Daily Dose: Truth + Travel

barcelona

Don’t downplay your abilities now, Libra. You’re on the brink of greatness, so act like it. Things should go quite well if you let them. Don’t clog up the works by thinking that you’re unworthy of the good luck that is sure to come your way. If things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to, take it as a sign that the situation wasn’t right for you anyway.

Sometimes it’s as simple as subscribing to daily horoscope updates to remind you of the truth.

I’m going to Barcelona in less than 2 weeks and it feels like a dream. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and I’m finally making the trip! Truthfully for a long time I believed that there were many things preventing me from going – namely student loans, living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, an inability to save consistently (for a long time), and my healthy budget for self care and entertainment (gotta be healthy and have fun, duh!). Somewhere along the line my old frame of mine shifted into a new plane wherein I am no longer waiting for something to swoop in and save me from student debt and expenses. Instead I simply started saving and took responsibility for making my dream happen – and it wasn’t even that hard!

I’ve found a few tools incredible helpful in the process – including Mint.com, regular check ins with my checking account, and using a CaptialOne 360 savings account to auto-save each week towards my goal. Oh and definitely Hipmunk for my flight alerts – always my go-to for finding great flight deals. It only took a few months and I’m off to an incredible adventure!

What Ever Happened to Field Trips?

I can’t remember the last time I went on a real field trip – maybe back in college? It seems like it all happened a long time ago. Back in the day at Hoover Middle School, me and 800 of my closest 8th grade friends were taken to the Exploratorium on the free day as our 8th grade graduation field trip. Classic SF middle school jam if I do say so myself. In high school I went on solo lead field trips to visit my friends at other schools down the block and sometimes as far away as Lowell, which was all the way across the city. Anything to get my Sunset snacks at Victor’s Bakery, Panda Express at Stonestown or UCSF on Parnassus. So many memories.

Just the other day the special place I get to show up at every day (Praytell) turned two! For a happy birthday adventure we all took an afternoon stroll up the block to our neighboring Brooklyn Museum. How lucky are we? I forget how peaceful and inspiring exploring the ins and outs of an epic museum can truly be – I want to do this more often. I took a few snaps, mostly of colorful paintings emulating the style and energy I’d be proud to hang in my own home. What can I say, I like what I like. I could have spent way more time in the Egypt exhibit – I even took a meditation break to take in some of the majestic history I sensed surrounding me.

I only go to museums now, for the most part, when people come visit me. Then we’ll go to the Met or the MoMa, walk through Central Park or Prospect Park, or maybe take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. A long time ago when I first visited NYC I remember taking a day to myself while my friend had class at Columbia to walk all the way downtown from Harlem. I stopped inside the Museum of the City of New York and even ran into Julia Stiles in the entrance – such an NY moment. Reading about the city’s history and Robert Moses’ vision for development was electrifying. I knew I had to live here one day. And here I am, nearly a decade later, still seeking museum dates and long adventurous strolls across Manhattan with no particular destination in mind.

Below:

  1. Georgia O’Keeffe – Brooklyn Bridge
  2. Jarrell A. Wadsworth – Revolutionary
  3. Kehinde Wiley – Saint Remi (check out more of Kehinde’s work and upcoming exhibitions on Artsy)

IMG_8238 revolution

Kehinde Wiley Saint remi

Interviewing: The Remix

Hey GirlIn my job search escapades over the last month or so (I know, it hasn’t even been that long), I’ve gained what feels like lifetimes of experience and knowledge. First off, I’ve got my elevator pitch nailed to a tee. I know what it is I am really looking for, and have even had the opportunity to pass on a few opportunities because I knew my heart wasn’t in it. So far, the potential employers I’ve spoken to seem to genuinely appreciate my honesty. Cultural fit is everything. 

As far as remixing a typical interview style, I’ve found it helpful to turn the tables early on in the conversation and really explicate what it is you’re looking for. What matters most to you, and what will truly make you happy at a job? Think about what means most to you, what will you look forward to getting up for everyday?

Here are some of the questions I ask to guide my early screening conversations:

  1. How long have people generally worked here? Do employees tend to stick around for awhile?
  2. Do employees spend time together outside of work? Are there company-organized activities for fostering community and encouraging teamwork?
  3. Are there opportunities for people to weave in their personal interests into the job?
  4. What incentives are in place to inspire employees?
  5. How does the company leadership support an engaged company culture?
  6. Describe the employee and management review process.
  7. How collaborative is the work environment? With what frequency do teams meet internally or cross-departmentally to communicate priorities, ideas and changes?

Maybe you have different questions specific to what is most important to you. For me, cultural fit and knowing I will get along with the people I work with all day is my top priority. I want to work somewhere I’m comfortable being my authentic self, where I can share time and creativity with similarly inspired, creative, smart people who want more than just a job to show up to. I want to grow and learn from people that are really invested in creating the future. Everyone deserves to feel aligned in their career and passions, but it’s up to you to be your best advocate.

How to Make (Marketing) Magic

ImageUnremarkable means nothing special, not particularly interesting or surprising. Advertising seeks to draw interest in products, people and services that lack magic on their own. That is the age-old question anyway, isn’t it? What does it take to create something that is truly magical on it’s own? The un-marketed, surprise-released Beyonce album (see: #obsession) comes to mind. That record-breaking release required some groundwork early on for sure, perhaps for years prior dating back to the early Destiny’s Child days.

 Advertising can make or break a brand or an idea in general. Creative strategy and content marketing, if executed thoughtfully with a clear long range goal in mind, can literally change the world. This promise continually drives my personal interest in the field. Look at what’s going on with the green/sustainability trend–it’s all over fashion, haute cuisine and all the rage in tech hot spots like San Francisco (composts bins all over the place with recycling and pushes to go-organic everywhere you look). What if advertising and amazing content strategy could help change people’s perceptions on such a wide scale that the populace actually takes it upon Imageitself to address critical environmental and social issues that the government and corporations don’t necessarily solve?

Social and creative content are the new guard of tools for marketers seeking to change how the world communicates and the way brands can become humanized. Social is undoubtedly the future, especially with regard to video integration and ever-increasing personalization capabilities. Never before have brands had this much potential influence and personal engagement with their intended audiences. Across social, consumers can relate to brands like never before. There is great power in this humanization, notably the promise for greater consumer independence and empowerment with real-time information. Social represents the crossroads at which brands and consumers can create the future together and in doing so, change the way business is conducted and the way perceptions are formed altogether.

What’s in a Klout Score?

Klout ScoreThe Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.

First off, did you know Barack Obama has a 99?

Influence is the ability to drive action. When you share something on social media or in real life and people respond, that’s influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.

KLOUT SCORE CORE CONCEPTS

When Klout first came on the scene I was skeptical as to whether it was actually going to be helpful or effective at measuring status/impact/reach. The longer it’s been on the market I’ve seen how it actually addresses a need felt across all social channels that isn’t clearly addressed by other mediums.

Let’s be honest, everyone is dying to know where they stand, especially in comparison to all their friends and everyone else. There’s something satisfying about knowing where you fit in, how you’re ranked and how much of an impact you’re having. Is it simply explained as a human desire or evolutionary dependency? Social media has definitely set into motion new social norms and even vocabulary built into our everyday life–but has it also reinforced more wide scale dependency on affirmation and recognition?

I think we all know the answer to that question. It relates to recent discussion about selfies and the obsession with getting positive feedback on photo and content posts. There’s even a new song about it. I can see where the argument arises but I for one am a huge proponent of the positive opportunity offered by social media to help empower consumers and businesses alike by bridging the gap between the buyers and decision makers. The same goes for politics. Consider how digital and social media impacted Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

The millennial generation is digital and social, and there’s no going back. The challenge remains for brands and political governance in how to best interact and engage with the new constituency defined by everything-social.

 

How Can I Help?

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.
NYC Skyline

Remember the Future

Montauk

That’s what comes to mind when I think of the impact I want to create. I want to work with clients to make their visions and passions a reality. I want to leverage what I’ve learned in corporate advertising to help entrepreneurs and start ups effectively share their message and value with the people they want to reach. I want to live in a world where everyone wins, where everyone can benefit from lifting one another up towards success and fulfillment.

I want to help bridge the resource gap while working for people I believe in and whose energy and drive I feed off of. Nothing fills me more than sharing in the excitement of launching a new idea and innovative strategy for something that could fundamentally change the way the world works. I’ve always been an optimist, sometimes to a painful degree. I believe in people’s absolutely limitless capacity to create a better world, and I clearly see how social media and digital strategy can play a central role in making that world a reality.