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The Apprentice Finale – Who Won?

The finale was all I expected it to be (sort of): the first two firings were obvious – almost like the two candidates, Frank and Nicole, knew they were done even before it started. Frank and Nicoles’s video was terrible. They knew it, Mr. Trump knew it, we all knew it. The editing was awful – switching every 2 seconds made me sick. Frank seemed to be so nervous, stumbled over his words, and said some interesting things. His answers were extremely weak! James and Stefanie’s video was so much better – a theme, an idea, a great advertisement. I really liked Stefanie’s answer about hiring her and then she’ll hire James. Great answer!

The interesting point that Bianca made was that Stefanie wasn’t ever really a leader. She was always behind the scenes, never wanted to get fired, never stepped up as a project manager, never wanted to make mistakes or take a risk. Is that the kind of employee or business manager I’d want? The sexist comment about “keeping the frat boys under control” was pathetic. Kristine, making it a gender issue is completely unfair. Are you insecure about your male conterparts?

As I watched the final results, I really didn’t feel the best person for the job won. James took the lead, took the heat, and performed. Stefanie was always under the radar. Yes, she never got mentioned by any of the other participants. But is that really a positive thing or a very creative strategy?

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How to Build Self Confidence

I wanted to change the feel of Moller Marketing today .  Self Confidence is one of the big keys to success in any endeavor.  I’m sure most of us have heard the story about the little train that could. This train was famous for breaking paradigms, not giving up, and using his self confidence to make it over a huge hill. The simple phrase, “I think I can, I think I can” took him to a place he’d never been before.

As we start new businesses on and offline, we have to have that same attitude and perspective.  It’s not “if” this is going to work, it’s “when” and “how much”.  Some may already have self confidence at a certain level; like anything, we can always improve.  Here are a few ideas that can help us all build more self confidence:

  1. Be Positive! You may not always feel positive but you have to focus on the best things that are happening.  There’s no room for negativity if you want to be as successful as you have potential to be.
  2. Smile when you look in the mirror.  Many studies have been done about the “facial feedback theory”.  Conclusions have been made that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to register certain emotions. If we look in the mirror and smile every day, we’ll feel happier and be more confident in the long run.
  3. Be Thankful! If you acknowledge and appreciate what you do have, it’s easier to fight off feelings of being inadequate, unsatisfied, or incomplete. Recognizing and being grateful for what you have will bring inner peace that will help boost self confidence.
  4. Identify your successes.  Keep them written down; review them often; we’re all good at something, so discover the things you excel at and focus on your talents. Give yourself credit for the success you are seeing.  Feeling inferior is a state of mind. Remember, the “Small Success leads to Big Success!”
  5. Surround yourself with positive people. Peer pressure has effects on everyone, not just youth. If we’re around people that are always talking bad about their life, their situation – we’ll probably tend to fall in to that pit too.

Some other things you can do that have helped include exercise, set specific short and long term goals, go for a hike or drive in the wilderness, invest in some new clothing and give away the old: looking sharp and feeling successful can go hand in hand.  Remember, you can do this!

Digital Presence & Marketing Strategy

Is the media positively reinforcing the Virginia Tech killer’s actions?

Advertising is defined as: “to announce or praise (a product, service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to induce people to buy or use it; to give information to the public about; announce publicly in a newspaper, on radio or television, etc.; to call attention to, in a boastful or ostentatious manner.” (source)

Advertising, both on and offline, can have tremendous effects on the people it reaches. As I’ve watched TV lately and seen report after report about the horrific events that happened at Virginia Tech, it makes me wonder “What is going on with the media?” Are they immortilizing this methodical killer? Do they not realize that they are doing exactly what Cho Seung-Hui wanted them to do when he put together the viscious confessional video footage to seal his fate? He wanted the fame, the recognition, the lime-light. He needed the attention; he sought after it. As the media tries to “break it down” and focus on the killer more than the victims, they are “advertising” his act as a way to get tons of “ad space” all over TV, Online and Offline. Have you ever thought that the media may be challenging sick people like Cho Seung-Hui to out do this thoughtless act. Saying things like “more chilling revelations about the gunman”, “the largest masacre in US history”… it makes me question, “Is all the recognition, analysis, and coverage that the media is giving Cho Seung-Hui giving others ideas, encouraging them to do similar things to get attention and recognition from their peers?”

Cho himself refers to the Columbine killers in his last recorded rantings.  “Outsiders” like this are convinced that they are victims, that they are not responsible for their own actions, and they see these mass murderers as heroes of their cause. Cho even had the audacity to compare himself to Jesus Christ, dying a martyr for the weak and afflicted. When other outsiders see the attention, recognition, even credit he is receiving, might they not be compelled to imitate his actions?

We love numbers – they help us keep score. Right after the incident happened, the media couldn’t wait to tell us all that this was the biggest mass murder in history. Someone out there is probably saying, “I could do better than that…I could be the worst in history…I could be famous…they could make movies about me…I could be the ‘heizman trophy winner’ of murders…” Could these be the thoughts going through future killers’ minds?

So, the main question is this: “Is the media exploiting a tragedy and advertising for their gain?” Do they really think they are providing a valuable service to all of us? Do they really think that by analyzing all the data, talking about it over and over, doing complete one hour reports on it – is this really helping the general public become nicer to one another? As Glenn Beck said perfectly, “Media coverage has hardened us…it’s always about the next big story”.

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Welcome back Apprentice wannabes!

These are the live notes I took during The Apprentice on Sunday, April 15th, 2007:

Wow, this was an interesting episode – the potential “apprentices” bring back some of the “wannabes” who didn’t cut it. Bold strategy! What was their role anyway? They didn’t really seem to do anything.

It seems that James and Stefani are on their way to the finals. Angela was really complimentary about Stefani and I agree. It was also good that James showed his skills. It is interesting, however, that Stefani has seemed to stay back out of the lime light until now. Is this a plan she has followed or just an accident? Has she been protecting herself until now, where she can really shine? I must admit, I hadn’t watched every episode until a few weeks ago but she seems to be coming out of her shell a bit.

Frank and Nicole – what can I say – they are the “weakest link(s)” for sure. Were these teams set up on purpose, coincidently? Is there going to be another double firing? Nicole’s comment about product placement was stupid and uncalled for (can you say brown noser?) That was crazy. She hadn’t done anything. Nicole sits there and flirts with Tim until the business they’re marketing for walks in. Then she’s up and about, stopping the flow of what’s happening, and shaking their hands welcoming them to the set. Give me a break.

James was a bit picky and took tons of time on the production. Stefani was great at watching the time and managing the entire project. She attempted to stand up for herself once but wasn’t persistent enough. James didn’t get all the footage they needed because he kept shooting and shooting, without watching the time. Time Management 101!

Frank didn’t seem to know what he was doing during the editing ordeal. He waisted time and wanted in on the decision making without really knowing what he was doing.

James and Stefani’s commercial ended up being really good. Great product placement, great open ended question, great story line! Their commercial was a great example of not just selling a product, but selling the solution to potentially a huge problem – an upset wife. Ouch! Noone wants that.

A day in the life…maybe a day full of headaches. Frank and Nicole’s commercial was so choppy. And ordorizers in a hospital? Whatever! You probably wouldn’t even be able to bring ordorizers in to the hospital, let alone use them. Dumb, dumb idea! I really got a headache watching the choppy editing. It caused me to lose focus on what was being presented.

James does have tons of energy. Stefani was a “sleeper” but player her role perfectly. James was very positive, a team player. Nicole was full of it – she says everyone worked together – yeah right. Frank says they worked together well as a team. Tim, Tim, Tim – what can we say about Tim – it seems he was just there to distract Nicole.

Frank and Nicole were not good team players. They could have done so much more if they wouldn’t have argued about who did what for 20 minutes. Frank hugs the “wannbes” but then talks behind all their backs – wouldn’t want to work with him too much – that’s a fight waiting to happen over and over again.

FIRE Frank and Nicole! Interesting twist to the ending of the show today…

It’s been fun to watch The Apprentice lately. It’s an interesting way to get ideas for marketing, branding strategies, and analyze business opportunities. Tune in next week to see the final results…

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How Upside Down by Jack Johnson relates to starting an eCommerce Business

While driving to work yesterday I was listening to Jack Johnson’s song “Upside Down”. It made me think alot about starting a business. As I work with clients to help them build effective eCommerce businesses, I see so much potential. Each student comes to the table with so much to offer and different skills, talents and experiences that they can use to help them see success with their business endeavors. I think the main thing that holds some of them back is their belief in their own capabilities. As you listen to the song, focus on these lyrics:

Who’s to say, what’s impossible well they forgot this world keeps spinnin’ and with each new day I can feel a change in everything…As my mind begins to spread it’s wings, there’s no stoppin curiosity…Who’s to say, I can’t do everything well I can try and as I roll along I begin to find things aren’t always just what they seem, I wanna turn the whole thing upside down, I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found…There’s no time to waist, it all keeps spinnin’…Who’s to say what’s impossible and can’t be found…I don’t want this feeling to go away…please don’t go away!

Belief, faith, confidence, assurance, trust, reliance: all our synonyms.

If you don’t have these things, can you ever really achieve your full potential in anything?

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Tim got his priorities mixed up on The Apprentice

“I’m a fool for getting involved with someone during a job interview!” said Tim as he rode off in the infamous “You’re Fired” car on The Apprentice tonight. Too bad he had to get fired to realize this.  Now he’ll lose on both ends: the job and the girl.  I just finished watching Tim make a weak case about his loyalty.  No matter how hard he tried to plead his case, it wasn’t getting him anywhere. The bottom line is, he made a huge mistake by not staying focused on the task at hand: becoming the next Apprentice.

Tim at one time had this to say: “I should be the next Apprentice because I have always welcomed a massive challenge, and I approach everything I take on with passion and energy.” (source)  It seems like his “passion and energy” shouldn’t have been directed so much on Nicole.

I’ve learned through the school of hard knocks that there is a time for everything.  Priotizing is so important.  If you get involved in too many things all at once, chances are that you won’t excel at any of them.  Such was the case with poor Tim: he tried to “multi-task” and ended up losing it all.  Better luck next time! Hope we learn from his mistake.

Here’s a couple questions to think/comment about: should love always be the top priority and take precidence over everything else?  If Tim and Nicole end up getting married, was it worth it for him to do what he did?