SmartBrief News

75-Free-Retro-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Man-Sitting-On-Chair-While-Reading-Daily-NewspaperNews — Can we ever get enough? Not long ago I was signing up for a trade show online, which then asked me to sign up for different SmartBriefs (

My “first” reaction was – WAIT – I just wanted my trade show badge information. Why am I being asked about SmartBriefs?

Soon, I was at a screen asking me to choose “which” SmartBriefs I would like to receive. I still didn’t know what a SmartBrief was and I was already choosing! This was annoying. What happened to my badge signup?

Before I knew it, I had signed up for four SmartBriefs (Leadership, Manufacturing, Small Business and Entrepreneurship).

Finally, my badge registration was confirmed. I was mentally exhausted!

So, what is a SmartBrief?

“SmartBrief is the leading online publisher of targeted business news by industry. Newsletters sent to your email daily or weekly.”

Was it worth signing up? YES, I have found the newsletters to be very interesting; however, on stressful days it does feel like a bombardment in my inbox.

On those days, I have been tempted to press “unsubscribe,” but I always STOP myself.

Good thing, because today I opened a SmartBrief and read the most amusing story about “Segway Polo” having their first International Championship game in England. That was an enjoyable article!

segwayI knew that Segways had been used for tourist sightseeing, but polo?  BRILLIANT idea!

Segway Polo reminds me of Ultimate Frisbee. It’s those sports that we KNOW are fun, but our first reaction is to not take them seriously, because we think it is recreational – not a “real” sport.

So, by taking a moment to read a SmartBrief, a stressful day turned into an amusing one!

Segway Polo, think about it, this could be fun and definitely easy on the joints. We’d compete Internationally, I’m IN… and you?

Dress Code

Someone on LinkedIn was mentioning that their company was what-to-wear1enforcing the “dress code” to “professional attire.” Co-workers were discussing this in the lunch room and complaining on how expensive it was going to be to “dress professionally.”

WHAT? I smiled at this. When did casual Friday take over the entire work week anyhow? And is “dressing professionally,” really so expensive?

Come on – 2 black pants and 4 work shirts bought on sale, rotate them during the week, same pearl necklace/earrings and 2-3 pairs of shoes. For a woman, a little boring, but it works.

OR, better solution, do what I did in manufacturing – dress in ALL Scarvesblack or all blue every day and change your scarf. Boy was that easy! Do you know I was receiving compliments on my scarves every day, no one even noticed I wore the same outfit – they “loved” the scarves. OK, the scarves were very bright and colorful, but you get the point. Dressing professionally can be as expensive or cheap as you make it. And you sure get dressed quickly in the morning when you have a “personal uniform.”

Interviewing has been a bit challenging too. It used to be we wore a blue suit, white shirt, and pearl necklace. Keep it simple. Now for many jobs if we go in a suit, we are over dressed. For example, a suit now would be used for a marketing/sales job interview, but if I go for an interview for a manufacturing job then going in a suit is inappropriate when they wear jeans. We would all feel awkward. Trust me, I made that mistake.

So… have we gotten too casual? Is it really that expensive to “dress professionally?”

And finally, do people work better when they “dress professionally” versus “casually?” I wonder!

Great Advertising

I had to devote this Blog to advertising when I saw this adorable Italian ad from Dolce & Gabbana featuring Italian grandmothers with tiaras and beautiful designer purses. What a great idea! The ad warms our hearts.

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Don’t they say a “picture is worth a thousand words?” This next ad caught my attention, because it was clever.

Madeline Weinrib

Madeline Weinrib

Madeline Weinrib’s marketing team used an interesting old Indian photo to transport our minds to India and then in a conversational font asked us if we knew they carried Antique Indian dhurries. The ad was very engaging! I’m curious about the photo.

I sold adverting for over seven years. It became a habit to prospect for potential advertisers in other magazines, newspapers, billboards, listening to the radio, and more. You name it, and I was there, looking for my next good lead.

It got to the point in my life that I couldn’t enjoy looking leisurely through a newspaper or magazine. Why? Well, instead of enjoying reading the articles, I was looking at all the advertisements. After ripping out pages for different leads my brain was too tired to go back to the beginning to actually “read” an article. The funny thing was, I had bought the magazine to “read” NOT “prospect,” but work prevailed.

Now, a few years later I can enjoy reading… but my mind is still “alert” to looking for the next great ad something I haven’t seen before. Isn’t that why we look forward to the Super Bowl ads?

I’ll leave you with this last great ad by “Hellman – Chang.” I love this ad. The men are in beautiful suits, focused on making furniture and RIGHT in the middle of the ad it says, “IMPORTED FROM BROOKLYN!” THAT caught my attention and I smiled.

Way to go guys. America is on the verge of a manufacturing “come back!”

Hellman - Chang

Hellman – Chang

So, what’s YOUR favorite ad?

Dragon Boat Racing / Italian Meetup

Ottawa Dragon Boat Feast

Ottawa Dragon Boat Feast

About a year ago I received an unsolicited email in my inbox. The title mentioned something about “Dragon Boat Racing.” Of course, I immediately thought this was “junk mail.” I didn’t know about Dragon Boat Racing and I had never signed up for a Meetup.

I was curious though, because I like being out on the water. I had heard that Meetups were a great way to do different activities and meet new people. So, I nervously pressed the “open” email button hoping I wouldn’t be infected with a virus.

Dubuque, IA Chamber of Commerce photo

Dubuque, IA Chamber of Commerce photo

I was pleasantly surprised. No virus! It turned out they had a Meetup scheduled for that Saturday, free to attend as they supplied canoe, life vest, paddle and free coaching – I just had to show up. I decided to give it a try.

It was a lot of fun!

So, I went again today and I wasn’t disappointed. The first group out to practice were the veterans. Wow – they are FAST. May/June time frame they have some competitions coming up, so they were focused on timing and their strokes. A canoe is 44 ft long with 20 paddlers. Wonderful to be out on the water, it’s a great team sport (see photo of a team in action).

View of Florence, Italy

View of Florence, Italy

This encouraged me to try another Meetup. This time I went to a weekly Italian conversational one. They meet every week on Sunday at an Italian café. This group spoke different levels of Italian, some basic/intermediate like me and others fluent, because they had lived there. Enjoyed being transported to Italy for an hour.

Well… I’m smiling, because I think that junk email is like dating. Sometimes the email you want to toss out is really the one you should keep!

Happy Easter!