Posts about Human Interest

content marketing

Busted: I Haven’t Practiced What I Preach

I admit it. I have not been practicing what I preach. For those who follow me, either through blogging or speaking engagements, I often talk about content marketing and how to do it well. One of the things I “preach” about, is frequency. WELL…the last time I posted on this blog was about a month and a half a go. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it is not that I haven’t been writing and blogging. I have. But, just not for my own blog. I feel a bit like the carpenter – you know the one who is always working for others, but not finishing the work he or she has at home. So, while no one has called me out, I am calling me out. I am busted: I haven’t practiced what I preach! The question is: what will I do about it?

content marketing

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I do have a plan however! Ya, I am one of them. I make plans and lists and even pros and cons lists! Ironically I haven’t made a pros and cons list for awhile, but after a Friday conversation with my 212 degrees buddy, I realized how much I miss the value that they bring to the equation. So, I made one last night for a specific issue. It helped significantly..but I digress….back to content marketing and my plan.

1.  Dust off my editorial calendar

I also admit that writing as much as I have for others, including some really, really fantastic industry blogs I have let my own editorial calendar kinda get dusty. So, I have spent some time thinking about my own calendar and doing some planning. While it took a few hours, it was well worth it.

2.  Setting Realistic expectations

While I do believe I should be blogging at least five times a week for my blog, that might not be realistic right now. In total I am writing for more than seven different sources at the moment. And, while I love it, I have obligations and commitments to develop content for others that I have to put first. I want to give them the best content I can so they can achieve the goals that they have for lead generation and reputation/thought-leadership.  This is important to me. So, I will strive to blog three times a week for my own blog.

3. Finish the Eight Drafts

Again, no excuse for not creating my own content. I actually have eight blog posts in draft format.  Something was holding me back from publishing them. Some little piece of the content was not quite right. After reading them, I know what I need to do to make them “right”. All I really needed to do was pause and reflect. Look at them critically and view them as my audience would. Sometimes absence is a good thing.

4. Make a Commitment to Myself

In the journey to financial independence, advisors tell us to pay ourselves first. I guess the same can be said about writing your own blog. Write for yourself first. While it is extremely important for me to meet my commitments to others for content, I can’t forget how important it is for my own audience. I do have people who read my content and often send me wonderful feedback, comments and questions. So, for them and myself, I need to make a commitment. Will I fall off the wagon again? It’s possible. I am, after all, only human. So, if I do, prod me..poke me and call me out. It’s o.k.

5.  Have Fun

I love writing. Somewhere along the way though I was making it a bit too formulaic though. I am not sure why. Maybe I was trying to emulate some of the serious stuff I see out there. While business is all about return on investment and turning a profit, there is (and should be) a human element. People do like to have fun, and I need to be me and not someone else! So, I will commit to being me.

There. That is my plan. Simple and uncomplicated.

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6 Easy Tips to Overcome Communication Failures

We all think we can communicate. After all, we are all good listeners. We are all very good at sharing information and conveying messages. Right?  Wrong! Most people are not good communicators. As we move through the corporate world, we are sensitized to “time is money”, “get to the point” and “what’s your ask?”  Our leaders, mentors and peers share these messages with us constantly through words or body language.  Add to that, we all have our own agendas.  We do.  You can deny it, but if you do, you are only fooling yourself. So, we add all of this together and we are hard-pressed for time and we want to achieve our objectives and meet our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  Now, think about your customers.  Think about your prospects.  How are you communicating with them?  There is a good chance that there are some communication failures happening.  Here are 6 easy tips to overcome communication failures:

5 tips to over communications failure,, taylormade solutions (Canada)

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1.  Know your Audience

This is by far the oldest piece of advice going when it comes to communications. Despite this, I am often surprised by how many people and as a result organizations, just don’t know their audience. They use communication media that they feel most comfortable with and communicate when they want to communicate. They often have more than one audience, but choose to communicate in exactly the same manner for each.

Key Take-away:  What is (are) the personas of your audience(s)?  Are they in their 20s, 30s or 60s?  All of the above?  How do they consume content?  How often do they want to hear from you and consume content?  Do they prefer mainstream media, social media or public forums?  Does it depend on the situation?  If you can’t answer these questions with validated data, you have some homework to do.  If you don’t have the resources in-house, hire a consultant to find the answers for you.

2.  Slow Down

Yes, this is hard for most of us. Everything is a rush. After all, time is money right? It is..but and there is a big BUT..if you fail to communicate with your customers or prospects, the costs will be much higher. Customer retention becomes an issue. Reputation management becomes an issue. Stakeholders, including boards of directors get riled up as profits dip and stock prices follow. Slow down and pay attention to what is happening in your environment. When you do this, you hear, see and learn a lot. People notice that you are present. They appreciate this. Showing up only when you want something also gets noticed.

Key Take-away:  Be present. Don’t just show up when you want something or when there is a problem to fix. Your customers or prospects will soon associate you with only being there when YOU want something or when something has gone horribly wrong. Customers and prospects are people. People need and want relationships. They need to have confidence in you. They need to trust you and trust that your organization will do the right thing.

3. Follow-up and Follow-through

Similar to knowing your audience, this is one of the oldest and best pieces of advice when it comes to communication.  As mentioned in Good Customer Service:  What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, be sure to follow-up on your customers or prospects.  This builds real trust and confidence.  And always under promise and over deliver. This can be hard to do at times, but consistent application will pay off in spades.

Key Take-away:  If you aren’t sure of your answer, then say so.  If you can’t deliver the product at a specific time, be up front.  The sooner the better.  And, when you do execute on “whatever” it is, circle back to ensure that your customer or prospect got what he or she needed. Yes, it can be time consuming, but it will be worth it.

4.  Put Your Best Foot Forward

Just like meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time, you want to put your best foot forward.  For a brand, this might be about the person they send to a meeting or the one that acts as their spokesperson.  Regardless of which scenario it is, you want to ensure that your point person has the facts, can present the corporate brand meeting or exceeding the brand standards and that that person or persons have the ability to make decisions and answer questions – any questions.

Key Take-away:  Putting your best foot forward, or your best people forward does not necessarily mean the most senior and certainly not the most junior. Each situation requires consideration and judgement. You need to consider your audience and the situation.  Who will provide win/win results?  Who will irritate or provoke?

5.  Be Timely

This one is quite important.  For any communication, it needs to be timely.  Your communications’ professionals need to always be thinking about timing. Depending what the communication is, too early and you sell the farm.  Too late, or too little you will lose creditability and trust.

Key Take-away:  Communications should never be an after-thought or relegated to lower importance.  Communications is a strategic component of everything you do.

6.  There is No Such Thing as Over Communicating

Once a upon a time someone actually said this to me – that we were over communicating. Think about that for a moment. Think about how people process information. Think about how people receive information. Think about how many times a message MUST be shared before it is actually absorbed. This is all proven documentable information.  If you apply fact and research, you cannot possibly over communicate. It is that simple.

Key Take-away:  Just because you know the answer or a few of your stakeholders know the answer, doesn’t mean your audience does.  People absorb information differently. Therefore you must apply proven communication techniques using various media and multiple messages to reach your audience.

Like this post?  Follow me on Twitter:  @MacLeanHeather


Book Review: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

I first heard of this book while listening to The Current, a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  The interview, with host Anna Maria Tremonti, was fantastic.  In fact, I thought that the interview was so good, so interesting and so inspiring, I did two things:  1) I waited for the podcast to be posted and then I shared it on Facebook/and emailed it to a number of really fantastic women I know. and 2) I bought the book.  The Confidence Code is written by two very fascinating and talented women:  Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.   Based on the interview  and who the authors are, I had very, very high hopes for this book., taylormade solutions (canada)

What’s it about from Indigo?:

“Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.

Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few-or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?”

I have three main observations of the book:

1.  For a significant part of the book I did feel like I was back in school doing research for my thesis.  While there is some really interesting research taking place on confidence, I feel that the book was a wee bit heavy on that content.  Thankfully there were some really interesting discussions about women whom they met with and talked about confidence.  I feel there is great value in reading all the content on these fantastic women and I thank the authors for sharing that information.

2.  For two women writing a book on confidence and exploring how women think and feel about confidence and how we need to be more confident, I was really struck by the fact that in their introduction they say “As reporters, we’ve been lucky enough to explore the power corridors of the world looking for stories….” These are two very talented women.  “Lucky enough”?  Really?  I think luck may only have a small amount to do with it.  After hearing the interview and knowing the subject matter of the book, I was really surprised to read those words.  Right there in the beginning of the book, a book on confidence, they diminished their skills, expertise and training. Ladies, you are talented and accomplished.  Don’t set the tone with saying that you were lucky.

3. There is hope!  Maybe I have more of the confidence genes discussed in the book, as I don’t feel held back or afraid to do “something”. I was pleased to see that all women have hope and that we shouldn’t be relegated to be in jobs or roles that they don’t want.  It all comes down to working on your confidence and being authentic.  I really liked the fact that they arrived at this conclusion.  We all can’t be Hillary Clinton, Opra Winfrey or even Marissa Mayer.  For that matter we can’t all be Barak Obama, George Clooney or Richard Branson.  These are all individuals and therefore, we need to be unique.

Overall I am glad that I read the book.  So, I do recommend it, particularly women that might be struggling with their level of confidence.

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What do you picture when you think of Facebook? The first thing that comes to mind? Birthday greetings, vacation photos, or proud parents celebrating their kids? Grumpy cats or goofy dogs or motivational posters brimming with typos? I am sure most of us have logged on to Facebook at times, scanned our newsfeed and thought, “What the heck am I doing?”, taylormade solutions canada, marketing, social media

I’m still not sure what tipped me over the edge. One too many memes, maybe. But that day, at that moment, I thought I would try it: I would leave FB. There was just too much clutter and not enough substance. So I disabled my account. What happened next surprised me.

First, I will admit that it was a knee jerk reaction and hardly thought out, but it made sense at the time. I also don’t mind saying it was a failed experiment. Much like giving up potato chips or coffee, it’s next to impossible. And yes, I’m back on the bandwagon. But over the first couple of days of being “off,” I was receiving texts and emails from people asking if I was okay. As if being “off Facebook” meant I was somehow suffering or experiencing some form of personal distress.

I assured them all that I was fine. No need for an intervention. These were my closest friends, after all, and we had ways to communicate besides status updates. Business as usual. But it wasn’t long before I noticed a difference. 

Like many of my generation, I don’t subscribe to or read the local paper; I get all my news online on lunch breaks or in between household duties. But how much of the Huffington Post or CBC is about my hometown? About my province? Precious little. So suddenly the lunch room, water cooler, or get togethers became me repeatedly saying, “Oh, really? I hadn’t heard that.” About concerts, shows, restaurants, local current events. I felt like the last to know on almost every subject, especially from what is happening in the city. Sure, there are plenty of places to find said information if you really wanted to look, but it was becoming obvious that I hadn’t just disconnected from the “What would your Pirate name be?” posts; I’d unplugged from my community.

And that’s what Facebook has become in a lot of ways. For better or worse, however you want to view it, whatever your opinion is, social media is a town square. A means of connection and communication. Sometimes across a country or over continents. A way to be informed about the people you care about, and topics you care about. We can bemoan over sharing or narcissism, but really, who hasn’t run into a friend on the street and said, “Hey, I saw your pictures. Looks like you had a great trip.” Or “I can’t believe how big your kids are.” In reflection, it’s a foot in the door for a conversation, a dialogue that starts at seeing your friends’ joys or perhaps seeing their hardship, their grief. In a lot of ways, people are more connected than if we wait for chance encounters at the city market.

Lastly, I am also in a band, Sleepy Driver. And you can laugh at how ill-conceived or ill-timed my leap from Facebook was—we were just about to release a new album—I underestimated what it meant to be off Facebook, not using it to promote, market, or interact with fans and friends. Much like I didn’t hear of fellow musicians’ shows, people were less aware of our upcoming release. FB is local paper; it’s a form of advertising; it’s a major means of connection with our audience, local and otherwise. It’s hard to ignore its power.  

So, I’m back on. And happy for it. To learn, to see, to share, to connect. No, it doesn’t replace face-to-face, voice-to-voice “real” relationships, but it sure plays a part. I guess at the heart of it, like with any social media: know what you want it for. Tailor it to that. It takes some time to set filters, to sieve out the games and memes (unless that’s what you want—no judgment ;), but FB has the tools to do so. And ultimately I found that Facebook gives more than it takes.

I’m glad to be back.

About:  Peter Hicks is a project manager, father, and musician from Fredericton, NB. 

4 Ways You Are Damaging Your Career

I recently met up with a former colleague who just didn’t seem herself.  Years ago, when we worked together she was full of energy, ideas and vigor.  Now, well suffice it to say she is not.  She shared with me that professionally, and personally to some degree, that things hadn’t worked out quite the way she had wanted. From our conversation I knew that while sometimes bad things happen to good people, some of her behaviour was likely adding to the mix.  There are definitely ways that we can all damage our career.  Sometimes they are obvious like getting drunk at the Christmas party and telling each of your co-workers and your boss what you really think of them.  Others are more subtle.  Here are 4 subtle ways you could be damaging your career:

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

1.  Being Resistant to Change

Change is inevitable.  Whether change is brought on by people coming and going, new technology or a new strategic direction, it happens.  How you react to change, regardless of whether it directly or indirectly impacts you is noticed.  For example, if your duties are changed, do you embrace this change or make it difficult for the person or persons who assume some of what used to be your duties?  If you make it difficult, not only do your peers notice, but your management team will as well.  If you make it easy and take on your new role with true enthusiasm, that is noticed to and for the good.

2.  Inability to Separate Professional from Personal

Has anyone ever said to you:  don’t take it so personally?  If so, you might not be able to separate professional experiences from personal experiences.  Now, I would qualify that of course you are going to take it personally if you don’t get the job you thought you were a shoo in for.  That is only human nature and natural.  However, it is how you react and treat others that sets you a part. For example, you didn’t get the job you thought you were promised. Instead, a person from outside the organization was brought in.  Naturally that person will not have the institutional knowledge that you have.  That person may not even have the same level of product experience you have.  What that person likely has are qualities, traits and skills that management did not see in you.  Maybe you have them, but aren’t showing them.  How you handle working with this new person will be a significant measurement of who you are.  Do you resent the new person, talk about him or her every time you get a chance, do everything you can to make the person look bad?  Or, do you get over the fact that person did not deliberately go after “your” job and work with the person as opposed to against that person. Being able to do the latter will show just how professional you can be.

3.  Over Compensate in a Position

Maybe you have been demoted or passed over for promotions just once too often.  Maybe you feel like you have to show your grit when you have a chance.  Over compensating by being pushy and demanding towards others whether in a one-on-one setting or, even worse in a meeting, demonstrates that you really don’t understand the nuances and dynamics of the workplace.  Perform in this manner with your management team in the room and you have set the tone that you are not ready to manage and lead.

4.  Not Taking Direction

This one is a bit of a combo.  You might not have gotten the job you thought you should of.  You aren’t embracing change, etc.  Then on top of that your manager asks you to carry out a certain function or job and include others, including those that might have gotten the job you wanted and/or have been brought into the organization to perform a function or functions that you may have done previously.  Rather than execute as asked, you only include your manager.  This not only demonstrates that you can’t perform as asked, it also could demonstrate that you lack confidence in your abilities. In the end, your boss will likely still ask for input, recommendations from the other parties.  This shows them that you are insecure and/or not a team player. There is no question that work dynamics are interesting to say the least.  And, it is hard not to take things personally.  After all it is your career.  That being said, how we choose to act and react is entirely in our own control.  And, that is exactly what we will be judged on.  So, dig deep and thing about the long-term versus the short-term.

If you like this post, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @MacLeanHeather

4 Lessons to Lighten the Mood in Challenging Times

It’s officially summer. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s road construction time. This all points toward shorter tempers and potential road rage. So, how do you lighten the mood in such circumstances? Well, you create a Twitter account of course! I am not certain who created @WestmorlandBrid, but whoever it is has a great sense of humour and is creating at least some fun in spite of a loooonnnng construction project on one of two bridges in New Brunswick’s capital city, Fredericton. So, what can we learn from our humourous bridge Tweeter?  Well, a lot it turns out.  Here are 4 lessons to lighten the mood in challenging times.Have fun, Even in traffic jams,, taylormade solutions

1.  Laughter is Contagious

Why not take a situation, which you have no control over, like major bridge construction on one of two bridges in a city, and create fun challenges. I love that daily challenges are being given to commuters.  As you can see in my Storify, How to Have Fun, Even in Traffic Jams, some people are taking the challenges seriously while others…well…may not quite see the humour.  #timetolightenup?

2.  Misery Loves Company

For the thousands who travel across the bridge at least twice a day going to and from work, commiserating with people “just like you” just does something to make you feel like part of something bigger.  You just feel better.

3.  Build Relationships

As strange as it might sound, relationships will be formed from this experience.  Those who see each other each day while waiting in the traffic jams, or perhaps those that are now Tweeting messages around challenges or their experiences, or even meeting people on the bus.  Who knows, maybe there will be wedding bells as a result of the bridge construction.  @Westmorlandbridge, please let us know if wedding bells are in the air.

4.  Stay Positive

In keeping with all of the above, staying positive and finding something good in an experience is just good for you mentally.  So, even though there are still 62 days to go, each day that passes, is one less day in the future.

So, have fun Freddy Beachers and follow your very own Westmorland Street Bridge Twitter handle to get your daily dose of humour while traveling to and from work. But of course, your passenger will Tweet for you and share the stories with you…cause it’s still illegal to use a mobile device while in the drivers’ seat.



7 Lessons in Leadership from an 8 Year Old

We have all heard Hilary Clinton’s famous line of “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”, suggesting that leadership and external influences can impact a child, for good or bad.  Yesterday I learned about Ben Hamilton, an 8 year old who lives in my community. I live in a lovely little Village just outside New Brunswick’s capital city of Fredericton and while this bedroom community is a safe heaven, we aren’t absent of trouble. Recently, a group vandals tagged everything from mailboxes, bleachers to even our local elementary school. They are destroying property.  They are breaking the law.  It is disheartening to say the least.  But while most of the villagers sat and hoped it wouldn’t happen again, 8 year old Ben Hamilton didn’t sit and wait.  No, Ben took action.  I think we can all learn from Ben. Maybe it doesn’t take a village to raise a child, but a child to get a community to act.   Here are 7 lessons in leadership we can all learn from an 8 year old:  

Ben Hamilton, photo courtesy of his parents.

Ben Hamilton, photo courtesy of his parents.

1. Commitment

We all talk about commitment – how much we need it and why it is important, but Ben not only saw something he didn’t like, he decided to do something about it.  Originally setting out to raise $160 he and his friend have made more than four times that amount.  He could have stopped when he reached his goal, but he didn’t.  That is not only true commitment to the end goal, but it shows a level of maturity that many of us would not share.

2.  Confidence

I know my share of adults who aren’t comfortable speaking with the media, but 8 year old Ben did just fine being interviewed for radio.  In fact, he did better than just fine.  Fear does not hold him back. Sometimes as adults we don’t do something out of fear. Sometimes it is out of complacency.  Regardless of what our justification is, we don’t act. Ben reminded us that sitting and waiting doesn’t get results.

3.  Positive Attitude

In the words of Ben:  “So I decided I should do something about it. I was like, ‘Can we do something to help?’ And it was like, ‘Yeah.”  I don’t know many 8 year olds who would want to do something to clean up some graffiti, but Ben did!  He didn’t like what he saw, but he knew he could do something about it. He also offered a solution to the problem.

4.  Intuition

I am pretty sure that Ben hasn’t done something like this before.  After all, our sleepy little community hasn’t experienced this before and all rationale would have me believing that this is a first for Ben.  So, he didn’t have a road map to help him determine what to do, when and how.  And, as I learned from his mother, he actually did a proposal for the fundraiser and brought it to the Principal for approval.  Did I mention that Ben is just 8 years old?  That takes some natural intuition and takes me to the next characteristic of leadership – creativity.

5.  Creativity

So, how does an 8 year old raise money? An allowance? Maybe. But how about having a jersey day and a freezie day – getting them and selling them to his fellow schoolmates? Not only did he approach his problem with a creative idea, but he involved his fellow students. In other words, he has the ability to inspire, which is our next characteristic of leadership!

6.  Ability to Inspire

Setting out to raise $160 and exceeding $800 is no small feat.  While kids love freezies, being able to sell that many means that Ben is someone who truly can share a message.  He can convey what it means to respect property and to do something to fix a wrong – someone else’s wrong.

7.  Communication

Last but not least, Ben is a communicator.  He noticed a wrong, he thought about the wrong.  He asked what he could do, found a solution and then shared that solution and vision with others.  That my friends is a true communicator.

We can learn a lot from Ben Hamilton.  I can only imagine how proud his parents, Karyn and Ryan must be.  And when asked how they were feeling: “We are immensely proud of Ben and thankful he attends such a wonderful school that took the time to listen to Ben’s idea and gave him a platform to see it through.  We are also happy that Ben has learned about community activism and, that no matter how old you are, when you are doing good things, people will be supportive and will even  join in the cause.  He now knows he can make a difference in his community- and that is a wonderful gift.”

Like this post?  Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @MacLeanHeather.

The Sunday Brief (June 15, 2014)

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Brief.  The Sunday Brief is intended to be my medium to share with you a few of my top picks from the previous week in one short collection. I can’t believe that we are already in the middle of June.  School is ending for another year and people’s minds will begin, if they have not already, to shift to summer holidays.  But before we drift off into the lazy days of summer, here are my top three picks from the previous week:The Sunday Brief

1.  Michael Hyatt’s Why People Who Sleep Longer Achieve More  (@MichaelHyatt)

Now I confess that I like sleep. I know it does wonders for me. I am certainly at my best in the morning after a great night’s sleep and enjoy getting up early.  So, any study, theory or post on getting sleep and its importance resonates with me. I know from experience that sleep does help me remember things better and be much more focused and clear.  Definitely worth a read.

2. Why Apple Doesn’t Tweet by KISSmetrics (@KISSmetrics)

I like this post as it reinforces what many of us have known for a long time.  And, more importantly it is “the” example of what every marketer dreams of. Why Tweet and have an account when all your advocates and influencers- your customers – are doing it for you.  I am a relatively new Mac convert – only three years, but as I sit here typing on my Mac and my iPhone connected to said Mac and my iPad 15 feet away from me, I realize the true value of the product and how I have counselled many on making the purchase.  It is sheer brilliance and reinforcement that good products produce really great brand ambassadors.

3.  35 Life Lessons I Learned from My Father

And, last but not least is my fav.  Not because I wrote it, but because on this Fathers’ Day, it is special to me.  Next month will mark 34 years that my mother lost her husband and my brother and I lost our father.  While sometimes it feels like yesterday and others a lifetime, the fact is that despite only having him in my life for a few short years, I learned a tremendous amount from him.  He was an amazing man, husband and father.  Happy Fathers’ Day to all the great fathers out there.  May all kids have the kind of father I had.

Well those are my three top picks for the week.  There are always so many to choose from.  Check in next week for the next three.  Have a post you want to suggest?  Feel free to connect with me @MacLeanHeather

35 Life Lessons I Learned from My Father

With Fathers’ Day only days away, I couldn’t help to think about my father.  I only got to spend 11 Fathers’ Days with him, but during that short time, I learned a lot from him. So, I thought I would deviate from my normal blog posts to share this one in memory of my father.

35 Life Lessons I learned from my father,

My Father and Me when I was two.

Here are my top 35 life lessons:

  1. Life Really is too Short – don’t waste time being angry and resentful.
  2. Respect yourself – if you don’t, no one else will.
  3. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something because they have a limited vision.
  4. Treat everyone with respect – regardless of age, race, religion, colour, language, or social standing. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect.
  5. Pets are members of the family – love them, protect them and treat them well.
  6. Have values, morals and ethics.
  7. Learn how to live according to your values, morals and ethics as everywhere you turn, they will be challenged.
  8. When you see someone who needs help, stop and help them.
  9. Don’t let fear hold you back.
  10. While you can’t choose your family, they are the only family you have.  Be good to them – always.
  11. Believe in something – anything, but believe in and feel good about it.
  12. Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Sometimes things look far better than they really are.
  13. Be truthful all the time, not just when it is convenient.
  14. Think before you speak.
  15. Learn to listen.
  16. Always keep learning.
  17. Laugh often.
  18. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  19. Never go to bed angry.
  20. Respect your elders
  21. Learn to make decisions.
  22. Keep promises.
  23. Forgive, but don’t forget.
  24. Remember where you came from.
  25. Be true, faithful and loving to your spouse.
  26. Be on time.
  27. If you are going to drive fast, be a good driver and have your car in good condition – always.
  28. Protect those who can’t protect themselves.
  29. Don’t be a know it all – those people are annoying.
  30. When negotiating for anything, don’t let them know how badly you want it or how much you need it.
  31. You don’t need to step on people to succeed, but remember people will want to step on you, just beware.
  32. Be good at something, but have many skills.
  33. Learn how to say no and stay the course.
  34. Have fun.
  35. And my favourite:  just because you are a girl, never let anyone hold you back.  You can be and do whatever you want to.

To all the Fathers, past, present and future, have a wonderful Fathers’ Day!

If you like this post, feel free to connect with me on Twitter:  @MacLeanHeather

The Sunday Brief (June 1, 2014)

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Brief.  The Sunday Brief is intended to be my medium to share with you a few of my top picks from the previous week in one short collection. As I write this I am enjoying a cup of flavoured coffee, which I realize is sacrilegious to many, but  Spicy Mayan Chocolate is just too good to not indulge.  So, I hope that you sit down with your favourite cup of coffee and enjoy:

1.  Wolf Blitzer Sings Hungry Like the Wolfe 

O.k. this one is completely out of the norm, but it made me smile and laugh.  Wolf is typically  so serious, that this just seemed to be one I had to include.

The Sunday Brief,, Heather-Anne MacLean

Image courtesy of

2.  Internet Trends 2014 Code Conference 

This is a great SlideShare document with great insights and information into the industry. In fact, it is jammed packed with trends and data…lots of data.  And, as a marketer this is our equivalent to porn…seriously, good marketers love data.

3.  If I were 22 – Advice to Women

Last week I was asked to write a piece for LinkedIn’s series of If I were 22.  How could I not.  I wish someone would have given me this advice when I graduated.  Love to hear your thoughts on it.

Did I miss a fav of yours from last week?  If so, let me know. Also, let’s connect!  Follow me at @MacLeanHeather or @TaylorMadeWorks.