Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HSN series: Don't be Cindy Brady

I am such a television junky.  When I heard that my colleague Jenn Furr would be live on the Home Shopping Network all I could think of was Cindy Brady.  Do you remember the episode where the family goes on a game show and Cindy glares into the red light of the camera like a deer in headlights as soon as they go live?  If it were me today, I am sure I would look just like this:

When the red light is on, you’re on the air. Not only do you have to remember talking points about the features and benefits of your product, but you have to concentrate while in your ear piece you are hearing the director give cues about which camera to look at and if the shot is wide or tight. Through all of this chaos you also have to remember to SMILE.

It's something Cindy failed to do, but today Jenn Furr knocked it out of the park! Her messaging was succinct, she interacted with her host all while sharing the features and benefits of Picture That Sound.  And she did all of that while SMILING!

If you missed her debut, check out the exclusive products that PictureThatSound offered to the HSN customers.

I'll be with Jenn in Tampa March 6th when we have 3 more on-air HSN segments.  Thankfully, I'll be in the green room with that silly Cindy Brady expression on my face.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Off to SleeveShirt's annex

5 days a week I work from my home-office.  I've designed it to be fun and functional- a place that I really enjoy being in while I do write, perform research, or construct business plans for clients.  On the weekends however, separating work from family-fun becomes a little more difficult since my office is on the first floor of our home and since it does not have a door.

After a good morning walk with our new puppy, breakfast with my favorite little people and after sharing a few cups of coffee with my love, I head to our community library.

They've come to expect my presence as the doors open at 9am. The librarian even have the key for Study Room A ready and waiting. I have my own private "office".  If you thought the library was quiet- imagine when you're in a small room tucked in the back of one. Complete silence!

Headed out to SleeveShirt's annex again today- wish me a productive day!  If I struggle for inspiration, you may just find me engrossed in a good book.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spotlight Entrepreneur: Jenn Furr of PictureThatSound

Your family singing "Happy Birthday" at your daughter's first birthday, an imaginative wish list for Santa from your 4-year-old, your baby's ultrasound heartbeat. Have you ever looked back at your photos and tried to remember those sounds?

PictureThatSound was founded to meet an unmet need in the memory-keeping market. The product pairs a creative photo matte with a recordable device for sound. Another reason I love this product is that it was developed by a fellow mom-preneur, Jennifer Furr. Like many busy moms in America-- a wife, mother of two, corporate employee, community volunteer, she decided to leave her corporate job to bring a product to market that she could not find on retail shelves.  She has grown a "customer first" life-experience company that creates, markets and delivers products that help preserve memories pairing picture with sound.

Q: Jenn, it's been a little over 2 years since business inception of PictureThatSound and now you are preparing to take your product LIVE on one of the premiere home shopping channels.  What is the biggest lesson you've learned in the last 2 years?
A: Wow. I have learned so many over these past few years. Persistence is probably the biggest take-away. There were plenty of days where I doubted what I was doing, where I was going and if PictureThatSound was going to truly take-off. But I continued to follow my gut instinct and with the support of friends and my family I have been able to take one step at a time towards this fantastic opportunity.

Q: What is it like preparing to go on-air LIVE to millions of households?
A: I'm not going to lie- it's a little nerve-wracking.  When I met Shivan Sarna, HSN personality, she had some great advice: Smile while you speak!  Smiling is infectious, and it projects energy and warmth.  I only have a few minutes per segment, so I also want to ensure that my customers learn all about our amazing product features like our archival paper, replaceable batteries and high-quality memory chip.

Q: You will be offering exclusive products for the HSN audience- can you tell us a little about what we can expect?
A: Yes, we have developed exclusive product packages for the HSN audience.  Please tune in to see the exceptional offer we have put together. Our first air date is February 28th at 6am and 7am.  We will also be live on March 6th (times are tbd).  If you place an order by 800#, there is a chance you'll be able to speak with me live on-air!  My team will also be live-tweeting from the green room during my on-air appearances. If you don't already, follow us at @PictureThtSound to hear all the ins and outs of the Home Shopping Network experience.

For a demonstration of how PictureThatSound works, check out this YouTube video Jenn put together:

We wish Jenn nothing but the best for her television debut!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Presenting: The Greatest Show on Earth!!

She's fearless, she's empowered- heck, she can juggle wearing a suit while doing yoga poses!

Do you sometimes feel like you are performing in a 3 ring circus? Many working-women do. And if you're an entrepreneur, you may be juggling employees, balance sheets and marketing on top of your other daily commitments.

Here are three short tips to keep you poised with all those balls in the air:
1- Accountability and Planning.  Recently I wrote an entire article on this topic.  It's important to create milestones but it's even more important to be held accountable to reaching them.  If you are someone who has trouble attaining goals, maybe an A&P partnership is right for you.  The commitment is small, but the reward of following through is priceless.  I meet with my A&P partner every month and I'm so proud of how much we have each accomplished.

2- Time Management.  There's no way around it. You have to be disciplined when it comes to your time. As much as I love a thrilling game of Words with Friends, I know that when it's time to work that I have to close down my Facebook to limit my distraction.  Time is money.  Your time is your money.  Make every minute count.

3- Establish a Support System.  Most moms have a reliable babysitting on speed dial.  You might ring that  sitter when you're planning ahead for date night or in a pinch during an emergency.  Your business needs a life-line as well.  Do you have a reliable network of specialists who are there to help your business meet deadlines and grow efficiently?  Are you utilizing LinkedIn to keep up with former colleagues, mentors and associates?  Ensure they know what you are up to in your professional life so that they are only a phone call away should you need them.

Keeping those balls from hitting the ground takes planning, organization and focus.  A few extra hands can't hurt either... so don't hesitate to reach out to SleeveShirt Consulting.  We'd love to run away and join your circus.