Hello from the other side!

Since moving to London in 2013, I decided to start a fresh and that meant a new blog. A place where I could comment and document my observations on brands and social media trends or platforms that caught my attention.

After much debate I decided to condense my work into one platform, and indeed I decided The Social Exchange would be the best place to do that.

I do have some cool posts on Brand Me Social, and if you’re interested in having a peek, then please find them here: https://brandmesocial.wordpress.com/

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Going forward you’ll find me right here, at The Social Exchange, so come back soon for more social media commentary and updates right here in my newly decorated home!

Are you looking for a savvy freelance social media or content marketing?

I am now available for social media managing, or content marketing work!

Email: leanne@thesocialexchange.com

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A Toast To Raising Our Standard

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We all have a set standard in life – a blueprint, if you will – for how we think life should look and what is an acceptable terms of agreement between us, and the wider space we live in.

When we set a standard we make a decision that no matter how rocky, or rough a road becomes (figuratively speaking) that we will not steer away from that road. They are the foundation from which our choices are made from. A standard can be anything from what kind of food we will fill your bodies with, to what kind of attitude we will take on each day, to the kind of lifestyle we should be living (e.g. healthy, or unhealthy).

You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.”  Well what if we are what we believe, then choices we make each day are feeding into the rest of our lives, and as I explained in my previous post “The Importance Of Personal Development” – Growth in life is inevitable. We are either increasing through growth, or dying. It’s that simple. A skilled man only becomes skilled through diligence and practice. That is why our perceptions of life, will have direct influence on the standard from which we live. Are we happy to continue living with the current standards that we have, or do we have the gumption to believe for more:  To raise our standard, and set the tone for the life we imagined.

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Colouring within the lines

As a kid, I loved to colour. Art was my game, and colouring was my name. I still remember my big cousin teaching me how to colour within the lines, and that was a real gulp shock horror moment, for me. ‘You want me to stay within the lines?’ How boring!

In retrospect, I guess it paid off a few years later when I was one of the few who scraped through Advanced Higher Art back in 2002 – much to EVERYONE’s surprise (including my own). There were some real talented artists in the room too. As it turns out that that was the first year of our new curriculum, and we later discovered that every teacher in the area had misinterpreted the course wrong! If the teacher doesn’t understand it, how on earth will the student? Okay I digress. The point that I am trying to make is that sometimes it’s good to experiment outside the ridged lines of other people’s perceptions and ideas, and express ourselves by painting something new. Something original.

What if the idea you have works? What if moving location turns out to be the best move for you and the company you go on to work for? Can you imagine being Walt Disney and told that you were a rubbish illustrator, and then years later laughed out of the bank for his proposal to build Disney World.

I have never been much of a colour within the lines kind of gal, creatively speaking of course, and to be truthful, I’m glad. Going against the grain is never easy, when you are a creative in an industrial society. However, as Henry Ford one said, ‘if you always do, what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you’ve always got.’

Someone, somewhere has to be willing to step out and take a calculated risk.

I have always felt that more companies should appreciate, and treasure the entrepreneurial spirit within their team, rather than squash it. Thankfully this is beginning to change. I believe that instead of being threatened by people who are better than we are in a particular area, we must learn to collaborate and make way so that collectively we can achieve success. However, if you find yourself torn between the voices that tell us to stay sit down, stay in line, then I challenge you to be true to your art and have ago.

Happy bank holiday weekend folks! Thank you to all who subscribe to this blog. I consider it an honour.

This was my final piece for advanced higher art. I’ve framed this and placed it on my desk to remind myself that sometimes we just have to take a risk, and paint.

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The oyster and the pearl

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I stumbled across a website called How Stuff Works, which explains how pearls are formed in the Oyster to produce the beautiful pearl that is etched onto our chains, earrings and bracelets. I have mentioned the story before, in brief, but being the curious kitten that I am I have delved a little deeper in my research, whilst going through some changes and circumstances in life. First, let me paint the background picture to this post.

“The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. So a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewelry stores are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape — these are called baroque pearls. Pearls, as you’ve probably noticed, come in a variety of various colors, including white, black, gray, red, blue and green. Most pearls can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.”

Whilst growth takes place within, notice that it requires an external substance to influence and irritate the organ that produces change. 1. Growth is dependent on our environment 2. Growth is never comfortable Being the reflective soul that I am, and in the process of packing for London, I would like to share a few thoughts today about pearls, growth and change. It’s a bit of a deep topic today, but if you are growing a team, a business, or your own life, then hopefully you will find this useful. If not, come back again soon and I’ll muster you up something a little less meaty.

My good friend pointed out in a conversation that we  are a generation that when something doesn’t work, we throw it out, or trade it in and buy new. Where as the previous generation, baby boomers and above, grew up in a culture that when things didn’t work, they fixed them; she got me thinking…It’s easy to dismiss situations in life when things don’t go our way, or it turns out to look different from our preconceived idea. For example, a business venture that didn’t work, or a relationship that required work, or project that turned out different than what you anticipated.

It’s inevitable that in life we will experience change, and lots of it. When I think back to what it was like growing up through childhood in a rush to experience adulthood, celebrating every inch of growth with a competition between friends. The irony is that when we finally reach adulthood we often find that we don’t like the responsibilities that come with it. If we don’t allow our businesses, or our teams to adapt to the change in the market, or make room for our digital and tech savvy culture, then we limit our effect as a business.  If we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool, and never take a chance in life after listening the bad news reports all day, filling us with fear, then we would miss out on the beauty that life has to offer. Change is readily avoided and resisted by many human beings, and as a result they become stagnant and malnourished, when in fact change is an opportunity for growth.  

The tell tale signs of a girls diary

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Being the writer that I am, I have many notepads, books, pens and a whole cupboard filled with diaries through-out my life. I am forever being mocked, and continue to this day being known for my stationery filled handbag – you never know when or where my next idea will strike, and I like to be prepared for all eventualities. The only discrediting thing here is that whilst I have a vivid and long record of my life up until this point. Through the countless number of pages about heartache, disappointments, dreams, and a lot of other exciting events. I am troubled that I rarely go back and revisit them, which probably tells me that I write to process my thoughts; but still, I am fully aware of gems that I will hold in these very pages. There must be at least five stories about boys that I’ve had crushes on, and the drama that followed when the boy didn’t like me back, or I couldn’t bring myself to tell him.

Come on, we’ve all had them!My point in sharing such a cringing fact is that I know there are lessons to be learnt from these pages, and I know that I have made similar mistakes before, which at the time seemed like a great idea… I just don’t understand why I don’t go back and read them.

Anyway, I digress. The reason for tonight’s post is to beg the question that whilst I seem to have an exceptional memory that doesn’t need reminding of past events, or lessons. There is the odd moment in time when I flick back through the overflowing pages of my pink papered diary – nearing the end of this month’s book – to notice only the change of pen colour, and sporadic re-occurrence of a certain someone who appears to have found his way into my diary? Huh? I’m shocked, and intrigued… and a little horrified! What does this mean? How on earth could he have slipped my security tight radar, and made it into this treasured book? Alarm bells ring, as I look up in shock. This… This must be monitored!

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