Blame it on the mi.. mi mi mi…millennials!

No matter what industry, it seems that the Millennials get a bad rap in the working economy: “They’re too lazy,” or “they’re non-grateful“. Growing up with technology has its pros and cons.

Photo credit of Jamie Foxx Vevo via Youtube

There is however a true difference between hard work and smart work. We hear Generation X and the Baby Boomers proclaim Millennials as not being hardworking because they don’t see the same efforts that they put into their work over 20 years ago. Well I for one am truly thankful for their efforts back then because it allows us to build on their foundation so that we can improve and streamline certain things. Faxing 20 people a press release when you can email the same release to the same 20 people in five minutes saves so much time.

Why does the gesture of saving people time not considered hard work? It is because of the hard work of the early adopters of technology such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that has saved thousands of hours of time to focus on more efficient work in the last 20 years.

WE ALL have the option meditate due to an app, WE ALL have the ability to bank due to an app, WE ALL can date due to an app, order food, buy clothing and supplies through online shopping. It is the frequent daily personal use of technology that gives the false illusion that only Millennials turn to our phones for everything, but that’s not true. Our impact is deep. We impact restaurant sales and we start companies and become entrepreneurs more than any other generation to this date. Side note: why are Millennials the true test of casual dining sales?  It’s not, on average, that we make more money than any other generation at this time, I’m just saying…

Millennials are discovering that we can improve on ways to be better and/or to save time, if needed. We value our time and we want to know that we make an impact in the work we do in order to be efficient as much as possible. It’s because Millennials are so hell-bent on efficiency that we’re affecting industries services such as how the restaurants cater to us. More restaurants are joining or partnering with Grubhub, an online ordering/delivering service of nearby restaurants, or even having chains explore their own delivery systems. Offering free Wi-Fi often gets millennials into popular chains such as Starbucks or Panera Bread to study or work…maybe that should be something all restaurant categories should offer in order to get “the Millennial money”. We need places other than the office to work and brainstorm as well as bond with our teammates. I wonder what restaurant chain will catered lunch meetings AT the restaurant. Imagine how much more money will get spend at that restaurant?!

Now I know that fast-casual dining restaurants are not in the business of delivering however…they are also not in the business to losing customers. It’s because of Millennials that we’re challenging everyone outside of the millennial category to figure out how to improve on what they already provide. Don’t depend on the Millennials to figure out a solution only to tear it down based on how you’ve always done things. 20 years ago you needed to be in the office everyday while today…employees can fight for a different stance with the availability of Wi-Fi everywhere!

I challenge all seasoned working class people….be more innovative with the ever-changing times and stop relying that you can coast on the way you’ve always done things.  You might can float for a while with current methods and processes but eventually your competition will figure out your model and modify it to be better so here is what you do:

Don’t get comfortable.

If I Gotta buy a Toyota Camry, Ima do it Cost-Effectively!

First of all, congratulations are in order to rapper Kendrick Lamar’s sister for graduating school. To accomplish such an achievement deserves to be acknowledged first and foremost. Second, the Compton rapper celebrated his sister’s graduation by buying her a brand new Toyota sedan as a celebratory gift. The rapper caught heat from many social media users, stating the rapper could have given his sister a much “nicer” car.

Many people worry about why others spend money the way they spend it. We associate top dollar spenders with high earnings and expect the rich and famous to automatically purchase expensive houses and cars but that’s not always the case.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Warren Buffet does not stay in a mansion but in his modest Omaha, NE home he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Yes that’s right the multi-billionaire lives as humbly as he did decades ago. So why bother Kendrick? This is the same rapper that bought his own home in Eastvale, just outside of Los Angeles, for $500,000…HIS own home. Why would someone spend more money on other people than themselves, with no return on investment? More importantly, why are we judging someone who is being fiscally responsible so that his children’s children can benefit and further their financial education?

What can we learn from both Warren and Kendrick? Never spend more than you make and can continuously upkeep. Taxes associate with this gift is part of the upkeep. Gifts in excess of $14,000 for the tax year of 2016 come with taxes that you have to report at the end of the year. We will never know if Kendrick’s sister will pay the taxes next year for this “gift” and guess what, it’s not our business. Kendrick’s sister may not be in a position at this time to keep up with the maintenance of a $100,000 car. Furthermore, I’m sure Kendrick’s sister loves the gesture, no matter the type of car. Also it’s time to worry about our own spending than to judge how “nice” other people’s gifts that are given.

Opportunities

Have you ever had an opportunity come to you that it was so scary it could work that you decided not to act?  Unfortunately I’ve done that several times in my life.  NEVER AGAIN.

After my recently missed opportunity, I decided to search for quotes that will set me straight for future references.  Would like to share these with you so that you will understand that although scary, sometimes you have to take the risk as it will give you big reward.

I hope these inspire you to continue to pursue your goals personally and professionally:

“Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.”
―― Henry Ford

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”
―― Thomas A. Edison

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
―― Winston S. Churchill

“I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”
―― Oprah Winfrey

“Teachers Open The Doors, But You Must Enter By Yourself.” –- Chinese Proverb

“I Feel That Luck Is Preparation Meeting Opportunity.” -– Oprah Winfrey

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein

“Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.” –Anonymous

“Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward.” –Hillary Clinton

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” –Bruce Lee

This quote by Warren Buffet really hit home for me because although I retreat more on my pessimistic side, I know it’s the opportunistic side that will set the tone for how I want my daughter to chase her dreams.

For my Courtney:

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” –Warren Buffett

If you like it then you should put a RIBBON on it

In a previous post, I talked about how being a public relations professional helps me think on my feet to work around threats.

In conducting and updating my SWOT analysis for this wedding, one of the opportunities for the bridal party turned into a serious threat:

The bridesmaid dresses didn’t fit 40% of the bridal party!

 

Now with less than 30 days to the wedding, I had to think fast to avoid raising the bride’s stress levels. Well it turns out my solution worked!

Here is how I turned an original opportunity that changed to a threat back to another opportunity…and technically into a strength.

 

My wonderful Etsy solution!

The bridesmaid dresses are one of the most expensive items to acquire for the wedding.  Normally this would entail the bridal party to go dress shopping and place the dress on order.  In this particular instance, we decided to go the least expensive route and find a dress on a website.  Pretty dress but to our disbelief, the FIT didn’t work out for our curvaceous features.  We took the risk and lost.

It’s now less than 30 days to the wedding.  There was no way we could order dress to have them arrive in time and even if they did, the fit out would not be favorable.  With two bridesmaids not being able to fasten the hooks, I decided to throw a ribbon on it and have all the bridesmaids wear a ribbon around their waist to cover the hooks.

It was my job to break the news to the bride but I had to make sure I present it in a way that would ease her worries.  The sandwich method helped (start good, drop the bad, top it off with good):

  1. Complimented the beauty of the dress
  2. State that the dress could not be secured for a couple of bridesmaids due to the tight fit
  3. Offered a solution that would solve any issues AND compliment the colors of the wedding

After having the bride check with her wedding planner, the ribbon worked and would not clash with any other decor. Whew, crisis averted.  I Pope’ed it!  This ribbon not only solves a problem but includes the bride’s favor color more in her wedding vision.

Anyone can complain and pout but the resilient figure out a way to make it happen.  Most entrepreneurs push and strive to see their vision come to life so get out there and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Don’t curve your curve balls, embrace them!

When it comes to an event, planning is crucial. No matter how much planning you do, especially in advance, you can bet something will always go wrong. It’s always good to have a backup plan however some issues are totally unexpected. Thinking on your feet is a major key! Mastering the art of problem-solving is critical when you’re experiencing a huge blunder.

Frustrated

Instead of complaining, be quick to find a solution.

  • The caterer cancelled at the last-minute? Have options that won’t need a long lead time to accommodate large groups such as Subway.
  • Your florist promised seasoned flowers that turned out to be in late bloom and can’t deliver as promised? Get alternative flowers or get fake flowers from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s….get real flowers from Walmart if you have no choice but make sure the florist gives you a hefty discount for your next event.
  • The venue double-booked but you already printed invites? Make sure you notify everyone on the invite list and that have RSVP’ed to understand any changes in venue or schedule.  Call them, email them, text them…make sure you communicate any and all changes to your guests!

Figure out how to solve the problem now and then find the best solution for the variable that caused the issue. Make sure you are made “whole” if someone unexpectedly changes or adjusts what was discussed and contracted out for the event.  Sometimes your solutions will not be glamorous but it will help you plan and prepare for future hiccups and continue on with your event.

Have your contracts ready!

PRessure Makes Diamonds: How my career as a Publicist helps me with Wedding Planning

HOW SWAY?!Having in-house experience has made me understand the work it takes into going in a PR plan for a single project.  It has also made me curious of what it is like to work for an agency.

Thus I’ve turned to virtual work for several PR agencies and I’m getting use to understanding that the work is non-stop.  Not only that, you barely have time to celebrate major accomplishments because there are always bigger fish to fry.  Delegation is key for agency bosses.

In a previous post I spoke about how important it is to delegate.  I’m currently the Matron of Honor for my sister’s upcoming wedding this spring.  Managing five other ladies while keeping the stress down for my little sister is quite challenging…but I’ve always loved a challenge!  Understanding your wedding party is key.  Get to know them and their schedules.

The wonderful ladies understand that communication is key.  We have each others’ phone numbers, emails, and we’re all in a GroupMe chat.  Everybody has different schedule and 40% of the bridal party lives outside of the bride’s state however understanding what we can or cannot do can help alleviate the pressures.  It also gives me the opportunity to incorporate how I can get them involved in a more creative way.

Doing a SWOT analysis for a bridal party may seem like a questionable action however I’ve found it to be most beneficial in the wedding planning process:

Strengths
– The bridesmaids compliment the bride’s life beautifully
– The bridesmaids come from different backgrounds, yes even me who grew up with the bride.  We all have different experiences from either being in weddings, going to      weddings and not even have been to a wedding
– Each bridesmaid is good at something (planning, coordinating, decorating, hunting great deals, etc.)

Weaknesses
– Different schedules
– Different states/locations
– Different budgets
– Different availability for wedding events leading up to the big day

Opportunities
– Our overall network has led to a great bridal shower venue at a vastly discounted price (WIN!)
– Our frugal-ness has led us to find a great bridesmaid dress at a very affordable price
– Our different experiences will aid in the bachelorette and bridal shower planning

Threats
– Any possible last-minute cancellations on behalf of the bride
– Not having finalized accessories and shoes for wedding day (less than 60 days away)
– Outside variables that can affect the bridesmaids’ duties

We just ran into this hiccup from one of our opportunities turning into a threat: to avoid increased costs, we purchased our bridesmaid dresses from a site where the dresses are not so flattering to our different shapes and sizes.  With little time left, we had to get creative!  How you may ask?

Stay tuned as we I will report back on how a solved a huge crisis with less than 50 days to the wedding!

 

Breaking Bad…News that is! How to Soften the Blow

uh-oh

It’s never good to receive bad news. To actually be the one to deliver the bad news can also bring an unsettling feeling to one’s stomach. No one wants to hear bad news without understanding how or why something happened the way did. Here are critical steps to cushion the impact:

1). Own up to the mistake if one is quickly identified. In the distribution industry, if a carrier missed a delivery appointment, then one would follow up with the carrier to understand what happened.

2). Shoot first, ask questions later. But shoot with precision!! Figuring out what your Plan B will be to finish the task at hand is vital. Being able to come up with a solution can help ease the delivery of bad news. Time may be of the essence in most cases. One example would be having a case of gloves go missing that is also no longer available at the vendor.

3). Research the nitty, gritty facts. Find an alternative approach, then figure out if multiple parties involved will be responsible. A “major key” (DJ Khaled would hopefully approve of the use of this term) would be to understand 5 W’s of the issue: who, what, when, where, why. Please don’t forget the “how.”

4). Summarize the timeline of the task. Summarize the timeline in an email. Doing this task can help clear any lingering confusion for all parties involved.

Being able to solve problems increases more opportunities for your personal brand. It make you a resourceful person and that makes people want to work with you more and more!

What key tips do you find most useful in delivering unsettling news?