A Kase of…. what should I blog about?

29 10 2010

Hey friends and readers… I need your help – I want to put a greater focus to my blog and I need your feedback.  What do YOU want to read?

I started this blog almost a year ago, and I’ve been admittedly inconsistent with my posts.  I wrote as the spirit moved me, and as I could discipline myself to sit down and just do it!  I’d like to have 3 blog posts a week, and I have a couple of ideas for areas of focus:

The Social Network meets Blair Witch?

Social Media –  It is certainly my passion of the past year and has affected my life in sooo many ways.  My entire scope of friends and contacts has changed, expanded, and grown exponentially.  There’s no question I am a twitter addict – “I am powerless over twitter and my hashtags have become unmanageable.”  Yes, I DO want to put that on a T-shirt (as a run-on hashtag, btw).

I’m not a fan of people calling themselves social media “gurus” as the medium is still so new and evolving.   If we are participating on a regular basis, we all have our experiences and opinions on elements we like or dislike.

Music – I have been a music fan since I was a a pre-teen.  I think I’ve wanted to marry a rock star since I was 16 (still waiting on that one, btw).

"Rock" Music, get it?

As some of you know, I was a radio DJ for years… I did college radio in Chicago at Northwestern’s WNUR (which lead to many a club DJ gig), then I had my first “professional” on-air position when I lived in Key West, and then finally for over 10 years I was in Cleveland at Classic Rock 98.5 WNCX.  At all of these gigs I have had some wild adventures, been to some amazing concerts and had some fun pix taken.  I have a wealth of stories to draw from, as well as passion to move forward with music programming and DJ-ing in new media – I think there will be many options to provide quality music programming via the web, especially as wi-fi comes to cars.

I also want to keep up on new releases, but I need to learn more about many of the new artists.  This would afford me the opportunity to have guest bloggers for concert and new releases reviews, and possible interviews as they become available.

So what do you think?  What should I cover in my blog?  Are there things you don’t want to read?  Would you be interested in being a guest blogger?

And a final note – these pictures were taken during one of my recent walks.  I used found objects for all of them; I can’t help but think that the “Social Media” pic is a little like The Social Network meets Blair Witch…  What would you have thought when you found that left on a sidewalk around Halloween??  A message written in acorns and twigs ?  hmmm….

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Three great women moving forward in 2010

14 01 2010

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was inspired by three woman who recently made decisions to follow their true selves and walk through fear as they do it.  Now I have the opportunity to thank them and give them the credit they are due:

Jennifer Ferber – Jenn is someone I have really come to know by taking her Spin classes at Ride+Workout in Lakewood, OH.  www.RideandWorkout.com For those of you who follow me on twitter and Facebook, I will often mention I take her Sunday 4pm class.  Not only does she play a great mix of music (all played LOUD, with the lights dimmed), she talks about the class being an active meditation:  You’ve taken the time to get there, now focus on your intent.  You need to get beautiful from the inside out… if the ‘outsides’ are pretty but the ‘insides’ are nasty, no one’s going to want to be around you anyway!

The other great thing about Jenn is that she started spinning only a little over 2 years ago, as she was going through a very nasty divorce.  She said that the support of the spin class and the process of taking that time for herself got her through some really bad times.  It was a natural progression for her then to start teaching classes and I have seen her grow as an instructor.  She also met her now-fiancé, Scott (a GOOD guy) in spin class and they are going to start teaching a tandem spin class Fridays at 6pm to demonstrate how the energy you get from a good spin partner can really help propel you to keep going, and how the energy can just flow between the two of you.

Not only is Jenn taking on this new class in 2010, but she has made a big decision for change in her fulltime job.  She recently decided to leave a “safe” position with a company where she had worked for quite a while to take the risk with a new company in Business Development.  She stands to earn more in the long run, but more importantly, she realized it was time for her to challenge herself, and she believes in her ability to accomplish her goals.  If you’d like to reach Jenn (she’s not on twitter – bummer) but you can email her at  SpinGirl1968@yahoo.com.

Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich on twitter) Gini is a truly driven business person. I came to know Gini strictly through twitter (we have since connected twice in person).  I had put out a general question on twitter about Vistage, (the company for which my father has been a Chair of groups of CEOs to improve their business and personal lives), my old college roomie Diane (@ChicagoDiane) said that I had to speak with Gini; that Gini was a Vistage member (and CEO of Arment Dietrich PR).  I inquired with Gini (who is in Chicago) if she might know of anyone possible members for a Cleveland group where my dad was based.  She didn’t, but we began following each other on twitter.

I think our relationship is a healthy example of how to connect on twitter – I don’t really remember how it all evolved, but it seemed to grow very naturally.  That, and Gini would often tweet things that would make me laugh!  But then she did something really brave, she posted a blog about mistakes she had made; it was brutally honest and open.  She was honest about the things she didn’t know, she admitted to crying, she discussed her self-doubt, until she began to see it was ok to fail http://www.spinsucks.com/leadership/mistakes-made-in-growing-a-business .  I was amazed at her candor.  More importantly, I was amazed at how she addressed the failure and turned it around.  The quote that inspired her blog post was from Confucius: “It’s not in that we fail, but in how we pick ourselves up when we do.”  Wow.  That’s one worth posting over my desk.

More recently, Gini has made the decision in going into 2010, that her “PR” firm is no longer going to be a PR firm – it is going to focus strictly on social media and communication.  Gini explains it better here:  http://www.spinsucks.com/spin/arment-dietrich-is-no-longer-a-pr-firm .  Bottom line, Gini is doing what she feels is right to build her business AND for her to be satisfied in her roll as well.  You should follow Gini on twitter @ginidietrich- she recently reached her goal of over 10,000 followers!  Oh yeah, and she spins (the exercise) too!

Heather Acton (@HeatherActon78)  – Heather is a new twitter friend.  I’m not even sure why I had started following her –  she may have been suggested by one of my Chicago connections (Heather is also a Chicago gal), or maybe someone had retweeted something from her I had liked.  We had not connected much on twitter, then late one night just a couple of weeks ago I was scanning my Tweetdeck, contemplating many of the great questions of life (something like ‘what do I do next?’ ‘why me?’,  or ‘I feel lost…’) and though I did not tweet any of those questions, I came across this tweet: VIDEO: Heather Jumps Ship! http://tmogul.com/tweet/bYPjL 12:44 AM Jan 5th.  So I watched this video Heather had just posted.  She discussed her decision to leave her engineering job at Proctor & Gamble so that she could focus on her kids and grow her own home business.

I immediately tweeted back to Heather, giving her my support and telling her of how I had just read Gini’s blog only hours before about her decision to change direction and how I had also just made a big decision to leave WNCX (albeit only part time) to be truer to my ‘personal brand’.  We began frantically DM-ing each other back & forth about how it can be scary but also so invigorating to make big changes and take a risk.

Heather has had her last day at P & G, and is now building her home business of web site development, marketing, and online business development  for individuals, organizations, and businesses.  Check out her website and blog at www.HeatherActon.com.  I definitely plan on connecting with Heather in person on my next trip to Chicago.

So who do you know who is facing fear and taking on new challenges this year?  Are you supporting them? You should!  This is the new economy and how we can grow both personally and professionally.  Let me know of an outstanding individual in your life an I’ll try to feature them in an upcoming blog post.   Remember to keep moving… crawl, walk.. run!





It’s one for the Bucket List

22 12 2009

Being able to go backstage at a rock concert really is cool.  I’m not going to deny it; it is one of the elite experiences that is an earned privilege.  It’s one of the things I would have everyone put on their “bucket list”.  You cannot buy a backstage pass like you can with “special vip” seating and parking at certain concert venues (a smart, albeit annoying, marketing ploy in my opinion).  So I always look forward to when Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) comes to Cleveland and I get to go backstage.

I have “earned” this privilege as WNCX (the radio station for which I am DJ) was the first station in the country to really play TSO, and my boss, Program Director Bill Louis suggested to TSO creator Paul O’Neill that he take the story and do it as a concert.  I have always been a big advocate and believer of the band, doing my best to promote and support them and the individual side projects as well.  The first two years of TSO shows were very “evolutionary” compared to the current, regulated grueling tour schedule; back then TSO would have a show in Cleveland, then 3 or 4 days off, drive to another city, then come back to Cleveland.  The band got to hang out a lot here in Cleveland, and that’s how we all got to know each other.

This past weekend marked the 11th year TSO played in Cleveland, with matinée & evening shows on both Saturday & Sunday. Yes, I was at all four shows and I stayed true to my philosophy: I want to share this fun experience with friends and family who have never seen the band and/or have never had the “backstage experience” before (so they can check it off their bucket list!)

This year my guests were:  Mary Kay Stahley, Executive Director of Malachi House, a wonderful facility which provides hospice for the dying poor www.malachihouse.org @MalachiHouse;  Adam Gercak (@acgercak), the man behind Throwing Quarters blog & podcast www.throwingquarters.com/ and his lovely wife and graphic designer, Jenn (@jmacgercak); Susie Sharp, CLE social media enthusiast and soon-to-be blogger (@SusieSharp); and a last-minute fill-in, Pat McKay, good friend of Adam and a drummer with local band The Poland Invasion http://www.myspace.com/jenpoland, who was blown away by Jeff Plate’s drum kit!  (http://www.jeffplate.com/)

I told my friends to forget about any pre-conceived notions of backstage drunken debauchery; this tour is now a well-oiled machine, with no time for shenanigans.  But there is awesome catering (sushi bar, lamb chops, prime rib & even a full cooler of Dippin Dots!) Plus it just looks cool to see everything works.

With four shows in two days, you know these peeps work hard!  To help them blow off  some steam, there was a special after-show private party Saturday night at the Q – a Karaoke party for band members, crew and friends.  There was a similar party 4 or 5 years ago (the years have begun to blur).  The last party was hilarious as professional singers mixed with, er, “non-professionals”, singing everything from Madonna to Metallica.  I’m not a singer, so I never thought to get up and “karaoke” last time.

HOWEVER, that changed THIS year!

Yup, after quite a bit of prodding from Rob Evan (who, btw, starred in the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title roles for three years and over 600 performances www.Rob-Evan.com ) I got up to sing in front of a bunch of professionals.  I didn’t have any booze for “courage”.  I had never done karaoke before.  It was all pretty scary stuff- guitarist Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) was watching too!  www.alexskolnick.com.

Sorry, there is no “and then she was discovered” story happy ending here – the fact is, I bombed!  I tried to sing “Pepper” by The Butthole Surfers.  http://www.last.fm/music/Butthole+Surfers/_/Pepper I couldn’t keep up, so I had them start the karaoke machine over again.  My mouth was so dry by the end of the first verse, I could barely swollow.  But I stuck it out all the way until the end and finished the song.

Driving home later that night, I kept replaying my “performance” in my head, berating myself for doing so badly.  Then a smile slowly came across my face.  It didn’t really matter how well I did; just that I had done it!  How many people will EVER have that opportunity in their lifetime:  to sing Karaoke in front of broadway leads, rock stars, and professional singers? I had the opportunity and I DID IT!  (I should tell you that NOT ironically, you could see the giant LeBron Nike “Witness” billboard outside the window – the one that takes up almost the entire side of a building).

Another very cool, elite, and special experience I can check off my bucket list!

I’ll leave you with this thought:  The next time something comes along that seems too scary (or potentially embarrassing) to tackle, take a pause… maybe it’s the universe giving you an “at bat” with something from your bucket list.  Think for a moment; will you walk through your fear, or live with regret?  Nike gets props for this one, “Just Do It!”