Getting in Touch with your Feelings


Get in touch with your feelings — they will lead the way in your branding and marketing. The more you can feel your brand, the more precisely branded your materials and message will be. Your feeling will guide you: it will stop you from incorporating some detail that you might be drawn to, but doesn’t create the feeling or emotion that your brand is all about, and it will tell you when you’re right on message.


Need Therapy?

If your marketing collateral is a mess, examine your feelings about your brand. There may be things you’re not quite sure about, or you may have conflicting emotions about some aspect of your message. Instead of starting with a re-write or redesign, start with the feelings — they will lead you to the source of the problem.


I love the way you Work It.


workloveI really enjoy my work, actually.

But I can’t take the label ‘work’ away from it.

Loving your work doesn’t mean that you are at a party when you go to work. Work is still work. It’s a striving for something, and often a very serious undertaking that means much personal sacrifice.

That’s a good thing for someone who was born when I was — when loving work itself was something that could help you through the pearly gates. Not so good, though, for the new generations who require a job to fulfill a destiny and all earthly and heavenly desires. Maybe that’s a heavy burden to put on one’s job.

I’m still hoping my work counts towards something meaningful, if not to fulfill my destiny, then to help someone else fulfill theirs. Anything to move the planet in the right direction, even if it’s just a fraction of an inch. After all I’m one in billions of people, and a little trickle of a stream probably has more significance than I do. But it’s nice to have those moments of pure enjoyment at work, just because. Wishing you the same.

The Business Plan is not Enough


sunglassesThe business plan is worthless without the ‘Why’. The reasons.

When things feel disconnected from the ‘why’, take a step back and connect with nature. Nature talks to us in a very simple language, and gets us back to basic principals of life: the beauty of it, the immediacy of it, and the force that propels us forward. And you always have nature with you. You are part of nature. Closing your eyes in meditation is an instant connection to nature.

There are no rules for your reasons why. You don’t have to be a superhero, you don’t have to do it for a cause, or for others (although you can). You don’t need a coach to give you your reasons (unless you want one). Your reasons can be freedom, enjoyment, learning, art, the fun of the chase — whatever comes naturally to you. They just have to be uncovered and acknowledged and the energy will come. The beauty is in finding the place and purpose meant only for you. By doing this you can’t help but to  make the world a better place.

You have to go inside yourself to get outside yourself. By being as ‘you’ as you can be, you’ll find and connect with others who share your goals. You’ll be inspired naturally, and creativity will invade your business. You’ll feel connected to your business plan again.


Thank you Rising Stars!


The 2015 Rising Stars Celebration was fantastic. Thanks to everyone who worked on the event, to our sponsors, and to the awardees for earning their place on the stage.

Malaga Corp. is a proud sponsor of this annual event, and I thoroughly enjoy working on the program and video each year. Watch, and find out what this awesome event is all about:


It’s never too soon to think about sponsoring the 2016 Rising Stars event and scholarships. Help us provide scholarships to more of the awardees next year! Contact me for more info.

-Malaga Smith, BOSS Board Member and proud sponsor



Each year BOSS, through the Rising Stars program, provides scholarships to selected awardees at the Annual Rising Stars Celebration event. Scholarships are announced at the event.

If you don’t know about BOSS, find out more about the organization, and all the programs you can support, county-wide (Alameda County).

Rising Stars 2015 Presents the All Stars Cohort June 4th


You’re invited, so come on out and join the celebration on June 4th at 6pm at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley. Tickets at BOSS at

The Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble will perform, along with other entertainment, Leslie Stoval, from KPFA will MC, BETV, Berkeley’s local TV station will cover the event, Mayor Bates and Kyle Evans of the 2014 Rising Stars Cohort are expected to speak, and Café Rouge, and other great local eateries will keep you happy all evening long. And some great items have been rounded up for our silent auction. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the event and Awardee gifts, and to our wonderful sponsors, The Tileshop, Mechanics Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Comerica Bank, Jonathan K. DeYoe, and many others who make the event and scholarships possible.


Each year BOSS, through the Rising Stars program, provides scholarships to selected awardees at the Annual Rising Stars Celebration event. Scholarships are announced at the event.

It’s tough enough to get through the teenage years and graduate high school. Doing it while you’re dealing with homelessness, caring for family members, or other major difficulties seems impossible. Yet these 20 youth have made it and they deserve our appreciation and support as they move on toward college or career.

As we know, some of the most famous and successful people in the world had rough starts. The traits that got them through the rough patches are the same traits that took them to the stars. If you’re a business leader, hire or mentor a young person who has met the challenge. They are likely to do it again. And again.

If you don’t know about BOSS, find out more about the organization, and all the programs you can support, county-wide (Alameda County).

Thank you! See you among the stars on June 4th! -Malaga Smith, BOSS Board Member and proud sponsor


Technical Writing — Show you Care


Found on the web:

"Next, we will then start coding. The first 
thing we should do is to..."

Technical writing may seem like a piece of cake — who can’t write a set of step-by-step instructions?

But it’s not that simple. A technical writer establishes a voice and personality for the piece, just like any other writer. That voice can be dry and machine-like, leaving it up to you to process the information in your own head, or personable and warm — right there with you as you go through the steps.

Upset teenage boy at computer

A technical writer needs an editor just like any other writer to avoid the mistakes in the example above. After looking at the same piece of writing for so long, and focusing on the technical instructions, an instruction that tells us ‘next we will’, ‘then start’, ‘the first thing we should do’ is easy to miss. This example is harmless — it’s good for a smile but screams to be improved. But, it shows how the language we use in instructional writing can get our end-user into trouble — or simply distract them from the task at hand.

Technical documents reflect on an organization’s professionalism, and on the writer’s own skill and subject matter knowledge. Technical documents show the organization’s focus on the customer when documents are written with the technical level of the end-user in mind, and written with a friendly, helpful attitude. Take pride people! Yes, someone will read every word!