Friday, February 20, 2015

We All Have Stuff

Life constantly reminds me that I alone own my own "Stuff"... and that I cannot unload it onto others. We all have stuff; that baggage we carry, and failures we have that we later dwell on in our thoughts.  As humans we contemplate things, but too often this over-thinking makes our perspective depart from reality.

It could be a self-preservation thing - that we change our memory to keep ourselves from having to face our flaws. If I did nothing wrong, then I am okay. Maybe superior to others.  This brings good feelings.  To look at the stumbles could make a person feel bad, and feeling bad is not acceptable in our world today.  

Often times when facing mistakes or short-comings we file them away, hoping to never unlock that drawer again.  Stuffing our business and personal loses in a box that we don't review seems like the easy path. 

However, in a weird way I like my flaws, as they never allow me to be complacent in my growth.  If I did not realize my mistakes, I could not strive to do better next time. Looking back at ways I have screwed up motivates me to fix whatever I have done in the past that created the negative situation.

It makes it easier to face your dark side when you have a supportive significant other and friends who believe in you and hold you up when you need them.  This means you are free to examine your weaknesses, as you will not fall into the abyss of crap.  I am grateful for my wife, daughters, and those "forever friends" who accept me unconditionally.  Their being part of my path is paramount to my success.

Several people in our lives find ways to boosts us up and allow us to keep fighting the good fight.  Often these special souls do not even know they play such and important role.  Hopefully I am that person to others, as so many are the scaffolding around the construction sight of my life's journey.

The opposite is also true, there are people who undermine you and the world around you.  They take joy in the drama that nibbles at your foundation.  Keep your eyes open for those who do this, as they also can have an impact (not in a good way).

Accept your "stuff" and learn from it.  But also, accept that others have their own "stuff", too. The right people matter, and they don't mind your baggage. 

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Physical Address on a Business Card.... A Thing of the Past?

As children we watched our parents get mail everyday, and somehow that seemed special (we did not realize the percentage of mail that was advertising or bills).  On the rare occasion that we got a card or letter it was awesome.  I believe that getting snail mail is still cool.

In business there is awesome power in the handwritten note.  When someone takes the time to mail a letter it shows a level of intent and effort above that of a text or an email.  The tools we use to communicate are always changing, but there is something about a card in the mail that makes people feel special and makes them think better of the sender.

I recently got a question from my friend Patrick.  He is an awesome person who cares a lot about people.  He has decided to send more notes, and after attending a conference recently he found that not everyone he met had their physical address on their card.  He wanted to reach out and show them they mattered more than a digital blast, but was perplexed about the new trend not to list all contact information.

Patrick asked:
I've been trying to write to many of those I met this weekend, but I'm finding 75% of the people don't have a mailing address on their card or website... 
My question--in these situations do you just do an email? Anything else you do here? 
I was surprised because my lack of addresses. Do you ask for mailing addresses in those cases?
He brings up an interesting point.  What do you do when you want to show someone the "extra love" and they block you by not having this information available?

This is becoming a bigger issue, as it is more common these days for people to just put a single point of contact on their card (phone, email, or Twitter). Larger companies still put their locations on cards, but many solopreneurs have eliminated this option. It is common for people to work from home, thus they do not feel comfortable about putting their location out to the world (which is why I have a PO Box). 

I believe it is important for people to make it easy for others to contact you in the way they see fit (make it about the other person's convenience, not you own), but most of the advice given these days is to instruct people to contact you the way you want to be contacted.  A good friend's voicemail used to instruct callers that leaving a voicemail was not what he preferred, and then instructed his callers to send a text.  That never seemed like the friendliest greeting.

After I meet someone if I want to send a note, and there is no address, I will often try to visit a person's website and see if they have a physical location listed.  Beyond that I do not want to be a stalker (I know some people who do more detailed searches and find home addresses online, but that can be creepy).  In my email I sometimes add "I intended to send you a handwritten note (because you are worth the handwritten level of a note!!), but your address was not listed on your card".

Another option is to email them or message them via social media and ask for the address.  In a way this is a "spoiler alert" about your intention to mail a card, but I think that is okay if the person is really worthy of the extra effort.

In the end, try to send a handwritten note, but if you can't find the address, go with the email.  Just remember, many people get 300 emails per day.  It is not the best way to stand out or show them that they are a priority.  

What do you think?  Leave a comment, send an email, Tweet, leave a FB message or mail me a letter (which ever way is your favorite). 

Oh, my address is PO Box 12793, Austin, TX 78711

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

8th Annual Fundraiser: Kate Singer Endowment for Cranio-Facial Research

For the 8th year in a row our family is hosting a fundraiser for Cranio-Facial Research at Dell Children's Medical Center.

As many of you know, Kate was born with a condition called Sagital Synostosis, and required surgery to rebuild her skull at age six-months. At the time there was no Dell Children's Medical Center in Central Texas, thus we had to search outside of our community to find the right doctors who would operate on Kate and give her a fresh start in life. Since the opening of Dell Children's our family has supported the hospital with regular donations and the hosting of this annual fundraiser. 

We celebrate Kate, now age 13, each February by raising money to help others who are born with Cranio-Facial abnormalities. One might think that a small donation does not matter, but over time these fundraisers and our contributions have grown to over $50,000 at both Dell Children's and Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.  Your support of this effort is making a lasting impact.

Thank you for your support of this great cause!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer