a lot of companies struggle with especially when they embark on a social media initiative that aims to involve the customer in a greater role.  A lot can be learned from tapping into social circles and simply paying attention, but a lot of companies take the stance of “we’ve been doing it this way for years so why should we change now?”  It sounded to me like there was a little of that at Lego, but they figured it out rather quickly which is a testament to Jake and his persistence.

Overall, it was a fun event (as all SMC Louisville events tend to be), and I look forward to the next one. I took a lot of notes, but I’m having trouble finding them at the moment.  I’ll have to come back and edit the post once I rediscover them.

My recent hiatus–a serious explanation

For those of you that have been checking in on our blog on a regular basis wondering where all the content disappeared to, I apologize for not posting more of late. I have been facing some serious life crises of sorts, and I’m frankly drained and burned out from trying to make sense of it all. I think all of us go through periods like this, but I recently got a major scare that has me reevaluating a lot of things, and I have realized I MUST slow down a bit if I want to see the next phase of life. I hope none of you have to go through what I’ve gone through the past few years especially the past few weeks, but here’s the story . . .

My Mother’s Health

First off, my mother has been in a nursing home for the past four years plus with Alzheimer’s, and she was recently diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her bladder. Her prognosis isn’t good–she has less than a year to live according to the doctors, but it’s realistically a lot less than that (we’re talking days and hours versus weeks and months). Today I received a call from Hospice informing me that her condition is worsening rather rapidly which I have suspected the past four or five visits (I still visit her at least 4 times per week).

I question whether each visit is my last one with her even though she’s oblivious to her own reality and may not even know who I am at times. She’s very feeble and struggles to talk, and her words are often inaudible. Even when they are audible, they don’t form much in terms of a coherent thought even though I believe she’s trying to remind me that she loves me. She’s scared, and I can see that in her eyes, but I’m helpless in this situation which is extremely foreign to me–I’m used to having answers and being able to take quick action. I love my mom dearly, and it pains me to see her go out like this. She was such a go getter in addition to being my biggest fan, supporter, and friend. I’m going to miss her something fierce–heck, I already do miss her even though she’s still living (for now). I regret the fact that I didn’t appreciate her and the times we shared more when I was younger, but our relationship has been a very good one overall.

This past week or so has been extremely trying

Two Sundays ago, June 1, I was awoken at 3:51 AM by someone trying to break into my home so that freaked me out and compounded the stress I was already experiencing. I believe the motion sensor lights I have installed near each door may have scared the would be intruder off before the police arrived. They didn’t find anyone anywhere around the house or in the neighborhood although the local news had a story on the next night about a series of break-ins for this area along with an outline of a suspect. I learned last night that my neighbor experienced something similar the Wednesday before so it wasn’t my imagination like I had hoped.

Chest Pain

All week long I noticed tightness in my chest which led me to avoid riding the bike (my major outlet for stress reduction and recharging my batteries). I contemplated going to the doctor or the ER, but I kept thinking “I don’t have 24 hours to give the hospital right now” so I did what most stubborn Type A men do–put it off until a “more convenient” time. That choice was quickly taken from me . . .

Am I REALLY Having a Heart Attack at 37?

This past Sunday (June 8), I ventured down to Captain’s Quarters (a local restaurant/bar on the river) with a buddy of mine around 8:15 or so. We hadn’t been there for more than 5 minutes and one small sip of beer when I noticed my chest really tightening and my fingers beginning to numb and tingle. I went over to the side to sit down for a moment to try to gather myself and began to sweat profusely as if I had just ridden the bike 50 miles in the heat. The surroundings seemingly began to close in on me, and things went rather white although I was still awake and coherent. My buddy tells me that I turned a very pasty white and looked rather fearful that something terrible was taking place.

I honestly felt as if I were having a heart attack so I somehow walked to the nearest police officer and asked him to call an ambulance. About 8 minutes later, EMS arrived and began hooking me up to all these electrodes, inserting an IV (I hate needles), handing me 4 aspirin and a nitro glycerin tablet.

Good Timing or False Alarm?

It took about three minutes after EMS’ arrival and ingesting the pills, but the dizziness and numbness began to subside, and we were on our way in the ambulance to the hospital. The EMT kept telling me that my vital signs were “as normal as normal could be.” That was encouraging, but I still felt extremely weird like this might be the end even though I definitely wasn’t ready to check out.

Test, Test, Test

Once at the hospital, they took some blood (more damn needles) and ran several tests. The doctor came in and informed me that he was “90% sure it’s not your heart.” My enzymes didn’t indicate any heart attack, and the rest of the blood work apparently came back “normal.” Again, that’s nice to hear, but why was I experiencing tingling in my arms and hands, dizziness, sweating, and white stuff? They kept me in the ER area until 2 AM or so then transferred me to the “chest pain observation” area for the remainder of the night. I got no sleep and had to endure a stress test first thing Monday morning to which I should get the results tomorrow (Thursday) at some point.

I feel increasingly confident that my heart is, and will be, fine, but I’m not so sure I wasn’t heading down that heart attack path and that EMS may have gotten there just in time. I could be wrong, but I’m generally very in tune with my body, but I have never experienced anything like that. I mean, I’ve seen black and blue polka dots after a super strenuous ride, but I know that’s just pushing my body to its limits to which it’ll recover rather quickly as long as the purple and blue polka dots aren’t prolonged. The tingling is what frightened the hell out of me because that’s how I have heard heart attacks generally start.

Wait, There’s More . . .

You’re caught up to date on the heavy stuff, but there’s more believe it or not. My family has owned a nice piece of property here in Louisville for over 130 years that has housed a blacksmith shop, general store, and a series of restaurants including one bearing my family’s name (“Bauer’s Since 1870″) for 120 years. It’s that history of exposure to the family business that led me to want to understand as much about it as possible and start my own business at some point. I guess it’s in my blood and heritage, and I’m proud of that.

We’ve been in negotiations to have a Rite Aid moved down the street onto our property for the past few months, but the local neighborhood has taken up the cause to get our property designated “historical” in order to prevent any development (that’s Louisville for you–anything to prevent forward progress especially if you have enough money to throw at creating obstacles). Long story short, they seem to have succeeded for now so our family stands to lose a lot of money because of this. That directly impacts my longer term future so that’s another stressful blow to absorb.

The final chapter hasn’t been written, and I still believe everything will workout, but it’s not helping my stress levels even though my step-brother is handling the negotiations. I’ve been involved very little with the goings on, but it’s of heightened concern to me. Not to the same levels of my mother, but it’s prominent on the radar if you catch my drift.

Why Share This Publicly?

I’m not sharing this to gain anyone’s sympathy or pity (not my style), but I share it to let you in on my life and hopefully demonstrate that life sometimes has a weird way of reminding you to keep things in perspective. I’m hopeful I can post in another 40 years on this blog (if blogs still exist), but I won’t get there at my current pace so I hope you all bare with me and understand that I might be sporadically contributing over these next few weeks.

I think my body has taken all it can take and needs to shut down for awhile. I have been told repeatedly I need a vacation, and that might be a wise move on my behalf, but vacations require money which I don’t have so we’re right back to square one again. I sense myself not caring about much lately, and that concerns me because I’m a very “take life by the horns” sort who makes things happen versus watching from the sidelines. I think I may need to experience the sidelines for a bit.

Thanks for reading my diatribe and your empathy.

Business Musings

First off, I’ve been battling a couple of virus & spyware infected computers since last Saturday so I apologize for slacking on the blog posts this week. I plan to get the videos rolling again very soon, and the computer problems appear to be behind me now. I’m debating if I want to relive the horrifying experience through this blog, but I’m a little raw at the moment so it’s probably not a good idea. Just know that Windows Defender, McAfee and Cyber Defender were all unable to detect and/or clean the parasites that got a hold of my machines so they won’t receive high marks. :(

Ok, onto some business musings I hope you’ll comment or share your take with me.

Sonic’s Onto Something

I went to Sonic earlier, and I’m becoming more of a fan of their organization each day. The TV ad campaign is great because their spots are funny, entertaining, and they get you to remember the product and restaurant because of the ad which is what a good ad is supposed to do, right? It’s more than that though–there seems to be a positive philosophy of treating the customer right at Sonic. At least that seems to be the case at the one near my home.  It’s almost like “yeah, we’re different,” but it’s not in that creepy weird way like you see with a lot of people who take “different” so far overboard.

Another benefit Sonic has built into their product line that goes highly unnoticed more often than not–the ice they use in the drinks, you know that good crunchy ice, makes it to where you almost want them to load the thing down with ice so you can crunch on it long after the beverage is gone.  Usually loading a drink with ice is bad at 99.9% of the fast food joints, but it’s not so bad at Sonic.  This does two things: people will go out of their way for drinks with the “good ice,” and Sonic controls costs by being able to get away with loading up on ice versus product. My visit to Sonic was for a drink mainly because I was craving some of that “good ice” for some reason.  Don’t get me wrong, the drinks aren’t the only good thing about Sonic–all of their fare is good, and serving breakfast all day is a great move on their part.  Overall, they just do a lot of things right so it’s worth noticing.

Damn You Subway!

The other day, Saturday maybe, I was in the shower and caught myself humming “5 dollar, 5 dollar . . . 5 dollar foot longs.” It took me a second to realize I was humming a Subway “jingle” to myself, but it’s a groovy little tune. One of the girls at Jersey Mike’s, I’m no longer a Subway guy, cracked up when I mentioned the Subway karaoke rendition then she started singing it so it must not just be me.

Kudos to Subway or their ad agency for coming up with a good spot that doesn’t involve a guy who lost a gazillion pounds yet is still overweight or featuring a NASCAR driver that is fat, doesn’t know what turkey is, and can’t seem to work a razor.  I still haven’t figured out how Tony Stewart landed a healthy food commercial–everybody knows he’s not watching his weight!  Anyway.

Finally, the Reds Make a Good Move or Two

If you’re into baseball, you may be aware that the Cincinnati Reds finally called up Jay Bruce, their 21 year old outfield phenom.  Why it took until May 27, 2008 is questionable, but it’s good to see the organization try to inject some life back into the team, and the fans have seemingly responded.  There is a lot of buzz about the Reds because of the move, and Bruce starting off 4 for 6 with two doubles and two stolen bases hasn’t hurt the cause.  The guy isn’t going to turn around the team’s season all by himself so let’s not get too carried away, but at least the organization is acting like they WANT to win for a change which is what most of us want to see versus the typical “lip service.” In professional sports, the most powerful marketing is a consistent winning team.

On top of the Bruce move, they got Corey Patterson to agree to a demotion to AAA which means his Mendoza Line batting average won’t be a temptation for Dusty Baker to toss into the lineup at the lead-off position anymore.  Corey, you’re not going back up anytime soon so welcome to Louisville.

While this has little to do with business, it does have some marketing tie ins because the Reds are trying to market Jay Bruce as the future centerpiece of the franchise.

Your Turn

Have you noticed anything good or bad from a marketing perspective lately?  If so, share it below in the comment section.

Hourglass Precept: 3 Ways to Increase Sales

On April 2, 2008, Zing Sales Solutions gave a presentation to a small group of business executives here in Louisville, KY. You can read about the “Zing Insights Presentation” by clicking on the link. I have attempted to recreate that presentation for you below in video format. Please check it out.

Once you’ve viewed the video, what are your initial thoughts? Did the video inspire you to look at your current selling methodologies? Are you selling into the customer buying cycle today? Let us hear from you by sharing your feedback below.

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