WordCamp Atlanta, Let it Not Snow!

by SimplySharpe on January 7, 2010

 

WordCamp Atlanta

 

Atlanta is one city that gets excited about our big events. It’s because we’re awesome. Simply put. Tomorrow is the inaugural Wordcamp Atlanta and we have some snowflakes floating around the city. It’s nothing a little sanding of our infamously traveled roads can’t handle. Cars brings heat and so will this event.

See you tomorrow fellow WordPress users!

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2009, Definitely Not My Favorite Year

by SimplySharpe on December 31, 2009

 

In Loving Memory

 

I thought about avoiding a 2009 year end review all together, but then I realized it really was not all that bad. It just wasn’t my favorite year. I am going to keep it short and sweet so many of you can get on with your champagne toast and I can get back to my Nyquil.

It was January 26th when the bittersweet notion hit me. I was leaving a company that was a bad fit for me and leaving an industry that has been extremely volatile for years. I remember the day so vividly because it was not only my birthday, but my husband had a grand mal seizure two days before and it was the first day I had left his side. I was terrified that he was going to fall again and I would not be there this time to prevent him from cracking his skull open. As it were, he was only inches from the night stand the days before. He had just recovered from having all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out at once and had a bad reaction to penicillin. That some stress and some other factors.

During the same time I was nursing my husband back to health, my dog, Bambi started to get really sick. She had always had a weak tummy since the day I rescued her in August of 2002. It would have appeared to anyone she was just reacting to all the stress from what was going on with my husband. Anyone but me. She was my life! When I first adopted her she was so terrified of people she shook constantly. I could literally feel her heart beat every time I attempted to walk her outside. Usually she would just cover her tail between her legs and make on herself. Many hysterical calls to my Mom and baths later, she finally trusted me. Only me. I loved her and she loved me. Now something was wrong. Very wrong.

I had to leave my husband alone again and take Bambi to the doctor. He examined her and gave me a look that I knew everything was not going to be okay. Ever again. She had fluid in both her lung capacities, labored breathing and cancer. This part of the story ends here. Bambi is in Heaven.

As the year progressed, I pursued a few career ventures that led me to meet many interesting people. I landed a few freelance assignments that were both interesting and exhausting. I did some video interviews, accidentally worked for a tele-marketing firm, got criticized for being overqualified, too bubbly and over committed. I landed in the wrong place at the wrong time, the right place at the wrong time and I’m simply a little Sharper everyday. I promised you a short post and I’m a woman of my word.

Right now I’m ready for another dose of Nyquil and the beginning of a (better) New Year.

Cheers to you readers!

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Crush It, Even if You Feel Broken. Now!

by SimplySharpe on December 14, 2009

 

CRUSH IT! Now.

CRUSH IT! Now.

If I was being completely honest (it is the best policy), I wanted nothing more then to crawl in bed on this cold rainy Monday. I had one of those days.  Apparently, a mere continuation of last night since I vaguely remember updating my Facebook status to something about making the most difficult decisions of my life. 

Eh.

My little brother, Trevor (AKA, Punk Rock if you read my old blog when I only used nicknames), sent me a text that made little sense. It said something about adding some levity to my status update. It took a minute to remember what the nature of my last update was since I am on Facebook-lite these days. I texted back with Fight Club quotes which is not unusual for us, but today prompted him to pick up the phone. 

I told him I was skipping the Crush It book signing with Gary Vaynerchuk because quite frankly this day was a total waste of makeup. He insisted I go and be “ME” for a few hours. He has also read the book and knew I had been looking forward to meeting him. He has a contagious energy that reminds me why I exist.

The part where he actually signed my book (with my pink Sharpie if you are following on Twitter) was taken on someone else’s camera because much like my life, my pink Sony Cybershot is broken. The picture above was taken on my Crackbery before the media card decided it too would fail me.

Et tu brute? 

I’m glad I pushed through my glass case of emotions and stayed front and center for Gary’s Q&A. So many tasty nuggets. Some made me want wine, some made me realize it was time to stop whining and some that defied my bad day and motivated me to write this post. NOW! Gary made a point to address why the word NOW is in Green with the title instead of the word Passion. I had not even noticed, which is weird since I kept obsessively trying to straighten the books in front of me and being called “Monk” by friend, Robyn. 

Passion is something he clearly has, but his success is largely driven by his ability to tap into the NOW of technology. He was using video and the interwebs to market The Wine Library while many of us were still debating whether or not we would ever get a Facebook page. While we were waiting, he formed an empire. Pretty impressive.

He also said some pretty provocative things about college being a waste and professors teaching Social Media do not actually have practical experience using it. His point was not to disparage people from going to college, but to utilize other resources like mentoring and internships to accelerate knowledge and save people from starting negative. I loved this part! My hefty student loan for my degree with the appropriate acronym, BS is further proof of his thought process. Most entrepreneurs drop out of school because they don’t need others to tell them how to create or operate a business. They have passion. The successful ones have it coming out of their pores. Get to know them. Surround yourself with like minded thinkers. Entrepreneurship is not something you typically learn from a textbook.

One last thought he shared that made an impact on me was how he didn’t have “heroes”. I felt bad for him at first ( as Wind Beneath My Wings began to play in my head), but he further explained he does not like to compare himself to other people and sets his own standards. I can dig it. Can you?

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Pay No Attention to the Blogger Behind the Curtain

by SimplySharpe on December 4, 2009

Once Upon a Time I have been writing almost everyday since I was very young. I started when my  Stepmother gave me one of the best birthday presents ever. I was 7 years old and my parents were in a War of the Roses style divorce. The present was a book filled with blank pages to write in and a black and white cover which you could color in yourself. I remember drawing and writing while locked in my bedroom.

I wish I still had that book today. I can only imagine what kind of interesting detail I would have about during those years. Surely, there was some mention of why this woman was buying me a book when my parents divorce was barely finalized and she was already engaged to my father? Maybe I wrote about the time my brothers handcuffed me to the stairs and left the house for several hours? I could not tell you because I eventually destroyed the book.

Somedays I have vivid memories of my tumultuous childhood and feverishly write (or type) whatever comes to my mind. I have known since the day I received that empty book and after keeping a journal for over 20 years that I wanted to be a writer. When I started my first blog in 2005, I knew this was a great way to express myself and actually publicize some of my writing. Unfortunately, I was informed that the majority of my content was not necessarily the stuff Corporate dreams were made of. My day job was getting in the way of my dream job. I was approached by management and told to keep my thoughts to myself (urgh).

Impossible. I started writing mostly on MySpace ignorantly thinking they would never find me if I hid my name. In 2006 my alter ego, Randomly Fabulous, took over and created a page on Blogspot. I loved her! She was the me I could not be at the time. Always honest, whip smart and ridiculously fabulous. I never paid a lot of attention to other bloggers or the blogs that told you how to blog. I found that distracted me from what I really wanted to do which was write and be me. I connected with my audience without any promotion or attempt to monetize the blog. I felt so liberated with my writing. I loved feeling like a part of me was out there even if it was semi-anonymous. I always used the same nicknames like calling my little brother Punk Rock or talking about The DJ. It could have been called Randomly Obvious. I didn’t care. I just loved writing.

I have every post saved, but sadly it’s not live anymore. I began to fear The Man. The industry I was working in at the time was very volatile and it was suggested that I take down all social media sites or make them private. I often told people my stalkers were to blame for the impulse removal of years worth of writing, but the truth is I did not want to lose my job or potential future endeavors. Thanks to the economy my job was eliminated anyway. It left me free to write whatever I wanted. Sort of. I still have to think about what future employers or perspective clients might think.

Which leads me to the point of this post (in case you wondered if I had one)… I have had a lot of conversations this week with people that want to know why I am not “writing” and I started to feel like some disclosure was necessary. The truth is, I am writing. Always. I am just not posting. Somewhere in the past year my neurosis took over and I feel a little lost inside myself. It’s not writers block because the words come to me everyday. It’s personal.

I’m dealing with what life has handed me in a less public manner (which totally sucks). Lately, most of my writing has revolved around darker days. I choose not to write a series of Debby Downer posts on here. I have bad days. I have bad months. I have bad breath first thing in the morning or after eating Sushi. I am not a bad writer though because I take a post pause for an undefined amount of time. There are no rules despite what you read on other blogs. Post frequency is entirely up to the author. On my professional or freelance writing projects, obviously I recommend posting more.

Thank you to all that have reached out! I am so flattered that people enjoy my writing and care enough to ask for more. I am a notorious people pleaser, so ask and you shall receive. This was just little Friday night share for those that care.

xo

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Being Thankful Tastes So Good

by SimplySharpe on November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many things that I am thankful for this year. It’s interesting how much you learn to appreciate things when your life gets turned upside down. Everything I have ever known has been challenged and changed. Today, I look back and reflect on these things and think of how grateful I am that we have this historical holiday celebration of food and merriment.

Why sit around and be so serious when Turkey Time is almost upon us? I am so lucky to have friends that love to cook (something we definitely don’t have in common) and have people over. I am bringing a delicious dessert (obviously not made by me since I try never to poison people. Especially not when we are house guests). Let’s get this party started!

Who’s hungry?

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I’ve Been a Very Bad Blogger

by SimplySharpe on November 12, 2009

 

Rule #76: No excuses, play like a champion!

Rule #76: No excuses, play like a champion!

 

Hey friends, readers and random stoppers by…

I feel I have let you down. I have not posted since October. All apologies.

I have a myriad of excuses, several unpublished drafts, none of which matter or make up for my lack of publication. Most important, do you miss me? I miss you.

In an effort to make up for my shameful bad blogger behavior, I would love to share quick highlights of 3 unpublished posts:

1. Little Nail Shop of Horrors – This was a rant about a mani-pedi gone bad. If you stalk me on twitter you undoubtably caught the “Wincing in pain. WTF?” or other cries for help during this horrendous limb pulling, skin cutting, supposed to be relaxing spa experience. Ouch. It hurts just thinking about it.

2. G is for Google, that’s Good Enough for Me – It’s no secret I heart Google. I Google Bing. I Google Yahoo. I just Googled you while writing this. More details to follow when this post is ready for you.

3. Everything I Aspire NOT to Be – It’s all about my Mom. This will be a frequent topic. It was in Randomly Fabulous (for new readers, RF was my  not-so anonymous old blog that no longer exists but is entirely backed up. Meaning: it will make my Memoir) and there was a whole series titled, Crazy Train. The most fitting nickname EVER. While I love my Mom dearly, there are years worth of her insanity therapy has yet to resolve. I may even add a second series on the MIL.

Before I bid you goodnight (it’s well after midnight EST), I would like to announce my eldest brother is blogging more then me. In a survey, four out of five siblings agreed he was least likely to blog. You absolutely must check out what he has to say at The Life & Technology of Eric Jaffe. I’m overwhelmed with excitement that he is finally sharing what goes on inside that ridiculously large brain of his. Keep it up E$$!!! I love you!

Now, how have you been? What are you blogging about? Why am I still awake when I have early meetings tomorrow? Sorry. Inner monologue issues induced by insomnia. Please feel free to ignore that last question. Or not.

As always, thanks for playing!

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Take Your Summit and Suck It!

by SimplySharpe on October 31, 2009

Let’s start by addressing the facts, people attend Summits for high level information for business and/or pleasure. We seek knowledge. Many seek income opportunities. Got it? Good.

Now, Fitness Info Summit. WTF?

My little brother attended this seminar last weekend. He was told that “Twitter is a waste of time” and “Traditional marketing is for lazy people”. I had to visit the crafty website a few times without counting the spelling errors to really absorb the message. 

WARNING! Superfluous spelling error example below:

 

Don't. I think you mean done?

If you make seven figures a day (per your batch report email from authorize.net) from doing nothing, surely you can pay a copywriter a few bucks to edit your awesomeness. No?

Furthermore, I am astounded by Chris’s story! See below:

Rags to ridiculous. Where did he get access to Internet?

He was homeless but owned a computer with internet access? Wow. I’d love to know more about this so I can share with the world. Maybe we can help save the homeless with the books and informational material they sold at the Summit?

And now back to reality.

There were a few positive little nuggets about passion and persistence displayed on the FIS website. In addition, I think the Scott guy is adorable with his cool as ice chuck taylors (trend alert) and fabulous dark jeans (always a Do!). I just don’t believe the hype. How can I? You refute an entire industry with unrealistic promises, false hope and fake stories.

Why would anyone encourage people to disengage their audience and then claim this technique gives you authority or credibility? Those are things you cannot fake or buy. Last time I googled, integrity is not for sale either.

I respect anyone who puts themselves out there and shares their secret sauce with the world. It’s actually quite the concept. Selling secrets. I think there is even a book called, The Secret

You should buy it NOW. What are you waiting for? I gave you the link. Maybe one of the beefy boys has an affiliate marketing arrangement with this link and will make $$$ while you read this? 

Maybe not.

Can you handle the TRUTH? I will give it to you. For FREE. Because I like you. All of you.

You will NOT make money reading this blog. You will probably NOT make money clicking any of my links. You will also NOT make money sneezing, but I don’t need to sell you that shit in a Summit!

You read it here first. There is no get rich quick scheme.  Call me crazy (if I don’t answer, my Mom will), but I believe there is no substitution for hard work. Passion and persistence will always pay off. Also,  honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

Please note, I am not taking a stand against all forms of affiliate marketing. I am just taking issue with the way it was presented by this Summit and felt they should get some much needed feedback. 

Thanks for playing!

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That Just Happened?!?

by SimplySharpe on October 2, 2009

Once upon a time I accepted a position in the illustrious industry known as Inside Sales. Why? I have a mortgage payment.

Process it and please move along for the sake of efficiency (which may be covered later).

When you enter Boiler Room AKA “Inside Sales” you can expect to make a minimum of 80 outbound calls a day. You can also expect to have  a douchebag for a manager who will fill your ears with stories of his awesomeness. Multiply this man. There are many of them. They like to talk. A lot. About themselves. Yawn.

This career path (if you can call it that) is definitely not for everyone. I believe the requirements were tough outer shell with a nugget inner ego. Who can remember after all these scripted conversations? My name is this. I sell you that. We make conversation. I build rapport. You probably generally like me it’s just obvious I lack SalesForce, or the homemade equivalent.

The only details I care to share this point are that I am being paid to harass people and not the other way around. This enters my brain at the very same time I am speaking with a General Manager of an account I have been calling on for weeks.

General Manager:  “I like to party.”

Me: (faster then you could think WTF... and did I just call Cal Naughton, Jr.) “Awesome? Do you party with office supplies

Party Monster: “Sometimes. So, do you like to party?

Me: (That just happened?) “I like to sell office supplies like a robot.

Party Monster: “Blah, blah, blah. Portfolio. Money. Party. Here is my private cell phone number. Don’t give it to anyone, I mean definitely call me because I like to party.”

I don’t know how much more I emailed the DJ, but here is more detailed account from our crackberry exchange earlier:

This is happening in real time. Speaking with GM of company. He is HI-LARIOUS. Man, this guy hits on anyone. We are talking about Johnny’s Hideway! Grab it, love it and keep it a secret, he is saying. WTF?!? That just happened. Lives off Roswell Road. If I don’t stop him I am going to know what his sign is. Wait, I think it may be coming? He is telling me about his PORTFOLIO...”

For the record, I like to write .

Thanks for playing!

 


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I’d Like to Thank the Academy

by SimplySharpe on September 28, 2009

Actually, right now I’m thanking the DJ. I am Jack’s complete love for my husband!

My digital dirt looks prettier everyday. Expect updates, picture pages, headaches and some “Oh, no she di’int” moments. Because I did. And I will.

For those who know, I’m not new to the Rodeo. I am just not *hiding* behind anonymous names or MySpace (sorry, not taking new friend requests unless I know you IRL- for now). The rest of you are on a need to know basis and by that I mean WELCOME!

You will note that I attempted to paste one of my “daily digests” (Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This) into this blog. May the record also state I used Pages which is as foreign to me as WordPress (which IMO still sucks). It backfired and the font bugs the bejesus out of me too.

Deal with it.

I wrote almost everyday for several years directly through Blogger and let’s just say the audience never knew the difference. In fact, I think everyone fancied my real time posting/honesty? I had no sponsorship (still don’t, hook a bitch up), no agenda and no complaints. Unless you count my old frenemy who wishes I worked out my arms more. So do I Barbie, so do I!!!

Thanks again for playing and may I recommend you watch Fight Club if any of my quotes are lost on you.

Who I am in WordPress is in deed who I am in real life.

Kisses!

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Backnoise is Awesomesauce & Annoying.

by SimplySharpe on September 25, 2009

Today I discovered the coolest thing since sliced bread, it’s called BackNoise.

What is this awesomesauce she speaks of?

It’s a website where you say all the things you are thinking (but not supposed to verbalize) during a meeting. It’s free, it’s fabulous, it’s fun! It can also be an extremely helpful tool when a few of the coolest cats in the ATL are hosting their first Social Media Conference and people want to give feedback. Even the snarky stuff. In fact, it says on the front page V2.0, now with more snark. Set the expectations.

In the morning, I was not that into Backnoise and found it distracting, annoying, addicting and overwhelming. I could not wrap my big brain around the concept of people using yet another third party application to comment on anything. More noise? Why are you even attending this conference if you are not feeling it?

Then the cool cats started to up the ante. They were following the commentary too. Playing the game if you will. In a good way. There was one person I wanted to hurt and a few friends who went so boldly anonymous with snarkiness. It’s easy to do anything anonymously. Yeah, remember my old blog Randomly Fabulous? Enough said.

So the snarky chatter went on and on for eternity until the perfect panel happened. Jeff Turner, Bert Dumars, Peter Fasano and Seth Miller. The dream team. If you have any interest in Social Media or life in general your ears and eyes were on them.

Backnoise just got awesome! Plus, my Tweetdeck was down making it mandatory for my sanity. I have severe ADD if you don’t know me (yet) and need to be communicating at all times. I am working on my talk time issues. Promise!

While I do that, I hope I just spilled some awesomesauce on your shoes.

Thanks for playing!

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