Memorial Day: Remembering One of My Heros

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I usually use this medium to talk about marketing, social media, credit unions, my thoughts and trying to be what I consider humorous.  This post won’t really talk about many of those issues.  What it will talk about is one of the most important and motivating factors in my life that made me understand from an early age the importance of giving 100% all of the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am very special in most regards, but I do know that no matter what I do in my lifetime, I will not settle for mediocre results.  I will do everything (ethically) within my power to make a difference, to create positive change, to help create opportunities for people to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Let’s be honest, though.  No matter what any of us do, in our respective professional careers of choice will never compare to what so many brave men and women have done to even allow us an opportunity to pursue our goals and dreams.

So how did I come to the understand that anything less than a 100% commitment to whatever I am doing is absolutely unacceptable?  There are two people I have to thank for that: My father and my grandfather.  Naturally, one can assume that everything my father has and continues to teach me is the direct result of the morals and life lessons that his father shared with him.

I don’t really know why, but this year I find myself thinking a lot about my grandfather Dale “Butch” Roth.  Grandpa Roth passed away when I was still in high school and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about him.  I especially remember how happy all of his grandchildren were whenever we had the chance to be with him.  He truly was a “spectacular” man.

Grandpa Roth enlisted in the US Navy while in high school and left his classmates prior to graduating to serve our country.  Little know fact, Grandpa Roth was named Most Handsome Sailor while serving.  Maybe that’s where I get my good looks?  Anyhow, he left all that he knew at a young age and went off to serve.  Like I said, he didn’t graduate with his fellow classmates.  If you knew my grandpa and how much he loved his school St. Mary’s Central Catholic, you would probably think that was a bigger deal for him then heading off into an uncertain future of military service.

Grandpa never really spoke about his service and much of the info I know today was learned after his death.  Grandpa Roth raised what at the time was a typical Roman Catholic family (8 kids, yea, you read that right.)  My father was the youngest.  I’m told my dad was pretty confident in himself at a young age.  He once told my uncle Ed that he was going to be a State Champ in wrestling (this was the first time he met Ed.  I believe it may have been their very first verbal exchange as well.)  The funny thing is, my dad, Jude, was like 90 lbs. soaking wet and was doing arm curls at the dinner table when all of this happened. To be a fly on the wall…

Anyhow, only one of these men will have a chance to read this, but I am sure the other one is watching as I type.  This was rather lengthy and may have went a little different route then where I thought it would go when I started, but the message remains the same: Please remember why most of us won’t be working on Monday.

Also, never settle for anything less than your best.  While many of us will never sacrifice like so many have, what we can do is make sure we take full advantage of all the opportunities we have because others made and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice so we even have a chance to pursue our wildest dreams.  To do anything less is unacceptable.

In closing, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has served.  I know I never could.  I wouldn’t make it past the first day.  I think that is why I understand just how special those who do serve are.  They are a rare, selfless breed.  They embody all that is courageous and noble.  They are the true heroes who will never hoist a trophy or say, “I’m going to Disney World.” Nope.  Instead, they do the very opposite.  They push their body’s and mind’s to the very brink and then they go off and do things that nobody else wants to do.

Thank you is not enough, but it is all we have.

*Note* The picture above is of my Grandpa Roth and Cousin Zac.  Grandpa finally received his diploma at Zac’s graduation.  I was there and I will never forget how proud he was.

Love ya gramps.

-Bryce

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Random Thoughts…

It has been way too long since my last blog post.  For the three of you who will actually read this, I apologize.  So, usually I write these about an article or another blog that caught my attention, but that is really not the case here.  Instead, this is kind of like when you are walking away from someone you just finished a conversation with and suddenly you hear them beckon you to come back.  After you turn around and saunter back to your acquaintance, they then ask you, “How far away do you think you would be right now if I didn’t call you back?” Yea, this blog is exactly like that.

Honestly, I have an uncle that does that.  That dude gets me every time.  Anyhow, I intend to step my blog game up for a number of reasons.

  1. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on with new media and if you know me at all, you know I love to talk about that stuff
  2. I feel compelled to write.  I am not sure why, but I do.
  3. There are really only two reasons, but I read somewhere that if you are going to use bullets or number something, you should always at least use three.

Well that’s that.  If you comment on this post and you haven’t previously commented, please be prepared for more mindless drivel and/or random streams of thought.

Without wax,

Bryce

Fashionably Late vs. Not Showing Up for the Social Media Party

Social media marketing is like a party.  There’s just not getting around it.  Like any party, there are certain types of people you can count on finding in the crowd.  You know what I’m talking about: the guy or girl who can’t help but talk about everything they’re doing or have accomplished, the one guy who just sits in the corner (why does that guy go to parties?), then there’s the super hyper dude or chick that talks so fast that you can’t even digest what’s being said let alone comprehend what the heck they’re talking bout.  There are some other usual suspects as well, but you probably get the point by now.

So how is social media marketing like a party?  Well, first of all you have “The Planners”.  The Planners are the innovators of social media marketing.  They saw the potential social media had to offer, embraced it and set the stage or party for our purposes.  If it wasn’t for The Planners, the rest of us might have had to overcome even more barriers when it was time for us to pitch the idea of using social media to connect with our members to the front office suite.

Now let’s talk about the unique group of characters you usually run into at the party.

The self-absorbed partygoer:  Nobody likes this dude as much as he likes himself.  The same goes for brands that only want to talk about how awesome they are with every Facebook update or tweet.  We get it, you really like yourself and you’re either really successful or you’re not and you want us to believe that you are.  Either way, no one approaches this type of person at the party.  It’s usually the exact opposite.  This person hounds you down until you strongly consider getting a restraining order (or clicking the unlike or unfollow buttons)

The Wallflower: Being shy is not a character flaw, but it will do you no good when it comes to social media marketing.  We all know about this person.  They lean against the wall continually looking the room over with their sad eyes just waiting for someone to approach them and talk.  Thing is, when someone does approach, they don’t know what to say because it’s such a rare occurrence.  In case you’re wondering, this character is the Facebook Fan Page or Twitter account that sits dormant.  Again, why even come to the party?

Hyper McHypster: How annoying is this guy?  He is so amped up he makes you nervous just by his proximity.  You don’t know what is going to come out of his mouth next, but you do know that it will most likely make no sense.  This guy has no self-filter and is just putting information out there.  It usually doesn’t take too long before you find an excuse like, I need to get a refill or I have to use the restroom to escape.  This guy is the brand that makes 5 Facebook posts every hour and blows up your newsfeed with insignificant information.  They also like to tweet their every move (i.e. I am now typing that I am typing).

So that’s three of the many characters you’re sure to find at the social media party, but what about how they got there?  Obviously, no one wants their social media presence to be like one of the aforementioned characters, but do you truly know what you want your presence to be?  Furthermore, are you at the party, on your way or going to pass?

Truth is, this party we’re talking about is like New Years Eve 1999 (without all the Y2K hoopla.)  Marketers far and wide are just now figuring out how to harness the power of social media and the communication channel is only going to get better with the constant changes and refinements that are made on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis.

Right now, if you’re considering launching a social media campaign you’d be considered fashionably late.  Remember, fashionably late was the cool thing to be in high school.  It’s not entirely bad now, but you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  What you DON’T want to be is the person that doesn’t show up for the party and hears about

all the fun everyone else had the following day.  Starting a social media campaign and going to a party are very similar.  You’ve got to put yourself (your brand) out there if you want to reap the rewards.  What reservations do you have about making your brand more social?

Without wax,

Bryce

Stuff My Dad Used to Say.

So most of you reading this (I think) know about the Twitter account Sh*tmydadsays that’s morphed into a popular TV show.  My dad, while humorous, did not have much to say that was television worthy.  He did however have a couple of sayings that I still subscribe to today.  The most important one has to be: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”  I know, I know nothing earth shattering or extremely unique.  However, how many of us really take this saying and apply it to our daily lives?  If you’re anything like me, you find yourself so busy everyday that you are caught in a perpetual struggle of deciding what is a priority, how you can get it done as quick as possible and what you need to move on to next.  If you ask me, this is a huge problem.

There may not be anything any of us can do to decrease our workloads, but we certainly can make adjustments to where we place our emphasis: quality or quantity.  Personally I would rather do 1 or 2 things extremely awesome rather than 5-10 things in a routine fashion.  I’m not that special, but if I’m going to associate my name with some project or assignment, you can bet I am going to make sure it is done well.

So why am I blogging about this.  Honestly, I don’t know.  If I had to give an answer, I would have to say that there are a lot of people who are stuck in the cycle of completing tasks/jobs, moving on to the next task/job, and could not care less about the product they produce.  This does not sit well with me.  I think a lot of us need to pay closer attention to the lesson’s of our father’s.  In today’s internet-based world and poor economy there are hundreds if not thousands of people waiting for an opportunity to prove their worth and those of us who do not concentrate on producing the best possible products/results for our customers are bound to see our workloads dwindle.

So, what lessons did you learn from your dad that have shaped the way you do business today?

So much to say…

So, this is blogging, eh?  I’ve been saying I’m going to start blogging for such a longtime, this was inevitable.  With so many media outlets and different distribution channels out there it amazes me how easily they all integrate into one another.  Other than on the internet, where do we see so much cooperation?  Nowhere.  Anyhow, if you’re reading this, you are probably asking yourself “What value could this blog possibly offer me?”  That’s what it’s all about right?  The exchange of your time to read a post for the knowledge or insight you gain for taking the time to read it.  Well, you probably won’t take too much away from this one.  It’s my first post.  Cut me some slack.

So, why would you want to come back?  I could tell you that I’m a really nice guy and all sorts of stuff like that, but what would be the point of that?  Honestly, you can expect me to talk a lot about social media, marketing, apple products, video games and a whole bunch of other geeky sort of stuff.  If none of this sounds interesting to you, well, it was nice knowin’ ya.  If something I said does sound worthwhile, I hope you’ll check back.

As for the title I chose, well, like I said I’ve been talking about blogging for a long time.  During that time I always thought my first blog title should be “So Much to Say” you know, like the DMB song.  I feel like there’s a lot communication capital floating around the internet and everyone seems to have “So Much to Say”.  In my opinion, I feel a lot of the good stuff gets lost.  I’m not saying what I have to say is the “good stuff”, but I am saying that not many social media “gurus”, “wizards”, “ninjas” or whatever they want to call them self are really focusing on the right thing: Providing value to their fans, followers etc.

Since this is my first blog there’s not much value here.  Call me a hypocrite.  Call me Santa Clause.  Call me whatever.  If you are interested in value, I’d say check back.  I might have some for you.  No promises though.

without wax,

Bryce