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I really liked this article and couldn’t help thinking of Central Belt PUGs and the gaming project in general after reading it. I’ve reposted here as not everyone has access to LinkedIn:

#1 Be able to describe what you do/what you are in one clear sentence. Donald Trump is correct, that elevator speech is really important. Ask a friend or colleague to give you an honest evaluation of your description. Does it give the listener a basic understanding of what you do? If not, make it a priority to work on it. Before someone can decide if they may need your product or service they must first understand what you’re saying.

#2 Be UNIQUE in ALL that you do. Don’t just give it lip service. If you’ve decided to adopt a unique approach to make your business memorable (tagline, business signature, giveaway, mascot, illustration, photo, color scheme, etc) be sure to use it consistently in your marketing efforts. It should become part of your brand.

#3 Use your mission statement as a filter for all that you do. Once you’ve clearly decided what your marketing goals, strategies, targets and tactics ARE, it should be easy to identify those things that DON’T fit. For example, if you have identified the best marketing vehicles to reach your customer then it’s very easy to say “no” to those salespeople offering you marketing opportunities that don’t fit your plan.

#4 Don’t jump-process….Discover your target market and your points of difference before you start marketing. Your printed collateral materials, Web site, and advertising will be much more effective and less expensive to produce if you have your marketing strategy established first. Then you’re simply following your plan in all that you do. Avoid the “shotgun” approach or “reactive” marketing.

#5 Give back to the community…strategically. There are so many great causes and organizations out there and you can’t do everything. So, pick the ones that will best position you with your target market.

#6 Network efficiently and effectively. If you don’t feel that you are a competent networker, now is the time to learn how to be or hire someone that is. Enough said.

#7 Remember that inconsistent advertising is wasted money. A prospective customer must be exposed to the same message in the same way numerous times before they are ready to entertain a buying decision. Pick an advertising vehicle where you can afford to have an ongoing and consistent presence.

#8 If you do trade shows, have a plan and work the plan. Companies participate in trade shows for a variety of reasons. Unless you have a success plan, you won’t know if it worked.

#9 Look for ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Speaking engagements, publication articles and volunteer leadership roles can all help label you as an expert in your field.

#10 Keep all marketing communications clear, brief and focused…Did I mention brief? Enough said.

The original article can be found here: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Top-10-Marketing-Strategies-Small-66325.S.207270064

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Amazing article that completely blew my mind:

http://lifehacker.com/5788772/when-not-to-google-searches-youre-better-off-making-elsewhere

I can’t wait to use Blekko and Wolfram Alpha in context now.

“But destroy bigoted strangers, why not?”

http://gizmodo.com/5979056/should-you-ruin-lives-with-facebook-search?tag=facebook

Realised Strengths are those attributes that you find energising, perform well, and use frequently. You should aim to marshal your realised strengths for optimal performance.

Unrealised Strengths are those attributes that you find energising and perform well, but perhaps don’t have the opportunity to use so often, maybe because of the context and environment you are in. You should aim to maximise your unrealised strengths in order to develop yourself to the full.

Learned Behaviours are those attributes that you have learned to do well, but that do not energise you. Learned behaviour patterns often become engrained over time, and it’s easy to confuse them with strengths because you are good at doing them – but they’re not energising for you, so they can’t be strengths. Learn how to moderate your learned behaviours.

Weaknesses are those attributes that you find it hard to do well and also find draining when you use them. From a performance perspective, your weaknesses may be causing you problems or concerns, so you should focus on how you can best minimise them to make your weaknesses irrelevant.

My Results

Realised Strengths

1. Scribe

You love to write, finding a deep fulfilment in playing with words and the joys of written language. You have a natural ability to communicate through writing. The act of writing helps you to clarify your thoughts and you write clearly and easily. You take a positive pleasure in words and love to write things for others to read.

2. Legacy

You care deeply about future generations and seek to leave a legacy through what you do. You enjoy working on things that make a difference and will have a positive impact on others. In whatever you do, you want to ensure that you create something that will outlast you and continue to make a positive contribution after you have gone.

3. Creativity

Creativity is at your core. You love to be coming up with or combining new ideas, images, colours, tastes or concepts. You thrive on breaking new ground, trying things that have not been tried before, linking things in novel and imaginative ways and creating something from nothing.

4. Narrator

You have a tremendous love of story. Telling stories comes very naturally to you. Even as ordinary events happen, you can picture how they might be spun into an anecdote or story for you to tell others. You love to answer questions in the form of a story, and see the power of stories to convey morals, insights, values, humour, and many other lessons. For you, life is one big story waiting to be told.

5. Planful

You have a natural ability to plan and prepare, taking a deliberate and systematic approach to everything you do.Before starting tasks you think carefully, get organised, establish time frames, assess and allocate resources.You love to make sure that you have covered all eventualities – including planning for the unexpected. For you, it’s essential to have a plan.

6. Mission

You derive great fulfilment from pursuing activities which give your life meaning and purpose. The focus of your purpose could be one – or more than one – of many different things, but whatever it is you are committed to pursuing it, totally and completely. How you spend your time, the decisions you make, the plans you have for the future – all are aligned to your overriding sense of mission and purpose in life.

7. Connector

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you always love making connections between the people that you meet. You notice when people have shared interests or something in common and you instinctively make links between them, thinking about the ways you can effectively bring people together for their mutual benefit.

Unrealised Strengths

Unrealised strengths are the things that energise you, that you are good at, and that you may not get to do very often. Your unrealised strengths are presented in order of significance below.

1. Esteem Builder

Your words and actions help to build self-confidence and self-esteem in others. You clearly see the potential and possibility in people and help them to recognise it for themselves. Through your relationships, you give people an understanding of what they are good at, even when they do not recognise it themselves. You love to help them to use this knowledge to build their confidence and self-esteem, and in turn to work towards achieving what they are capable of achieving.

2. Moral Compass

You are a very moral person with an extremely strong ethical code. You are very aware of the difference between right and wrong and always act in accordance with what you believe is right. You are clear on your values and your moral reasoning for what you do and why you do it. Your decisions and your actions are always guided by your ethics and values, and you never step outside of these.

3. Pride

You take pride in everything that you do. You love to deliver work that is consistently of the highest standard and quality, getting it right first time. You set high standards for yourself, and enjoy the recognition of others for the quality of your work and what you do.

4. Counterpoint

You love to bring an alternative perspective to any situation. You seem to see things differently from others, and can present a range of options, possibilities and alternatives for any scenario. As a result, you will often bring things into the discussion that other people have missed.

Learned Behaviours

Learned behaviours are the things that you are good at, but that drain you when you are doing them. Your learned behaviours are presented in order of significance below.

1. Detail

You have learned how to focus on detail, developing strategies that help you spot inaccuracies, inconsistencies and mistakes. When you see an error, you are quick to correct it. You have learned that it is important to check that details are accurate and complete, and you try to avoid submitting work that contains mistakes.

2. Work Ethic

You have learned to work hard, putting a lot of effort and energy into your work. Experience has shown you that working hard is important, and as a result, you don’t mind doing so.

3. Persuasion

You have learned how to convince others effectively and bring them around to your point of view. You are able to make a good case for what you want, and have an ability to choose the language and approach that helps you to win agreement from others.

4. Resolver

You are good at solving problems. When faced with a really complex problem, you know how to approach it and get to the root of the issue, whatever that might be. You have learned how to find solutions by being extremely thorough and pursuing all avenues until you have the solution you were looking for.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses are the things that you find it hard to do and that drain you. Your weaknesses are presented in order of significance below.

1. Enabler

You may find it difficult to help people learn to do things for themselves. You may find yourself unsure about how best to provide support and encouragement. You don’t tend to give people tasks and challenges that will stretch them, preferring to play it safe or not get involved.

2. Gratitude

You may not always be aware of the good things in your life. You may feel that you sometimes take things for granted, relative to some other people, who seem to be more naturally grateful for even the smallest things.

3. Courage

You would prefer not to face up to your fears, since it doesn’t feel natural to you to participate in activities that make you nervous or scared. You find that at times your fear gets in the way of what you want to do, and so there are some things that you avoid doing. For you, that seems to be far more sensible.

“El Capitano, do you ever get fed up of being questioned?”

NO! FUCK NO! I love being questioned! I love being able to explain myself when people misunderstand me. I love being responsible enough to know that I can stand up to scrutiny each and every single time someone accuses me of something I’m not or tells me how I’m doing something wrong. I get HARD when I have the capacity to see my own mistakes pointed out for everyone to see – and my ability to stand up and admit I’m wrong; it makes me a better person.

And better yet, I can be questioned in a variety of different ways! I love it when I’m questioned face-to-face where I can demonstrate exactly what I mean with the full compliment of tools of expression available to me, like intonation, body language and other verbal cues. But I’ll tell you, nothing compares to being able to articulate facets of my personality and expression in the written form – the expressive equivalent of communicating with one hand tied behind your back – to not only justify what I’ve said but to do it in such a way that everyone reading can understand my point and allow the original questioner to enlighten themselves, to have learned just asking.

And yet nothing compares to being trolled; I LOVE being trolled – not the wishy-washy jokes that people make for a laugh, yet take things off-topic any way but PROPER trolling. I can’t get enough, and yet there’s so little quality trolling out there. After all, a good troll makes me look good – not to everyone of course but to the people who actually matter, the people who know me and know I’m not the kind of person who does anything half-heartedly or uses my opinions for self-serving purposes; the people who know I’m biased but biased with an understanding that I can be questioned and that I can be wrong – a bias that lacks ego and seeks to understand.

I LOVE being questioned. Truly, I do. So, please question away because more than anything, I like to question myself. But before you do, I have questions for you: Can you say the same? Do you have the same ability to express your emotions in black and white? Do you have people in your life who care about you? Or did you simply question out of ego to prove to others that you are some how valuable to fill that void? Or did you question because I simply disagreed with your view point? If so, why didn’t you leave your ego at the door? Or did you just question to mock? Did you ask yourself why you felt the need to mock others and not make a joke of yourself? Did I make a mockery of you? And if so, did you question why I made a mockery of you?

These questions are all valid but they all lead to the same one: “Did you ever think to ask questions of yourself before questioning me?” After all, we as human beings are just one big jumble of biases. Some of you may have grown up with certain biases, others maybe have been forced on you, but ultimately the origins of all your questions come from a time when, for whatever reason, you did not or could question yourself, your viewpoints.

So as much as I appreciate my values being double-checked and book-keeping made out of my personal beliefs, my comments being called into question and my requests ignored, derided or even sometimes carried out – I can assure you, I do a lot of that accounting myself. I question the validity of my posts and when I’m not impassioned, I stop to think about what I say in person.

But that’s me. This post is for you. And the one last question I have for you is, “Can you say the same?” But please, don’t answer that. It’s for you to know, for your understanding.

My mate Jim has a habit of nailing stuff succinctly and thus he’s probably the most quotable person I know peronsally. Here’s a post from a Facebook conversation as frankly, it needs to be recorded:

“People need to realise that any problem in their life can only be overcome by their own actions as effort. Passing the blame for a problem off to someone or something else is juvenile and pathetic and shows a lack of confidence and a laziness of character in the complainer. Can’t get a girlfriend? It’s your fault. Change the way you treat girls. Can’t get a job? Look elsewhere or get training/education. Don’t get approached in a group of people? Approach the group of people yourself. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Whining about how other people should be fixing it for you is morally redundant, amazingly self-centred and fantastically childish. Folk need to take responsibility for their own situations and actions and identify and overcome their fears. Anything else leads to an empty and mundane life, full of excuses and regrets.”

Cut to fitting music and imagery:

 

Why Tax Evasion Matters So Much

It weakens our politicians to make decisions, weakens our services and weakens us in general.

Thanks for this Simon!

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