I sell fruit but you might like these socks.

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Social Media is no different than any other marketing channel. It should be focused on your brand, product, or service. In some way.

And that’s where we get stuck. Social Media forces us to think about our audience interests, our industry, related topics and categories, and even current news and events. It’s our job to decide what stories, information and memes fit our brand and how far afield we should cast our net in an effort to grab attention.

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If social media posts were like products on a market shelf, we would find that some brands are running a convenience store, with aspirations of becoming Walmart. They stock everything. They post anything. Their messages sometimes seem related but sometimes seem random or obscure. Continue reading

Oh, Your Listening Ways…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about listening lately. It’s an art I used to do much better. Now that I’m older and wiser, it’s hard to listen to someone without the filters of experience and ‘been there, done that’, not to mention keeping my mouth shut and not sharing my self-perceived most-valuable wisdom.

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But I know listening well can take me past the limits of my own wisdom, a wisdom defined by my own limited life, and spark new life through connection to others. So I’m thinking about ways to listen, and the ways in which we don’t listen.

The look on your face: you don’t just listen with your ears, you listen with your mind and eyes — and the look on your face. A listening face isn’t scowling or distracted. It’s focused and interested. Continue reading

2016 Rising Stars Awards

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Despite an electrical outage, this year’s event was fantastic. In fact, the dim lights during the first half of the show created the perfect ambiance for the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, our spoken word performer, Jada Imani, and our Alumna speaker, Lia Lacy at the 3rd Annual Rising Stars Youth Awards. This is a BOSS Program you should know about — the full event video tells the story…

We had several surprise cash gifts for our Youth Awardees, a trend set off by our keynote speaker, Peralta Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Jowel C. Laquerre, who pledged $500 on the spot for whoever raised their hand first to attend his college. And of course, there was plenty of love and recognition. Continue reading

Do we need Giving? Or Sacrifice?

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It’s easier to ask people to give, share, and be a part of something than it is to sacrifice.

When we sacrifice, we don’t take it lightly, because we are losing something in hopes of a good result. It requires thought and commitment. Giving is easier. We give so all can benefit. We help our neighbors by giving what we have an abundance of, knowing that they will do the same. This is life. This is community.

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Keep this in mind in making charitable requests, or really any request of others. Life is ALWAYS a circle, and never a straight line.

So, rather than ask people to give something up, ask them to move in your direction with their giving, and remember to close the circle by appreciating, thanking, and truly respecting the giver, the decision to give, and the gift.

And then give back.