Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, enjoy, start being – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

THE stress buster you need to tap into – physical activity

THE stress buster you need to tap into – physical activity Smaller FB

Do you catch yourself getting to a point beyond frustration where you want to try primal scream therapy in order to feel better? What really does not help us is that we are cooped up at work, in our cars and other transportation methods, and also at home. At home it gets to be the more frustrating as frequently we have a packed social calendar putting more stress on us and less time resolving issues.

My son recently misbehaved badly at home. Plenty of back talk, outright rebellious, you name it and he did it, or better, he didn’t do what we asked of him. Once he cooled off he and I could talk at eye level. He professed that the pressure at school just gets to him and that he did not see a suitable outlet other than lashing out at his parents.

It was one of those aha moments that only slowly sank in. He asserted that with more physical activity and setting his emotions free he would most likely blow up a lot less. It made a lot of sense to me as I like to spend time in my back yard when I am all stressed out. Nothing beats a good session of wood splitting or chipping either. Physical activity is extremely therapeutic when it comes to stress and pressure relief.

Let’s see how we will do at home, but I sense that there will be much more physical activity coming our way. Working out together with a personal trainer has already done wonders for my daughter and me. What are your stress and pressure compensation mechanisms?


9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others on social media

9 quick ways to kick up your success in reaching out to others on social media Smaller FB

At this stage of the social media and Internet game, you cannot give stuff away anymore even if it is of significant value or in the best interest for folks to take you up on your offer.

What stands in your way to make an impact on people such that they will eventually look at your mail and / or web site? Very recently I had to realize that I was not following my own advice.

  1. Personalize your message. One sure fire way for your message to be regarded as fluff and consequently you may end up in the junk mail folder in the future is to send a mass e-mail. Just did that recently myself – ouch! Use the Mail Merge function of e.g. Word and then pick the e-mail format. You can certainly try mailchimp.com as well, but make sure that there is a way to get in touch with you directly.
  2. Make it really short and relevant. This one really goes a mile. Get to the point quickly and provide an interesting headline, deliver what you want to say and have a call to action handy. Then stop and do not add any more stuff. Watch your view and reply rate climb.
  3. Your message must be congruent with what you and your brand stand for. Do you know what you and the brand YOU stand for? Ask yourself the question if the message that you are sending matches how you are being perceived.
  4. Web links have to work and point to the correct place. The more accurate your links are, the greater the chance people will actually check them out. Also, this extra effort pays off in the long run, as it increases trust. Would you trust opening someone’s links if the last time they ended up in never-never-land?
  5. Spell and syntax check. Too simple and irrelevant you say to yourself? You could not be more wrong. I have had people comment on my mistakes in blogs and guess what, it doesn’t breed trust does it? Your credibility is going down the tubes and it is tough regaining ground. Make sure to spell check and proof read your stuff at least twice before you click on send.
  6. Free has to mean FREE. No left hooks please. Keep what you promise. Nothing is worse for folks to figure out that what they signed up for is really only for free for a little while. There are many caveats to this one and a whole gaggle of marketers mess this one up really badly. Once you burn a prospect with this one, you will unlikely ever end up with an order.
  7. Quality almost always trumps quantity. Drive up your content and make it count. Send this out fewer times rather than carpet bomb your followership with mails. Some follow up never hurts, but do not start stalking people. Are you in it for significance or just success?
  8. Readers choose with their mouse clicks. That is a very sobering realization, isn’t it? The people whose opinion who should be listening to will never drop you a mail, or take the time to find out what your phone number is. That is the kind of feedback you need though. The power of the Internet and the social media that comes with it, is extremely powerful (there are better and best practices). Any click you miss will lead almost always to a chronic lack of information.
  9. Timely response to follow up questions is a must. Common sense isn’t common practice and thus this one unfortunately also does not automatically go without stating the obvious: When you put yourself out there, than make sure all answers and requests are in cue for answering them in a timely fashion. Otherwise, it would be better to not even ask for any feedback or commentary in the first place.

One final thought to share is that sometimes it may be better to increase the price rather than watering your rock star content down. Please have at it, if you want to venture into philanthropy though. To most folks free means there is a lingering commitment hook around when they open up your stuff. If it is great content and your brand name is established, and you think you need to do more free marketing leave the pricing alone. It may seem counter intuitive, but I think it is more powerful when you go for significance and congruence.


Getting into the zone: getting into genuine discussions

Getting into the zone: getting into genuine discussions IMAG0128

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, walkway at a small mall

Usually the term tunnel vision has a negative connotation. I claim there is a good version of it. This is happening when you are part of a really deep, meaningful, and thus genuine discussion with another person, or a group of people.

Have you ever caught yourself having a conversation with someone at e.g. a restaurant and at the end you finally notice that the patrons have long gone, but you had not noticed that? In fact, you may not have noticed what your waiter looked like, and that literally hours had passed you by. That is what I call positive tunnel vision.

Part of it is that your mind is deeply in thought about what is said and you keenly focus on your dialog with your partner(s). It is fun to partake in the discussion and you mutually benefit from what you talk about.

A key area of this is not only fun, but very fulfilling: Dates. Have you ever noticed how fast times flies right on by you and you do not notice anything but your date? How can this get any better than this? Make good use of times like these ones.

Another good sign that you have had such a genuine discussion is that you may feel exhausted. It takes a lot of energy out of you when you are totally present and in the moment. That is even more so a good reason to be really picky about with whom you have a chat like this.

It is always a great idea to think about how much of a time limit you want to give yourself. Also, think about what you want to get out of a conversation at a minimum; you do not want to come out of a meeting with no tangible outcome. For example, a list of topics you wanted to cover. So much energy and time should not go in vain.

Tunnel vision is a loss of peripheral vision – you focus on the middle and notice nothing around it. Sometimes this can be really bad, but at the same time it can be good because you can focus all of your attention on your conversation partners. The latter can be very rewarding and provide the discussion partner with long term mutual benefits. Key is to park all of your cluttered thoughts and making sure that you are only focused on the person(s) that you are in a discussion with.



Waving the white flag – An interesting overview about poisonous and beneficial truces

Waving the white flag – An interesting overview about poisonous and beneficial truces 36_12_20

Gif credit: http://tinyurl.com/njqeotq

How many times a week do you catch yourself not speaking your mind? Instead you are informally calling it a truce. “Not my battle and not worth it” you might say. All the while these can catch up with you. Typically, when this happens multiple truces just happen to collapse upon you resulting in a royal mess.

A poisonous truce unravels when you have allowed it to go on too long and more and more baggage finally gets too much to bear. You violently push back. When that happens, you surprise the people around you.

At the heart of the matter though you have no one but yourself to blame. Why did you not say how you felt about the matter in the first place? When you don’t do that you mislead the others. They believe everything is just fine.

There is a simple single rule about avoiding these kinds of truces: If you can feel it, you can say it. Sure, we usually do not say anything in order to be polite. We want to fit in and not rock the boat, sort of speak. At work we may not want to say it because the working environment is toxic and highly politicized. That is especially the best reason to make a point of drawing a line in the sand.

The alternative is bleak looking in the long run. We are drained of energy, we lose sleep, we are agitated, we have high blood pressure, we have hear burn often, we do not have deep social connections, and we are just not happy campers.

I am with you; candor does not come easy to us. Quite a few folks also take candor as an excuse to be nasty to other people and outright bully them. That is not what I mean here. Think of preparing a present for others here. Your truth wrapped in nice paper and a bow on top. You read this correctly: a present makes both parties better off. If you think about it that way you will almost always improve the conditions in the short and long run.

There is only one beneficial truce. This is the one where both parties stop the nightmarish battle in order to regroup and to potentially looking forward to reconciling your differences. That assumes that both parties are actively engaged in this task. If not, it is single sided an nothing good will come of it. Now I wish you a lot of courage. The courage to jump over your own shadow and telling people how it is.


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