Saturday, January 12, 2013

Start Today. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

New Year's Resolutions are about to take a nose dive.  After all, today is January 12th.  You don't have to admit to anyone, but yourself, that goals you set so intensely 12 days ago are starting to fade.  I know the secret to real behavior change.  I can tell you what you need to do to be successful long term.  I know what you need to do to make your goals work. 

Do today what you can do again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.....

Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

If you want to get healthy, set a goal to eat 5 servings of vegetables every single day.  That's repeatable. 

If you want to be more grateful, set a goal to write 2 handwritten notes every single day.  That's repeatable. 

If you want to improve your marriage, give 30 minutes everyday of undivided, engaged contact (that means put the iPhone in another room for once) with your spouse.  You give more than 30 minutes and you might see even more dramatic improvements in your marriage.  Can you give 30 minutes a day?  That is up to you.  You decide what is repeatable. 

The biggest mistake is setting goals for change that are too high and can't be repeated so they come to a halt too early.  Does that sound like something you might do?

My repeatable goal is at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.  Every day.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  That means that I park far away in a parking lot.  I'm now doing a 5am boot camp three days a week with Titia of Texas Fit Chicks.  I'm walking (looking like I have somewhere to be) in my neighborhood with headphones.  I have even used my bike instead of my car to go to Kroger.  It is doable, manageable, measurable, and good for me.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat. 

Get focused and identify your repeatable goal right now and get at it.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Now that will defiantly keep you Living in the Smart Zone.

~ Susan

Monday, January 7, 2013

Here it is: Just Breathe - A Day in My Life (Sorta)

Here it is:  A look at a day in the my life.

Sorta.  David Quisenberry is the photographer who shot my current professional portraits.  He makes me laugh and his pictures actually look like me. 

Come on.  You know the feeling.......  I think he is the best and many of my friends are now using him.

This video is his project.  I was just lucky enough to be invited to be a part of it.  This shows what a photo shoot with him is like.  Let me tell you.  It is FUN!  We shot this video last September, just one month before I turned 50.  There is nothing like this kind of photo shoot to bring out your inner....spunk.

About a year ago, I was looking for someone to shoot current professional photos for me and there were many things that were important to me.  When David was recommended, I loved his website, I knew some of the people in his photos, and the setting for his studio is so cool.  It's in the Old Flour Mill Building in McKinney Texas.  But there was something that set him apart. 

His soul.

Recognize this picture?
This is one of David's photos.  He is the photographer for The Portrait Project Charity with Meagan Harris from Channel 8 in the DFW area.  The Portrait Project: Courage and Cancer is aimed at capturing the strength and courage of a child fighting cancer. The Portrait Project provides a large canvas portrait to families of children fighting cancer. 

There are many photographers out there who take pretty pictures.  David is a photographer who captures moments in pictures.  It was easy for me to choose him.

Thank you David for letting me be a part of this project so we could capture a day in my life....well sorta. 


Friday, January 4, 2013

How offering Free Stuff can blow

I like free stuff. I’m a coupon girl and, just like you, I look for high value, good bargains. When Drybar offered a special one time event later this month which includes a FREE blow dry, I was definitely interested. But then again so were thousands of other women. And that is where the story begins and where the lessons lie. In every industry, “free” doesn’t always lead to more loyal customers.

Here is the story:

I am a faithful, regular customer of Drybar . With my curly hair, my schedule, and my low maintenance lifestyle, we are a perfect match. Yesterday, Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar  announced an offer through social media and email. She offered free blow drys at all Drybar locations for a specific block of time on Sunday, January 13th. The block of time is when the show GIRLS will premier for it’s second season on HBO. Drybar and HBO teamed up for the promotion. Get a free blowdry at Drybar while watching the HBO series. Sounds like a great idea for a girls’ night out.

The response was incredible. So many were interested and it was a hit! Then, within minutes of the announcement, Drybar’s scheduling software crashed and their call center became a n auditory cluster of busy signals. The criticism and dislike was instantaneous. Potential customers complained on Facebook and media was in a whirl. Alli Webb posted a sincere apology for underestimating the response and thanked people for their patience.

There were haters. People who felt entitled to the free blow dry. There were those who demanded that the hours of the offer be extended since they couldn’t get an appointment. Others wanted rain checks. Many offered advice for Alli on how to run her business. It was amusing to me because Drybar is so one of my favorite examples for how they market. They are the ones who figured out that the greatest rate of Drybar cancellations and no shows occurred when there is rain. Their response? When you get a blow dry and it is raining, Drybar gives you your own personal bright yellow signature umbrella with the phrase “Rain Blows” prominently displayed. Oh yes! I have one and use it proudly and it was FREE. I perceived it as a gift for my loyalty – as a part of the service because the people of Drybar gave it to me so the rain would not mess up my fresh and sassy hairdo. To me, that is going the extra mile when it is needed. It was unexpected and not a response to a sense of entitlement.

FREE isn’t always good when you are trying to build a customer base. In my opinion, those “potential customers” who are mad at Drybar because the free appointments were limited are unlikely to become the faithful customers that build companies anyway. They want something for “free”. That likely makes them a nonqualified buyer. Perceived value is often low when customers receive your services initially for free.
"If you can give it to me initially for ‘free’, then how much does it really cost you to provide a service and how high really is the mark up on your services when I pay?"
Free breeds free. Value breads value. While we want something for nothing, businesses have to make a profit. I know I like to feed my family and invest profit back in my business so my quality and value are maintained.

Kudos to you Alli Webb and to those at Drybar who do their best to reward the faithful. The haters will move on and we know that your scheduling software and your call centers will be ready with your next promotion. You don’t have to extend the hours. You also don’t have to give rain checks. Your locations are open 7 days a week and those who value your service will be there with their cash in hand to gladly pay. Me? My next appointment is this coming Monday at 8am and I know my favorite Drybar stylist, Myrna, will do her magic deserving of the cost of the service. Hey, I keep coming back, as do many others, and I am happy to pay.

Tell me what you think? Do you think promotions with limited services that are totally free are a Smart Move?