Search the blog:

Archive for May, 2011

Yes, I Ran The Rock And There Are At Least 5 Business Lessons That Can Be Learned!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

I woke up on Friday morning like I do on most days around 5:00am to get to the office around 6:00. This day was a little different, perhaps one with a little more challenges and probably a little more fun.

This is the day I RUN THE ROCK!  I was invited to this event by someone who is very near and dear to me in my life, someone who is so special that this invitation was definitely more meaningful than most invitations. This invite happened to come from my son. He has been working hard in his running class this year and at the end of the year the participants RUN THE ROCK and get to invite someone to run it with them.

Together, side by side, we took on this challenge with a very quick warm-up and stretching exercise that we used to take on this beast! The RUN THE ROCK is a 5k! Ok, that might not seem like much BUT my son has never run that far and is not even 10 years old. I, on the other hand, am old and only run on a treadmill indoors. We spoke that morning about our goal and decided we would set it at 35 minutes to RUN THE ROCK.

So there we were, proudly wearing our matching tee shirts and numbers 1806 and 1807. We had sweat building on our brows and most importantly smiles on our faces. It was just about that time and then…

The starting gun went off and we were on our way. The school was cheering and we were starting our journey together as a team.

There were five lessons that I learned along the way:

  1. Pace yourself. It was hot. He had never run that far and we needed to set a good pace in order to complete our goal. In business the reality is the same. Yes, we want to come out of the gate quickly. Everyone wants to have a great January and get off to a quick start but you may need to pace your marketing budget so it’s not all used in the early part of the year. Or pace your hiring of staff you think you might need during the year.
  2. There are lots of twists and turns. This 5k took us on some really neat paths through the woods that had lots of twists and turns. Business is not really that different from the paths throughout the race. During the year there are plenty of twists and turns in your day-to-day business. The key is to pay attention and react accordingly to the different routes. If he and I didn’t pay attention to all the twists and turns we could have fallen, hurt ourselves and not accomplished our goals. The exact same thing is in business!
  3. We did it together. We ran a few feet from each other the entire race. We pushed each other, we communicated, had a lot of fun and by running together created a better chance of reaching our goal. Business is no different; no matter how good you are you can’t do it alone! You need a team, ability to work with them and communicate throughout the year. If you accomplish those things you will have a better chance to reach and exceed your goals. If you don’t, it will be much more difficult and you run a higher risk of putting your goals in jeopardy.
  4. Stop and take a breather. I had mentioned to my son, “You are in control. Whenever you need to stop, we stop.” Over the course of the run we stopped 5 times and walked. Isn’t the same exact thing true about business? Take time, stop, relax and evaluate how you are doing. What changes need to be made? And then move on!
  5. Save something for the end. My son had said a few times, “Dad I want to finish strong since the entire school will see me cross the finish line.” Is business really that different? Remember to save something for the last quarter! In business you want and NEED to finish strong. It is always critical for morale to get to the finish line strong.

It turned out to be a wonderful day filled with sunshine, bonding with my son and an activity that highlighted and reinforced 5 important business lessons!

If you are curious, we reached our goal and completed the race in 32 minutes and 4 seconds.

I say GO RUN THE ROCK with your team – it’s a wonderful bonding and business experience!


I look forward to reading your comments.

Ok I Was Over Confident And Perhaps Even Cocky….. Read On To See How This One Played Out…..

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

So there I am on a softball field in Texas. It was a beautiful night under the lights and I was enjoying the start of another game. In reality I am pumped up because we are UNDEFEATED and we are playing the Tigers, the 2nd place team.  The game starts and the Tigers jump all over us. They take a huge lead, 14-2, and we are in danger of the game ending under the slaughter rule which means you are losing by 12 runs or more in 4 innings.

Our team got together and mounted a major comeback – close your eyes and picture the music from Rocky playing! Sorry, I digress. Going into the last inning we are down 15-11 and yours truly is 3-3, hitting the ball solid and in a good grove. As I am running into the dugout I realize I am up 8th that inning and proceed to tell everyone who is listening that, “This game is ours and I will have the winning hit. All you guys need to decide is whether you are going to bump chests, bump fists, or give me a high five AFTER I win the game for us?”

Well as luck would have it we score 4 runs to tie the game and yours truly comes up with 2 outs and guys on 1st and 2nd in the bottom of the 7th. I keep saying what I said at the start of the inning, “Here is the winning hit.” In fact, I said to the umpire, “This game is over.”

I dig in, I get into my stance, I am a little off the plate as I always am, I swing at the 1st pitch which was a little inside…… Drum roll please…… did I win the game?? The answer is no, I grounded out to the 2nd baseman. Next stop extra innings where we proceeded to lose 19-18.

So there you have it.

Was I:

  • Confident?
  • Cocky?
  • Did I have the right attitude?
  • Has this ever happened to you?
  • Did you come through in the clutch?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Get Your Butt Off Twitter And Talk To Your Coworkers! By Guest Writer Annie Pettit, Ph. D.

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I confess. I am addicted to Twitter. I check Twitter every day, several times a day, when my fingers are covered in dirt because I’m gardening, when my fingers are covered in dough because I’m baking. I’m so addicted to Twitter that I speak to my husband in 140 character sentences and send him bit.lys when I have more to say. I’m so addicted to Twitter that I forget my co-workers have voices and faces and can instantly react to my extremely important and inane comments.

In the Twittersphere, everyone I interact with has an opinion about social media research. I can mention the tiniest thing about how great social media research is and my so-called friends blast me with how sentiment analysis sucks and sampling is irrelevant and you can’t measure anything near as good as you can with a survey. In return, I blast them with comments about how I admire neuroscience and eyetracking and all that new-fangled stuff I really want to get my hands on.

But when, for some strange reason, I end up talking to people who aren’t online very much, the reaction is completely different. “What is sentiment analysis?” they ask. “How can you learn anything from crazy, unrepresentative people tweeting about what they had for breakfast?” they ask. Sometimes, I even have to show them how to turn on a computer, show them what a Facebox is, and show them what a Tweeter is.

Sometimes, I’m forced to shake away my veil of denial and remember that I am not a representative researcher. While I may be representative of social media researchers, not every researcher is online engaging in the world-wide focus group on the status of market research in 2011 and beyond. So this is my challenge to you.

  • Are you caught up in the world of social media like I am?
  • Do you agree with my point of view?
  • How will YOU bring your online research conversation into your offline research world?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer of Conversition Strategies, a boutique market research company that specializes in social media research.