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A NEW YEAR IS APPROACHING

The end of the year and a new year is about to grace us with its presence. Organizations are building their end of year reports, organizing their stats, and attempting to showcase what they have been able to accomplish in a year. It’s a busy season, and it can often be a stressful one. However, the end of the year is also a good time to be forward thinking.

While you’re analyzing the numbers, looking at your reach and viewership, reviewing budgets, etc., take the time to look at the health of your teams. A healthy team is instrumental in a successful organization. Do not take it lightly the burden of the work. If teams aren’t resting, recouping, taking time for themselves, then the teams are going to be producing.

An exhausted mind cannot function at the same level as a rested mind. That means ideas won’t be as well-thought out as they could have if the team was healthy. Time away from work helps people to come back with clearer minds, fresher ideas, and a motivation to produce. So, as you are looking at how the year went, look at the health of the team.

Were people requesting off days? 

Were people less prepared in meetings? 

Did the numbers go down?

Going into 2019, think about ways to keep the environment healthy. Build in team activities that are solely for something enjoyable to do. Respect the hours in the day and empower your teams to not take work home.

If you want 2019 to be better than 2018 and in business, we always want progression, then analyze and protect the health of your team.

Stefani David
Limiting Yourself

Do you realize that sometimes you disqualify yourself and your abilities before you even begin? This happens in business too. You assume your organization won’t be able to have that growth or reach that audience. It’s often done subconsciously. You don’t purposely limit yourself. You just don’t attempt things that may seem too risky or too far out of your reach. When you do this, you are only hurting yourself. With any organization, there will be risk. However, by disqualifying yourself or your organization, cripples your ability and your organization’s ability. So, I encourage you that before you say no or think something won’t work, clear your head and really think about what your goal is and what the best way to reach that goal is. Try something new and out of the ordinary. Be open to different ideas and different strategies because in those moments, there is creative growth and exploration that is beneficial despite the success.

Success does not define knowledge. We limit ourselves by making everything about the success. It is a great gauge. It is the way to measure what’s effective, what’s detrimental, where improvements need to be made; however, it isn’t the final word in situations. It doesn’t define your knowledge. When you “fail” or something doesn’t work, do you learn from it? You absolutely should. In those moments where you are having to try again and again and again to figure out how to make something work, you are gaining so much knowledge and endurance for the task of creating. This is an impeccable opportunity that you should never take lightly. It is in these moments that you really grow. Your organization benefits. Your team benefits. You reach new levels because you spend the time failing. If you only succeed, you won’t grow. You will get stuck in your ways. You will have a false confidence. Success is something that limits people and organizations in actuality.

Before you disqualify yourself and before you think your success is enough, think about your efforts. Think about your strategy. Think about how to improve. Think about innovating and new approaches. Always be reaching to improve.

Stefani David
Seat At The Table

People talk about having a seat at the table. They talk about the accomplishment it would be to sit at the table with the best of the best. The desire to sit and collaborate amongst the smartest, wisest leaders and be able to pick their brain and learn from them is sought after. However, it seems to be followed with phrasing about how they earned that seat at the table, so they actually deserve to be there. None of these goals or ambitions are necessarily wrong. The idea that you have worked hard enough or someone saw enough potential in you to give you a seat at the table is not something to take lightly. It is an honor. It is something that you should cherish and protect and use to grow as a person and in your craft. You should absolutely use this opportunity to learn everything you can and soak up all the knowledge you can from sitting at the table.

But I want to challenge you to think a little deeper about your table. What does your table look like? Are you the smartest one at the table? Is there anyone at the table that is “better” than you? Do they know more? Do they bring a different perspective? Is your table full of “yes” people? If you are the smartest one at the table, you need to find a new table. It doesn’t mean you are growing just because you’re the best one at the table. It’s okay to have different tables. It’s okay to be a leader and mentor to others. However, if your table is full of people that follow and aren’t challenging you or pushing you to your creative limits, what is the point of the table?

Your table should motivate you to be better. They should push you to push yourself. You want to be continuously improving. You can’t improve if nobody around you encourages growth. Evaluate your table. See who you surround yourself with. Think closely about it. Your table could be the element that is hindering your organization. It’s not a bad thing to switch up the players. It’s not a bad thing to analyze who is influencing you and make a change. That’s part of life.

Stefani David
Data For Days
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I’ve been in “digital marketing” since 2004. Back then, our expertise centered around Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click marketing. Search marketing was a big shift from traditional channels because of the data after deployment.

When you send a direct mail piece, you know how many pieces you sent out, but you don’t know how many were seen, opened, etc.

With search, we are able to see important data like impressions and click-through rates. We would use this info to tweak our copy, placement, and spend. We would take spend from low performing ads and allocate it to higher performing ads.

Today’s digital landscape has greatly matured. There are tons of metrics that can be measured on websites, search, social, and email. You need to use these metrics to make better decisions. Different metrics matter to different organizations. A non-profit will put weight in one set of metrics while a retailer will put weight in another.

This graphic is a sample of metrics for a client we have. The blue graphs are for Facebook and red are for Instagram. Information like this is not the final authority but serves as an important data point in making posting decisions.

Make sure data analysis is part of your deploy-review-redeploy process.

Rob David
Passion

My passion growing up aside from writing was teaching. I had a chalkboard wall in my room where I would pretend to teach. I remember asking my teachers for their old transparencies and Vis-à-vis markers, so I could use them when I was teaching at home. I thought I was just playing and never really thought too much into it until college. I majored in English and wanted to be a writer. Eventually, I connected the playing when I was growing up to a passion for teaching. I ended up teaching High School English for three years before I pursued a career in writing full-time. However, I always have missed teaching.

The other night I had the privilege of teaching a workshop about writing to adults. It reminded me of my passion. It sparked a fire in me. I loved every minute of it. I prepped a lesson plan, a presentation, and a workshop style activity. It was honestly amazing for my creativity and soul. However, I didn’t take this moment lightly. I reflected on why I loved it, why I was so motivated, why I was so inspired. That’s the important thing to do in these situations. When you get a rush of emotions and adrenaline, you need to understand why. Figure out the root, so you can best move forward.

This opportunity reminded me that teaching is one of my passions. In order for me to function at my best, I think I need to be working in my passions. I believe that is true for everyone. So, find your passions. Find a way to feed those passions. Maybe it has be to a hobby, maybe it is your career, maybe it will never be something that you can earn compensation for – so what. I know it seems like you may not have enough time. You may not be able to fit it into your schedule. I am a true believer that you have time for what you make time for. Feeding your passions does more for you than watching a TV show or than overworking. It helps you find happiness and joy. It stimulates your brain; it gives you purpose. It’s extremely important for your well-being and for your success in other areas of your life.

Give it a try. Find your passion. Make time for it and feed it.

Stefani David