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Issue 4, 2005

Greetings!

Getting results in an easy, fun, and effortless way is the theme for our fourth issue.

To enjoy previous issues, visit the newsletter archives.

In the book, 'The Brand Gap,' author Mary Neumeier acknowledges that "creativity requires an unnatural act. To achieve originality we need to abandon the comforts of habit, reason, and the approval of our peers, and strike out in new directions." But being creative and using creative thinking doesn't need to be a struggle. The next few issues will look at ways to make the creative process easy, fun, and effortless.

Thank you for your continued support in providing content rich issues. Please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions. Enjoy!

The Creative Approach to Marketing In Uncertain Economic Times

by Wanda Ropa

According to Daniel Pink, “A Whole New Mind,” we have moved from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. With globalization and shareholders demanding more ROI, large corporations, small business owners and employees alike are experiencing uncertain economic times. Only one thing is certain, increasing your marketability increases your chances of thriving in modern times.

How do you increase your marketability? Marketability is a tenuous term and is referenced by a plethora of career articles. According to Encarta's Dictionary (1999), it's defined as “being in demand” – therefore relatively easy to sell. Marketing usually refers to products and services. However, we've all heard over and again that you need to identify the concept of “you” – as a product. Once you accept this notion, you are ready to become an asset to your organization, to your internal and external clients. The core of everything you do embodies ‘your brand.' Everyone is born unique, but how many are remarkable? Fear holds you back from being your personal best. According to Seth Godin in his book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, “The opposite of remarkable is very good.”

One's natural instinct is to blend in, to be accepted. Marty Neumeier, “The Brand Gap” asserts that “human beings are social animals – our natural inclination is to go with the group.” But blending in may mean that your work performance is only very good. You don't stand out and you are not as remarkable or marketable as you could be.

Conducting a personal audit of your marketable skills is the first step toward becoming remarkable, or a purple cow. Are you valued as an asset to your company? To your clients? Are you marketable as a product? Are you marketable to your current employer? Ask yourself, what you do that's really special? If you have trouble with this question, ask your closest colleagues, or your best friends. It is so easy for us to criticize or judge our own performance. How many of us look inside for the answers? If your current position is just a paycheck or if your heart isn't in your business, how does that reflect in your current environment?

Many enlightenment experts acknowledge that life is but a mirror of what we feel inside. How does your external world look and feel? Even if you're not in the ideal work or business situation, there must be something or many things that you do exceptionally well. The key is to uncover these great treasures. As individuals, we are all equal, but unique and special in our own right. To use our special gifts, talents, and abilities and promote them to a current employer or to our internal or external clients, we must first uncover them. The Gifts and Talents Worksheet (PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader ) from Sharon Price, President and Master Marketing Magician at PowerPartners Marketing guides you through this process of discovery.

Diane Stafford, career columnist for the Kansas City Star states, “You can't change the other guy. You can only change yourself or your response to the other guy.” In this lifetime, you are the major star in the movie of your life. Everyone else is either a secondary or tertiary character, or maybe not even a character. How will this movie play out? It is up to you. Complete the Gifts and Talents worksheet and find out. The journey to becoming remarkable doesn't have to be an 800-pound gorilla. It can be as simple as the way you answer the phone, the special care you take with clients, the magic you create when you come into a room, or the special quality you add to a meeting. Think small, think baby steps.

Major experts report that the key to success is adaptability. Change takes us out of our comfort zone, activates fear, and stimulates the “fight, flight or the freeze” response. In the 21st century, it is our mind that gets in our way. So, how can we get results in an easy and effortless way? How can we get unstuck without struggle or the need to change? The answer is play. As adults, we have forgotten how easy and fun it was to play in the playground. There were no expectations. We just had fun.

Invitation to Enter the Creative Playground

Riding the Merry-Go-Round of Time
How do adults play?
When all we want to do is dismay.
What is the allure of sophistication,
Procrastination, dread, and indignation?
Conformity, tried and true.
Surrendering freedom and all its due.

Being silly is the cure
For creative spirits that are demure.
Visualize riding the merry-go-round of time.
Situate yourself comfortably as each chime
Signals reverting back yet another year
Passing adulthood by until you're there!

A resurfacing of your inner child
Will bring about metamorphosis that is not mild.
Be prepared to jump in bales of hay
Giggling, laughing, imagining, in the name of play.
Counter intuitive to patterns of thought
Creativity and Innovation will be sought.


Wanda Ropa Copyright ©2005

Tools to Inspire Creativity when it appears to be shut off:

1. Play with the problem
2. Reframe the situation
3. Take in a diversion

 

References

1. http://www.quintcareers.com /marketability_test.html - Test of Career Marketability
2. “A Whole New Mind, Moving From the Information Age to the Conceptual Age ” by Daniel Pink. Riverhead Books, NY, NY 2005.
3. “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable,” by Seth Godin. Do You Zoom, Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY 2002.
4. “The Brand Gap,” by Marty Neumeier. New Riders, Berkeley, CA 2006.
5. Gifts and Talents Exercise by Sharon Price, PowerPartners Marketing, www.PowerPartnersMarketing.com (some steps adapted from “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. The Free Press, NY, NY. 2001)
6. “Start Search For Job Satisfaction By Looking Within,” by Diane Stafford, Career Columnist, Tuesday, January 28, 2003, The Kansas City Star, www.kansascity.com .

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Creativity Coaching Panel

A reader Asks : How do you inspire your staff to come up with creative solutions, or out of the box thinking, when the tried and true standard methods are no longer working?

Read the panel's answers ...


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Hear from Our Readers

Reader Responses

Cindy's Inspirational Story

My journey began when I was the Marketing Administrator for a technology company. On my lunch break one day, I was reading Office Pro, a magazine I receive as part of my membership with IAAP, the International Association for Administrative Professionals. In the magazine was an article written by Stacy Brice, President and Chief Visionary Officer of AssistU. This article opened my eyes to a whole new world. I had been unhappy for quite some time in the corporate world, but I did not know exactly why. Here was my answer in black and white! What I had been looking for was a new, bold career move in which I could utilize all of the skills I currently had, and yet at the same time could be my own boss. I was very excited, and when I got home that night, I immediately began researching Virtual Assistance. I applied for and got accepted to AssistU's Virtual Training Program, and successfully launched my business after graduation from the program that summer.

Although I am still in the growing phase of my business, I am learning so much every day about working virtually and about attracting my ideal clients. I love supporting my clients, and knowing that I can help to make a difference in their lives. I love working with busy professionals who value family and personal time as well as having a successful business. I believe in hard work and rewarding yourself with plenty of fun and R&R, and in having a balanced life. Having a sense of humor is also extremely important to me, and laughter really is the best medicine!

Cynthia Morse CAP, Virtual Assistant
Virtually At Your Service
ph:(603) 463-7999/fax:(603) 463-8089
email: cindy@virtuallyatyourservice .biz
web: http://www.virtuallyatyourservi ce.biz

Bonnie's Inspirational Story

Creative sparks come from unexpected places. Jill Badonsky has been a major influence in my creative pursuits. Her book, classes, open mike performances and programs, writing groups, and sparkling personality have awakened my creative potential . Jill's muse class opened me up to writing instead of just doing artwork. The gathering of creative and talented people she attracts also provides lots of input for my work. Usually after I attend these groups, my brain explodes (well, not really) with lots of interesting ideas, especially when I'm trying to sleep.

Small things give me new ideas...for example while working on my altered undies project, I found a pair of bright red men's boxer shorts with Twinkies patterned all over them in a thrift store. Needless to say I hadn't imagined such a thing - but bought them, added real Twinkies (although I ate the first box.. Not a good idea to eat your props) and yellow sequins...titled them "sweet Cakes." I love to go to flea markets, dollar stores, and thrift stores for ideas. Fashion magazines also provide visual ideas and words for the pun-filled art I like to make. Books are a major influence. Two of my latest favorites are: "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp and "One Small Step can Change your Life...the Kaizen Way by Dr. Robert Maurer. Lastly, the oh my gosh method...working on a planned project when suddenly something else more interesting, totally unexpected and different from your original starting point appears in your path.

Art Exhibit
November 12 – November 30, 2005
Multimedia Collection of fun-derwear
Gee Gee's Stamps ‘N' Stuff
2965 State Street
Carlsbad, CA 92008
www.ggstampsnstuff.com

Bonnie Joh Cady
Artist
(760) 434-3448
bcadyart@yahoo.com

READER RAFFLE
We want to hear more stories. Please send in examples of how you received sparks of inspiration related to work or creative projects. The first 10 readers who send in their answers will be entered in a raffle to receive: "The 9 Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) by Jill Badonsky filled with lots of exercises to awaken and spark creativity. Please include your contact information to facilitate receipt of the prize.

Please send in your questions for our Creativity Coaching Panel, your responses and feedback regarding this newsletter or suggestions for future topics, or submit original creative works, poetry or prose with permission to publish.

For all other inquiries, send email to: dvweb@dreamvolition.com

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Musings

The Quicksand of Your Mind

Are you in struggle?
Your mind a puddle?
Are you stuck?
What luck?
In the quicksand of your mind?

Are you out of flow
And problems just grow?
What to do, to solve this riddle?
Stuck in the middle
In the quicksand of your mind.

There's only one way
Out of this unwanted stay.
Resolve to clearly see
And not live by some false decree
In the quicksand of your mind.

Wanda Ropa

Copyright ©2005 Wanda Ropa


To submit original creative works, poetry or prose, please email the work with permission to publish. Send emails to: dvweb@dreamvolition.com

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