Category Archives: Uncategorized
Completely off-topic, but definitely worth 55 seconds of your day. I present to you: Little boy gives epic inspirational speech (via PR Daily)
I see a long and successful coaching career in this kid’s future.
I have been moonlighting as a professional packer and mover for several weeks now in preparation for our new adventure. My husband has continued to work full time, and will do so right up until next Wednesday – eek! – when we load the truck and finally say goodbye to Atlanta and hello to Columbus, OH.
This morning on his way out the door, my husband paused and looked around, and said “Thank you. I mean really thank you. You have done an excellent job with the packing and I really appreciate it.”
Wow. Simple, sincere words that make all of the hard work worth it and remind me of how thankful I am for marrying such a wonderful, caring and sweet man.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d deviate a bit from my usual posts about geeky tech, tradeshows, social media, etc., and share what I am most thankful for.
I am thankful for my health, and for the health of my friends and family. My work for a nonprofit medical society has taught me a lot about chronic illnesses – illnesses that can unexpectedly strike anyone, at any age, and change your entire life.
Between EventCamp 2010, ASAE, SoCon 10, WordCamp Atlanta, and all that I learned in my most recent position at work – I was given so many opportunities to learn and grow professionally over the past year. It has been truly fantastic!
I am thankful for my happy and healthy family. And I’m excited for my newest nephew – Jacob – to arrive any day now!
Speaking of thankful, check out this truly touching clip from Ellen if you have a free moment. She gave one audience member the best gift ever. (Good luck getting through the clip without getting a little misty!)
Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Next to it is a card from my supervisors that reads: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. (Thoreau)
Why is my refrigerator adorned with encouraging quotes about accepting change and pursuing dreams? Because I have a track record of resisting change and a tendency to fear the unknown.
I am saying goodbye to my hometown of Atlanta, GA at the end of this month, and hello to Columbus, Ohio (a place I have only visited twice). My husband has put on his entrepreneurial hat and is starting a law firm with a good friend. To say the least, this is an exciting, scary and interesting time for us.
Sadly, this means not only leaving a town I love, but also resigning from a rewarding job with a great company.
I recently reluctantly walked away from my previous position of coordinator to expositions and corporate relations for a nonprofit professional medical society. It was a neat position – I discovered my interest in tradeshows, sponsorships and the pharmaceutical industry – and I know I will continue to have a keen interest in these areas. I am walking away from this position having learned a lot, and I feel as though I have grown a lot professionally.
I am happy to tell you that I accepted an offer from my company to continue to work remotely on new social media initiatives through the end of the year. Fingers crossed for an extension.
Either way – my most recent career experience has been extremely rewarding and I know it will serve me well as I explore new opportunities.
I’d write more, but these boxes aren’t going to pack themselves.
Twitter yet again serves as handy tool – this time to tradeshow management.
If an exhibitor breaks the rules and gives away illegal items without the approval of show management – just check out your official conference hashtag Twitter feed. You’re likely to find innocent attendees tweeting about what they just won.
Whoops! Didn’t see that one coming, eh?
Caught. Red-handed. tsk tsk . . .
One of the more important tasks that I deal with on a regular basis and falls under this category is tracking sponsor benefits to ensure that they are fulfilled exactly as laid out in the contract and at the appropriate time. Seems easy enough, right?
Throw in multiple tiers of support, add sponsor benefits differing in subtle or major ways, add several sponsors to some levels, exclusive sponsor to the top tier and multiple sponsors on the same level and this task quickly becomes overwhelming.
Oh, don’t forget to add print deadlines, desperate calls to the printer to make a last-minute change and having to work with multiple contacts within your organization for each sponsorship package.
These frustrations demonstrate a need for a document where you can keep all of the information straight and up-to-date for each sponsorship ,and ensure that sponsors are recognized appropriately. Hence, this post from about a week ago and this template.
I asked readers to provide feedback and suggestions and Rebecca Brandt came through with some very helpful insight and suggestions.
Rebecca liked the document for its simplicity and that it is easy to read. She expressed concern there may not be enough room to keep important notes which could potentially lead to needing to create a second document and defeating the purpose. She also wanted to be sure that the document would allow you to track multiple sponsors on the same tier. Most importantly, she wanted to track payment history on the same document too. All are important and helpful observations, especially the last one.
As I was implementing Rebecca’s suggestions, I also decided to add a date/time stamp to clearly show when the document was last revised.
Without further ado, I give you the newly revised and improved Sponsor Benefit Tracking Template!
Note: This event, companies, tiers and entire sponsorship package are fictional. Everything on the document is fictional and provided simply as an example.
If you have further suggestions or feedback, let me know in the comments! I hope this template is helpful for those of you that work with sponsor/sponsorships.
And thank you to Rebecca for her thoughtful insight, I greatly appreciate it!
I’ve been suffering a recent bout of writer’s block and feeling generally discouraged. Following the advice of some friends to fight through it with voracious reading for inspiration, I fully planned on using my lunch hour today to make a sizeable dent in my bursting-at-the-seams RSS feed.
Within moments, I was locked in and knew I had to read the entire article. I consider myself to be a pretty bright woman with a sizable grasp on current events – but, I must admit I was quite amused that I spent the better part of my lunch hour reading about things that generally do not captivate me: subprime-mortgage bonds, value investing and the financial market.
Betting on the Blind Side is a long but extremely worthwhile read. If you don’t have the time, I’ve listed what I consider to be the most intriguing excerpts. However, I encourage you to read the whole thing when you do have the time. I found it to be very thought-provoking and inspiring.
On Mike Burry’s strategy to make a side bet on the likelihood subprime-mortgages defaulting
Once that happened, no one would be willing to sell insurance on subprime-mortgage bonds. He needed to lay his chips on the table now and wait for the casino to wake up and change the odds of the game.
His extreme focus and dedication to learn everything he could along with the idea that came from his research made confident enough to not consider letting a perceived obstacle deter him.
The only problem was that there was no such thing as a credit-default swap on a subprime-mortgage bond, not that he could see. He’d need to prod the big Wall Street firms to create them. But which firms?
At first glance and out of context, the following may seem like a negative statement. However, in context, I can relate and appreciate the following on some levels.
What friendships he did have were formed and nurtured in writing, by e-mail; the two people he considered to be true friends he had known for a combined 20 years but had met in person a grand total of eight times. “My nature is not to have friends,” he said. “I’m happy in my own head.”
In his Match.com profile, he described himself frankly as “a medical resident with only one eye, an awkward social manner, and $145,000 in student loans.” His obsession with personal honesty was a cousin to his obsession with fairness.
The following quote now joins the other sticky notes attached to my computer monitor – a powerful daily reminder.
Burry did not think investing could be reduced to a formula or learned from any one role model. The more he studied Buffett, the less he thought Buffett could be copied. Indeed, the lesson of Buffett was: To succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual.
OK, if you aren’t intrigued enough to check out the original post, this one should do it . . .
At that moment, on the basis of what he’d written on his blog, he went from being an indebted medical resident with a net worth of minus $105,000 to a millionaire with a few outstanding loans.
Tangible proof that “The secret of success is consistency of purpose”:
The market made no sense, but that didn’t stop other Wall Street firms from jumping into it, in part because Mike Burry was pestering them. For weeks he hounded Bank of America until they agreed to sell him $5 million in credit-default swaps. Twenty minutes after they sent their e-mail confirming the trade, they received another back from Burry: “So can we do another?” In a few weeks Mike Burry bought several hundred million dollars in credit-default swaps from half a dozen banks, in chunks of $5 million.
“Time is a variable continuum,” he wrote to one of his e-mail friends one Sunday morning in 1999: “An afternoon can fly by or it can take 5 hours. Like you probably do, I productively fill the gaps that most people leave as dead time.
Investing was something you had to learn how to do on your own, in your own peculiar way. Burry had no real money to invest, but he nevertheless dragged his obsession along with him through high school, college, and medical school.
On gaining self-confidence from an odd circumstance
It was one of the fringe benefits of living for so many years essentially alienated from the world around him: he could easily believe that he was right and the world was wrong.
An interesting and valuable perspective on the dangers of having to defend your ideas . . .
“I hated discussing ideas with investors,” he said, “because I then become a Defender of the Idea, and that influences your thought process.” Once you became an idea’s defender, you had a harder time changing your mind about it.
Upon learning he has Asperger’s and the true reason behind his peculiar ability to extreme-focus and awkward social tendencies.
People with Asperger’s couldn’t control what they were interested in. It was a stroke of luck that his special interest was financial markets and not, say, collecting lawn-mower catalogues. When he thought of it that way, he realized that complex modern financial markets were as good as designed to reward a person with Asperger’s who took an interest in them. “Only someone who has Asperger’s would read a subprime-mortgage-bond prospectus,” he said.
I hope that you get as much out of the story as I did. The story is an excerpt of a new book by Michael Lewis, The Big Short. I’d love to hear any intriguing points you come across while reading the excerpt and/or the complete book – as always, please feel free to post them in the comments.
NOW – back to my Google Reader to see what other awesomesauce (in the words of Maddie Grant) I can find.
Recently, I blogged about the challenges a young professional may face when seeking out opportunities to attend industry events for professional development.
1) Participate very actively at the chapter level first. I’d be looking for attendance of at least 1/2 of the local education and networking opportunities and active on a committee before investing the big bucks on you for national attendance.
2) I’d want you to bring back info to share with your co-workers. Perhaps we could schedule a lunch and learn or something where you would present what you learned at a specific session that will help our business.
In the interest of full disclosure I will say that in my situation, the recommendation to seek out local opportunities has been made. I completely understand the budget issue; removing the cost of travel and accommodations obviously increases my chances of participation.
I welcome and sincerely appreciate *any* opportunity to take part in an educational event, local or national.
I am all about local events. In fact, I recently attended two events here in Atlanta, WordCamp Atlanta and SoCon 2010. I didn’t consider asking my work for financial assistance because these two events were not directly or completely relevant to my current day-to-day responsibilities. Also, the registration fees were affordable. It wasn’t too difficult to find room in my budget to attend. I 100% understand and agree with Dave’s recommendation. It’s fair and logical – plain and simple.
Dave also recommended participation on the committee level. You can put a check by my name for that one as well. I am a proud new member of the 2010 IAEE Young Professionals Committee. Although it is a national committee, not a chapter committee, the position only requires participation via conference call, no travel is required.
Dave’s second recommendation to present what I learn at the event to colleagues makes sense. I am a notoriously enthusiastic note-taker – usually to the point of cramped hands and illegible writing. Like most of the population, I prefer food poisoning to public speaking . . . however, I would certainly be willing to help my company by educating my co-workers if my company was willing to give me the opportunity to attend.
The pressure to effectively present what I learned to my peers while justifying the opportunity to participate (on the company’s dime) may even help force me out of my comfort zone and conquer the fear of public speaking once and for all.
I’ve got to take the training wheels off at some point, right?
OK, now to the pickle and the part where I’d like some guidance.
MPI’s Georgia Chapter is hosting the 2010 Meetings Exploration Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center, a mere six miles from home. It only costs $100 to attend.
It’s next week. . . February 11 – 12. It’d be completely unfair of me to expect my request to even be considered. Regardless of the location and cost, one week’s notice is not sufficient or something a good employee would request.
I would probably run around in a circle and clap for joy if my request was approved, but I’m not even sure it’s appropriate to ask at this point. It’s last minute, includes a (relatively nominal) fee, and would require me to miss 1 – 2 days of work.
There are apparently scholarship opportunities, which I would gladly apply for (with the go-ahead from my supervisor), however, it is important to note that MPI states they prefer to give scholarships to members, which I am not.
- Is it worth asking? Is the nothing-to-lose mentality even appropriate in this circumstance?
- If I ask, what is the best way to approach it?
- As someone in a senior position, what would be the likelihood of a favorable response to this request?
- Why didn’t I figure this one out sooner????? So mad at myself!!