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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Own Your Fantastic

My son is a HUGE rodeo fan. He talks about it all year long and plays rodeo in his room almost every day. So, when Rodeo Houston time rolls around, we are all excited. Lately he's also taken to country music and really likes Luke Byran's Shake It For Me Girl. When we saw that Luke Bryan would be performing at the rodeo, we went out of our way to try to get tickets for that night. I'm glad we floated the idea by our son before we purchased the tickets because he said, "I would rather watch him sing on the computer than stay after the rodeo for the concert." Hmmm, YouTube has replaced a live concert. 

So, we went to the rodeo a different night, when it would be more convenient for our family. During the rodeo portion of the show, the announcer mentioned that the rodeo could be watched every night (it goes on for 20+ days) on the Internet. Well, my kids have decided that we should watch it on the Internet instead of trying to actually go as much as possible. What is happening? The experience of attending is being replaced by the comfort of home and a front-row computer seat. It got me thinking about the workplace and the desire to sit comfortably behind the computer screen instead of getting out and participating in things like networking, volunteering, new and different projects. It is easier to stay home or in your office than it is to throw yourself into an uncomfortable situation.

We might need to take some advice from Luke Bryan and get out there and 'shake it.' Metaphorically, of coarse. Get out there and show your stuff...what is one thing that you are FANTASTIC at? We all have at least one - your challenge is to know it, own it, declare it, and share it. So start today and use this plan this week:

TODAY: Write down what you are Fantastic at.
Day 2: Say it to yourself on your way to work, "I am Fantastic at ..."
Day 3: Call someone (best friend, co-worker, spouse, mother, anyone) and tell them what you are Fantastic at. Use those words: "Mom, I am Fantastic at ..."
Day 4: Tell someone in person - anyone works, even the person checking you out at the grocery store counts here - what you are Fantastic at. Use the words! "I am Fantastic at..."
Day 5: Tell your manager what you are Fantastic at. You've been practicing all week. It's going to be easier than you thought to work it into the conversation.

Know It, Own It, Declare It, and Share It...start now.

by Danielle Forget Shield
President, 825 Basics

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Techno Ethics: Guard Your Reputation

TechnoEthics: How will you guard your reputation in the ever-changing world of electronic communications? Consider these thoughts and strategies as you maintain your reputation at work. For other videos, visit www.youtube.com/825Basics.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slow Down You Crazy Child

I came across an old ipod last week and decided to listen to the songs on it. One of the first songs that played is one that always makes me stop and think about slowing down. Billy Joel's Vienna is a timeless reminder that we need to enjoy today while we plan for tomorrow.
I'd venture to say that most of the 825 Basics community runs on full-speed most of the time. Just like we have to remember to stop and celebrate our accomplishments, we have to give ourselves time to slow down and recover. For some this might be spending quiet time reading a book for pleasure. For others it may be taking time to play a game with your children. For someone else it could be taking a long walk or run. How do you slow down? If you don't know, think about downshifting for just an hour next week. How will you add some recovery time to your week?
by Danielle Forget Shield
President, 825 Basics, LLC

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Choose Your Career Supporters Carefully

Who are your career supporters? Your BCFs - your Best Career Friends? They aren't necessarily your closest friends. This video shares tips on who your supporters should be. You can find other helpful videos at www.youtube.com/825Basics.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bellagio Fountains

The Bellagion Fountains continue to be one of the few things that impress, relax and energize me. They are art, engineering and music combined to touch our senses. I could stand in front of the Bellagio all night just to watch the fountains dance to all the songs. When I think of Las Vegas, I immediately think of the Bellagio Fountains. So, you might say that for me, the personal brand of Las Vegas has become the fountains. Las Vegas' advertising campaign would indicate other branding desires - 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.' This simple example demonstrates that the brand you want someone to grasp onto may not be the one that resonates with them.
Have you checked on your personal brand lately? Have you checked with a variety of the people you touch? Once you've determined what you want your brand to be, take the time to follow-up and make sure you are sending the message you think you are. Don't over-react if you find that the message you want to send may not be the message being received. Vegas may want me to think of them as a secret party place, but I'd much rather see them as the home of the Bellagio Fountains.

Monday, March 5, 2012


In 2006, when my son was born, my sister gave me a wonderfully calming and very discreet smelling candle. Her intention was to mask the bad baby smells with a smell as sweat and soft as a baby. I never lit the candle because I loved getting a slight whiff of it when I opened the drawer it was in. It was like a little surprise every time I reached for a diaper for my son. It served the same purpose through 2 more children and I've since moved the candle to my bathroom cabinet. Every morning and every evening when I open the door to reach for my bathroom products, I am pleasantly surprised by the smell of that wonderful gift. And every day, twice a day, I think about my sister and how thoughtful she is. But, I can't remember ever telling her how much often I appreciate the candle that she likely doesn't even remember giving me. It's not that I don't want to tell her - she just doesn't happen to be standing in my bathroom in the morning or at night when the thought hits me. Then life moves on.

In your career, there are probably many people whose work or actions you appreciate, but rarely get the chance or remember to acknowledge. Likewise, there are probably many things that you do that others never acknowledge or tell you they appreciate. With all the technology we have at our fingertips, it's time to start acknowledging those we appreciate with something as simple as a text or email. If you start the ball rolling...it will come back to you 10 fold. So, who do you appreciate? Tell them today. Go ahead, take a second and send them a text or email.

P.S. Thank you, Fran, for the wonderful candle!

by Danielle Forget Shield
in conjunction with Tricia Berry