Category Archives: Uncategorized

Who’s On Your Advisory Panel?

Here are three personalities that should be in your circle:

The Optimist. We all need a cheerleader, the person that will tell us we can do anything and will point out the positive in any situation. The Optimist is perfect when you’re feeling down and need a pep talk. 

The Analyst. This person knows a little about a lot of things and enjoys sharing the knowledge. (S)He has a practical way of reviewing facts and presents a solution based on numbers, not emotions. You may not get an instant response, because this process may take some time.

The Naysayer. You need someone that can see pitfalls and is open enough to tell you. When choosing a naysayer make sure (s)he has your best intentions at heart. If you feel their intentions are not good then by all means find another naysayer.

My Working Mother Must-Haves List

Awesome Daycare. There is no way I could be productive at work if I didn’t love my girls’ daycare. It’s a very cozy setting, they love their teacher, learn a lot and most of all they are safe and very well taken care of there.

A couple of other good signs – they have no problem saying bye to me in the morning and it usually takes at least 15 minutes to get them to leave in the afternoon.

 Supportive/flexible environment. This goes for my work and home environments. I have been blessed with employers and clients that understand I am a mother. And part of this is that I may not be in the office from 8-5 every day, but I will also work at midnight if I have to in order to finish a project.  

 At home I don’t keep things rigid. I try to enforce a bedtime, but otherwise our evenings are unpredictable. We may go to the park or mall after the girls leave daycare, or we may play at home until dinner is ready. We may have a spa night, do a project or have dance-offs (mostly the girls and daddy… my two-step doesn’t make the cut…).

 Smartphone. Through email, social media (mostly Facebook and Twitter) and actual phone calls, I am available to both colleagues and family easily. I am able to organize my life, keep to-do lists, write articles, work on projects, research ideas and the list goes on.

 Low-maintenance style. I wear my hair natural because it’s versatile yet extremely easy to maintain. I wear very little make-up (lipstick and a little eye shadow with mascara is the norm) and I have my jewelry separated into weekday and weekend looks.

For clothes I gravitate towards materials that are easy to maintain and I try to choose pieces that will go well with many looks. I will admit that shoes are my weakness, so I sometimes get a little crazy here, but I keep a pair of black heels in my trunk in case of emergency.

Being Receptive

Here’s a post I wrote when I first started cafe30. I had it on a separate page because it didn’t quite fit with the other posts, but part of me blogging more often is giving myself permission to write about all things, not just marketing with some parental stories mixed in for variety.

So, when I say this blog is a marketer’s take on business and life, I really mean it!

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Every relationship takes at least two – very few will argue this point when it comes to family, friends and work.  But, applying that principle to our relationship with God is not always top of mind. 

The great thing is that God holds up his part of the relationship perfectly. If we allow him, he will guide us, speak to us, and listen to us because he loves us. And his way of communicating with us is tailored to our personality-our tolerance. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. After all, he is the God of everything and everyone.

But the other part of the relationship is our responsibility. And our responsibility must include being receptive to his voice. Whether it be the gentle voice in our head that tells us when we are doing right or wrong, to the large billboards of life that scream to us, we should always be listening for his guidance. When we are truly receptive to his guidance and follow through with being obedient we can experience all of the greatness a relationship with our Heavenly Father brings.

Of course I am always joyful when God speaks to me of a promise and then it comes to fruition. But I am also joyful when I am about to make what I think is a good decision, and that voice says, “No.” I am learning that being truly receptive and obedient – honestly open and constantly listening – can save me many mistakes. And not only does it save me many mistakes, it keeps me in God’s will – which is by far more important.

God speaks everyday – sometimes its a whisper, sometimes it’s a roar, but he always speaks. My constant prayer is that whenever God speaks, I’m receptive and obedient. 

 

A Different Kind of Ad

I’m amazed each time I see a car commercial and it is the same kind of “look at my great new car” ad. Their businesses are suffering substantial losses. If there has ever been a time to do something different, now would be it.

 

Here’s an ad suggestion. Show three average people going into a dealership to purchase a car. Let one have fair credit, another have good, and one with excellent. Show examples of the interest rates they were given. Talk about why they are buying a new car (family addition, downsizing, fuel economy, etc.). Then show them leaving the lot in their new car. Let them have a webcam and show the customer talking about their experience (I know the treatment could use a little work, but I’m trying to keep this short…).

 

This ad will answer some of the concerns car buyers have right now:

a)     Do I qualify for a loan? Showing customers with fair, good and excellent credit help here.

b)     Can I afford a new vehicle? The estimated interest rates help here.

c)     What about job security? The economy? The use of average people can offer a sense of comfort. It goes to the human trait that we connect to people like us.

 

Auto ads are still focusing on performance and features, while throwing in a line or two about credit options. Yes, the ad can say 0% financing or no money down, but that is no different than the messages from four years ago when people were freely buying cars and SUVs. This does not answer any of the concerns that people have right now. I am almost certain the lack of features is not why people have avoided car showrooms.

 

That being said, one car company is looking at things from the buyer perspective-Hyundai. Their new promotion allowing you to return your car if you lose your job within a year definitely answers a concern of potential buyers. Kudos, now let’s see what the others have to offer.

 

I used the auto industry for this illustration, but think about your marketing and advertising. Does it look the same? Is it working? Do you stand out? If not, now may be the time to try a different kind of ad.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Ways to Make Volunteering Work for You

Today starts National Volunteer Month (April 27-May 3rd is National Volunteer Week). Ads promoting the importance of volunteering and the benefits of helping others have begun.

And while many people volunteer because they enjoy helping, I also know there are people that wonder what’s in it for them.  

So, if the great feeling of knowing that you are helping others is not enough, here are a couple of other perks. 

You can build skills that your current job description does not offer. If there are gaps on your resume, or experience that you need to move to the next level, volunteering is a great way to get it. Volunteering options are endless and most organizations welcome the extra manpower. 

Volunteering can offer experiences out of the norm. Think about it, how many opportunities will an accountant get to build a house outside of Habitat for Humanity? 

If you’re wondering where to find opportunities, try Volunteer Match. Using your zip code you can find opportunities in your area ranging from the Girl Scouts and American Cancer Society to local theatres and animal shelters. The opportunities also have age suggestions, so you can choose something that is perfect for your entire family or something just for you.  

Happy Volunteer Month!

 Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

Thursday Afternoon’s Laugh Break: Children and Cell Phones

To celebrate the last Thursday in March I’m giving you TWO clips. 

Cell Phone Karma & Cooties. 

Enjoy!

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

Thursday Afternoon’s Laugh Break: Very Funny Ads

To say this week’s feature is funny is an understatement! As I type I’m in tears from laughing so hard. 

 Toyota Ad 

In addition to this featured Toyota ad, check out the other ads found in the right sidebar. 

Enjoy your break!  

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady