Friday Fab Four

the fab four halloweenHappy Halloween! I hope you have had a great week, I certainly have.  Here are four great articles handpicked just for you.

1. How to Give Feedback to the People Who Take it the Worst–Sara McCord (helpful information)

2. This is Why People Leave Your Company–Josh Cincinnati (Powerful stuff)

3. 8 Halloween Costume Ideas for Lazy People–Michelle Persad (pretty good ideas)

4. What if Age is Nothing but a Mind-Set?–Bruce Grierson (Fascinating and the pics are great)

 

My Big News

IMG_5023I’ve got news…really big news.  At least it is big news to me and my friends and family.  But first, let me tell you a story.

I come from a long line of entrepreneurs…isn’t that word so fancy? Let me start over, I come from a long line of folks who worked their butts off everyday to make the family business work.

My great-great grandfather, Wylie Twiggs, opened a grocery story in my hometown of Gentry, AR.  He named it Twiggly Wiggly grocery store.  Is that not the best name ever? Well, there was one little problem.  The Piggly-Wiggly grocery chain was not amused and sent my great-great grandfather a letter saying, stop using Twiggly Wiggly, it is too close to Piggly Wiggly.  So, reluctantly he did and renamed his store Twiggs Grocery.

He then passed the store on to my great-grandfather, Faye Twiggs, who ran the grocery store for most of his adult life after a career building highways.  The store then became Twiggs IGA and was in downtown Gentry on Main Street.  His son, my granddad, Jim Twiggs, Sr,  worked in the store as a teen but left for the Navy after high school, then became a writer and lived in New York.

My dad, Jim Twiggs, Jr,  took over the family business when I was about 5 years old and ran Twiggs IGA for 20 years in Gentry. He grew the store and moved to a larger location (twice).  Growing up in the grocery store business is a pretty great way to grow up.  I got to roam the aisles on roller skates, play on the intercom system, participate in rotten biscuit wars and eat all the candy I wanted.   I learned so much from my dad about hard work, customer service and promotion following him around the store for all those years.  I think that’s probably when I caught the entrepreneur bug, I just didn’t know it yet.

All of the men in my family had their ups and downs in owning their own business.  However, one of the best things I can remember about my parents working for themselves was that they were always there for me.  They were at every one of my high school basketball games and they were at about 85% of my college basketball games (keep in mind those games were in the SEC…lots of driving).  Owning their own business gave them the freedom to be there for me.

Why tell you all of this ancient history?  Maybe you guessed it, my big news…I am starting my own business.   The Twiggs Group (pardon the landing page…masterpieces take time!) is a consulting firm specializing in marketing, strategy and social media.  At this time, it’s just little ole me, but someday I will grow it to a team of great people working hard for our clients.  The Twiggs Group will work with creative, fun and collaborative clients who want to strategically market and promote their business.  Our tag line: We tell the world about you.

I can’t tell you how excited  I am to embark on this adventure.  Most importantly, it will allow me the freedom to be there for my son and attend all of his basketball games now and in the future (for more on Spencer, check out my blog SportsMomma).

None of this would be possible without the incredible support from my husband.  He has not one time faltered from his unwavering spirit to help me.  I am truly blessed. The support from my son and my family and friends overwhelms me.

Now the hard work begins.  I look forward to the challenge and I can’t wait to work with my current clients and future clients on helping them grow their business.  You can reach me at allyson@thetwiggsgroup.com or on Twitter @thetwiggsgroup.  Would love your help on follows and referrals.  If you know a business that needs social media management or marketing help, please let me know.

BCard_Back

So honored to be mentioned in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal:

Sudden Departure

by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Editors

Did you know Rogers’ top tourism official has resigned?

Allyson Twiggs Dyer, executive director of Visit Rogers since October 2010, is leaving to launch her own marketing company, The Twiggs Group.

Dyer said she will stay on through at least mid-November to help with the transition of finding the next person to handle oversight and day-to-day duties of the organization.

Before coming to Rogers, Dyer — a Gentry native and basketball player at the University of Arkansas from 1990 to 1995 — was director of the Fayetteville Convention & Visitors Bureau for eight years.

Dyer said she will start her business from her residence in Fayetteville, with the ambition of opening an office near the downtown square in the future.

The change in occupation, she said, will afford her the flexibility to spend more time with her family, particularly with her son, a junior at Fayetteville High School and an aspiring college basketball player.

Visit Rogers, which receives funding from a 2-percent tax on hotel and motel rooms in the city, has an operating budget of $800,000. Its staff includes two full-time employees and one part-timer.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fab Four

image001Happy Friday! Can you believe there’s only one more Friday in October? #timeflies

Here are four articles for you to read this week.

1. 7 Simple Social Media Moves that Work-Allison Fass (Really good advice, #4 is my favorite)

2. Don’t Leave a Hole Where Your Finest Work Should Go–Alexandra Franzen (sigh…love this blog post)

3. You Can Have an Easy Life or an Awesome One. Choose Wisely–James Victore (I chose awesome)

4. Passion at Work is More Important than Engagement–Jacob Shriar (Wholeheartedly agree! Find your passion)

Social Resume

When was the last time you applied for a new job? (It’s ok, I won’t rat you out.) I bet you got your resume all spiffy’d up and wrote a wonderful cover letter.  Both great things to do when applying for a job…but how’s your social resume? Are you on LinkedIn? Is your profile up to date and completely filled out? Do you have a professional headshot from this decade? Is your twitter bio something professional or is it something silly and ridiculous? I have news for you…potential employers going to see it. All of it.

Today when you apply for a job, I would bet 8 out of 10 times the employer googles your name and checks your social resume. I do this when I hire people.  Mostly, I want to see if the person has a social footprint and get an idea of their personality through their tweets or articles they share on LinkedIn.

I’m not saying that you have to be on all social media platforms to get a job…well unless it’s a marketing job.  What I am saying is that if you are on social media and you do want a new job…make sure your social resume is as tended to as your actual resume.

LinkedIn is essentially your online resume, so make sure you have filled in as much of it as you can.  Ask colleagues to write recommendations for you so that employers can read a reference on you before calling your references. Be sure and add your civic duties like boards you serve on and also awards you’ve won.  All of this makes you look even more appealing to an employer.

If you are active on Facebook or Twitter, make sure that your bio isn’t unprofessional and that your user name makes sense.  I see people with handles like “@sexykitten2002” or “@alwaysonvacation” and maybe those aren’t the best handles for landing that big accounting job.

Finally, (and this my friends is my biggest pet peeve) always have a headshot in your social media profiles.  There’s nothing worse than seeing the egg on Twitter or a blank spot on LinkedIn where there should be a beautiful photograph of YOU.

Some would argue with me that they should be able to do whatever they want on social media and I would absolutely agree…unless you want to get a job in the 21st Century.  Everything we do on social media is OUT THERE…FOREVER.  So, we don’t have the luxury anymore of saying what we want on social media unless of course we are independently wealthy.

Here are a few resources to help:

Why You Need a Social Resume and How to Build One

How to Write a Damn Good LinkedIn Profile 

7 Tips for Using Social Media to Get a Job

 

Friday Fab Four

image001Guess what? It’s Friday and I know you have been patiently waiting for these four articles to rock your world! Well…here you go.

1. 10 Ways to Stop Feeling Overworked and Overwhelmed--Jeff Haden (Is it really necessary? so good)

2. Experts Offer Ways to Refresh Olive Garden–Bruce Horovitz (Interesting…don’t mess with the breadsticks!)

3. What Does it Take to Be Your Own Boss in 2015–Project Eve (I got a 3!)

4. What I Learned Hiring Millennials–Chris Pesek (It’s not just millennials who want these things!)

Wish Lists

If you know me or have read even a few of my blog posts you know that I am a huge believer in showing gratitude.  I have many gratitude journals, lists and gratitude practices.  Almost everyday on the drive to work or home I do a 10 finger gratitude list.  Yep, it’s very scientific, you count on your ten fingers ten things you are grateful for that day.

Much of my gratitude is about what I am grateful for in my life.  The other day I was writing about how grateful I am for my circle of girlfriends and how much they mean to me.  I started thinking about what I would ‘wish’ for them…what does each of my girlfriends need in their lives and could I send this to them through gratitude.  So…I started a list in Evernote called “Wishes for my Girlfriends” and I write down each of their names and put a wish into the universe for them.  It was very refreshing to think about gratitude for someone else and make a wish for their happiness.

Here are examples:

My wish for (insert name) is for her to follow her dreams.  No matter how big or small, I want her to take the road less traveled, step off the edge and focus on her true north.  I want (insert name) to be immensely happy.

My wish for (insert name) is vision.  I want her to always know something great is out there for her and that she’s making a difference everyday even when she doesn’t think so.

I cannot tell you how good this felt.  I always feel great after doing a gratitude exercise, but there was something about making wishes for someone other than myself that felt even more gratifying.  I encourage you to give this a try, it can be really uplifting for you.  I have only shared my wishes with a couple of my girlfriends, for the most part, I want it to be my secret.  Just someone out there wishing great things for their life without them knowing it.

Friday Fab Four

image001The days are getting shorter…I love fall.  Here are four articles I chose just for you this week so find your favorite sweater and take a look.

1. The Bacon Boom was not an Accident–David Sax (this was so interesting and made me hungry for bacon. Shocker!)

2.24 Surprising Things about Parenting in the United States-Joanna Goddard (some of these cracked me up)

3. 10 Reasons Why Superstar Employees Make Lousy Managers–Dan McCarthy (I’ve witnessed this a few times)

4. 3 Time-Wasting Social Media Habits You Need to Stop Immediately–Laura Roeder (Guilty!)

What I am Reading-October

BuPuJF0CUAAaqdaThis book really caught my attention from the subtitle: “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” That’s what I aim to do everyday…pursue less.  Less stress, less worry, less anger and less negativity.  This book is just what I needed.  It talks a lot about being stretched too thin, not being productive because of burnout and why it’s important to focus on the essentials.   As a wife, mom, daughter, friend, co-worker and manager, I feel stretched too thin on most days.  This book is about defining what is absolutely essential and what is not.  When you decide what is not…you eliminate it from your life.  Easy right?

Here’s what Amazon says about Essentialism:

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

 

I am about halfway through the book and it’s a good read.  Short chapters, interesting use of graphics and fonts that keep the text moving along.  I would definitely recommend it if you are thinking about achieving more by doing less.

My Life Runs on Evernote

evernoteAre you ever boggled by the amount of paper humans can produce? I am boggled every. single. day. I get paper from work, paper from my son’s school, paper from my 401k plan, paper from utility companies and bank statements.  Paper is out of control.  Since I have all this paper in my life, I need some way to manage it and store it.  While I am old enough to remember filing cabinets (just barely), I do not use them.  That’s when Evernote rushes in to save the day! I simply give it all to Evernote and it graciously keeps it all for me nice and neat.  Then, I recycle the paper and feel a whole lot better about the world…until the mail runs again.

I get many important papers from my son’s school and I want to have them close at hand when I need them.  Unfortunately, having them in the basket above my refrigerator doesn’t make sense when I’m not at home.  So, I scan them into my Evernote account and they are with me at all times.  His shot record, test scores, teacher syllabi…everything.  I have a notebook in Evernote called ‘Spencer’ and all that stuff goes in there.  Then…when I need to look up a teacher’s information, I just use the handy dandy search tool.  It’s pretty amazing.

It’s also a great web clipper tool.  I’ve mentioned before that I read many articles a day and when I find one that I want to hold on to for the long term, I just clip it into my Evernote account and it’s there for me whenever I need it.

I also use Evernote for work…when I am working on a document and need input or help from my team, I can share the document with those team members and we can work on the document together.  I keep my to-do lists in Evernote, my gratitude journal and even my Christmas card address list.  When I tell you my life runs on Evernote, I absolutely mean it.

To recap, here’s what Evernote can do for you:
  • Scan in any document, receipt, business card or slip of paper that you want to save.
  • Search tools to help you find any of the above that you scanned in to Evernote.
  • Web clipping tools to save articles or photos that you find on the internet. 
  • Ability to share documents with one person or a team of people.
  • Great for to-do lists, journaling, book or blog writing…so many things. 

Don’t use Evernote now but would like to? My friend Beth Stephens is the guru of Evernote and she recently wrote these great blog posts about becoming an Evernote Ninja.

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 1: An Evernote Primer

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 2: Adopting the Ways of the Cult

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 3: Enabling Super Ninja Powers

Friday Fab Four

image001Happy first Friday of October…one of my favorite months. Here are four pretty cool articles for you to read.

1. You Deserve a Pre-Cation–Will Oremus (Wow, this is an amazing perk)

2. The 10 Tech Terms You’re Mixing Up–Adda Birnir (This was great and I learned a thing or two)

3. 10 Words You Must Never use to Describe Yourself–Greg Savage (I’m off to erase ‘rock star’ from all my bios. lol)

4. 7 Sure-Fire Ways to Reduce Stress and Restore Your Sanity–Michael Hyatt (gratitude!)