Tuesday, June 29, 2010

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

Expanding and Contracting: Managing Your Stress Level
By Mary M. Byers
My work is seasonal. I make about 30% of my income for the entire year in one month! That's
the good news. The bad news is that it can be stressful getting through such a busy time. That's
where the concept of "Expanding and Contracting" comes in.
Expanding and contracting requires making a conscious decision regarding how big your life
view is going to be at any given time. For example, I once had a speaking engagement in my
home town. Since my mother lived there, I decided to take my children along so they could
spend some time with grandma.
Several weeks before the engagement, my world view was still large. I could look at the
calendar for the entire month, make plans for later in the summer, and keep an active “To
Do” list for the week. As the engagement approached, however, I narrowed my focus to
getting my presentation ready and getting myself and the kids packed. The day before our
departure, getting out the door and to Grandma’s house was ALL I focused on. As soon as my
presentation was over, however, I was able to expand my focus again and begin planning for
our next trip—a family vacation.
You’ve probably used these concepts of expanding and contracting without even knowing
it. Think about the last time you had friends over for dinner. When you called to extend the
invitation, your life view was still large. As you approached the day of the meal, your view
contracted as you began to plan the menu and make your grocery list. The day of the event,
your view likely contracted even more, to the point of being focused on straightening the house
and getting the food prepared. After your guests arrived, your view could begin to expand again
and by the time they left, you were probably already thinking ahead to what the next day would
Expanding and contracting your view is extremely useful in staving off stress. As I view my
calendar some days and an overwhelmed feeling starts creeping over me, I simply take a
deep breathe (or two, or three, or ten, depending on the situation!) and ask myself, “How can
I contract my focus?” Doing so keeps me from being paralyzed and gives me a focal point
toward which to direct my energy. It's an extremely effective means of staying sane when you're
running a home and a business under one roof. Having a laser focus is necessary sometimes
just to get you through the day.
What techniques do you use to help you get through your work-related busy times?
E-mail me at mbyers@marybyers.com and I'll share your tricks in my next post. Until then,
now that I'm done traveling for awhile, I'm expanding my focus again and it feels good!
Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and
a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing
to Mary’s free blog at www.makingworkathomework.com.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Much Is a Facebook Fan Really Worth?

I recently read this article on Gigaom.com.

Lots of companies — more every day, it seems — want to have Facebook “fan” pages, where customers or would-be customers can connect with them and become part of their online community. But what are those fans actually worth to a company?

Click here to keep reading.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Think Social Media is a Fad? I Dare You to Watch This Video

I saw this video and blog post on the Publicity Hound Blog.

By Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound

If you work for a company, and the boss won’t let you participate in social media on company time “because it’s just a fad,” here’s a powerful video that will prove the boss wrong.

Or maybe YOU’RE the one who needs convincing. If you own a business and you already wear a dozen different hats, you don’t want one more to worry about.

Before you totally discount social media, please watch this video, think about the social media statistics you see here, and then decide.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Catch CNN's Attention

I read this in the recent issue of The Publicity Hound Newsletter.

If you've been pitching CNN and you're getting nowhere, take matters into your own hands.

Go to the network's IReport page where you're invited to write your own story, be heard and shape what CNN covers.

"One of the goals of CNN IReport is to expand the current definition of news. Please share the stories you think are newsworthy and participate in discussions you think are interesting. CNN's producers will check out the most compelling, important and urgent stories, so we can verify the information and add them to CNN's coverage."

The stories in this section are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. Only ones marked "CNN IReport" have been vetted by CNN.

But if you can pique the network's interest here, where you KNOW they're paying attention, you might end up on the televised news. Be sure to stop by the assignment desk so you know exactly what kinds of sources they're seeking. Your IReport article doesn't have to tie into one of the assignments, but it helps to know what they need.