I Want a Great Local Experience

Communications Hill 3You aren’t the only one!

Do you want more for your vacation than holding a guide book the whole time. Figuring out your next step, but ending up at a tourist-dive?

Go Local! This is the fun way to make the most of your time. Hire a local to get you out of the crowd and immersed in the local life. You’ll see the best, and maybe its not the 5-Star plan but rather the places that people who love that city hang out!

Wouldn’t that be fine! ?

“Travelers want to be with locals,” said Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations in New York. “They want to be immersed in a destination. Instead of guides who know a lot of facts, they want insiders who can really give them the lowdown. Or they want a nightlife host who can take them to the coolest bars and nightspots and tell the story from their own perspective.”


Travelers want to connect with human beings.

This might seem counterintuitive. More travelers than ever before are foregoing travel agents in exchange for mobile booking sites. And smartphones have made it easy to travel without interacting with other people. In spite of these developments, travelers still thirst for human connection. They want to interact with locals who reside in the area in which they’re traveling and can add to the authentic feel of a trip. In fact, interactions with locals are a critical element of the cultural immersion modern travelers are seeking. Travelers also expect human service during their travels. They don’t want to interact with an app if they need help. They want to connect with people.

The Latest Trend in Travel Planning

How do YOU want to Learn? How do You want to Lead?

I train people in new systems. It is fascinating work, usually I don’t know what I am doing in the new system… until ….. I DO…. and then I can explain how I got from the desolate feeling of “I don’t have a clue” to I got it!”. It isn’t everyone’s dream job, but I love learning. But suppose you don’t.

How do you learn when you don’t want to?  Try VIDEO.

Rule #1: Make it easy.

Rule #2: Answer the Question and don’t go all marketing blurbs when you answer the question.

Rule #3: Involve all your students senses by using color, showing what to do, showing the results … and then stop talking.

Rule #4: Follow up the video learning with a one-page step by step, like a recipe for your favorite cake. It may have some hints and tips, it may have some “Don’t do this” but it will be easy to scan, using simple words, organized for the happy path. Let your viewer Get the Job Done. Add the survival skills info later.

But not having a video strategy for 2017 is like not having a digital strategy in 2000. You might be able to survive for the time being, but holdouts will find themselves seriously left behind and racing desperately to catch up in just a few short years ahead. More and more, digital means video. Like it or not, other media formats are moving to the margins—making it pretty much essential to start putting together your company’s video strategy right about now.

gogreen lightbulbIt may seem daunting at first, and it will certainly take more time than you thought or wished. But the systems will be so much easier for your team. Green Ideas can be very techy geeky and hard to move from what is now to what could be. In order to get team members going the same direction, they MUST understand what/why they are doing. In order to get funding, the lender must feel confident about what the company is doing. In walks VIDEO. In 5 minutes you can explain, train and convince.

One of the easiest ways to make effective videos is to tap the talent that’s already on your payroll. Allowing staff to speak honestly and directly to customers creates an intimacy that can instantly cut through the

For the full article that has the quotes, go to the FAST COMPANY article here, “The Future of Work:  Yes, even your Company Needs a Video Strategy”

Spirits – the Drinking Kind

For years, if you mentioned the spirits industry, the image that came to mind probably involved some men in suits talking to other men in suits in a roomful of men in suits. But in the flourishing craft distillery movement, that old boys image is being redefined as a more sophisticated, nuanced, and yes, female-friendly phenomenon. While men still overwhelmingly get credit for revitalizing the craft beer industry in the past decade, many women are now staking a claim in craft spirits, launching companies with appealing origin stories that reflect a certain type of lifestyle, social grouping, or cultural leaning. They are looking to leave their stamp on a business that has long been considered the domain of the Don Drapers of the world.

Over the past five years, the craft spirits market has grown at a remarkable rate: It reached $2.4 billion in retail sales in 2015, an annual growth of 27% in volume and 27% in value from 2010, according to consumer research group IWSR. Exports of these artisanal spirits reached 523,000 cases last year, adding more than 10% of additional volume to U.S. craft distiller total sales. At present, there are 1,300 craft spirits distilleries in the U.S., nearly triple the count from 10 years ago. The number of craft distillers is projected to surpass 2,800 by 2020.

One reason for the growth is due to the gradual loosening of regulations on spirits, which are typically bound by much stricter laws regarding sales to consumers than beer and wine. But now states like New York are embracing smaller distillers. “There are a ton of startups and new companies being founded every day,” says Alexandra Sklansky, director of communications for the American Craft Spirits Association. “There are tons of leading women within our industry, and I don’t think they’re getting attention because they’re women,” she continues. “I think they get attention because they make good products or have unique points of views.”

The American Craft Spirits Association’s Sklansky believes that smaller spirits makers can cultivate brand evangelism that bigger companies can’t. The appeal of a niche-market product, plus the fact that customers can visit their local distillery, can foster a certain allegiance that would be harder for, say, Johnny Walker to create.

The GEM&BOLT team is optimistic that the once male-dominated spirits landscape will continue to change for the better. “We haven’t felt any barriers,” AdrinAdrina says. “The world is ready for women to step into these worlds now.”

Melissa Katrincic agrees. She’s the founder and CEO of Durham Distillery, which, based in North Carolina, puts a modern-chemistry spin on gin. Cucumbers and honeysuckle flowers are individually vacuum-distilled at room temperature and blended into the gin. The company was just named No. 2 U.S. craft gin distillery by USA Today. (St. Augustine Distillery, housed in what is known as “Florida’s oldest ice plant” was No. 1.)


Experiences for Christmas – Not What you could GUESS!

MagicBand, meet magical money I believe gifts are best given when they are EXPERIENCES. Skip the bright bows and big boxes and give your time, enthusiasm and have some fun. Your friends and children will remember this forever. And since I have many adult friends that go to visit the MOUSE quite often… I know they too…..love this fun filled paradise.  There is something new and cool available now – a way to pay without hassle. THAT SOUNDS MAGICAL TO ME.   CHECK OUT MAGICBANDS!!  Easy to wear it streamlines tickets, hotels, purchases and it’s waterproof!  It gets you through the turnstile or quickly on your way after a purchase – it is a contactless payments pad (just type in your pin)o n your wrist.

It works almost anywhere at the Disney park and has a 2 year battery. (is that in case you don’t want to come home?)

Just bring your Divers License or suitable ID and leave all your Credit Cards at the hotel. No more wondering where you put the CC after the coke spilled down your leg and you were trying to buy an embroidered set of mouse ears. (Yes it is personal experience! ) Have more fun, soak in all the laughter and experiences.

25 Words and Phrases that Are Great to Get Right!

Mastering a language is tricky business, particularly if you want to write well in it. One of the reasons why is because you’ve got to know all of the different expressions, turns of phrase, and other quirks that give the language its unique contours. And while that may sound easy enough, it’s not always so straightforward when it comes time to use them correctly in written language. Between confusion over homonyms (words that have the same pronunciation or are spelled the same) and eggcorns (words or phrases that result from mishearing or misinterpretation of another), among other factors, it’s easy to get things wrong.


The original post here – Thanks Acrolinx.

Below we’ve compiled a list of 25 different words and phrases that, as a writer, you’ve got to make sure you’re using correctly. I loved this list, and found a few others to light up your geeky word-loving brains:

  1. It’s 180-degree change, not 360-degree change
    To say you’ve made a 180-degree change means that you’ve turned around and are now effectively doing the opposite of what you were doing before. By contrast, saying that you’ve made a 360-degree change means that you’re in the same spot you were before and haven’t really changed at all.
  2. It’s beck and call, not beckon call
    To be at someone’s beck and call means that you’re at their disposal and ready to do whatever they need. It often gets confused with the incorrect and nonsensical beckon call.
  3. It’s chalk it up to, not chock it up to
    To chalk something up means to give credit to something. A chock, on the other hand, is a wooden block you put under a wheel to keep it from moving.
  4. It’s couldn’t care less, not could care less
    Saying you couldn’t care less implies that there’s no way that you could care any less. When you say that you could care less, on the other hand, it means that there may still be some caring left in you.
  5. It’s could have/should have/would have, not could of/should of/would of
    Although they may sound very similar, could of, should of, and would of don’t exist as constructions in English, and should never be used when writing.
  6. It’s deep-seated, not deep-seeded
    Deep-seated means firmly established. And while deep-seeded may seem to make sense on some metaphorical level, it’s not the correct expression.
  7. It’s each one worse than the last, not each one worse than the next
    While it may at first seem that either version of this expression could work, the reality is that you’d have to be a psychic for that to be true. That’s because the expression sets up a comparison. Logically speaking, you can only compare things that you’ve already looked at and evaluated, not those that you haven’t yet but are going to next.
  8. It’s eke out, not eek out
    To eke something out means to make it last longer or go further. Eek, on the other hand, is just a word used to express surprise or fear, as in “Eek, a mouse!”
  9. It’s fall by the wayside, not fall by the waste side
    To fall by the wayside means to fail to continue or to drop out. To fall by the waste side is, well, simply incorrect.
  10. It’s far be it from me, not far be it for me
    Far be it from me, as in “far be it from me to interject, but…,” is often confused with far be it for me. The former is the correct version of the expression.
  11. It’s first come, first served, not first come, first serve
    People get this one wrong all the time. Just memorize it.
  12. It’s for all intents and purposes, not for all intensive purposes
    For all intents and purposes means in every practical sense. For all intensive purposes is a commonly used eggcorn that may sound good, but doesn’t actually mean anything.
  13. It’s free rein, not free reign
    Having free rein means that you can do whatever you want. Having free reign, on the other hand, is just a common misuse of the homonym.
  14. It’s hunger pangs, not hunger pains
    Although being hungry may be uncomfortable, even painful at times, it’s correct to describe that sensation as having hunger pangs, not hunger pains.
  15. It’s jibe with, not jive with
    When something jibes with something else, that means that the two things are in accord or agreement with each other. Although jive with is a commonly used variation, jibe is the preferred form, particularly when writing.
  16. It’s make do, not make due
    To make do is short for making [something] do well enough, where the word do means to serve a specified purpose. It’s similar to the usage in the sentence, “I wanted waffles for breakfast, but pancakes will do.”
  17. It’s moot point, not mute point
    A moot point can be either an issue open for debate, or a matter of no practical value or importance because it’s hypothetical (the latter is the more common example of how we use the term today). A mute point, by contrast, doesn’t exist.
  18. It’s statute of limitations, not statue of limitations
    Statutes of limitations are laws. Statues of limitations are something you might find at a funky exhibit in a modern art museum.
  19. It’s one and the same, not one in the same
    Here’s another example of an eggcorn. Although both versions seem to make sense logically, one and the same is the correct version.
  20. It’s scot-free, not scott-free
    To get off scot-free means not to have to endure any punishment, but it’s often incorrectly written as scott-free.
  21. It’s shoo-in, not shoe-in
    A shoo-in is someone or something that’s certain to succeed or win a competition. A shoe-in, on the other hand, doesn’t have any particular meaning.
  22. It’s different tack, not different tact
    To take a different tack means to take a different approach. It’s an expression derived from sailing and has nothing to do with being tactful.
  23. It’s you’ve got another think coming, not another thing coming
    If you think people don’t get this one wrong, you’ve got another think coming. Unfortunately, people often mishear think as thing and so this eggcorn was born.
  24. It’s on tenterhooks, not on tenderhooks
    To be on tenterhooks means to be anxiously awaiting something. According to the Free Dictionary, “the expression is based on the literal meaning of tenterhook (a hook that holds cloth that is stretched to dry), suggesting that someone’s emotions are tightly stretched like a piece of cloth held by tenterhooks.”
  25. It’s tongue in cheek, not tongue and cheek
    Tongue in cheek means to speak or write in an insincere way. If you say or write tongue and cheek, you’re just listing two parts of the body.

While there are certainly plenty of other words and phrases that writers tend to get wrong, these ones are particularly common and, when used incorrectly, will make your writing look less professional. Hopefully, after reading this list, you’ve committed to memory the correct versions of any you may have had wrong.

Veteran’s Business

During the beginning of the year there is usually an uptick in hiring. Now is the time to consider Veteran Hiring, there are several groups that can help you place a veteran in your organization. You’ll be getting an amazing, hard-working, team player that knows how to make hard decisions. It’s a great step forward for your company.

“Those who have served in the military represent a special group. Their ability to make tough choices, lead under pressure, and think strategically is of great value to businesses,” said Vautrinot, who continues to mentor and advocate for veterans in the startup space. “It’s important to advocate for veteran entrepreneurs as they channel their desire to serve into the mission of their companies.”

Continuing public service through business was the main motivation for Mike McNerney, co-founder and CEO of Efflux Systems, a cybersecurity startup that offers tools to filter through the noise of repeated cyberattacks in order to more quickly detect and respond to specific threats.

Former Army Capt. Blake Hall learned to get comfortable making difficult decisions amid chaos. Those skills have come in handy now that he is a civilian business owner, though the weight of his decisions doesn’t have the same weight as it did during his days in service.

“It’s all about perspective,” Hall, a former member of the elite Army Rangers, said about the challenges of being an entrepreneur. “No challenge has the same magnitude as the prospect of losing a life.”

Image result for veterans and jobsMotivated by a desire to serve the veteran community, Hall founded ID.me in 2009. The digital wallet allows veterans and others to manage their digital identities via a single login, which streamlines the process for applying for various services and discount programs online.

Take a look at Veteran-founded technology startups like these national nonprofits Bunker Labs and VetsinTech.

The Grinch’s GREEN Guide to Holiday Marketing

So much of marketing is focused only on the bottom line. How much can we bump SALES up?

But what about responsible purchases?  This is our big moment to flex our GREEN MUSCLES!  With that in mind I have re-focused this marketing blog… (but you are welcome to visit the original Grinch’s guide here.)

Aquarirum of the BAYConsumers enjoy holidays quite a lot

But sometimes we marketers, frankly, do not.

green refrain:

It seems like they gravitate to the plastic crap

And then put it in glittery  plastic gift wrap

Buyers say their budgets are tight the paychecks are  lean

But let’s help them think sustainable and GREEN

It’s the end of the year! We must budget and plan!

But we try to be festive as much as we can.

As you work and you stress, you may feel your eyes squinch

Though you love what you do, you might feel like a Grinch.

Hikes and more June 2013 031

Responsible Gift Buying and Loving Time Gifts:

  • Buy creative play toys made locally out of sustainable materials (wooden blocks, coloring books, t-shirts to color, cookies to bake)
  • It doesn’t have to be already put together – try a craft (knitting, sewing, painting), or a hobby growing plants, baking bread. Kids love these accomplishments and treasure the memories.
  • Give music or photos or memories.
  • A book gift – a book you love and read – recycle!
  • Volunteer together as a family or gather a group of friends and help out at the food kitchen or pantry.  Planting trees is a great group outdoor event.
  • Afterwards, have a picnic lunch / potluck at someones home or go on a food crawl and visit a few restaurants for appetizers and hot drinks.
  • Most of all, remember the best gift you can ever give is your Time! Take a walk, go on a hike, play catch, chase waves at the beach. These are the best gifts of all.

Financial Acumen & Making a Plan

First things first. You need to take care of your financial health. You must be proactive and learn more. There are groups to help.  If your passion is Green Investing there are many companies that do that. If you take care of your finances, you will have the option to spend time now as a volunteer or green business owner or your later years as a feisty mover & shaker in your community.

filoli 3Are you hoping for a quiet bench in a beautiful garden, or something more? Anything is possible if you make a plan.

But it can be daunting.


You don’t have to do it alone. Ellevest is a group that caters to women’s financial needs. They offer a free check up and will make a plan with you. Maybe while you were juggling 2 jobs or caring for kids and elders…. you didn’t make much time for this…. But the time is now. Really.

I like their vibe: happy, hip, smart. Here is an ad for Ellevest. (NO, I don’t work there) I really like their positive, calm, insight – I like what they say.

“I don’t know where to start.”

Start here. With Ellevest. Right now. Boom.
Any questions? Our Client Experience Lead, Nell, is awesome and loves hearing from you. You can reach her at 844.355.7100 or nell@ellevest.com for general support

So pick a group of smart saavy  people  – maybe a group that fits you is best. Whether you pick by experience, history, local name, specific talent like gender based financial programs or something else … get a few opinions. Definitely more than one!


  1. Learn what you need. How much does your current life cost? What do you really want?
  2. Take a “fearless” inventory of what you have. All Assets.
  3. Take a “brave” tally of what you owe. All of it… not only credit cards but student loans, mortgages, planned giving, and expected help for family.
  4. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t work for you anymore. This includes all kinds of “hoarding” : thinking about the past, collecting something only because you always did. Do you even LIKE that stuff anymore? Are you wondering why you have 12 sets of china? Boxes of pictures of people you don’t remember?
  5. Getting your Financial stuff in ORDER. Do you know where all your key documents are? Have you recorded all you credit cards (numbers AND customer service phone number)
  6. Financial documents. Have you filed your tax returns and the supporting documents somewhere safe, dry and useable?
  7. When you die….Do you have a valid current WILL and Last Testament? And a Medical Directive?

There is so much more to do…. but here is a BIG HINT: Have you taken time to learn about how to manage your money. If you are doing what your DAD did, your retirement may be a “train wreck”. You may have many missed opportunities. You have to understand your financial goals and the basics.

For Example….Take a 1031 exchange. Do you know what this is? A 1031 is the purchase of a similar or “like-kind” property to defer capital gains. Most likely your bank or financial guru has a 1031 exchange team which helps facilitate these types of transactions. Imagine if rather than selling your home or business, you found someone willing to trade for something else?

Typically, one relatively straightforward transaction takes a week to close. But with the advent of e-signature and computer generated forms and filings it can be shorter, even if you have several trades in mind. Learn more about your financial options and you can be in much better shape.

Bruce Lee’s Self-Motivational Genius

by Shannon Lee

A FAST COMPANY article (link) 11//201627

My father was a teacher, family man, martial artist, philosopher, and innovator who became a cultural icon because he actively lived his philosophy of self-actualization. This is what moves me to keep his legacy alive. And this is the energy that continues to inspire people all over the world today.

“I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.” — Bruce Lee

His energy captivated audiences and motivated people to action. I wanted people to have access to his depth, but also his philosophies, so that they may enrich and empower others to lead their best lives.

  1. “The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.”

In 1993, my brother Brandon Lee died suddenly due to an accident on the set of his movie, The Crow. He was coming into his own as an actor and was planning to get married in a few weeks when his life was cut short. The random and abrupt way his life ended shook me to the core and put me into a deep depression for several years. In the depth of my grief, I was looking through my father’s writings and this quote lifted me out of my darkness.

Action Step: Start noticing where you are struggling in your life; it might be something big or small. Start journaling your observations without judgment. Decide to move in a positive direction and seek the tools that are out there that will help you with constructive motion. Keep moving forward and celebrate each win.

  1. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

This is my father’s most famous quote. The core idea of being like water comes from Taoism—a 2,500-year-old Chinese philosophy. My father was schooled in Taoism as a young martial arts student, but he also had a way of interpreting these ancient ideas so more people could understand them. If you are like water, you can shape-shift into any form and flow around any obstacle with ease.

Action Step: The next time you are faced with an obstacle or some criticism, don’t become rigid, combative, or defensive. Feel yourself flowing around the problem like a stream moving easily around a giant boulder.

[Photo: © Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved]

  1. “Walk on.”

The years between The Green Hornet and the Hong Kong films were often difficult for my dad. In Hollywood he wasn’t getting offered the roles he felt he deserved, he struggled to support our family, and he injured his back very seriously. My dad was told that he would never be able to participate in martial arts ever again and may never walk normally again. But he made a clear decision not to believe the doctors and took responsibility to research his body and heal himself. “Walk on” was a phrase he wrote on the back of his business cards to remind him of this decision to stay positive and move forward.

“Walk on” was a phrase he wrote on the back of his business cards to remind him . . . to stay positive and move forward.

Podcast listener Sam Shennan in Australia retells the story of shattering his ankle, yet having to just “walk on” despite the injury. “I focused on the positive of the situation and took the opportunity to listen, read, and study how successful people managed to reach self-sustaining,” he says.

Action Step: Do you have a phrase that helps you when you’re stuck? Find or write a phrase that can help you with whatever you are struggling with right now.

4. “My Definite Chief Aim”

In 1969 when he was 29 years old, Bruce Lee wrote a grand goal for himself as a commitment and direction to pursue. He called this “My Definite Chief Aim.”

“I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970, I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.”

Action Step: Write your own Definite Chief Aim. Dream big and remember that a goal is an inspired direction to pursue—not a rigid prison. Wherever your goal takes you, flow like water.

  1. “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.”

My father was a man who was always learning, growing, and evolving.

In 1964, the traditional Kung Fu community in San Francisco challenged my father to a fight. They were irritated by this rebellious young upstart who was teaching kung fu to students of all races. He was told that if he lost the fight, he would have to shut down his studio in Oakland. My father agreed to the fight and defeated his opponent in under three minutes. Even though he won the fight, and the right to keep his studio open, he wasn’t happy.

My father also designed graphics, exercise equipment, sculpture, shoes, clothes, and drinks.

He was expecting to take his opponent down in under a minute, but during the fight, his opponent started to run around the room forcing my dad to chase him down. The classic form of kung fu he learned (wing chun) did not prepare him for a real-world fight like this. So my father began creating his own style called “jeet kune do,” discarding parts of the classical form that did not serve him, and evolve the art to suit his own body.

Action Step: If you are repeating an old practice, pattern, or path that is no longer working for you, is there a way to modify it to be more useful? You don’t need to stay on a road that someone else paved. You can create one that suits your unique mission.

  1. “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.”

My father also designed graphics, exercise equipment, sculpture, shoes, clothes, and drinks. One of his famous designs is a series of four stages of self cultivation.

  • Partiality: a separated yin/yang symbol representing a separated identity that runs to extremes and is not in harmony with itself.
  • Fluidity: a unified yin/yang symbol which represents an achievement of balance between the masculine and feminine natures and arrows showing the constant interplay between the two.
  • Emptiness: the formless form. Empty your mind and let it be free and uncluttered, ready to respond in the moment.
  • The Core Symbol of Jeet Kune Do: representing the ultimate self realized man. The Chinese writing reads: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.”

Action Step: Look at the four stages of self-cultivation and identify where you are on your own journey. Journal about where you are right now and how you would like to grow.

  1. “Under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family.”

My dad never felt competitive with anyone; he was on a mission to become the most actualized Bruce Lee he could be. In my dad’s kung fu studio, his students were women and men of all colors and backgrounds. He truly believed that we were all brothers and sisters—a family of man.

Actor George Takei says, “Bruce Lee made a tremendous impact on me and on the world’s psyche. He was an action hero when we’d been saddled with all these one-dimensional stereotypes: the servant, the buffoon, or the enemy. He was someone Asians could be proud of.”

Action Step: Think about a group, community, or individual who you have negative or stereotypical judgments about. Can you create a moment of common ground where you can see each other as human beings? It could be a brief conversation about a favorite food, a movie, love for animals, etc. Something that gives you the experience of our human connectedness. We all have much more in common than we think.

Reference: The Bruce Lee podcast, an easy toolkit for people who want to lead a more harmonious and fulfilling life. My father’s philosophies have helped. Bruce Lee is a bright beacon in today’s world where strong, actualized men are needed. He speaks to the idea of taking action within the context of compassion that resonates with today’s youth who are trying to find their way in a shifting landscape