There is something about London…

After three days of roaming the streets of London’s Notting Hill, I have come back full of love, joy and excitement about my future, which I believe will include a move down south in the not to distant future.

The reason for my trip? To escape, relax and double-check out that the city I have paid visit too on multiple occasions was indeed somewhere I could see myself living. Of course that was a ridiculous excuse to use; it’s been a dream of mine for several years, and in the last four months that dream became a vision.

Being a hopeless romantic, I can’t help but find myself wooed by its quaint homes, varied culture, and most of all the people. It’s only been 12 hours, and I know I sound like a sloppy lovesick puppy but there is just something about London that inspires me to write…

Anyway, that’s all I have to say on the matter. I’m off to stick on a chick-flick movie, and bring out the ice cream. Thank the Lord today is my day off!

603920_10151381785831299_1847408675_n392909_10151381786236299_2090119604_n483227_10151381786076299_1146991025_n

Advertisements

Being a light

Being a light to the world requires action, requires energy, requires substance.

I could go on, and probably will in posts to come; however, today I thought I’d like this cool little fella share a word that if you press play will surely speak to you. Now it’s great to be inspired and encouraged, but go do something with it.

‘Create something that will make the world awesome!’ Are you doing so already? Well what can you change, what can you do to make your team, company, life, relationship better? Remember what is great today, will be good tomorrow if you let things go and don’t continue to invest in staying fresh.

#kidpresident

What does your walk say about you?

Inspired on way to work this morning, I saw a guy with a black jacket and swagger like he was fresh out the hood that just happened to catch my attention. And that got me thinking…

What does our walk say about us? Not just your psychical walk, although that does share something about where you’ve been.

In psychology they say body language is 80% non verbal.

So what about your life, your business, your relationship?

How do these areas affect your walk in life? And how do you choose to walk?

Do you walk with confidence? Do you walk in faith believing that the best is yet to come and you have the power to change whatever needs changing, or the power to be thankful for what you’ve got on the way to where you’re going?

Not everything in life needs changed btw – which is Scottish for by the way.

Maybe you should stay and work at that marriage instead of chucking it in the bin at the first sign of work. It doesn’t have to be marriage either, it could be any relationship or business. Yet, for some chucking it may be the key adverb. Life is not a dress rehearsal. As Michael Jackson would have said; THIS IS IT.

The truth is, and this is a true reflection on my belief, and my thoughts today that in order to be who you want to be, you have to become who you want to be, before you see it.

So if you’re not quite there yet, then learn to walk the talk.

Don’t just talk the walk.

As they say, ‘action speaks louder than words.’

How is your walk today?

Just because we can…

I’m not sure if many of you reading this, know me other than the writer behind The Social Exchange, or the chick who writes a bunch of posts on business, social media and leadership? If anyone doesn’t know me at all and interested in finding out more about how it changed my life; you can read that here, on The Good Web Guide website.

Tonight’s post came out of a desire to find a place where I could talk about the above-mentioned areas, which I am passionate about, and The Social Exchange was a place where I could do that away from previous blogs where I have shared other kinds of posts (also motivational) – it seems I am challenged to write anything outside of motivational;  when it comes to writing for myself. However, today I have been inspired and encouraged to write this post, just because I can.

Sometimes structure is good, and writing formal posts that address business is great, but there are also times where we can get stuck and in a rut and that my friend is why I am waffling on, in this post, to help myself more than anyone, break out.

Life is multifaceted, and I am too. I want to write about fashion, and baking, and books, and fiction and heck I want to write about anything I want. Ideally I want to write about it and engage with some other folks on the subject of choice, hence why I called it the ‘social’ exchange.

So what’s stopping me?

That is the million dollar question.

This battle to be structured and stay on point is a tiresome battle at times. Maybe a girl just wants to have a little fun once a while and post pictures of cool things:

Like this…

..and this…

No not a ring. 😛 Just the box! Like cake in a jar, who doesn’t like good surprises? Or going to exotic places?

Do you want to know the cool thing about all this venting in this way?  This is exactly what many businesses need to do, open up! Shed a little humour, colour; show a splash of personality for crying out loud! Let’s have a little fun, like innocent, or a send a greeting card with moo. The most amazing thing about creating a space to do that – whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or a blog – is can express who we are as a team, as a company, as a individual for not other alternative reason that just because we can.

This is The SOCIAL Exchange, right?

Well I just exchanged something, how about you do too!

Cake in a Jar

I had a completely different blog planned for The Social Exchange this week. However, I decided to write about something off the cuff, so be prepared. This is a little bit of a brain dump post. Today, I decided to write about this:

CAKE IN A JAR!

There’s nothing special about this except maybe that it’s pretty, multi-coloured and probably full of sugar and E numbers. This is simply cake in a jam jar. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve not thought too much about eating cake from a jam jar and yet as the cupcake market (in my opinion) becomes saturated and most likely hit it’s peak, the question begs what’s next for the cake industry. Well on researching the current market share for the cake industry, (yes I am a geek like that) here is what I found:

If you managed to read that you would have read that the industry is facing a few challenges of it’s own at the moment, although the cake category did show some growth by 1.1%. So what does all this mean, and what am I getting too?

Well, first, I included the above clip from a well-respected industry report as it confirms my thoughts on how the consumers buying pattern has changed; And secondly, why I believe believe that this, cake in a jar, is the next big thing. Yes, tt’s nothing new, in fact if you look online it’s already circulating pinterest, and various sites and blogs in America – the pioneers who revived the cupcake and the whoopie pie, in recent times.

I believe cake in a jar is the next innovative thing to show up for two reasons:

  1. It’s innovative
  2. It’s innovative

We love things in a box! I love things in a box. It makes us feel special. We have become crazed with shopping online and the packaging of little boxes from companies like Amazon, Graze, Moo, and others. because it makes us feel special. It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on this. As the economy has tightened our spend, we are way more careful in what and how we spend our pennies, and we are more likely to spend it on something that makes us feel special, or on something that we really really like than to spend it on something that is simply average.

I was a subscriber to Graze for a few months and loved awaiting that small and slim brown package filled with healthy treats, and I am still obsessed with purchasing from Amazon and Moo.com for similar reasons. Cake in a jar excites me, and I’m willing to bet it will excites you too. Even if you still say no right now, like with most things, there is a tipping point and I’m I believe cake in the jar is just about to be called upon, by the cake consumers of this fine country!

Experience is better than inspiration

As fresh as this lesson is I decided to share and add value to the blog that I have now been committed too for over eight months and one hundred and nineteen posts later (one hundred and twenty if you count this one) – It may not be a long time, concerning this blog, but my point is not relative to this blog – Rather to explain the progression of the following two phrases:

‘It’s better to embrace the process of your goal, than reject it. In the end, you will get there faster.”

“Experience has taught me better.”

I have come to the understanding that as much as it’s good to be inspired, and have the ability to inspire others; it’s worth far more to have the experience to back up the inspiration for a product, or service or business idea. Depending on your industry or goal this will vary; but by the same token I’m not saying that we have to be an expert in any specific field either.

People change careers all the time, so if your stuck in a job or an industry you don’t like – Great news! You can change!  You just need to position yourself for that change, and when things have the potential to overwhelm – breathe and embrace the process. I heard someone say once, if it looks bad, then it’s not the end yet. There have been many areas in my own life when things haven’t looked great – we all have them, but I have finally concluded that it’s actually better to have gone through stuff and gained the experience good or bad, (even the bad can be turned for good). It is better to be season in life, or in the market you aim to succeed in first; and then inspire others from a position of strength.

Rather than hide from what we do not know, or try to pump ourselves up, I reckon it pays more to be honest and put my hands in the air when I do not know something. At the end of the day, Steve Jobs never designed the iPhone, he just facilitated it and asked the right questions.

We make a mistake if we agree with these ideas, and then at the mention of Steve Jobs or others who have ‘accomplished’ something, and respond ‘yeah well I’m not Steve Jobs.’ For some reason our Scottish culture hasn’t always been good to us. In my own opinion and experience, my nation is filled with exceptional talented, loyal and friendly people to any other nation, but sometimes when it comes to cheering on our own, we can struggle.

I have come to appreciate that whilst there maybe certain areas, or things have not gone my way in life before, maybe it was all for a good reason and maybe if it wasn’t for those set backs – I wouldn’t be who I am today, or doing what I’m doing.

Most things in life involve process, and often that process varies in time, skill and involvement, however; I do believe that through watching the lives of those gone before me, we must not reject process, instead embrace it and we will get where we need to go faster.

By no means have I arrived yet, or do I expect to get things right 100% of the time, but I do aspire to become more and more a person of character – Someone who inspires not just with fancy and impressive words, thoughts or ideas; Rather to be known as someone who has lived, been through the highs and low’s and inspires from a place of experience, not emotion.

Like the good old saying goes, ‘we must practice what we preach.’

How long is a piece of string?

Traveling through the world of journalism, digital media, and publishing I have come across several guidelines, opinions and commentary on how long an article, feature, news piece, vox pop, blog, web content, and book should be.

I’ve even asked the question to those who have gone before me, and the conclusion I have finally reached in all of these areas are; as long as you want.

However; in certainly areas, as long as you want must take into consideration the end user, reader, or listener.

If you can sum up a story in one sentence, then why not use just one line to say it. If I learnt one thing in my degree it would be this; write what you have to say, and cut the fat.