Facebook Removes Suggest to Friends- How Will We Grow!

As you know, Facebook pretty much runs the world now, and they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, without notifying users, nor caring how user friendly or intuitive their user interface may be when changed abruptly. That said, it still is a fantastic platform for business, and well, they will continue to have many of us on that leash, because frankly if done right, it works. A great option in building a business page following, historically, was the ‘Suggest to Friends’ option, as seen to the left.

This is something I always tell clients new to Facebook or growing a business page to use on a weekly basis as they add friends to their personal page, in order to use their personal connections as a portal to growth for their business page, as relevant of course.

Those of you using this function may have noticed it acting a bit odd lately.  Something like the grey bar below, where you normally would see the thumbnails of each of your friends.  They first announced this as a holding pattern while a bug was fixed.  Per this article:  http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/21/suggest-to-friend-bug/

However, the end result is that this functionality for the non-admin user has actually been removed, as discussed here: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/28/removal-suggest-friends-pages/

Page admins, do not fret- as a page creator you still have access to this function, and should continue to use it as a fan building mechanism to boost your business page.

What you can no longer do is say to your friend with 1300 Facebook friends “Hey buddy, will you help support my business growth and suggest my business page to your expansive group of friends?”  Well, you can still say this, but your friend can no longer help you in this way.    Or can they…?

If you trust this friend, absolutely and unconditionally, both before and after cocktails, there is an option.  First ask yourself- would I give this person my debit card pin code?  If this answer is yes, consider this possibility…  Perhaps if just for a day, you make them an Admin of your business page.  (You trust them, right?)  If someone is an admin of your page, they can still help you and suggest their Facebook friends become a fan of your page.

So this is the workaround solution, one not to be considered lightly.  One I don’t like to recommend for privacy sake, but some of you have very influential friends with strong networks, yet a simple ‘share’ is not going to have the impact of a ‘suggest’.   People can still “share” your comments to their following, and this is still a good engagement factor to shoot for in your interactions and it can facilitate viral growth as well as boost search engine optimization (SEO).  However, it is a much slower step toward growth and is not going to have the potential exposure of a “suggest”. The “share” can sneak past one’s view in a full newsfeed, while a “suggest” will remain in someone’s queue for an action to be taken. 







So perhaps you make your highly connected friends or family members an admin, temporarily, so that they can suggest your business page to their friends.  Just don’t forget to remove them once the action is taken!

Go forth and grow!


Maximizing Social Media Internships

Photo by graur razvan ionut

Of the infinite benefits of social media, another has been the introduction of new jobs and opportunity into the economy at a time when it is critically needed.  The other side of this coin is that many people believe that because they spent years using Facebook, they automatically qualify as a “Social Media Expert”.  Businesses often fail to look beyond the lack of business world application due to their urgency to get online, and resist making the financial investment to do it strategically. 

Enter the social media internship.   The internship is an incredible way to benefit both the applicant and the business.  But it can also be a recipe for disaster if not managed appropriately.

When hiring an intern to manage your social media, ask yourself a few questions:

  •  Would I want this person on the phone with that huge deal I’m about to close, while the world listens? 
  •  Would I want this person to immediately react and speak on my behalf when my business, products or services are highly criticized in the public eye? 
  •  Is this person a savvy communicator, strategic thinker, and comfortable with a public presence?

It isn’t simply about the ability to navigate the social landscape, a successful social media or community manager must understand your brand, your voice, the etiquette of attraction marketing, and hold in very high regard the fact that they are responsible for representing your public image online.

Let’s also consider your responsibility as a business owner, and grooming young professionals to be masters of their craft and helping to launch them into a successful career.  

The intent of an internship for a student is to learn and grow by applying learned skills in a business setting.  If you toss them a bunch of content and tell them to “post and chat” they will not be making the most of this career growth opportunity.  The internship is not about ‘cheap labor’ it is a coaching opportunity that needs to be taken seriously by the employer.

Too often businesses are simply looking to reduce cost and get online so they can look the other way and ‘let social media run itself’.  This does not work.  Making the investment to educate your social media interns will not only benefit your online campaign and protect your reputation, it could just result in a long term employee who becomes a solid, strategic player in your organization generating substantial ROI on your initial investment.

This is your image at stake, and the potential of an eager young professional.  Aren’t both worth the investment?


The Fearless Leader vs. The Emotionally Intelligent Leader- What Do You Aspire To?

Traditionally, the presumption of ‘fearless leader’ has been held in high regard. Someone who takes risks, who takes charge, and keeps full control and power in the face of adversity. What had not historically been considered was the impact yielding of such power and control had on the supporting individuals and thus, the dynamic of the entire community. It is not a surprise this is often used in conjunction with the term ‘dictator’. In a business situation, do you want a fearless leader, or an emotionally intelligent leader? Stick with me before you answer that based on traditional presumptions…

How does one become what is known as the traditional concept of “fearless leader”? One of many concepts studied by Kets de Vries and Miller (1985) in their article on “Narcissism and Leadership,” is based on a personality trait called “reactive narcissism”. Such individuals are driven to prove their superiority, power and adequacy. They lack empathy, resist criticism, and blame others for failures. Because of their demeanor and actions, this personality is often viewed as the ‘fearless leader’. However, when considering leadership from the perspective of motivating and inspiring others, and being a solid role model for those in your wake, this individual completely lacks true leadership capabilities.

A title and a box above other boxes on an organizational chart does not make one a leader. In my career I have encountered a few ‘fearless leaders’. Take for example the executive who would walk across the office in a rage, copying an entire organization on an email to blame and humiliate others before fully gauging a situation and keeping himself in check. Imagine the demoralization that can spread from this behavior occurring on a consistent basis. How might increasing this individual’s level of emotional intelligence improve his leadership skills? Acknowledge the fear that underlies these actions. What? A leader having fear!? Yes, one who is truly a fearless leader is not one without fear, but one who acknowledges the fear, and can push forth with grace and fortitude in spite of it, without throwing others under the bus, and allowing themselves and others to learn and grow from the situation. Ego must not cloud the situation.

These days people think too much in extremes and are afraid to acknowledge having fear. Fear is something you have if someone is chasing you with a knife, a car coming at you in the wrong lane, a rabid animal before you with exposed teeth, or a big creepy spider on your wall (just me?).

Fear actually also is- “that customer is pissed, I hope I don’t lose them”, or “I am really nervous about making this sales call, I’m a bit intimidated by this person”, or “I can’t believe I said that in that meeting, I hope they don’t think I’m an idiot”. Anything that raises concern that you might lose something of comfort or importance to you qualifies as fear. At the greatest extreme, it could be the loss of life. But it may also be loss of status, prestige, financial security, reputation, or even simply the ability to have a pleasant conversation.

Once you can name it, you can effectively deal with it. It takes humility to do this, and this is a much stronger trait than trying to hide your fear with blame, justification and attacks on others. Humility and an emotionally intelligent leader build morale, cohesion and a dynamic team in support of one another and a common goal. Read: Profit and success!

Challenging the Inner Child

It is proven in neuroscience that the beliefs instilled in you as a child can hold you back as an adult. Those things that we were told or experienced (perception being reality, especially for a child) become etched in our brain and established as our lifelong belief system. The brain continues to use those beliefs to protect us from perceived hurt, pain, rejection and failure.

What would happen if you let those go? Who could you become? What dreams did you set aside because someone told you that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do something? What do you feel you’ve been missing out on? What greatness are you stifling because of your false doubts of yourself? Most people settle for content and comfortable. But we are worth and deserve so much more!

I came across many nostalgic items as my sister and I packed up our Mother’s things after she passed. So many memories resurfaced! I loved finding the box of clay art each of us (my brother, sister and I) created as youngsters in school. Of course ashtrays abound along with various other lumpy colorful works. One that fascinated me was the creation I made in fourth grade- a person doing sit-ups. Really, sit-ups? Looking back now, I wouldn’t have thought I even knew what a sit-up was then. It really struck me that I came up with that at such an age. But it had meaning for me now as a late-life entrant into the fitness industry.

Given my recent life transition, I’ve been pondering a lot about dreams I left behind in childhood to follow the path I was “supposed” to follow. The reasonable path set by societal and familial expectations. This is the one that I followed for 16 years; “Successful”? Yes. Fulfilled? No

Holding onto my novice work of art I thought back to how as a child I longed for movement, music, expression and helping others. I dreamed of being a dancer, dancing around the house for hours in our red carpeted basement by myself to my sister’s record albums! But this wasn’t a reasonable career choice. I would struggle financially, my parents wanted more for me than they had. I was too short anyway and we didn’t have enough money for such training. I also recalled how I knew I wanted to help others, simply help the world in some way. In my mind at that time that meant being a doctor or a veterinarian. But, you had to be really smart to do that, have a lot of money for school, and besides, wouldn’t I cry at the death of my first bird let alone puppy or human being? Don’t be silly, I was way to emotional to handle such things.

When we are told something as a child, or see things in action before us, it becomes our solid, unquestioned belief and standard mode of operation for living. We believe what those we look up to tell us; those who care for us and protect us. It usually is done out of love and protection. In other unfortunate cases it may be out of verbal abuse or jealousy. Whatever the source, it CAN be overcome. Don’t ignore your desires or hold back from making great life shifts just because that recording in your head says “you can’t” before even giving it a shot. Stop that voice next time and ask “why not, dammit!” Answer the question as the child you were, and then challenge that child as the powerful, strong adult you are now. The beliefs are so prevalent because it isn’t our common nature to question it. But with the awareness of it and taking the action enough- the adult will win.

It takes a lot of work, coaching, and discipline to change beliefs. It’s a lifelong journey. But, it allowed me to walk away from a stereotypically successful career and attractive salary to start again and follow my dreams. It happened a little bit at a time, but it happened by following my passion, not letting old belief systems stop me, not caring what people think. Becoming transparent to the world because even if thousands laugh but 1 person is inspired to action, I’ve done my job.

Years ago I never would have expected this Technology Exec to be living life as a Dance Fitness Instructor and Certified Personal Transition & Business Coach today. I’m loving life!!

I would never change the experiences I had or years in the corporate world. It gave me the business acumen and technology skills to be the entrepreneur I am today, and continue to become. Little by little, following what I loved (instead of what I thought I was supposed to do), sharing my authentic self and seeing that it inspired people, allowed me to see doors that were in front of me all along.

You can’t see those doors of opportunity with your belief blinders on. What’s holding you back? Challenge those old patterns and let’s start soaring together!

Sue Koch – Blog on BrightFuse – A Talent Community

Sue Koch – Blog on BrightFuse – A Talent Community

Who Are You Failing to Honor by Listening to Your Fears?

Every time I hit the pavement I delight in how great running is for stress relief, meditation, feeling freedom and nature (which in Chicago could be joyous or extremely irritating, even within minutes of one another…) but ultimately, for the process of generating unexpected ideas, and on occasion, moving revelations. Today was one of those days.

As some know, I made a huge decision to divert from a “successful” career to pursue my deeper desires, and hopefully in the process, empower others to freedom and inspiration along the way. This has been a freeing, exciting, and terrifying path! As a Professional Life Transition Coach it is fascinating to have awareness about all of the things I coach others through, and how those same things hold me back. It is human, we all have similar fears, and the power of those fears can limit our greatness and the ability to fully honor those who have moved us.

Limiting beliefs tell you someone of your age, culture, gender or any other characteristic, cannot do things you want to do. Then there is the voice of the ‘Gremlin’, reminding you of words you may have heard or believed since childhood- that you are not smart enough, talented enough, disciplined enough, or just plain not good enough.

Knowing this, what kind of disservice am I doing by not diving in fully to every opportunity presented? Human nature is often to doubt our own skills, insights, and inspirational abilities, because we discount our differences. Too often we view our own knowledge, experiences, successes and struggles as common, and thus discredit its extraordinary value to others.

We must all ask ourselves, what greatness are we not sharing with the world by succumbing to fears and not stepping broadly outside our comfort zones?

What stirred me further as my body and mind continued running, was considering how I was failing to honor my Parents and their gifts to me when I listen to fear. That damned Gremlin holding me in my comfort zone, creating common excuses to procrastinate or hesitate. (A process actually proven in neurological science that the subconscious mind does to protect us.)

My Father, who instilled in me a strength and independence most men of his older generation would not have offered a daughter, which allowed me to create my early successes. My Mother, who instilled in me an almost painful compassion for others and desire to save the world in as many ways as one small human can!

The irony was that losing my Father made me realize I was killing myself slowly as I continued my “successful” climb. Fourteen hour plus days with stress-induced illnesses is not truly success for a thirty-something, nor anyone at any age. That traumatic and sudden loss propelled me into the training that would become my new life aspiration. To use the strength and determination my father gifted me in more fulfilling ways, to make a difference.

Still holding onto fears of losing financial security, I didn’t yet fully shift. By her side every moment, helplessly watching my sweet Mother suffer a frightening and painful death propelled me further. A powerful and terrifying gut felt re-affirmation of how short and fragile life truly is. It isn’t about salary, job title, material possessions, or what society and peers think or expect of you. It is about living to your core values and desires, your fullest authentic potential, your true message from deep within.

As I thought I’d be copping out on my running goal for the day by running home to my computer to process my brain dump, it began to rain. A sign from the universe? Perhaps. Or simply the Chicago forecast actually holding true. Either way, I thank my Mom and Dad for bringing me home. Any time I feel the trepidation of doubt as I step toward my dreams with a shaky knee and churning gut, I will remember that the rest of my life is dedicated to honoring their greatness, and that which they instilled in me.

Next time a fear holds you back, think about how that hesitation is doing a disservice to yourself and others, and how it may prevent you from honoring those who inspired you toward a momentous shift, whether they are physically or energetically still with you. This could just be the kick in the ass you need to step into the opportunity-laden unknown. Keep Soaring!

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~M. Scott Peck

Help! My Self Help Book Didn’t Work!

How dare they. You spend your hard earned money on those books engaging and enticing you with the exciting new joys and opportunities awaiting you, and then the author sends you off into the world without a magic genie to grant your every wish!

Wouldn’t that be great? Well, that is not how it works, nor is it intended to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say- “I read that book. It was a great read, a lot of really powerful stuff. But my life didn’t change!”

Of course it didn’t. If you read a book about dieting, you’re not going to lose weight by setting it on the table and thinking about how great it was. The point is to learn it, digest it, personalize it and find what works for you, and then actively apply it on a daily basis. YOU must do the work. How you proactively change your life using the concepts and methods you’ve just studied is the critical success factor.

It is very possible that what you’ve read was simply a reminder of common sense, but it takes effort to keep those things at the fore of your consciousness. Or perhaps you felt moments of great inspiration and revelation studying new concepts and philosophies to help you make drastic shifts in your life. In order to prevent day-to-day life from pushing those brilliant ideas back to the bottom of your awareness you must act, and commit to daily activities to maintain this inspirational momentum, awareness and growth mission.

Changing thought patterns, establishing new habits, and overcoming fears is not easy. It isn’t supposed to be- it takes work and commitment, but the outcome is well worth the effort!

Some simple things you can do:

  • Meditation– even just 5 minutes a day, to call it into your awareness and set an intention for incorporating it into your day.
  • Journaling– write something at least once a day to acknowledge incorporating your new mindset or concepts into your life.
  • Accountability Partners– share a book and daily goals with a friend or coach.
  • Pictures or quotes placed in and around the home- post visual reminders in places you can’t avoid.
  • Calendar or Task Items– create tasks that will pop up on your computer or PDA to remind you of anything you need to bring back to consciousness on a daily basis. Even a single trigger word will do the trick.
  • Vision Board– there are many processes to support this. Do your own, or find a coach or workshop to support the creation process. Place it in a consistently visible place in your home so you never forget!
  • Read a passage a day – dog-ear or sticky note some favorite pages and quotes to keep you inspired. Even leave it in the bathroom. No excuses- you have time to at least read a sentence or two in there!

A great model for putting new learning into action is in Judith Wright’s book, ‘The One Decision’. The last section of the book provides daily assignments and reflections to keep you committed, accountable, and growing.

A powerful reminder is always holding onto your greater “Why”. Why did you read the book in the first place, what are you trying to accomplish, overcome, shift and get out of life? This is the driving passion from your core. Remind yourself of this each day and each time this life changing decision may be met with challenge or compromise. All of these actions will support you in changing your life and creating abundance, energy and joy you never thought possible!

“I don’t have time” is a cop out. As you shift your energy in these ways, your efficiency and productivity improves exponentially. As a runner, a favorite quote of mine to keep me in check is from a Nike ad reminding us: “Someone busier than you is running right now.” The same holds true to this personal work, and is ultimately more powerful because this is about the quality of your life. Write this down for yourself and never lose sight- “Someone busier than you is (insert favorite personal growth activity here) right now.”

Alright- off for a run and some journaling. Whatever your feelings about Oprah, she does both, and she’s way busier than me!

Choosing Your Experience

I was greatly humbled and inspired when I came across an excerpt from the journal of Anne Frank today. It was a powerful reminder that we choose how we experience everything in life. You can choose to experience the negativity, spend your energy lamenting in your victimhood, or you can choose to experience the adventure, challenge, excitement of the unknown, all while growing and becoming stronger along the way.

As I read this, I found it so incredible that a girl of such a young age, in such a horrific experience, had the strength of mind and resolve to go about her struggle with such a mindset. Knowing that whatever the outcome may be, only she could make the choice to find a way to experience joy in each day. If she could do it, faced with the terror her and her family we placed in, so can we all. It reads:

“I’ve often been down in the dumps, but never desperate. I look upon our life in hiding as an interesting adventure, full of danger and romance, and every privation as an amusing addition to my diary. I’m young and strong and living through a big adventure; I’m right in the middle of it and can’t spend all day complaining because it’s impossible to have any fun! I’m blessed with many things; happiness, a cheerful disposition, and strength. Every day I feel myself maturing, I feel the liberation drawing near, I feel the beauty of nature and the goodness of the people around me. Every day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is. With all that, why should I despair?”

This truly is a testament to the power of the human mind and human spirit. How much more could you accomplish each day if you chose to focus your energy on the opportunity before you, and the growth that you experience with each challenge? What kind of greater momentum could you bring into your world if you shift your energy from the negative to the positive? What have you got to lose? Think of it this way-

“It’s a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go” ~ Bertrand Russell

How Committed Are You?

I was intrigued on a flight tonight, while reading on the topic of commitment, as I looked to my left and the man next to me was playing Sudoku- in red ink. Now that’s commitment!

Too often we make only a partial commitment to fulfill our desires. It may not be a fully conscious decision, but the partial commitment is why so many goals go unmet and dreams un-chased.

Fully committing requires you to go outside of your comfort zone in new and scary ways. It is so easy to find an excuse not to journey into that uncomfortable space, and then blame that situation for not accomplishing what we set out to do. The world was against me! So-and-so got in my way! This is the result of partial commitment- ending up back where we started.

As humans we are conditioned to stay in that comfortable place, but while you sit there, think about what you are missing out on. A good excuse may feel a lot easier than self-motivation in a new, scary moment, but the result is considerably less rewarding. If you struggle with it yourself, find a friend or a coach to help you light that fire under your ass and propel you into action!

“You elevate your life by taking responsibility for who you are and what you’re choosing to become. You can transcend the ordinary, mundane, and average, with thoughts of greater joy and meaning; you can decide to elevate your life, rather than have it stagnate or deteriorate with excuses. Go beyond where you presently are.” ~Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Next time you identify a goal, commit to it, write it down in red ink, not pencil, and make it happen, no excuses!

“Success” vs. Success!

“Success” vs. Success

What is success? Getting up in front of a room of professionals and posing the question leads to very common answers:
• An esteemed title
• A “C-level” position
• A significant salary
• Owning a luxury car
• Living in a extravagant home
• Holding a power position
• A spouse & 2.5 kids in a 5-bedroom house with a white picket fence and a dog that pees outside only on command…

But I digress…

The point is, most people answer that question with stereotypical responses based on societal expectations, and most people are not as fulfilled or happy as they could be.

I know it sounds crazy, but you can have both. I didn’t believe it myself for too many years. I believed, as many do that:

Success means hard work and hard work must be painful and frustrating, and require you to sacrifice much that you love (including self) and live with a few (or constant) migraines. But that’s the price of success, right?

It is amazing how adding two little words to the end of the first question triggers much pause, and more varied answers. What is success, FOR YOU?
And perhaps your list includes some of the answers on the first list, and that is great! As long as it is about what makes YOU happy, and not what you feel you must prove to the world, or what you think the world is expecting of you.

What I’ve learned is:
Success means hard work but that kind of hard work is fun when you do something you love. It will be rewarding and the world (at least the part that matters) will love you for it, and abundance will naturally follow. Not a bad price for success, right?

So think about it, what is “success” vs. what is success FOR YOU?

Keep Soaring!