Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beyond Complicit Ivanka Is Now Explicit

The SNL sketch was biting and brilliant but already too mild for what is currently underway at the White House. Ivanka has been given mostly a pass because she seemed polished and polite and by golly who can fault a daughter for supporting her dear old dad?

Not anymore!

The First Daughter it turns out has been participating in some shady business deals connected with her father for years. And as smoothly as her introduction speech went at the RNC it is time to stop giving her a pass. She has now stepped literally and figuratively into this administration, with or without a title, and is now directly linked to this presidency.

Today she is beyond passively complicit, her participation is now clearly explicit.
stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt
synonyms:clear, plain, straightforward, crystal clear, easily understandable
There is no longer any doubt where she stands and what power she has to influence her father. As if her husband's appointment wasn't enough, going forward they will not be able to simply brush off the ties to whatever policies and predicaments he now inflicts in his path.

There is still a small chance that she is jumping in to try and right this ship before it ruins our country and what's left of her name. We can give her an opening to try. But unless it's swift, transparent, and in the service of all Americans she will be giving up any leeway she has been given. 

Country before party, profits, and paternal loyalty. We need a hero... and our climate, our healthcare, and our peace at home and abroad all depend on someone reining in this ridiculous circus before irreparable harm is done.  

Congratulations Ivanka, with your shiny new security clearance and West Wing office you now have no plausible deniability for whatever #45 gets the citizens of the U.S. and the world into. Please ask yourself how you will want your daughter (and sons) to feel about what you and her father enable her grandfather to do to our country.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Making Trump Great: Unite The OWL Council

I am not fan of Donald Trump and was less than thrilled he is our new president... BUT, after my pity-party and reading this tweet:

it struck me that the lesson and the legacy Obama instilled in us is to have HOPE. So in that vain I offer up The OWL Council (or The OWLs).

Two of the things that President Trump will have going for him is that he loves building and also loves entertaining and being around celebrities and people of importance. So let's expand on Uncle Rush's advice and surround him with the wisest, deepest, most honorable bench of advisors.

Since his win many have tweeted (yes, the times we live in) words of conciliatory congratulations, and although few leaders are brave enough he could do as one of our all time greatest presidents Lincoln did and surround himself with a Team of Rivals.

The OWLs would be a group of Omnes* World Leaders that would be assembled, say monthly, to offer President Trump a full range of views on important governing issues. Include the greatest experts on leadership and other specific topics (the economy, trade, business, education, climate) and have differing views discuss all points of debate with him. He would make the policy but would have a plethora of arguments flushed out instead of relying on only his cabinet and those who would seek to merely serve him.

The one thing Trump would like to do is succeed and be the greatest president ever. He is in office because people are tired of politicians same old way of doing business. Dividing our country further will serve no good for our country nor our citizens. We must give him this final opportunity to bring us together before we permanently end what makes us the UNITED States of America.

I have many other thoughts on how to expand this idea, so as a patriotic citizen I offer my help to make President Trump's dream come true and make this country as great as it can possibly be.

(*Latin: for all) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Could The Next BIG Thing Be... a small Square?!

Square has taken on the payments industry in the last few years and done really well bringing simple money-exchange hardware and software to the masses. I applaud them! Yet with mobile payment options like Apple Pay, and whatever will follow on other formats, it might be time to think differently (so to speak).

Jack Dorsey has already shown the mighty power of mini-messages and mobile-money--
so isn't it time to revolutionize mini-money too?

Just a couple of uses: let's say I love Wikipedia and after I use it I would like to leave a $1 to support their efforts-- I could hit the Square button, indicate an amount and voila! Or what if I would like to read some articles in the Times but have hit a paywall and can't afford a yearly subscription :(  Hit Square and I have 5 credits I can use to read on.

The uses are endless: buying items from Twitter, pitching in for birthday gifts on Facebook, charitable donating during crisis, supporting writers, musicians & artists on their site or channel...

When I use my I-Pass (on Illinois tollroads) I have an auto replenish linked to my credit card and they process $.30- $3 tolls all day long. There might be some technical and scale issues involved to process such small payments but they could be overcome by maybe having a $10 account balance minimum to pay or collect payments.

There are other online payment forms but none set up to go BIG on going small and as recognizable and credible as Square. Not only could they bring about a new way of money exchange, they could possibly save struggling journalism, entertainment, and political funding as we know it.
Go BIG, Go small :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Creating 2015!

Wishing YOU a fabulous 2015! Hope this helps to create your Best Year Ever :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


There has been a lot of gossip and silliness that has come from the Sony hacked emails-- invasion of privacy and embarrassing, sure... but who cares? I mean even after threats President Obama thinks Sony was wrong to cancel the screening of The Interview. 

And celebrities, politicians, armchair pundits have all weighed in on the nerve of the theater owners and Sony to bow down to foreign threats. But that's easy to say from the comfort of the porch across the street. George Clooney let it be known that no studio CEO would even sign a letter standing behind Sony. As a former Sony employee this hacking and threat of violence hit very close to home and it also made me fear that people would jump at a military solution.
So what is there to do?

Take a stand and endanger innocent employees and moviegoers... or be pushed back by anonymous hackers? We can't let others dictate what we'll do. Yet, we simply can't expect Sony to take all the risk and all the danger. How can expect one lone company to stand for our freedoms and up to terrorists threats out there by itself? We can't.
We need to stand up and together be ALL IN!

I propose every network and online outlet play The Interview on New Year's Eve at noon and George Clooney, Jimmy Kimmel, Rob Lowe, Judd Apatow, Steve Carell and all their friends host a FREEDOM-A-THON. Have Congress, the Hollywood community, and theater chains band together and host screenings in prominent locations.    

If we ALL stand together we not only demonstrate our support, we all stand brave against censorship and terrorism. Additionally, to make this worthwhile and a clear stand for good we can also use the opportunity to take in donations for a worthy cause at the same time. I recommend the fight against Ebola.

Trust me, I'm not thrilled that this is the movie we are being forced to defend; I'd much have preferred to proudly support Selma or some meaningful documentary. But for the better or worse defending our rights means that of highbrow and lowbrow fares.

A couple hours together might not defuse hackers threats, won't bring about world peace, but I am not willing to sit by and let my fellow citizens stand alone to defend rights our forefathers and our current military fight for everyday.
Are You?  or...
              Are You ALL IN?!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Managing My Schedule TIMEFUL-Y

Out of Your Head                                                       Onto Your Schedule                     

My quest the last few years has been to streamline my life. Not necessarily become an efficiency freak but more to become less overwhelmed, less stressed... really I just wanted to be happier.

It started with decluttering which was freeing and did definitely clear some mental and of course physical space. I even dabbled with the concept of minimalism which was way too minimal for me. Must say I'm not a bare-minimum-kinda-gal. I'm not going to deny it, I like my stuff- at least more than what will fit in the back of my car. So when I came across the book Essentialism I found the perfect phrase and summary of what I believed was the way I wanted to live: Less but Better.

Sharing Essentialism led to a friend recommending The ONE Thing, which is a fantastic compliment to the concept of focus and making the most of our time and energy. An aspect of the book that really resonated with me was the idea of time-blocking and more specifically ensuring that we are holding our time allotted to our ONE Thing as the most important part of our day.

Green: Appointments (from iCal)
Blue: To-dos
Red: Habits
Coincidentally at the time I had been trying to put in more structure to my day and had just run across the Timeful app. It pulls from iCalendar and lets me schedule in tasks as well as habits (or as I like to think of them-- the basics or core events I build my schedule around) into the very easy to use and elegant interface.

I have always been a planner person but haven't been as disciplined as I liked lately with my time and more used them to keep track of specific appointments and notes from the day. But I know from mapping that it's hard to focus on our life when ideas, to-dos, or what's next is bouncing around in our heads.

To have one spot to mark what needs doing in my day has been life-changing. I have not only been more productive I have been calmer because I know I don't need to worry about not only remembering but finding time to accomplish my week. Knowing I don't need to think about something until it's actually time to work on it has let me be more focused and engaged with what's in front of me.

I have been slightly obsessed with it I must say. The ability to quickly move around my day and keep track of how many times I completed habits is wonderful. And I don't need to keep checking a to-do list because I already have a time allotted for when things will be done (which can easily be adjusted). Just as important it serves as a reminder when not to do things; I've gone from checking emails, social media, voice mails hourly to when allotted. Now I know if I've had a productive week according to what I say is a priority or if I've let other things steal my time.

For at least the last decade or so multitasking has been the big buzzword and it has made our lives even more harried. Focusing our time and being brutal with eliminating busyness is what I believe will make the next decade shift. If you're feeling overwhelmed, distracted, exhausted, maybe it's time to: look at what's going on in your schedule, eliminate what's not essential, and focus on what's the ONE thing that can make a difference for you.
For me: Timeful has me even more JOYful :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's Your ONE Thing?

Recently I was telling close friend Vickie Austin about my newest favorite book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (my review) when she mentioned how it reminded her of one of her favorite books The ONE Thing: The Surprising Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Gary Keller & Jay Papasan). Now I must say it's a tie... I love both of these books and together they are game changers.

Essentialism focuses on the concept of Less but Better and how getting to the essentials improves every aspect of living our lives. The ONE Thing is even more specific and urges us to get it down to ONE thing. Not only one thing necessarily but one thing as a focus of our work and energy at a time or as our priority. Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams, uses the visual of a domino and when we get our first domino in place, and if we've done it right, it will begin to knock over those that follow. His focusing question:

the ONE Thing 
I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
And if I didn't already love the message how excited did I get when I saw this diagram on pg. 114?

It fits perfectly into ME Mapping's concept and makes your ONE Thing even that much more powerful when visually diagrammed out.

The other key concept that I had already been experimenting with is time-blocking my day. Once we are focused on our ONE Thing we prioritize our day differently but we still need some strategic maneuvering and time chunking; blocking our schedule makes it so much more productive.

I will expand on this concept at another time but it is more direct than just the Franklin Covey Planner's idea that I was committed to for years. Coincidentally I came across the Timeful app while reading this book. So now I have integrated my calendar, to-do list, habit building (which includes my ONE Thing time-block) all into my iPhone. It keeps me on track and with the elimination of the non-essential to clear my mind/day and the focus of the ONE Thing I've been more productive, focused, and happy lately and loving how they all work together.

Now some folks might think the idea is too simple or have already mastered not letting multitasking and external factors distract them, and if that's the case skip it. I know one of the things I've done and I see many others do too is to keep piling systems, technology, stuff into our lives... but until we get down to the essentials and our ONE Thing we'll still keep overwhelming ourselves.

I can't recommend these two books enough but if you can only fit in one make it this one. Then work hard on your ONE Thing so you can go back and read the other. And when it's time and you want to thank the one person who recommended them you can reach ME here ;)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Slidedocs: The Smart Way To Spread Ideas

Embarking on my second book I wrote ME Mapping in PowerPoint because I needed to be able to diagram out images and cut and paste things that would not be possible in Word. I loved being able to utilize writing, mapping, and images on the same pages with such flexibility.

After a chat with my agent I decided that a normal route in publishing was not going to be a smooth road, so instead of a book I turned the content into the ME Workshop. It is so much more powerful delivered in person and great for those who attended, but I still wanted to extend its reach wider. My solution was to post a Slideshare presentation with the basics for anyone to see.

I was happy with how it looked and that it was a free format to share/embed. Plus it made a great intro for people who were interested in finding out more about coming to the workshop. Delightful!

I must say I was pretty pleased with myself. That was until I saw Nancy Duarte bring it to a whole new level and do an entire book about taking content sharing even further. She developed what so many of us have been doing in small doses into a whole new format with a cool name and everything: Slidedocs!

Now if you don't know of Nancy she is the brains (and beauty) behind probably some the most famous presentations around. She became famous in the visual thinking community when they made the documentary of Al Gore's, An Inconvenient Truth, making his case about Global Warming. Just him and Nancy's team's little presentation helped spark one of the most important conversations of our day.

Which is kind of her point with Slidedocs. If you have something important to say why shouldn't it be:
appealing- like a well designed visual aid;
informative- with all the key points found in dry and dense business documents;
shareable- like email/ blog posts;
chunk-able- so it can be taken apart and re-used as needed;
updateable- by serving as a living document.

Even though I had written ME Mapping's manuscript in PowerPoint I'm no designer so even when I created the summary slidedeck it was pretty plain. But inspired I have now gone and "Slidedoc-ed up" ME Mapping (the basics) and  ME Mapping: Creating Your Year. And now I'm back to being pretty pleased with myself ;)

You might not be interested in writing a book or sharing big volumes of content with others but I strongly encourage you to at least page quickly through Slidedocs-- it's fantastic and I think you'll get a few ideas about any information you share in the future even if it's a single slide/sheet/document. Bet you'll be pretty pleased with what you can create :)

Thanks Nancy!