Monthly Archives: February 2015

It’s Just Another #ManicMonday…Making Networking and Relationship Building Part Of Every Day

Yep, it is just another manic Monday around here. And as I look at my calendar, my head is spinning. But it’s all good, I can keep it under control like I always do with the help of a bazillion reminders popping up on my phone and computer.  That assumes, of course, I put all of the events on my calendar in the first place. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

I’m actually heading to LA on Tuesday to spend a few days with some childhood friends that are sprinkled around the metropolitan area and then celebrate my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah over the weekend. I worked all weekend writing a few blogs, planning out some social media content and, yes, even went into Quickbooks to balance my accounts. Seriously, hasn’t anyone created a way for that to happen automatically?

Oh wait, it’s called outsourcing….

hire a va

Hopefully after a few meetings and running a bunch of errands, I will be home at a reasonable time to pack and be out the door at the crack of OMG o’thirty tomorrow morning. Somebody please promise me one day there will be a way to transport ourselves across the country in the blink of an eye and we no longer need to take early am flights!!!

Anyway, when I first started all of this current craziness (this website and Facebook community page),  I wanted to continue my passion for helping other businesses and organizations grow and succeed, something I had cultivated through my previous craziness while running my baked goods company, tcP! Sweets.

My "Killer" Brownie Bites

My “Killer” Brownie Bites

Many of you who followed me on that journey (or maybe even read the About page on this website) know that I networked my tushy off over the past 3 years building up a lot of recognition and credibility. And you may be surprised to hear I was able to do it by introducing myself a lot of times as a “networking slut”.

Did I mention you can call me crazy?

What can I say, I love connecting with people and I fully embrace every opportunity online and face to face. And I always want people to know that what they see is exactly what they get with me. I don’t think I ever go over the line by being offensive, I just like to keep it real.

In social media expert Kim Garst’s  new book, Will The Real You Please Stand Up, she focuses on how we all need to recognize in the world today how important it is to be authentic or, using her now trending hashtag, #BeYou.  I  happen to be a big fan of Kim so I may be a little biased when I say that she totally nails the whole “being real” thing in this book.

I choose to believe I live by her words in the image above every day. I am extremely enthusiastic about my message and truly hope that whatever it is I do throughout the days, weeks, months and years will inspire and influence others. Probably not in a Mother Teresa or Gloria Steinem way but hopefully still have some degree of an impact in my spheres of influence.

I touched on my, dare I say, obsession with networking and relationship building in a lot of tcP! blogs especially this one about my local “tribe”.

Hanging with my "tribe"

Hanging with my TBBO “tribe” at a piano bar on a marketing cruise in 2014…we totally rocked it!

At the risk of repeating myself from the past, let me just say I am very fortunate to have met some pretty incredible people here in Tampa Bay as well as around the world via all of the social media connections I’ve made but, trust me, it took a lot of work. The rewards, however, have been tremendous.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now transitioning relatively seamlessly to my new venture as a Business Ambassador.

A what??????

Well, for those that don’t have the time, inclination or wherewithal to network  in a way that truly gains and maintains clients, I will be that person for a handful of small business owners in Tampa Bay.  Yep, more networking my tushy off 🙂 But my role as their ambassador, envoy, emissary, advocate, whatever you want to call it will go well beyond handing out a bunch of business cards at events.

Call Me Crazy Calling Card

It will be about cultivating relationships that will translate to business. And maybe not even with the other business owner I am sitting across the table from having coffee with. Let’s face it…not every business owner you meet will need to do business with you, but you never know who they know that will, right?

So yes, call me crazy, but despite all of the SEO, lead generation, social media, blogging, podcasting, webinars, emails and, yes, direct mail marketing small business owners do to get their name out there, there is always going to be a need to sit down face to face and have a conversation. My recommendation? Always make those conversations more about each other than about your businesses, especially in the beginning of building a relationship. People want to do business with the real you. If they don’t, then do you really want to do business with them?

That’s all for now…#BlackerOut !

 

 

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Filed under Business Development, Networking

#ProudMama Moment … Score One For Higher Education !

Anyone who knows me, knows I have never been one of those moms that brags a lot about my kids, hovers over them like a helicopter or tell them “It’s ok, Mommy will take care of it.”

And I am admittedly a terrible soccer mom…seriously, after a dozen years of watching on the sidelines I still don’t understand when they get a corner vs. goal kick.. Inevitably whenever one of my kids scored or made a really great play I was talking to the mom or dad next to me.

But I ALWAYS remembered to turn the beaters off before letting my kids lick them…score one point for me!

food-quotes-from-pinterest-2

Anyways, I am a realist and while I certainly wanted my kids to be kids and feel like the world could be at times simply filled with thoughts of rainbows and unicorns, I tried very hard throughout their “formative” years to teach them they were absolutely going to have to suffer through some skinned knees…literally and figuratively.  And trust me, I have, dare I say, “suffered” through the tears and fears right along side them.

But we all have managed to get to the point where my now 21 year old daughter and almost 18 year old son, are just fine. Well, at least by my definition of “fine”.

So call me crazy but when my daughter, now a junior in the Florida State Film School program, tells me that her documentary from last year, Earning Jenny, has won an award for editing at this past weekend’s Black Warrior Film Festival  at The University of Alabama, I’m very proud.

Proud Mama Alert

Couple the award with the fact that the documentary was featured last night at the National Federation of Temple Youth’s (NFTY) Biennial Conference  in Atlanta, I am literally gushing.  You see, I have history with the NFTY program so this is kind of a sentimental thing for me too. I was very involved as a high school teenager through my synagogue in Metro-Detroit and the experiences I had definitely helped shape..all religion aside…the person I am today.

When my daughter was in high school, she too became very involved in her temple youth group which included going to Camp Jenny 3 out of the 4 years of high school plus the past few years while in college. So yes, I’m proud that she took her experiences and turned them into something even bigger while in college.

It is, in my opinion (albeit a very motherly one) an awesome documentary about the Camp Jenny program, established in 1988, which provides 150 kindergarten through 5th grade students from the F.L. Stanton Elementary School in Atlanta the opportunity to literally earn throughout the school year 4 days of a camp experience at the URJ Camp Coleman property in the northern Georgia mountains every Memorial Day weekend. Some of these kids have never been outside of Atlanta let alone spend a weekend away from their parents. This is a really big deal and the kids work incredibly hard to get one of the very precious spots.

So while some may poo poo the costs vs. benefits of higher education these days, I am going to give it a big THUMBS UP … or at least for my daughter. She has totally earned it and it is my hope all of the children who earn Camp Jenny will go on to earn many more things too.

Earning Jenny on Vimeo

FYI…if you want to watch the video you will need to send me an email to receive the link and password. Sorry it is technically the property of the film school but trust me it is awesome and totally worth the 7 minutes of your time.

That’s all for now…#BlackerOut

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Filed under Parenting

Happy Valentine’s Day Blacker Style

I’ll keep this very short…and, of course, sweet being that today is somewhat about chocolate.

In our house we believe every day should be Valentine’s Day. I know, very sappy, but true. So we forego the flowers and chocolates as well as the overpriced dinner out and stick with a tradition that goes back to when my husband and I were dating.

Beth Blacker Valentine Menagerie

Our Valentine’s Day menagerie … please disregard the pots and pans in the background

Every year we each go out in search of the perfect new addition to what we call our Valentine menagerie. Surprisingly, we’ve never bought the same one for each other. They all play a song, some more current than others and each one has a somewhat unique movement…a lion opening and closing a cloak to Kool and The Gang’s “Ladies Night” or a gorilla jiggling to Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”.

For 360 days out the year they all reside on the plant shelf above the guest room closet, no doubt collecting a ton of dust. But for the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, they make their home on our kitchen counter and whenever we walk by them we inevitably push at least one of the buttons and do a little dance ourselves. What can I say?…We are easily amused and, I suppose, a little crazy.

So without further adieu, please help me welcome the 2015 additions to our menagerie…

Three guesses what the fox sings and the first two don’t count 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day however you choose to celebrate, but hopefully with a little skip in your step and a song in your heart.

That’s it for now… #Blackerout

P.S. Feel free to leave a comment below and share any of your Valentine’s Day traditions or favorite, maybe even crazy, memories.

27 Comments

Filed under Call Me Crazy, Holidays

Hello, My Name Is Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy!

Hello, my name is Beth Blacker and yes, you can call me crazy…Why? Well, ask my kids, my husband or even my ex-husband and I’m sure you will get a lot of different reasons. But if you ask me, it is because I look out at the world every day and see stuff that, simply put, really does make me crazy. Sometimes it is a good crazy and sometimes not so much. I know, you probably feel the same way. I am just choosing to write about it and I hope you will join me on this journey as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, businesswomen, friend, dog lover, yoga enthusiast, occasional wine drinker (ok, fine, more than occasional) and anything else that I am through the course of my days, weeks, months and years.

That’s it for now…#BlackerOut!

The craziness apparently started at a very young age.

The craziness apparently started at a very young age.

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Filed under Call Me Crazy