Saturday, March 27, 2010

Relationships Matter Now, LLC - Plan B????

Some time in the last few days as I have been furiously campaigning (begging) for votes for my Pepsi Refresh project as I have simultaneously watched my rank drop almost daily... the thought of plan B crept in.

Funny, that it would be positioned in my mind as "Plan B". You see Relationship Matter Now, LLC was always going to happen in 2010. In fact, if you take a look back at my 2010 Objectives - it's there loud and clear. Conspicuously - there is no mention of Pepsi or Pepsi Refresh Everything Project. When I wrote those goals and set out in December with Simplicity Inc., my small business consultants, to mount this movement - there was no Pepsi Refresh cash in the plans.

So as I head on vacation for one week to plug out of all things work related - I want everyone who has been SO GRACIOUS and FAITHFUL in voting, commenting and supporting my bid for this project to know where I stand.

Relationships Matter Now, LLC will be incorporated by July.

You see on that grand day the second week in March when I spent the entire time thinking, planning and strategizing my points of entry for this idea - the possibility of not getting the grant was not in my mind. I was focused on the what, when, where, who - the "how" was still not clear. It is no more clear today.

But the support, comments and convergence of circumstances has validated this concept and made me more certain that this is the time to start this conversation - this movement.

One day last week - my husband said to me - "Denise, you know if you don't get the grant - we can 'loan' you the $5k to get your company started." I was so touched and authentically moved to tears that my partner in life was so plugged in to this important movement, especially because he and our journey together inspired it.

Since Relationships Matter Now LLC is not "work" for me - I will spend at least a few hours thinking on how we move forward without the Pepsi Refresh money - EVEN THOUGH I'm planning a VOTE-A-THON Tuesday night from a remote town in Mexico (you can join us virtually). Interesting in one breath, I am talking post 5 days from now without the grant - yet never truly throwing in the towel on getting it.

That my friends, is why you can count on hearing about Relationships Matter Now, LLC very soon. Because what is Plan B to everyone else was always Plan A for me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Authentic Niche: Team Motivator

Tomorrow, I will attend the my second Energy Star Partner of the Year awards ceremony in 3 years. This time with Sears as the 2010 Retail Partner of the Year - a few years back in 2007 - it was with my former employer, Pella Corporation when they were first named Window and Door Manufacturer of the Year.

I could spend the entire post going on and on about Energy Star, the collaboration between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) designed to help us save money while protecting the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Over the last four years - I've spent countless hours learning and advocating for the same goals and practices that Energy Star promotes. No loss for words on that.

Essentially over the last four years - I have "fallen" in love with the environmental movement. The idea of helping companies that are over a century (Sears) and practically a century (Pella) old look at their business and truly look for ways to be Eco-conscience and bring our customers on the journey with us - just fits me. But that's not the niche....

I am not going to claim that I did most of the work on securing either of these awards - but the common thing I did do was look everyone in the eye - on both occasions - in two different companies and tell them that this award was achievable and proceeded to champion it from my marketing chair. In both cases - I "cheer leaded" and kept the can do attitude alive through out the process. I also kept each team "real" reminding them of the importance of authenticity in the green space over anything else. Of course, I had other accountability in the process but I am certain that because of my niche role in both these instances, we (our green teams) were propelled to victory.

Seth Godin wrote a blog post called We Can Do It - last week - you can read it here. I really loved this post because it really brought to life my experiences on both these teams over the last four years.

So that is my niche - I add value by not only my vast marketing knowledge and know-how but by that intangible confidence that I bring to teams at crucial intersections in their existence.

That was a cool discovery for me this past month. My brand statement just got expanded.

I want to challenge all who are reading this to take notice to your niche. This one almost slipped by me. I literally stopped in my tracks and looked at both these situations and found the common theme and now I know.
What are your niches? If you don't know - start paying attention. They are there! Stop and look at the times you have been victorious in your life - chances are you will find your niche there!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Authentic Faithfulness

This morning I had an epiphany.

Almost everyday in the month of February, my daily bible readings mostly from Psalms referenced God's faithfulness. Because February was a particularly challenging month - I was reading that to be an affirmation of God's faithfulness to me. Without question, that is 100% true - God has been tremendously faithful to me especially last month.

March is 13 days old and has been a mixed bag with many references to faithfulness in my daily studies. Today, once again I had a reference to faithfulness in John 16:33 and I don't want to freak anyone out but this is the truth:

Minutes after reading the verse when I was doing my daily voting for my Pepsi Refresh Project and posting to ask my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter crew to vote - I started reading some of the comments from my friends who are cheering me on. Everyday that I post the link on my Facebook account or Tweet to my Twitter Tweeps - I am just humbled by the RTs (re-tweets) and the comments from the FAITHFUL friends who are voting everyday and keeping me in the running for this grant.

I would swear that God literally spoke to me and said "Denise - you know of my faithfulness to you - you've experienced it many times. What I am showing you now is the faithfulness of others."

Guys, the faithfulness I am currently experiencing from my friends and friends of friends -the daily voters, commenters and re-tweeting buddies is a foreshadowing of what the relational wellness movement is going to do for our world.

Quite honestly, that's part of what's missing anymore in relationships - faithfulness to each other, day-in and day-out. I am experiencing a taste of this now on the road securing my grant.

Thank you friends, friends of friends and strangers for your authentic faithfulness to me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Authentic Tipping Point #1

With less than three weeks left in the voting - my PepsiRefresh idea is hanging in the FUNDING ZONE (top ten ideas for my $5K funding category) and bringing Relationships Matter Now a step closer to reality.

Yesterday was the first "tipping point" moment in this journey to bring my life's work alive. I spent the entire day making plans, gathering resources and moving things into place to jump start Relationships Matter Now should I get the Pepsi funds in early April.

I actually lost my breath last night while recapping the day for my husband.

Tipping Point has three distinct meanings:

Malcolm Gladwell (one of my favorite writers) wrote about the social phenomenon of Tipping Point in his 2002 NY Times bestselling book - The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

Tune in...

We all know $5k is not a lot of money.

Stay tuned to see how "a little thing can make a big difference."