How to Work Your Wonderful Strengths, Forget Your Weaknesses

How to Work Your Wonderful Strengths, Forget Your Weaknesses

How to Work Your Wonderful Strengths, Forget Your Weaknesses


By now, everyone has heard of Strengthfinders, and most people have done the test. But are you really using the advice from strengthfinders every day? I have to review mine every once in a while. (Achiever and Connectedness). Which of the 34 Strengthfinder strengths do you have?

bmw m3 race photo

Achievers and Achievement

As an Achiever, I feel as though every day starts at zero, and need to achieve every day. Even on Memorial Day, as I write these words, I need to get things done before heading off to the baseball game. To work this strength, I can partner with other hard workers. I could also take pictures for this very blog post!

bmw m3 race photo

The Gamification of Hard Work

Now that more and more of our everyday life is becoming gamified, how about gamifying your own achievements? Receive points for finishing projects, reaching milestones, and more. By the way, you might like this article: Gamification of Social Media. And, in fact, many brands use gamification to reach more people on their Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. “Join our contest!” they say, and then add, “tag a friend, and you’ll be entered twice!”

MLB scout photo


Being connected to something larger is one of my own strengths, and maybe yours, too. Humility and gratitude come along with Connectedness because without them, there can be no Connectedness. So listening to others, and seeing deeper connections help me to focus on this strength.

Forget “Us” and “Them”

However, convincing others of the deeper connections in life would not help my connectedness, so I’d avoid that. Also, I’d avoid anyone who thinks along the lines of “us” and “them.” Oh, boy. Sounds a lot like the current political climate, doesn’t it?

Focus on Strengths Energizes

Focus on Strengths Energizes

Focus on Strengths Energizes

As Susan Peppercorn mentions in her article The Benefits of Using Your Strengths at Work,

“Strengths also energize us. Did you ever notice yourself involved in something where you lost track of time because you were so engaged? That’s an indication that you were using one or more of your strengths.” ~ Susan Peppercorn

You wouldn’t expect a pitcher to be able to hit like Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. Even ball players focus on what their strengths are, although during the SF Giants – Nationals Game on Memorial Day, there was more fighting than runs.

Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland maybe should stick to baseball. What do you think? Leave me a message in the comments! And thank you!


PoCchat: Driving Online Connections Offline

PoCchat: Driving Online Connections offline

PoCchat: Driving Online Connections offline

Recently, I had the good fortune to co-host Bobby Umar’s #PoCchat on Twitter. PoC stands for Power of Connection. I “discovered” Bobby through his dynamic TEDx presentation The 5 Cs of Connection. I really appreciate having the opportunity, and thought I’d go a little deeper into my own personal reasons to “Drive Online Connections Offline”–the topic of the tweetchat.

By the way, here are the numbers that our tweetchat generated:

PocChat: Driving Online Connections Offline

PocChat: Driving Online Connections Offline


Connecting Offline

Similar to @IdeaBloke, whenever I go somewhere now, I consider if there’s someone I could meet from online. Better still, are there two people I could meet? For instance, I recently met one of my new besties, @CarlaKerstens through friend @WClements1 on Twitter, and then we met at Twitter. Since then, we’ve texted, Facebooked, tweeted, had meals and drinks, gone to Big Sur, the Exploratorium, and drunk hot chocolate at @TCHO.

@Ideabloke always tries to look up people he knows from online

@Ideabloke always tries to look up people he knows from online


At WordCampSF, I met up with friend Ruby Rusine (@SocialChirps) who had traveled from Sacramento for her first WordCamp. Although we had never met before, we spent many hours together, and, by the end of WordCamp, had each invited the other to stay the next time we needed a place. And also got to visit with my friend Darla @DarlasRock, who I’d met because we’d both gone to see @BrianSolis for his #WTF talk and giveaway at @Yammer.


One of my favorite experiences was traveling to WordCamp Orange County, where I got to meet my online friend Peter Woolvett (@CustomerSpecs) in real life. We met up with a third friend, @Gidgey, sat together, and attended many of the same talks. During a few slow times, we snuck out together for espresso and sorbet, attended an after-party, and searched out unusual breakfast places. Laughter ensued.

More Friendship Than Business

When @Gidgey traveled up north to see her family, I got to meet her talented and lovely sis, @TheMcCannski, and travel to Marin together. In addition, we met up with the rest of her family and had brunch together. And recently, when another friend, whom I met on Twitter, came down for a conference, we met up and she stayed with me.

The Bestest

Hammin' it Up in Sedona

Hammin’ it Up in Sedona

Last year, I met up with nine women whom I met through Twitter, among them Pam (@PamAnnMarketing), Bridget (@Gidgey), Roxanne (@r3SocialMedia), Cyndi (@SoSchatze), Wendy (@MrsPickle_), Amy (@TheFabulousOne), Kendra (@Kendra_Hubbard), Deirdre (@TankGirlMktg), and Kirti (@DiyaMarketing). At first our comraderie centered around business. Now we are friends and I can’t imagine life without them–since we talk every day. This year, we are doing another in-person meetup. Next year, we hope that the always effervescent Ali (@AliSilversmith) and Jen and the “other Bridget” can join us. And of course we give each other support, friendship, advice, and business, too. A few of us are breaking off to do still another meetup with a few others who tweet for automotive businesses.


I would not hesitate to call up any of these people–now friends–if I needed a shoulder to cry on, or for personal or professional advice. What I would advise others is not to be afraid to deepen your online relationships by, as Bobby Umar would put it, “asking the tough questions.” Then when you meet in person it’s like you’re meeting an old friend in the flesh.

How About You?

These are just a few examples of people I’ve met through online connections. If you’ve met people from online, offline, how did it go? I’m really interested in your stories!


What’s the Future of Business: Generation C

Brian Solis and Friends at Yammer

Brian Solis and Friends at Yammer

Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Brian Solis speak in person at Yammer in San Francisco. You’ve probably been hearing about Brian’s’ new book What’s the Future of Business because when Brian speaks, social media people listen. At this event, not only did Brian give his time freely, he also gave away stacks of his new books (in hardback, no less), stuck around for his fans, answered questions and signed autographs. So while the content of the book is innovative and exciting, the context and the giveaway are what really surprised me.

Social Media “Gurus”

Being in and around social media myself, every single day I get bombarded by people who call themselves gurus and leaders. Many of these self-proclaimed gurus spend little time actually engaging: instead, they broadcast! They don’t answer questions or engage with their followers. Instead (prepare to clutch your pearls!) some of them actually buy their followers. Brian doesn’t call himself a guru like a million others–he does the unexpected–by doing a massive giveaway. I’d say that’s inspiring! And also something that I’ll personally remember for a long time.

Generation C

Brian focuses not on Gen Y (the “Millennials”) but on Gen C, where “C” “represents a connected society based on interests and behavior. Gen C is not an age group–it is a way of life.” To Gen C, connection is everything. Which means, ultimately, that if you or your brand are not spending time connecting, then you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Shared Experiences

What's the Future of Business

What’s the Future of Business

Clearly, Brian Solis is famous already and doesn’t need to share his expertise for free. So why did he give away his book? I think he did it to drive home his point: if businesses want to connect with Gen C, they will need to create memorable and non-traditional experiences for their customers.

Are You Creating Experiences?

What are you doing, as an entrepreneur or a brand, to create experiences that will appeal to Gen C? Are you using a combination of social networks and more traditional marketing to sell your products or services? Please leave a comment below!  

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