Mari

Archive for the ‘Human behavior’ Category

Jeannie: The Happiness Jar.

In Experience, Human behavior, Just plain fun, Parenting on 02/06/2015 at 12:22 am

Jeannie was one of our company’s first supporters and quickly became a rockstar in the digital media space. She owns a company called 360Connext that tackles the customer experience aspect of business. We recently met up for the first time in a long time and caught up on so much stuff — life, business, kids, projects.

And in our catch-up conversation, she shared something that she and her family have been doing for a while: the happiness jar. The premise is simple: write down what makes you happy throughout the year. Drop your happy slip of paper into the jar. At the end of the year, go through the jar and remember all of the times you were happy.

happinessjar

I love this idea. And the great thing is, you don’t need to start adding happy slips of paper to your happiness jar on January 1st. You can start being happy any day of the year.

(Photo credit: Tara Leaver)

Bill: Clarity Brings Energy.

In Brainstorm, Business, Create, Human behavior, Organization on 02/05/2015 at 11:45 pm

I met Bill when I was looking for someone to watch the NFC playoffs with. In spite of the fact that he bleeds green and gold, we’ve remained friends through the past two football seasons. Bill also is a legit, big shot business guy (but you would never know this if you met him).

In one of our many brunches (which we admittedly do mostly for my benefit, but occasionally for his sustenance), we were sorting things out (for me). He asked what clutter I had in my life, and helped me figure out what I needed to eliminate — emotionally, mentally, physically — and then said this:

“Mari! Clarity brings energy, and with energy, you might actually find the motivation to do all of the ambitious things on your to-do list. You’re a quick starter, so stop making excuses.”

These three simple words are on my desk as a constant reminder to cut the noise, focus on intent, and ride the wave of energy that inevitably follows.

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Now if I could just get some energy to shovel my car out.

Jaime: If It’s Hysterical, It’s Historical.

In Be authentic, Human behavior, Relationships on 01/09/2014 at 3:43 pm

Jaime, actor, teacher and friend extraordinaire (he’s in Glee! – The Movie), has been a wealth of information over the past several months.

Last weekend, during a moment of crisis, he said something so profound to me over the phone that really struck a chord:

“If it’s hysterical, it’s historical.”

He went onto explain that if we have a reaction to something that is overreactive, makes us jump to conclusions, forces us into making assumptions, or if your walls go up, it’s never in response to what’s going on in that present moment. It is triggering a past experience that made us feel bad, and we bring that experience into the present and create a disaster in the moment.


For example:
– I hate avocados.
– If I were to see avocados in my salad and start yelling at the server for bringing me avocados, it doesn’t have anything to do with the server.
– It has to do with the fact that I was forced to eat avocados as a kid, even when I hated them, and I’m bringing that awful memory to the present, and taking it out on the avocado server.

If it’s hysterical, it’s historical. Thanks, Jaime, for this reasonable way to approach these situations in the future. I needed this drastic shift in paradigm.

Ravi: Nobody Ever Got Anywhere By Being Shy.

In Human behavior, Take action on 01/27/2013 at 3:14 pm

I met ABC Chicago news anchor Ravi at an Asian American Institute event at the Mid America Club in 2010. He emceed the event and honored quite a number of Asian Americans who were doing great things in Chicago.

The thing I remember most (aside from his booming broadcast journalism voice) was when an award recipient (I’ll call her Sandy, because I can’t remember her name) wasn’t coming up front to be honored.

After a few moments of awkward “where is she? Is she even here?” thoughts, Ravi’s voice boomed:

“Come on now, Sandy. Nobody ever got anywhere in life by being shy.

Don't Be Shy

I used to be painfully shy – all through elementary and middle school. Somewhere between high school and college, I learned to fight it. It’s still very unnatural to me to be outgoing and a go-getter, but I realized that Ravi’s statement is more than true, and if I want something, it’s up to me to go after it.

(Now tuning into ABC 7 weekend news now to see if Ravi’s booming voice can provide further inspiration for me to get on my 2013 Marketing Plan . . .)

Craig: Change It.

In Be logical, Create, Human behavior, Relationships, Take action on 09/05/2012 at 10:00 am

Craig and I met in an airport. We were both waiting to catch a flight and both remarked how lousy the potato chips were in the Continental lounge. Ever since then, we’ve recognized that we’re pretty much twins from another mother (and country – he’s Canadian) – we’re both ENTPs, we both own food businesses, we have similar outlooks on how to raise our children and we both love talking for the sake of talking.

In an IM conversation this morning, I told Craig that I appreciated his problem-solving ability and quick-on-his-feet nature. He is so good about thinking clearly, being innovative and methodical with his approaches to problems, and offering creative solutions to them on the spot. His ability to apply logic and objectivity to any situation is something I admire in him – greatly.

Then, he said very matter-of-factly, “Well, the way I see things, you either need to find out how to be tolerant of something, or change it.”

Thanks for the chat, Craig!

Dan: Everything Is Relative.

In Be logical, Business, Human behavior, Marketing, Strategy on 06/26/2012 at 6:06 pm

I met Dan Ariely at The Market Research Technology Event in Las Vegas. I spoke on the last day at the last possible time slot. Dan spoke on the best day at the best time slot. So basically, he is seriously legit. He’s also a behavioral economics professor at Duke and has a ton of fascinating studies on human behavior and consumer habits.

In part of his presentation, he discussed relative pricing.

Which subscription plan would you choose?


You (and 68% of people) would probably pick the $59 Economist.com subscription, because it’s cheaper and gives you what you think you need. Right?

Okay. Now imagine that you had seen this offer instead of the first one:

With this scenario, you (and 84% of people) are probably thinking, “Oh, MAN. I could get Print + Web for $125, when print on its own is $125? What a deal! I’m totally going with the $125 option.”

And just like that, the Economist just doubled their revenue, just by throwing in a martyr price point.

From Dan’s book:

“Most people don’t know what they want unless they see it in context . . . We don’t know what kind of speaker system we like – until we hear a set of speakers that sounds better than the previous one . . . Everything is relative, and that’s the point.”

Frickin’ brilliant.

Jeff: Done in 10 Years.

In Create, Human behavior, Take action, Tech on 04/18/2012 at 3:36 pm

I met Jeff through a neighbor. He was a blind lunch date. He says he decided he liked me when I told him up-front I didn’t like to bake nor did I care much about cupcakes. I decided I liked him when he didn’t use any frilly business BS with me.

Between the time we met and now, Jeff has taken his superstar status to a whole new level with Insight Labs. He’s worked with a lot of really big names and has gotten the ball rolling with a ton of organizations to make changes for the better. (I participated in a lab discussing how to effectively merge retail with tutoring/education.)

So, at lunch today, I asked him what direction Insight Labs was headed. He gave me a list of “here’s what we’re doing,” and then said this:

“Howell [one of his partners] and I were flying to a lab one day, and decided that we would be done with this in 10 years. It has changed the way we approach everything – since there is now a deadline for everything we want to accomplish.”

If I approached my business with a drop-dead date, would my bucket list of desired business accomplishments be a lot more ambitious? Probably. Would I act more aggressively? Yes. Would I waste as much time as I do now? Definitely not.

Shannon: Teaching Kids “Thank You”

In Create, Human behavior, Parenting on 01/16/2012 at 12:06 pm

My (at-the-time 5 year old) kid went to a friend’s birthday party and was promptly sent a thank-you card in the mail. It was handwritten by the receiving kid (pretty legibly). The brilliance? It was fill-in-the-blank.

Here’s why I loved it: it taught the kid the importance of gratitude without overwhelming the child with a task that, at age 5, would have seemed insurmountable (i.e. writing 20 thank you cards and getting serious hand cramps.)

I want my kid to learn how and why it’s important to be grateful, and I want him to learn how to express it. So I copied Shannon’s idea and made these silhouette cards with my son’s profile.

I’ve uploaded these Kid Thank You notes if you want to download them (4 to a page; just trim).

I printed set of these and put them, along with envelopes, at the kiddo’s desk so he has them handy to send a note whenever someone does something nice for him or sends him a gift. I’m thinking I’ll make some “Just saying hi!” cards next.

When he turns 8 though, it’s time for him to start writing out the whole thank-you note. Just sayin’.

Julie: Three Months.

In Cooking, Human behavior, Networking, Organization, Relationships on 04/15/2011 at 2:24 am

Julie is one of my heroines. She’s mom to four amazing grown children, is a power attorney, drives a stick shift Mini Cooper and bakes the world’s best pot roast. Nom.

I was over at her house one Sunday a few years ago for dinner, and we were all chatty and having a good time. In the middle of the conversation, she said, “Hey, Mari – let’s schedule another one of these dinners in three months. When’s good for you?”

I said, “I have no idea. Three months?”

Her reasoning was fourfold:
1 – If we say, “Let’s do dinner sometime soon,” that ‘soon’ turns into a month, turns into six months, turns into 10 years. BAD.
2 – If we say, “Let’s do dinner next month,” there will inevitably be some scheduling conflict and then we’ll say, “Let’s reschedule for another time – sometime soon,” which turns back into #1. BAD.
3 – If we say, “Let’s set a date three months out to do dinner,” there are fewer scheduling conflicts, we can both put it onto our calendars now, and then we have something to look forward to in three months. GOOD!
4 – A lot can change in three months, so conversation will be fresh and fun. GOOD!

Now, I use Julie’s “three months” scenario with those who lead super busy lives, but who I MUST see again.

Julie, just so you know, aside from your pot roast, this is the BEST tip I’ve ever gotten from you. (Get it? Oh, I kill myself.)

Melissa: 10 minutes.

In Brainstorm, Create, Human behavior, Parenting, Take action, Tech, Web on 04/01/2011 at 10:21 pm

I went to a party last year, which was a total dud. The only good thing to come out of it? My introduction to and friendship with Melissa. (Which made the event totally worth it.)

Melissa is a fierce, bold, action-oriented, passionate entrepreneur/idea girl/supermom/friend. She decided she wanted to make a film, so she did. She decided she wanted to start a company, so she did. She decided she wanted to interview Seth Godin, so she did. Why not.

I admire everything about her.

She joined me and a couple of girlfriends for lunch the other day. I think we were talking about website domains that she bought for fun. And she said, “If an idea is good enough to stick around for 10 minutes, then it’s definitely worth the $5 it costs to buy the domain for it.”

So basically, don’t waste time. Act.

I should do more of that, and less of what I’m good at: procrastinating.

Thanks, lovely – as always.

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