Tuesday, October 15, 2019

DeSocial Connector on the Bob Cargill Marketing Show

I have been on many podcasts and interviews over the course of my career but it was an honor to be interviewed by Bob Cargill, the President of the American Marketing Association in Boston, who runs his own podcast, the Bob Cargill Marketing Show.

We conducted the podcast at the very site of my first ever business networking event at the Alumni Center on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston back in 2007. Since then I have started a company, AIMC Business Solutions, a business networking group, Mass Professional Networking and even had my own podcast, DeSocial Strategies, where i had guests from all types of businesses chatting about social media strategies.

Fast forward to 2019, I am back in the podcast world and had fun chatting with Bob on his show.

Bob and I discussed the state of digital marketing, health/wellness (one of my other ventures), music and more!

Here is the link to the podcast on the Bob Cargill's Marketing Show -

Monday, September 16, 2019

4 Ways to Shake Up Your Fall Fitness

When it comes to getting serious about fitness + healthy goals, most people think of January 1st as the only window you have to hit “reset” on your habits + routine, but why wait? The truth is, Fall is a great time to recommit to fitness goals or finally break that plateau with a set of exciting new exercises. As the weather changes, let the cool, crisp air breathe some new life into your usual routine with these 4 ways to shake up your Fall fitness!

Autumn is the transition from the busyness of summer to a more focused “back-to-school” vibe that you can still harness to refocus your energy and get back to you. This is a unique opportunity to set a routine that’ll carry you through the indulgent holidays and into the new year ahead of the curve! Since late fall gives us plenty of tempting reasons to stay inside—shorter, darker days and treats galore—getting your momentum before the holidays are in full swing is crucial! If you’re ready to tackle fall fitness like a pro, we’re here to help.

1. Take Advantage of the Outdoors

Without the heat and humidity that made summer workouts hard to stick to, outdoor workouts become much more comfortable as Fall rolls in. Especially after a hectic summer + back-to-school season, many of us are ready to get back to some sort of routine and Fall weather brings us some of the some of the best opportunities to take that long, awful treadmill session outside in the beautiful scenery!
Bonus: did you know that taking your Fall fitness outdoors actually has a number of benefits over sticking to your gym schedule? Whether you’re hitting the long trail or choosing to make exercise productive by taking on yard work, there are numerous benefits including:
  • Logging a harder workout: According to the American Council on Exercise, when you’re active outdoors your body is encountering a constantly changing environment. Keeping up requires your body to adapt need to all of the small changes in your surroundings like slight inclines, wind, or obstacles which means you work harder than if you were running on a treadmill!
  • No Membership Fees: With the holiday season right around the corner, wouldn’t it be great if Fall fitness didn’t add to the financial stress? With outdoor workouts, all you need is you!
  • Cleaner Air: While gyms (at least the good ones!) have decent ventilation systems that keep the air moving, those indoor systems still can’t provide the same clean air as the great outdoors! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor spaces can be more polluted than outside. This is especially true in larger cities, which only adds to the list of pros.

2. Change When You #FindYourFit

Summer heat and early sunlight pushed many of us to earlier morning workouts, but this is more difficult when it comes to Fall fitness. Since the sun gets to wait until closer to 8 a.m. to wake up, it might be a good time for you to do the same! Working out at different times, whether it be over your lunch break or after work, will help to not only give you a much-needed break from super early mornings but can also help in getting your body out of its normal routine. Just make sure you’ve got your Isotonix ®Turn Down to help you slip into a restful sleep afterward! Switching it up has been shown to help break the mental and physical plateaus that hold us back, and seeing those results can be a great motivator.

3. Hop on the Treadmill (or Off of It!)

If you’re a cardio junkie (guilty!) then it’s time to take a brief hiatus from the treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical that’s been holding you hostage. Incorporating resistance or strength training will do wonders for shaking up your Fall fitness. Plus, the burn you get from strength training lasts much longer than the one from your LSS cardio session and you’ll see improvements in your overall body composition. Hello, little black holiday dress!
Don’t think that just because you hate cardio to begin with that you’re off the hook!  Shaking up Fall fitness means this also applies to people whos idea of cardio is running from the treadmill.  Taking a step back from the barbell to work in one or two days of cardio might be just what you need to trick your adapted body + brain into stepping it up!

4. Get Creative with Circuits

Between HIIT, tabatas, and circuit training, there are endless ways to turn your slow + methodical routine into a fast-paced + exciting heart-pounder!  Mixing different speeds + lengths of cardio with isolated and compound strength training transforms a long workout session from a simple walk into a full-body workout. Not sure where to start? Try some of the ideas below:
Outdoor Trail Circuit:
  • Warm Up: Walk 10 minutes
  • Easy Jog: 2-3 minutes
  • Run: 2-3 minutes
  • Sprint: 30-45 seconds
  • Recover: Walk or jog until your breathing returns to normal.
  • Strength Move: 60-90 seconds, complete as many of one of the following:
    • Push-ups
    • Triceps dips
    • One-legged squats
    • Split Squats
    • Burpees
    • Plank Hip Dips
    • Jump Squats
    • Side-to-Side Skater
This makes up one cycle! Do 4 to 6 cycles total. Be sure you’re mixing up the strength moves throughout your workout to make the most of your time!
Indoor Bodyweight Circuit: 
  • Warm Up: Jump-rope 10 minutes
  • Tuck Jumps: 12-15 reps
  • Push-Ups: 12-15 reps
  • Jumping Jacks: 45 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Air Squat: 12-15 reps
  • Mountain Climbers: 12-15 reps
  • High Knees: 45 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Tricep Dips: 12-5 reps
  • Glute Bridges: 12-15 reps
  • Burpees: 45 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
Repeat this 3-4 times with 1 minute of rest in-between + you’ll feel the burn!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

How to Network at Business Conferences - Some Tips to Get Your Company Started

We are about to embark on the peak conference season here in Boston with Inbound 2019, MarTech AI World, and various technology conferences invading our amazing city this fall.    Between all of the conferences and with the thousands of college students coming into town, Boston will be bustling!

So far, when we have provided business networking tips in our recent blogs, we have focused mostly on the attendees at networking events such as our own Mass Professional Networking events.  The way attendees go about networking at events versus companies networking at large conferences are similar but there are some differences.  The reason is at some conferences, your company may be netowrking a future client or business partner, but instead be networking with your competition.    From a 1-on-1 networking perspective, always remember that even if the person you are talking to may be your competitor, it is all about their connections, or in other words, the 2nd level connection.  Be open to discussion, be honest and up front, since you never know what the future may bring.

What I like to do now, is provide some tips for companies & sales personnel in particular on how to network at larger conferences.   The key is to engage in deep, meaningful discussions with executives from target accounts that lead to bonafide sales opportunities.

1)  Leverage Introductions from the Conference Hosts

Conference organizers maintain lists of attendees and speakers, however not all conference organizers share this information.   A way around this is to get on a sponsor list since the conference marketing personnel can introduce sponsors with attendees and you will have an easier time build your warm market and building your prospect's trust.

2)  Come Prepared - Bring the Right Stuff

Large conference offer companies in particular sponsors an opportunity to demonstrate their wares and how they can help attendees when intermingling at the networking event within the conference.   If you have access to any of your company's white papers, case studies or blogs, be ready to share with people you meet.    Don't wait to send that follow-up email.  Learn how to share information right from your device to someone on the spot.  It can open up discussion immediately.

3) Use All Networking Opportunities at the Conference

Do not retreat back to the hotel or some coffee shop to check emails during breaks or at the end of the conference day.   Depending on how the conference is organized, there are typically multiple opportunities for meeting and speaking with potential clients.  Some example of events are pre-event breakfasts, conference breaks, after conference mixers.  Some quick advice at the after conference mixer, go easy on the wine and beer, since you are setting an example of your company.

4) Utilize the Event's Mobile Application to Connect with Attendees

Most event organizers provide mobile apps for all sponsors and attendees to use to track the agenda, rate sessions, follow registered attendees on Linkedin and to see who is actively checked into the event.  This provides companies, in particularly sponsors another avenue to connect with and promote their brand to attendees and potential target accounts.

5)  Get Involved and Engage on the Keynote and Panel Topics

One of the best ways to break the ice with conference attendees and target accounts is by talking about aspects of keynote addresses or panel discussions given during the event.  It is a terrific way to make instant connections with attendees.   If you have a blog about the event or a particular session, promote it to the people you met at the event and offer your insight.  It builds trust with your new connection.

Finally, a bonus tip.  Smile and be friendly and put your phone down and be social.  That email can wait.   Networking is the #1 most effective sales tool today, so when you are at a conference, be visible, be helpful and most of all, have fun.

The Unfranchise Business System - What is it all about?

The Unfranchise Business is a SYSTEM.  It’s a system because the sum of it’s whole is much greater than the individual parts or components that make up the Unfranchise Business.  Now that may just sound like a “cliché”, but it is the way you need to consider the value of the business. 

It’s called a business, yet it’s really designed as a financial planning system to generate income and wealth, similar to more traditional financial plans like a 401k or stock/mutual fund investment.  Most people understand the concept of investing or saving for the future so when you stop working and earning money, you have a financial plan that will provide you with cash flow to live your life.  That’s the purpose for the Unfranchise Business System.

The difference between the Unfranchise Business System and the other Financial Planning Systems is the source of the funding that powers them.  With all the other financial plans, you must take any discretionary income (money left over after taxes – paying bills – spending money on “things) and investing your money in the financial plan of your choice.  The money other people invest in their own financial plans has no impact on your financial plan.  You often pay someone or a company to manage your invested money which reduces the returns and value of your investment .  You also are at the mercy of the ever-changing market fluctuations that cause the value of your hard-earned money to rise and fall without you controlling it.  The person “managing” your investment makes money just by you giving it to them to invest as a % of it’s value and when they buy or sell components of your portfolio.  They can make money whether your investment goes up or down – it’s based on transaction fees of buying and selling.

The Unfranchise Business System has a totally unique way to fund the financial growth and cash flow it generates.  We all spend money on the activities we do and the things we spend money on in order to survive.  This “spending” is the source of funding for the Unfranchise Business System.  To make the System even more powerful to create exponential growth without needing to make or spend more money yourself, the Unfranchise Business uses collaborative digital aggregation technology (think a Large Buying Group)  to combine the spending of other people together to be the source of the funding for this financial plan. 

It’s the most powerful System to grow an investment without needing large sums of discretionary income to create an ongoing residual income – the purpose of all the other financial plans we have discussed.  It’s available to everyone.  In fact, everyone is already doing what is required to make this Financial Planning System work – they spend money and know other people that do the same.  So why do some people struggle with this incredible concept?

There may be numerous reasons, but the one being highlighted in this document is simply how people think of this System compared to the other things they are more familiar with.  When people initially learn of something new, they usually try to compare it to something they already know and then assess the differences between them.  This seems rational and helps people to comprehend a new concept.  The issue is that the Unfranchise Business System is not like any other system that has ever been created or available to people.  BUT – it has components of it that are similar to other things people are familiar with.  This is what prevents some people from grasping the full value of the Unfranchise Business System.

The first thing this document presented was that the sum value of the Unfranchise Business System was greater than the individual components of the business.  If a person can’t or won’t come to trust and believe in this concept, they will struggle with understanding it and making it work for them.  It requires an open mind and willingness to learn something new – not always an easy thing.

Let’s take a look at the two most common components of the Unfranchise Business System that people usually compare to things they are familiar with:
2)    Buying personal use & consumption products

Many people are now familiar with Amazon.com – the leader in on-line shopping.  Amazon.com has done a fantastic job of creating a method of shopping that people use for a variety of products.  They have a desirable delivery system, attractive pricing, and a large breadth of products to purchase. 

Shop.com is the On-line Shopping component of the Unfranchise Business System.  It has a large breadth of products to purchase, enables people to shop from the exact stores and brands they like, flexible delivery options from the stores, offers quick local pick-up, and includes deals on may things including travel -hotels - food, AND it pays customers Cashback on their purchases.  For Unfranchise Owners, it creates an income stream from these purchases based on a unique collaborative commission program.

So, what’s the issue?  First, we do not try to compare the Unfranchise Business System to Amazon.com.  They are totally different things for completely different purposes.  Amazon.com is a way to buy things.  Shop.com is one component of the Unfranchise Business System that creates an ongoing residual income – a financial plan.  Why would someone compare the two?  Because shopping online is something they are familiar with so it’s natural to focus on what they are comfortable with and avoid what they are not – the full concept of the Unfranchise Business System.  If all you are looking for is a well-known and efficient shopping site – Amazon.com is a great option.  It just will never create an ongoing income from the money you, or anyone else, spends buying things. Unless your Jeff Bezos.  He is the richest man in the world because he is working his business system for his personal financial gain from your spending.  The Unfranchise Business System puts you in a system that creates wealth for you.

As for the direct comparison between Amazon.com and Shop.com, I have found that sometimes Amazon.com has better pricing and delivery options on specific items and sometimes Shop.com has better pricing.  But that’s not the point.  That’s why we do not spend time trying to win this argument.  Amazon.com simply can not come close to what the Unfranchise Business System – with Shop.com as one component can provide people – Time & Financial Freedom.

The second main area people make a direct comparison is buying personal use & consumption products.  The Unfranchise Business System has a Product Brokerage component that offers Market America branded products in a variety of large personal use & consumption markets.  Most people already purchase products in these markets.  The make buying decisions based on a brand they like, pricing, or from recommendations they receive from other people.  They are very familiar with many of these products, so it is natural to want to compare the MA Branded products to the other ones they have can purchase.  This is another area where people may experience a challenge embracing the Unfranchise Business System.

A portion of the products that people by often are more of a commodity in nature.  It may be dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, cleaning solutions, toothpaste, deodorant, etc…  Ok – every brand and company do their absolute best to use effective Marketing to distinguish their specific product as superior to all others.  While I will admit there can be differences between these commodity-based products, for all intents and purposes – they are mostly very similar.  This includes the Market America branded products as well.  Yes, the MA branded products are designed with optimal formulations and ingredients.  In the end – it’s basically soap, detergent, cleaning solutions, toothpaste, and deodorant. 

The price of the MA branded products are often more expensive than other brands people can buy.  So, if these products we are discussing here (only a small subset of the total products available from Market America) are commodity based, pricing becomes an important factor in the buying decision.  Why should they be priced higher and why should anyone pay for more for them? 

For sake of argument, let’s assume that the MA Branded products are at least “acceptable” compared to other brands.  I’m not going to try and “sell” the advantages of these MA Branded products for a moment.  The reason that people should purchase these products is because they are part of the Unfranchise Business System that creates an ongoing residual income.  Buying these products is like taking discretionary income and putting it into your 401k or other financial plan.  They may cost more because the money you are spending is doing more than just getting you the product to use or consume.  The pricing level is built into the funding requirements for the Unfranchise Business financial planning System.  There needs to be enough profitability built into each products price to be able to fund your financial plan and all the other Unfranchise Owners you are digitally connected to.  You will make much more than the pricing differences.

When you really look at the issue from a financial planning perspective, the Unfranchise Business System has advantages that no other online shopping site, cheaper brands of products, or financial plan can come close to delivering.  No one creates wealth by buying products from Amazon.com – even if they are cheaper.  No one saves their way to Time & Financial Freedom by buying the cheapest products they can find.  You can’t save your way to residual income.  You need leverage and a financial system to create wealth.

The smallest weekly commission check an Unfranchise Owner gets paid is $300.  It is not very challenging to build your business to this level, as long as you actually follow the proven business System that has empowered thousands and thousands of people to earn this and considerably more for over 27 years.  It takes a different mindset.  It’s a new concept that must be embraced in order to make the System work for you.  If you try to take the individual components out of the Unfranchise Business System and make a direct comparison of only the parts individually and not the System as a whole, you are minimizing the value and capability of what the System provides. 

There is much more to the Unfranchise Business than discussed in this blog but without embracing the core concept for the business they won’t matter.  You must first understand and appreciate the whole System in order to develop the vision for how it is superior to all other “Systems” you’re familiar with.  Learn this System and you can create the Time & Financial Freedom you desire.

If interested in learning more, please contact us.

DeSocial Connector on the Bob Cargill Marketing Show

I have been on many podcasts and interviews over the course of my career but it was an honor to be interviewed by Bob Cargill, the Presiden...