Community

Norfolk-Virginia Beer Trail #nfkvbbeertrail

After a wonderfully crafted post by AltDaily.com, that you can find here (psst click the image)

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AltDaily: Norfolk-Virginia Beach Beer Loop

 

I decided to to put together the actual map tracing this beer trail through Norfolk-Virginia Beach (in case you didn’t know where we are) and up through the Peninsula. Yes we have several local names for our cluster of 7 cities. So if you are vacationing here this summer this map will help you travel through our great cities and sample some the best craft beers in the United States (yes that is an extremely biased statement, I know). The map places the breweries in the exact order they show up in the above article.

Also we have a great event coming up here in Norfolk-Virginia Beach called “Drink the District.” Click on the image below to get tickets:

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Eventbrite: Drink the District

 

 

 

Also keep in mind we are an Uber and Lyft community. Please click on the below images to download these great apps for attending this events and leaving the driving to your personalized Designated Driver!

 

uber android

Google Play: Uber

lyft andoid

Google Play: Lyft

        

uber ios

App Store: Uber

 

lyft ios

App Store: Lyft

 


2011 The Year of 52 Phone Calls #yearof52calls

One of my 2011 goals was to find a new way to deepen online relationships.  Since some of the people I wanted to chat with are not within the cities I lived in, in 2011 I had to overcome location. So I wanted to try a different channel, what I came up with was “The Year of 52 calls”. The premise was to call a different person every week throughout the year. Sounds easy right? Well after making it through the whole year I partially succeed at my goal!

I partially succeeded in number, but I fully succeeded in making some awesome connections even better! I think for 2012 I am going to continue on this path, but with major refinements. Below are the results of the fun I had and people I called.

 

Week 1:

Called Robyn Flach 1/7/2011: we talked family, business happenings, social media in the social context.  Scheduled a lunch appointment.

Robyn Flach

 

Called Sarah Kay Hoffman 1/7/2011: left Sarah and voicemail, she left me a tweet about not using the phone well.

 

Week 2:

Called Nicole Nicolay 1/12/2011: left a voicemail about what I was doing with the year of 52 calls.  Gave her my phone number and told her if she wanted to call that would be totally cool, but know running a business and being a mom life is busy!

Called Alissa Ausan 1/12/2011: left a voicemail

Voicemails for 52 Calls

Week 3:

Called Shelly Kramer 1/18/2011: Talked with Shelley about the business for 2011. Found out a little more about company. She helps companies with strategic planning and content management. Talked about Yammer and streamlining communication.  What I do for Target, what I have planned for 2011.

Week 4:

Called Leigh Caraccioli 1/27/2011:Had a wonderful conversation with Leigh about all things going on with her business, the family, and her book she is writing. I did not know about the book, so this was an awesome surprise. I also learned that her husband works for a company based out of Minneapolis and we started talking about her and her family coming up here to hang out. Leigh and I have known each other online for 2 years and this was the first time she and I talked on the phone.  This phone call is why I am doing this activity!

Leigh Caraccioli

Week 5:

Called Katie Felten 2/04/2011: This was the first time we had ever spoken via the phone. Katie and I had a wonderful conversation about finding what the next steps of career are, exchanging social media stories, and told her about my tracking airport check-ins to find and connect with people.

Katie Felten

 

Katie Felten

 

Week 6:

Called Kris Colvin 02/17/2011:  Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring….so wanted to talk with Kristi too!

LeeAnn Youngquist and Kristi Colvin

Called LeeAnn Youngquist 02/17/2011: Let a message for following up a previous lunch that was cancelled.  Really looking forward to catching back up with LeeAnn!

 

Called Ria Sharon 02/18/2011: So I used skype for the first time for the year of 52 calls!  Ria and I have known each other online for roughly two years.  We had a wonderful conversation about business, how to succeed and creating new business models instead of fixing the ones we have currently.  Ok now my head hurts!

Ria Sharon

 

Week 7:

Called KT Wall 3/09/2011: Great conversation about life in Atlanta. Working for the Ad Agency in Atlanta and many of her friends getting married this summer!

KT Wall

 

Week 8:

Called Angel Oakley 3/11/2011: Since Angel and I were both attending #ungeeked in May I wanted to get to know her before going to the conference. We have a great conversation about Chicago and owning her own business.

Angel Oakley

 

Week 9:

Called Me Amy Roark 3/20/2011: This is was a reverse rule for the year of 52 calls, but hey I am making the rules! Amy and I got to know each other and discussed some strategies about marketing, cultivation, and formal ask for money for a whole new community of givers.  This conversation brought to light an uptapped market in Minneapolis!

Amy Roark

 

Week 10:

Called Sima Dahl 5/19/2011: After meeting Sima at #ungeeked in Chicago, I had to talk more to this very powerful, energetic, get stuff done woman!  We had a wonderful conversation about personal brand (and my take about some of it being bullshit, she agreed partially), speaking, and running her own business.

Sima Dahl

 

Week 11:

Called Erika Napoletano 6/06/2011: I finally got up the nerve to call Erika! This was a long process for me gaining the courage to talk with her live.  I am so glad I did! We talked about live in CO, writing 2 books (that are completely unrelated to each other), and just getting to know each other stuff.

Erika Napoletano

 

Week 12:

Called Peggy Fitzpatrick 6/29/2011: Peggy and I met and hit it off big time at #ungeeked! During all of the transition stuff to Virginia I wanted to chat with her about some east coast stuff. Plus I wanted to catch up on all the happenings since the conference!

Peggy Fitzpatrick

 

Peggy Fitzpatrick

 

 Week 13:

Scott Wild Called Me 9/16/2011: So this was a turn of events, Scott called me after a question I made on twitter. We had a great conversation about relocation and catching up after doing a podcast with him and folks from TodayMade.com

Scott Wild

 

Week 14:

Called Liza Sperling  10/07/2011: Liza and I met while I was out in San Francisco back in May 2011 for the SMOC Conference. I wanted to chat up to see how Liza was doing and hear about the Valley happenings.  We talked strategy, job seeking, and tech stuff!

Liza Sperling

 

Week 15:

Called Jen Howver on 10/13/2011: Jen and I actually went to High School together and she reached out to me via twitter about a year ago to reconnect. We also had a chance to reconnect IRL at #ungeeked in Chicago. We caught up about all the moving I had done, ungeeked related news, and general family things.

Jen Howver

 

Week 16:

Called Cassandra Girard on 10/17/2011: Cassandra and I met through Tara Hunt when Buyopshere.com launched about a year ago. We have still connected through the year while the evolution and revolution of their business model on the web. Cassandra and I chatted about release of version one of buyosphere community. Very excited I have had the opportunity to participate and add some value to their evolution!

Cassandra Girad

Week 17:

Called Brianna Foulds 10/26/2011: Brianna and I have known each other across the social web for the last couple of years. I reached out as part of this Year of 52 Calls starting back in May of 2011. Because Brianna lives in LA and I at the time lived in Minneapolis made lining up the day to chat difficult.  We plugged thru it though throwing messages back and forth until we finally connect.  We had a wonderful conversation about relocation, reestablishing networks, and just plain getting to know each other! It was finally great to see hard work pay off!

Brianna Foulds

 

Week 18:

Called Kasey Skala 12/29/2011: Kasey and I met in Minneapolis a few years back. I had planned on making him a part of the #Yearof52Calls and finally made this happen. It just so happens Kasey and I  are now in the same business model of working for a corporation that sells and operates franchises.  I needed to get some advice, insight, and knowledge dropped on me about this business.  So Kasey and chatted about processes, people, and especially technology.  We will be doing this again!

Kasey Skala

 

Missy Berggren called 12/29/2011: A reverse #yearof52calls Missy Berggren called me after I posted a funny comment on one of her facebook posts.  She got a kick out the topic that a feller would touch with a 10 foot pool! We had a chance to catch up and touchbase since I had moved from Minneapolis in July.  See how the connected world leads to more connections through different channels!

Missy Berggren

 

Experiences:

  • Seems awkward at the beginning when I say who I am and they pause.  Typically I ask do you know who I am or no?  Keith Privette from Twitter, usually blings the light bulb.
  • The conversations do not seem to flow as easy as they do online.  Adding voice and natural conversation ques seem a little awkward on the phone. 3. Conversations enhance the on and offline relationship.
  • Making the time to make the phone calls. If you don’t setup the schedule and figure out who you are going to call….you don’t do it! Next time around I am setting up a 6month schedule.  Then 3 months in setting up the next 6 months!
  • Keep track of new people you establish a rapport with! These are great candidates to connect with early to strength the connection!

 


Whoa what a 2011

So I have never done a wrap up of a year post before, but I thought back on 2011 and actually wanted to write it down! So here goes, this is what happened to me in 2011 and hoping 2012 is just as exciting…it may be hard to top!

 

1. I worked at 3 different companies and worked for 4 different companies. Ok let me explain:

Started the year at Target Corp, then went back into consulting for Analysts International working on contact at Best Buy, then went to work for Liberty Tax Services in November. See 3 companies worked at and worked for 4.  All very exciting and challenging project work in a short amount of time!

 

2. I moved from Minnesota to Virginia!

After 16 years of living in Minnesota the Privette family decided to pick up our roots and head south!  My wife Tara got a huge career opportunity, so we decided as a family to take off on this adventure.  This has turned out to be one of the best decisions we have made in a long time!  Upon moving here within a month the Great Dismal Swap started on fire and burned for 3 months, an earthquake happened while I was having lunch with Joe Ruiz in Richmond, VA and finally we got to experience our first hurricane called Irene.  I hope Virginians did not attribute this to the Privette family arriving to Virginia! Luckily it has been quite quiet since August.

      

Joey Me Jace 1st Picture in VA July 2011

 

First Day of School VA

 

Hurricane Irene

 

Norfolk Tides Game

 

Norfolk Tides Game

 

3. Got an opportunity to publicly speak at  2 venues!

I have always wanted to publicly speak and I finally got my opportunity to do so at 2 venues this year.  The first one was at #Ungeeked Chicago.  I had been following this venue since the beginning and wanted to get on the docket at one close to Minnesota.  That turned out to be in Chicago (sort of a homecoming for me, which added to the excitement of going) and decided to submit a topic and by golly I got selected.  At first this was supposed to be a mini-session, but when another speaker bowed out at the last minute, I was given an opportunity to speak in a larger session! This was such an awesome experience. I was able to bring in a different perspective about how a business analyst or a good technology project manager offers the marketing, HR, marketing, and social technology organizations a resource they might not have considered in the past,  to successfully implement and manage their technology landscape.

The second venue was at the Social Media Optimization Conference in San Fransico, CA.  I was asked by Todd Tweedy (which I got to meet in 2011 and hang out with at this conference!) to be on a panel discussing Advanced Social Media Advertising Techniques.  This was a blast because I got to bring the perspective of the social consumer based on the techniques implemented. It offered up a ying and yang to the discussion!

@PegFitzpatrick & I at #UnGeeked Chicago

 

Amanda Hite @sexythinker #UnGeeked Chicago

 

SMOC 2011 San Francisco, CA

 

SMOC 2011 San Francisco, CA

4. The people I had an opportunity to meet #IRL (in real life)

Probably the most exciting part of 2011 was the people I finally had an opportunity to meet this year! Here is the list of folks I got to meet and have some great conversations with.  Thank you for making time to meet!!!!

Olivier Blandchard   Peggy Fitzpatrick    Sam Fiorella    Sean McGinnis   Cd Vann   Amanda Hite Liza Sperling  Katie Felten   Zack Miller   Joey Hill   Jan Ferguson   Jason Falls   Amber Naslund Troy Janisch   Dave Murr  Lauren Breuning  Shanna Gratton  Jeff Willinger   Ray Wang   Dawn Miller   Joe Sorge   Joe Ruiz   Brandie McCallum   Cam Gross   Robert Stephens   Corie Rose   Jay Senn   Jenny Renynolds   Nina James   Joshua Garity   Kristin Elizabeth Smith   Rohit Bhargava   Tim Moerke   John Blaska   Todd Tweedy   Digital Rebecca  Andrew Hodel   Jim Keenan   

ps: If I missed you on this list please drop me a comment & I will update. I can update it’s my blog after-all!

5. Participated in my 1st startup weekend here in VA!

One the first people I met when moving to Virginia Beach, VA was Zack Miller of We Are Titans.  While chatting over coffee he mentioned he was bringing the first ever StartUp weekend to Norfolk.  I had always wanted to participate in an event like this, so I signed up. Little did I know I was going to be working on a project team vying for a potential to receive $20,000 startup money to make the app become a reality!  Our team did not win, but the experience was an overwhelming success in my book.  So much so, I have volunteered to help plan, organize and make the next one even bigger!

StartNorfolk Nov 2011

 

StartNorfolk Nov 2011

 

StartNorfolk Nov 2011

 

StartNorfolk Nov 2011

 

6. For the past year got the opportunity to help out the Buyosphere.com team

Back in January 2011 Tara Hunt of Buyosphere asked if anyone in the community wanted to help out and dedicate some time to testing, using, and providing feedback to the beta version of Buyosphere.com (back then it was Shwowp.com). I jumped at the opportunity to be on the ground floor of what I think has huge potential in the buying experience space and #VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) space.  Over the past year I have used the product, tested releases and provided feedback this past year.  It has been a wonderful experience to truly help some really fantastic entreprenuers in the technology space.  Thank Tara Hunt, Jerome Paradis, and Cassandra Girard for the opportunity to get to know you and help out!

Buyosphere.com

 

7. Got an acknowledge in a Book…uh me? Really?

Yes really! I had no idea my good friend Olivier Blanchard gave me an acknowledgement in his book until I got the book.  Someone sorta tipped me off before my copy arrived (you know who you are…), so I was on the lookout. To be acknowledged by someone I respect and consider a virtual mentor was pretty darn cool in my book.  I opened it up and started reading and sure enough! If you would like more information on this book, just click the image. I HIGHLY recommend this book any person or company heading into, already in, or wanting to evolve their social business.

Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard Acknowledgement

 

So here is to hoping 2012 is as fun filled, adventurous and exciting!  I set the bar pretty high for myself in 2011, which I don’t mind trying to climb over in 2012! I wish everyone the best of luck in 2012. Have an idea pursue it, have a bucket list cross some stuff off, want to try something different try it, lose weight, quit smoking, meet new folks, start a hobby, etc, etc etc…the only person stopping you is YOU. Found this out first hand in 2011!


The First Social Salsa: How relationships make dreams come true

Todd's Salsa

 

The other day I received an email from [ilink url=”http://twitter.com/audiencemachine”]Todd Tweedy[/ilink] of [ilink url=”http://www.audiencemachine.com”]Audience Machine[/ilink] that really warmed my heart (no I was not eating his salsa at the time, more on that further on). Finally a story about how you leverage personal relationships and the social interwebs to make an idea come to life.

Todd has been experimenting with perfecting his salsa reciepes and felt he was onto something that people would love to eat.  He brought some to a local [ilink url=”http://www.freshtart.net/”]Minnesota food blogger[/ilink] [ilink url=”https://twitter.com/freshtartsteph”]Stephanie Mayer[/ilink] and she convinced him to go for it.  So Todd did and leveraged every relationship on and offline to get his dream off the ground.  I will let the email speak for itself about how [ilink url=”http://www.wedge.coop/”]Todd got his dream on his first shelf at the Wedge Co-Op in Minneapolis[/ilink]

You can check out all the latest developments of this story at [ilink url=”https://www.facebook.com/toddssalsa”]Todd’s Salsa over on Facebook[/ilink], because I have a feeling it will be a long one. And speaking of Facebook he was just at their headquarters with his Salsa!

Happy Thursday!  

I hope you’re doing well.  I have some news to share…  I’m a Salsa Maker!

I started making three types of fresh refrigerated salsa that are available exclusively at The Wedge Co-op – www.wedge.coop – in Minneapolis, MN.

My salsa line is called Todd’s Salsa.  I use nine types of chiles to make a Fresh Roasted Tomatillo Salsa using two 40 pound cases of fresh tomatillos to make 1 case of my roasted tomatillo salsa, a classic red salsa with Roma tomatoes from a dedicated field that just grows premium Romas, and a Hot Roast Chile Salsa that is about 80% chiles.

Facebook will be my site’s my presence online => http://www.facebook.com/toddssalsa  I hope you’ll give my page some LIKE love and post a message on my wall.

What makes my salsas The First Social Salsa.  The President Obama hasn’t tried them — yet!!  Besty – little help here!  But, I was on AIM with Len Bilello from USAToday talking about salsa of all things.   And, I shared the story of how I almost missed my launch because my printer came back with a print date that was two-weeks too late while I was playing golf on a Thursday afternoon!  So what did I do?

I posted on Facebook that I needed help on Friday morning and by early afternoon thanks to Tracy Naghshineh I was introduced to Fern Peterson with Imagine Print Solutions http://www.imagineps.com – who rescued me!  My print job of 18,000 labels was delivered Tuesday thanks to Facebook.

How did I learn about UPC codes?  Social media of course!  Keith Privette introduced me to Paula Giovannetti the UPC code goddess at Best Buy. Paula saved me from making a huge mistake.

Cathy Paper of Rock Paper Star http://www.rockpaperstar.com/ turn social media networking via an event she was hosting into an opportunity for me to meet foodies like Donn Kelly who provided great tips and insights.

Joe Paulini introduced me to Robert Farr a fellow salsa maker.

My insurance agent Mark Phillips at Dolliff Insurance http://www.dolliff.com made so many introductions.

I don’t know where to start but Stephanie Meyer – MN Food Blogger – http://www.facebook.com/groups/minnesotafoodbloggers/ was the catalyst.  Her reviews inspired me to go for it.  Check out this Fish Taco recipe – http://www.freshtart.net/Screw–Snow-Fish-Tacos-15173087

Hat tip to Andrea Vollmer of Feed the Dog http://www.feedthedogcreative.com/ for an amazing label design!

My salsa company was launched on Facebook!

Best,

Todd
P.S.  No I’m not quitting my day job!
Todd Tweedy
Managing Director
Audience Machine Inc.
http://www.audiencemachineSo if you have an idea, dream, passion leverage the relationships you have built! You never know where it will lead and who they can potentially introduce you too.  This is a great example how to effectively use on and offline relationships to get ideas from your head out into the wild!  You to can make things happen too. I know I will! Will you?

I think the dingo ate my Network…

This post was inspired by a person I have never met in real life, but have struck up conversations across the social web about relocationing and networking. [ilink url=”http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maryanne-shew/7/950/202″]Maryanne Shew[/ilink] and I have both moved to new cities at the same time.  Maryanne has moved to Salt Lake City and I have Virginia Beach, VA. We have been having conversations about our experiences over on facebook, so I decided to share some experiences and tips about how to establish a new network of people, organizations, and companies. Some of things that may work for me as a guy, may not work for woman and vice a versa.  More about this later in the post.

Here is the conversation that inspired me to make this post:

   

Keith Privette

How to start over in a new city where you barely know anyone.  Let me tell you it is not easy. I lived in Minneapolis for 15 years. That is a long time to be in one place, right? Well it is for me since graduating college. So we picked up everything and moved to Virginia Beach, VA in July 2011. The reason my wife got a huge career opportunity here and we decided to take the risk and dig up the roots and plant them here in Virginia. From what I am told this is rather unique. I do believe in the next five to ten years this will become common place, so you fellas support your woman when they have this chance.

Here are some tips at going about rebuilding a new network, while maintaining the one you have have already built. This is very important. Just because you are in a new city with new people does not mean you neglect the relationships you have built and cherished.

1. Use your connecting skills on twitter

Being that I have fully engaged on twitter since April, 2008 it has become second nature to find people on twitter for me.  I find twitter being the lowest barrier for connecting.  All you have to do is hit the follow button and bam you are partially connected already.  Now with the follow button has to come some organization of this noise or you will not effectively use it for reestablishing your network. Once the decision had been made that we were relocating I setup a Twitter List called Virginia Beach to start adding profiles to it as I found people that lived in this part of the country.

This list contains people, companies, and news outlets for the region.  By following people and adding them to the list right away I was able to setup a column on my Seemic web and a short cut on my EVO to follow the conversations happening in this list. That is only 50% of the equation of this networking activity.  Then you have to start having conversations with people to truly make the connections. If you find interesting things people or companies are saying ReTweet them. If you find something to respond to, respond to it.  Start promoting things in the area events, conferences, and jobs.

This helps to show commitment to helping out the area not just broadcasting.  Now the conversations may not happen right away, that is ok.  These new people have to get to know.  Have patiences the conversations will happen!

2. Use searches on Meetup.com

I have to admit I really forgot how much organizations and people use meetup.com!  I used to use this tool a lot a couple years ago, but like many tools if the communities you are involved are not using them, you tend to place them on the back burner.  Well when starting in a new city Meetup is a vital resource to finding out, engaging and getting involved in a new city or region.  There are a many many many organizations that use meetup to schedule events and organize communities.

The first thing I did was update my profile to begin my searching and getting new information email to me based on my new city. After updating my profile I bagan searching for organizations that fit my professional and personal interests.  This can be many different things to many different people, so right size it to your needs.  I have been looking for recruiting organizations, social media organizations, project management organizations, and non-profits to get involved with here in Virginia Beach or Norfolk.

I have already joined one meetup group and looking to join others real soon. The biggest step you will need to take is registering for events and showing up.  This will changer everything for you.  You can not play on the sidelines of this platform.  This tool is used to truly live the long-tail of the on and offline relationship.  Trust me you will be nervous, unsure about going and scared.  It is ok, everyone is, I know I am sometimes.

3. Find events on Eventbrite.com

Much like meetup.com Eventbrite.com is an events planning and community organization platform.   Once again update your profile so people know you live in the area.  Then start doing searches for events you want to attend.  Many of these events will be paid events, so break open the wallet.

There will be return on the small investments you make.  Now what I have seen you will find all kinds of events to attend on eventbrite! So invest time is searching one time events and reoccurring events. This platform will get you involved very quickly.  Additionally if you don’t find what you are looking for create your own event!

Yes you being new to a city can start your own events. I saw this a lot in Minneapolis and many of them have built quite a community of participation. So if you think your new city may be missing an organization or a monthly type of event CREATE IT!  This will for sure be a benefit to the community as well to yourself getting plugged in and engaged.

4. Find new folks by their bio’s on twitter using Followerwonk.com

This platform has proven to be my biggest asset in finding people in my new city! I was introduced to this tool by my very good friend Kary Delaria about a year and half ago! This platform let you find people based on their twitter bio’s.  Once again when I learned we were moving I started researching people’s twitter bio’s in the cities that I was going to be living in and by.

Now I am not suggesting start following everyone that shows up in your search. Start with a plan and some criteria you would like to find people.  First search find people with the same city as you. You may already be following people in that city based on previous interaction. The platform shows the following relationship.

Here is an example of how the tool shows the relationship: Followerwonk after searching Virginia Beach:

5. Use Tweet.Grader.com to find top Tweeters in your new area!

Hubspot has made a great free tool to find people and or companies in your new area.  You can read bio’s and view how the internet views people and companies in your new area.  To take the next step is follow these people and utilize suggestions #1. This will keep all these new people organized and actionable.  You will be able to reach out quicker if you add to list or you are just adding them to your following and hoping you see in your feed.  Here is an example of the search I used:

 

These tools along with your online profiles should help you get started rebuilding your professional and personal connections in your area. Then it is up to you to start meeting people offline. None of these tools can help with that.  The platforms can help you organize, find, and lower the barriers for communication, but they will be all for naught if you don’t take it offline and let people get to know you IRL (In Real Life). This brings me to the the interesting point Maryanne brought up.

I started making the above suggestions to make connections, then I mentioned to start asking people to meet for coffee or lunch. Which she promptly told me this is much different for woman than it is for men. Which I had to pause and think about this comment. My perspective was and has always remained “It is just coffee or lunch!”  For me making this suggestion did not matter to me whether you were a woman or a man.

With Maryanne’s explanation that a single woman in a new city the opposite gender may get the wrong idea, which makes the next step of IRL in a one on one situation not as quick. A few group events may be the direction before this step is taken in most cases for woman. Which has now enlightened me to understand when making the request out of the blue to woman.

Woman go through a different thought process about this request than I do. So thank you Maryanne for that suggestion. Don’t let this stop the connecting, I am suggesting just be aware of the situation, gender, and perspective when making the ask. Now go forth and rebuild that network!

If there are other platforms or people I should be connecting with please leave a comment below! Oh and Maryanne and I have also discussed doing a co-written post about what does our networks and experiences look like 4 or 6 months later. Also I have asked Maryanne to make a guest post on my site (can not wait for her to do this, giddy actually!!!)


12 Most Needed Tips to Stay Sane While Moving the Family Across the Country

I first posted this on 12Most.com, which is a great collection of information and contributors!  If interested in doing a 12Most post I highly recommend reaching out and getting involved!  On with the show!

As you can tell by the title of this post, I have a new place to call home.  Recently my wife Tara Privette received a very nice, scratch that an incredible opportunity for her career.  The only thing this career opportunity was not in Minnesota, it is in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  So we decided as a family to dig up the roots in Minnesota and plant them in Virginia.

Joey Baci Daisy Jace Keith - #mn2va

Now what I have come to find out is relocating for a wife’s job is quite unique.  For us it did not seem all that strange because we have always been a two parent working household sharing just about everything.  There are no “man” jobs or “woman” jobs in our house, there are just “jobs”.  So there here are the 12 things we learned to stay sane while moving the family across country.  Now to give some logisitics background on this, my wife started her job in Virginia in early July the kids, the dogs and I did not come down til three weeks later.

1. Communication

Yes, communication is number one on this list! There are so many details that need to be worked out that if you are not using all means of communication, you will not survive! You must rely on technology, verbal and nonverbal cues as well as listening. Yes, listening is a key factor in communication. There will be many, many, many lists to write down, so listen, well and write down or you will forget…trust me!

2. Rely on people you don’t know

There are many people you will need to rely on for this journey. Many of them you have never met or had a relationship with in the past. There will be relocation companies, Realtors, insurance companies, financial institutions, employers, friends, new acquaintances, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants. That is just a short list. You will in most cases have to trust them, but if your gut tells you “Hey you, ya you with the brain, I just threw a red flag up, want to do something about that?” TRUST what your gut is telling you!

3. Renegotiate everything

That is right! Everything is usually an opening offer and this situation calls for counteroffers. You will not be offending anyone, they expect it. The relocation path is a very fluid and changes daily, sometimes even hourly. What I found is most of the people with this path just want everyone fairly treated. After all, what more can anyone ask for?

4. Pack, unpack, repack, rinse and repeat

The most valuable lesson I learned was packing for the 1,300 miles trip from Minnesota to Virginia. Non-stop packing for the house, for the kids, for myself, and the car. Yes, I drove it all by myself….oh wait I did have 2 kids an 6 year old and an 8 year old, oh yeah and two 50lb dogs. I did a pretty good job of getting all the clothes necessary for the trip and another week before our whole house arrived before the movers showed up (trust me get this done before they show up, they are fast and it will get packed if not in Safe Zone). The one thing I did not do was pack a smaller bag with just clothes and essentials for the road trip. Lugging two HUGE suitcases in and out of the hotels was not fun. Lesson learned!

5. Dads know your role, it is not the one you were taught growing up!

Being that it was a unique situation according to everyone, we were relocating because of a career opportunity for my wife. I got to take on some unique roles for the last 3 months. I essentially became the main caregiver for the last 3 weeks. Which I gladly stepped up and took on and absolutely loved the time the five of us got to spend. I really gained a whole new appreciation for the many roles my wife plays in our children’s life as well as mine. WOW, we have a great mom and wife!

6. Throw your schedules out the car window while driving!

The quickest thing I found out was those pesky times society places on you about breakfast, lunch and dinner, yeah they don’t work in this situation. There is just so much going on you do a lot of relying on your stomach to tell you what meal it was. Breakfast exactly at 8am, lunch at Noon, and Dinner at 6pm really is hard to do. Be flexible and make an adventure out of it. Yes, the kids the first night of the trip ate dinner at 9:00pm. They loved it!

7. Packing your vehicle for access

As I mentioned before, we took a 1,300 mile road trip! Everything must be with in arms reach with easy access. That goes for the Driver as well as your passengers. Keep in mind little kids have car seats and short arms. Make sure snacks, water, DVD’s, coloring books, books, music, toys, and high fives are within an arms lengthen to keep everyone happy. Oh and for the driver make sure Google Maps, Coffee, Water, Snacks, and Energy Drinks can be found without taking eyes off the road. This can be accomplished by setting up your passenger seat with a little strategy! Sidenote: make sure to find all the chargers you will need and put in your bag as you find them!

8. The dreaded “I have to go to the bathroom” from the backseat

There were two things I learned along the way with four passengers with bladders the size of a pea. You have to always, I mean always have them go to the bathroom at every stop you make. Remember to ask! Remember to take them! Secondly, limit the number of times you say “Anyone have to go to the bathroom” you will be stopping everytime you ask. This question some how triggers the “yes I have to go pee” response. It is like the ring bell or something.

9. Invest and leverage YOUR technology

The consumer probably has at its disposal better technology hardware and software than the of the companies in which you will work on this journey. If you get a chance, introduce them to these technologies! Without a printer and Box.Net buying a house in another state would not have happened so quickly. The realtor and loan officer absolutely loved these two pieces of technologies for quick responses and properly processed documentation. Being that Mom was back and forth for a few weeks we used Facetime, Skype video and Google chat video. It all depended on which hardware was in front of us at the time. This really helps stay connected. Texting was a lifesaver, so gear up those thumbs. Most of all I really enjoyed using all the technologies on my phone!

10. Bring your online communities along for the journey

Let people know what your are doing. Share your experiences with your online communities. For the most part people like helping, seeing photos, and sharing the experience with you. In preparation for our move across the country, I established a hashtag #mn2va on twitter. This allowed people to easily see what tweets were in regards to this transition and travel.

I also prepared my facebook with an album called A Man his Two Kids Two Dogs and a Vacuum! #mn2va July 2011. This helped centralize all my photos and comments. Leverage Location Based technologies so people know everything is ok. This is also fun to see what badges and pins you can gather along the way. I also used a great new tool called Glympse! This helped Mom know where we were at all times. She also knew right away once getting to Virginia Beach I was going the wrong way to the corporate housing and quickly called!

11. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!

Everything is not going to work out according to YOUR plan. Things must be taken in stride and adjusted every step through this journey. Going back to number 1 on this list helps a lot. Always state the problem, then the desired outcome, then hear solution and then make a decision. There is no need to get angry, yell, scream, call names, or hang up phones (I did none of these things by the way). These tactics and emotions get you nowhere!

12. You are doing the right thing!

There will be bumps in the road, naysayers, confidence reducers and doubts. Just remember many many many folks do this all the time and it works out 9 times out of 10. Especially when it comes to driving across the country with 2 kids and 2 dogs by yourself. I heard “You are a brave brave man” and “Really, you sure you can handle that?” and “Whoa, what are you doing?” have the confidence that with proper planning, using your street smarts, technology, and enjoyment of succeeding, you two can keep your sanity while moving clear across the country.



Missing My Hero, Missing My Dad

My Dad’s life will not be chronicled in history books.  His name will not be mentioned in middle school classrooms around the nation as a great man in history.  There will be no statues in his honor, or streets named after him.  But my Dad was a great man.  His life was worthwhile, meaningful, and impactful, and his passing leaves a void in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

When I think of what makes a great man, some key things come to mind.  Honesty, integrity, compassion, empathy, the ability and desire to teach, and a commitment to making those around him happier, better people.  This is what my Dad was to me.  He challenged me to be a better person, and he helped us all in many ways to make the most of our lives.

Dad and Me Silversword Golf Club Maui

 Over the years, my dad touched those around him in many ways.  He always wanted to make everyone around him happy.  He wanted each moment to be a memorable one, no matter how mundane or routine.  He liked to make memories.  My Dad was always getting people together, whether it was a day of golf before a wedding, meeting for breakfast after a family reunion, he was always the last one there, making sure everyone else had what they needed, and were enjoying themselves.  My Dad was always surrounded by people having fun and enjoying life.  Growing up with my dad, this was one of the things that, to me, made him larger than life.

I hope that I am the type of father to my kids that my Dad was to me.  He was there for me, no matter what.  He once drove for four and a half hours to OshKosh Wisconsin and sat in a bone-chilling downpour to watch me play football.  I wasn’t a starter, and I didn’t play a lot, but if his kid was doing something, then he was going to be there no matter what.  My dad was always there, always telling us he was proud of us.  He was there for everything, graduations, cheerleading competitions, Saturday morning football games in another state, weddings, birthdays.  If it was important to you, then it was important to him.

My Dad was always there to dispense words of wisdom and useful advice, sometimes even when you didn’t ask for it!  He has touched not only my life, but many of yours as well.  He went by many names, Dad, Timmy, Unc, and Grandpa, and he was always there for whoever needed him.  Whether it was advice on parenting, marriage, finances, or work, he always wanted to share a helpful opinion.  I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but later when I looked back, he always seemed to be right somehow.  His advice was always sound and useful.  One of the many things I am going to miss is being able to pick up the phone and call my dad to ask “Hey dad, what do you think about this….”

The world has lost a great man, one that made a difference to all of us.  My Dad leaves a legacy of laughter and happiness, and he would want us to celebrate his life and remember what he shared with us.  I know there will be difficult times and sadness as we deal with his sudden loss, but the one thing I know about my Dad is that he would want us to celebrate the memories we have of him, and the good times we had together.

So Dad, I just want to say “thanks” and “I Love You” and save me a spot at the first tee on that golf course in heaven.

This was the Eulogy I wrote and delivered on April 16th, 2007….

Tim Privette

 


 


Join me at #ungeeked Chicago May 12th-14th & #RoastBrogan

You should attend unGeeked if you are responsible for developing or managing your company, organization or client’s social media, marketing, branding, advertising, on-line community, customer service, or recruiting campaigns.

  • Branding, Marketing and PR VPs, Directors and Managers
  • CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of mid to large companies
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations – Cause Marketing Professionals
  • Recruiters, HR and Legal Professionals
  • Community Managers, Social Media Managers
  • Customer Service, Sales and Advertising VPs, Directors and Managers

ungeeked_pointing

The format is “open discussion” The topics focus on enhancing, positioning and leveraging both the internal and external brand. Power Points are strongly discouraged and instead, on-going and intimate discussions among Discussion Leaders (speakers), regional leaders and attendees are encouraged.

chicago speakers

Who is speaking at unGeeked?
Spike Jones, Jason Falls, Barry Moltz, Heather Taylor, Anita Campbell, Olivier Blanchard, Hajj Flemings, Lou Hoffman, Chris Heuer, Amanda Hite and Jeff Willinger and more.

 

Full list of  Discussion Leaders (speakers)

Click to see list of Discussion Leaders

 

Scheduled Discussion Topics

Click to view Discussion Topics/Schedule

 

Registrations include one admission to

Celebrity Charity Roast honoring Chris Brogan

#RoastBrogan on twitter

 

brogan

 

Hostmaster: Jason Falls

When: May 11th, 2011Time: 5:30PM – 9PM –  Honors/Roast begins:6PM 

 

Roasting Panel: C.C.Chapman,  Dave Murray,  Jason Falls,  Liz Strauss and Troy Janisch

Join Chris Brogan and family, while his friends deliver comedic insults, banter, tongue-in-cheek criticism and outlandish stories along with heartwarming tributes to honor one of our most recognized social media thought leaders, while supporting the charity SitStayRead.

 

Roast and Auction to benefit Chicago Charity SitStayRead Literacy Program. Items for auction:

  • One lifetime membership to Exploring Social Media (valued at $300 per year) – from Social Media Explorer
  • Two certificates each entitling the bearer to a 6 bottle in-home wine tasting for up to 14 people with private wine adviser for 2 hours (valued at $350 each) – from Wines For Humanity
  • Two Chris Brogan T-Shirts from Mom Pop Pow

 

thebrandbuilder

Newest author, Olivier Blanchard is on the forefront of spearheading theSocial Media ROI initiative.
A copy of Social Media ROI is included with 3-day Registrations.

Click here to Register for unGeeked Chicago

 

SAVE When you RSVP before 4/30/2011

 

 

Sponsors

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Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber

So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!

 


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