Friday Fun: Stop Running in Dog Poo and Start Running for a Reason

ChevronHave you ever gone for a nice leisurely jog and thought to yourself, ‘I need to run with purpose…I need to run for a cause…I need to run for a REASON! Then, all of a sudden your chin has lifted.   A montage of you crossing the finish line next to Richard Simmons begins to scroll through your head accompanied by the sound of angel harmonicas and fairy flutes…you my friend, have become a hero. Of course this will all come to a screeching halt when you realize you have just run through a big pile of dog poo.

No need to fret…that dream can still be yours my little monkeys. If you missed the deadline to sign up for the Chevron Houston Marathon you have the opportunity to still register for the Heroes Fundraising Program…and possibly still cross the finish line with Richard Simmons.   In order to enter as a ‘Hero,” you must raise $350 which will be a direct donation to the Run for a Reason charity of your choice.

Not to be biased, but when deciding on which charity to adorn your superman cape and tights for, Schipul has a few suggestions…our awesome clients! Here are three that are doing amazing things in the community and would love for you to be their Hero this year:

  1. Houston Humane Society is a non-profit animal shelter dedicated to eliminating cruelty, abuse, and the overpopulation of animals. HHS is committed to creating the awareness of animal rights throughout the Houston community by providing numerous animal welfare programs for Houston area residents and their pets.
  2. Neuhaus Education Center is dedicated to providing professional development for educators in research-based methods of literacy instruction. In addition, the Center is a resource for parental consultation and for adults seeking literacy education.
  3. Pink Ribbons Project was founded by a group of dancers who were individually touched by breast cancer. Using the arts, Pink Ribbons Project saves lives and improves the quality of life for those touched by breast cancer.

You will not only have the honor of becoming a Hero for a great cause, but you will receive some pretty nice swag. You will be given a custom ‘Hero” back bib, tech fabric cap, an invitation to the exclusive post-race charity event and recognized as a Hero on the Chevron Houston Marathon web site. Famous.

So come on all you galloping stallions…stop running in dog poo…and start Running for a Reason.

For more information on the Heroes Fundraising Program, prices and deadlines visit the Chevron Houston Marathon website.

Thanks alangham for the great pic!

Culintro hits 1,500th member milestone

A big “wow” and “congratulations” go out to the folks at Culintro, one of our newer customers who use Tendenci to manage their Web site and membership. In just a few short months they have registered 1,500 members after starting from scratch earlier in the year. Clearly, that rapid growth suggests they are satisfying a need for executives in the restaurant industry. Check out the news release for more details.

The Culintro Web site was designed by Schipul and is powered by Tendenci.
The Culintro Web site was designed by Schipul and is powered by Tendenci.

Boss Blog of the Month: Neurofibromatosis Cafe

Boss [baws, bos]

Reggie Bibbs
Reggie Bibbs

1. exemplifies a unique quality; awesome; incredible
2.   An expression from the mid 1950s, which fell from favor by the early 1960 until now.
Hey dude, do you know Reggie Bibbs? I heard his blog is so boss.

As I stand sit here, amongst a sea of people, adorning my wizards’ cloak and wand, I feel the need to rise up…for today marks the start of something glorious! No, they have not finally captured the French Big Foot named Clouseau and put him on display in Canada. Come on dude. This friends, is the beginning of a new era…a place where bloggers can be exalted for a job well done. A place where I can sit here every month and say…This Blog is So Boss.

Like all historic revolutions, I must start out with a bang followed by a little pow. Hell, let’s throw in a 540 tornado kick, landing in a roundout back flip – blindfolded. It’s true, some blogs just have that affect on people, and ninja moves aside, I am honored to feature a local Houston blog, ‘Neurofibromatosis Cafe as the boss blog of the month.

So what you’re saying is there’s a new place in town for coffee and tweet-ups? Coffeegroundz what? Unfortunately no but there is a man named Reggie Bibbs.   Reggie was born with neurofibromatosis (NF) which is a genetic disease that causes him to develop tumors on his body. He began this blog, along with long-time friend Lou Congelio, president of STANANDLOU Advertising, to spread the word of NF.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Reggie and it became one of those moments where you think to yourself…so this is what life is all about. His passion and spirit were infectious as he spoke about what his blog has provided for people.

‘I believe my blog has helped others to realize that things aren’t as bad as they seem. If I am out and happy with my problems, then others should be to. It is an encouragement to people with NF and without NF.

So how did Reggie’s blog become what it is today? Reggie explained to me that it was after his brother, Ronald, lost his life to NF that he was not going to let anyone else go through what his family had to endure. Teaming up with Lou, they created the Just Ask T-shirts

‘I had the shirts made so people would ASK when they saw me. People wanted to know, but I felt like they didn’t know how to ask. After the shirts, Lou suggested a blog to write about my experiences.

And as they says the rest is history.

The Just Ask campaign went on to win 2 gold ADDY awards, one silver, and a Special Judges Award for Public Service Advertising. I would never claim to be an advertising genius, or a pro unicorn jouster for that matter, but I do know that the Just Ask ads were absolutely spectacular and the well earned recognition could not have happened to a better guy that’s you chief.

Reggie is also lucky enough to have Lou, along with two other of his close friends, William and Matt contribute to the blog. These guys have not only helped document Reggie’s experiences but they have played a huge part in bringing NF to the forefront.

‘These guys mean the world to me. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do. They are the friends that encourage me to get out there and do things. When Lou talked me into going to the Astros game, it was something I will never forget. It was a full house everyone was so nice to me and because I took that step, I felt like I could go other places.

No doubt about it, Reggie has definitely become the man about town. Through his blog posts, you can see what an impact Reggie is making in the community. He has spoken across the country for other NF Foundations where his most recent trip was to Grand Rapids next stop Canada. Here’s a fun fact: I am a ninja and can fit in medium-sized suitcases; specifically designed to fly to Canada I’m just sayin’.

When he is not traveling, you can see him at the Houston Roller Derby, meeting with political figures, chummin’ it up with Kevin Nealon, starting the dance revolution at Music Nites really, the list goes on and to be quite honest, I’m not yearning for carpal tunnel anytime soon so I will bid adieu. But before I ‘do I want to leave you with one final thought from a man who used something as simple as a blog to create a movement and therefore inspire others to simply be thankful.

‘People who have NF come to my blog to read my stories and learn that even if you have NF, you can still live a full life. They see that I have learned that most people will understand the ones that don’t, that’s ok. Think about the people that have accepted you. Reggie Bibbs

Other Ways to Connect with Boss-Blogger Reggie Bibbs:

Reggie Bibbs-Neurofibromatosis Flickr stream

Visit Reggie Bibbs on Facebook

*The photo was apart of the award-winning ads recognized at the 2009 ADDY Awards.

Thanks again Reggie! You truly are an inspiration.

Have you checked the back door lately? “Re-marketing” is knocking.

by: Courtney Pemberton

Any professional woman that can make a large crowd chuckle uncontrollably with the mention of a plumbers’ crack is pretty much my hero. Who is this delightful woman you ask? Suzanne Penley, CEO of Customer Focused Systems, a full service consulting, management and training firm. She recently spoke at the monthly AMA luncheon about the power of “re-marketing,” and I have to say it has been my most enjoyable to date.

We all know what marketing is but are you familiar with ‘re-marketing?” I suggest you familiarize yourself fast. The term ‘re-marketing” has received its own page on Wikipedia…and we all know that once you’ve made it to Wikipedia, you have hit the big times. Suzanne summed it up quite nicely when she said:

‘Do not worry about more customers…worry about more business.”

It’s so simple to do and yet we still have businesses lacing up their Superman Nike high-tops and racing to see who has the most clients at the end of the day. You spend tons of money marketing to possible clients that you forget about the ones that pay your salary…current clients. With that being said, I don’t think it would hurt to rent a mini-plane, fly it over Houston with a banner that reads, ‘Thank You Schipul Clients! If It Wasn’t For You, I Would Be A Hobo Under Highway 59 Right Now.”

Suzanne explained the fact that we are constantly trying to open new doors, but have you ever thought to check the back door? Personally, I think some of us are still spinning in the revolving door but that’s neither here nor there. ‘Checking the back door” can be as simple as calling a current client to see how they boded over at the ‘World Conker Championships.” That phone call had nothing to do with your product…but you have opened the back door to continued business. Do NOT underestimate the element of surprise…it’s a powerful tool and can often come down to whether you keep a client or not.

According to Suzanne, ‘re-marketing” exhibits 3 trends:

1.       Reliability: Take McDonald’s for example. You can go to a McDonald’s in Texas, Minnesota or even in Kiev, Ukraine and have the same exact meal. Granted, the happy meal toy and hamburger meat may vary depending on dining location, but the good news is…Ronald McDonald is still a ninja. The point I am trying to make here is McDonald’s has built their business around being reliable and it has worked. Suzanne put it in prospective when she said, ‘Don’t cut back on your main ingredients.” Continue to offer the same service that you offered in the beginning, don’t cut back…not even a little bit. What if I went to Starbucks everyday and ordered a caramel macchiato with whip cream on top, but one day they forgot the whip cream. That’s fine, it’s just one day. To my dismay, they continued to forget for an entire week…you better believe I am taking my business elsewhere…all I wanted was some whip cream people!

2.       Responsiveness: Clearly outline what customers can expect from you and stick to it. If you promised string cheese, a purple skip-it and a light saber, well by golly you better give them string cheese, a purple skip-it, a light saber AND a complimentary Dallas Cowboys key chain.

3.       Empathy: This was the most important trend and according to Suzanne, one of the leading sales and marketing techniques today. People enjoy doing business with people they like.   Stop telling people you are the best…show them that you are the best. Here’s an idea, be human! Nobody wants to discuss a business deal with a robot, and to be quite honest, I don’t trust anything that can’t perspire and enjoy a nice bubble bath.

Here’s the deal folks…existing clients are like your lovable grandma Camille…she’s old and repeats the same story about how she tooted trying to build a trampoline one Christmas, but if you listen to her and give her a call every now and then, she will always have fresh cookies waiting for you on the table.

Thank you for the awesome photo Jeremy Brooks!

Why Dale Carnegie Would Be an Awesome Blogger…

‘Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.” ‘Dale Carnegie

A few full moons and a gibbous ago, my boss Aaron Long handed me a book to read, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. My first thought was, ‘Does this silly elf think I have no friends? The nerve!”

On that note, name-calling does not get you friends. Instead, it will give you a cafeteria table all to yourself, unlimited movie nights alone, and ample time to catch up with your imaginary friends named Toffice and Skidmore. Livin’ the dream right? But I digress….

Come to find out, elves have terrific taste, and I haven’t put the book down since the waning gibbous moon.

So who is Dale Carnegie and why do I believe that if he was still alive and kickin’, he would be one of the greatest bloggers of our time? Dale Carnegie is your classic rags to riches tale. Grew up on a farm in Missouri, walked uphill to and from school, became a public speaking teacher, wrote a book blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, the man’s life is one to be marveled at. But more importantly, he lived his life with a genuine interest in other people. He realized the value in this notion and put it on paper to benefit humanity. I kid you not, after reading his book I answered all my phone calls with a huge smile, listened attentively during conversations and proceeded to rescue every stray dog that came in my path. No cats though. I have built up animosity towards them due to all the ‘deposits” they leave in my backyard on a daily basis. I didn’t say Carnegie’s book made me perfect ok?

What I am saying is if Carnegie was still around, I would invite him to come have a beer, watch a Dallas Cowboys football game, and discuss his latest blog on why ‘a man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” So without further a due, here are the top 5 reasons why Dale Carnegie would be an awesome blogger:

  1. Even in 1936, Carnegie’s network of friends was unparalleled. Imagine discussing Pearl Harbor while sipping tea with Franklin D. Roosevelt, running lines with Clark Gable, sailing the Pacific with Martin Johnson or debating the manufacture of steel with Charles Schwab. Granted the locations are questionable due to my vivid imagination, but Carnegie’s connection with these prominent figures were real. A successful blog has an immense following…Carnegie had this following without [gasp] the internet.   Carnegie discovered from personal experience that ‘one can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.”
  2. Carnegie wrote stories…excellent stories. He knew how to ‘bait the hook to suit the fish” if you will. Aren’t blogs essentially a compilation of news, recent happenings, daily occurrences, and stories? Alright then, I rest my case.
  3. Remembering people’s names was of utmost priority for Carnegie. This leads me to believe that he would have done quite well on a network such as Twitter; @dcarnGmoney perhaps? Responding to people by their name, replying on Twitter, and commenting on blog posts once again reinforces Carnegie’s idea that if you take interest in someone they will take interest in you. Why not give a little smile and a wink while you’re at it, even if it’s only an emoticon. We all know Carnegie would have ;-).
  4. Dale Carnegie ‘hustled.” To put it simply, he worked his derrière off. Carnegie started with a set of rules on a note-card; evolving fifteen years later into a best-selling book and continues to influence people decades later. Over 15 million copies of his book have been sold and if there was a way to configure that into number of followers on a blog I would. I’m no scientist but I’m sure the data would be staggering. Modernly speaking, ‘…you too can have 70,000+ readers and write your own ticket to internet fame’ but it won’t happen by playing World of Warcraft every night.” Chris Guillebeau, ‘How to Be Awesome”
  5. In the words of someone who truly understood the art of human relations, Carnegie said’…the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things that he or she treasures most.” I don’t think I need to thump you on the head to understand this one. Carnegie would have been an awesome blogger.

*I also feel he had excellent music taste but I will leave that for another day.

Thanks Mexicanwave for the cool flickr pic!

Outliers: Outrageously Talented or Just Plain Lucky?

Malcolm Gladwell is a master storyteller; he leads readers down winding yellow brick roads and provides them with insight into the mystifying and foresight into their future. He explains those “simple truths” about life and society usually kept secret by Sociologists in a way that your average Joe can understand and embrace them. It is little wonder Time Magazine named Malcolm Gladwell one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2005.

He helped us examine the tiny things or the “levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable” in The Tipping Point and he explored the power of the trained mind to make split second decisions in Blink. In Outliers, Gladwell irrevocably proves that there iS no magic apple you bite into to obtain success. Success is a beautiful balance of nature, nurture and a little bit of luck…. Combine those three things with the 10,000 hours Gladwell insists you need to obtain “expert status” and it looks like an insurmountable hill to climb.

Through various case studies and real stories (which this gal loves!) he highlights the “hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunists and cultural legacies” underlie that magical thing we call success. Is Gladwell content with these circumstances to remain the status quo? No, he is not.

Gladwell insists that “to build a better world, we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success-the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents in history-that provides oppotunities to all.”

Outliers is DEFINITELY on our Schipul Suggested reading list!

Have you read Outliers but haven’ quite gotten your Gladwell fill? Join us Wendesday for “An Audience with Malcolm Gladwell” brought to you by the Greater Houston Partnership. We’ll be at the Hilton America’s Houston at 11:30 am! We hope you can make it out!!

Check out my personal blog for more MagsMac ramblings on Outliers. I am fascinated!