I Want to Be Friends…

I am feeling differently about my social media. I am very careful the way I word that. I do not mean that I have outgrown, matured past, moved to a different level, grown tired, gotten better, become worse or any other judgemental idea. I have always believed, and continue to believe, that social media behavior is a lot like parenting – there are some things that are obviously tacky, others that are wrong, some that are downright criminal, but outside of that, we all raise our kids our own way since we know them best.

In my area, I was a very early adopter of social media. I enjoy it and it suits me. Professionally it is a fantastic tool and personally it is a great outlet. I am fairly open and relational. I met a lot of people. A lot of great people. I have a bunch of folks from my local community, childhood in my circles. I have over 2000 emails in my personal email cache, over 2100 Facebook friends, and over 700 Facebook followers.

I do not want to do this anymore.

Now before Todd Carpenter gets all excited that he has won, let me explain. I do not think I have been handling my social media incorrectly. If there are those who still choose to deal in high volume, that is wonderful. I understand the stance. I support it. I think it can be very effective when appropriate.

I no longer feel appropriate.

We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day I can look at a list of phone calls only partially returned. Driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished. The gnawing feeling continues. That families are sitting waiting for a call from us, waiting to hear the word on a contract, or a General Manager’s thoughts on an upcoming season. We are pushing numbers around, doing our best, but is there any real satisfaction in success without pride? Is there any real satisfaction in a success that exists only when we push the messiness of real human contact from our lives and minds? When we learn not to care enough about the very guy we promised the world to, just to get him to sign. Or to let it bother us that a hockey player’s son is worried about his dad getting that fifth concussion. – Jerry Maguire

So today during a particularly introspective time of prayer and contemplation, it occurred to me that deep sixing the social media profiles was a good idea. Nix it all – Facebook, linked in, (choke) twitter (choke). Keep the email, blogs, phone and text. Why? Those things foster real relationship, real community.

This idea has been floating around. Clint, Mike and the like will tell you – twitter follow suggestions should come with a reason. Connections should come with a purpose. Relationships should be, well, relational.

So, I don’t leave without warning. That isn’t the purpose. I am trying to enrich relation – not destroy it. An amazing thing happened – there was connection. And there was confirmation. I had someone say it was sad to reconnect after 20 years and then I am gone – when the truth is we had not “connected” – we had simply “friended.” Would I like to connect with her – you bet your britches. She was a wonderful person then and I am certain she is wonderful now.

In closing, I have been vetoed. I will not lie – the coax to stay will boast my ego for at least the next five minutes. I am not unreasonable. I understand that I may be behaving over zealously (It wouldn’t be the first time). So, I will adjust my thoughts.

I am taking a play from Todd’s book. Sometimes in that there are mistakes made. I was momentarily worried about that. But then I realized…my friends, should they fall victim to my minor mistake of social media faux pas, will forgive me 🙂

We’re up…I think

The holidays were amazing!

  • My sister had my niece 7 weeks early. All are fine, but Phylisa is still in the hospital. She should come home soon. Ain’t she pretty!
  • Both of my babies decided to get matching pairs of double ear infections.
  • Babies also decided to get mommy and daddy sick too.
  • My website crashed – hard

Notice that none of these situations were ones I could control. We all know how much I love that (insert sarcasm here).

At any rate, I think we are all back up and running. I had to reload some of the comments that I still had on file. However, some of them between December 21st and now are gone forever. It could be worse – yesterday, they were ALL gone. However, there was a great conversation going on about the education video posted. That’s gone. That’s disappointing.

I do know that I am not the only one. Kris Berg had the same issue. I feel your pain honey!

I also know that once again, the phenom Chris Cree showed up and showed out. I didn’t even have to ask for help – he offered. Then he held class and educated all of us. There is great information here…go check it out!

So, onward and upward…and if we could continue brainstorming about that education video, that would be great!

 *Update – guess what I found in my email…some of the comments for the video post!!  I am re inputing them  now!!

Not yet ready to return to our regularly scheduled programming

So, the idea was that I would lay low for the holidays. It was the holidays, after all. Add to that some sick kids and a cold myself, seemed like the perfect time for some time off. Then, when the New Year rang in, so would I. Back to work and back to the web.

Then my website went crazy. Serve fell down and skinned it’s knee, email took a vacation, and the “Cannot connect to this site” was my front page. BlueHost worked on it and it should’ve been good to go. Except, all the comments on My Beautiful Chaos are gone. All of them. Now, BlueHost can see them – they are in the database. That’s promising. But…

  • I haven’t changed anything on the backend of the blog
  • I use the same theme here as I do on Making Life Work for You and there aren’t these problems over there
  • I tried to use a default theme and I deactivated all the plugins…same problems.
  • I am running an older version of WordPress and I am scared to death to update it. I don’t think my theme supports the new version and I really don’t want to change my theme. Maybe I will have to bite the bullet

At any rate…please forgive the mess while I abuse my friendship with Chris Cree and he helps me figure this out. If you have any suggestions, the new comments still work, please feel free to leave them.

BTW – Happy New Year and GO DAWGS!

High Five

Dewayne Melancon over at Genuine Curosity has tagged me with a “5 sites you use at work” after he had been tagged by Ariane.

Like Dewayne, I am not sure if these are “top” – meaning, it is very possible that you could say, “Well what about…” and I would rethink.

But, these are five that I visit on a daily basis…some may not seem industry related, but they are April related.  I am a firm believer that when I am better, smarter, faster – my clients benefit. So here we go…

1) 21Online – Century 21 has a resource for it’s agents that I love.  Lots of training, insight, tools, and materials. (This is an agent only site. Consumers will find Century21.com far more helpful)

2) Managing with Aloha Coaching – My virtual coach.  Rosa helps me get my mind right and untangle the mess.

3) Think Positive –  Kirsten is my virtual encourager.  She enables me to take deep breaths, pull my shoulders back, and step into the flow of intention.

4) MapQuest – Almost always gets me to where I need to go.

5) Constant Contact – Best customer contact tool I have found.  They make Turn Around Tuesday easy.

Now I am getting selfish.  The five folks tagged are those who I admire and can’t wait to see their answers so I can use them!

Rosa Say
Phil Gerbyshak
Realtor Genius
Kris Berg
Jay Thompson

The random, sometimes absent “;”

I don’t know what I would do without my laptop.  It is my lifeline to running my home, business, and education. I use it for everything. My husband is surprised that I cannot control it with my mind yet.

Well, I can’t. In fact, I am using the keyboard right now and it is harder than it used to be.

The multitasker that I am refuses to have an unproductive lunch.  I am eating with a client, affiliate, new contact, friend, or somebody.  If my lunch hour is free, I am eating at my desk.

Hence, the salmon in the keyboard.

This ever so slight sliver of fish fell from the fork into the slit between the “p” and the “;” No problem – I was a tech in the Navy.  This is easy stuff.  However, I had underestimated the difference between the rugged construction of aircraft and my laptop.

Pop off the “;” pop off the “p” remove the fish, reassemble.  No problem. Until the little plastic bracket thingy (yes, that’s the technical term) on the “;” snaps in two. Dangit.

After a bit of manipulation, the “;” is now back in it’s place – sort of. Sometimes it jiggles loose and is cattywhompus on my keyboard and I have to readjust it. My spell checker and backspace key are working overtime as little “;” show up randomly when I am typing. Until I actually need it, that is. Then the darn little thing has to be coaxed into working.

There are many laptops, but this one is mine.

Master of my own Domain – Part 3

I can hardly believe it!  I must admit, I thought this whole transfer business would be harder.  I did not expect SEI to be so quick and hassle free in transferring my domain into my name.  I mean, I knew they should – but it really was seamless.

Then the guys over at BlueHost were fantastic. Helpful and nice.  I love that. They made sure I understood what the first couple of steps should be and I was off.

However, I am running into a bit of “be careful what you ask for…” WordPress is easy enough, but I need more than a blog – I need a webpage. So, I am using Adobe Contribute for my desktop editing.  But, this is the first time I have used it for from scratch creation.  Whew! I finally called it a night at about 1:30 this morning. I am not close to finished, but I am excited about the progress. 

So, I had better get back to it!

Master of my own Domain – Part 2

So far, so good.  Wasn’t sure what to expect in the realm of speediness since it is the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.  But, believe it or not, I had reply emails in my inbox by 9:30!  The guys over at SEI have always been on the ball.  They have been great to work with and I am glad they were my first interaction with working on a website.Right now I am just waiting on them to approve the domain registration transfer that I requested.  Doug over at Network Solutions was phenomenal in helping me with that.  The domain, while it is mine, is registered under another guy’s name over at SEI.  But, as I understand it, they are taking care of it.

So close…I am itching with anticipation!  The learning curve is sharp…but, man, it’s a great education!

Master of my own Domain – Part 1

For those of you who just stumbled across this blog, I am a real estate agent. In my market, there are quite a few of us – and we’re good.  Some of us are real good. So, when clients are choosing which Realtor they want to work with, they really can find somebody that suits them.  It’s kinda like dating – there is somebody out there for everybody, you just got to get to know them.  The “get to know them” part is where it gets tricky. How do you do that? Well, it is my personal opinion that the internet is the best way. Many people, whether it is gift shopping, information gathering, dating, searching for real estate, or a multitude of other things, accomplish these tasks at midnight, in their pajamas, on the internet – or at 4 in the morning over coffee, in my case.  Therefore, when I got into the business full time, I knew the first marketing dollar to be spent was not on cute calendars, refrigerator magnets, or property flyers – it was on a webpage.

So, that’s what I did and www.aprilgroves.com was born. It is a nice site, considering it was my first shot. But, it is database driven with templates and limited customization. Some time after, I discovered blogging existed on a larger scale than what I had seen on the myspace pages.  I wanted one of those too, and Making Life Work for You was created. I also started the Musings of Beautiful Chaos. This was a necessary step as I am completely aware of my inability to always write about Making Life Work for You type topics.  Sometimes I want to talk about my family, my friends, and other personal type stuff. Readers of the professional blog are more than welcome on the personal one – in fact, I love that they get to know me in a deeper way – but, they shouldn’t be forced to rummage through my kids’ latest activity to get to what they really want to know about termites and home buying.

Now, I think I have outgrown my template site. I am computer savvy, thanks to the United States Navy, I have am currently managing a domain, thanks to the WBA, and I have great friends and associates (Chris, Lisa, Christina, Athol, Jonathan, Pat and others I am sure I am leaving out) that have been very supportive on this journey and are packed full of great expertise.

Now, here I am. It’s 4 A.M. on a Sunday morning. I have a plan. Who knows how it will turn out, but it will be one heck of a ride.   

  • I just put in a request to transfer my domain from its current home to BlueHost. Why BlueHost? Because their prices are competitive, their services complete, and WordPress likes them (see next bullet).    
  • I am going to transfer my blogs to WordPress. Why WordPress? Because Chris likes them. Really, that’s the only reason. His wife, Gorgeous (that’s how he refers to her – love it!), is one of my great friends and an awesome business woman. I trust her unconditionally. Chris is a phenom blogger and a real nice guy – his recommendation is all I need.    
  • I have to design a new website. While the domain name is mine, the templates are not, so I am sure the current hosters will strip it before they transfer it. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.    

That’s all I know for right now.  After all, it is 4 o’clock Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend… I have done all I can do – just have to wait for everybody else to get back to work.

Until next time…