Anyone who knows me knows I am a kid at heart. I wear sambas every day to work; I love new toys; and if I didn’t love my job so much, I would play all day!
I’m also all about the holidays and the holidays are all about giving. So for the first time, I gave myself a gift, and I must add it is the coolest gift EVER: Beats Studio by Dr. Dre headphones.
I know, they are pretty awesome. They fit great, look cool and sound spectacular. Best of all – the packaging. They arrived in this awesome box. Opening the box was even more fun, with fabric tabs and Velcro – it was amazing. I was just as excited about the packaging as I was the product inside. I would expect nothing less from Dr. Dre.
Speaking of packaging…
My parents – who have always been my best Santa – gifted me Apple TV.
Yeah, also cool. And the packaging: great. If you are an Apple person, you know their packaging just feels and looks good. Slick, clean, minimalist and they are smart enough to always include a little apple sticker so you can decorate whatever you want with their iconic logo.
These were good reminders to me that every detail counts. When you are building and maintaining your brand – everything matters. From the way your receptionist answers the phone to how you talk about yourself to how the packaging looks and feels, it all builds on your brand. Know who you are as a company or organization and make sure everything you do aligns with that.
In the meantime, I’m gonna go geek out a little more.
With all the talk around the country about company values, it got me thinking about Promolux. As the founder and CEO, I’m lucky that I get to work where I can help define the values and beliefs of the company. I want to make Promolux a place where people can feel good to come to work; clients can be assured they are valued; and I can be proud to be called owner.
Here are a few of the values that guide our work:
Work with clients you believe in.
Provide superior customer service.
Always be thinking of new, fresh ideas.
Provide a great product for a great price.
Work with honesty and integrity.
Diversity enriches everyone.
There are also four words that define the philosophy of Promolux. They have guided our work since our inception:
You can learn more about each one here (be sure to click on the icons at the bottom). If you are a client, I hope you have – and continue to – experience this in all we do together.
On a personal note, I applaud the strong and public stance of the Jim Henson Company. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe.
It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.
90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying
87% of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back at those who have hurt them.”
According to bullying statistics, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.
Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.
What’s so heartbreaking about these statistics is that behind every number is a child. A child who is trying to grow up, figure himself out, accept herself for who she is, and just make it through the day.
For quite some time I’ve wanted to do something about this. To support those who are working for bully prevention and intervention, and now I have the chance.
I’d like to launch the Silent Hero project. Silent Hero is my way of raising funds, awareness and support for the anti-bully movement. I’ll do what I know and what I do best: create great merchandise that others can wear to help spread the word. I’ll do it online, in stores, and wherever I can to raise funds and support anti-bully organizations and programs.
Here’s what you can do to help get this off the ground: VOTE FOR ME. There’s a great program in the works – Mission: Small Business. Chase and Living Social launched this project that will award up to 12 individual grants of $250,000. The program was developed to provide small businesses with capital and innovative marketing resources needed to make a positive impact on their business. And we’d like to make a positive impact on our nation’s kids.
In order to qualify for the grant we need to receive 250 votes on Facebook (one vote per person) by Saturday, June 30th.
If your experiences are anything like mine, great customer service happens with very little frequency. Store checkers are grumpy. Customer service representatives are unhelpful. Helplines are an eternal series of pushing numbers and never speaking to a live person.
So when I was recently wow-ed by the same company – TWICE – I felt compelled to share.
Awesome experience #1:
One afternoon we made a business purchase with our company American Express. Somehow, our account numbers were stolen and the bad guys started wracking up purchases on our card. American Express sensed something was wrong and started calling around 3:00 a.m. (and a number of times after that) to verify these purchases. By 7:00 a.m. they shut down the card. When I woke up and checked my messages, I immediately called. The live, friendly person on the other end of the phone assured me everything was taken care of. Charges cleared and new card numbers would be secured/issued. Crisis averted all while I was sound asleep.
Awesome experience #2:
A new piece of office equipment arrived and didn’t perform as promised or expected. After months of repeated – and unanswered/never-returned – calls to tech support and customer service, I finally called American Express. They contacted the company, performed a charge back and, once again, took care of the situation.
American Express has earned my loyalty and gratitude. Great customer service has a funny way of doing that. Conversely, bad customer service will put a company on my “do not buy from ever again,” list.
These experiences were a great reminder of what good customer service feels like and how we want to serve our customers. As I write this it was also a reminder that customers talk. They talk about the good and the bad. They tell people if a product or service is worth it or not. That word-of-mouth carries a lot of weight and is often more effective than any print ad or marketing campaign a business or organization carries out.
Think about your customers, members, campers, donors, volunteers. How can you take care of them? How can you get them singing your praises? What can you do to earn their loyalty and gratitude?
Care to share some of your best and worst customer service experiences? We’re here to listen! firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most satisfying parts of my job is the people I work with. Many of my clients are nonprofit organizations whose staff dedicate their career and life to making the earth a better place. I’ve been working with one such organization for the past three years.
Introducing one of my favorites: Imerman Angels and my main contact (and source of continual inspiration): Jonny Imerman, Chief Mission Officer. Diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 26, Jonny was blessed with loving support from family and friends, but had never met anyone his age who was a cancer survivor. He wanted to talk to someone just like him and who completely understood his fight. Same age, same cancer. And he wanted to give that to others.
His vision became a reality in 2003 when he founded Imerman Angels.
Created on the belief that no one should have to fight cancer alone and without the necessary support, the organization pairs Mentor Angels with a cancer fighter or caregiver. A Mentor Angel is a cancer survivor or caregiver who is the same age, same gender, and most importantly who has beaten the same type of cancer. A Mentor Angel is walking, talking, living proof, and inspiration that cancer can be beaten.
Now 4,000 Angels strong, this free service helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, any age, all around the world. (In 60 countries and all 50 states!)
This video beautifully captures the power of the relationship between Mentor Angel and fighter.
“It takes people to help people,” says Imerman. “We are so grateful to our survivors who volunteer as Angels. Every year we hope to increase our reach and help more families. Awareness is the key to helping more people.”
I am honored to be a small part of this organization. Learn more. Spread the good word. Support them. (Buy some gear!) And share with anyone you know who is in need of support or can serve as an Angel.
Today we celebrate the life of a man who changed the course of history, whose bravery inspired a nation, and whose courage defied the threats and hatred that tried to silence him. Across our nation the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are quoted to remember the struggle and the triumph of a movement and to inspire us all to continue to work towards peace and acceptance.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Then, it was race. Today, it is still race, but also divisions of social class, poverty, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religious beliefs. While we have come so far since the 1960s, we still have a long way to go.
The time is always right to do what is right.
We are faced every day with opportunities to do what is right. Sometimes it is as small as helping an elderly woman carry groceries to her car. Other times it is as difficult as speaking out against an injustice or prejudice.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the
silence of our friends.
But we must continue to use our voice and to live in the spirit of Dr. King. To live with light and peace, love and acceptance. To bring his Dream to reality.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I feel really lucky that I love what I do for a living. I have great clients, a killer team, and – as the owner – am my own boss. Every once in awhile I get the opportunity to work on a particularly rewarding project – like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, or Japan Day in New York, or with clients like Be Bright Pink and Imerman Angels.
Recently, I got to work with one of my favorite clients, Damian Buchman. As one of only approximately seven survivors of his childhood cancer diagnosis, bi-lateral osteosarcoma, Damian is dedicating his life to honoring those who lost the fight. He is in the process of fundraising to build The Ability Center (TAC): an athletic, fitness, recreation and wellness facility specifically designed for those with disabilities and inclusive of their friends, families and the able-bodied public.
Damian also serves as the program director for One Step At A Time Winter Camp through Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. The weeklong camp, offered between Christmas and New Year’s Eve at George Williams Campus in Williams Bay, WI, gives children with cancer the opportunity to just be kids. Campers get together to rekindle friendships and take part in fun outdoor and indoor traditional camp activities.
I was honored to work with Damian to help provide flannel pants to the campers. It seems like a small thing, but to be a part of such a special week meant a lot to me.
I’m inspired by the work he is doing both at camp, through Super Gimp, and especially at The Ability Center. Damian is an example of using one’s life to do good, help others, and make the most of every day we have.
Makes my work even more enjoyable when I get to work with people like Damian.
Sometimes, you just gotta buckle down and get stuff done. The other day, our newest Promolux team member, Amy, and I packed 2100 shirts to 21 locations in 55 minutes. We focused. We worked together. And we rocked it.
It’s not easy in our fast-paced, technology-filled world to be this efficient all the time and some projects obviously take more time than packing shirts, but it made me think about how I could streamline my work more often. If you are like me, you just want to do a good job, get a lot done, then go home feeling satisfied with your day, and enjoy your time at home.
So I started to look for a few tips on how to be more efficient at work. Some of these are easier than others, but good food for thought:
Silence your email notification and only check it at certain times during the day.
Only attend a meeting if you really have to be there. Start and end on-time. And make the most of meeting – have an agenda and clearly defined goals/outcomes.
Stay organized, get de-cluttered, and manage your calendar. (Lots of seemingly easy tips here, but this one might be the toughest for me!)
Do your thought-intensive work in the a.m. and the labor-intensive work in the p.m. (if you are like most people who are sharper before lunch).
When you are facing a deadline or your plate is full, minimize interruptions and let people know you need privacy. Then get your stuff done!
Keep expectations reasonable.
Do what you love. (Good thing I’ve got this one nailed!)
And I’m just gonna stop there since now I have to work on these tips…and my work. It might be a long day.
I couldn’t do what I do without the help of Team Promolux. They keep the place organized and efficient; make sure our clients get what they want, when they want it, and always with a smile; and probably the most difficult part of their job – they keep me sane.
So when the holidays rolled around this year, I wanted to do something personal, stylish, and fun for them. What says, “Thanks for all you do!” like a pair of personalized sneakers? And not just any sneakers…SAMBAS!
From left to right – Amy, Jackie, me, Melissa, and Chelsey – will be stylin’ in these new kicks. The squeak of the new shoes on the floor will replace the usual clickety-clack of the heels-wearing gals outside my office who are always on the go.
To all of you – whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, all of the above or just that you have a few days off – I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays! — D.M. Dellinger