Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ripple On Over

Just in case you aren't plugged in yet, please note that my BLOG is now at Hope you'll join the conversation over there.

We've updated our social sharing tools so now if you see a topic that you think would be interesting to your network, please share it!

Thanks for reading and as always.... Ripple On!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Finally! The New Virtual Digs Are Ready!

So my apologies for going dark on my BLOG. In October it looked like I was days away from launching my new website and BLOG. Well the best laid plans and all that....

So here it is December and I'm finally ready to announce the launch!

Please check out my new website and the new home of my BLOG at

Drop by and take a gander at the new site and find some new BLOG posts waiting there for you including today's post 'Tis The Season.

My hope is you'll subscribe to the new BLOG and continue to be a part of the conversation about leveraging the power of the Ripple for your personal and professional life.

Thanks for your patiences and I hope you'll agree that the wait has been worth it. Jazzed to be in the new virtual digs!

Happy Holidays and as always...

Ripple On!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just Days Away...

I am so excited that I can't keep quiet any longer!

Ripple Central, my website, is a getting a makeover.  So will my BLOG.  That's right...this BLOG will be moving over to the new website in the next few days and I wanted to let y'all know.

We're not quite ready to do the "Big Reveal" but we're close so stay tuned.

Just wanted to give you my loyal readers a heads up!

I'll let you know when we're ready to pull off the big sheet and show off what we've been hard at working so hard on these past few months.

Ripple On!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adapt or Die

In the movie Moneyball, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) tells his lead scout "Adapt or die" when he is confronted about taking a different approach to finding players for the Oakland A's baseball team.  In that particular scene the scout is criticizing Billy, the general manager of the A's, for attempting to defy the approach to scouting talent that baseball teams have used for as long as there has been professional baseball.  Let's just say the conversation didn't go well.

Change is hard. Especially when you've been accustomed to doing something a certain way for a long time.  It is especially hard when there is proof that some of what you've done in the past has led to success.  Finding a newer way, taking a different path or creating something entirely new and different can be scary.  And in Billy's case, it can be met with much resistance from those who are resistant to try anything new.

Change is hard. So many of us don't do it. Many of us won't go out on a limb to try something that might yield even greater results or reward for fear of failure. "What if this doesn't work?" "What if we try this and we fail?"  All great questions that for most, keep us unwilling to stick our necks out too far beyond the shell where it's warm, safe and what we know.

Change is hard.  But it's inevitable. Billy's "Adapt or die" quote is perfect illustration that change is a requirement if you want to survive, much less succeed.

Let's think about some brands that failed (or are failing ) to adapt and paid dearly for it.

Blockbuster (though, not dead, they are on severe life-support)
Borders Bookstores (I miss their bargain isle)
Dr. Koop (WebMD certainly learned some lessons of what not to do) (Who knew one one would order seeds over the Internet)
American Motors Corporation (Still hard to believe the Pacer & Gremlin never caught on)
U.S. Post Office (Need I say more?)

Whether you are running your own company or designing your own career. Change is inevitable.  More importantly, your ability to respond and react to change is critical to your success.

Adapt or die.  Poignant words of advice my friend.

What should you be adapting to right now in your life or career?

Think about it.

Want some resources on how to adapt?  See the affiliate links below.

Ripple On!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Facebook May Get You Fired

There's a new role in social media and if you're not careful, it might just bite you in the you know what.

Let me run a scenario by you.

You just got back from lunch and your boss asks to see you. You sit down and in front of your boss  and immediately notice a report that shows a lot of colorful graphs. It's an output report of some kind.  Wonder what that is? you think to yourself.

He hands it to you and asks you to take a look. Your eyes glance over the report and suddenly it dawns on you this is report is about you! In fact it's an Internet usage report otherwise known as a watch report. You'd heard a rumor about one of these but had never seen one up close and personal. Then it dawns on you! It's a breakdown of your Internet usage.

One of the big graphs shows how much of your time has been spent on Facebook and Twitter.  A bead of sweat forms on your forehead.  Your heart begins to race.  Holy schnikes, you spend a lot of time on Amazon and Facebook!  On the second page it shows a comparison of your time on the "company sites" your supposed to be on all day and the ones you actually do spend your time on all day. If it were a race it would be too close to call.

Now the sweat is really pouring from your forehead.

Last week in St. Louis I met a "social media watcher" for a midsize but well known company.  Her role is to manage and monitor what her company employees are doing throughout the day on the Internet.  Think Internal Affairs for the police department and you might get a better picture of what this woman does for a living.  She actually spends her time focusing on catching people goofing

Turns out more and more companies are using their social media people in a dual capacity. These savvy geeks are often in the untenable position of not only promoting the latest buzz about their company but in their free time, are clamping down on how much FarmVille and Instagramming their co-workers are doing.

Now before you get all upset and start complaining about this big brother approach to business, let me ask you a question.  Is the outrage you feel outlined in the above hypothetical scenario actually because you got caught or that your company went to such extremes to catch you?

I know when I think of this scenario, I'd be upset too. I'd be upset  because honestly I should have known better.  I should never have allowed it to happen let alone had it pointed out to me so blatantly. That's like rubbing salt in the wound. It hurts!

Regardless, companies are resorting to such measures because they are having to. They are dealing with a workforce that is not only using company time and assets to play on sites like Facebook but there facing untold productivity lost due to personal cell phone usage (how many times in a day does your honey or significant other call you or text you in a days time?), instant messaging and a host of other non-work related distractions that kill our productivity.

Want proof? Here's an article that backs up the impact that companies are facing:

But back to you or at least the hypothetical you for a second.  The reality is your company does not provide you Internet access for any other reason than for you to do your job.  It's not there to upload your latest pics. It's not there to like your friend's quippy little updates.  And it's certainly not there for you to manage your personal social networking relationships.  It's there as a resource for work.

Work, you know the thing you get paid for.

Unless you have an explicit title or job description that allows you to be on social media and networking sites like Facebook all day (like you're a social media manager), you shouldn't be. Especially in today's world where there is a line of people willing to show up and do your job every day without complaint or expectation that Facebook is a God given right. Here's a hint, in the working world my friend, it isn't nor will it ever be.

How will Facebook get you fired? I don't know exactly but my suggestion is you better not find out.  You better start showing some personal responsibility lest you may find your own company's Internal Affairs come a calling with pretty little graphs, charts and a pink slip to boot.

And I would guess, "Liking" that at that point won't be an option.

Ripple On!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


"He is dead in this world who has no belief in another."

- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

In late 2005 my good friend Kelsey August asked me what I was going to do to promote my book. It was a great question, one that I had no idea how to answer.

"Well now you've got to get out there and speak,"she said with her trademark smile.

Those words still create goose bumps when I think about them. Yes, fear immediately took hold.

"Umm no, I'm a writer, not a speaker," I sheepishly protested.

"Look Steve that isn't going to work. You've got to get out there and tell the world about the book and speaking is the way to do it!" I thought to myself sure I'll find some little group to talk to, I could do that. But not yet. I'm not ready! But before the words could come out, she was already planning out my future.

"I've already lined up a gig for you. You're going to be speaking at the American Marketing Association to about 150 people. Everything is all set."  She kept talking but honestly I don't remember much of what she said after that. 

Me speak? No way. I'm not a speaker. I'm not even a very good writer.  What in the world would these people ever want to hear from me. Little 'ol unimpressive me! Oh things were going horribly out of control and I was going to make a fool of myself and embarrass my friend!  I wanted to scream "No!" but I couldn't.  The wheels of motion were already in progress.

Sometime I'll share my the details of my first speaking experience but not today. No, today is about something else.  It's about finding my belief. Belief I didn't know I had until a good friend shared her's with me.

You see, Kelsey believed in me. She believed in me more than I believed in myself.  That belief came at the exact time that I needed it.  In fact her belief in me, her willingness to put her own reputation on the line and get me that first speaking gig forever changed the course of my life.

The speaking gig went way better than I ever imagined. In fact the rush I got from delivering the message, my message, was paramount to the highest of highs.  The adrenaline of taking on that challenge and coming out the other side largely unscathed was one of the greatest moments of my life.  And when I looked down from my speaker's perch and saw my good friend Kelsey down in front beaming with pride, I knew she had helped put me on a path that I was destined for all along. One I may never have found had it not been for her belief in me and what I had to offer this world.

Belief is a powerful, powerful thing. When you share your behalf in another, there is absolutely no limits to the Ripples you create in that person's life.  It is the fuel that fires the engine, gets them through the fear and reminds them nothing is impossible if they just try.  And if they stumble, you'll be there to pick them up, dust them off and gently push them back out there to try again.

I've spent the last 7 years trying to repay that Ripple that Kelsey started for me by believing in others, fueling their passions and trying to play some role in changing their lives. I wouldn't have that opportunity it wasn't for Kelsey insisting I could face my fear and get out there on that stage. It's led me to some amazing places, introduced me to incredible people and taught me that I had something worth sharing.  Today I believe in myself and the Ripple more than ever and I am grateful for my friend's belief in me all those years ago.

Who needs to know you believe in them? Share your belief in them and help them in whatever way you can and you'll be responsible for creating one of the best Ripples you can create.

Ripple On!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Asset or Liability Inventory

Do you ever take an inventory of your network?

In today's connected world where just about anyone can LinkIn with you, Friend you, Follow you or ask you to Join their network, we can easily become overwhelmed with connections.

On the surface this can make us feel enormously popular and important. "Look at these people that want to be connected to me! I must be the shiznet!"

Not really, it just means your profile was easy to find or the technology that the other person is using made it easy to suggest they connect with you. Sorry, did that burst your bubble?

Seriously, connecting is super easy these days. Most of us are overwhelmed by how many different ways people can connect to us. Unfortunately all these connections don't make growing the key relationships with the people we really need in our lives and careers any easier. That is unless you take the time to make them so.  But first you need to know which connections are the important ones (assets)  versus the less important ones (liabilities).

So here's a quick and dirty way to cut through the noise that all this connecting creates for us.

Really look at the people in your network. I mean look at each and every person you've connected to. Do you really know them? Do you want to know them better? Are they someone who brings value to your life or career?  Could they bring value if you took the time to really get to know them?  Was their reach out to connect with you genuine or did they send out dozens of these kinds of requests to you and dozens of other people at the same time (so unshiznetty)?

These are all great questions to ask yourself as you begin to really examine your network and it's true value to you.  You see, the simple act of doing this helps you focus on who you need to be building a relationship with and who is just taking up space in your "electronic rolodex" of connections.  By periodically culling through your connections you can begin to determine who is really an asset to you and who is more of a connection liability.


Take a few minutes at the start of each week to look at a handful of your connections.  Identify who your assets are and commit to connect and build an even stronger relationship with them. Take one action to improve that relationship in some way.

As for the connections that fall into the liability category...simply remove them from your network. Unfriend, unlinkin, unwhatever. Don't worry, they'll never even know you're gone trust me!

Still struggling?  Check out  Promptivate helps you identify, organize and prioritize your connections so those important people in your network never again fall off your radar.  And those unimportant connections...well they just magically go away. Now that's the shiznet!

It's a good time to take inventory my friend. So what are you waiting for?

Ripple On!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Team Goals Applicable For Life

Last night was my U-10 boys first soccer practice.  We've got a few new kids and of course the core boys I've had the pleasure of coaching (including my son Josh) for the past several seasons.  I've been waiting all summer to get the new season under way so to say I was excited last night was an understatement.

This year I decided to have set some simple team goals which I hope to reiterate every time we take "the pitch"

Have fun
Work hard
Do My (our) best

As I was walking this morning I got to thinking about our stated goals and how they went over last night.  I like them very much.  The boys seemed to like them as well.  Which got me thinking about my how I might approach applying these same goals to more than just soccer.  Perhaps I should look at applying them to my everyday life. What kind of impact might they make on me?

Have fun

How about surrounding myself with only positive people who I enjoy being around. People that make me happy and give me a good laugh from time to time.  I know who qualifies in my network of peeps, what about you?

Work hard

Do the kind of work I enjoy doing, with the people I enjoy doing it with. I bet if I do that I will find hard work doesn't seem so hard.  I'm going to do more of that.  Could you do the same?

Do My Best

In everything I do, in anything I attempt or with something I try to learn, doing my best is all that matters.  Forget your critics, you know in your heart of hearts when you've put out your very best effort and in the end, that is all that matters.  It feels good when you do your best because it gives you a real sense of accomplishment.  Whether it's coaching a soccer team, giving a speech or being a dad, I should always strive to do my best and will.  How about you?  Are you doing your best at whatever it is your are doing?

I think my three powerfu goals for my little wide-eyed Hot Shots soccer team couldn't have come at a more perfect time for my own life and career.  Perhaps you'll feel the same and join in me in trying to live up to them.

Ripple On!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Is That Smell Me?

Maybe it is...

In fact it probably is.

Summertime networking can be quite treacherous.  Especially when you attend that after work networking function.

This year the entire country has been gripped by unusually high temperatures this summer which means by the time we leave our offices, jump in our hot cars, find parking, walk the three blocks to where the networking event is being held and enter the event well, we are, wait for it...




(thank you, I'll be here all week)

We'll be sweaty. We'll be disheveled. We'll  be downright stinky.

And of course with all of that going for us we're now going to go in and try to impress complete strangers. I bet they can't wait to meet you!

Does that sound like a positively awesome idea to anyone else? Me neither.

So what's the alternative. Don't go networking in the summer? Hmm, no.

Only network on cloudy days? Maybe but if you're in Austin, we don't tend to have many of those in the summer so that isn't likely to work.

Move to a cooler climate? Like your thinking but let's not get crazy.

Oh wait, I know, what if I were to have the limo pick me up and drop me off at the door of the event? Impressive but not entirely cost effective and a real pain to explain on the old company expense report.

Then what?

Use a little forethought....duh!

If you know tomorrow you have an event to go to after work, plan for it.  That's right! plan for it!

Take a fresh shirt, blouse or "whatever" you wear and have it in your car.  Chances are you've probably soiled your original top a bit anyway (working is hard after all) so you'll be due to freshen up your look before you jump into impressing all those networking peeps anyway.

Use deodorant during the day, after you leave the office and before you walk in to the event.  True the homeless person in the alley may look at you strange as you quickly unbutton and pop on a new layer of your Ban Extra Strength before dashing around the corner to the event but what's a guy (or gal) to do?  It will be the thrill of his or her day I can promise you.

Confidently walk in, grab your name badge and head immediately for the bathroom. Don't stop at go, don't collect two hundred dollars or look for your friends.  Go to the bathroom and grab a paper towel and run some cold water over it. Place that towel on the back of your neck, leave it there for a solid two minutes and then rewet your towel and dab, don't drench, your face.  Take a few deep breaths, let your pulse come down which will help to cool you down.

Take one final check, both visual and aroma-wise (made up word for effect) and head out to meet and greet with confidence that you aren't the one that everyone is smelling.

Ripple On!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

5th Cup, the coffee interview with Melissa Lombard

A few weeks back a good friend of mine, Jon Campbell, asked me to meet with a friend of his that had recently relocated to Austin. He thought I would enjoy meeting her and that I might be able to help her in some capacity.

So we setup the coffee.

Melissa arrived and instantly lit up Cupprimo with her smile and instantly warm and inviting presence. I could instantly see why Jon had wanted us to meet.  Her enthusiasm and energy made a mid-afternoon meeting (something I normally dread) feel like I had just mainlined a couple of bottles of 5-Hour Energy.

We had an instant connection and I could easily see we'd become fast friends.  We chatted about our life experiences and professional endeavors and then all of a sudden Ms. Melissa turned the tables on me.  She asked if she could "interview" me for her BLOG.  She told me the story of how she had committed to meet one person each week and interview them as a way to get to know them better. She would document her exploits on her BLOG and she would love to feature me. Me little 'ol me!?!

Well, to say I was honored would be an understatement.  So we rolled up the sleeves and she started firing off her questions like Woodward and Bernstein.  Her questions were well thought out and put me through my paces and I loved every minute of it.

This past weekend Melissa sent me the link to the BLOG post from our time together.  Check it out!

I'm honored to be Ms. Lombard's 5th Cup of Coffee here in Austin and more importantly to have her as a new friend.

Ripple On!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ripple Rewind: How Big Is Your Ripple?

Originally published on February 12, 2010

Most people don't realize in order to create a Ripple for someone you don't always have to do something super huge.  In fact sometimes the smallest of actions (or at least they may appear small to us at the time) can have the biggest of impacts on someone else.  For instance holding the door open and saying good morning to someone.

Case and point.

Mrs. Jones was tucked away in her nice comfy bed dreaming of that Hawaiian vacation her husband keeps promising her.  Suddenly a banging of noise from outside wakes her up and she shoots straight up in bed.  She looks over and her husband has already left for the office.  She suddenly realizes the noise outside is the garbage truck.

As she bolts out of bed she's muttering to herself that Mr. Jones better have remembered to put out the garbage can.

She pulls back the drapes and sees absolutely nothing on the curb.  She goes racing downstairs in a small revealing robe and out into the garage and starts throwing the bags that no one ever bothers to put in the garbage can in the garbage can.  She hits the garage door button to open it all the while smiling that she's saved the day and nothing happens.  The dang motor won't budge.  She hits and hits the open button and still nothing!

She hears the garbage truck in front of her house.  She starts fiddling with the door to open it manually cussing her husband for buying the cheapest garage door opener the whole time.  She flings the door open with such force she is quite certain she looks like a crazy woman to anyone watching.  Now of course the garbage truck is two houses down the street.   She has two choices.  Leave the garbage for another week or go racing down the street barefoot, barely clothed and give the neighbors and the garbage men quite a show.  She starts charging towards the truck - garbage men smiling at their good fortune the whole time.

She returns to the house to find that the door leading into the house is suddenly locked.  She bangs on the door for what seems like an eternity until finally one of the sleeping children upstairs finally comes down and lets her in.  She glances at the wall clock in the kitchen and a chill runs down her spine as she realizes it's 7:05.  They are WAY LATE!

She nearly bowls over her kid who is basically asleep on his feet and starts screaming at the top of her lungs, "Get up get up everyone, we are late!"  She charges through the house making sure the other two kids are moving - to which there is ample whining and complaining.  She jumps in the shower and there's no hot water - damn hot water heater is on the fritz again.  She suffers through a freezing shower starts drying off her hair and the hair dryer cuts out.  Her blood is boiling now.

She races down stairs to find all three zombies, I mean her kids, moping about and asking if they really need to go to school.  To which they received "the look" from mom and they all were smart enough to shut up.  She tells them there is no time for her make breakfast so she sets three bowls down and a box of cereal with a demand for them to hurry up and eat.  She goes to the fridge to grab the milk to find a cute little note from her husband saying he had finished all the milk and could she buy them more today?  It was the smiley face he drew on the note that made her realize that she and Lorena Bobbit may have in fact been sisters.

When they finally get in the car and head to school, kids complaining about eating dry cereal and all, she is informed by her six year old that they have a class party that day and they were supposed to bring napkins.  She turns the car around and blasts back down the street.  Rushes into the house and opens the cabinet to grab a packet of napkins.  There's another note from her husband indicating they are out of napkins.  She grabs a butcher knife for later and heads back out to the car.

Now the two older kids are fighting and the six year old is crying because she's going to get written up for not bringing napkins.  They are screaming, kicking and crying and it begins to rain.  This of course slows traffic to a crawl and assures her they will be late.  She's so angry she's about to burst.

Finally with kids dropped off at school and a quick drop by to explain to the teacher little Sonya didn't tell her about the napkins and to tell her how terribly sorry she was.  The teacher unmoved coldly told her, "That's alright," to which Mrs. Jones knew it was anything but.  As she sprinted to her car she thought, Mr. Jones would be attending that next parent teacher conference all by his lonesome that was if he was still around to see another parent conference.

She jumps in her car and turns the ignition.  It's dead.  WHAT!?  No way this can't be happening. She thinks to herself I am late to work, the boss has a meeting scheduled and Mr. Jones is no where close.  Tears well up in her eyes and she starts to sob when there is a tapping on the window.  It's creepy Principal Smith who Mrs. Jones believes has a crush on her.  She rolls down the window and explains the car won't start and he offers to give her a jump.   The way he said it made her throw up a little bit in her mouth but she reluctantly agrees.  Principal Smith remarks he must be her hero to which she gives an annoyed laugh.  She pulls her bag with the knife closer just in case.

Back on the road she decides to take a shortcut to her office.  She finds herself breathing for the first time in an hour and tries to calm her nerves by turning on the radio.  The traffic report comes on and informs her the street she has just taken is now backed up because of road construction.  Her shortcut will eventually turn into anything but.

She arrives at the office now big time late, stressed and on edge.  She pulls into the parking lot and wouldn't you know it that worm Jim Collins from sales has taken her spot - her clearly marked spot!  She lets out a few choice words about his husbandry, glances at the bag where the knife is and starts driving around looking for another spot.  Nada....she heads out to the back forty to park.  With briefcase and a stack of papers in hand she starts trucking across the parking lot looking in vein at her watch.  She's gonna hear it from her boss for sure!

She's half way through the parking lot when the bottom falls out of the sky and she gets soaked.  She looks like a drowned rat when she reaches the front of the building.  Then one of her heels catchs a crack and bam down she goes hard.  So there she sat, papers everywhere, broken shoe, purse and briefcase scattered all about and she starts laughing or was it crying? It was hard to tell because what little make-up she had on was now running down her face.

That's when you walk up.

You give her a big smile, hand her your umbrella as you start picking up all that has spilled out from her briefcase.  You help her up and collect everything including the very large and very sharp butcher knife, deciding not to ask and put everything back in her bag.  She's stunned and speechless as she just watches you with odd amazement.  You put your arm around her and start walking her to the door.

"One of those days huh?  I've had my share of them let me tell you" you remark.   You give her an extra nudge as you hold the door open for her and tell her, "Don't worry it can only get better from here."  With a smile and a wink you tell her to have a great day and you head towards the elevator.

Your gesture was nothing huge in the grand scheme of things but in reality it was exactly what Mrs. Jones needed at the exact time she needed it.  Clearly you would have no idea how her morning had previously unfolded as is the case with most people you come in contact with.  However it was the fact you took the time to take action, albeit a small action, that created a Ripple that forever changed the course of Mrs. Jones' day.  That in and of itself is pretty darn awesome!

She made her meeting.  She put the events of morning out of her mind and impressed her boss with the reports she presented in the meeting. No one even noticed they had been drenched in rain.  She left her bad mood out on the curb where you found her and ended up having an amazing day.  Was it all because of you?  Maybe?  I would like to think you played a big part in it --- created a big Ripple for Mrs. Jones with the smallest of effort.

Later that night as Mr. Jones slept beside her, she smiled as she dug through her purse and found the butcher knife.  Maybe she wasn't Lorena Bobbit's sister after all.

The Ripples we create touch the lives of people we know and even some we don't know.   Mr. Jones thanks you for that too by the way!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back To The Thinking Tree

I'm back!  My ankle/heel fracture has gotten better and I've been released back into the wild!  Which I think Ripple Dog is even more thrilled than I am to resume our morning and evening walks.

Honestly it was driving me crazy not being able to get out there and walk, much less play tennis. Which by the way, I played my first official match over the weekend and despite being a bit "cautious" about how I played I won 7-6 (15-13), 6-2.

But back to walking.  Henry, Ripple Dog's official name, was excited to be back on Brushy Creek Trail near our home.  We've walked down to my Thinking Tree several times now and each and every time he seems to recognize this is a place of great importance to me. When we sit down at the bench which is beneath the Thinking Tree he is calmer and more relaxed than normal. He jumps up on the bench and just sits there, respectfully waiting for me to collect my thoughts.  

It's strange but sort of cool at the same time. The fact he senses this is my place of solitude. I'm beginning to wonder if it is his too. Even when people walk by, he doesn't get all excited like he might just about anywhere else, he just sits there, hanging with his buddy (that's me) watching.

The Thinking Tree is a special place for me. It's is my solitude. It's where I get my best thinking done.  And now, it's a place I get to share with a silent but loving friend.  It's no longer my place as it's become our place and no matter what, I am more than happy to share it.

Want to read more about my Thinking Tree?  Please read this previous post:

I'm back and I couldn't be happier.

Ripple On!!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Phone A Friend: Build Your Lifelines

Fans of the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? will no doubt be familiar with the term "lifeline." When a contestant is faced with a difficult question they may not know the answer to they are allowed to call upon one of their lifelines to help them. One of those lifelines is the contestant's ability to call a friend.

If you've watched the show you know the contestant generally picks someone who will be there when they call and who may possess a certain skill or knowledge which can help them answer whatever difficult question they might be facing. Of course that's a game show but what about real life? Do most people have a lifeline available to them when they face a difficult circumstance in their life or need help with something important? Is phone a friend even an option?

In my book The Ripple Effect: Maximizing the Power of Relationships For Your Life and Business I talk about what you can do to build your lifelines, those people who will be there for you no matter what. If you are truly committed to building a network of any real value it's essential that you start developing your lifelines and asserting yourself to be a lifeline to other people as well.

Let me help. I'm offering a very special offer exclusive to my BLOG readers. It's call the Lifeline Development Package and it includes:

(1) Autographed copy of The Ripple Effect
(2) 30 Minute Phone Strategy Coaching Sessions
60 Day Trail access to a new relationship development tool we've help create

Exclusive Price is $ 147.00 (plus tax)

If you're interested in taking advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact me by phone to reserve your spot in the program. I can be reached at 512-577-3700

Start building your lifelines now so when you need them tomorrow they'll be there to take your call.

Ripple On!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

United We Stand

"We must all hang together or, assuredly, 
we shall all hang separately."

That quote is attributed to Mr. Franklin shortly after the signing of The Declaration of Independence.  I am not sure what it means to you, but to me it stands as symbol of the hope and unity about the very country we celebrate today.

We live free because of the sacrifices of those who came before us, those who have died defending us and by those who protect us today.  We owe it to ourselves to never take the word freedom for granted and to protect and preserve it's very essence by continuing to stand together, even when it feels like we might be apart.

The men who founded this country were wise men, men of differing backgrounds, opinions and hopes for what they thought these United States should be.  They weren't perfect, no far from it, but they were united. United to the cause, their committed and their desire to make this country, our country, the very best it could be.  They were united in their cause then as we should be united in ours now.

All political opinions aside, we either either find a way to overcome our strongly seeded opinions, political views and self-directed moral sense of right and wrong to either come together today or we may very well find ourselves irretrievably broken tomorrow.

I for one don't want to hang alone.  Do you?

Happy Fourth of July and as always,

Ripple On!!!

Monday, July 02, 2012

My 8 Minute Ripple Experience

Last Thursday night was a real experience for me.  I had hurt my ankle the previous weekend so I was on crutches and not very mobile. Because I wasn't able to do my typical walking around thing during The 8 Minute Ripple, I was actually able to participate as a Rippler. Boy let me tell you, it was an incredible experience.

To be honest, a few of the people I Rippled with, I already knew pretty well but that didn't matter because you can always learn more about someone.  The questions we used, the conversations that ensued, the amazing things I discovered about these people was nothing short of amazing. Despite the more than annoying pain radiating from my ankle, I was having the time of my life!  And honestly it helped me reconnect with why I created The 8 Minute Ripple in the first place so many years ago.

You see, connecting is a whole lot of fun when you'll let yourself be open to it and truly experience it for what it is. At an 8 Minute Ripple, it's almost impossible to find yourself not into it based on the safe fun environment we create within the event.  Granted it's a surreal experience, asking strangers random questions and getting responses back that give you a real sense of who the person is sitting next to you.  It's so much more powerful and enlightening than what you would ever find at a "traditional networking" event where the most original question you'll be asked is "So what do you do?"

Thursday night reminded me of what is possible when you get two people together for a conversation without the pretense of a 30 second elevator speech or force feeding a conversation about one another's business interest. It continued to show me what a well placed question can create amongst two (often) strangers who will leave The 8 Minute Ripple as anything but.  The Ripple after all these years still showed me it isn't a better way to build your network, it is the way to build your network.

The injury to my ankle was unfortunate but timely as it allowed me to see things from a new perspective.  It relit the fire and the commitment to create more Ripple events and experiences and to help people see there is a better way to build your personal and professional network.

Clearly we have some work to do but I'm ready for it.  Now if I could only get off these darn crutches.

Ripple On!!!

P.S.  If you're interested in bringing an 8 Minute Ripple to your city, networking group or conference event, please contact for more information.